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Thursday, April 05, 2007

 

Iranian Hijinx

The Iranians, having accomplished their mission of taking their nation's focus off their foundering economy, released their Brit captives. Good news, but let's hope the civilized Anglo-Americans don't embark on a grateful round of appeasement. We should remember that Iran precipitated the incident, and all they did was return the people they had taken. This is not exactly Nobel Peace Prize nomination stuff. We should maintain the sanctions and keep the pressure on the Mullahs.

Along those lines, if you missed the op ed in Tuesday's WSJ by Dr. Tawfik Hamid called "The Trouble With Islam," you should renew acquaintance with your local library and read it. Dr. Hamid is a former terrorist who was once a member of Zawahiri's Jemaah Islamiya and now lives in the West as a Muslim reformer. The article is too long to post in full but here are a couple of excerpts:

"It is vital to grasp that traditional and even mainstream Islamic teaching accepts and promotes violence. Shariah, for example allows apostates to be killed, permits beating women to discipline them, seeks to subjugate non-Muslims to Islam...and justifies declaring war to do so. It exhorts Muslims to exterminate Jews before "the end of days." The near deafening silence of the Muslim majority against these barbaric practices is evidence enough that there is something fundamentally wrong...

"Yet it is ironic and discouraging that many non-Muslim, Western intellectuals - who unceasingly claim to support human rights - have become obstacles to reforming Islam. Political correctness among Westerners obstructs unambiguous criticism of Sharia's inhumanity. They find socioeconomic or political excuses for Islamist terrorism such as poverty, colonialism, discrimination or the existence of Israel. What incentive is there for Muslims to demand reform when Western 'progressives' pave the way for Islamist barbarity?...

"Western appeasement of their Muslim communities has exacerbated the problem. During the four month period after the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in a Danish magazine, there were comparatively few violent demonstrations by Muslims. Within a few days of the Danish magazine's formal apology, riots erupted throughout the world. The apology had been perceived by Islamists as weakness and concession...

"When Westerners make politically correct excuses for Islamism, it actually endangers the lives of reformers and in many cases has the effect of suppressing their voices.

"Tolerance does not mean tolerance of atrocities under the umbrella of relativism."

If some of these points seem familiar, you can verify by perusing the redwavemusings archives.
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The suicide of Boston's lead singer, Brad Delp, was a body blow for the group's legions of fans, which include this baby boomer. Though the group's music features the pyrotechnics of its lead guitars, Delp's vocals were a constant and welcome factor in the mix. Now it's true that there aren't many males who sing in the particular part of the register where Delp was comfortable. You won't often hear Boston in a Karaoke bar (well, maybe "Amanda"). But there are a lot of us who've worn out copies of their records (thank goodness for CD's) and who were thinking about catching up with the band on its planned tour, which now is not likely to occur.

That just says that if your favorite performers are coming to town, whoever they may be, you don't ask how much it costs, you just go. Until it's too late, you never know which tour will be the last. If there was some way to revive Louis Prima and drag him back on the Las Vegas stage with Keely Smith, I'm on a plane tomorrow.

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In a WSJ review of American humor, S.J. Perelman's Westward Ha made the top 5. It's an account of his trip to the Far East . "The whole business began with an unfavorable astrological conjunction, Virgo being in the house of Alcohol." Sounds like my kind of travel book.

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On 4/2, I bought 2400 CDIC at 0.86, one of my notorious average downs, for the taxable account. Then on 4/4, I bought 50 shares of SF for the IRA at 44.16.

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