Category Archives: Culture

NFL vs. NOW

140920-nflThe NFL is in a panic over angry women and angry sportswriters, sometimes one and the same. Commissioner Roger Goodell held a press conference yesterday to announce a crackdown on football players behaving badly. It played to very bad reviews.  He apologized and promised a new and more sensitive NFL. But no number of pink ribbons will satisfy the National Organization for Women. President Terry O’Neill immediately renewed calls for Goodell’s head.

Never mind that the arrest rate for NFL players is lower than the rate for adult men in the general population. Here’s a chart from Deadspin.

NFL vs. NOW

So, why the uproar now? Ray Rice was seen last February dragging his unconscious fiancé Janay Palmer out of an Atlantic City casino elevator, caveman style. It was obvious something brutal had happened. Rice was charged with aggravated assault and placed in a one year pre-trial intervention program. The NFL suspended him for two games. With the unpleasantness behind them, Janay and Ray got married and lived happily ever after.

That is until an elevator video surfaced this month on TMZ showing Ray actually dropping Janay with a left hook. Then the NFL took action to punish the victim by taking away her husband’s of income. Rice was suspended indefinitely.

Video footage evidently concentrates the mind, whether it’s of a knockout punch or a beheading. That puts Commissioner Goodell and President Obama in the same boat. Well, not actually, NOW still likes Obama.

 

 

Is the Caliphate Islamic?

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Is the Pope Catholic?

President Obama says the Islamic State isn’t Islamic. The Washington Post says “Americans disagree” and has nifty charts and polls to prove it. Daniel Pipes disagrees too. The Middle East scholar says ISIS is “100% Islamic”.

Dennis B. Ross says, in the NYT, that ISIS is Islamist and “Islamists are not our friends”.

What the Islamists all have in common is that they subordinate national identities to an Islamic identity.

Peggy Noonan (click The Genocide of the Mideastern Christians – WSJ) says the Islamic State is “de-Christianising the Mideast where Christianity began”.

An estimated two-thirds of the Christians of Iraq have fled that country since the 2003 U.S. invasion. They are being driven from their villages in northern Iraq. They are terrorized, brutalized, executed. This week an eyewitness in Mosul, which fell to Islamic State in June, told NBC News the jihadists were committing atrocities. In Syria, too, they have executed Christians for refusing to convert.

Update: John Kerry is putting “the real Islam out there”.

Andrew Wilson in The American Spectator calls Obama’s claim “the grossest nonsense”.

Under Mohammed, Islam began as a religion of conquest. A commitment to wage jihad or holy war and to “smite the necks” of unbelievers has been part of Islam from the earliest days. In the 100 years following Mohammed’s death in AD 632, when Islam was still confined to the Arabian peninsula, Arab armies spread the faith as far west as Spain and as far east as northern India and the frontier of China.

 

Ray Rice’s Knockout Game

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The knockout game was played in Memphis last weekend. It’s a game in which random people get sucker punched by punks. The idea is to knock the victim senseless. The knockout game is senseless.

But after seeing Baltimore Raven Ray Rice cold-cock his fiancé in an elevator I think I get it. The knockout game is a new NFL fantasy league.

James Foley

140822 james foleyThe New York Times reported that ISIS wanted $130,000,000 ransom for James Foley. European countries have paid ransom in the past. It’s a major source of income for ISIS. The US policy is not to pay ransom for hostages, on the theory it encourages more hostage taking.

The same theory doesn’t seem to apply when it comes to swapping terrorists for American hostages. We gave up five of GITMO’s worst bad asses to bring home alleged deserter Private Bergdahl.

Bergdahl’s parents were flown in from Idaho to celebrate the joyous occasion with President Obama in the White House Rose Garden.

James Foley

James Foley met his grim fate with courage. His parents showed the source of that fortitude in their meeting with the media to discuss their son on the day of  his death.

Obama played golf.

National Guard in Ferguson

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Governor Nixon called in the National Guard to quell the violence in Ferguson, Missouri. The local police aren’t trusted by looters in Ferguson. It turns out the looters aren’t local either. Most of those arrested were not from Ferguson.

Why Ferguson?

Victor Davis Hanson wonders why some shootings spark violence and others don’t.

On average, more than 6,000 African Americans are killed by gun violence each year. That startling figure is nearly equal to all of the U.S. combat fatalities incurred in both Afghanistan and Iraq over some 13 years.

The violence usually begins with a white man killing an unarmed black man. In Trayvon Martin’s case the NYT described his killer as a “white hispanic”.

The media almost invariably distort the facts, sometimes deliberately seeking to incite tensions. In the Trayvon Martin case, journalists published photos of Martin as a diminutive adolescent, not more recent pictures of Martin as a 17-year-old who was much taller than (George) Zimmerman (Martin’s killer)… In the Brown case, the media has rushed to portray the victim as a “gentle giant” who was almost certainly gunned down by a racist, trigger-happy cop… NBC edited a recording of Zimmerman’s 911 call to police in a way that suggested Zimmerman was a racist.

Next up for blame are Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the New Black Panther party.

Almost immediately, they incite tensions by issuing wild, unfounded charges. Jackson said of the Martin shooting that “targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business.” Jackson just called the Brown shooting a “state execution.”

Then come the politicians cashing in for advantage.

…usually in ways that only make things worse. Libertarian senator Rand Paul, who is eyeing a 2016 presidential run, blamed the police for their overt military appearance and their crowd-control tactics. Yet street violence still persisted days after police in military-style riot gear were pulled from the scene — until finally there were requests for National Guard intervention.

Finally we get racial finger pointing.

Liberals acknowledge high black violent-crime rates but cite poverty, racism, and unfair police enforcement as the catalysts. Conservatives counter that high rates of single-parent families, dependence on government entitlements, and glorification of misogyny and violence in popular culture account for inordinate black violent-crime rates.

And the country becomes more divided.

Meanwhile, we might remember that the American experiment to unite various racial and ethnic groups into one culture is as noble as it is rare in history. When it has previously been tried in the modern world — Yugoslavia, Cyprus, Iraq, Rwanda, Syria, Congo — it usually has failed spectacularly.