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Showing posts from January, 2015

The junior varsity of terror: Language parsed

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This week, the White House Deputy Press Secretary described the Taliban in Afghanistan as an "armed insurgency" (compared with ISL which is a terrorist group) and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest made sure that the US press corps understood that he was not labeling the group as a terrorist organization. "The threat that they (Taliban) pose is different....[it is] acute." He was comparing Taliban to Al Qaeda at the time. When asked "Aren't all terrorist groups different from every other terrorist group?" Earnest affirmed, "Yes, they are. But in this case, there is a clear difference between the aspirations that have been articulated... and the way they carry out, or the way they resort to some of their terror tactics and (in comparison to) the terror attacks that are carried out by Al Qaeda."

Back story: The Taliban killed over 120 children in their school in December. The Taliban has killed thousands of allied troops and maimed thou…

Evil and Auschwitz: Give me a yellow star!

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January 27 is the international day of remembrance about the evils that lurk in the human heart. That's not what the United Nations declared, but it's the truth. The International Day of remembrance about the Holocaust, the Shoah. And people marched, even heads of state (not US President Obama-- he sent a treasury man). And people are still bothered by what happened in World War II. 70 years ago the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet army emptied Auschwitz long after millions were killed there and throughout the concentration camp network.

Dr Chaim Bernard lives in Tel Aviv, Israel. He wrote this piece which deserves a stop and read it read. It was originally published as a letter to the editor in the European edition of the New York Times.  Read it all. Stop. Speak what you feel. Let's stop this madness.

European Edition of The NY Times (don't miss a word)
 Letter to the Editor (appearing in the European Edition of The New York Times) Give me a yellow star! "A dr…

I was on holiday

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People are asking me why I didn't write after the Sydney Siege until today. It wasn't that there was nothing about which to write. It's not that I was lazy or disinterested. It's that I was on annual leave. "nuff said.  Thanks be to God for some good rest. Thank you who asked, for missing my writings. Let's see if we can do more in 2015.


Is tribalism the same as chosenpeopleism?

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Elizabeth Farrelly wrote a striking piece (full article below) with this theme in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald. In the article she cites everyone's right to be offended, not to be free from offense. Check. In light of the Charlie Hebdo and kosher deli murders, sparked by a cartoon and freedom of expression, and some Islamic fundamentalists who were offended. I liked what Ms Farrelly said, until she turned a corner and made the assumption that anything tribalist is the same as what she coined as chosenpeopleism. That's a term I have never heard, but I get it. Although I don't agree with her.

Ms Farrelly invites response with this line: " But before I go, let me say this: criticism is not bullying. Dissent is not coercion. Disagreement is not hate. In fact, these things are much closer to love." So, let me explain why I disagree.

She defines tribalism here: "But there is common ground, namely, the idea that the world would be better if everyone b…