The Glamour Of Islamic Terrorism

In light of today’s events in Paris, this seems to be an even more important point:

Glamour is undermined by mockery. People steeped in multicultural respect will find that mockery difficult. The other thing that undermines glamour is crushing defeat. The Axis had glamour of its own, until Dresden and Hiroshima.

Both the Bush and Obama administrations suffered far too much from a lack of willingness to call the enemy what it is. The people who hijacked the planes were Islam, and they killed in the name of their religion. The same thing happened in Paris today, and they are starting to harvest the fruit of their unwillingness to confront the enemy they have absorbed within their midst over decades. Somewhere, Charles Martel weeps.

Here is the original piece from Virginia.

[Update a while later]

Holy crap. Claire Berlinsky was on the scene:

This was the worst terrorist attack in Europe since the London tube bombings of 2005. If I’m correct — I have not checked carefully — it was also the worst in France since the Nazis were running the place.

I was there only by luck: I had no desire to see this. Luck is probably not the right word. I wish I hadn’t seen it. But lucky, certainly is the right word to use in noting that I was running late, and thus there a few minutes after the fact. Had I not been running late, it’s fairly obvious what might have happened. They weren’t discriminate in their targets.

Do not submit.

Mohammed Cartoon

[Update a few minutes later]

A little more from Claire:

The assailants are as yet at liberty. I hope they’ll be dead by the time you read this. But if not:. You want me too? Come get me. Because nothing short of killing me — and many more of my kind — will ever shut us up.

And if you don’t believe that now, you’ll believe it very soon. Because there are more of us willing to die for that freedom than those of you eager to take it from us. And soon you will find out that those of us willing to die for that freedom are also much better at killing than you.

So come and get me. Je suis Charlie.

If the Islamists understood a little European history, they would, and should, be very afraid. This won’t end well, and many thousands will die, most of them innocent. If the French decide to remove the invasion they’ve invited and ignored for decades, it won’t happen peacefully, or bloodlessly.

[Update a few minutes later]

The Washington Free Beacon lives up to its name, and republishes the offending cartoons.

[Update a few more minutes later]

Thoughts from Larry Correia:

Because of my job I follow a lot of authors, artists, and creative types, so I noticed something this morning. Many of them were compelled to say something about the events in France, but most of them wouldn’t say anything about who did this horrible thing. They talked about tragedy, and violence, and shootings, and terror, but very few would come out and say anything about the actual bad guys. Anybody who did mention the actual bad guys had to put in the obligatory Most Muslims are Peaceful disclaimer and then walk on eggshells to avoid being slandered as hatemongers by their followers who are members of the Goodthink Police.

I felt like writing something here. But then I felt this momentary pang of dread. What if my words make somebody angry? What if I upset them? And that’s when it hit me, every single public figure, every person with an audience, felt that same doubt. That same little bit of fear that evil Islamic lunatics would take offense and kill them. No matter how unlikely or irrational, they felt it.

And that is exactly what evil wants.

Yes. We cannot let them cow us. But of course, it’s a lot easier for me to write this than Claire, who is in the city where these vicious monsters are still at large.

[Update a while later]

…although, thank goodness, Rushdie remains safe, the Islamists have largely been winning this war since. They have successfully intimidated a very large number of writers and artists and journalists and film-makers all over the world into silence (and many live in exile because of threats to their safety), and within Muslim countries they have in addition used blasphemy laws to persecute their enemies and basically make any discussion of religion impossible. All this while religious apologists continue to proclaim to CNN and the BBC that their religion stands only for peace. Tell that to the tens of thousands of victims of religious violence in Pakistan alone. “Oh, the number of extremists is very small; most Muslims are peace-loving people.” The number of actual terrorists is always small. The problem is that a great proportion of Muslims sympathize with these people, which is why it is impossible to eliminate them.

Yup.

[Update a few minutes later]

Christopher Hitchens speaks from the grave about today’s Paris massacre:

This is not new. I’ve written about this many times. It’s reverse ecumenicism. It first became obvious to me when the fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie in 1989. The reaction of the official newspaper of the Vatican was that the problem wasn’t that the foreign leader of a theocratic dictatorship offered money, in public, in his own name, to suborn the murder of the writer of a book of fiction in another country, who wasn’t an Iranian citizen. The problem was not that.

You and I may have thought, bloody hell, this is a new kind of threat. But it’s an old level of threat. Blasphemy is the problem. That was also the view of the archbishop of Canterbury. The general reaction of the religious establishments to that and to the Danish case—and, by the way, of our secular State Department in the Danish case—was to say the problem was Danish offensiveness. A cartoon in a provincial town in a small Scandinavian democracy obviously should be censored by the government lest it ignite—or as Yale University Press put it, instigate—violence.

Instigation of violence can only mean one thing. I know the English language better than I know anything else.

Yes, blasphemy is the problem. But now it’s only when it comes to one totalitarian belief system.

[Thursday-morning update]

This is for people attempting to make an equivalence between Christianity and Islam:

MuslimClerics

Can anyone point out the equivalent of this in Christendom?

[Bumped]

Dealing With Climate Change

No, it’s not like going on a diet:

Even when people aren’t directly invoking the carbon diet in their language, they often echo its principles by suggesting that everyone needs to cut back. But it falls apart—and starts to seem downright sinister—when you look at its priorities. Most of the world does not need a carbon diet. Three-quarters of the global population uses just 10 percent of the world’s energy, 1 billion people lack access to electricity, and 3 billion cook their food over dung, wood, and charcoal, leading to millions of early deaths. These people are energy starved—and they need a feast, not a diet.

These people are essentially advocating mass murder.

High-Speed Rail

California goes full boondoggle:

IF the internet doesn’t change the way people work, reducing both commuting and the demand for business travel, IF the giant project doesn’t mimic almost all similar projects and develop gigantic cost overruns that make a mockery of the initial cost elements, IF resourceful NIMBY groups and their lawyers don’t find too many endangered species in its path or otherwise tie it up in endless litigation, IF self driving cars don’t make rail travel obsolete, IF the fares aren’t so high even with subsidies that passengers shun it, and IF unlike almost all other passenger rail service in the U.S. it doesn’t lose buckets of money, this project could look like a smart move.

IOW, it’s insane.

The Anti-Biotic Drought

…is over?

The experimental drug, which was isolated from a sample of New England dirt, is called teixobactin. It hasn’t yet been tested in people, though it cured all mice infected with antibiotic-resistant staphylococci bacteria that usually kills 90 percent of the animals, according to a study published today in the journal Nature. Bacteria appear to have a particularly difficult time developing resistance to the drug, potentially overcoming a major problem with existing antibiotics.

They’re probably a little overoptimistic on that one, but it’s good news in the short run at least.

How Science Goes Wrong

A good survey from The Economist why we can’t blindly accept the “authority” of “science” or scientists:

Too many of the findings that fill the academic ether are the result of shoddy experiments or poor analysis (see article). A rule of thumb among biotechnology venture-capitalists is that half of published research cannot be replicated. Even that may be optimistic. Last year researchers at one biotech firm, Amgen, found they could reproduce just six of 53 “landmark” studies in cancer research. Earlier, a group at Bayer, a drug company, managed to repeat just a quarter of 67 similarly important papers. A leading computer scientist frets that three-quarters of papers in his subfield are bunk. In 2000-10 roughly 80,000 patients took part in clinical trials based on research that was later retracted because of mistakes or improprieties.

It’s a mess.

Reusable Rockets

CNES is getting in on the action:

Eymard was asked whether CNES is not in the position of having spent two years to catch up to SpaceX with a lower-cost expendable rocket in Ariane 6, only to find that SpaceX has moved to a partially reusable model that cuts costs even further.

“We don’t want to be in the position of appearing to follow in their footsteps all the time,” Eymard said. “But we admire what they are doing and we think it helps put pressure on all of us to do better.”

SpaceX, Blue, ULA, now the Europeans. But NASA insists on building a giant throw-away vehicle.

The New Trauma

Thoughts on “microaggressions” and “trigger warnings.”

My sympathy for your suffering, whether that suffering was real or imaginary, ended when you demanded I change my life to avoid bringing up your bad memories. You don’t seem to have figured this out, but there is no “I must never be reminded of a negative experience” expectation in any culture anywhere on earth.

If your psyche is so fragile you fall apart when someone inadvertently reminds you of “trauma”, especially if that trauma consisted of you overreacting to a self-interpreted racial slur, you need therapy. You belong on a psychiatrist’s couch, not in college dictating what the rest of society can’t do, say or think. Get your own head right before you start trying to run other people’s lives. If you expect everyone around you to cater to your neurosis, forever, you’re what I’d call a “failure at life”. And you’re doomed to perpetual disappointment.

Good thing people aren’t putting themselves into hopeless levels of undischargeable debt to get so “educated.”

Oh, wait.

[Update a while later]

This seems related, somehow: Advice for shy, male nerds:

[Update Monday morning]

Here is a guy who will never get laid:

Obviously, Parton must have been really hurt, perhaps even more hurt than when people ask him to say “Cool Whip.” But because he’s a really sensitive guy, he did not “blame her one bit” for not understanding.

In fact, he said her calloused response made him realize that he might have committed a microaggression against another person at some time in his life without even realizing he was doing it!

“I am afraid because microaggressions aren’t harmless — there’s research to show that they cause anxiety and binge drinking among the minority students who are targeted,” he writes.

I’ve got a better solution to binge drinking. Lower the drinking age.

Gridlock

Why aren’t we thanking it for the economic recovery?

Because it doesn’t fit the narrative. But as Jefferson said, it’s a good demonstration that that government that governs least, governs best. If only we could roll back a lot of this crap.

It’s worth noting that things started to go to hell after the Democrats took over Congress in 2006, and didn’t really start to recover until the Republicans took the House back in 2010.

A Gravity Lab

A concept for doing it on the cheap.

One problem I see in the near term is that NASA plans to use Dragons as lifeboats, so I’m not sure when one would become available on orbit.

[Update a while later]

Actually, I think that a cargo Dragon meets the requirements for this much better than a crew Dragon. It’s an on-orbit mission only, so there’s no need for couches, which just take up room. It can’t be used for a lifeboat, because it has no docking adaptor (at least currently), so NASA wouldn’t miss it. Even a Dragon V2 would need an ECLSS upgrade, so might as well just put it in the cargo version. It would have a lot less value to NASA than a V2, so it would be easier to get it from them. All they’d be giving up is the cargo return (which they could even get when the mission was over, months later, if they wanted).

That Stupid Slate Article About Space Billionaires

I don’t know if I mentioned this foolish piece by Charles Seife last week (what would we do without “journalism” professors?). At the time, I merely tweeted that I didn’t understand why I was supposed to care whether or not Virgin Galactic and SpaceX were about “exploration.”

Jeff Foust commented that Slate editors must have taken the week off (which I think gives them too much credit during the non-holidays). Anyway he has taken it apart.

It’s difficult to imagine a student of Professor Seife’s turning in a class assignment with such factual errors and getting a passing grade.

Zing.

And speaking of “space exploration,” I’ve decided that this is the year I make all-out war on the phrase. It has held us back for decades in thinking about space in a sensible way.