Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Light Reading Stephen Schwartz From West To East

Most of us have a rather low opinion of Stephen Schwartz. However, he is a patriotic Muslim who disagrees with almost all of us. In fact any praise I could offer would probably anger him more then the slings and arrows.

Schwartz is a brilliant writer who is clearly dedicated to his craft. He has an excellent style that is easy to read and entertaining. He is direct and to the point
and at times humorous.

From West to East is the story of the history of California. California does not have an epic like Texas but it is still interesting.

In chapter one we meet the Catalans and the Malorcans who founded California. We tend to think of the founders of the USA as random groupings of people. However, people from certain regions founded the Eastern USA and apparently California.

In Chapter one we meet the Spanish, English and Russian Explorers. We also meet the local Indians who built a cult on halucegenic drugs. Ducky probably claims most of his economic theories after religious cermonies with the cult.

On a larger note sometimes we should read authors we disagree with. While I do disagree with Schwartz on a range of topics he does excellent research and is informed. Reading the work of a professional writer like Schwartz or VS Naipul is a pleasant experience because they know their craft. Schwartz clearly knows how to inform and entertain. I have not had to labor through any of his sections yet but it is early. Another trap that writers fall into is peaking too early. Orianna Falachi did that on her last book and Jared Diamond did that in Colapse.

Beamish in 08, Ducky looking for the halucigenic cult and 167 a ratings 0


Iran Watch said...

I have admit to being totally unfamiliar with this writer. I will need to check out some of his writings.

beakerkin said...

You can find plenty of his articles on Front Page Magazine or Tech Central Station. You can look at some of our old combat in the comment section.

I have a respect for Schwartz as a writer even though some of his opinions strike me as off the wall.
I do have to find more information about the totalitarian abuses under Tito and Albania which Scwartz has pointed out were more violent then generally assumed. He is a brilliant man I often disagree with but respect.

American Crusader said...

He is new to me also...
I had thought Tito was generally well liked, but again I have never studied Tito. I remember his reputation for standing up against the Soviet Union

Always On Watch said...

What I don't like about Schwartz is his whitewash of Sufism.

See Sufism and Jihad.

But I agree with you, Beak, that Schwartz is an excellent writer. But is he a propagandist or just a sincere person?

beakerkin said...


I understand the hesitancy of some people with Stephen Schwartz. I have several black eyes from exchanges with him. Sufism has its own history but should never be confused with Wahabism or Ismailism.

However I have zero doubt that he is a patriot. We can disagree on several items but I respect his intellect. When he wants to be Schwartz can even be witty and humorous.

Sufism should not be viewed in the same manner as Wahabism or Ismailism. If the entire Muslim community were like Stephen Schwartz we would have a better world.

This book does not deal with Islam and he is an excellent craftsman. He is a professional writer of great talent. I do wish he would respect other writers who he disagrees with like Trifkovic, Spenser and Gamliel Isaac at least with the same respect I give him.

This is an excellent book so far and I am looking foward to his section on Stienbeck and Sinclair.
He also writes superb posts on literature. I wish he would do more of this type of work because it is brilliant.

Mr. Ducky said...

A priest and a rabbi are friends, but the are always trying to outdo each other. The priest buys a new car, so the rabbi goes out and buys a bigger one. The priest goes up to the rabbi's car and sprinkles some holy water on it, so the rabbi gets a hacksaw and cuts off an inch from the priest's tailpipe.

I'm here all week folks, be sure to catch the supper show.

Mr. Ducky said...

Beamish and wife are watching "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" in bed.

Beamish turns to the wife and says, "Do you want to have sex?"

The wife says, "No."

Beamish asks, "Is that your final answer?"

She says, "Yes."

He says, "Then I'd like to phone a friend."


Please be sure to tip the waitstaff folks.

Anonymous said...

Here's a tip, buy low, sell high.


nanc said...

troll supreme at first two articles - aow - tis the brown one.

Always On Watch said...

My husband is from CA. He might have some interest in this book by Schwartz.

I haven't read much of Schwartz other than what he's written on Islam (no surprise there). I'll check out some of his other writings.

I'd be very interested in his take on Steinbeck, a writer I can't get enough of.

Always On Watch said...

About Steinbeck...I can't quite explain why I like Steinbeck so much. Except to say that after reading Steinbeck I find myself counting my blessings.

Always On Watch said...

I saw the Stain's comments. He appears deranged to me, so I don't respond. Besides, responding to his ilk is a ocmplete waste of my time.

MissingLink said...

Don't know much about Schwartz at all.
Is he into sufism?
His world must be swirling after feeding on some of those Californian mushrooms.

beakerkin said...

Stephen Schwartz is a Sufi Muslim who runs a site called the Center For Islamic pluralism. He claims that Wahbism is a perversion of Islam and has denounced terror of all kinds without equivication.

I disagree with Schwartz on many subjects but he is clearly a patriot who has a different view of Islam. He envisions a more cosmopolitan an tolerant form. Sadly I never got him to discuss economics or the freedom of ideas under Sharia.

He is a brilliant author and has many articles at Front Page Magazine. His book on the history of California is mesmerizing so far. He is a first rate writer with a genuine talent and artistic flair.

nanc said...

linkster - don't go knocking the californistan mushies...from what i remembered to forget...or was that forgot to remember...whatever...remind me to tell you about that superbowl party i had in the mid-eighties where all that were there were parole agents, detectives, cops, dispatchers, and the like...now that was fun! the best cops have always been former delinquents!

Mr. Ducky said...

AOW's fondness for Steinbeck is puzzling..
"I got thinkin' how we was holy when it was one thing. An' it on'y got unholy when one mis'able little fella got the bit in his teeth an' run off his own way, kickin' an draggin' an' fightin'. Fella like that bust the holiness. But when they're all workin' together, not one fella for another fella, but one fella kind of harnessed to the whole shebang — that's right, that's holy. "

ol' pantheistic social democracy John seems a tough nut to crack.

beakerkin said...

Not really Steinbecks was a good writer who told dated tales. The Grapes of Wrath is a dated story that social message belongs to another time.

Communists failed to improve on the abuses they percieved. In fact the abuses by the State visa vis workers were worse then those of private employers.

A basic flaw is that in Comunism or Socialism the State defacto owns the means of production and has zero incentive to act with any concern to the workers. The Capatalist model has the state protecting basic rights of the workers and balancing economic interest vs workers rights.

In reality the conflict of intrest inherent in any communist society and rampant corruption made lfe for all including workers hell. The exception to the above were the party elite who were the center of graft and nepotism.

Mr. Ducky said...

"The Capatalist(sic) model has the state protecting basic rights of the workers and balancing economic interest vs workers rights."

I believe you just described a social democracy.

You'd have a tough time explaining how the current crowd has been a champion for worker's rights. I would enjoy reading a twenty five word explanation.

Anonymous said...

mr. ducky,

Why use two-words or twenty-five, when one will do. Republic.


beakerkin said...

Farmer John was to the point. Marx is a group rights philosphy which is antithetical to the notion of individual rights. Our Constitution states that rights are inate as opposed to Marxist whatever I decide your rights are yadayada yad.

Thus a liberal ( not Marxist) democracy sees the government as protector of those inate rights. Marx has a conflict of intrest where the state owns the means of production there is zero rationale to protect the workers rights which are subordinate to the state enterprise.

The Marxist model also fails on the efficiency and incentive basis as well. In reality Marx is just a theft based scheme for a self deluded elite who decided they will replace god. Thus we have a plethora of Communist boasting about IQ and demonstrating no real intelligence. The Marxist has a religious belief that as the protector of the sacred truth and superior intelligence they have the right to rule in the name of the unwashed masses. Then they turn around and cry about social Darwinists when they and not the followers of Rand are the ultimate social Darwinists.

Mr. Ducky said...

That's terrific, Farmer. I ask for current and you offer up Plato.

Not that a session with the Republic isn't worthwhile but it hardly stands in as a Realpolitik handbook when we are up against Chimp and his crime family.

Mr. Ducky said...

That's a wonderful screed Beak. Now, how is Bush protecting worker's rights.

Anonymous said...

That was Plato? Like beak, I thought it was Jefferson.


beakerkin said...


Bush as every other American President has done an excellent job of protecting workers rights.
We have entire governmental agencies dedicated to those rights. If OSHA becomes too ponderous then there is no jobs or rights to speak of. The key is balance and OSHA should not be too intrusive either.

How were the rights of slave laborers in the gulag protected. Then there is the French model that kills Growth and those few workers that can find jobs have a plethora of rights but no new jobs for the young. Growth and workers rights must be balanced . The ultimate workers right is for jobs to exist in the first place.

Mr. Ducky said...

Funny you mention the Gulag, beak. I assume you caught the news articles about Halliburton trucking in workers from poorer nations to work fullfiling military contracts in iraq. It's the Saudi Arabia (our "allies") model. Confiscate the passports, pay them nothing and at the end of their shift they get to lap dance for the Blackwell company mercenaries.

Now as for job growth. Chimperella hasn't been able to generate enough to satisfy the number of Americans entering the workforce, a very large percentage have been generated by defense spending (war economy fucking boomed for Hotler, didn't it?) and another huge percentage go to illegals.

So we still have a proble, France has a problem also, although the French situation is far worse than the rest of Europe's. In case you think all European nations are the same.

beakerkin said...

Decoding the Duck when you have no facts point the finger at Haliburton and call Bush a lower primate.

Employers tend to hire the lowest cost workers to fill jobs. Americans are not lining up to go to Iraq and get beheaded. However people from less affluent countries readily fill those jobs at a lower cost it is called Capatalism 101.

The US has a lower unemployment rate then the vast magority of the developed world. Our economy also generates growth at a higer rate then any of the Western Nations.

China and India are having exponential growth because they started from nothing. In fact there is a direct relationship between growth and tossing Marx in the trash. It is a safe bet that if Oil prices dip Chavez is toast.

FYI Ducky the Haliburton workers are paid far higher then their countries of origin. In no definition except to those who are incoherent can they be compared to the slave laborers in Gulags .

Mustang said...

Do you know what happened this week back in 1850, in California?

California became a state. Of course, the State had no electricity and no money, and almost everyone spoke Spanish. And there were gun fights in the streets.

So basically, it was just like California today except the women had real breasts and men didn't hold hands.

Well, that's what I heard, anyway.

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Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

When I'm President, I'm going to push the little green button that creates jobs a couple of times. Should be simple right. Everyone knows who the President is that created their job, right?

Just as soon as Ducky gets a better grasp of economic theory than most 3 year olds, I'll elaborate on my obvious sarcasm.

nanc said...

oh mustang, i've got to remember that! priceless.