Saturday, February 17, 2007

Power of Words and a Change In Policy

The recent debacle over the term religious fecal matter has led me to rethink the uses of certain words on this blog. People get mistaken ideas over certain terms that are loaded. I will no longer use the term vermin to describe Communists. This is a personal choice and not a lecture to others who use it for other reasons.

The term vermin evokes images of Nazi description of Jews as subhumans. Communists will be described as accolytes of class genocide, sons of treason and other more creative terms that do not carry historical bagage. This blog has always respected human life in the perpetual fight against mindless utopians who would kill you and I for their failed schemes.

Way back when a similar point was raised when one of the most highly respected bloggers I know proposed burning the Koran. The image of book burning is one that is associated with Nazis. Arson is not a good idea in general and is quite dangerous.
Breaking things with sledgehammers is more fun but there are limited options.

31 comments:

Always On Watch Two said...

On the reading list for my literature class next year: Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. My coordinator and I decided that the book has a message for today.

Loaded terms? Yes. As a teacher, I try to be cautious about using them, particularly in class.

Another loaded term is "the final solution." I tend to use "solution" quite a lot in the natural course of diagnostic-and-prescriptive teaching, but I to remember not to pair the word with "final."

Off topic...Yesterday, I "plugged" your site during my interview on Blog Talk Radio. I was asked how I got involved in blogging, so your site naturally came up in my answer.

At my site is a posting with a link to the interview, in case you're interested.

Justin said...

Beak:
You are right in not using the word vermin to define communist and communist sympathizes.

The terms I used and have really been using since yesterday to describe the 60/70's retreads are Congress ie: Murtha,Palosi,Reid,Durbin,Clinton etal.

seditious
traitorous
treasonous

Especial Jack Murtha:
"treasonous"
adjective meaning:
having the character of, or characteristic of, a traitor; "the faithless Benedict Arnold"; "a lying traitorous insurrectionist"

For the most part they are all communist sympathizing retreads from the 60's and 70's

The Merry Widow said...

Fahrenheit 451 was a prophetic book in a way, though most though it was catastrophic sci fi when it came out, or a what might happen...
little did they know!
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

tmw

beakerkin said...

I heard the interview and heard a great plug for Mark Alexander. His book is easy on the eye.

The person in front of you with the Onion call was a riot. I fell out of my chair.

beakerkin said...

Justin

You are 100% correct and my use of the term vermin gave many the wrong idea.

Mustang said...

I recently listened to a discussion about changing Islamic ideology. As you know, communism was intended to be the long-term goal of state socialism – and in spite of the fact that most (but not all) heretofore-labeled communist governments have collapsed, there are still those who think that it remains a utopian goal. Forget that the Soviet Union more or less imploded, or that China’s economic reality helped to temper its political ideology, the fact is that there remains a number of countries who embrace socialism as the preferred model of government. I could not disagree more, given my belief that socialism is really only ideal for lazy people who prefer not to participate in the democratic process (as defined by our own Founding Fathers). I think that it is possible to argue effectively against political ideology, but mostly I think that understanding comes with maturity. Young people tend to be idealistic and therefore liberal, while older and wiser people tend to temper political idealism with their own practical experience (conservatism).

But this particular discussion had to do with changing the ideology associated with Islam. I do not think that Islam should be discussed as a political ideology, because it is clearly based on theology. It may be possible to show an individual the error of state socialism, but nearly impossible to convince a true believer of any religion that their beliefs are misplaced. While it is true that Islam is about as fascist as anything produced in Europe in the early 20th Century, one simply cannot convince a Muslim that this is true because the leaders of Islam cloak themselves in Qu’ranic teachings. And we all realize how easy it is to fool the ignorant. So what is my point? Let us not waste time by devising ways to convince Muslims that their belief system is flawed. Rather, let us be content with locating radical terrorists and killing them. In time, our expenditure on armaments will help to increase overall employment in the free world – and we’ll have a lot fewer vermin, er . . . terrorists to deal with.

sonia said...

I will no longer use the term vermin to describe Communists

Actually, using insults is always counter-productive. It's less convincing to those who actually need convincing, and only pleasing those who are on your side anyway. And it works both ways. An article comparing Bush to Hitler and calling him a moron and a psychopath is always far less convincing to people like us than an article criticizing Bush and his policies that manages to avoid any insults. (The latter kind is extremely rare, btw...)

However, it's important to call a spade a spade. When Chavez is closing opposition media, he should be denounced as a totalitarian dictator. However, calling him a cocroach or a vermin isn't just wrong, but simply pointless.

beakerkin said...

Sonia

I agree with you 100% on this one.

Always On Watch Two said...

The Muslims with whom I have personally spoken or with whom I have corresponded say that shari'a law is compatible with democracy because the courts will enforce religious law (instead of bands of people carrying stones, I guess). The apostates or Christian Arabs say, flat out, the Islam is incompatible with democracy.

---------------------

A plan I recently heard FROM A NON-MUSLIM ARAB to cope with the Islamic threat:

Destroy the cells of the most radical of Islamists. Deport radicals from the United States, ASAP.

Be a strong man, in other words; traditionally, Muslims respect a strong man.

Stop international dealings with countries which have encoded shari'a law into civil law; specifically, cut the wheat subsidies, so as to minimize the impact of OPEC's control of the worldwide economy.

Say "No more mosques built here in the United States until you allow the building of churches in your Islamic nation."

Say "No more violations of human rights in your Islamic nation, or we'll cut you off."

Take advantage of the divisions within Islam; keep in mind that Arab Islam is a tribal culture, so divisions are inevitable.

In the United States, monitor the content of the materials in mosques and in Islamic centers; check on the funding of those materials. If the materials are Salafist, confiscate the materials and close the mosque or Islamic center; many a podunk mosque in the United States is receiving and distributing Salafist/Wahhabist material because those movements have big bucks. Pay attention to teachings which undermine our freedoms.

Learn about taqiyya and hudna, and understand what those mean in terms of reaching agreements with Islamic nations.

All of the above relate to the domestic and foreign-policy levels, of course.

-----------------------

The question which I struggle with: If Islam is, coded indelibly and throughout in the Koran and the Hadith, a political ideology, then why should Islam be given a pass as a faith?

Mustang is so right about something he's implied here: certain Muslims are fighting a religious war, and other Muslims are condoning and/or supporting that war (dreams of the caliphate, will of Allah, etc.). Muslims are committed to their beliefs system more than most Westerners I know are committed to anything. They'll happily and proudly sending their own children on jihad missions.

And here's the really scary part....While we debate what to do, schools throughout the Middle East are indoctrinating children in hate-filled ideology, thereby creating a next generation of potential jihadists. Just look at the demographics! There's a population explosion going on, too.

Something I find interesting....Apostates, religious and otherwise, from Islam maintain that there can be no reform of Islam. Sure, one can discount some of what they say as bitterness, or whatever. But let's say for a minute that there can be no reform of Islam. If one cannot reform and/or change the religious conviction of others, then economics may be the only way to counter the Islamic threat.

I don't see the United States as willing to nuke billions of Muslims even if we accept that "Islam is the problem." Of course, defeating pockets of them would have an effect. History has shown that with militant Islam for 13 centuries. The difference today is that beating them back (Charles Martel, The Gates of Vienna, etc.) won't ensure that they STAY back; the technology and the weaponry have changed.

Mustang alluded to the near impossibility of convincing someone that his beliefs system in entirely wrong. I agree. And as the problem relates to Islam, we need to remember what Nonie Darwish has said: "Islam was our life." Muslims don't compartmentalize social life, legal life, and religious life in the same way that the West does. Therein lies an impasse, I think. Not only is the beliefs system different but also the Islamic system of "logic."

I'm about to shut up now (for the moment). But I have one more point: largely, it is oil which has brought the world to this point.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Nothing wrong with calling Communists vermin.

Make a case that Communists aren't vermin.

I'll listen.

beakerkin said...

Mr B

The use of the term vermin has a loaded history. Jews were often called subhuman and vermin in the Holocaust. Communists are lowlifes and vile, but those terms do not have any historical use in genocide.

It gives people the wrong impression.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

No, it gives stupid people the wrong impression.

sonia said...

Beamish,

Make a case that Communists aren't vermin

You can call them vermin if it makes you feel better. I won't mind. But let me make the case:

1. Vermin don't eat other vermin. Communists kill other Communists (remember Trotsky ?)...

2. Vermin evolve (according to Darwin, anyway). Communists never evolve. A Communist that evolves is denounces as a reactionary traitor by other Communists (ex. Christopher Hitchens, neo-cons, etc.)

3. According to this Wikipedia article(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermin), vermins consume excessive resources. Communists don't consume anything. They don't produce anything. They drink, refuse to work, and let everything rot and rust. A Communist that consumes capitalist resources is called a sell-out by fellow Communists.

So no, Communists aren't at all like vermin. Vermin are cuddly, pleasant creatures compared to Communists...

beakerkin said...

Sonia

That is the post of the year.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Sonia,

I didn't realize I had insulted vermin by including Communists among them. ;0P

I guess my point is that the only people who would be offended by the characterization of Communists as vermin are the same people who in fact draw no sense of irony from Iranian anti-American demonstrations complete with protest signs with Bush's head superimposed on a Nazi Swastika, in the same country that questions the historicity of the Holocaust.

You know, stupid people. Or leftists, for short.

Justin said...

Sonia

A great post and it is perfect in its analysis.

Justin said...

AOW,Mustang and Beak:

It is to bad that we cannot get the following in front of Americans today just so they can see what we are really facing with Islam. If Beak approves this post I feel it should make us all stop and think.

As most know by now I am a what is called a messanic jew and the MJAA has a position paper regarding this war between the G-D of Israel and the God of Islam.

As hard as Osama bin Laden and other Islamic extremists tried to paint their jihad as a war between Islam and the Jewish/Christian/Crusader west, western leaders and press have attempted to characterize the conflict in narrower terms as a "war against terrorism." These politicians and journalists, including President Bush, called Islam a "peaceful" religion. We understand the politics behind this statement, but is it true?

The answer is a resounding NO!

Conversion by the Sword

Islam preaches a gospel of conversion by the sword, i.e. conquering nations and imposing Islam upon those it defeats. It's flag contains the two symbols of the sword and the crescent moon. The sword symbolizes conquest by force and the crescent moon the deceit and stealth of a night attack barely lit by the moon. Here are just a few of the quotes from the Koran and other sources that illustrate this truth.

"O ye who believe! Murder those of the unbelievers. . . and let them find harshness in you." [Koran, Repentance:123]

"Humiliate the non-Muslims to such an extent that they surrender and pay tribute." [Koran, Repentance:29]

O believers do not treat your fathers and brothers as your friends, if they prefer unbelief, to belief whosoever of you takes them for friends, they are evildoers. [Koran, Repentance:20]

A well-known saying of Mohammed is "Do not meet Jews or Christians with greetings. If you ever meet them in the street, force them to the narrowest part of it." (refer to Sahih of Muslim, "Interpretation of Nawai," vol. 5, p. 7)

According to the Koran, the Jews try to introduce corruption (5:64), have always been disobedient (5:78), and are the enemies of Allah, the Prophet (Mohammed) and his angels (2:97-98).

A Muslim's life is spared even if he kills a Christian intentionally, while a Muslim may only be required to die if he kills another Muslim. On the other hand, if a non-Muslim merely curses a Muslim, he must either be sentenced to death or be converted on the spot. The reason, as Mohammed said is that "only Muslims' blood is regarded equal."

As hundreds of thousands of Iranian Bahais found out when Ayatollah Khomeini took power, any non-Muslim who is not a Jew or Christian is to be immediately executed if they do not convert on the spot to Islam. Jews and Christians are allowed to keep their religion, as second class slaves with no civil rights and extra taxes not paid by Muslims.

The basic doctrines of Muslim faith are interwoven with violent and hateful teaching. It can be no wonder that ardent and devout followers of Islam embrace the militant and violent tenets of the faith and have no respect for those they consider "unbelievers."

This gives you an insight into where Osama bin Laden and other radical Moslem fundamentalists are coming from when they seem not to care about murdering thousands of unbelieving Gentiles, Jews, and Christians. Their blood is simply not equal to Muslim blood and are considered a sub-human class of people who also represent the enemies of Islam."

Just something for your consideration folks.

Always On Watch Two said...

Justin,
May I borrow your comment for use as a posting at my site and wherever I can post?

z said...

I wish I could agree with Sonia. While I think not insulting SHOULD be far less persuasive, I believe the effect of insults is powerful and lasting and influence many....How many people think BUSH and then automatically think LIED? Lots. How many professors make their living using snide insults which have such disproportionately huge effects? Why do leftists senators risk their reputations saying lies which insult ...they're sure the affect is worth the risk...and they usually are. How many have you heard anyone condemn Reid for going into a high school, for God's sake, and calling a sitting president a LIAR? But, the moniker sticks to Bush.

SO...while I say using no insults is far, far more effective and is a far classier way to argue, taking the higher ground and influencing some, it's sad how effective insults can be....how pervasive and lingering they are to a general public.

Seems like it's the conservative who takes a higher road more often, as even BUsh does so often (can't criticize the Gore people for damaging computers because he wants to set a better tone.. THAT sure helped him, huh? What, for five minutes, before the attack dogs laughed and started their name calling?)

I'm all for NO NAME CALLING AT ALL, but we live in a far from perfect world, one in which one side's winning by using insults freely. Who knows? Maybe good Americans will wake up and realize how seedy name calling really is, and even brand the name callers BEFORE buying what they said? I hope so. I doubt it.

z said...

zJUSTIN! Beak knows I'm not in the habit of recommending anyone's going to another site here, but I hope you can take the time to read a post at Frontpagemag.com...by "Jingoist", on the top article...it's a poem by Yeats and deals with some of the implications in your post here.....it's called THE SECOND COMING and deals with Islam, the Messiah, etc. I thought I could cut/paste it here, but it isn't working...and i'm not in the mood to type it here........

sonia said...

How many people think BUSH and then automatically think LIED?

Not because of insults, but because no WMD were found in Iraq. However, those who hate Bush would hate him even if thousands of WMD were found in Iraq. They would simply found another reason.

To me, however, the fact that no WMD were found in Iraq is actually a proof that US government is essentially honest. Any other government would simply pretend to find some buried nukes.

Always On Watch Two said...

HERE is what Z referred to.

I know that poem well. We read it in Brit Lit class.

beakerkin said...

Z

I will have to take a look but remember on FPM my name is a tad different.

Justin said...

AOW:

Yes you can It is from the MJAA position paper. I do not take credit for it. However, the truth in it is astounding.

beakerkin said...

Sonia

You are 100% correct. You have a person on your blog who compares Bush and Castro. There comes a point where the far left has lost its grip on reality.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

The issue we all seem to be dancing around is that despite the lack of supporting evidence, some people still actually believe leftists are capable of rational thought.

It isn't a tautology to say that their leftism itself is proof of the lack of the ability to think rationally, as becoming a leftist requires no thought and remaining a leftist forbids all thought.

That's what I'm getting at.

A leftist will scream "no WMD in Iraq."

A "rightist" (a word hardly anyone uses) will research the fact that Iraq used binary chemical artillery shells on the Kurds, find out that binary chemical artillery shells mix two chemical compounds together in flight to make sarin gas, and point to the huge stockpiles of these two chemical compounds found buried in Iraq (and undeclared to the UN) and say "what is it you don't understand about the WMD found in Iraq?"

Z said...

mr beamish, I bow to your greatness.

well put.

Sonia...my point was about insulting names, I think it still stands? And, frankly? I almost wish they HAD dug some nukes into the ground and said "EUREKA...LOOK what we found HERE" because I"m sure they ARE there.....or got moved to Syria. I'm with Mr beamish on this one....they had enough stuff to have been called WMD's, but our media just didn't like it.

thanks for the poem, always on watch....z

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Z,

The latest argument is that the Bush Administration should not have put captured Iraqi nuclear weapons blueprints on the internet because they could fall into the "wrong hands."

Wrap your head around that one for a minute and see if you're not curious to break open a leftist's skull to let the air out.

z said...

Wow, Mr. Beamish.....Did you know there WAS that much AIR ON THE PLANET?

unreal. thanks. z

z said...

hey, Mr. Beamish...I don't want to start a blog to 'publish a comment' at yours or anyone else's site, but I'd like it posted that I believe Harry Reid IS Nancy Legosi's Vagina.

Good site...since I"m sort of new to the blog world, it's great to read Beak's and was good to see what you're up to, too. thanks.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

Z,

If that were the case, Harry Reid would prove useful to Pelosi in some way.

As it stands, the man in charge of the more powerful of the two houses of Congress can't even fart without Republicans jumping the aisle to let him.