Tuesdays with the Eudemon

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Actually, I should call this post “Tuesdays with the Anti-Eudemon.” Not a lot of fun stuff out there today.

Great piece over at City Journal about “creeping sharia.” Excerpt:

[T]he Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa against Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie introduced a new kind of jihad. Instead of assaulting Western ships or buildings, Kho­meini took aim at a fundamental Western freedom: freedom of speech. In recent years, other Islamists have joined this crusade, seeking to undermine Western societies’ basic liberties and extend sharia within those societies.

The cultural jihadists have enjoyed disturbing success. Two events in particular—the 2004 assassination in Amsterdam of Theo van Gogh in retaliation for his film about Islam’s oppression of women, and the global wave of riots, murders, and vandalism that followed a Danish newspaper’s 2005 publication of cartoons satirizing Mohammed—have had a massive ripple effect throughout the West. Motivated variously, and doubtless sometimes simultaneously, by fear, misguided sympathy, and multicultural ideology—which teaches us to belittle our freedoms and to genuflect to non-Western cultures, however repressive—people at every level of Western society, but especially elites, have allowed concerns about what fundamentalist Muslims will feel, think, or do to influence their actions and expressions. These Westerners have begun, in other words, to internalize the strictures of sharia, and thus implicitly to accept the deferential status of dhimmis—infidels living in Muslim societies.

Call it a cultural surrender. The House of War is slowly—or not so slowly, in Europe’s case—being absorbed into the House of Submission.

He then offers a parade of evidence, some of it hard (or not so hard) to believe: “Back in 2001, Unni Wikan, a distinguished Norwegian cultural anthropologist and Islam expert, responded to the high rate of Muslim-on-infidel rape in Oslo by exhorting women to ‘realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.'”

The most-detailed story on the web that I’ve seen so far about the Incestuous Monster of Austria. Not many stories jar me. This one has.

If that monster wasn’t heavily into porn at some point in his life, I’ll eat my shorts.

I’m still hoping it’s an elaborate hoax of some sort, though it’s hard to imagine how it could be.

A seven-year-old boy was taken into foster care in the US – after his dad accidentally bought him an alcopop at a baseball game.

Dumb mistake: It was Mike’s Hard Lemonade. The stuff has been around for years. But does anyone think he really did it intentionally? They were sitting at a Detroit Tigers baseball game. Not exactly a clandestine location. But apparently the bureaucrats think he was trying to abuse his son there in public:

[I]t was another two days before Mr Ratte’s wife, architecture professor Claire Zimmerman, was allowed to take their son home, and nearly a week before Mr. Ratte was allowed to move back into his own house.

Moronic and overly-intrusive state. They latch onto something like this, but then they miss serious and real cases of child abuse. I could tell you a story of a botched child-protective service case in my county that would make your blood boil and your stomach curdle. But the child-protective folks in my state were all over the Mike’s Hard Lemonade case.

The newest condemned “ism”: labelism. Teenagers label all the time: hippies, jocks, emos, preps, nerds. This young lady is trying to stop it.

Well, good for her. She’s a teeny-bopper and I give her credit for thinking about such things. Unfortunately, I suspect she’s not going to get past the pop palaver about tolerance, with the result that her thought remains permanently stunted. She’d need to understand concepts of abstracting, universals, proper prejudices, and generalizing–every day things, but things not understood by the vast bulk of Americans.

If you want to get your feet wet in this area, get Joseph Epstein’s essay, “But I Generalize.” You can find it in The Middle of My Tether. I couldn’t find it online, but I found a few good representative quotes:

“Generalization, especially risky generalization, is one of the chief methods by which knowledge proceeds… Safe generalizations are usually rather boring. Delete that “usually rather.” Safe generalizations are quite boring.”

“Always seek the general and never quite trust it.”