Fitzgerald: Call Us Prudes (Two Notes on Verbal Decorum)

We are trying to retain the comments section, and have increased policing efforts, although comments still remain largely unmoderated. The usual caveats still apply: no one can assume that we endorse any particular comment because it remains on the page.

Nevertheless, we are doing what we can to make this a cleaner, better-lighted place for rational discussion. This requires the elimination of trolls intent on distracting the unwary. This further requires that free-and-easy-riders be asked to dismount from their hobbyhorses and tether them firmly to the bollard outside the saloon’s swinging doors. And finally, this requires that posters be urged to heed the rules of verbal decorum.

Two examples of the problem were discussed recently in the comments section by Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald, and we thought it useful to post them as a separate article here so as to drive the point home more firmly:

1. “the strong comments of this Bish…” (in reference to the Melkite Archbishop)

Once upon a time, and a very good time it was, nicens little boys not only did not refer to a Bishop as “this Bish,” but if in doubt when writing or addressing a letter to a high-ranking cleric of a particular church, they would ask their mothers on what page of Emily Post’s Book of Etiquette could be found the precisely proper mode of salutation to be employed, for all kinds of excellencies and highnesses. And their mothers would tell them, and they would look, and they would learn. Never would it have occurred to those nicens little boys to refer to a Bishop, whether Melkite or Nestorian or Roman Catholic, as a “Bish.”

Would Evelyn Waugh, or a dashing Englishwoman trying to track down the exact place in Ethiopia from which Pushkin’s great-grandfather might have come, after having been granted an audience with the Abuna of the Ethiopian Coptic Church (not to be confused with the Coptic Church of Egypt), in a letter intended for a friend still at home, back in Blighty, on Primrose Hill, in Hampstead, in old Londinium, have scribbled such a phrase as “I met with the Bish today”? Of course not.

2. “did Vice Pres Cheney put the shit in there himself”¦” (in a posting here)

Some may remember George Carlin’s “Seven Little Words You Can Never Say on Television” routine, and the banning of that routine by the FCC, and the resulting case which went all the way to the Supreme Court. The Court affirmed a lower court’s upholding the constitutionality of the FCC’s banning words that it considered “patently offensive.”

It would be good, since such “patently offensive words” seldom convince, and always lower the tone, if attempts were made to suppress the urge to use them at this website.

If you wish, you can smuggle all kinds of things in through a poker-faced pun, so as not to outwardly disturb public morals.

An example from a comment posted in October 2005, commenting on some magazine’s listing of the “20 Most Important Intellectuals”:

“No Tariq Ramadan? No Cornel West? No Jeffery Sachs? This list is not nearly as completely 100% awful as it should be; the presence of Umberto Eco at #2 throws one off.

But nothing takes the cake like having Thomas Friedman, the man who uses his fingers to “make” “quotation” “mark” “signs” “around”
“words” when he talks, on any list of “intellectuals.”

The world is flat, famously says eager never-doubting-for-a-minute Thomas Friedman. Platitudes, plongitudes.

Le monde est bien plat. Quant à l’autre, sornettes. Put that in your pipe (ceci n’est pas une pipe, as the dissatisfied customer complained loudly to the management of the maison close on rue Chabanais), you compilers of such idiotic lists — and smoke it.”

One of those Seven Little Words hovers hidden amid the smoke (but not the mirrors, which remain demurely inside the maison close) of the last sentence. Those who came across that posting, would thus not have been offended by that hard to discern, smoke-wreathed wraith. A matter of phrasing. A matter of tact.

The failure to observe the rules of verbal decorum could drive away visitors. In the past such a problem would not have arisen. The line between the seemly and the unseemly, le cru et le cuit, would have been clearly demarcated. But unseemly language can now be encountered at every stratum of society. It can be heard in the speech of the grasping stock market racketeer in his home office, next to his home gym, in New Canaan, Connecticut. It can be heard in the lecture of the tie-less, suit-less, sock-less professor on Morningside Heights who, wishing to demonstrate to his students just how with-it he can be, delivers himself of phrases that fail to impress, his crude quotes left to haunt him when they appear, unexpunged and unexpungeable, in the next edition of the Student Guide to Professors.

Unseemliness can even be detected on the lips of the non-native speaker of English. Just imagine a well-bred and fetching French agronomist, winsome and wayward, deeply involved in an irrumation project in Mentula, Mississippi, who has learned from the locals to reproduce an expression the meaning of which she, in her innocence, does not fully grasp. Under the circumstances, one would naturally forgive her lapses of langue and parole.

In order to keep the site presentable and accounted for, one has to be a little less forgiving here.

As the raspy-voiced referee with the cigar stub jammed in the side of his mouth always says in the old movies, just before the opening bell sounds to signal the first round of the bout in Madison Square Garden: Got that, boys? Just make sure you keep things clean. No hitting below the belt. Now get out there and fight.

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Comments

  1. says

    Well I have to tell you that I for one enjoy the variety of comments here at JW and have fun trying to pick out the trolls as well as enjoying the colourful commentary from all who post here. I feel like family in here when I visit, the warnings and information contained herein have given me valueable lessons and tools to distinguish my opposition to Islam…I am also able to pass this information on to my friends and family who still slumber, just last week on JEOPARDY one of the categories was about Islam and I was able to run through it with correct answers to every question, my mom asked me how I knew all of this and I said that you must know your enemy and I do know my enemy.

    I look forward to the “New JW” and hope it continues to contain the same anxiety level as it did before.

  2. says

    My (deleted)comment about Muslim youth and their repressed libido was no joking matter despite whatever you may have assumed about my reasons.

    As the Koran apparently forbids sex before marriage it is quite justifiable to wonder if the extreme anger we see expressed everywhere by muslim males could have some of its origin there.
    This is a known psychological cause of anger which can lead to major personality problems. I was wondering about this from the point of view of a strict muslim living in a western society and exposed to all of its visual temptations. With such an explosive mixture of repression and stimulation, it is no wonder that they erupt into unprovoked violence.

    When you add to this such comments as(in the words of a local Imam) “if you must express yourself sexually then do not contaminate muslim women”, then you see the threats of violation to nonMuslim women that we see and hear so often, in a totally different context as seen in the number of mass rapes in Sydney.

    I find these threats disgusting and far more repulsive than any threats of pure violence alone.

  3. says

    Many people come here from Little Green Footballs where there is lots of profanity. Lots of the f word. So people must tone down their act here. Also try to stifle the nuke Mecca talk. A responsible comments section helps Mr. Spencer. A wild one will definitely hurt his image. A TV show might cancel his appearance after sifting through wild and crazy commentary

  4. says

    I hope we can keep the site open for comments,

    J&DWatch are not really a chat forum, but more so a well known reference people send others on Islam.

    The daily news roundup is a historical record maintained partly by the regular readers and the opinion pieces are worthwile reading and talking on.

    I look for certain posters to see where they are at on subjects we get in, I’m sure lots of us are like that.

    AKScientist,

    yeh we posters are responsible for J&DWatch rep for sure.

  5. says

    Hugh,

    Several people who I’ve encouraged to visit this site have been impressed by the overall reasoned nature of comments made on JW. I am impressed too and have learned a great deal by reading Spencer-Fitzgerald comments and related posts. Standards should be kept high on JW…….Agree….

  6. says

    on Primrose Hill, in Hampstead Heath, in old Londinium

    While we’re on the subject of pipes, any long-standing resident of The Smoke will tell you that you speak of “Hampstead”, not “Hampstead Heath”, when referring to the residential area, rather than the heath itself. For those who wish to sample the delights of Hampstead Heath, long-standing Londoners aplenty may be found there after dark.

  7. says

    Hope we are not falling for the ‘Politically Correct’ non-sense….

    Speaking for myself, although I do not use it myself, I do not mind profanity, as long as the point/idea is appropriate. Putting it differently, if the idea/point is not inappropriate, language does not matter.

  8. says

    i like the prejudice against crude expression and think that this request is itself part of the call for the culture to return to its roots.

    not sure how to phrase what is wrong with words that reflect sexuality and bodily functions; and maybe you can expand on the following, or correct it: those words (a) reduce our ability to share the moment with others of different characteristics (gender and age); (b) reduce our analytic ability by affecting the emotions; and (c) keeps words from being shocking, for those moments when shock is appropriate.

    something like that.

  9. says

    Dear Hugh,

    I seem to remember an Evelyn Waugh story including a nostrum known as “buck-u-uppo” and a mild mannered curate, in which a stout Church of England Bishop was indeed called “Bish”.

    I know that this will come as a great shock to your delicate sensibilities, but the truth must be told!

  10. says

    l quite enjoy the variety of posts on the site, although l have not sworn on this site, l almost sure l did not. l have found that its far easier to swear than to not to, and write out in good languaage. l am constantly reminded by my friends, l should not say, open the light..instead of turning it on. so writing has helped when l was younger to learn English much better, so much better than now when l go up north, my relative say l sound too American lol.. so reading people’s posts from all languages to me is just great!

  11. says

    There’s a certain joy to be found in saying it, but not saying it; limitations are often the genesis of creativity. It also increases the impact of when one actually sees fit to use one of Carlin’s forbidden words.

    My personal rule on “blue language” is like many nations’ longstanding policy on nuclear weapons: No first use.

    As soon as someone of higher stature in a given situation takes that step, the rules of the game change. So when Robert or other JW staffers let loose with a string of “f-bombs,” I’ll follow suit. But I fully realize this will happen sometime after the Browns win a Superbowl, i.e., not in this lifetime.

    Circumlocution is more fun, anyway.

    Just… for the love of our solitary Vice President Dick Cheney, don’t close the comments. That would truly break my heart, and an unprecedented string of blue language with all 7 of Carlin’s enshrined expletives would pierce the relative calm of a certain Texas college town.

  12. says

    Another problem is hate talk. JW/DW are not ‘hate’ sites but have been labled as such by others. In particular is one disgruntled ,former poster K.T. who apparently started his own anti JW/DW hatesite. http://watchjihadwatch.blogspot.com/

    This is his ‘about’ blog…
    “Pointing out the hypocrisy and hate mongering of sites like JihadWatch.org. Warning: this site may contain hateful quotes from other sites. They are permitted here to expose the nature of the other sites, not as an endorsement of their POV. Also, all links to hate-mongering sites will be deleted – I have no interest in sending more traffic their way.”

    If thats not K.T. I will eat my hat.

    So even if it’s legitimate to hate sometimes, it’s better to lay off hate talk and not give trolls like K.T. more ammo…

  13. says

    I agree fully that the site must be maintained clean. Let’s keep it this way. I visit it every day and have gotten a “new” education on the islamic threat and how to be ready for it in future. Many of the submissions are very well composed and informative. Hugh is a good example.
    I don’t comment very often but thought I would add my two cents worth this time.
    Kindest regards.

  14. says

    chuck said

    just last week on JEOPARDY one of the categories was about Islam and I was able to run through it with correct answers to every question

    Sorry I missed that. And the answer is, “Muhammad”. “Who is the murdering, plundering, slave-taking, “prophet” who founded Islam in order to take bloody revenge on his fellow Meccans?” No I’m sorry, the correct answer was “Who is the murdering, plundering, slave-taking, child-raping “prophet” who founded Islam in order to take bloody revenge on his fellow Meccans?”

  15. says

    Yes indeed, I learned to swear at LGF. Blame it on Charles who failed to raise me correctly and eventually forced me to wear meat helmets and take luge lessons.

  16. says

    Hugh is right. I cringe at many of the comments here. Truth must out, but this is simply not a place where I could direct anyone I know for information – at least, not without appearing to be an intolerant, hateful bigot. Is it really any wonder words like “Islamophobia” have taken such firm root in the lexicon? We hope we’re helping, but often we’re doing quite the reverse.

  17. says

    Perhaps someone could publish a table of suitable substitutes for off color expressions: “Your Highness”, “you’re heinous” and “Uranus” for example could substitute for you-know-what. None of those are swear words…

    Shi’ite is a another good one which can do in a pinch…

    Hmm… It’s harder than it sounds to come up with good substitutes for old fashioned cussing — well — these are some of my suggestions… Anyone else?

  18. says

    It’s only rather recently that I’ve begun to educate myself in depth about Islam through reading extensively. I’ve found books by Robert Spencer, Serge Trifkovic, and Oriana Fellaci most helpful. And I’m a daily reader of Jihadwatch and Dhimmiwatch. Initially, while I learned very much from the articles, I was turned off, not by the “f” word or other obscenities, but by the hatred expressed, not toward Islam, but toward Muslims. While I regard Islamists to be THE major threat to peace and justice in the world, I want to be part of a struggle that does not hate the enemy. I am not a pacifist, but I’d like to be like Joan of Arc (even though I’m a dude!) who wept after a battle due to the deaths of her enemies – English soldiers. So “nuke Mecca”, etc. is not the kind of brainstorming and strategizing that I find helpful. That said, I’ve learned so much about world politics and the Arab-Israeli dispute here, I could never think of missing even a day.

  19. says

    Hugh / Robert –

    Perhaps you are taking the comments section too seriously. I enjoy brief, unregulated, to-the-point, reader comments. As such, even obnoxious comments are easily ignored.

    Why not software-limit the postings to some small number of characters or words? This should be easily accomplished through software.

    One of the great attractions of online news is the ability to “bark back” – and to hear (briefly) what other readers are thinking.

    Whatever. Keep up the good work.

  20. says

    And perhaps someone could publish a table of the species of trolls intent on distracting the unwary which haunt sites like this:

    Let’s see — there’s the “I can’t recommend this site to my friends because it’s so “intolerant, hateful bigot[ed]” species…

    And then the far more subtle “I was turned off, not by the “f” word or other obscenities, but by the hatred expressed, not toward Islam, but toward Muslims” species… This type is far less obvious and clever. Slipping in the only “Nuke Mecca” exhortation I have seen here in months with nary a twitch…

    Smooth like butta…

  21. says

    Thanks Robert & Staff for maintaing the high standards for both subject matter and comments at JihadWatch & DhimmiWatch. I come here daily for information & I probaby tell five people a week about your web sites and books.

    I used to read Little Green Footballs daily too, but in the last year or so the comments there have been literally taken over by a group of bullies and sycophants who perceive any questioning of the current Administration’s “GWOT /ROP” efforts as a personal attack. Insults and threats go unchecked, and threads often run to 500+ comments resembling an AOL teen chat room.

  22. says

    jsla,

    There’s nothing “smooth like butta” about my post above at all. As a Catholic I take the teaching of the Church very seriously – about the immorality of nuclear bombing of cities. As I said, I’m not a pacifist and acknowledge the necessity of using even lethal force in the prosecution of a just war. I oppose the Iraq war because I don’t think it’s possible to build any kind of democracy on the foundation of Islamic culture because of its opposition to human rights (Cairo Declaration) and I see that a theocratic society is emerging. But I’m deeply grateful for the service that Robert Spencer provides in showing, in season and out of season, that Jihad is in the Islamic sources and “moderate” Islam is virtually non-existent.

  23. says

    I like to think of myself as progressive, open-minded, etc., but I’ve always hated vulgar language. I don’t mind being called a prude either. Or an elitist. This list is obviously intended to be intelligent, and so some standards are necessary. The same mentality that is horrified with the prospect of a barbaric Eurabia also appreciates the refined glories of European culture – that is before the decadence of the 20th century. This same aesthetic sense is repulsed by vulgarity.

    But there is an uncomfortable truth and dilemma about the ‘conservatives’ who visit here. Some are trying to save culture and civilization, and others are merely patriotic or religious (usually Christian) in an elemental and unthinking way. Although a religious patriot can be cultured in the best sense, there is an unfortunate tendency for patriotism and religion to take a chauvinistic turn, and this aggressive attitude often degenerates into vulgarity.

    I know that the word ‘culture’ now sounds insufferably elitist, but I only mean someone who likes to read good thought-provoking books at a nice leisurely pace. Nothing to do with an expensive education. Democracy cannot survive without these people. True democracy requires intelligence, high standards and good taste. Otherwise, it spirals down into the lowest common denominator and implodes.

  24. says

    When I first began posting on Jihad Watch, I wrote a scathing (fictional) hate filled “Nuke Mecca” story wherein the U.S. completely destroyed the Middle East. Of course, my post was quickly deleted, and although some members approved of what I wrote, most did not.

    I apologized to Mr. Spencer, my mentor on the complex issues of Islam and the Jihad, and to all members of Jihad Watch.

    The intellectual beauty of J.W. and D.W. is the free flow of thought and beliefs of those who post here. To me, this exchange of a diverse cultural group of people from all over the world is what makes this site so vitally important.

    Robert Spencer has helped me to understand the great difficulties we face during this time of great hatred developing all over the world. I have always noted how Mr. Spencer has remained the true intellectual, eloquent, controlled and calm, even while dealing with his greatest enemies and critics. I have the greatest respect and awe for this wonderful man. Although this site caused the worst in me to come out, with time and with reading the many learned people who post here, I am continually on the road to a better and better understanding of Islam and the tremendous challenges we believers and non-believers of other religions than Islam, face on a daily basis.

    Thank-you Robert and Hugh, for challenging all of us to be better posters and better human beings.

    Sincerely submitted,

    Jocko

  25. says

    I think that swearing is neither an expression of political correctness nor circumlocution. It can be a lazy way of exclamation or sometimes, in these contexts, a primal scream because some cultures simply refuse to accept the possibility that any other culture should have a right to exist.

    The Muslims, most of them, have been training their children to hate and mistrust non-Muslims for centuries. They are not going to listen to reason. They will never agree to compromise except to solidify their base and re-arm. They will never negotiate in good faith. By definition, ‘negotiation’ means moving away from the position one wants occupy. That wiggle room does not exist in Islam. They MUST subjugate the world or destroy it and that mindset is a difficult concept for the western mind to accept.

    It’s enough to make one curse!

  26. says

    Mr. Fitzgerald –

    Tom’s typo surely will inspire neither Fallacian rage nor pride.

    Your call for standards is right on target; I wish to recommend Jihad Watch and Dhimmi Watch without reservation to all ages and faiths. Yet one wonders how many school teachers, for example, ignore these Watch resources due to fear of potential administrative or parental backlash over crude language.

    If our goal is to educate and motivate naive, tender hearts, content should edify and give our enemies no inherent excuse to vilify the message.

  27. says

    “any long-standing resident of The Smoke will tell you that you speak of “Hampstead”, not “Hampstead Heath”, when referring to the residential area, rather than the heath itself.”
    — from a posting above

    Okay, Mac, heath it isn’t. The offending word will be removed, in order to make things just peachum. Satisfied, Polly?

    This is not the first time a sex-change operation has been performed in the course of a sentence (or two) at Jihad Watch. As some may recall.

  28. says

    I always wondered why This board seemed to be “clean” and rational compared to other so called “islamophobe” sites. This is a good thing, BUT Sometimes profanity is called for when trying to sway a undecided reader. I never put myself above using Hitlers persuasion tactics. 😉 Like adjusting your message to taylor fit your audience. I once had a typical “liberal” college student who was being brainwashed by a professor about the “beauty” and “tolerance” of Islam. But i could tell by his points that he was not reallly familiar with Islam, SO, I decided to enlighten him about Mohammuds ‘proclivity’ towards small childen. His unusual ‘interest’ in small girls and what he did towards his Aisha(pbuh)

  29. says

    “I never put myself above using Hitlers persuasion tactics. 😉 Like adjusting your message to taylor fit your audience.”
    — from a posting above

    Invoking Hitler as a model is hardly an example of doing what you claim you do. To wit, “adjusting your message” to “fit your audience.” That is the message of every rhetorician since time began. If I were you, I’d drop Hitler as a model of anything, and simply say that the art of persuasion requires one to know the audience, the better to pitch your woo.

    As for calling this an “islamophobe” website, but the most reasonable of them, that description is rejected. “Islamophobe” is a word used by such organizations as CAIR to confuse the confusable, and to make people think that a bunch of David-Dukes are denouncing people called “Muslims” because, those poor people were born into something and just can’t get out of it. One may be born into a belief-system and not be able to “get out of it” where a death sentnece is imposed, but such a sentence is not inflicted, as a punishment, everywhere in the Muslim world. Second, people born into Islam but living in the Infidel lands can leave the faith, can help to explain why they did so, and what that faith inculcates — as an expression of their transfer of loyalties from Islam to the Infidel nation-state of which they are now citizens, and to fulfill a duty to unwary Infidels who are their fellow citizens.

  30. says

    Good afternoon,

    I frequent both this site and LGF daily. I value both sites and both have greatly educated me with regards to Islam. I also use both to educate my co-workers about Islam. My co-workers include Catholics, Protestants, Hindi (sp) and Buddhists.

    I work in an Indian owned IT company and work with many Indian co-workers. One of my female Indian co-workers and I often talk quite candidly and politically incorrect about the world and Islam. She bluntly told me how her friends working in the middle east found the Arab children to be grossly under-educated. She also commented how as a Indian Hindi in America she knows she has to assimilate and the problem with Islam is that they resist assimilating. I’ve commented that I’m uncomfortable with any religion where the prophet can marry a 6 year old girl. She agreed. She’s one of us.

    I’ve shown her stuff on LGF. I dug up the teapot destroyed by Muslims, showed her the pictures and watched her try to comprehend why any religion could be offended by a giant teapot. However, when I take her to LGF, I bring her to my client machine because I wouldn’t want her to stray into the comments area.

    That being said, I show articles on JihadWatch to my co-workers but sometimes think the name of the site may seem too political for the workplace. Don’t get me wrong, I love the name and I still show them articles and tell them the link, but taking someone at work to a site named littlegreenfootballs is easier than taking them to a site named jihadwatch. JihadWatch implies a very specific mission. Littlegreenfootballs has the same mission but the name sounds less political. The same goes for michellemalkin.com. I can direct the leftists their to show them something and they don’t know by the name that Michelle is right wing.

    As to the comments, I prefer the ones here for their depth and information. But as to LGF, I really can’t blame anyone for any profanity, nuke Mecca, etc talk that goes on there. Each and every day, those of us who watch the real news see people chanting ‘Death to the Great Satan’, ‘Death to the Jews’, ‘Behead the Infidels’, etc.. Combine that with stories of gang rapes, beheadings, kidnappings, honour killings, terrorism, and just the full blown realisation that Islam wants me dead and I can understand how people need to blow off steam.

    I am in favour though of keeping the comments here clean. Despite the name, I give this sites address out to my trusted co-workers. I just show them stories on LGF.

    That’s my 2 cents.
    Canadian Infidel

    The following also happened at work and gave me great hope for humanity. I was talking to my Indian co-worker above about the cartoons (you may have heard about them) about 4:00 PM on a Friday afternoon. A male Sikh co-worker came over and asked what we were talking about and we explained the story. He never saw the cartoons. I brought him to michellemalkin.com and all three of us looked at them together. I pointed out that the turban as a bomb was my second favourite and the ‘We’re all out of virgins’ was my very favourite. This led to a very candid discussion about Islam. Eventually one of us commented how this was not going away since the Islamic population is about 1.2 billion. Then, both of them started going through the other population numbers of people that may not desire to submit to Islam. My co-workers of different religions to mine were drawing up battle statistics!! It was a very bizarre moment but very encouraging since it showed me that concern about Islam is growing from several different religions. It gave me encouragement.

  31. says

    Yes indeed, I learned to swear at LGF. Blame it on Charles who failed to raise me correctly and eventually forced me to wear meat helmets and take luge lessons.

    Posted by: Beagle

    Me too, Beagle.
    I don’t understand why there is any problem with comments, after all that is all they are…just opinions of visitors to the site. I enjoy all of them, good and bad. People who whine about bad language make me tired. Muslims are the worst offenders, they hate cursing but think beheadings are just peachy.

  32. says

    Hello, Benjamin,

    I think the union of patriotism (really jingoism) and religion into chauvinism is due more to religion as worship of a book (even if it’s the bible) rather than an effort to understand the historical context and Tradition that originated the sacred text.

    Don’t be embarrassed by your excellent comment about culture. It reminded me of Nicholas Berdyaev who insisted that in matters political we should be egalitarians, but that in matters cultural we should be aristocrats (elitists) and the best should be preferred to the good, and the good to the bad.

  33. says

    I guess I’ll have to watch my (Expletive deleted) language.

    I admit that somtimes things make me (Expletive deleted) upset and I think about the many sargents who have threatened to (Expletive deleted) rip off some poor recruit’s (Expletive deleted) head and (Expletive deleted) down their (Expletive deleted) neck for some (Expletive deleted) thing or another.

    Hopefully, you won’t find that kind of (Expletive deleted) action necessary in my (Expletive deleted) case, but I offer my (Expletive deleted) apologies just in case.

  34. says

    I have to agree with Mr. Fitzgerald. It is important to moderate our natural exuberance of linguistic usage in order not to alienate those whom we wish to persuade.

    More than that we have to acknowledge that the prissy, vinegar-lipped, mealy-mouthed killjoys of this world are those who make the most noise if they detect others using language which they claim to abhor; and so, therefore, we must censor our natural, rumbustious literary tendencies, and eschew the fine, admirable, wonderful and rich collection of expletives, curses, descriptors of bodily parts and functions and scatalogical references with which English is so richly, wonderfully and sensibly endowed with a more than beneficient quantity just aching to be used in anger, so to speak, in favour of the prim and proper dictates of rampant political correctness. Alternatively one could say that it is just good manners in such a public place as this to have a care for the linguistic sensibilities of others, but often, oh so very often, linguistic sensibility masks a shrivelled spirit, a damaged imagination and a mean-minded prudishness.

    I’m with Shakespeare on this:

    “Swear me, Kate, like a lady as thou art,
    a good mouth-filling oath”.
    (Henry IV, Part 1.)

    or Twain:

    “When angry, count a hundred; when very angry, swear”.
    (March in Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar.)

    However, ’tis not my site and I do not pay the bills. Therefore, I will conform to this polite request, willingly.

  35. says

    I agree that the important this about this site is to get the important facts to as many people as possible, not to ‘have fun’ saying rude things.

    The site needs to have correct facts, prove where they came from, have intelligent analysis in the posts and politely accept/comment on analysis we don’t agree with.

    This needs to be a site one can direct one’s friends to without worrying about losing them!!

  36. says

    Assalamu Alaikum all,

    There should not be a need to use the F word. There are smarter ways to express yourselves…after all you are infedels….you are supposed to be te smart ones.

    From my own perspective I only used the F word when expressing my disgust at the blowing of the gold domed mosque. Just imagine…muslims are normally poor people…but all will have contributed something to have the gold put up there…but to have that blown up like that.?

    The other time was when (I was forced into a corner and) called “American” that vile postee a “lund” because he wished the death of my sick shor (husband) after being caught by the earthquake near Islamadad….I mean he nearly died…and still is weak from the experience.

    I’m afraid that I have hardened my attitude slightly after reading a lot of the harsh (somewhat unwarrented) comments.

    Still, I like to read & respond to comments…JW is a monitor for the muslim as much as for the infidel.

    Don’t for one moment think that the muslim does not read this forum…( I ask people to read as well…the ones I can trust in Pak and the UK).

    We too look & learn…the leanings of the infidel. But in turn I tell you the aspirations of the muslim too.

    So let’s say the smart thing…help Mr Spencer et el to keep the comments section open….I think it is essential for the muslim.

    peace

  37. says

    “Still, I like to read & respond to comments…JW is a monitor for the muslim as much as for the infidel.

    Don’t for one moment think that the muslim does not read this forum…( I ask people to read as well…the ones I can trust in Pak and the UK).

    We too look & learn…the leanings of the infidel. But in turn I tell you the aspirations of the muslim too.”

    The presumption is that the muslim DOES read this forum and perhaps this is why the F word is used so as to emphasis the general thought toward islam in the majority of cases.

    Nevertheless, the murders committed in the name of the nefarious prophet are more profane than any foul mouthed uttering of any language.

  38. says

    All,

    I’ve been extremely busy for the past couple of months and have had little time to read JW/DW. I finally found a few minutes to bring myself up to date and believe I have missed much inter-site debate about postings/agenda. There appears to be the refrain about Christian conservatives showing intolerance and personal agenda on the site. I must disagree and argue why Christians and Jews have a place in bringing religious points to this discussion:

    All non-Muslims face a threat based on Theological tenets within Islam. The ideological threat derives from the belief that the Koran is the literal word of God (from the Angel Gabriel to Mohammed). As we all know, 109 verses command Muslims to fight/kill/hate infidels. The Hadiths are even worse. If a person believes the Koran is the literal word of God, he will inevitably become a threat to peace.

    One primary way to combat this ideology is to show the Koran cannot be the literal word of God. This can be done through many logic arguments (parts of the Koran are conflicting and just don’t comport with reason, logic, science, etc.). This can be done by showing Islamic claims about Christianity and Judaism and Christian and Hebrew scripture. On the one hand, Mohammed/Koran is supposed to be the “final revelation” and the Hebrew and Christian scripture are all “true” (Sura 3:7 Sura 5:45-47). On the other hand, the Koran distorts much of the “true” scripture: Mary is sister of Moses. Jewish Temple never existed. Jesus claimed to be only a prophet and wasn’t crucified. etc. etc.

    The Hebrew scipture was passed down through generations of Jews and accepted as the exact Old Testament to the Christian Church. The New Testament was written within decades of the crucifixion. The Koran was written over 600 years after the New Testament writings. However, the claim is that the Koran is more authoritative than Hebrew or Christian scripture. This is despite the secular historic proofs from pagans like Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny, and many others.

    In pointing out these fallacies, I am not trying to prosyletize. In full disclosure, I am a conservative Christian. However, I believe that every person has the God-given freedom to reject the Gospel (and accept all consequences with only God to answer). Because the Koran and Hadiths make ridiculous claims about the Hebrew and Christian scripture, it is appropriate to bring up Theological points to undermine the idea that the Koran is the literal word of God.

    It shouldn’t matter to non-Jews/Christians if these arguments are presented. If the Koran made claims about the Hindu religion, I would have no problem with Hindus pointing out the facts. I hope secularists and atheists can see the good in Christian and Jewish arguments about scripture.

    I’m not sure extreme secularism present the best ideological front against Islam. That is what this site will become if we are not allowed to discuss religion. I’m know that “religion” or “religious fanaticism” is not the problem, as serious Buddhists, Jews, Christians, etc. just don’t present a threat to our survival. The issue is Islam. Islam as an ideology must be countered in any way possible.

  39. says

    Hello, Hello123, I agree with your comments even though I do think you took us off the subject of this particular post just a little bit.
    We have discussed the religious tone of some of the postings and it seems to me that most of us are trying to keep it pertinent. Occasionally there is a comment that just begs to be answered and so they get answered. The bad language sometimes was angry name calling and ad hominum attacks or rails against Christians. I don’t like the foul language when it is aimed at me because I hold to a certain belief and express it here. Those either need to be deleted or answered back with some logic and reason.
    I know that I had one comment deleted it seems because I invented a colorful name for the Honorable and esteemed, highly intelligent, handsome and articulate, Iranian President. ‘)
    Keep up the good postings, and welcome back.

  40. says

    I wonder if it would be too much to ask for posters to triple-check their posts for typos and look up words of which they are unsure in the dictionary? Wouldn’t that be something if an Internet forum kicked people out for orthographic and typographical errors! I’d like it!

  41. says

    Every law in a free discussion, removes a bit of freedom.

    It is up to those who find somthing “wrong” with the words of others to complain about the post.

    But, the real control goes to the owner of the site. Those who govern this site take on the responability to remove that which they want to. In the world you make, you deside the rules.

    I feel this site is truly needed, and like it just as it is. If JW finds a post outside it’s mission, then they have the power to remove it forever.

    Control of the discussion is up to JW, do so as you feel you must.

  42. says

    “look up words of which they are unsure in the dictionary…”
    — from a posting above

    Dictionaries of all kinds are also on-line. From many public computers, the Oxford English Dictionary (O.E.D.) can be accessed. Why not take advantage?

  43. says

    You must realise that some of us are only anti-islam for ETHICAL reasons that have nothing to do with any God or any religion. I for one am sick of evangelising from ANY souce as I find it both patronising and insulting. I am allied to Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhist etc but only that as fear islam.

    We unbelievers have no second agenda here. We do not wish to see a totally christian world ( we still remember the Inquisition) nor a totally Hindu one(Sati? anyone). All we wish to see is the control or extinguishing of “reactionary” islam as it represents a great danger to ALL of mankind.

    I see a world islamic state as a death knell for Humanity, without even considering what these new age vandals would do to our great works (Bach cantatas, The madonna of the rocks etc). Islam has shown a steadfast refusal to be innovative and creative except when it comes to killing the infidel and a world islamic state would lose 90% of its population within 20 years due to starvation and the technological industrial age would grind to a permanent halt thus destroying any chance of reversing the population slide, while formerly controlled or eradicated diseases would sweep the planet.

    However, this IS a controlled site, and the monitors do have an agenda. We know about the antijihad stance and we know of Robert Spencer’s Roman Catholic church origins, NP with either of those, but i do OBJECT to the necessity for us to appear lilywhite in the face of islamic threats literally dripping in human blood and the common wholsesale threats of rape.

    I also object to the view of the “moderate” Muslim. This is a person who while NOT actively waging jihad is still quite happy to see islam spread all over the world like a plague, who does NOTHING to control his/her fanatical fellow muslims and who continues to breed like a fly with or without the help of western social security, and who BELIEVES steadfastly in the Koran in its entirety. If they believe in the Koran but are not yet practising its violence then they are simply a sleeper waiting to be woken as many muslim immigrants have found with their children. Hence, NONE can be trusted and my view has always been that they should all be treated in the same way.

    As I said before:”if a mosquito in a room bites you, do you simply run and leave the room, or do you spray the whole room with insecticide?”.

    This may sound very unfair to the many decent Muslims out there, but the time will come where if you are not for us then you will be against us. That unfortunately includes Naseem whose husband I do hope is recovering from his earthquake injuries. I do NOT wish to see any peaceful or innocent person hurt at all but if the muslim moderates do not take control of islam the reactionaries will and we will have to wage war gainst them all.

    This view seems to be out of favour here also along with quotes from US senators about threatening mecca etc and the use of common anglosaxon words. I guess we have to seem sqeaky clean so as not to upset those poor media people who might throw up at the sight of an expletive.

  44. says

    I agree that the comments here can get out of hand – not only with vulgar language but with various groups attempting to push their own agenda. It’s important to try and stay focused on the issues and not wander toward everything from End Times to the conservative/liberal divide.

    The argument below,however, doesn’t work:

    “Yet one wonders how many school teachers, for example, ignore these Watch resources due to fear of potential administrative or parental backlash over crude language.”

    Sorry, but my children read the site daily, and usually take a look at the comments as well. At times, some of the comments make for an interesting discussion, but I hardly think it necessary to censor the site even from my youngest, who is 8.

    However, the one point which makes all other arguments moot is that this site is exactly like Mr. Spencer’s living room: while he may invite us in, he most certainly does not have to allow us to spill crumbs on the furniture or leave muddy footprints on his floor. Therefore, the debates concerning a place to vent or freedom of speech don’t hold water.

  45. says

    Libbysmom…..This is NOT Mr Spencer’s living room and he needs us as much as we need him, and if he is going to eliminate all those lacking table manners then you would exclude Beethoven, van Gogh and Einstein from the discourse and probably many others also.

    I do see from where you are coming (the concerned parent) and I also tried to insulate my children against the harsh realities of life. But all it does is make them even more vulnerable. When you are wading through the gutters of life the knack is to rise above them rather than dwell on the fact. Being familiar with foul language and using it are entirely different things.They wont speak your language anyway but that of their peers and just how can you control that?

    You will find far worse sites on the internet than this one and often under the most innocuous titles.

    I can handle the necessity to sanitise this site re language even if I do disagree with it but to censor the comments of those who write disagreeable views is no better than the censorhip of islamic and fascist states. No one wants to NUKE mecca, this came into the conversation here as a US senator’s(Sr Tancred) possible threat to reactionary islam on what might be possible if they drop a tactical nuclear somewhere in the west and rightly so.

    Some of the comments here are way out of line. But so what? Do we all have to wear ties? Or is it the facade that counts and not the actuality of this site?

  46. says

    “to censor the comments of those who write disagreeable views is no better than the censorhip of islamic and fascist states”
    — from a posting above

    This is precisely the argument made by various Muslim trolls when they are finally escorted firmly out the door. There appears to be a confusion between the right of free speech, recognized by most advanced countries, and defined as a right to freedom from government censorship, government control (except in varied limited circumstances).

    You are confusing that right of free speech — freedom from interference by the government with a supposed but in fact non-existent right of anyone to say anything anywhere, and to assume that because a web site exists, it therefore has no right to rules, to enforce those rules, or even, should those involved wish, to dispense with postings altogether.

    Is not a web-site private property, the upkeep of which (all those Buildings & Grounds men) has to be paid for by someone, and that someone (RS) likes to keep the lawns and parterres tidy, and wishes to make the site as inviting as possible in order to attract visitors who, upon discovering the pedagogic value of the site, may pull up a chair and set a spell, because information is conveyed, distinctions made, analyses offered, current policies criticized and, beyond that criticism, other and more effective policies proposed based on a perfectly reasonable and informed assessment of Islam, its tenets and its history.

    If one has a right, in an East-78th-Street-between-3rd-and-Lex minute, to dispense altogether with all postings, then surely one has a right to set out certain rules.

    This website might be thought of as an old-fashioned classroom. But the students are very keen, and sometimes have done their homework better than the teachers. Depends on the day, and the topic. The room is welcoming. There are individual schooldesks of solid wood. There are inkwells set into a depresssion in the upper right of every desk. Along the long wall that faces on the courtyard, there are a series of tall windows. When it is warm, the teacher pulls those windows down, the amount depending on the degree of that warmth, with a long pole to which is affixed a metal hook that catches on to another metal eye that extends out from the top frame of the top half of each window. On all the remaining walls, and along the blackboard, there are rolled-up maps that, when pulled down, show The Ancient World (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Judea, Greece, Rome), Medieval and Modern Europe, Asia, the New World, The Age of Colonies, and The Modern World Since 1945, and on the margins of the larger maps there are inset maps conveying, specific information not included on the larger maps. That is the schoolroom. The board needs erasing at the end of every class, and of course at the end of the day someone will have to take those erasers outside, and clap them, being careful not to let the dust rise into your nostrils. Clap, clap, clap.

  47. says

    Okay Hugh no need to let your intellectual arrogance push into multilingualisms.

    What I implied and you should have inferred is that there are far more vulgar websites out there that cover the same subject, if in slightly less thoughtful colours, than this one.

    I respect your posts as a rule but you can be too clever at times and let your arrogance overcome you. A little christian humility might help now and then and we, after all, are all supposed to be on the same side.

  48. says

    INFIDEL: a person who does not acknowledge your God.

    Naseem –

    You don’t acknowledge my God either, so I guess that makes you an infidel too. Oh – does that offend you? You can dish it out, but you can’t take it?

  49. says

    Just a reminder to everybody that this joint takes donations.

    I just gave $100. Again. I’m ashamed of the paltry amount, but I’ve got the IRS all over my ass. Those living in my region may know the headlines Hog Farm Tax Hogwash or the one that makes me wince Feds Arrest the Ken Lay of Pig Farming for Financial Highjinks or the like.

    This nascent struggle needs money. Give. Especially you English. You brought us the BBC, so it’s time you paid cash money for your awful and tragic misjudgements. It’s been a long time since Winston Churchill, so a $50 will do.

  50. says

    “and let your arrogance overcome you. A little christian humility might help now…”
    — from a posting above

    One of my favorite observations comes from a story about Golda Meir. Apparently some figure in Israeli politics, upon being lavishly praised for something, proceeded to put on an ‘umble uriah-heepish act about how he was quite sure he didn’t “deserve” it, so many others were so much worthier, etc. It went on, this intolerable act (see the Oscars, see Commencement speeches, see any damn thing you please), until Golda Meir cut it short:

    “Don’t be so humble,” she said. “You’re not that great.”

    A motto to live by.

  51. says

    Mr Fitzgerald –

    I would settle for people knowing the difference between ‘where’, the interrogative pronoun, and ‘were’, the past imperfect of the verb ‘to be’.

    It gives me pause for thought about our education systems – on both sides of the pond, that is – that so many do not know any grammar at all. Apart from the example I have given above, the same people seem not to know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, or ‘there’ and ‘their’.

    Why does this worry me? Simply because I believe that falling standards of education create a window of ignorance, so to speak, that people dedicated to our destruction – such as mohammedans – can climb through. Our language is the vehicle for our thoughts and beliefs. When we can no longer use it correctly then our thoughts and beliefs are in danger indeed.

    Good reminder Alarmed Pig Farmer.

  52. says

    … If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, what’s the sincerest display of envy?

    Quit hatin’ on Hugh (seems to be a choice target lately– most unfortunately and undeservedly), unless you think you could replace what an asset he is to this site.

    Unlikely.

  53. says

    I have an idea for a book: The internet – New Tower of Babel…

    The psychology of online posting is fascinating. How often do posts seem like a streams of insults, implicatures, and instigations? Reading and interpreting them is like a new art form.

    I find it strange that at this moment in time, with the advent of technologies which allow everyone a voice in a place where every one may speak to every other one in a language that everyone else shares… how strange that, at least sometimes, no one seems to understand what anyone else is saying?

    The beat goes on… everyone’s a critic… That explains it too.

  54. says

    “…like a streams of insults…”

    And those pesky typos don’t help at all — they stand out like red hot pokers aimed right at someone’s heinous typographic mistakes!

  55. says

    I agree about avoiding the obscenties or at least using @#% in place of spelling out the word. My reason is practical. I work in a public school system and often post on my break time. On several occasions I’ve found JW/DW blocked with the message “Banned Phrase Found” by the school’s child protection program. This is unfortunate since this site should be a major resource for schools.

    Incidently, my school system also blocks google searches for “terrorism” or “Muhammed+cartoons”.

  56. says

    Shinoliite I am not on Hugh Fitzgerald’s case, he is on mine as he directly answered my post.

    Below is my reply to him:

    Hugh said:”You are confusing that right of free speech etc”

    No I am NOT. You are the one presupposing here. We hear of constant Islamic violence and this tends to upset some people as it seems so one-sided and when it is as concentrated as it is here you can hardly wonder why some people react accordingly and make statements that you do not like.
    I do realise that you have the right to censor whatever you dislike but only because you wish the site to be seen as “clean and pure” so as not to upset the unaligned curious who look in and do not wish to see bigotry in action by westerners. However it is perfectly okay to see it practised by Muslims.
    None of us wish to be bigots but we all have tolerance levels which are approaching their limits. It seems okay to fear, resent and discuss Islam but not okay to hate it for what it is and for what it represents and even less saviury to discuss ways and means of fighting it.
    Perhaps some of us are just not as pure as you or else have less media savvy.
    So you have lost me here in your ethics for the 30 new visitors. But the numbers outweigh the individual and I can see that.

    Hugh then said: “Is not a web-site private property etc”
    Of course it is, but you invite people to come in and make comments and to promote a discussion on the reality of the Islamic plague but you do not like some of the possible solutions which even I agree can be a little extreme. You do occasionally teach something here for those who arrived already aware but for both concentrating and then propagating the awareness of Islamic jihad, the site does an excellent job.
    But at the same time such concentrating of upsetting events can have an effect upon those who read it. So if you throw gore into the water you cannot complain about the sharks around the boat, you can only censor them.
    Maybe we should be forced to sign a statutory declaration promising to be good little pupils here before entering.

    Hugh then continued:” This website might be thought of as an old-fashioned classroom.etc”

    I agree totally: Didactic, Dogmatic and Dictatorial…I receive the message: Like it or Lump it!!! I am glad that you have no cane.

  57. says

    “I am glad that you have no cane…”
    — from a posting above

    Robert is the teacher. He’s the one with the cane, the one who still believes in corporal punishment. My task is to erase the blackboard when students write naughty words, and at the end of each schoolday, to empty the wastebaskets.

  58. says

    Hugh: “It went on, this intolerable act (see the Oscars, see Commencement speeches, see any damn thing you please)”

    May I say that I am quite relieved to see the word “damn” exempted? It really does suggest all kinds of posting possibilities, as well as hinting at firm boundaries I can live with.

  59. says

    “‘This website might be thought of as an old-fashioned classroom…’
    ‘I agree totally: Didactic, Dogmatic and Dictatorial.”

    Is that how you see the lovely picture of the old-fashioned classroom — as one that is didactic, dogmatic, and dictatorial, as compared to the wonders of Modern Education, the modern elementary school, the modern middle school, the modern high school, the modern college, where the teachers are sure of nothing, because many of them know so little, and where not education, but all sorts of irrelevant matters, including self-esteem studies, social engineering, and every conceivable trivial non-academic subject, is covered while reading, writing, geography, history, language, literature, mathematics and science are taught at a level that becomes ever blander, ever sillier, and the textbooks are leached of text, and fill up with pictures, graphs, anything but text.

    Is that what pleases you? If so, that’s the answer to the obvious question, which is:

    “What’s the Reason We’re Not Pleasin’ You?”

    In matters of education, those associated with this webiste are, thank god, thoroughly, totally, completely reactionary. La Vendee, all the way. Long live the dictee! Long live the spelling bee! Long live memorization of poems! Long live all sorts of things that now are unheard-of, practically gone with the dodo and the passenger pigeon. Anyone who thinks the old-fashioned classroom can be described, and dismissed, as “Didactic, Dogmatic, and Dictatorial,” sounds like someone who actually thinks our students “are better educated than ever.”

    Good God.

  60. says

    “My task is to erase the blackboard when students write naughty words, and at the end of each schoolday, to empty the wastebaskets.”
    — from posting above

    That sounds a little Uriah Heapish…

  61. says

    From a posting above::)

    “My task is to erase the blackboard when students write naughty words, and at the end of each schoolday, to empty the wastebaskets”.

    Our teachers to call that person a “monitor”.
    We pupils had another name for him…best left unsaid and nothing personal meant by it.

    Again….Your point about “old fashioned classroom” is well received by myself as I was a product of it, and yes it did instill the 3 R’s and made me work much harder than I would have done under today’s schooling. But I found the corporal punishment to be not only harsh but often ill-placed and unfair and I accordingly lost a lot of respect for people who automatically expected it(respect) as a natural right of their position.

    However Hugh, much as I disagree with your view, I have to accept it and I shall shut up as I would miss your posts if kicked out and obviously by answering you back I am upsetting some of your supporters which is counterproductive to the aims of this site.

    Is it allowed to discards the “moderate Muslim” tag and to lump all Muslims into the same group?
    Or do we still have to pretend that they mean no harm and that they are worthy of trust? (genuine question)

    Also my apologies for any typo’s butI am almost blind and do not see them always.

  62. says

    Hugh, don’t mention the OED, it only depresses me that I can’t put up the money for a membership to have it on my computer. (If I’m going to gird my groin to schlepp over to the college library anyway, I’d much rather handle the real thing.)

  63. says

    “don’t mention the OED, it only depresses me that I can’t put up the money..”
    — from a posting above

    If you are a student, and therefore on a college’s computer system, no doubt you can access the OED (the college likely is paying an annual fee) for free.. Or you can find buy your very own hard copy, 20 volumes rather than the 13-volume edition that some of us had to make do with when we were young, and thought nothing of walking barefoot to the library, three miles down the road, just to look up a single word in the OED, and then we would have to walk home again, down that same unpaved country road, with the nettles growing on either side, and the copperheads slithering out of the stone walls, and the howling wild dogs, and the torrential rains and the frigid sleet and the blinding snowstorms. Well, let me tell you, in those days we knew the value of a word. We didn’t take words lightly, or for granted. We knew just how precious they were, each of those words, and what each of them meant.

    No sir. We were different in those days. Times was tough, and we didn’t all have shoes, but we made do. We walked three miles one way, and three miles back, just to look up a single word in the OED. And nobody complained. It was right worth it.

  64. says

    “the same people seem not to know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, or ‘there’ and ‘their’.”

    I’ve noticed this too; evidently, these people are learning their heterography by ear primarily, and then, when they and their likes communicate on the Internet, they secondarily propagate these mistakes and thereby reinforce them through the imprint of visual typing. Such people either out of laziness or out of an ethos of vulgar indignation would not cotton to the burden of checking words with dictionaries and ferreting out the correct spellings from what sounds right to them. That’s where sitting up straight in those wooden desks and Robert’s cane would come in handy, to learn them the three R’s through the three D’s. (Speaking of those wooden desks that Hugh recalled, will Mr. Spencer bring back those atomic war drills where we have to crouch down under them?)

  65. says

    HUGH FITZGERALD: “…as compared to the wonders of Modern Education, the modern elementary school, the modern middle school, the modern high school, the modern college, where the teachers are sure of nothing, because many of them know so little, and where not education, but all sorts of irrelevant matters, including self-esteem studies, social engineering, and every conceivable trivial non-academic subject, is covered while reading, writing, geography, history, language, literature, mathematics and science are taught at a level that becomes ever blander, ever sillier, and the textbooks are leached of text, and fill up with pictures, graphs, anything but text.”

    CORNELIUS: Which is everything David Horowitz is trying to overcome. Which brings us back to your inexplicable disdain for the man…

    Oh, I forgot, he’s an “empire builder”…presumably because he has the temerity to solicite money…

    For all your lofty contributions to the cause Hugh – and inspite of our differences over Iraq, I do acknowledge your intellectual prowess and energy – might it be possible for you to acknowledge that David is making a difference in ways you could only dream about?

  66. says

    Robert is the teacher. He’s the one with the cane, the one who still believes in corporal punishment. My task is to erase the blackboard when students write naughty words, and at the end of each schoolday, to empty the wastebaskets.

    Hugh… are you a grad assistant?

  67. says

    Speaking of the OED, I was stunned to see that the 20-volume 2nd edition is available from one seller on Amazon.com for eight dollars and change! How could 20 volumes of anything be that cheap!? Subsequent sellers down the list start at over $800 and move up past a grand. Maybe that $8.79 is a typo? (The old 13-volume edition from yesteryear, the one I used to use, starts at $695.00. I wonder if the 2nd edition retains all the words, definitions and citations of the old, or have they monkeyed with them in the name of Progress?)

  68. says

    What the hell’s wrong with walking a couple of miles barefoot? ‘Twas good enough for Highland and Zulu warriors, not to mention J.C. and St. Francis.

  69. says

    I thinks the best way to avoid those darn typos would be to type everything out on a word program, do a grammar check and then spell check. After that cut and paste it into your comment area. That takes more effort than I feel like doing. So, I just apologize if I make some mistakes with to or too or a typo from time to time.
    Foul language does not need to be used here but otherwise I don’t have a problem with people responding to the articles from their own worldview.

  70. says

    “Speaking of the OED, I was stunned to see that the 20-volume 2nd edition is available from one seller on Amazon.com for eight dollars and change! How could 20 volumes of anything be that cheap!?” — TV

    Thay probably want $700.00 for shipping! that’s how a lot of ebay sellers do it.

    My 2 cents on the topic at hand is to support efforts to keep comments from straying too egregiously into the type of mindless hatred we are fighting against. Passion is good but most of us can clearly recognize when the passion crosses the line into bigotry. However, I’m pleased to note that I haven’t seen too much of that in my limited time here.

  71. says

    I agree with Mr. Fitzgerald that decorum (behavior in keeping with good taste and propriety, two words themselves worthy of denotation) is important, but “Mr.,” perhaps, “Sir,” and even there a foolish pretense remains, would be more appropriate than “Bish” or “Bishop,” since the Roman Catholic Church is the largest and longest running child molestation and rape protection and promulgation racket in the history of humanity, the proof of which is overwhelming to those who have cared enough to do the research. That would be a decorum that respects the truth, titles having what value they actually deserve, given said institution’s loss of any real moral credibility. Perhaps, it was only a poorly chosen example. I have no doubt that stating that truth seems distasteful and full of impropriety, i.e., lacking in decorum, to some, but Ali Sina’s and Oriana Fallaci’s, two notable atheists, approaches to Islam serve us best in what hardly could be described as in keeping with good taste and propriety. Philosophy is often violent to complacent thought. They are rightly offensive to many, if not most, people who consider themselves quite fair-minded. Defending everyone’s free speech right to publish cartoons that accurately and tamely hint at the true nature of Islam’s threat to the free world and its false prophet is completely inconsistent with regulating speech on this forum, let alone discontinuing it, haughty and pretentious, in fact [opens another Carlsberg to wash down his havarti]. If what is written is not illegal according to the principles on which the U.S. Constitution is founded, principles we are trying to defend, then it should be left to die in the market place of ideas (e.g., the thoroughly disrespected Ku Klux Klan), as often happens here with the misanthropic, with a bolder, darker and larger disclaimer, the opposite of the oddly and intentionally gray lettered comments. Otherwise, the deletions or discontinuing the forum smack of censorship, political correctness and fear, yes, a peculiar dhimmitude that worries about people thinking that Jihad Watch is not what it claims and is. It is much more likely that the linguistic and moral haughtiness and pretentiousness of our scolders has and will continue to turn people off to this site and the truth of its stated purpose. Politeness and religion will not save us from Islam.

  72. says

    “the Roman Catholic Church is the largest and longest running child molestation and rape protection and promulgation racket in the history of humanity, the proof of which is overwhelming to those who have cared enough to do the research.”

    “the deletions or discontinuing the forum smack of censorship, political correctness and fear, yes, a peculiar dhimmitude that worries about people thinking that Jihad Watch is not what it claims and is. It is much more likely that the linguistic and moral haughtiness and pretentiousness of our scolders has and will continue to turn people off to this site and the truth of its stated purpose.”
    — both from the same posting above

    Those people who are, as you claim, disturbed by the “deletions or discontinuing the forum” which, in their view, “smack of censorship, political correctness and fear,” are wrong. There is less “political correctness and fear” at this website than at any devoted to the same topic, where pedagogy is the aim.

    The website is not “driving people away” but in fact obtaining a larger and larger audience. Start by googling the word “Jihad” and see comes up first among the 20 million, and then google “Jihad Watch” or variants, including the names of participants, to see what happens. Make sure to note the translations into other languages — Dutch, Russian, Indonesian, and so on — of articles that appeared at Jihad Watch.

    The charge of “fear” and “political correctness” is nonsense. To repeat what was said above:

    “…we are doing what we can to make this a cleaner, better-lighted place for rational discussion. This requires the elimination of trolls intent on distracting the unwary. This further requires that free-and-easy-riders be asked to dismount from their hobbyhorses and tether them firmly to the bollard outside the saloon’s swinging doors. And finally, this requires that posters be urged to heed the rules of verbal decorum.”

    For those who feel they are being unduly limited at this site, suddenly controlled by the thought-police clicking their heels and giving the Heil-Hitler salute on every possible occasion, there is an obvious solution. Start your own blog or website. Tell people about it — in fact, put a link in a posting here. If others visit, and like it, they will visit again. And again. It will take time to build an audience. It took time here. One has to learn to trust those in charge of the website: do they make sense? Are they intelligent, or idiots? Do they have a particular political axe to grind, or none?

    Make sure, at your very own new and improved website, to which the millions of people who are now staying away from this site in droves because of the chill wind of censorship, that unlike this site’s ogres, you will cheerfully allow all posters to post anything they want, at any length, at any level of crudity or iliteracy, and of course to talk about whatever particular explanation for all our ills, our inability to see what Islam is all about — the single, the perfect, the all-encompassig explanation — which some might call a hobbyhorse but you are more generous. And you would not want anyone at your own website or blog to be censored, deleted, given instructions or suggestions of any kind, becuase you would never ever wishothers to have to endure the awful experience that you, and the millions of others who are all leaving this website at the same time, had to endure.

    Like another poster in this same thread, you confuse the right of free speech — the right to be free from government censorship save for some carefully-defined exceptions — with some non-existent right to unregulated or undirected speech always and everywhere. No. Such does not exist, except possibly in the kindergarten schoolyard, at recess. Ward Churchill has no right to appear in National Review; David Duke has no right to appear in The Nation. And neither Ward Churchill, nor David Duke (brothers under the skin), has an inviolable right to appear at Jihad Watch. You seem to think that because the publication of the Danish cartoons was upheld here, it is inconsistent to limit the expression of views here. No it isn’t. The right of the newspaper to publish those cartoons did not mean that that newspaper has a duty to publish anything at all. It is free to choose. And so are we.

    Nor is it merely a matter of deplorable views. Irrelevancies, hobbyhorses, whatever unduly (note the adverb) impedes the flow of information, analysis, suggestion, and reflection, also need not be endured. For they get in the way of the site’s goals, and distract all kinds of would-be visitors (some of whom have repeatedly suggested to us that we were far too lenient for far too long).

    That your particular outrage should appear to be prompted by a call for less offensiveness in expression is curious. One suspects something else here. Possibly a wounded hobbyhorser who, having been asked sweetly to dismount repeatedly, then banned by Robert in exasperation, and who, having daubed his hobbyhorse with some paint, rides back into town, his hobbyhorse in new guise.

    What’s that famous saying?

    “That’s a hobbyhorse of a different color. But it’s still a hobbyhorse.”

    Your hobbyhorse apparently has to do with the Roman Catholic Church, which in your view “is the largest and longest running child molestation and rape protection and promulgation racket in the history of humanity.” I’m not sure what you wish Jihad Watch to do with this view? Endorse it? Discuss it endlessly? What?

    This is “Jihad Watch.” This is not the site, where, in addition to talking about the definition of Jihad, the examples of Jihad, the various instruments of Jihad, the textual sources of Jihad, the ways in which the victims or potential victiims of Jihad manage to avoid identifying it or alerting others, or for that matter themselves, to what is the most menacing problem to free societies, and to the freedom of the individual, that now exists, we are under some obligation to give your hobby-horsical views about the Roman Catholic Church full latitude for expression. Or as Tom Friedman would add, longitude.

  73. says

    Wow! I sure wish I’d apologized for using the s-word from the start. Dear Sirs and Mam es, I ask for your forgiveness at this time. Second bottle of maddog 20 20 went my head, typed befor thinking. Thank you, AMartinez

  74. says

    Mr. Martinez–

    You were hardly the worst offender. Your single use of the word “shit” was the example that happened to be on the screen when I was prompted to write something about the matter. I forgive you for that verbal transgression; I hope that you will forgive me for pointing to it, merely as one example of a general problem, a problem at this website, at all websites, everywhere that words are used. It is not just a problem of the young. One of the recent rulers of Russia, Chernomyrdin, could not utter two words without desceding into carlinesque curlicues. The habit spreads, down to up, up to down, at all levels of society, like avian flu. If one happens to have a private store of the vaccine, one has a duty to share it with others. No “warning of side effects” required. That’s what I was doing above: distributing doses of vaccine. No untoward side effects have yet been reported.

    Keep visiting, and keep posting. Please.

  75. says

    Is it really so bad to call a Bishop a Bish? Especially if he’s a nebbish like the Archbish of Canterbury.

    Some Bishops can be very bashful. Perhaps they worry about losing their Bishoprics.

  76. says

    I don’t think Bishops fear losing their Bishoprics, they’re just forbidden to use them for much of anything…

    And what would this site be without a periodic Bish slap? (Is it OK to use “Bish” in that context?) — how much more dreary would it all be?

    This thread would make Charles Dodgson’s head spin — we have 9 year old girls, cattywompus apologies (about Bishops no less! who move diagonally on the chess board), the 6 dimensional rank and file of Thomas Friedman’s mind (latitudes and longitudes: rooks moving…) We have world puzzles which nobody can figure out, the peculiar funhouse mirrors of many posters minds… We have angry queens waging war, and pawns manipulated by nefarious subliminal forces they don’t understand, we have mad hatters, march hares, and tea service from our British friends… We have Humpty Dumpty, and all the kings hobbyhorses… as well as creepy crawly caterpillars… and it’s late, it’s late in the battle….

    All that’s missing are some flamingoes, a mushroom, and a hookah…

  77. says

    “Zamzamburook” must be a slip for “zamzamzumbooruk” a word defined in the Dictionary of Indispensable But Non-Existent Words as referring to those Arab warriors “whose habit was to ride fiercely through the Hijaz desert, cutting down with their camel-mounted guns the equally fanatical but helpless tribes of their sword-waving opponents, and stopping combat only for occasional refreshment at a certain watering-hole in Mecca.”

    See Randall Jarrell’s as-yet-unknown poem, “The Death of the Zamzamzumbooruk Gunner.”

  78. says

    Geez, and all I said was “s–t”.

    All the other chap said was “bish”. That’s only five letters in total, since the s- word and the b- word have three letters in common.

    I hope nobody ever says “bisht”, or there will be real trouble.

  79. says

    “bisht…”
    — from a posting above

    “This is the popular bisht for men, typically seen on imams, khateebs and sheikhs. … pad, Lightweight Summer Bisht pad Everyday low price: US$75.00 …www.alhediya.com/bisht.html”

    Be the first on your block to wear one.

  80. says

    How very strange. I’d never heard that word before. Put two four letter words together and come up with something Islamic.

    Maybe it’s just me. I need to get my head read.

  81. says

    “Bishbash/I was takin’ a bath…”

    For all of you not born in C-O-N-S-T-A-N-T-I-N-O-P-L-E, “bash” is Turkish for “head.” “Kara” means black, just as “schwartz” does in German (as in Soliman Schwartz), and “akyol” means white (as in Mustafa Akyol, or as in Leopold Weiss) so a person with black hair might be described as a “karabash.” That word should not be thought of as having anything to do with with “Nagornij Karabak” (territory disputed by Armenia and Azerbaijan), nor with Monsieur De Carabac, who appears in the French (Contes de Perrault) version of Puss-‘n-Boots, nor taken to be a Japanese rhotacistic pronunciation of Jimmy Durante’s nightly farewell to Mrs. Calabash, wherever she is.

    “Bish” does not mean “red” in Turkish, and thank god for that, because if it did, then “bishbash” would mean “red head” and “Interested,” with her final phrase — “I need to get my head read” — would have offered an unbeatable bilingual pun, and then I would have had to transfer all my worldly possessions to her as a token of appreciation, and right now, believe me, I need every damn worldly possession I can manage to hold on to.

    However, the President of the Red-Headed League of Istanbul, an aptly-named Mr. Kizilbash, who holds no hard feelings against any of us (and secretly wishes our campaign to limit the power of Islam in the West well, not least because he recently discovered that his great-grandparents were Armenianwho visits this site often, has just sent me an email asking me to convey to “Interested” his invitation for her to become the First Corresponding Foreign Member of his organization.

    Sounds like quite an honor. Hope she accepts. She’s earned it.

  82. says

    The Turkish-English Lexicon I have been using is often referred to by the name of its author, James W. Redhouse — “look it up in Redhouse.”

    A theme is developing. Perhaps the fellow who accused this website of harboring Communist sympathies was right.

    By the way, in the Preface (which I have just been reading) Redhouse explains that

    “in the year 1856, Mr. Quaritch, of 15, Piccadilly, London, engaged me to prepare dictionary of the two languages, English and Ottoman Turkish, in two parts, English-Turksih and Turkish -English, the Turkish to be shown in its native characters, with a transliteratuion explaing the prunounciation in English letters….In the year 1860, or ealrier, an Anglo-Turkish Commmittee was formed in London for the purpose of assisting the American Missionaries resident in Turkey to prepare other works thatshould more especially facilitate to Turks, and other subjects of the Sultan, the acquisition of our language. An English-Turkish Lexicon from my pen, as complate as it could be made, was felt by the MIssionaries to be one of the chief desiderata. Funds were being looked up for the purpose, when William Wheelwright, Esq., of Newburyport, United States of America, then temporarily resident in London, most generously offered to bear the whole expense of that work, up to the sum of two thousand pounds.”

    Mr. Wheelwright, of Newburyport, we remember and salute you.

    Where is our Mr. Wheelwright, when we need him in order to keep spreading the news? Is he still talking to George Sturt, in the Wheelwright’s Shop, up in Newburyport? Come out, Mr. Wheelwright. We need to talk to you. We need to explain to you the great good that those two thousand pounds, in 2006 dollars, could do.

  83. says

    One could foreswear swearing forever everywhere to avoid one of these teethgnashinghobbyhorsemashingThomasFriedman’s$45,000checkcashingByzantiumdashingtonguelashings but where would the fun be in that?

  84. says

    You know how some people say “stop me if you’ve heard this one?” Well, at this particular moment, no one can stop me. I’ve been reading further, and here’s part of a single paragraph by Redhouse (the man, not the lexicon) in the preface to “Redhouse” (the lexicon, not the man) that attempts to satisfy curiosity about the authorities he worked from and other details of a bibliographical nature, and does does much more than satisfy:

    “In compiling the present work, I have taken the vocabularies of “Bianchi, Zenker, and Vefiq as my guides, adding many a necessary word from other sources, and occasionally co9nsulting Golius, Meninski [this famous work, in six volumes, has been reprinted in Turkey about six years ago, and costs about $300– a bargain], Freytag, and Lane, as well as the Calcutta Arabic Qamus [“dictionary or lexicon” in Arabic], the Turkish Qamus, a Persian Qamus, a manuscript Sihah, the Persian Surah, Vanqulu, the Sheref-Nama, Jihangiri, Burhan, Shu’uri, Reshidi, the Bahari’Ajem, and the Giyasu-‘l-lugat; not forgetting my own former compilation [not the one which the generous Mr. Wheelwright, of Newburyport, New Hampshire, paid for, but an earlier one], entitled Muntakhabati-Lugati-Osmaniyya, written in 1838-41; a beautiful copy of which, in manuscript, paid for jointly by my friends Gen. Sir W. F. Williams, Bart, G. C. B. of Kars, Gen. Sir Collingwood Dickson, G. C. B., and Sir Patrick Colquhoun, Kt., Q. C., was presented in my name to H. I. M. Sultan Abdu-‘l-Mejid in 1846, which was lithographed and published in Constaninople by Mr. A. Churchill, proprietor of the Jeride’i-Hawadis in 1853, and the holograph original of which ws, in that year, in London, presented to H. R. H. the Late Prince Consort by his Equerry, General Sir W. Wylde, K. C. B., at the request of Sir W. F. Williams, and is preserved in the Private Library of his late Royal Highness at Buckingham Palace.”

    Poetry.

  85. says

    Sir Patrick Colquhoun

    That’s one of those trick names, like Beaulieu and Dalziel. I think it’s pronounced “cahoon”.

    I sometimes wonder whether people with names like that are all in colquhouts.

  86. says

    Zathras, I pointed out in my comment above that I do *not* prevent my children from reading this site. You turned my words around. In fact the younger two are encouraged to read something from this site daily, and the older two are not only encouraged but required to read the articles. Although there is nothing in the comments that I’ve ever censored, we do discuss what various people have written. My only point is that the site does not belong to us, Mr. Spencer does not need us (although I’m not sure about Hugh!) and leaving comments which we’ve been asked not to leave is disrespectful to those to whom we all owe a great deal of respect.

  87. says

    Learn about the miracles of “ZamZam” water through this URL:

    http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2005/01/30/fea36.html

    (“Four senior experts of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission have found the water of ZamZam well to be scientifically superior to tap or solar pump water. The experts have analysed and tested samples of water from ZamZam and from tap and solar pumps…)

    I love it — “solar pump water.” No doubt “cleaner” elcectricity contributes directly to the quality of the water… So scientific… so superior… so Islamic… “Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission” — no higher authority than that (unless you’re talking Muhammad!) ZamZam!

    (I can’t banish thoughts of a Bishopric from my mind… and of the heinous and elevated Eminences to be found there — it’s completely disrupted my peaceful day…)

  88. says

    There are so many very very clever posters here. But truthfully I read straight through all this word play cause I’m just not that well read and it goes over my head. That’s my problem, I know. But the one thing that seems very obvious is that if your host requests that you don’t smoke in the house, then you don’t smoke in the house. And if you don’t like that rule and need to smoke that badly, then you just stop visiting there. That’s really all there is to it as far as I’m concerned. I think even simple folks like myself can understand something that simple. Maybe cause we’re simple or something…

    Sorry – carry on with your wordplay. I will quietly take my seat and humbly learn something I didn’t know. I just felt the need to point out that obvious fact.

  89. says

    I can’t banish thoughts of a Bishopric from my mind

    They say that if a Catholic bishop refuses to kiss the Pope’s ring his Bishopric hangs in the balance.

  90. says

    I would merely add that this site should most definitely NOT be too hard on the typos. One of the greatest things about this site is the contribution of non-native-English speaking citizens of the world. They come here becaause of the valuable insights they have to offer about the global jihad. And hopefully those insights by far outweigh the minor grammatical imperfections apparent in their posts, do they not?

  91. says

    An Afghanistan man is going to go on trial for converting from Islam to Christianity and they are asking for the death penalty.

    I am controling my emotions, but something this
    wants me to right expletives all over the place
    as intellectual reasoning just doesn’t wotk right now, so I will go into my bathroom and scream!!

    Islam the religion of peace, give me a break. Can
    anyone doubt that it is satanic?

  92. says

    “this site should most definitely NOT be too hard on the typos.”
    — from a posting above

    Yes. Nor too hard on false typos either.

    What is a “false typo”? It is a word or phrase chosen deliberately so to give the appearance of being a scribal or typographical error, so that readers will perceive it as such, and as they read and run, their mental spell checks will whirr, and proffer them alternative “correct” readings, and they will choose the one that the context suggests is the most likely (and of course the ground must be prepared beforehand for the subsequent installation of the necessary irrigation projections), and a hint dropped but not picked up will lead to a failure to pick up on, and then pick up, other dropped hints, which taken together might offer an authorial subversion of the text and of the author’s ostentatiously declared intent, or perhaps not subverting but in the end upholding it, if that intent is regarded as not directed at squashing all examples of offenses against public decency but only those that are easily detectable, while leaving untouched those that are too delicate to be remarked upon.

    And if it works as planned, then everyone will be happy, no one will be offended.

    And a good time will be had by all.

  93. says

    You muddle things, Mr. Fitzgerald.

    You can say “Those people who are, as you claim, disturbed by the “deletions or discontinuing the forum” which, in their view, “smack of censorship, political correctness and fear,” are wrong. There is less “political correctness and fear” at this website than at any devoted to the same topic, where pedagogy is the aim,” but simply stating something does not make it so. In fact enforcing standards of behavior in manners of speech has very much to do with political correctness and that there is less fear at jihad Watch “than at any devoted to the same topic” is patently false considering sites like http://www.faithfreedom.org and the fact that all of you seem to live at Secure Undisclosed Locationville.

    You can say “The website is not “driving people away” but in fact obtaining a larger and larger audience. Start by googling the word “Jihad” and see comes up first among the 20 million, and then google “Jihad Watch” or variants, including the names of participants, to see what happens. Make sure to note the translations into other languages — Dutch, Russian, Indonesian, and so on — of articles that appeared at Jihad Watch,” but driving people away is clearly not the same as the increase in visitors. The only way that you could find a true indicator is to look at the recurrence of visiting ip numbers. Wrongly, most people who visit the Jihad Watch think that it is a hate site.

    You write:

    “The charge of “fear” and “political correctness” is nonsense. To repeat what was said above:

    “…we are doing what we can to make this a cleaner, better-lighted place for rational discussion. This requires the elimination of trolls intent on distracting the unwary. This further requires that free-and-easy-riders be asked to dismount from their hobbyhorses and tether them firmly to the bollard outside the saloon’s swinging doors. And finally, this requires that posters be urged to heed the rules of verbal decorum.””

    This reiteration in no way disproves the claim that a certain amount of obvious fear and political correctness, except, say, from Mr. Watson, exists on this site. Given that my post was only my second, that I mentioned my alleged hoobyhorse only once and that a hoobyhorse is a “a topic to which one constantly reverts,” you use the term incorrectly.

    You write:

    “For those who feel they are being unduly limited at this site, suddenly controlled by the thought-police clicking their heels and giving the Heil-Hitler salute on every possible occasion, there is an obvious solution. Start your own blog or website. Tell people about it — in fact, put a link in a posting here. If others visit, and like it, they will visit again. And again. It will take time to build an audience. It took time here. One has to learn to trust those in charge of the website: do they make sense? Are they intelligent, or idiots? Do they have a particular political axe to grind, or none?

    Make sure, at your very own new and improved website, to which the millions of people who are now staying away from this site in droves because of the chill wind of censorship, that unlike this site’s ogres, you will cheerfully allow all posters to post anything they want, at any length, at any level of crudity or iliteracy, and of course to talk about whatever particular explanation for all our ills, our inability to see what Islam is all about — the single, the perfect, the all-encompassig explanation — which some might call a hobbyhorse but you are more generous. And you would not want anyone at your own website or blog to be censored, deleted, given instructions or suggestions of any kind, becuase you would never ever wishothers to have to endure the awful experience that you, and the millions of others who are all leaving this website at the same time, had to endure.”

    You should know, given your apparent graduate school level of education, that hyperbolism and begging the question never amount to sound argumentation and it is quite childish to offer the “oh ya, then go off and start your own site” argument.

    Further, you write:

    “Like another poster in this same thread, you confuse the right of free speech — the right to be free from government censorship save for some carefully-defined exceptions — with some non-existent right to unregulated or undirected speech always and everywhere. No. Such does not exist, except possibly in the kindergarten schoolyard, at recess. Ward Churchill has no right to appear in National Review; David Duke has no right to appear in The Nation. And neither Ward Churchill, nor David Duke (brothers under the skin), has an inviolable right to appear at Jihad Watch. You seem to think that because the publication of the Danish cartoons was upheld here, it is inconsistent to limit the expression of views here. No it isn’t. The right of the newspaper to publish those cartoons did not mean that that newspaper has a duty to publish anything at all. It is free to choose. And so are we.”

    “Nor is it merely a matter of deplorable views. Irrelevancies, hobbyhorses, whatever unduly (note the adverb) impedes the flow of information, analysis, suggestion, and reflection, also need not be endured. For they get in the way of the site’s goals, and distract all kinds of would-be visitors (some of whom have repeatedly suggested to us that we were far too lenient for far too long).”

    I confuse nothing. While it is true that personally owned websites have a right to control the content of speech, something we do not expect from our government, there remain two kinds of sites: those that allow free speech and those that do not. So, if you are going to make a big deal about the Danish cartoon fiasco endangering free speech, you should be prepared to practice the principles you claim to teach. Your examples are meaningless, precisely because it is a silly to attempt to prop up one’s own censorship by citing that of others. In fact, I think that exercising your right to kill speech that you deem unworthy is pedagogically foolish. Ask any philosophy professor. Given that you can never truly eliminate trolls, your only real option would be to close the forum.

    Turning to Mr. Fitzgerald’s underhanded person attack:

    “That your particular outrage should appear to be prompted by a call for less offensiveness in expression is curious. One suspects something else here. Possibly a wounded hobbyhorser who, having been asked sweetly to dismount repeatedly, then banned by Robert in exasperation, and who, having daubed his hobbyhorse with some paint, rides back into town, his hobbyhorse in new guise.

    What’s that famous saying?

    “That’s a hobbyhorse of a different color. But it’s still a hobbyhorse.”

    Your hobbyhorse apparently has to do with the Roman Catholic Church, which in your view “is the largest and longest running child molestation and rape protection and promulgation racket in the history of humanity.” I’m not sure what you wish Jihad Watch to do with this view? Endorse it? Discuss it endlessly? What?”

    “This is “Jihad Watch.” This is not the site, where, in addition to talking about the definition of Jihad, the examples of Jihad, the various instruments of Jihad, the textual sources of Jihad, the ways in which the victims or potential victiims of Jihad manage to avoid identifying it or alerting others, or for that matter themselves, to what is the most menacing problem to free societies, and to the freedom of the individual, that now exists, we are under some obligation to give your hobby-horsical views about the Roman Catholic Church full latitude for expression. Or as Tom Friedman would add, longitude.”

    You are wrong to assume that the Roman Catholic Church’s global abuse of children is my hoobyhorse, as you call it from your high horse (you folks become fixated on certain terms and overuse them, e.g., pusillanimousness). It was an example of stating something true that would appear to lack decorum, nothing more, nothing less, to make a point. Your response is flimsy and misunderstands what I wrote. Additionally, even if it was my hobbyhorse, every good teacher knows that demeaning a person’s cause is just plain, well, pedagogically stupid. Further, not only have I not been a troll, this being my third post (you have my email address), I have never been banned here, at least not yet. You aspersions amount to an ad hominem ad nauseam and are quite undignified for someone still struggling to control the floridity of his run-on sentences, a style that lacks any pedagogic foundation. Keep an eye on those missing parenthetical closings, Mr. Frizgerald, you prude. 😉

    Again, let poor comments die naturally in the market place of ideas, as they usually do here. Doing so would be consistent with the U.S. Constitution. Spending time on this issue lacks focus on Jihad Watch’s stated purpose. Did I mention that I support that purpose?

  94. says

    “let poor comments die naturally in the market place of ideas…”
    — from a posting above

    The metaphor of the “free marketplace” of ideas, smacking so of commerce, never much appealed to me. First, because it is not true that the best ideas always win, or always win out in time, so that disaster is always avoided. that they always gain adherents in time to avoid disasters. Hitler came to power, and World War II resulted. The Bolsheviks came to power, and 70 years of intolerable Soviet rule resulted.

    It’s a comforting metaphor, a pleasuing metaphor, but it doesn’t always work. Sometimes someone is standing in that “free marketplace” with a megaphone, directing shoppers with a mountebank’s coney-pitch to something false, but not obviously so. And of courese, in that “free marketplace of ideas,” each hopeful grocer, offering his wares, realizes that he has limited shelf space, and he must choose what wares to stock, and what not to. We have limited shelf-space. We are under a great deal of pressure to do away with comments altogether. We continue to resist that pressure from friendly advisers. We want some comments. Some, but not all. That shelf-space will not be made available to everyone, but only to those whose views, and whose expression of those views, in the opinion of the judges — and the opinion of the judges is final — are likely to reflect, and further, the views that we think need furthering.

    I am grateful to you for quoting me at such great length in your own reply. It was a pleasure to read my original reply to you again — I had no idea how much I agree with every point I made before.

  95. says

    We are under a great deal of pressure to do away with the comments altogether–Hugh–from whom? Without the comments no one will read what you have to say, and I enjoy reading your writings.

  96. says

    The examples you cite (Hitler and the Bolsheviks) are not examples of allowing a free marketplace of ideas, but the opposite. Using examples of squashing free speech to prove that the best ideas do not arise from such a marketplace is a loopy slight of hand. For example, it was not those who regulated speech that freed the truths that Copernicus and Galileo articulated, the opposite, in fact. As for the attack on metaphor, what is language, except analogical predication? Your point? What you do not seem to realize is that what you are saying amounts to wanting only commentators who agree with you, something that would, in fact, remove this site from those whose expressed intention is to teach. It is far better to ridicule, a la Ali Sina, stupid ideas than to remove them from one’s delicate, elitist and prudish sensibilities.

    You are welcome for the citations, as I, too, enjoy reading your comments, despite their unnecessary complexity, a complexity, I fear, is more due to ego than to the dissemination of truth. You should give that some serious thought, assuming that your true intention is to teach.

  97. says

    There are all kinds of ways to teach. In my own classroom of the mind, I have found that playfulness helps to vary the pedagogic regime. All kinds of comments, can be used to further the lesson plan. Humor of expected and unexpected kinds. Snatches of song. Verbal seduction, through the arts of rhetoric. Quintilian, Longinus, that kind of thing. Figures of speech, or the prose suddenly becoming noticeably iambic, and falling into periods of pentameter.

    You aren’t buying. You are not amused. You don’t find my sense of humor all that winning, and are distinctly un-seduced by the rhetoric. You find it all insufferable. You think the site would be better off if I disappeared, or changed what you regard as my insolent ways. I like my insolent ways. I don’t think there’s enough insolence in this world, enough of a grand refusal by more people, a refusal to accept things as they are, and supposedly must be, just because others say so. And those others, those authorities who should be questioned, from presidents and columnnists to those who start posting here and presume to lecture on what this website, in its need to pay obeisance to your curious understanding of free speech, can or cannot do to promote its own interests.

    You don’t agree with any of this. Tant pis.

  98. says

    “What you do not seem to realize is that what you are saying amounts to wanting only commentators who agree with you…”

    I was thinking today about alternative words I could use in my postings in order to try to stay within the requested bounds of decorum. It occurred to me that “horse manure” would constitute an appropriate substitute for the word s**t, when one feels compelled to express, as I do in this case, “You are full of….”

  99. says

    One more thing, and then that’s it.

    “one’s delicate, elitist and prudish sensibilities.”
    — from a posting above

    When someone uses the word “elitist” as a term of abuse, I know that that someone is someone whose view of the world, of what constitutes the whole business of art and science and of how both enterprises can best be cultivated, so that the best survive and are not hampered, or smothered, by the worst, places that someone on a different mental planet. Unapologetic use of the very word “elitist” as an apparent pejorative is calibanesque, the language of the resentful leveller. I can’t stand it. The words “elitism” and “elitist,” either when used, or when their use by others is accepted as legitimate and the only thing that is denied is their aptness when applied (so many rushing to assure everyone, in heaven-forfend fashion, that “I’m no elitist” ) shows how crazy things have become. Not merely equality before the law, but equality everywhere, and where its effects are disastrous. The insensate urge to show, phonily, that one is just aw-shucks just-folks (this, by the way, is something all sorts of plutocrats enjoy doing, and it is lapped up), because one’s tastes show that one is just as popularly bad in one’s taste as anyone could possibly wish. When, for example, plain old Bill Clinton chooses Maya Angelou as his poet at the inauguration (Lois Wyse and Richard Bach were unavailable) when he might have had — oh, Anthony Hecht — he is showing both political calculation and an indifference to standards. Perhaps you didn’t cringe when Maya Angelou was the poet at Clinton’s inauguration. Perhaps you find nothing wrong, either, with the current reading lists for literature courses that reveal criteria other than literary merit but rather a determined attempt to “empower” or “give voice” to all those who need to have that “empowerment” and that “giving voice to” with a deliberate emphasis on those who, whatever their merits, are chosen as representatives on the basis of ethnic, racial, religious, or other criteria that have nothing to do with criteria that matter. A little Yeats: “The beating down of the wise/And great Art beaten down.” Words a little less unsufferable, because truer, than when they were written. And the mere titles of Ortega’s books should do: “The Dehumanization of Art” and the Revolt of the Masses.” Or Wladimir Weidle: “Les Abeilles d’Aristee,” and “Umiranie Iskusstva” (“The Dying of Art.”) The problem is not too much “elitism” (whatever that is) but too little — too little self-assurance, too much reliance on being suitably collegial, and on disguising or hiding one’s distaste for the educational malpractice that one observes, either as a teacher, or as a parent or relative of a student who deserved better. Then there is that quite unncessary (and unrequited) respect given, by so many, when it comes to what ails universities, not to real authority (say, Jacques Barzun), but to those who not only get with the program, but in some cases get grants to get with the program, and finally there are those, everywhere in our society, whose sole claim to authority has something to do with wealth, and nothing else. That speech on Degree in “Troilus and Cressida” needs to be read, side by side with, and as a kind of counterpoint and correction to, both the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address. Harsh, but necessary.

    When that someone also accuses me of being “prudish” on the thread of the very article that, whatever its (deliberately) misleading title, surely demonstrates the opposite, then I am amused as well as annoyed. Yes, the article above does bear a misleading title. Yes, it does, for the most part, remonstrate about obvious use of offensive terms. But the very same article demonstrates, by way of example, how to describe or allude to certain things without offending anyone. Some people will never try to figure it out. And that’s fine. A few will, a self-selected group of those who like such puzzles and are unlikely to be offended (and even if they are, they have not been offended openly and publicly, but have had to work at being offended); besides, their amusement should overcome any slight embarrassment. Similar examples could be offered from the archives, which would reinforce the conclusion that a good deal of readerly miscomprehension must have been required to make the charge that I am “prudish” in my “sensibilities.” A little less attention by the complaining poster above to what he thinks he understands of my “sensibility,” and much more attention to what he so clearly misses of my intended “sense,” would be welcome.

    Or perhaps I have a different book by Austen in mind? Not “Sense and Sensibility” but rather that novel with the unforgettable title, “Pride and Punishment.”

    Perhaps that poster will return to set me straight about that, too.

  100. says

    I would like to reiterate what Caroline stated above; I hope that Hugh comes back to this thread and reads this.

    Even Hugh makes typos, which sometimes result in spelling mistakes.

    There are many posters who are non-native speakers of English, but it is often difficult to distinguish, and they and people who are just plain old bad spellers but ardent anti-jihadists should not be discriminated against. We need all the allies we can get in this Fight and in the Battle ahead, spelling and punctuation abilities will be the least of our concerns.

    I surely hope that Hugh can shoot.

  101. says

    Typos are fine. Deliberate false typos also fine. Contrary to Rumsfeldian rumor, shooting may not be the most effective weapon of choice in the war of self-defense against the Jihad.

    Far more important at this stage are the twin arts of expression — ars loquendi and ars scribendi.

    “Ars” is Latin here, and not an English-language typo, of either the accidental or pretend-accidental kind. So no remarks on the word, from regions of the English-speaking-union lands (we spell these things differently here — see George Carlin) that follow English and not American orthography, need be made.

  102. says

    Still at it? This thread is a bottomless pit, although it has gravitas and veritas.

    and not an Englsh-language typo

    Is this an English language typo?

    One man’s art is another man’s donkey. Both look better when suitably hung.

  103. says

    Thank you — post revu et corrige, to eliminate the genuine typo of “Englsh.” The original typo dont on parle was not so genuine, but genuine indeed were the genuflections it implied.

  104. says

    No such place as Mentula, Mississippi, or perhaps it’s just too small to appear on any map I checked. Perhaps Sir Hugh meant Kysthos, Kansas? Interestingly, the single citation given in my OED for irrumate is by one Cockeram (1623), a double-barreled name if ever there was one (right up there so to speak with Piers Plowman, miles beyond poor Paul de Kock (“nice name” — now what colleen said that?)), or triple perhaps if we latinaceously turn it into a past perfect.