Sticks And Stones Will Break My Bones, But Names Will Be Reported

In a genuinely silly piece on supposed discrimination against our beleagured Muslim population, the Washington Post reports on the results of a survey among American Muslims which indicate that their feelings have been hurt at slightly higher than the national average:

Fifteen percent of Arab Americans in the Detroit area said they have experienced harassment or intimidation since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and a significant number wish other Americans understood them better, according to a University of Michigan report to be released today.
Derogatory comments — “Go back where you came from!” or “Ooh, are you a member of al Qaeda?” — were the most common form of abuse. Others alleged job discrimination and a small number reported physical assaults, researchers said. Forty-two percent of Muslim Arabs interviewed for the survey in Detroit — an area with one of the largest concentrations of Arab Americans in the nation — feel their religion is not respected by mainstream society. Nearly 60 percent said they worry more about their families’ future than before the attacks.

Well, excuse me, but no s**t, Sherlock! I guarantee you that 60% of all Americans worry about the future of their families since 9/11. I worry about it every time I see my granddaughter, the Little Admiral. In terms of respect for their religion, it would help if groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other such organizations would worry less about namecalling and more about urging American Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement. Instead, we mostly hear how our foreign policy led to 9/11 and our need to listen to the terrorists rather than hunt them down and kill them.
And now we have this ridiculous study that claims 15% have received serious harrassment, only to find out that tasteless jokes count in the survey. Gee, can I start a survey among Irish-Americans that count every alcohol-related wisecrack I ever heard? How about having the Italian-American Anti-Defamation League ask their members if they’ve ever been asked, “What do you hear from the mob these days?” (On second thought, let’s not. They’d actually take that suggestion seriously.)
You want our respect? Suck it up, buttercup, and quit whining when people dislike you. Idiots existed before 9/11, and they’ll be around after we beat the Islamofascists, too. You’re alive and overwhelmingly unharmed, which is more than I can say for 3,000 people in New York who made the mistake of going to work on 9/11.
The survey actually demonstrates how remarkably level-headed Americans have been in separating Islamofascist lunatics and their activities from the Muslims who live amongst us, despite the fact that some of the lunatics hid rather successfully within those communities prior to the attacks. That, however, does not qualify as news to the Washington Post or the University of Michigan, who conducted the study, and it doesn’t fit within the “Americans are closed off loners” meme that the press has pushed during this electoral cycle, hoping that voters conclude that John Kerry is the cure for the disease.

Allawi Endorses Powell Effort To Build Muslim Coalition

Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi voiced his approval for the diplomatic efforts of Colin Powell to bring together a coalition of Muslim nations to provide security for Iraq, especially for a UN delegation to oversee elections in the winter:

Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi called on Arab and Muslim nations on Thursday to join a proposed force of Islamic troops in Iraq that the United States said could provide protection to the United Nations.
Allawi and Secretary of State Colin Powell met in Saudi Arabia and embraced a Saudi proposal for Muslim nations other than Iraq’s immediate neighbors to contribute troops to help secure Iraq in the face of a fierce insurgency.

No one doubts the brief analysis at the end by Reuters that such a coalition could boost the Bush administration’s standing in global diplomacy, which is one of the reasons I think that the Islamic nations will give this a pass. However, I wonder why Allawi is so sanguine about letting other Arab mullhacracies and kleptocracies into Iraq. It seems like an inordinate risk, which is why Powell and Allawi propose limiting their scope to UN security, at least at first.
Why would the other Islamic nations agree to the task? None of them, with the exception of Turkey, promote democracy at home and probably fear that a successful transition to democracy in Iraq could destabilize their own regimes. Turkey can’t participate anyway due to tensions with the Kurds; it would spark riots and worse in western Iraq. The only motivations would be that ignoring Iraq and allowing it to dissolve into chaos would be even more destabilizing, and that Allawi’s invitation gives them an opening to plant boots on the ground to increase their intelligence assets and connections to groups that want to kill democracy in its tracks. Since the former doesn’t appear to be happening — the violence is sporadic and no longer strategic in nature — I assume the latter would provide the only incentive.
Allawi needs to reach out to Islamic nations in order to maintain his position in Iraq, where I would presume any politician that excludes contacts with Muslims in preference to those outside the Ummah would not have a long career. He has been rather successful in establishing diplomatic relations with most of them within a short period of time, and Jordan had even offered to send troops, if invited (but they are not part of this effort, which specifically excludes bordering states). However, Allawi should tread very carefully; having armed men from countries like Saudi Arabia patrolling the streets sounds an awful lot like what he has now in Fallujah. The question would be whether they would fight the foreigners in Fallujah or join with them.

Here’s Another Guy Who Got His RNC Credentials

CNN reports on another new-media kind of guy who got credentials to the Republican National Convention next month in New York City:

[CNN’s Tom] Foreman: Are you going to go to the Republican convention?
[Michael] Moore: Yes, I am. I already have my credentials.
Foreman: How do you think you’ll be received there?
Moore: I think it will be fine. Are you implying that Republicans are not nice people?

Michael Moore, the auteur who brought you Fahrenheit 9/11, has been credentialed as a columnist for USA Today, who earlier felt that Ann Coulter was too incendiary for publication. I suppose they feel no reservations about Moore’s well-known track record for making things up and pulling facts out of context and twisting them to his own purposes.
Perhaps I’ll get a chance to interview Moore. I have my copy of Michael Moore Is A Big Fat Stupid White Man; I’ll be sure to bring it.

Edwards Blinks — A Lot

I’m watching the John Edwards speech, having missed the first few minutes of it, and am not terribly impressed. He’s a good speaker but not terribly energizing. He takes a more conversational approach, and the constant cheering seems a bit strained to me. Only at a few points was it matched by a high point in his speech.
“Hope Is On The Way” — are they implying that Clinton will replace John Kerry? After all, he was the Man From Hope. Maybe that’s what they’re hoping for from John Jr, but while he speaks more naturally than John Sr, I just don’t think it’s much more than a typical smooth politico’s voice. And I don’t know if the stagehands put a spot directly behind the camera, but whenever Edwards looked straight ahead, he either blinked constantly or squinted his eyes. It got to be distracting, as though he was either light-sensitive (migraine?) or trying too hard to look analytical.
He has a lovely family, and from some of the descriptions of his wife’s intro floating around the blogosphere, she will be a real asset and possibly an antidote to Teresa, and Lord knows the Dems could use one. Best I can say is that he did no damage, but the populist “Two Americas” speech seems a bit tired — and let’s not forget it was ultimately a loser in the primaries.
Hey, but hope is on the way — Clash Of The Titans comes on at 10 CT on HBO Family. Isn’t that where I came in this morning?
UPDATE: It’s the next morning, and John Edwards’ address to the convention has mostly slipped my mind. It was weightless, a sort of rehash of his primary speech with a dash of John Kerry endorsement thrown in. However, if you want a hilarious live-blog take on the Edwards speech and the reasons you may want to think twice about Edwards’ “Two Americas” bandwagon, check out Deacon’s post at Power Line:

10:28 Edwards predicts that the Republicans will have the audacity to criticize the Democratic ticket this fall. …
10:33 Under Kerry-Edwards, we’ll have only one school system. Sounds like Communism to me. The best teachers will be moved to where they are most needed. Sounds like Chinese Communism to me.
10:34 We’ll also have only one economy, not the two we have now consisting of people who do well and people who don’t do that well. Sounds like, oh never mind. …
10:48 If you have stubbed your toe, hope is on the way.
10:49 If you’re a soldier in Iraq, hope is on the way. But funding wouldn’t be, if Kerry and Edwards had had their way.

Read the whole thing — there’s plenty more analysis. One thing for which Edwards deserves credit: he actually introduced John Kerry to some extent, something that the rest of the lineup didn’t bother to do tonight.

Bob Graham Cools Them Off

Bob Graham has killed all the momentum that Al Sharpton provided with his emotional and raw attack speech on George Bush. His problem is part content and part delivery. He’s almost as exciting as John Kerry, and that’s no compliment.
First, he compared the first 1000 days of WWII to the War on Terror, saying we have not even established a beachhead. Perhaps that’s because this isn’t an amphibious war, Senator. We’ve managed to liberate 50 million people, though, something we couldn’t claim in WWII until far later. Then he said that proposals to fix security holes still haven’t been implemented 1,000 days after 9/11, but he failed to mention that the bipartisan commission insisted upon by the Democrats only delivered those recommendations last week.
I was going to live-blog his speech, but it’s very hard to do that when I keep falling asleep. He’s managed to stomp out all of the energy at Fleet Center. Why do they have this guy on in prime time?

Al Sharpton Fires Them Up

Sharpton veers far from his approved speech to attack George Bush on prime time, continuing the Festival of Bile at the Fleet Center.

I guess Al Sharpton didn’t get the memo from the Kerry/Edwards campaign that he was supposed to stay positive on the stump. Sharpton gave a fiery speech intended to answer George Bush’s overture to the Urban League earlier this month. After giving only a cursory mention to the ticket’s public policy aims, Sharpton aimed instead squarely at Bush. At one point, Sharpton screamed into the mike:

“Mr. President, read my lips — our vote is not for sale!”

Sure seems that way to me, Al … they’ve been sold out to the Democrats for decades. Sharpton even worked in a reference to reparations, which probably caused John Kerry to have kittens backstage.
Way to be uniters, guys …
UPDATE: CBS Market Watch has the prepared text of Sharpton’s address to the DNC tonight (via Drudge). If you watched him speak, you can see how far Sharpton drifted from the speech the Kerry/Edwards campaign vetted. None of the votes-for-sale theme was part of the original speech Sharpton submitted, including the “read my lips” reference, nor the statement that the black vote had been bought by the “blood of four little girls in Selma,” a nod to Spike Lee, who is in attendance.
Kerry apparently can’t keep his party on message, and the Bush bile-o-meter keeps on a-rising…

If I Was President, All Of You Would Kill Me

I’m watching the Democratic convention right now, and although I can hardly believe it, the Dems have presented a film (“If I Had A Minute With The President”) in which children give George Bush advice on policy. It’s like asking Amy Carter her advice on the most pressing issue of the day about 100 times over. No wonder they invited Jimmy Carter back to the convention this year!
No, none of them identified nuclear proliferation as the biggest problem in the world, but we got to hear about animal habitats, racism, the homeless, and so on. If you’re inclined to take your political advice from 12-year-olds, the Democrats are the party for you!
As if that weren’t bad enough, former Denver mayor Wellington Webb then introduced singer Wyclef Jean to sing a song as a companion piece. Now, I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the sideshow acts at the convention, but this one was just appalling. Who sings about being assassinated by Americans if they got elected at a nominating convention? Howard Dean’s favorite singer, that’s who. Wyclef Jean broke some sort of record by squeezing in as many tired political cliches as possible in a four-minute song. Try these insipid lyrics on for size:
Yeah…shout out to children, United Nations, [unintelligible],
John Kerry support foster children,

[spoken]Right about now, if you’re Democrat, let me see your hands in the sky right now…
[chorus]Yeah … yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah …
If I was President, I get elected on Friday,
call a peace treaty Saturday, stop the war Sunday,
Send the troops back home Monday,
If I was President, if I was President, if I was President, yeah …
Instead of spending billions on the war,
I can use that money so I can feed the poor,
‘Cause I know some so poor when it rains that’s when they shower,
screamin’, “Fight the power,”
that’s when the vulture devours,
I know some soldiers who sleep but they can’t dream,
wake up and scream, sounds of M-16,
So take this Medal of Honor for your bravery,
I wish you the best kid, you and your family …
But the radio won’t play this, they call it rebel music,
How can you refuse it, children of Moses,
tell the children the truth, the truth is not all I play Mr. Diamonds,
tell the truth, is that you wear cubic zirconias
Tell them the truth, the truth, your life is worth more than
diamonds and gold …
If I was President, If I was President, If I was President …

[shouted]If you feel me, stand up on your two feets right now!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
If I was President, I’d get elected on Friday,
assassinated on Saturday, buried on Sunday,
send the troops back on Monday, If I was President,
If I was President.

The entire song was appalling, but the last chorus predicting that Americans would assassinate him has no place in a national convention. Will the Democrats embrace this message of hate?

Stupid Blog Tricks (Updates & News)

First things first — I will be rearranging my work schedule for the next two weeks in order to free up my days to get the First Mate back and forth to the hospital for some treatments. I’ll be working swing shifts, which may mean a bit less blogging, although I had curtailed some of the nighttime blogging of late anyway. The FM has experienced some temporary reduction in kidney function, and the doctors want to have her in for outpatient treatment for several days. We started it today, and we’ll go every other weekday for the next week or so. At any rate, I’ll still be blogging, but the number of posts might be a bit lower while I work swing shift.
In a more enjoyable development, the Washington Post jumped on the blogging bandwagon by taking nominations for a blog contest. INDC Journal has directed his readers to go there and nominate his excellent blog in as many categories as possible. But hey, there are plenty of categories, so why not nominate Captain’s Quarters, too? Just put the URL of your favorites in the form fields and submit the form. You may want to nominate guys like Hugh Hewitt and Power Line and others on my blogroll, too. (Fraters would be custom-made for Class Clown, for instance.) I’ve added the WaPo Best Blogs graphic to the left sidebar.
On the RNC fund-raising front, I am happy and grateful for your generous donations! So far you’ve raised about 20% of the cost of accommodations (plane plus hotel), and it keeps coming in. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I’ve been credentialed as a blogger for the Republican convention, and I’m asking for donations in order to fund the trip. You can donate through PayPal, or through Amazon, which doesn’t require donors to set up an account in order give money. The clickable buttons are also on the left sidebar, and I certainly appreciate any donations, no matter the amount. Another way to donate is to buy a Blogad on the right sidebar. Today, the John Kline campaign bought a one-week ad and told me to make sure I buy myself a drink on them — which I will gladly do!

Will His Performance Lack Energy?

During most of his professional life, the world hailed Lord Laurence Olivier as one of the greatest actors on stage and screen, and Olivier remained remarkably prolific right to the end of his life. Now the London Guardian reports that he will launch a great comeback, a neat trick for a man who’s been dead for fifteen years. First-time filmmaker Kerry Conran cast the dead actor in support of Jude Law and Gwenyth Paltrow as a holographic villain:

In September, however, Olivier will break much more remarkable ground. Fifteen years after his death, he is due to feature as one of the billed stars of the Paramount film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. …
Law is quoted by the AP news agency: “He plays my nemesis. And he’s referred to throughout the movie so you know eventually you’re going to get to see this bad guy. It builds up, and you only see him in the last minutes, and he’s in hologram form.”
New dialogue was recorded by another actor for Olivier’s voice. Images of him come from assorted films and archive footage.

In a sick twist, the character played by Olivier is named “Totenkopf”, which means “death-head” in German and was used by the Nazis as a name for one of its SS divisions. I’m sure that this was meant as irony by the director, but the Guardian makes no mention of that decision.
It does seem a bit unusual that a director would choose to cast a dead man in the role. Couldn’t he find a live actor to do the movie? And how exactly will Olivier’s estate be compensated for the hijacking of his image? His widow, the eminent actress Joan Plowright, chose not to comment on the story. It raises ethical questions as well, since Olivier didn’t choose to be included in this film, and I’m surprised that actors of the stature of Law and Paltrow would have agreed to this. (Of course, Olivier’s judgment on project selection was known to be somewhat suspect, as anyone who’s watched the so-bad-it’s-laughable Clash Of The Titans can attest.)
The Guardian upholds the fine tradition of Fleet Street bitchiness in its lead paragraph, which makes it worth the read:

Towards the end of his pioneering career, Lord Olivier was the first actor to materialise in the West End theatre as a hologram, in the musical Time in 1986. For one of the greatest classical players in history, it had an advantage: he did not need to appear in the flesh with the show’s star – Cliff Richard.