February 28, 2008

Grim Milestone: Media Interest In Surge Success Falls To Dangerously Unstable Levels
— Ace


Correlation is not causation? Sure, whatever.

After heavy coverage of the shift to a new Iraq policy in January and February 2007, the TV coverage began to closely track the rising and falling death rates for U.S. soldiers in Iraq. When the number of U.S. fatalities jumped in May, TV coverage jumped, too. When U.S. casualties began to steadily decline, TV coverage of Iraq dramatically decreased.

While the amount of coverage has shriveled, the tone remains more negative than positive.....

Back in December, NBC’s Tim Russert conceded that the media were less interested in covering a successful U.S. mission in Iraq, telling anchor Brian Williams that “with the surge in Iraq and the level of American deaths declining, it is off the front pages.”

This is not neutral news judgment, but a great favor to anti-surge Democrats, since TV’s lack of interest in Iraq spares them the chore of defending their now-discredited opposition to the surge. Does anyone think the media would have let John McCain off the hook had the surge failed as spectacularly as it has succeeded?

Not so much, no.

Meanwhile, the media is finally doing so truly thoughtful examination of itself as regards the question of its own biases. Yes, they're finally getting around to examining if the press has been biased against Hillary Clinton.

It always amuses me -- okay, angers me -- that the press is willing to examine every single possible allegation of bias except for their most persistent and severe one. The press regularly asks absurd questions -- "Is the press too anti-black? Too anti-gay? Too anti-feminist? To anti-Muslim?" etc. -- the moment an identity-politics group makes such an silly charge.

The answer to all these questions is, of course, "No." The press, being liberal as the day is long, is positively pre-disposed to any and all minority groups, particularly those which are important elements in the liberal political coalition. But they are willing to castigate themselves periodically for being, ahem, not quite pro-gay-marriage enough.

Meanwhile, the truly damning charge against them -- that they are nakedly partisan actors who skew their reportage always to favor one political party and disfavor the other, while absurdly insisting they cover politics fair and balanced, straight down the middle -- is always dismissed as being so ridiculous as to be beneath answering at all. You've actually got Neal Gabler, a twisted little dwarf, arguing on Fox News Watch every week (at least, when he worked there) that the media were actually biased in favor of conservatives. Other damaged, dwarfish bridge-trolls such as Paul Krugman periodically echo this outlandish conceit.

Think about it: the media is willing to entertain the possibility that it is actually institutionally racist against blacks while it angrily and arrogantly dismisses the possibility it may be slightly liberal and hence anti-conservative.

Me thinks the lady doth protest too much, eh? One would think the racist charge would be the one dismissed out of hand, so incendiary it is; and yet they're actually willing to ponder whether they are, in effect, effete Klansmen in the service of the Greater New York Metro Area Kleagle.

Yet that possibility they're willing to discuss openly, while it's simply ludicrous that they might be somewhat predisposed to one party's politics than the other.

Explanation? Simple. They know they're not terribly anti-black so it's a relatively easy and unemotional topic for them to chitter about. It's relatively easy to discuss flaws you know you're innocent of.

But when it comes to the anti-conservative bias... suddenly they're quite emotional about the charge, angry and petulant such an outrageous accusation is made in the first place.

A cynic might conclude they're simply unwilling to concede flaws they know they truly do possess, meanwhile making up for that by offering false confessions to a welter of sins they know they're not guilty of at all.

Posted by: Ace at 12:00 PM | Comments (73)
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Ghey Paree! [dri]
— Open Blog

Photobucket "I am from France"

They don’t call it Gay Paree for nothing. This week marks the annual Paris Fall fashion week in which clothing designers from far and wide display their new lines of practical, ready to wear fashion. This year, possibly because of fears of an economic slowdown or concerns over the destruction of the planet’s fragile ecosystem, the designers have chosen a more practical, more realistic approach to their designs. Finally the fashion elite have heard the voices of the common folk who have demanded that their clothing be utilitarian, functional and with just a tiny bit of “I don’t know what”. more...

Posted by: Open Blog at 11:51 AM | Comments (72)
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Falling Icicles Kill Six In Russia
— Ace

Global warming is to blame, of course. It's only melt-y icicles that fall and kill people.

Plummeting chunks of ice is an annual hazard for pedestrians in Russia during the spring when the sun finally melts thick layers of ice and snow which build up on roofs over months of freezing temperatures and darkness.

I want to make an Al Gore joke here but I got nothin'.

Oh this pretty good: Al Gore is a great fat douchebag/moron and I woudn't piss down his throat if his heart were on fire.

Not a classic joke, I guess.

Thanks to RobG.

Posted by: Ace at 11:39 AM | Comments (18)
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The Military-Legislative Complex: Could Iraq's Switch To Dust-Sensitive M-16's Possibly Have Anything To Do With The Manufacturer's Support of Screamin' Jack Murtha?
— Ace

Follow the money.

Posted by: Ace at 10:00 AM | Comments (35)
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The Biased Liberal Media, Meet Hillary Clinton; Hillary Clinton, Meet the Biased Liberal Media
— Ace

Two great pictures flagged by Hot Air.

Hmmm... what do you think they're trying to tell us here?

St. Obama, wreathed by opalescent Godlight

Hillary Clinton, as the walls sweat blood which forms a
portrait of Satan/Karl Rove

I think I'm leaning towards the candidate endorsed by the Prince of Lies.

Good links in this post about the claims of McCain playing the race card against Obama, versus Obama actually playing the race card against everyone.

A liberal I know -- and a Hillary partisan -- has been complaining for months about the sneaky but effective way Obama plays the race card. I don't know if he's just annoyed that his candidate is losing, or if there's something there.

I guess now that Obama is the nominee I'll watch more carefully.

Posted by: Ace at 09:23 AM | Comments (43)
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IRS Notifications Go Out to Millions
— Dave in Texas

A reminder that in order to receive your meaningless bribe* economic stimulus package payment, you need to file your 2007 tax returns.

* my payment is not a meaningless bribe. I just meant all the other ones.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 09:02 AM | Comments (30)
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FAQ: Just Because I'm Facinated By Other Men's Genitals and Sometimes "Share" Masturbation With Them, That Doesn't Make Me Gay, Does It?
— Ace

Oh, of course not, darling.

And just because you spend all day spreading mortar between bricks, it doesn't make you a mason. Labels are sooooo restrictive.

Jen reads a book about the joys of "Solo Sex." It's blurbed thus--

All manner of techniques are discussed, safe, and questionable. He (Dr. Litten) brings up the curiosity that all men seem to have about other men’s genitals and self-pleasuring practices, and how sharing masturbation with a friend does not make one gay.

A review in Cracked -- "Five Books That Can Actually Make You Stupider" -- notes the rather obvious:

We're not sure exactly how repressed the author is or how cruelly his burly father crushed his dreams of being a dancer, but once you've got two men naked, having handsex together we've got a different word for that. The ability to even write the phrase "sharing solos" and not see a problem indicates a level of psychotic self-denial that would make Nixon look like a weeping Oprah guest. The progression from "play with yourself" to "play with yourself and other naked men" puts you close to the most important naked-man-based revelation since Archimedes.

"Shared Solos." Now that's my kind of euphemism, audacious as hope itself.

Obligatory Re-Link (NSFW): Excuse me, have you two met? I think you'd get along famously.

Meanwhile... In Italy, a court rules men are not allowed to touch their genitals in public, at least not "ostentatiously."

Is there any other way?

Posted by: Ace at 08:02 AM | Comments (43)
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Shocker: "Virtual" Fence Fails to Even Provide "Virtual" Security
— Ace


Posted by: Ace at 07:05 AM | Comments (28)
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Quote of the Day
— Ace

George Will, hitting McCain on his greatest weakness:

Although his campaign is run by lobbyists; and although his dealings with lobbyists have generated what he, when judging the behavior of others, calls corrupt appearances; and although he has profited from his manipulation of the taxpayer-funding system that is celebrated by reformers -- still, he probably is innocent of insincerity. Such is his towering moral vanity, he seems sincerely to consider it theoretically impossible for him to commit the offenses of appearances that he incessantly ascribes to others.

Such certitude is, however, not merely an unattractive trait. It is disturbing righteousness in someone grasping for presidential powers.

Posted by: Ace at 06:49 AM | Comments (65)
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Smart people can be real retards
— Purple Avenger

There's this story here about the rise of autonomous military robots.

What struck me about this piece is a quote from University of Sheffield professor Noel Sharkey

...detachments that will include 150 soldiers and 2,000 robots.

The use of such devices by terrorists should be a serious concern
, said Sharkey.

Captured robots would not be difficult to reverse engineer, and could easily replace suicide bombers as the weapon-of-choice. "I don't know why that has not happened already," he said.

But even more worrisome, he continued, is the subtle progression from the semi-autonomous military robots deployed today to fully independent killing machines [PA: the obligatory SkyNet reference]...

Putting on my thinking cap, I can think of several reasons why terrorists aren't using "suicide bomber" robots.

  1. Morons are cheaper than robots
  2. You need skilled labor to build robots. AK-47 firing skills aren't all that portable
  3. You need a LOT of money, a lab, specialized materials, and lots of computer geeks to build a viable robots. Some Junkyard Wars contraption rattling down the streets of Baghdad or Paris strapped with a bomb vest tends to draw attention.
  4. Robots need to be transported. COP: "Nice bomb-bot you got in the back seat sir. Taking that shiny new beauty out for its first trial eh?"
I'm sure the rest of you morons can think of lots more reasons why Prof Sharkey is so perplexed terrorist bomb-bots haven't appeared in waves like Terminators.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 05:02 AM | Comments (52)
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February 27, 2008

Clinton Strategist Must Be "Reality-based"
— Gabriel Malor

So Clinton isn't going to bow out as gracefully as I predicted last week. I still think she's going to withdraw on March 4th or 5th because it's unlikely that she'll have any reason to carry on once the day's delegates are counted up. But if her performance at last night's debate is any gauge, she is going to be whiny, petulant, and downright scary on her way out the door.

Part of her problem may be that she's surrounded herself with people like strategist Harold Ickes, who shared this appraisal of the situation yesterday:

"We're on the way to locking this nomination down," he said of a candidate who appears, if anything, headed in the other direction.

"We think we are on the verge of our next up cycle," he reported, even suggesting the apparent impossibility that Clinton "may be running even" with Obama when all the contests are over. "This race is very close," he judged. "This is tight as a tick."

"For the love of God, we can't say there's not much chance here," Ickes maintained.

The first step is admitting you have a problem, Harold. I'm honestly baffled by what this guy is seeing that I'm not. To win, some very unlikely things would have to happen:

Clinton must win the remaining primaries and caucuses by large percentages.
Because the Democrats are awarding delegates proportionally, she cannot retake the lead without beating Obama by a very large percentage of voters in each state. Given his likely wins in Texas next week and North Carolina in May, that percentage is somewhere above 70%. No one in this race has won a contest by that much...except Obama (Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Virgin Islands, D.C.). In fairness I suppose, Clinton won Arkansas with a tenth of a percentage point more than 70%.

Clinton could convince the vast majority of remaining undeclared superdelegates to support her.
This one is simple. Only 100 or so votes separate the candidates right now. 371 superdelegates have yet to pick a candidate. If she gets most of them, she takes the lead.

There are two problems here: first, though she started the race with greater superdelegate support and she still has more declared superdelegate supporters, they have been trending away from her for about two weeks now. Second, these folks aren't idiots; they're still largely undecided because they want to back the eventual winner. More than that, they rely for their power and relevance on the continuance of the Democratic Party. They're not going to do anything that would lead to a crack-up, like "stealing" an election, for example.

Clinton could arrange to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations using the results of their flawed primaries.
This isn't a sure win for Clinton: she only gains 99 net votes and 55 Michigan delegates could still chose to support Obama. In fact, it's likely that many of those 55 votes would pick Obama because these are the delegates selected by the "Uncommitted" protest voters. So she'd still need to get some new superdelegate supporters or win some primaries with stellar percentages.

As far as I can tell, this contest is done. Clinton's going to lose the delegate count in Texas for sure and it's looking more and more likely that she's going to lose the popular vote, too. In any case, it's going to be close in what Bill Clinton called a "must-win" state. Ohio and Pennsylvania were supposed to be double-digit wins for her. Polls in both states show that the gap has narrowed to about 5%.

I suppose she could carry on Huckabee-style after even Ickes realizes that she won't win, but I don't see the point.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 11:41 PM | Comments (31)
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— Ace

Pounding the pale, yielding moon like a pair of angry pistons:

Scientists are priming two spacecraft to slam into the moon's South Pole to see if the lunar double whammy reveals hidden water ice.

The Earth-on-moon violence may raise eyebrows, but NASA's history shows that such missions can yield extremely useful scientific observations.

"I think that people are apprehensive about it because it seems violent or crude, but it's very economical," said Tony Colaprete, the principal investigator for the mission at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. "But, in answer to your unstated question, yeah, all of us really need to get laid. We need to get seriously bent and fast. The next mission we have planned is giving Mars a 'rimmer' and I don't even know what that means."

That last quote may not be authentic.

Thanks to adam.

Posted by: Ace at 08:18 PM | Comments (27)
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Michael Bloomberg Decides to Hang On to His Money
— Dave in Texas


I'm only posting this for the leftist goofwads who are shitting a brick over Nader.

I was hoping to hear Randi Rhodes rip on Ralph this year, but something tells me he's not doing the interview again.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 06:18 PM | Comments (37)
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So you'd like to know who all those annoying assholes are eh?
— Purple Avenger

This site keeps track of telemarketers and bill collectors. Some telemarketing asshats have been calling me 10 times a day for over a month now. This site allowed me to find out who they are.

Its gotten very bad lately. Apparently the Federal "don't call" list ain't for shit anymore. I won't answer the phone unless it rings at least 8 times. Most of the dickheads give up after six, I'm only seen one that persisted to 7 rings.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 04:56 PM | Comments (36)
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An Inconvenient Coldening: Record-Breaking 12-Month Global Temperature Plunge Wipes Out Nearly All of "Dangerous, Permanent" Rise in Temperatures over the Last Century
— Ace


Drive the SUV a couple of extra times around the block, kids.

And start killing and burning hobos by the truck load, to release all that sweet, sweet CO2 "sequestered" in their stinking tramp-bodies.

CO2 is no longer "The Invisible Killer."

Heretofore CO2 will be known as "The Sun's Little Helper."

Over the past year, anecdotal evidence for a cooling planet has exploded. China has its coldest winter in 100 years. Baghdad sees its first snow in all recorded history. North America has the most snowcover in 50 years, with places like Wisconsin the highest since record-keeping began. Record levels of Antarctic sea ice, record cold in Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Mexico, Australia, Iran, Greece, South Africa, Greenland, Argentina, Chile -- the list goes on and on.

No more than anecdotal evidence, to be sure. But now, that evidence has been supplanted by hard scientific fact. All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

...The total amount of cooling ranges from 0.65C up to 0.75C -- a value large enough to wipe out nearly all the warming recorded over the past 100 years. All in one year's time. For all four sources, it's the single fastest temperature change ever recorded, either up or down.

Scientists quoted in a past DailyTech article link the cooling to reduced solar activity which they claim is a much larger driver of climate change than man-made greenhouse gases. The dramatic cooling seen in just 12 months time seems to bear that out. While the data doesn't itself disprove that carbon dioxide is acting to warm the planet, it does demonstrate clearly that more powerful factors are now cooling it.

The article goes on to note that cold is more damaging, both to animals and human prosperity and happiness (as if that last one matters, huh?), than warmth.

Well, fuckin' duh, huh?

Stupid goddamned motherfuckers. I can't wait to hear the spin.

And to hear, inevitably, that the models were "slightly off" and it turns out excesss CO2 cause Ice Ages, not hothouses. Different models, different theories... but the conclusion is always the same: Human industry and even existence itself is a scourge that must be eliminated before we all melt to death/freeze to death/suffer in dangerously-lukewarm seasonal
"sweater weather" to death.

Icy Skull pic borrowed from TShirtStudio.com.


If only there was some heat source that you could trace this to. . .

It would have to be massive, though. On the order of our own sun.

Or at least approximately the size of Rhode Island.

Everything's approximately the size of Rhode Island. For very large values of "approxmately."

Posted by: Ace at 02:41 PM | Comments (136)
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Rejected Baby Names
— Russ from Winterset

As Ace just noted earlier, my wife Janis and I are expecting our first child in April. She's been bugging me to help her pick out a name, but I've been putting it off. Why? I don't know. Picking a name is a big thing, and I want to take it slow & do it properly. What I have done is make up a short list of what NOT to name our firstborn. We've made a decision that we don't want to know the sex of the baby until he/she is born, so my list is unisex.

1. Any names from the Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings movies and books are right out. Just because there will be a legion of emptyheaded modern day hippies naming their kids Arwyn or Hagrid or even Frodo, and I don't want to be associated with them.

2. I've also eliminated any Girl's names that come from Disney movies. Jasmine? Ariel? Belle? Did they get these names from the "starting lineup" at the Spearmint Rhino? It's hard enough to keep a daughter from getting pornified in today's culture, I don't see why I should give her a stripper name to push her down that road prematurely.

3. Barak. We're too pasty to get away with that one, plus the politics are all wrong.

4. I might be tempted to give "junior" my first name (HINT: My first name isn't Russ, because I go by my middle name), but only as a middle name. Just to keep with continuity.

5. We're not going to name our kid for a sports figure. I've joked with my wife that we'll name our kid "Ellis" for Ellis Hobbs III, the starting cornerback for the Patriots who played at ISU (where Janis & I both went to school), but I hope she understands that it's just a joke. Don't get me wrong, if I HAD to name a boy after Ellis Hobbs, it would be the best athlete role model I could choose, but naming your kid after an athlete, unless he's related to you distantly, is pretty pathetic, IMHO.

6. There are a few boys names that would set you up for daily beatings after PE class. For example, back in high school I met a guy named "Sasha" at the American Legion Boy's State weeklong campout, and all I could think was "Dude, your parents named you after a Russian Duck!" Any boy's name we choose will definitely be pre-reviewed to eliminate any obvious ridicule.

7. There are a few names that I associate with a-holes from my past, both male & female. It's selfish, but I'm not going to use a name from someone that I don't have at least neutral feeling about. That's just the way I roll.

One interesting fact that you don't know about me yet: My ancestor left the Amish community four generations ago, (great, great grandfather), so I've got a whole bunch of Old Testament names to choose from that come from my actual ancestors. My current favorite Amish name? Moses. It just sounds so "pimp" to have a youngun named after the guy who dropped frogs on his enemies and parted the Red Sea. The downside: unless Baby from Winterset grows up to play Power Forward, the name might not fit him properly. But Hey! I've got generations & generations of Amish names to sort through, so we might incorporate one of those with a family name from Janis' side.

Posted by: Russ from Winterset at 12:01 PM | Comments (262)
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Weird: True Account of Some Strange Shit That Went Down In Russia a Half Century Ago
— Ace

Put up with this guy's written throat-clearing as he blathers on about what kind of horror stories he likes.

Because when he gets to the actual True Tale of Terror, it's actually pretty interesting. And weird.

Oh, it's not the weirdest thing I've ever heard. I'd have to say Big Brother idiot-slash-dirty-whore Nan's tale of the Raiders of the Lost Tampon takes that prize.

But it is news you can use, at least use for your retarded role-playing games.

Thanks to Jiggity.

Posted by: Ace at 11:56 AM | Comments (54)
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Obama's Secretary of Defense Pick? Gary Busey
— Ace

He's got that Rumsfeldian contempt for the press.

But the reporter here is 11 years old. Bear that in mind.

Well, when he's commanding our armed forces, we can at least take solace that he won't be giving any shout-outs to Iran.

From Gawker, which notes he was "visibly intoxicated," as if there's some way to tell the difference if Gary Busey has been drinking Jegermeister or Yoohoo.

Thanks to Andy Levy.

Oh by the way, tonight's Gregalogue on Red Eye will be about that casting call for people with the "inbred" look. I shot that over to Levy figuring, what the hell, Gutfeld can't talk about strippers every show.

Or... can he?

What The Hell? That inbred casting call? Forget it. It's been canceled, I guess because it's insensitive to genetic monstrosities or something.

I imagine that Gutfeld will still do the Gregalogue on it, because if he's the sort of guy I think he is, once he writes something he's not doing that ten minutes of excruciating work all over again.

Posted by: Ace at 11:28 AM | Comments (13)
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McCain Goofs On The Magic Messianic Negro For Iraq Gaffe
— Ace

I confess I'm not a Biblical scholar, but I don't remember ever hearing that we would know the Messiah by his Divine Imbecility.

epublican presidential hopeful John McCain mocked Democrat Barack Obama on Wednesday for saying he would take action as president "if al-Qaida is forming a base in Iraq."

"When you examine that statement, it's pretty remarkable," McCain told a crowd in Tyler, Texas.

"I have some news. Al-Qaida is in Iraq. It's called `al-Qaida in Iraq,'" McCain said, drawing laughter at Obama's expense.

Obama quickly answered back, telling a rally at Ohio State University in Columbus, "I do know that al-Qaida is in Iraq."

"So I have some news for John McCain," he added, saying there was no al-Qaida presence in Iraq until President Bush invaded the country.

1, Bullshit, 2, Irrelevant, as we are discussing this fucking retard's plan to only invade/re-invade Iraq if Al Qaeda should show up in Iraq. Which he now concedes is not so much an if but an is.

So his position is:

1) I'll fight in Iraq if Al Qaeda tries to set up a base there.

2) I do know Al Qaeda is trying to set up a base there.

3) Ergo, I will pull out troops until condition 1 is satisfied, which, actually, it already is (see premise 2), thus requiring me to fight in Iraq, but I'm surrendering, which makes no sense at all but MoveOn.org told me to do it.


Throughout the primary season, McCain has repeatedly attacked Obama and Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton for saying they would withdraw troops from Iraq.

"And my friends, if we left, they (al-Qaida) wouldn't be establishing a base," McCain said Wednesday. "They'd be taking a country, and I'm not going to allow that to happen, my friends. I will not surrender. I will not surrender to al-Qaida."

He said that withdrawing troops would be "waving the white flag."


Who knew -- to heal this country's wounds, we all just need 300cc's of low-grade mental retardation.

Thanks to Jay.

Posted by: Ace at 11:13 AM | Comments (54)
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Turkey Tries Its Hand At Reforming Islam, Eliminating Dubious (and Vile) Hadiths and Adding "Context" to Others
— Ace

Islam is political; it's about time politics pushed back.

Some room for optimism. The nutjobs will shriek, but perhaps the next generation...

Turkey is preparing to publish a document that represents a revolutionary reinterpretation of Islam - and a controversial and radical modernisation of the religion.

The country's powerful Department of Religious Affairs has commissioned a team of theologians at Ankara University to carry out a fundamental revision of the Hadith, the second most sacred text in Islam after the Koran.

The Hadith is a collection of thousands of sayings reputed to come from the Prophet Muhammad.

As such, it is the principal guide for Muslims in interpreting the Koran and the source of the vast majority of Islamic law, or Sharia.

But the Turkish state has come to see the Hadith as having an often negative influence on a society it is in a hurry to modernise, and believes it responsible for obscuring the original values of Islam.

It says that a significant number of the sayings were never uttered by Muhammad, and even some that were need now to be reinterpreted.

Commentators say the very theology of Islam is being reinterpreted in order to effect a radical renewal of the religion.

Its supporters say the spirit of logic and reason inherent in Islam at its foundation 1,400 years ago are being rediscovered. Some believe it could represent the beginning of a reformation in the religion.


Significantly, the "Ankara School" of theologians working on the new Hadith have been using Western critical techniques and philosophy.

They have also taken an even bolder step - rejecting a long-established rule of Muslim scholars that later (and often more conservative) texts override earlier ones.

"You have to see them as a whole," says Fadi Hakura.

"You can't say, for example, that the verses of violence override the verses of peace. This is used a lot in the Middle East, this kind of ideology.

"I cannot impress enough how fundamental [this change] is."

In: Reason; "Islam equals peace"

Out: Female genital mutilation; the demand that uncovered meat not travel alone, stirring the cats

Read the whole thing.

Posted by: Ace at 10:56 AM | Comments (34)
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