Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

Posts Tagged ‘evil’

A familiar refrain

Posted by Richard on January 5, 2017

Regarding the “mentally disabled” young man who was held captive, tortured, and beaten for 24-48 hours in Chicago, with some of the torture streamed live on Facebook, there’s this news:

CHICAGO — Chicago police don’t believe a man beaten in an assault broadcast live on Facebook was targeted because he was white despite profanities made by the accused assailants about white people and President-elect Donald Trump, a police spokesman said Thursday.

Charges are expected later in the day against four black suspects, Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told The Associated Press.

Repeatedly shouting “F*ck white people! F*ck Trump!” isn’t evidence of racial motivation, according to authorities.

I’m reminded of all the times that authorities have assured us that shouting “Allahu Akbar!” isn’t evidence of radical Islamist motivation.

And the establishment wonders why a large portion of the population views them with contempt.

UPDATE: Chicago PD has decided this was a hate crime after all. Under Illinois law, targeting someone because of either their race or their disability is a hate crime, so it’s not clear which they’re applying in this case. Note, however, that the video doesn’t record any of the perps shouting “F*ck retards!”

UPDATE 2: I should note that I’m not in favor of hate crime laws, especially not those that only apply to crimes against certain “protected classes” while ignoring hatred based on, for instance, nationality or profession. The depravity of these acts alone should be sufficient to warrant long prison sentences. That said, I think the motivation of the perps should be explored and discussed, and I think it’s fair to invoke it as an aggravating factor leading to a longer sentence; a perpetrator of violence motivated by hatred of a whole segment of society is more of a danger to the public than one motivated by a beef with a specific individual.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Celebrating the death of a murderer

Posted by Richard on July 25, 2009

At our breakfast gathering this morning, I told my compatriots about a joke Jimmy Fallon told regarding the probable killing of one of Osama bin Laden's sons. One person in the audience cheered, and a couple of people applauded. The rest sat in stony silence. A friend suggested that maybe they thought it wasn't appropriate to joke about the death of anyone.

I consider that explanation unlikely. I suspect that a significant percentage of the typical Jimmy Fallon audience considers slasher movies and Grand Theft Auto to be high entertainment. But it got me thinking. 

It's a common belief among Christians that all human life is sacred/valuable (many other religions/cultures share that belief, and some extend it to other creatures as well), and that therefore the death of even the vilest murderer or brutal tyrant should be mourned — or at least not celebrated.

I completely disagree. That belief shows a callous disregard for the murderer's future victims. When an al Qaeda leader is killed, how many people will not be blown up or shot, how many women and children will not be brutalized and subjugated, how many men will not be beheaded as a consequence of his death?

If you've studied free-market economics, you may be familiar with Frédéric Bastiat's essay, “What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen.” In it, he argued that we tend to focus on the immediate, intended consequences of an action (what is seen) and fail to recognize the later, unintended consequences (what is not seen). For instance, when the government allocates a few hundred billion dollars for "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects, we see the jobs created (they put up big signs at the project sites to make sure we do). But we don't see the goods that would have been purchased, the investments that would have been made, and the jobs that would have been created if the government had left that money in private hands instead of taxing or borrowing it away. 

I contend that the death of a murderer represents a moral issue analogous to Bastiat's principle of economics. You can see the lifeless body of a terrorist or serial killer (or at least the news reports) and recognize that a human life has been taken. But too often, you fail to see the lives that have been spared in the future as a consequence of his death.

Not me. I celebrate the deaths of barbarians like Saad bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — because I'm gladdened by the thought of the innocent victims, the honest and peaceful people, who will be spared because of their demise. And I unashamedly value the lives of the latter more than the lives of the former. Ridding the world of such evil men and preventing their future acts of violence is the noble, decent, civilized thing to do. It is virtuous and it is just.

If you still insist that all killing is always wrong, here's a thought experiment. You see a man with his knife raised, about to stab the chest of a helpless, bound woman. There is a gun at hand. What would you do? Would you shoot him, trading his life for hers?

Would you do nothing, because taking any life is wrong? Then she dies, and he can move on to the next victim.

If all human life is equally valuable, and pain and suffering are bad, maybe you should shoot her! Either way, someone dies, and (since you don't care who) you can at least spare her a more painful death. 

I would shoot him without hesitation, and if I succeeded, I'd be relieved and happy for her and for his future victims. The lives of honest, peaceful, innocent people are infinitely more valuable than the lives of murderous predators.

Likewise, I hope that Predator drone did take out Saad bin Laden, and I'm gladdened by the thought of the lives that will be spared as a result of his death. Making a joke or two at the scumbag's expense is not out of order.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wrong versus evil

Posted by Richard on September 3, 2008

So I'm sitting here enjoying an adult beverage and watching the talking heads analyze tonight's RNC speeches on Fox News, and some liberal talking head says that it's ironic that Lieberman, whom Republicans were so adamantly opposed to as a VP choice, got such a warm reception. And my reaction is, "No, it's not ironic! It's exactly in character!"

See, I'm one of those people that many of those RNC delegates would have serious policy differences with. But I know from experience that they'd describe me as wrong, but not evil.

And that's how the Republicans I know — and I suspect, the ones at the convention — are different from their Democratic counterparts. They might view someone as wrong on policy issues, but not judge them as evil.

They don't want Lieberman as the veep (too many policy differences), but they're ready and willing to embrace him as a McCain supporter. Because they don't condemn him as evil. Just wrong on some issues. He's more than welcome to be part of their campaign. Because he's not evil.

The Democrats I know think that anyone who opposes them on, say, environmental issues must want to poison the air and water. Anyone who opposes them on Iraq or treatment of detainees must want to torture and kill people. They're convinced that anyone who disagrees with them is evil. Bushitler! Halliburton! Cheney! Fascism! Theocracy!

The reason that I, as a libertarian, am much more comfortable among Republicans than Democrats is because they're much more tolerant and less judgmental. Really. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

“The men of Munich”

Posted by Richard on March 27, 2007

Newt Gingrich's March 26 column is about the people historian William Manchester called "the men of Munich" and their modern-day counterparts:

The news report came about mid-week. Maybe you saw it.

The Associated Press reported that terrorists in Iraq have passed an unthinkable threshold: They used two children to disguise a car bomb.

The car was waved through a checkpoint by American soldiers who could not imagine that children would be in a car filled with explosives. When the terrorists got to their target, they got out of the car and ran. They left the children behind in the car, and then blew it up.

There is a word for people who put children in a car to be blown up. The word is evil.

When I travel around the country speaking to groups of Americans, I often tell the story of a couple arrested last year in Great Britain. They were arrested on the suspicion that they were going to use their eight-month-old baby to smuggle a bomb onto an airplane. They were apparently going to disguise the bomb as baby food. And they were perfectly happy to kill their baby just as long as they killed some Americans in the process.

There is a word for people like this. The word is evil.

It's important that we say this out loud and that we render this moral judgment. Because if we fail to understand that our enemy is evil, we have failed to understand what we are fighting.

We are not used to adversaries who will kill young children — even their own children — just to get a chance to kill us. But we had better get used to it, because this is the level of seriousness in the threat we face — this is the level of its ferocity.

And yet I wonder if some of us are still not prepared to recognize and confront the evil of our enemies.

The rest is about what Gingrich calls "a suicidal inability to come to grips with evil." Go. Read.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Children’s crusade 2006

Posted by Richard on September 3, 2006

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) has posted translated excerpts from an investigative article in the Egyptian weekly Roz Al-Yusuf entitled "Hizbullah’s Children’s Militias." Hizbullah (I’ll follow MEMRI’s spelling here; these transliterations are pretty arbitrary anyway) has long had its Mahdi Scouts youth organization. The kids are trained to fight at an early age and ideologically indoctrinated ("The first lesson that the children are taught by Hizbullah is ‘The Disappearance of Israel,’ …"). But according to Roz Al-Yusuf, some of them are now armed and prepared for action:

According to Roz Al-Yusuf, "Hizbullah has recruited over 2,000 innocent children aged 10-15 to form armed militias. Before the recent war with Israel, these children appeared only in the annual Jerusalem Day celebrations, and were referred to as the ‘December 14 Units,’ but today they are called istishhadiyun [‘martyrs’]…"

"The children are selected by Hizbullah recruitment [officers] based on one criterion only: They must be willing to become martyrs."

According to the article, Na’im Qasim, deputy to Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, said in an interview on Radio Canada: "A nation with child-martyrs will be victorious, no matter what difficulties lie in its path. Israel cannot conquer us or violate our territories, because we have martyr sons who will purge the land of the Zionist filth… This will be done through the blood of the martyrs, until we eventually achieve our goals."

This is the organization that Western reporters write flattering stories about describing its social welfare, community relations, and rebuilding efforts. Have you seen any stories about its effort to create 10-year-old martyrs?

These are the people that liberal commenters and pundits think we should dialog, negotiate, and find common ground with. What should we negotiate and arrive at common ground about — a minimum age for suicide bombers? A compromise on how many of the "Zionist filth" are purged?

The other day, I heard someone on the radio suggest a "modest proposal" for the liberals who insist that negotiation and compromise are always preferable to war: The Islamists insist that we must all submit to their interpretation of sharia law or die. What if we offer them a compromise, meet them halfway, and agree to some aspects of sharia law? For instance, we could offer to deny women all legal rights and adopt the death penalty for homosexuality and adultery. Would the liberals agree that such a compromise is preferable to continued fighting? If not, how much of a compromise would be?
 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Saudi slaveholder sentenced

Posted by Richard on September 1, 2006

Hooray! Colorado’s notorious Saudi slaveholder, whose arrest and conviction I blogged about, was sentenced Thursday:

CENTENNIAL (AP) – A man convicted of sexually assaulting an Indonesian housekeeper and keeping her as a virtual slave was sentenced Thursday to 28 years to life in prison.

Homaidan Al-Turki, 37, denied the charges and blamed anti-Muslim prejudice for the case against him. He said prosecutors persuaded the housekeeper to accuse him after they failed to build a case that he was a terrorist.

Prosecutors and FBI agents said Al-Turki and his wife, Sarah Khonaizan, brought the woman to Colorado to care for their five children and to cook and clean for the family. An affidavit said she spent four years with the family in the suburban Aurora home, sleeping on a mattress on the basement floor and getting paid less than $2 a day.

Here’s the money quote from the story, though (emphasis added):

Al-Turki said he treated the woman the same way any observant Muslim family would treat a daughter.

"Your honor, I am not here to apologize, for I cannot apologize for things I did not do and for crimes I did not commit," he told the judge.

"The state has criminalized these basic Muslim behaviors. Attacking traditional Muslim behaviors was the focal point of the prosecution," he said.

That was a rare moment of openess, revealing the ugly, barbaric truth behind the civilized facade of the Saudi brand of Islam. Women are chattel, and men treat them — use them — like cows or goats.

I’m going to repeat yet again what I said last year and this past July because it can’t be said often enough:

Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, and radical Islam in general should be all the evidence anyone needs to demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of the leftist multicultural BS about no culture being better than any other. These people still defend and practice slavery, and we’re supposed to worry that making a jihadist uncomfortable might bring us down to their level??

Yes, we had slavery in this country. And our society is still paying the price today. But look at the historical context: Slavery existed and was accepted as normal in every human society throughout history — until the 18th century, when voices in the United States and Great Britain were raised against it. Those voices spoke of liberty and natural rights and free will, and they proclaimed slavery to be a moral outrage.

In a hundred years, those ideas and moral values had swept through the Western world and made people ashamed of a practice they’d accepted for thousands of years. Those ideas and values are part of — are fundamental to — Western culture. And, by damn, it IS morally superior to the barbaric 8th-century culture that still enslaves people, that declares women property, that flays people’s flesh for dancing, that imprisons Christians for praying in their homes, that saws people’s heads off with a dull knife for being Jewish.

No, it doesn’t bother me that interrogators at Gitmo may have failed to show sufficient respect for the beliefs of their jihadist captives. It bothers me that they haven’t expressed contempt for those barbarous beliefs.
 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Saudi slaveholder convicted

Posted by Richard on July 2, 2006

The Saudi slaveholder I wrote about just over a year ago was convicted in state court Friday:

ARAPAHOE COUNTY – Screams and sobs filled a packed courtroom Friday when a jury found a Saudi man guilty of keeping an Indonesian woman captive in his Aurora home and sexually abusing her.

"What did he do?" one of Homaidan Al-Turki’s daughters cried repeatedly as she was carried out of the courtroom over the shoulder of a male supporter of the defendant.

Al-Turki, 37, was convicted of 12 felony counts of unlawful sexual contact with use of force, one felony count of criminal extortion and one felony count of theft. He also was found guilty of two misdemeanors: false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit false imprisonment.

The original charges included rape and kidnapping, so the jury persuaded itself to reduce those for some reason. No matter. He faces from 96 years to multiple life sentences for these convictions. In October, he’ll face federal charges of forced labor, document servitude, and harboring an illegal immigrant that should net him another life sentence or two.

Al-Turki is a grad student at the University of Colorado and either works for (according to the news reports) or owns (according to Gates of Vienna and Militant Islam Monitor) a book publishing and translation company that specializes in books about Islam with an extremist Wahhabi perspective. According to Militant Islam Monitor, he also has ties to terrorist organizations and may be related to the Saudi royal family.

The fact that Al-Turki is a believer in the only faith I know of that still defends slavery apparently came up in the trial:

The defense also argued that prosecutors were engaged in "Islamaphobia" during the trial, putting emphasis on Al-Turki’s Muslim faith rather than on facts.

Friday, the courtroom was packed with Al-Turki’s supporters, many of them with the Colorado Muslim Society.

Ah, yes, the Colorado Muslim Society — it claims to represent "moderate Islam," and the local media buy into that claim, despite overwhelming evidence that it’s a Saudi-controlled, Wahhabi Sunni organization. I’m not surprised that its members were eager to demonstrate their support for their slave-owning friend. I wonder how many others in the organization keep an Indonesian "maid" imprisoned in the basement.

Coincidentally, an Egyptian couple just pled guilty to slavery charges in California.  In my post last year, I quoted Daniel Pipes’ contention that slaveholding among Saudis in the U.S. is probably fairly common, is aggressively supported by the Saudi government, and is largely ignored by our own government. Let’s hope that these two cases signal a less craven U.S. government attitude and are just the beginning of serious efforts to put a stop to these bastards.

I’m going to repeat what I said last year because it can’t be said often enough:

Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, and radical Islam in general should be all the evidence anyone needs to demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of the leftist multicultural BS about no culture being better than any other. These people still defend and practice slavery, and we’re supposed to worry that making a jihadist uncomfortable might bring us down to their level??

Yes, we had slavery in this country. And our society is still paying the price today. But look at the historical context: Slavery existed and was accepted as normal in every human society throughout history — until the 18th century, when voices in the United States and Great Britain were raised against it. Those voices spoke of liberty and natural rights and free will, and they proclaimed slavery to be a moral outrage.

In a hundred years, those ideas and moral values had swept through the Western world and made people ashamed of a practice they’d accepted for thousands of years. Those ideas and values are part of — are fundamental to — Western culture. And, by damn, it IS morally superior to the barbaric 8th-century culture that still enslaves people, that declares women property, that flays people’s flesh for dancing, that imprisons Christians for praying in their homes, that saws people’s heads off with a dull knife for being Jewish.

No, it doesn’t bother me that interrogators at Gitmo may have failed to show sufficient respect for the beliefs of their jihadist captives. It bothers me that they haven’t expressed contempt for those barbarous beliefs.

See also: Unspeakable evil

UPDATE: Al-Turki was sentenced on August 31.
 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Calling evil evil

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2006

Ralph Kinney Bennett at TCS characterizes perfectly the monsters who brutally tortured and killed Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker — and, in passing, those who ignore, excuse, or refuse to judge them:

This is the routine evil of those worse than beasts.

This is the routine evil that beheaded Daniel Pearl, and Nick Berg; that left Van Gogh dead on a street in Holland.

This is the routine evil that still wraps itself in the garb of a religion while leaving young students bound and shot beside their bus and innocent women and children blown to bits in the market place.

The routine evil that draws comfort from the ignorant maunderings of a Murtha or a Sheehan; that somehow escapes the diligent moral radar of Human Rights Watch.

The routine evil that finds shelter in partisan "talking points" about the war and the shameless babble of armchair thumbsuckers about "reciprocity" with Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo.

The routine evil of men with a vision of a world of subjugated women and mindless children, ignorant of all but blood and suicide and revenge.

This is the routine evil that dreams of cyanide gas in subways and thirsts for a nuclear weapon.

This is the routine evil that some still think can be embraced into civility, "brought into government," tamed away from its loathsome imperatives.

This is the routine evil that will not be ignored and must be exterminated.

Bravo.
 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »