It is a dark and stormy afternoon here in Ann Arbor, and as I prepare for my fly-over of the psychosphere, I am grateful that the blogs I am about to visit have such helpful navigational aids! All are beacons of psychological clarity and common sense, so let us l do a few touch and go's and see what ideas are being illuminated in my favorite mental health blog.
We'll start out at GM's Corner, where GM has written a must-read post about "A Certain Darkness of the Heart" that describes a group of people that have decided that their way to salvation is jihad and martyrdom. He notes:
Part of the current political divide in this country over the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism, between those who support the "pull out" crowd or at least support something similar and those who support the effort in Iraq and continuing the war on terrorism is the degree to which the individual, clique, political party or tribe see the threat of islamofascism.
Siggy, meanwhile focuses on being "home for the holidays" and what that means, in a three-part series, here, here and here:
If there is one great failing of our ever expanding ideal of bringing freedom to those who have been deprived of that gift, it is the American predilection for efficiency.
We go around the world touting democracy- and we display the fruits of our freedoms as shiny trinkets, as if somehow, democracy can be reduced to an ideology of materialism and consumption. Fast food, movies, and other ostentatious displays of consumerism are used to bedazzle and impress those to whom such luxuries are unknown.
We live in a society where all hungry people have to do relieve hunger is pick up the phone and say, “I’m hungry.” Not only is food available, but you can have it delivered- any kind of food you like. It is no wonder that it is the materialism and consumption mesmerizes people. They do not see or understand the freedom that made that possible. On a darker note, they do not see the work and effort, the blood sweat and tears, that went into creating that society. Too many believe the riches come easily. Culture is ubiquitous and visible- values very much less so.
Meanwhile over at ShrinkWrapped ponders on the immorality of fighting a war morally:
Israel, by behaving morally, is guaranteeing more Israeli deaths and genuinely risking the destruction of the Jewish state. This is the height of immorality and the Israeli leadership seem to be unaware that their aspirations to civilized behavior are not only dangerously corrupt, but risk the worst imaginable outcomes.
The dilemma shared by Israel and America is just this: If by fighting morally, we cannot win a limited war, we create the conditions which will ensure the fighting of an unlimited war.
Neo-neocon is concerned with the obvious imperialist ambitions of the jihadis, and how the political left gives them the proverbial PC pass from scrutiny:
Islamist jihadists have been from the start a pan-Islamic movement, and Islam covers a lot of territory already. They also have a beachfront among the Muslim population of the Western world, and can attract a certain number of followers there for perpetrating inside jobs. In addition, of course, there is the fact that the movement is based on, and feeds off, a religion rather than a "mere" political movement, and therefore is not really of this world--which gives it a far more powerful draw, and far more powerful weapons to use: eternal reward, and war for the glory of God.
But its blatant and domineering imperialism, whose goal (among other things) it to destroy human freedom and all the wonders of the Enlightenment, is minimized or virtually ignored by the Left for the most part (or even tacitly supported, as a foil to Western imperialism, capitalism, whatever "ism" offends the Left) because of its third world origins. The Left follows the rules of the PC Commandments (and if you don't recall them, now would be a good time for a quick review).
And tying this all together with the concept of the "ego ideal" as it pertains to individuals, cultures, and nations, Gagdad Bob has this to say:
One of the problems we face in our war against leftist fundamentalism and radical Islam is that we have entirely different and irreconcilable ego ideals. In the case of Islam, their political and religious ego ideal is the same man. But by the standards of the West, Mohammed was not a model worthy of emulation, at least exoterically speaking.
One of the baleful effects of the secular left has been to “deconstruct” and undermine the heroic and virtuous ego ideals who have always guided the United States. You know the tedious drill -- the founding fathers were just slave holders or self-interested businessmen. Instead of celebrating Lincoln’s or Washington’s birthdays, we merely have “President’s Day,” which is to conflate a quasi-divine being like Abraham Lincoln with a creepy, sanctimonious, petty, egomaniacal, and morally reprehensible weasel such as Jimmy Carter.
But this type of moral “leveling” is always at the heart of the leftist project, because it goes hand in hand with the assault on standards of any kind.
We arrive at Assistant Village Idiot's blog, where he has a round-up of recent discussions of women in Islam:
I have no opinion on whether there is something inherent to Islam which perpetuates devaluing women. Many claim so. I know little from personal experience, but the behavior of American Muslims would suggest that improving status for women is possible. The behavior of Muslims in Europe recently has many darker passages, and in Muslim countries, reports continue to be grim. I recommend the following three articles, heartbreaking as they are.
I check out his recommendations, then head over to Dr. Helen's, where she appropriately wonders
why some sites place a warning on the video of Michael Richard's statements as if people's ears are too sensitive to hear those words but no one places a warning on the Huffington Post when a writer prays for the death of Dick Cheney.
I have to return now to home base at Dr. Sanity , but be sure to spend some time at each of the psychbloggers we visited today, and read what they have to say.
They are all beacons of blinding reality in a frequently foggy and confusingly stormy world.