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Post 0

Saturday, March 3, 2007 - 7:37pmSanction this postReply
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D'Souza's family are Catholic Indians from the Portuguese colony of Goa. This minority faces discrimination in India from m*slims and especially Hindu sectarians. The fact that his family has faced this type of persecution makes his stands less, not more understandable.

Ted Keer

(Edited by Ted Keer
on 3/03, 7:38pm)




Post 1

Saturday, March 3, 2007 - 8:19pmSanction this postReply
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Ted,

 

Because I respect your intelligence, I’ve taken away these valued tid-bits from your article:

  • Letters to a Young Conservative and End of Racism – don’t read
  • Books by D’Souza in general – don’t read
  • Christopher Hitchens’ Letters to a Young Contrarian – put it on the list to be read
  • Anna Deavere Smith's Letters to a Young Artist. – put it up high on the list to be read

(And please note that I do value reading recommendations and warnings)

 

But your call to discuss someone you just trashed and whose books I now have no interest in reading…. Why bother?

 

Am I missing a point or is it just a difference in what we like to respond to in this context?




Post 2

Saturday, March 3, 2007 - 9:31pmSanction this postReply
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I started this thread only to answer questions raised on the Air America thread where I had mentioned D'Souza in passing. I also would change the BUY AT AMAZON button to DON'T BUY AT AMAZON.

I would append your list to read, "read everything Hitchens has published, but his Letters to a Young Contrarian last, and not before other things on your list.

The only discussion I would like here would be either to hear positive reviews of the mullah's other works, or to be disproved in my claims. I have not one of the three books mentioned on hand, but believe what I have said is not groundless.

Ted

Oh, and I forgot. Hear the man's own words here on BOOKTV The same link will take you to an actually enjoyable interview with the very entertaining libertarian author P.J. O'Rourke. So do indeed follow the link, then go left for pleasure, or right for pain.




Post 3

Saturday, March 3, 2007 - 10:33pmSanction this postReply
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From the link to Amazon:
Pointing to Hillary Clinton, Britney Spears and Noam Chomsky, he decries those who have teamed up with Hollywood and the U.N. to foist an irreligious, sexually licentious, antifamily liberal culture—epitomized by Eve Ensler's play The Vagina Monologues and gay marriage initiatives—on a Muslim world that rightly reviles it.
From Publishers Weekly
...  by pressing for sexual freedom for women and gays through birth control, no-fault divorce, and support for gay marriage, has not only undermined American culture but also provoked the ire of religious conservatives in other nations, most prominently Islamic fundamentalists.
From Booklist
Sexuality and license were always high on my list of priorities ever since I was 16 amd my girlfriend and I read Atlas Shrugged...  In fact, when I hear of "family values" I always think of Thanksgiving at the Reardens.  I have no personal problems with talking vaginas or gays inheriting each others property.  I do have a problem with Islam, several in fact, beginning with the existence of God and passing through the assumption into heaven of Mohammed -- and remember: the Qu'ran has 25 references to Jesus, calling him the Son of God and God, and another dozen to Mary, calling her the Virgin Mary and the Mother of God.

Here are my favorite pin-up sites, the Hegre site, Body Mind, and Suicide Girls being the result of a thread posted to Solo before the cleavage (!) of RoR.

http://www.voyeurweb.com/
http://suicidegirls.com/
http://www.bodyinmind.com/
http://www.hegre-art.com/
http://www.superbeauty.org/
http://www.agentprovocateur.com/


I also agree that the war with Islam has less to do with our nipples and more to do with America's  bases in Saudi Arabia, otherwise, they would have attacked Amsterdam, not New York and Washington.  P. J. O'Roarke hit the nail on the head: the American military is the mercenary of the Sauds, a family that wants to dominate the area, but lacks an army of its own.  "What is the national anthem of Saudi Arabia? Onward, Christian Soldiers." -- P. J. O'Roarke.  This is has nothing to do with morality and everything to do with realpolitik.  Anyone who condemns "islamo-fascists" needs to identify the facts of reality: the American military is fighting on behalf of islamo-fascism, just as they fought to defend the USSR (international socialists) from the Germans (national socialists).




Post 4

Saturday, March 3, 2007 - 11:59pmSanction this postReply
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Mike, they have attacked in Amsterdam, with daggers. But there are no skyscrapers of world renown in Holland into which to fly jetplanes. Or am I confused? BTW this windmill is most likely not in Holland, but imagine it were, and a 747 flying into it.

Ted



Post 5

Sunday, March 4, 2007 - 6:26amSanction this postReply
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I read D'Souza's The End of Racism around 10 years ago and loved it.  I didn't necessarily agree with everything in the book (his religious reference to principle, for example), but was very impressed with the research and history contained, as well as how D'Souza managed to provide a context for many modern day ideas (and problems). 

I was hard pressed to find fault with his historical interpretations.  But I'm open to others who can.

If not for this book, the whole idea of "cultural relativism" would have been lost on me for quite a long while.  For opening that window, I am grateful to him.

Honestly, I thought the The End of Racism was incredibly interesting, despite a bit of unmistakable smirking toward the end. (Granted, some of the ideas he was smirking at DO NOT deserve respect, but I would have rather read hard, cold analysis. Just the facts, ma'am. D'Souza's personal attitude is only of interest to me when he makes plain that it is his own personal attitude, instead of trying to sweep it into the minds of readers. I didn't appreciate that much.)

It's amazing to me that this book is still being attacked, especially by those who have never read it.  During the "call in" segment of his interview on BOOKTV, most of the calls revolved around The End of Racism, and D'Souza's defense of it.  It's difficult to crunch on ignorance, as there is nothing of substance there.

Ted,

His End of Racism was based on a promising subject, but was overly smug and suffered from its ivory-tower author's isolation from the real world. D'Souza, of dark skin, acts as if he has faced real racism (I doubt it) and as if his skin color immunizes him from criticism.
I agree that it was sometimes smug, but certainly not "overly" so.  I have a sense that during his lifetime, D'Souza simply shrugged off overtly racist expressions imposed on him. Isn't it possible he just wasn't affected by them?
Isn't that how it should be?




Post 6

Sunday, March 4, 2007 - 7:23amSanction this postReply
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Ted Keer wrote:Mike, they have attacked in Amsterdam, with daggers. But there are no skyscrapers of world renown in Holland ...


One skyscraper, as tall as a church...

http://www.visitamsterdam.nl/

... but assassinations...

A Rightwing view
http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon_11_15_04td.html
A Leftwing view
http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2004/11/24/vangogh/index.html

Another aassination
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pim_Fortuyn

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 3/04, 7:25am)




Post 7

Sunday, March 4, 2007 - 7:33pmSanction this postReply
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My problem with the End of Racism was not that he made bad arguments, but just that he never went beyond common sense or what any Objectivist already knows. I bought the book due to its good reputation, and found it either trite or smug or just plain tedious. The book was not one that would "convince the enemy" and seemed to be no better than (poor) preaching to the choir. There were no facts with which I took exception, I just found the book in its second edition form to be a sort of self-congratulatory and sometimes unnecessarily provocative statement of the obvious.

Now, for something I did like, Anna Deavere Smith's one-person docu-drama-perfomance-piece "Fires in the Mirror" which was a tour de force, obviously by a person with a left-wing point of view, but not at all blindly partisan or ignorant of other points of view. Kind of the way the Simpsons used to be until recently, always poking fun at the foibles of both sides. Like Hitchens and other former hard leftists who have been mugged by Clinton and 9-11. Now the Simpsons is just another mediocre show that takes the left-wing, anti-Bush, anti-American view as sacrosanct.

We need more people taking the Hitchens route toward sanity. The recent corruption of the political right and the nonsense of Coulter and especially D'Souza is worse thany anything the left could do to discredit valid viewpoints.

Ted Keer



Post 8

Monday, May 14, 2007 - 8:43pmSanction this postReply
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I managed to find a copy of this title on sale for $7.00. I have read about half-way through. The book is extremely well written, and quite incisive in its criticisms - especially of the cultural left and its attitudes toward isl@mism and conservatism. It is also quite troubling in its equation of morality in general with traditionalist sexual mores. This equation is simply assumed without explicit stipulation or justification. The author speaks of "reason" in scare quotes - and of faith without a hint of concern. D'souza also manages to present the false alternatives of Christian fundamentalism and cultural leftism as the two opposing poles of Western ideology, dismissing libertarians with one mention in the first 94 pages. I have not yet gotten to the book's climax, where he will propose that conservatives and moderate m*slims make common cause under the anti-abortion, anti-homosexual, anti-pornographic umbrella of "cultural conservatism." The suspense is building and I feel as if I'm waiting for Jason Voorhees' revenant to emerge from the still, sun-lit surface of Crystal Lake.

Ted Keer



Post 9

Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 9:20amSanction this postReply
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While some here praised his End of Racism I always thought Dinesh D'Souza was a nutjob.





Post 10

Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 11:47amSanction this postReply
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Context - for its time, END OF RACISM was a good read, tho preferred Sowell's writings on the matter more informative... but yes, he certainly has shown to be a 'nutjob' since that time, especially with that latest waste of paper...



Post 11

Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 2:19pmSanction this postReply
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I sold my copy of The End of Racism. His overall arguments were fine. But there were some subtle, gratuitous, ignorant jabs that marred the work.



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