Friday’s Random Roundup

Here’s a couple of news stories and odd stuff I’ve found on the Internet this week:

- What is “multiculturalism”, anyway? See, I don’t mind “celebrating diversity”, so long as that celebration takes place within the framework of the majority culture. That’s why I laugh at people who complain about “them thar Mezzicans, not speakin’ the Anglish”: you could easily have said that a century ago about the Italians and the Irish. “Them thar Mezzicans” came to the US for a better life. They’ll have kids here one day. Those kids will speak Spanish at home, but English almost everywhere else. And then they’ll have kids, and those kids will speak English almost exclusively, except for a few scattered phrases here and there… just like how the grandkids of Italian immigrants speak only English, except for a few words like “paisan” or “mangia mangia”. So, needless to say, I find it downright alarming that Muslims in the UK feel empowered enough to start creating “sharia zones”, where drinking, smoking, drug taking, prostitution, gambling, music concerts, commercial banking and “free mixing between the sexes” are prohibited. How could Britain allow people with views incompatible with Western culture immigrate to the UK? Why would people who despise Western culture want to move there? Is it all well and good to accept the fruits of the British economy, but reject wholesale British culture?

- Speaking of Muslims, there’s an island in French Polynesia called Tematangi that is almost exactly opposite the globe from Mecca. Since Muslims are required to follow qibla (to face Mecca when praying), Tematangi makes it all kinds of complicated to do that.

- And speaking of “multiculturalism”, England’s local government is provided by councils, which vary in size based on the  population. In London, each borough (except for the City of London) has a council. In smaller cities, a council might be similar to an American city council. In rural areas, they might be more like a “county commission”. Anyway, the liberal area of Brighton and Hove elected England’s first Green Party council recently, and one of the first things the newly-empowered Greenies tried to do was have “Meat-Free Mondays” in the city worker’s cafeteria. It didn’t go over well.

- One more “multiculturalism” issue: liberals insist that there’s no such thing as a “liberal bias” in the mainstream media. However, it sure is interesting that the New York Times referred to Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist, as a “gun-loving,” “right-wing,” “fundamentalist Christian” who was opposed to “multiculturalism” in multiple articles online and in print. Yet, at the same time, the paper has not once referred to Nidal Malik Hasan (the Ft. Hood shooter) as a Muslim. In fact, the only hint the Times gave that Hasan might be Mulsim was that he was quoted as shouting “Allahu Akbar!” when shooting. But there’s no liberal bias, right?

- A few quick science stories: the Higgs Boson particle, one of the great mysteries of modern physics, might have been found. HIV treatment in Africa is getting so good that life expectancy is almost back to normal. And the NHS, Britian’s national health service, might have come up with a nifty way to cut waiting times: by just letting sick people die.

- And lastly, Musee Grevin in Paris just unveiled a wax statue of Brad Pitt. It’s not creepy at all.

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