Agam's Gecko
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

never seem to be able to write as much, or as often as I'd like here. Consequently many of the good articles I find and want to share with readers, pile up in a "to-do" list with the intention of extracting them later and writing posts around them. And so the backlog of stuff that's too good not to share, gets longer and still waits to be posted. I've never much liked the term "link dump" -- even though that's exactly what it is, and the expression seems firmly a part of the bloggers' vernacular now. Even less do I favour the pretentious-sounding "Tuesday Evening Quick Hits!" type of headline.

So welcome to Gecko Droppings, which will likely become a recurring rubric around here. It won't be as crappy as it might sound -- geckos are very tidy, and one rarely finds their droppings anywhere around the house. Until you have to move that old fridge or bureau that's been there for like, ever. Gecko eggs, now that's a different story. Rummaging through an infrequently accessed socks drawer for example or a junk-filled desk will often turn up one or two little white eggs (about the size of your pinky fingernail). But "Gecko Eggs" just doesn't suit the genre, so droppings it is.

Blunder Twin Resigns: First for an update on the story in my last post (and I do hope you afforded yourselves the enjoyment of Masterpiece Hot Air Theatre and The Pandagon Papers). Luckily, I had referred to the "rumour" that candidate Edwards was about to fire his two new unhinged blogresses. Actually Salon was reporting it as a done deal at the time, but the following day they were "un-fired" even though His Silkiness himself claimed he was also offended by their bigoted writings. But everyone deserves a second chance, a laudable sentiment.

So Amanda, between binges of censoring dissenting opinion on the Edwards blog, went right out and posted another embarrassing screed on her own yesterday. And then she promptly resigned from the Edwards campaign, vowing, "So it's on." After her contrition of a few days earlier, when she claimed that her years of loony-toons ranting was just "satire" and she didn't really mean any of it literally, now "it's on." Whatever "it" is. Goldstein has the particulars, and as usual he zeroes in on the real issue in all this (and he did not want her to lose her job). The nutty-roots will now turn its guns on Silky (follow some of the links in Jeff's post), amid bellowing accusations that quoting someone's own words is a "smear." Hmmm, I'd like to see how that would be applied across the board, non-partisan like.

Islands in the War: The indispensable Wretchard of The Belmont Club traveled to the southern Philippines for Pajamas Media, and produced an excellent two part series on the long war between the Philippine Republic and the Moros -- Islands in the War: Part 1 and Part 2. Very high quality reporting here, going into the history of the conflict as well as the current state of affairs. He includes some video and plenty of great photos.

And a very useful companion piece to go along with this, is an exploration of the origins of Islamic radicalism in Indonesia, spurred by the "Arabization" of what used to be a broadly syncretic and tolerant Muslim culture in that country, by Baladas Ghoshal on a news and security issues site called Madrid11.net. This article is very useful for anyone wishing to understand Indonesia today.

Hizb Ollywood?: Fauxtography in the Jihad, exposed by Lebanese bloggers. Michael Totten had the details a couple of weeks back. See how jihad photoshopping works, and the source images (one of which was swiped from another staged photo-op during last summer's Hizb - Israel war, and published in a US newsmagazine).

A Real Martyr: Michael Yon, the best front-line reporter in Iraq today visits a small village north of Mosul, where a local man saved many lives just before the Ashura celebrations last month. The suicide pig wore a burqa to hide his bomb. The alert Martyr embraced death because he loved life. The Hands of God.

A Liberal Iraq: Iraqi parliamentarian Mithal al-Alusi believes it can be done. Another courageous Muslim, our most important allies in this struggle, he believes his country's future is in democracy, liberalism (in the classic sense) and secularism. Meet him with Bret Stephens, in OpinionJournal.

The Softest Voice That Ever Brought Down an Ideological Tyranny: Christopher Hitchens spends some time with a wonderful character whom I was completely unfamiliar with, Robert Conquest. Now in his 90's, and not slowing down a bit by the sounds of it, he's another one of those honourable "friends of the good left." Anti-Sovietchik No. 1

Little Mosque: I was curious to see what the CBC would do with its new weekly comedy show, Little Mosque on the Prairie, and luckily a number of people have been YouTubing it for those of us not in the Great White North. I've seen 4 episodes now, and it seems to be improving. In the beginning it seemed in danger of being too cute or overly PC, but as the characters develop (and the writers relax a bit), it shows promise. I liked episode 3 the best so far. It's producing interesting debate among Muslims too, as you can see on the Little Experiences … blog. The blogger makes the YouTubes available on the site as well, but I found the last ones were recorded with very low volume and not watchable. This YouTube user is also recording the shows, and other sources can be found with a search.

Site Notes: Readers will have noticed a few weeks back that I added Snap Previews to the site. An upgrade to the service now allows people who find it irritating, to switch it off. When the preview balloon opens, click on "options" in the top right corner. You can adjust to your preferences, or switch it off altogether.

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