Look, I'm opposed to burning books; I'm practically a bibliophibian myself and when first I read Fahrenheit 451, I didn't think it was science fiction or social commentary, I thought it was a horror story.
But if you own 'em, you can burn 'em.
There's a big fuss in the oldstream media -- and likely some parts of the blogosphere, too -- about Rev. Terry Jones, minister in Florida (sanctimonious Big Network article about him) who's fixin' to have a Koran bonfire. It has provoked reactions ranging from predictable -- various Islamic groups expressing outrage, the easily-roused rioting in the street here and there in the Third World, the usual chorus of fools wailing about intolerance -- to the surprising: General Petraeus warning it "could endanger U. S. troops." (Soldiers, hostages, sausages, it's all so confusing to officers these days...).
Lost in the noise is the fact this wouldn't be a story without the noise. We're talking about a church in Gainesville, Florida with fifty members (and no word on how many of them attend every Sunday). If they were planning to burn a pile of
But thanks to the awesome inability of the Steam-Powered
"Asymmetrical warfare?" I'm pretty sure I know who's mastered that art at a more than Texas Ranger level of asymmetry. "One riot, one Ranger." One preacher, one planet. Or a big chunk of it, anyway.
Meanwhile, ABCNNBCBSTimesPost bewails the inflammatoriness of it all. Hey, if you really mean it, stop fanning the flames!
And Muslims: y'all can cherish and protect your own copies of your own Book every bit as much as you like, but here in the United States, we have not only got the Bill of Rights, we have (still) pretty good laws regarding property rights. If the minister or his church owns those books, they can burn them. Don't worry, you've got plenty more, not to mention schools full of young men memorizing the entire thing. Paranoid much?
(Elsewhere. Oh, yeah.)
1. "You keep using that word; I do not think you know what it means."
2. And not in a good way, either.
3. "It's distasteful," he sniffed, adding it is within the minister's rights. At least so far, ey, Mr. Mayor? I'm sure you're workin' on it.
4. I keep wondering if the good minister has stockpiled English translations, or the Arabic original? 'Cos any really good Muslim'll tell ya, if it's translated, it doesn't actually count as the Koran. Y'know, unless it works out better for 'em to do so....