Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Living with Cancer, Living with Islam

99 percent of Muslims are Muslims because their many times over great-grandfather was living in a village someplace when a group of men with swords marched in, and declared that they were all going to become Muslims now, or die horribly. Unless he was smart enough to get on board by being one of the men with the swords, and take home his share of the loot and slaves.

Today these people would be known as Muslim extremists. Back then they were just known as Muslims.

But there's a new Gold Rush in the West now as Western scholars, academics and politicians look around for something that isn't there-- a way to co-exist with Islam. Except it's not a Gold Rush but a Fool's Gold Rush, because when it comes to Islam, co-existence has never been on the table. Islam is a religion that from its earliest days was spread by the sword of Mohammed, and then by various Caliphs, Emirs, Sultans, assorted warlords and rulers.

Religions that spread like that are no more interested in achieving co-existence, than telemarketers are interested in Do Not Call lists. It puts them out of business. Even the current boom due to "interest in Islam" can be traced back to 19 Muslims flying several planes into two major US cities with a death toll in the thousands. Minus the planes and with a much higher death toll, that is generally how people get "interested" in Islam in the first place.

When Muslim leaders talk about co-existence, what they really mean is "Stop bombing us long enough to let us destroy you."

This of course hasn't stopped well meaning Westerners from trying to find ways to get along with cancer. Like living with Cancer, living with Islam is a dead end proposition. You either go for Chemotherapy or sooner or later you wind up lying face up on a steel table with a toe tag on your foot. Except in this case the toe tag will be a Koran.

Like Cancer, Islam is a devouring entity that exists to consume, leaving destruction and misery in its wake. You cannot live with it, your choices are to either die, or force it out of your body. The West has currently pushed Button 1 while assuming that any moment now, the Cancer will turn moderate, and become willing to talk about how it can be integrated with the rest of the body.

France has banned Hijabs, Holland is looking at immigration, America has selected a leader from a Muslim background, and Cancer is laughing its ass off at the whole spectacle. It knows all this is nothing more than one of the Kubler-Ross stages of death, and that the West is still stuck on Bargaining.

We'll give you complete equality, social services, a good deal of respect, a seat at the table, the privilege to censor anything that offends you and the right to beat and rape as many women as you want-- so long as you agree to be our friends. That kind of thing naturally doesn't work.

Giving people who already view you as subhuman, carte blanche to do whatever they want, isn't going to endear them to you. Just ask the Jews sitting in ghettos during WW2 and hoping that cooperating with the Nazis would avoid the worst from happening. Submission to people who already place no value on your life is death. When you do that you might as well take an ad out in the Dhimmi Personals Section.

There is of course such a thing as a Moderate Muslims, but moderate Muslims aren't a movement, they're just individuals who aren't very good Muslims-- much like Jews who eat Pork or Catholics who have abortions. There are plenty of both, particularly in well off countries where religion isn't a big deal anymore, but self-indulgence is. By no coincidence those are also the places you're likely to find moderate Muslims, whose moderation consists of not being very good Muslims.

You can co-exist with Moderate Muslims because they really do want most of the same things you do, a house in the suburbs, a steady paycheck and Cable TV. Of course then their sons head to a Madrassa in Pakistan, and next thing you know they're on the plane back with a box cutter.

And that's the problem with confusing self-indulgence with moderation. The pendulum on self-indulgence always swings back to the extreme sooner or later, just as it did in Iran, just as it will in Egypt. Prosperity always breeds discontent and disgust among the very sons of those who enjoy it. It certainly did in the West producing the likes of Lenin and Ayers.

The problem is that Western anti-materialists are socialists. Muslim anti-materialists are Muslims. And so while Socialists and Muslims do their best to shake hands, the Muslim has a dagger palmed in his hand. The socialist has a copy of Das Kapital in his. It wasn't even an even match in the early 20th century. It certainly isn't an even match now, as even a casual observer of the European scene can't help but notice.

While we think of Muslims as a cultural problem, they think of us as a demographic problem. We think the solution is teaching them to be moderate. They think the solution is teaching those of us who survive to be slaves. And guess who's currently ahead on points?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Only Moderately Evil

Valkyrie's arrival in theaters is only the latest entry in the "Good Nazi" genre, a liberal cinematic preoccupation that is symptomatic of liberalism's inability to come to terms with evil.

On the rare occasions that a film or TV show will depict Muslim Terrorists, there will almost invariably be a "good terrorist" who rejects the way of the "bad terrorists" and turns on them. The "Good Nazi" myth lives on.

Swap Communist for Nazi for Muslim, and you get the same results. When popular culture deals with evil, its creators time and time again think that the most important message to convey, is that evil people are basically good.

There are different sources for this mindset.

First and most basic there is naivete. Many forms of Denial are rooted in a Denial of Evil. If you can't believe that there is really such a thing as evil, the world seems like a much more hopeful place. And all that is required is understanding.

The other side is divided into a large camp of "moderates" who want the same things we do, an SUV, a home in the suburbs and a good job with health benefits. And then there are the unreasonable "extremists" who incite them into all sorts of misbehavior. Naturally the way to deal with the problem is to reach out to the moderates, which will defuse the extremists.

This sort of wishful thinking which was once a bit of fringe liberalism, is now the dominant understanding among the ranks of politicians and diplomats. It has long since become the policy of the Bush Administration.

To gauge just how bad things are now, if WW2 had been fought by 21st century rules, when Rudolf Hess flew to Scotland, instead of locking him up for life, Winston Churchill would have held a joint press conference with him, praised him as a moderate and encouraged Germans to reject the extremism of Hitler, and rally behind Hess.

Second, the perception of evil is colored by a left wing worldview. This worldview views evil within a class context, so that evil is a function of power and wealth held by the capitalist power structure.

Little wonder that in Hollywood's universe, the primary villains are usually wealthy white men. This left wing mindset makes it impossible for its carriers to even envision evil except within a capitalist context, or in someone scarred by the capitalist society into sociopathic behavior, which is why the serial killer remains such a favorite fictional character.

In this narrative, Osama Bin Laden may be evil, but his evil is only a lesser evil that derives from the White Male Capitalist power structure, namely the United States. It is why liberals will typically switch from discussing Osama Bin Laden to attacking America, a move that seems schizophrenic to normal people.

Communists before and after WW2 would follow the same approach, describing Hitler as a product of the Western Capitalist powers in general.

Capitalism is to the left, what Satanism is to certain religious fanatics, and their secular theology places it at the center of all evils. Talking about evil means focusing on individual choices. But the whole structure of the left's ideologies are dedicated to denying individual moral choice, in favor of viewing individual behavior as a subset of class and the larger society.

Third, sympathy for a cause plays a not insignificant role in promoting the myth of a moderate evil.

Liberals may not actually sympathize with the aims of Islamic terrorism, but they empathize with what they believe to be their grievances are. Just as Bush views Muslims as desiring nothing more than the Two Chickens in Every Pot that every idealized American wants-- liberals believe that Islamic terrorists share their Che fantasies and grievances against Western capitalism. Both fallacies confuse the part with the whole, and in doing so put the cart before the horse. Most Muslims want prosperity, but on different terms than Americans. Islamic terrorists want to see the West burn, but aside from a hatred for American military power, their grievances and long term objectives are very different from those of liberals.

Liberals however continue to project their own perceptions on Muslims, struggling to portray them as moderates, because their own extremism causes them to empathize with even Islamic terrorism, seeing them as more akin to Black Panthers, than a conquering force bent to uproot every tenet and premise of a liberal society.

Fourth, when your own cause is evil and brings evil results, pretending that evil doesn't exist is a convenient form of denial.

The people who sang the praises of Communism, and were all too willing to conduct Anti-War rallies against any war with Nazi Germany, and who today sing the praises of Islamism, need a way to hide from their own atrocities and the millions of victims they played a part in murdering.

Western liberalism may not have dug any mass graves, but time and time again they held the shovels for those who did. What exactly is the difference between wearing a T-shirt with Himmler on it and wearing a T-shirt with Che on it?

There really isn't one, except in the minds of liberals, who had Hitler chosen to skew his form of National Socialism, closer to the Socialist than the National, would have been happy to sing his praises, as they did for Koba the Dread, who piled heaps of skulls to match the Butcher of Berlin.But evil doesn't go away. Were the liberals who flew to Iraq to serve as Human Shields for Saddam, sincere and misguided, or was it a case of evil coming to aid evil? In the case of the Dunham Torture Dems , who served as an Iraqi Human Shield, only to be charged with rape and torture back in the states... that question has an answer. But not only in that particular case.

Evil is evil, and it is those who practice evil that have the greatest motive for denying that evil even exists.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Terrorists are Always the Victim

Want to open fire on a passing family sedan? How about setting off a bomb in a crowded pizzeria? How about beating in a 4 year old girl's head with a rock? Or hijacking a jet plane and flying it into a crowded skyscraper killing thousands?

If you're a terrorist, the one thing you can count on is always being the victim.

Shoot, stab, bomb, kill, maim and massacre-- but when your victims get tired of taking it and come after you, they'll be the bad guys and you'll be the victim.

It's easy, just run to a populated area where you have plenty of supporters and hide. After the raid meant to take you out is over, grab a body, hold it up to the cameras and scream that you're the victim. And if that fails and you actually get captured and stuck in a cell somewhere, the moment they let you see a lawyer or reporter, scream that you're been tortured and abused-- because when you're a terrorist, you're always the victim.

When the terrorist kills, his victims are told that they brought it on themselves. When the terrorist becomes the hunted, he's suddenly an object of pathos and pity.

Columnists pen fiery screeds about the soulless military minds who could describe civilian casualties are collateral damage. Naturally terrorists never talk about collateral damage, because killing civilians is the whole point of terrorism. The only people who talk about collateral damage are soldiers who have not set out to kill civilians.

Entertainers, who you can be certain never bothered to condemn a single terrorist attack or offer a helping hand to the survivors stuck with crippling injuries for life, suddenly begin speaking about how awful this whole violence thing is, and wonder why we can't all just live in peace. As if anyone was disturbing their Beverly Hills mansions.

And when the media is done throwing up the staged and photoshopped pictures assembled by their local stringers, many of whom are loosely affiliated with the very terrorist groups involved in the fighting, the world bemoans not the actions of the terrorists, but the measures taken to fight them.

Typically words like "Disproportionate Response" are thrown about. Not that it's clear what exactly a proportionate response to terrorism would involve. Maybe randomly firing rockets into their town and cities for years. Or hijacking one of their planes and flying it into a heavily populated area. Or perhaps planting a bomb on one of their buses. Naturally the heavy thinkers who offer up such criticisms rarely have much to say on that, or on the morality of "an Eye for an Eye" combat, rather than the "You Poke Out My Eye, I Cut Off Your Hand So You Can't Do That Anymore" combat which we currently employ.

But it's not as if this sort of "Murderer Centered Morality" so in vogue among progressive types began last week or around the time a greasy bearded Egyptian terrorist with the face of a frog, donned a Keffiyeh, declared himself a Palestinian, and began sending out terrorists to murder Israeli schoolchildren.

Think of how many people wear T-shirts with the face of Che on them, and how many people wear T-shirts with the faces of any of his thousands of victims. Songs were written for Caryl Chessman, none were written for the women he victimized. Eldridge Cleaver was a hero, the black girls he talked about "practicing on" in the ghetto for the "revolutionary act" of rape, or the women he graduated to raping, are faceless and anonymous. They don't matter.

The ACLU has much to say on behalf of the Al Queda terrorists in Guantanamo Bay. They have nothing to say for the men and women who jumped from the burning towers, and whose images have been neatly erased from the newscasts. The terrorists are victims. Their victims' final screams have been silenced.

This is the ugly face of a progressive politics, that cheers the terrorist and the murderer as the underdog protesting society's oppression, while dismissing his victims as pawns of the oppressive system. Moderation, appeasement and attempts to find common ground-- earn nothing but scorn from terrorists and their Western liberal accomplices. In place of morality, they have only a mythology in which they are the heroes and the mass graves they and theirs have dug from Cuba to Siberia, from Cambodia to Columbia, from Iran to China, from Iraq to Ground Zero hold tens of millions of faceless men, women and children who deserved to die.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Gaza Picture Show

Once again Israeli planes are bombing terrorist targets and IDF troops will make a foray into terrorist held territory-- only to then be swiftly ordered home again.

This type of operation has become a regular feature of the Post-Oslo Israeli military, pointless engagements that lightly wound terrorists, and then leave them to nurse their wounds, while giving the politicians who ordered them a brief boost in their poll ratings.

This particular operation neatly precedes both the Israeli election, and Obama taking office, which means that it is a very expensive ad campaign for Kadima and Labor, combined with a futile attempt to shake a threatening fist at Hamas, before terrorism's good time girl Barack is ensconced in the White House.

The Pre-Oslo Israeli military had as its objective to defeat the enemy and secure strategic territory. Post-Oslo, Israeli continues giving up strategic territory, and occasionally carrying out operations whose objective is never to defeat, but to slightly intimidate the enemy.

Mission accomplished. Israel has been playing this game with Arafat's Fatah on and off for years, bombing empty warehouses, taking out the occasional high ranking terrorist, and cleaning up a cell or two, before returning home. These raids made no long term difference at all, their only purpose was to remind the enemy that Israel had a powerful military capability, even as it reminded them that Israel was not prepared to actually unleash it.

Now Arafat's Fatah has become Abbas' Fatah, propped up by the United States in the West Bank, and desperate to shake loose Hamas' grip on Gaza. Kadima's withdrawal from Gaza turned it over to Hamas. Nor is Livni and company about to go along with a permanent reoccupation of Gaza. Which makes this entire venture particularly useless.

Everyone has their parts to play. Hamas and their Western supporters will be screaming about genocide. The UN will condemn Israel. The US and Egypt, which sees the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas' grandfathers, breathing down their necks, will back Israel, while urging deescalation. The picture show will wind down with Israeli troops leaving Gaza, while Iran resupplies Hamas with weapons and cash, just as they did for Hizbollah after the Second Lebanon War.

In Israel only the right and the far left will point out the general uselessness of the operation. This won't matter because footage of bombs falling on Gaza will do a great deal to reassure the average Israeli that their government has finally woken up and is doing something about the rocket attacks, without asking where the bombs are falling or even noticing that the rocket attacks are still continuing.

Hamas does not particularly care if Israel bombs 90 percent of the Gaza strip down to bare rock. Not so long as the Iranian money and weapons keep coming in. Like Al Queda in Iraq, Hamas is a tentacle of a larger Islamist movement, and its ambitions, like that of the Third Reich which inspired it, are global.

Israel has no doubt killed some Hamas terrorists, at a probable cost of a few million dollars per fighter. It has also reminded Hamas and Iran that it has become a paper tiger which can be counted on to cause some damage, before it retreats back into its lair. Until Israel shows that it is prepared to deny Gaza to Hamas by retaking it, picture shows such as this serve no purpose except to give the international media something to talk about.

Livni and Barak have improved their election prospects, squandered huge amounts of money, and given Hamas the PR boost they wanted. And while top Hamas leaders are no doubt trembling in their bunkers somewhere underneath a children's school, a hospital or a foreign aid office, they will emerge a week from now, deliver press conferences, and vow to continue the resistance.

Israel meant to show Hamas that it can hurt it, but Hamas already knew this. What Israel has failed to show time and time again, is that it can destroy it.

Shooting to Lightly Wound impresses no one. Hamas cares nothing for human life, and it can easily replace the low level fighters who fall. And anyone higher ranking will get a martyrs brigade named after them.

While Obama's team in D.C. grits their teeth, watches their TV's and curses the Bush administration, even while knotting a fresh noose for Israeli's impudence in bombing the very same people Obama's advisers were conducting negotiations with-- Livni and Barak pretend that they're strong leaders, rather than corrupt fools with no long term objective who appear incapable of even thinking strategically on any subject beyond their own careers.

A month from now the fresh infusion of Iranian weapons may well help Hamas finish off Fatah in the West Bank as well. And the only way Fatah can avoid that is to stop the defections of its own men into Fatah's ranks by carrying out terrorist attacks against Israel. Attacks that Israel will be forced to ignore, because Abbas is the "moderate" terrorist godfather whom we're relying on to keep Hamas at bay.

If Livni and Barak succeed in finagling this latest disaster into a new government, the odds will be good that we can look forward to State Department diplomats, courtesy of Hillary and Powers, conducting negotiations between Hamas and Israel for a two state solution, this time with Abbas on the sidelines in a coalition government where Hamas has the upper hand. Assuming Abbas even holds out that long.

Meanwhile Israel awaits a government that can finish the terrorists, instead of conducting bombing raids as picture shows. A government that will put boots on the ground, reclaim Gaza, and dig out the terrorist nests there. Until that government comes along, such operations will be nothing more than picture shows, conducted by an increasingly under equipped military, devoid of any real strategic doctrine or plan, beyond putting some big explosions on television in the deluded hope that will will intimidate the terrorists into leaving us alone.

The hour grows late, and the picture show continues.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Defiance and the Holocaust at the Movies

"Without a rifle you are nothing, worthless, you are waiting for death, any minute, any second."

Aron Bielski

"My father sent my mother a revolver as a gift, which for her was the symbol of what any young girl wants in a marriage, this was for her the means to stay alive, to kill herself or to die fighting."

Assaela Bielski

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a screening of Defiance, based on the Oxford Press book, Defiance, the Bielski Partisans by Nechama Tec. For those who have the time, I would recommend the book over the movie, as the former is a real history of events, and the latter is a fictionalized Hollywood adaptation of them.

Nechama Tec's book, Defiance, the Bielski Partisans is a realistic but excellently written retelling of how the Bielski Otriad operated in the real world, its dedication to rescuing Jews, from refugees in hiding, to reaching inside Ghettos themselves, as well as dealing with its controversies.

In contrast to the movie, Nechama Tec's Defiance is a nuts and bolts look at life in the woods from multiple perspectives. It is not an exercise in romanticism, but in realism.

The story of the Bielskis is one of those stories of the Holocaust that is overshadowed by the general narrative of victimization and therefore rarely told, as compared to the depictions of Jews as helpless victims or dependent on non-Jewish saviors, ala Schindler's List. The story of the Bielskis is not a story of the Holocaust, so much as it is the story of how the Bielskis and those who worked with them broke through the helplessness, and took action to save thousands and keep them alive in hostile territory.

In contrast to the movie's portrayal of him, Tuvia Bielski is not a modern morally conflicted hero nor a misguided idealist. The book is less about personalities than it is about what was accomplished in the forest. Yet even the movie provides something deeply valuable in the portrayal of the Holocaust.

Liberal culture has made the Holocaust into a narrative of victimization that can only be undone by tolerance. Defiance, in both book and movie form, turns into a narrative of accomplishment by a few in the face of a seemingly unstoppable enemy. The Jews of Defiance are not victims, they are taught to take responsibility for their survival by the Bielskis. They do not simply wait for the war to be over, but Tec's book documents how they rescue other Jews, and they fight back, blowing up trains, and hitting Nazi targets.

The conventional narrative of the Holocaust, both liberal and religious, is one of learned helplessness, of martyrdom, either in the name of tolerance, or holiness. Defiance instead upends that in favor of competence, of taking responsibility for one's own survival and that of others, and making a difference. It is the conceptual idea behind the State of Israel, and so unsurprisingly one of the forest encampments was called "Jerusalem in the Woods."

The usual liberal narrative teaches that when tolerance fails, a Holocaust happens. But tolerance is relative, while competence is objective. Understanding what the Bielski Otriad accomplished is far more important to understanding how to deal with the persecution of Jews, than all the narratives of atrocities and massacres, which memorialize the dead, but fail to draw any useful lessons from what happened to them. And the only useful lesson that can be drawn from the Holocaust, is how to survive it and defeat it.

Watching Defiance made me think of how fundamentally wrong most other movies have gotten the Holocaust. The poster child of all of them of course was Schindler's List, a grandstanding and hollow project, whose two major stars played Germans on opposite sides of the Holocaust, and whose them was about the importance of doing the right thing. But movie after movie has followed a similar pattern, turning the Holocaust into a vehicle for communicating something uplifting about the human spirit, and the general wonderfulness of humans, when they aren't busy shoving other humans into gas chambers or dark pits. Jakob the Liar, Life is Beautiful, The Pianist all suffer from that same need to turn an atrocity into something meaningful.

Defiance though is one of the few Holocaust movies, that is actually a war movie. It is not about finding meaning, as much as it is about the hard realities of survival, and what must be done to survive. Being a Hollywood movie it still suffers from the need to insert uplifting messages about the human spirit, but these quickly pass. But they quickly pale beside the reality of the choices that the Bielski brothers need to make. As often as the movie attempts to "straighten out" the story by directing it along a politically correct route, the truth of the real story bends it back to where it began.

The Bielski brothers are no saints, but start out as smugglers who end up using their survival skills to gather a large community of survivors under them. At times they're ruthless and like everyone else, they're walking wounded, dealing with the loss of their families, while being expected to make impossible decisions that mean life and death for everyone around them. But there are no therapists in the forest, only life and death decisions.

Much as the score layers on inappropriately uplifting music and the writing summons the occasional inspirational line about hope, faith and humanity-- Defiance's heart is in the forest where the needs are primitive and survival rests on the ability to get food and weapons and to stay ahead of the Germans and their local police collaborators.

And stripped of all the questions and philosophical musings, Defiance is one of the few movies to deal with what the Holocaust was about. Surviving. The Holocaust boils down to the simple fact that many of the groups who hated the Jews got a chance to kill them, under the leadership of German Fascism and administered with ruthless technical precision. Reactions across the Jewish populations covered a wide gamut that history has barely scratched, from apathy to flight, to denial to collaboration, to resistance.

The Bielskis and the fighters, criminals and working class youth, have the survival skills that the Malbushim, the middle and upper class university educated Jews do not. That meant knowing how to use a gun, how to find your way through the woods, how to build working shelters and ultimately how to survive by making ad hoc decisions under pressure. It also meant being able to eat anything and make food out of anything, including a horse and a dog, to rob and to kill. There is nothing "natively" uplifting about any of that. It is simply what it takes to survive.

And that, rather than the uplifting messages, serves as the real lesson of the Holocaust. You either survive, or you don't. The Holocaust is not a call for tolerance or for sanctifying victimization, those are the liberal American Jewish fallacies. The Holocaust was a wake up call, warning that none of the strategies that Jews had used until now, negotiation, waiting, appeasement, all defense reactions had been nullified. You could give up, run if you could, or fight to survive.

Israel was built on the understanding that the time for running was over. It was time to get serious about being a nation, or live as hunted animals the world over. The American liberal Jewish consensus by contrast was built on the belief that the best way to prevent a Holocaust was to teach people to love each other and find something uplifting in it all, thus buying into the culture of victimization. Defiance tries to reach for the latter position, but finds itself stuck in the former camp instead. Because as many noble and uplifting things that Tuvia can say, the Bielskis, both the real and the fictional film versions, were no liberals.

The movie portrays a tug of war between the two older Bielski brothers, over focusing on pure resistance or rescuing people. But that division leads both brothers to disaster, as Tuvia discovers that he needs his sibling's ruthlessness and Zus' participation in a Russian partisan unit leads to the realization that the Communists have just as little use for the Jews as the Nazis do. The balance of Tuvia's idealism and Zus' cynical killing edge defines the conflict, as Tuvia discovers that he must be hard and brutal in order to do good, and Zus discovers that killing without a people of his own to protect is a cold and soulless task.

Though the movie may insert inappropriate comic relief and its versions of the Bielski brothers are at times so incompetent that they would not have survived for a week, let alone for years, it does what Holocaust movies all too often avoid doing, it focuses on the survival. The Germans, when they arrive, are soldiers in gray moving in and out. The locals collaborate or don't, for their own reasons. There is no moral to be learned, except that if you want to live and want others to live, you must be prepared to do what it takes.

That is the first and foremost lesson of the Holocaust to be learned. For all the unanswered moral, philosophical and theological questions-- the bottom line is that millions of Jews were killed, because they could be. The only true defense against a Holocaust is the ability to resist and to survive one. Before the State of Israel was officially declared, the Bielskis made their own Jewish state in a forest, to live as free men and women mere kilometers from their would be killers, and though like the real state and its real leaders, they may have been flawed, their triumph is not some uplifting moral, but a matter of accomplishment, the 1200 they hid in the forest against all odds, and through determination and hard work, they did not become victims or fatalities, they survived. And through their guidance and efforts so did 1200 others. No higher praise is needed.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Afternoon Roundup - American and Israeli Apathy and Islamic Atrocity

The holidays have made this week feel oddly abrupt, and between Obama mourning his grandmother on a sunny beach to avoid talking to reporters, and Rahm Emanuel leading the transition team to Africa, the Office of the Tyrant Select has been ruthlessly ducking questions, while dumping their report claiming that they did nothing wrong on the press at the last minute in the holiday season.

Meanwhile Kadima is preparing for the election with a limited incursion into Gaza for show. Everyone knows the script by now, the truce lapses, some rockets are fired, Livni and Barak pretend to be tough and send IDF units for a few days into Gaza, Hamas terrorists go underground, there are a few exchanges of fire, and a week later everything is back to normal-- but Kadima will be set to win the election, particularly with Feiglin's supporters angry at the Likud.

The script is an old one, and it's just as meaningless. But Netanyahu's refusal to call outright for a retaking of Gaza makes it hard for the average Israeli voter to tell apart the Likud from Kadima. And that's the problem. Netanyahu has made the Likud so "moderate" that it looks as bad as Kadima does. Meanwhile the attempt to moderate Bayit Yehudi has resulted in the implosion of another attempted at a united Religious Zionist front, right back to the treasonous Mafdal.

Without a real alternative, Kadima will win again. And unfortunately the only way to prevent that is to vote Likud. Which in some ways perpetuates the problem, but at the same time a left wing government in power in Israel while Obama is in power in the US would mean the almost certain end of Israel in a matter of years.

Too much strategically important territory has already been surrendered, Iran has an operating base on Israeli soil in Gaza and is racing toward a nuclear weapon. Israel's capital is on the table next, and so are major chunks of Israel that would turn the next war into the Yom Kippur war fought in an Israel with territory predating the Six Day War, and possibly involving nuclear weapons.

Projecting an Obama administration that will force Egypt into open elections, bringing the Muslim Brotherhood to power, and turning Egypt into a Sunni version of Iran, a Syria that receives the Golan Heights and the strategic high ground, as well as a free hand in Lebanon, the pictures becomes very dark indeed.

Via Jihad Watch and Infidel753 , meanwhile there are more detailed reports on the atrocities in Mumbai committed.

Disturbing photographs made available to this newspapers by police sources indicate that several of the guests at the Taj Mahal Hotel during the siege November 26 were sexually humiliated by the terrorists and then shot dead.

Police sources confirm that even as the terrorists were engaged in a fierce combat with NSG commandos, they were humiliating their hostages before ending their terrifying ordeal.

Photographs taken by a police forensic team after the hotel was sanitised yield a gruesome picture of some of the guests in the nude.

These bodies were found away from the hotel's swimming pool which makes it clear that they were not those guests who were taken hostage from the poolside.

"Even the Rabbi and his wife at Nariman House were sexually assaulted and their genitalia mutilated," said a senior officer of the investigating team, not wishing to be quoted.

“We have CCTV footage which reveals how these terrorists forced some of the guests who were holed up in restaurants to strip, but there is not evidence of rape,” he added.

Again, not at all surprising when you consider that this sort of brutality is the norm among Muslim Jihadis. Torture, atrocity and violation are part of the Islamic psyche going back to Mohammed. Sexual perversity is part of the larger picture.

Consider the following snapshot of how things were done under Mohammed
In early AD 628, during a raid, Zayd, Muhammad’s freedman and adopted son, was wounded and some of his men were killed by a tribe. Zayd vowed to abstain from sex until he took revenge. After Zayd recovered from his wounds, Muhammad sent him and a raiding band back to the tribe. An old woman named Umm Qirfa was taken prisoner. Would a Muslim leader spare her from death, not to mention from torturing her? No. Her death was cruel, says an Islamic source, matter-of-factly.

The executioner appointed by Zayd "tied each of her legs with a rope and tied the ropes to camels, and they split her in two." (Tabari)

It is not hard to imagine her screams. From the Islamic sources it is unclear why she, an old woman, had to die in the first place. But assuming only for the sake of argument that the initial raid was justified—a big assumption based on the belief that the old woman’s tribe was collaborating with the Jews of Khaybar—assuming this is true, did an old woman have to die in such a gruesome way

The following hadith, though not mentioning the torture, recounts the aftermath of the raid. One of the raiders kept the daughter of Umm Qirfa for himself, and brought her back to Medina, where Muhammad lived. Once Muhammad saw the girl, he shouted to the Muslim raider that he wanted her. What did he do with her? Sell her back to her family? Did he give her family the option to ransom her?

I [Salama, a Muslim raider] drove [captives] along until I brought them to Abu Bakr [Companion of Muhammad] who bestowed that girl on me as a prize. So we arrived in Medina. I had not yet disrobed her when the Messenger of Allah . . . met me in the street and said: Give me that girl, O Salamah. I said: Messenger of Allah, she has fascinated me. I had not yet disrobed her. When on the next day, the Messenger of Allah . . . again met me in the street, he said: O Salama, give me that girl, may God bless your father. I said: she is for you, Messenger of Allah . . . By Allah, I have not yet disrobed her. The Messenger of Allah . . . sent her to the people of Mecca, and surrendered her as ransom for a number of Muslims who had been kept as prisoners in Mecca. (Muslim no. 4345)

Every atrocity, every act of horror perpetrated by Muslims today is rooted in the crimes and atrocities of Mohammed, the Founder of Islam. His crimes are their crimes, and their crimes are his crimes.

Which is why talking about common ground with Islam is so much meaningless noise. There is no common ground with a Cult of Death. You either defeat it, intimidate it or you let yourself be victimized by it. There are three choices. And any other choice is the third choice.

The media repeatedly censors Muslim atrocities, just as they sanitized the 9/11 footage, knowing that even people who are willing to vote for a terrorist sympathizer like Obama and his party of terrorist sympathizers, would be revolted and enraged by it.

Yet this is no aberrant phenomenon. This is a religion where Samir Kuntar who beat in a little girl's head with a rock is a hero. It's a region where Mein Kamp is a bestseller and non-Muslims are considered little more than animals.

There can be no common ground with such people. There can be no common ground with evil. There can be no common ground with Islam.

But as Boker Tov Boulder reports, the media is busy sanitizing even the most reactionary forms of Islam. Little wonder why the New York Times' revenue keeps dropping, even as they keep destroying the ground they're sitting on.

Meanwhile Logistics Monster asks if We're as Dumb as the Politicians We Elected and naturally you have to wonder how things would have turned out differently had the Republican candidate opposed the bailout. Of course there's a shortage of those. Maybe if Fred Thompson actually manages to campaign in 2012...
Meanwhile in Israel Aryeh Eldad is one of the few politicians still making sense, and calling on Defense Minister Barak to be prosecuted for treason (Israpundit)

MK Aryeh Eldad (HaTikvah) has requested that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz look into Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s decision to allow supplies to enter Gaza. According to Eldad, Barak should be brought to trial for assisting the enemy in a time of war.

Barak decided Friday to allow 90 trucks carrying food, medicine and fuel to enter Gaza via Israeli crossings in the western Negev. The trucks were allowed to pass despite dozens of rocket and mortar shell attacks from Gaza over the past two days.

Barak’s decision is criminal, Eldad said Friday. “There’s no way to define this other than abetting the enemy in a time of war, and whoever does so must be brought to trial,” he stated.

Barak has frequently allowed aid into Gaza despite rocket attacks, and Israel continues to supply most of Gaza’s electricity. In a controversial move, Barak recently allowed a large shipment of cash to enter Gaza as well in order to save Gaza banks, which were at risk of collapse due to the lack of currency.

Barak and other ministers who favor the shipments to Gaza say the aid is necessary in order to prevent a humanitarian crisis in an area where most residents rely on international aid. The United Nations has put heavy pressure on Israel to open crossings despite rocket attacks in order to keep its Gaza aid program from encountering food shortages.

Eldad has previous called to enforce laws that he says are violated by Israeli politicians in the name of negotiations and peace. Earlier this year Eldad called for politicians who agree to give territory to Syria to face the death penalty. Giving up the Golan would be treason under Israel’s criminal legislation, he explained.

Regarding Gaza, Eldad has stated that he favors allowing Arab residents of the area who do not support terrorism to voluntarily relocate to Jordan and other Arab countries.
And that of course is the way that a politician from a Zionist party should actually talk. But too few are following suit. Naturally Eldad's statements will probably trigger an investigation by Mazuz... into him. Since criticizing left wing politicians is considered illegal incitement.

The Elder of Ziyon meanwhile envisions news from a different world where truth and justice actually rule the day.

JERUSALEM, December 26 (FMN) - The UN today stepped up its pressure on the Arab world to send humanitarian aid to the besieged residents of Sderot, suffering under years of constant rocket bombardment from Iranian-backed Arabs.

"The brave people of the Negev are being forced out of their homes, in what can only be called ethnic cleansing," stated UN General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann. "This slow genocide is being ignored by the world at large, and the Arab world is responsible."

The Arab world have been enforcing a siege on Israel for over sixty years. Basic humanitarian items are not allowed into Israel from most Arab countries, and Israel is likewise banned from selling its own goods to its neighboring states, hurting the economy of the tiny nation.

"Legally, Israel is suffering under occupation, as the Arab states control all of Israel's land borders," stated Brockmann. "In addition, there are hundreds of Arab settlements in Israel itself, which have been the major obstacle to peace for decades."

"The Arab treatment of Jews and Israelis can only be described as a form of apartheid," said former US president Jimmy Carter as he visited Ashkelon in a solidarity visit. "Israel, one of the most crowded nations in the world, has been forced to give more and more land to the expansionist Arabs over the past decades, and it gets nothing in return. Peace requires full normalization, and I am disappointed that even Egypt and Jordan continue to incite against Jewish national self-determination."

"Israel has turned into an open-air concentration camp," asserted peace activist Lauren Booth last month. "The Israeli economy is being constrained by the Arab boycott of Israel, which is still largely in force. The occasional 'peace' treaties and tiny trickle of trade is just a facade by the Arab world meant to cover up their humanitarian crimes against the peaceful people of Israel and their aims to shrink Israel's land area into nothingness."

While all of Israel suffers from the Arab blockade, it is the residents of Sderot who are suffering the most lately from indiscriminate rocket attacks by the Iranian-funded Arabs of Gaza.

UN Human Rights investigator Richard Falk called the rocket attacks "a crime against humanity" and demanded that "the Arab states, flush with oil money, must provide Sderot residents with basic needs, like rocket shelters, psychologists and medical professionals."

"For sixty years, the Arab nations have conspired to block Jews from being able to return to their land. They have started overt and covert wars against the only Jewish state. The few Jews who remain in Arab countries suffer from official and unofficial discrimination.

"Hundreds of resolutions against the systematic Arab attempts to destroy Israel have been ignored by these expansionist states, and Israel remains besieged even after so many years. How long will the world remain silent?"

Academics such as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have also noted that world opinion tends to support the so-called "Arab Lobby" even as the genocidal intent of the Arab world is explicitly stated in their media and mosques. "The Arab influence on world governments is directly proportional to power of the Arab economy, which influences businesses and politicians in ways that can only be described as insidious. As a direct result, simple moral values become muddled as the Arab world works hard to influence the agendas of Western nations, to remarkable success," stated Walt in a lecture in Munich last Sunday.

It's satire but maybe that's part of the problem. Pro-Israel activists have spent too much time playing defense, and not enough time playing offense. The language has shifted toward placing the burden on the Israeli side, which repeatedly defends itself against Arab accusations. If Pro-Israel activists actually sounded like this, it might be a change of sorts that could gain some strategic ground, instead of chasing after the latest bundle of lies circulated by terrorists and their media apologists.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Are Celebrities the New Monarchy?

They're rich, they're famous and they're better than you are. Why? Because they're famous, and that means they're entitled to it.

Meritocracy is the fundamental difference between a functional Democratic Republic and a society of elite classes that don't work, don't accomplish anything useful-- but nevertheless rule. Meritocracy insures a system where those who can do, do. Systems of entitlement insure that those who have no useful skills or abilities tell others what to do, or collect money from them.

The American Revolution threw the dead weight of nobility overboard, stripping away titles and kicking out men with titles, in favor of men with skills.

The reason why the American Revolution succeeded, where so many others failed or turned into homicidal purges, is that the American Revolution was a revolution of skill over ideology. And as much as Jefferson or Paine might have pushed ideology, the Revolution was begun, carried through and completed by men who wanted a free country where their success would be measured by their hard work, rather than be at the mercy of government diktat and a class system.

This continued a process that had begun with Bacon's Rebellion against the imported Cavalier class imposed on the colonies by the British monarchy and that insured the Right to Bear Arms, and that due to the presence of slavery was never actually completed. And that is what we truly mean when we saw "Free Country", not a country without laws, but a country without limits. (A concept now nearly incomprehensible to generations weighed down by a sense of entitlement).

Celebrity however is the democratization of monarchy making it seemingly accessible to everyone. It creates an elite powerful class that has no useful skills, produces nothing but styles and trends, much as the original nobility did. It is a leisure class, famous for being famous, entitled by virtue of some quirk of personal magnetism or appearance or fractional talent, to subvert the Democratic process and replace the voices of many, with one voice.

If the cult of celebrity didn't seem all that ominous before the 2008 Presidential election, a campaign conducted less like the election for the leader of a Democratic country and more like the coronation of a movie star, it certainly should now. It is a threat to a free nation's values, both moral and political.

What the cult of celebrity teaches is that personal accomplishment means nothing, and personal presence and a degree of notoriety means everything. We cannot even begin to measure how much damage the cult of celebrity has done to us. From the Black community where academics and striving has been bypassed in favor of a one in a million shot at a sneaker commercial, to a generation of American youth that has abandoned self-respect and privacy in favor of seeking notoriety, to a journalistic culture where the reporter too is a celebrity and nothing is objective, only perspective, to a general cultural striving for youth, ignorance and edge, over knowledge, wisdom and experience-- the cult of celebrity is destroying America.

Little wonder then that the cult of celebrity was employed to elevate Obama to power. When Democratic and Anti-Democratic systems overlap, one must naturally struggle to destroy the other. If so many celebrities are politically radical, it is because they represent an unconscious cultural effort to destroy a system based on meritocracy and one man and one vote-- in which there is no place for their kind.

In a Celebrity Culture, Obama's lack of merit and experience only makes him more appealing, not less, like the Reality TV show contestants plucked from obscurity to fame, his incompetence and ugly background are not obstacles, they are assets that both add to the drama of his story and reinforce the image of a democratic celebrity culture in which anyone with the right story and some personal charisma can become a superstar. A competent candidate could never have become a celebrity, where cultivating drama and telling a story matters, while doing your job does not.

Media made celebrity go viral. After the Kennedy - Nixon debates, politicians could no longer be chosen for their ability to lead, but for their abilities on camera. After Obama - McCain, the Republicans are now determined to find their own celebrity. What used to be a country built on statesmanship, has now become a country ruled by the crass grin and the perfect pose. Here I am, take my picture. Is this what American leadership has come down to? The unfortunate answer is yes.

Celebrity and meritocracy cannot coexist. Meritocracy insists that men should be rewarded for their accomplishments. Celebrity insists that style is what truly matters. A celebrity glutted culture is one that has lost touch with both democracy and the ethos of hard work. It drowns itself in the shrill din of senseless noise, because it has forgotten that music is an accomplishment of harmony and order, rather than a blare of attention seeking distractions. But as the cultural leaders go, so does the culture.

Much as some conservatives may turn to Hollywood and wish for their own celebrities, conservatism cannot be made stylish. True conservatism is the opposite of celebrity. It focuses on sagely preserving what is endangered and rebuilding what is lost-- while celebrity pursues the destruction of what is because it is too boring and since it already exists, it is by definition not in style.

A war of slogans only rewards the enemy by playing the card of style over substance, and even if it occasionally succeeds in the short term, it accelerates your own loss of values in the long term.

It is however possible to fight entitlement in a public forum and win. Lincoln's Free Labor successfully contrasted the hardworking roots of the frontier farmer with the entitlement of the slaveowning plantation owner. That is why Joe the Plumber was both a step in the right direction and the wrong direction. Typical of the flawed tactics of the McCain campaign, it relied on fusing conservative values with celebrity, and so it failed. But the essential idea was always correct, the freedom to accomplish is at the root of what America was built on.

That freedom is now endangered, with a vocal chorus of attacks by the cult of celebrity which demands that their sense of entitlement, their superior understanding and values define our political culture. In short monarchy, nobility and tyranny with a flash and a camera ready smile.

Idle, vacuous, foolish, self-righteous and yet utterly hypocritical-- celebrities have always made perfect spokesmen and spokeswomen for socialism and communism. Their tainted mix of guilt, frustration and boredom has powered cause after cause-- as they continue on a collision course with the rights and freedoms of a Democratic Republic. But only a true embrace of meritocracy by emphasizing the freedom to accomplish and thereby prosper can neuter the cult of celebrity. Because while the shallow dreams of celebrity are compelling, most people are still capable of recognizing the reality of accomplishment.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Eight Lessons for Modern Day Israel from Chanukah

1. Force Justifies Faith - The miracle of Chanukah happened because the Macabees refused to accept the perversion of their religious and national values, and fought to resist those who would impose it on them by force. Had they not fought their way to Jerusalem, the Menorah would have remained only another decoration in a sanctuary defiled by secularism and paganism. Only once the Temple was liberated, it could serve as a vessel for a divine miracle that rewarded the sacrifices of those who fought to liberate it.

Violence is often described as contradictory to faith, but it is no more contradictory than a police officer's gun is to a civil society. Ideally there should be no violence, but in the real world, force is a necessary tool for making faith possible.

Had Moshe not struck the Egyptian taskmasters forcing him to flee for his life, had the Jews refused a second time to enter Israel under Joshua, had King David proven just as incapable of defending his land as Shaul did, right up to the time of the Macabees and to the present day State of Israel, Jewish history would have been quite different.

The union of force and faith is abused, when force is used to conquer and compel faith. The proper union of force and faith, is to use force in defense of faith to create a space in which faith can thrive.

In a dire situation miracles often don't just happen, it takes human action to initialize them. It was when the Jews walked into the sea that the sea split. It was when Jews settled wilderness roamed by bandits and administered by a hostile colonial authority, built farms and protected them, that Israel was reborn. If you want a miracle, you must first fight for it.

2. You're an Extremist When you're Losing, a National Legend when you're Winning - Had the Macabees done nothing, they would have remained nothing more than despised "extremists", rural hicks to be sneered at and ground under by the urban elites collaborating with foreign tyrants.

The Macabees stopped being "extremists" when they actually became extreme, fought back against the so-called moderates and won. Then their values emerged triumphant as well. Extremism is a measure of alienation from the values of those in power. Victory can make anyone a moderate. Had the Macabees spent all their time worrying about being called extremists, and being concerned that their actions might deepen the "national divide" and cause people to associate religious belief with violence, they would have stuck to writing petitions, and we might be celebrating Hellenika today.

3. The Few Can Triumph over the Many - VeRabim BeYad Me'atim. The many can fall into the hands of the few, if the few match dedication with strategy. The Macabees didn't win because they had superior force, but because they were willing to fight on, to outlast and outlive the tyrants and collaborators who were busy carving up their land. But this is conditional on VeTemeim Beyad Tehorim, VeReshoim BeYad Tzadikim. The defiled into the power of the pure, and the wicked in the hands of the righteous. The few can triumph when they have the purity of their commitment to carry them forward through the many setbacks, difficulties and challenges they will encounter.

Israel is stumbling now because that commitment is lacking from the top down and the bottom up, a public glutted by consumerism, a party culture and apathy can no longer produce that kind of rugged determination.

4. Victory isn't Easy or Cheap - The struggle of the Macabees doesn't look much like the coloring book version sold today. It was prolonged, difficult, and desperate. It consisted of numerous setbacks, defeats and losses. Without the big picture, victory often looked a lot like defeat. It was the forward motion of continuing to fight, that transformed it into a legacy of victory.

5. Victory isn't a Solution, Victory is a Chance to Fix the Problem - The Macabee victory was surprisingly ephemeral and it did not take long for it to dissolve into Roman tyranny. By the time Herod, the son of a Nabatean Roman governor had displaced the last of the Jewish Macabean kings and was ruling over Israel, the victory of Chanukah had turned tragically into ashes.

The failure was generational. The Macabees had won a stay of execution, but they had not changed the fault lines in the culture and in the nature of the monarchy's dynastic rule itself, that would prevent the decline and collapse of Israel. Similarly today the sons of conservative Zionist politicians have turned corrupt and Anti-Zionist, with Olmert as a prototype of the species.

The Macabees won a battle on Chanukah, but they failed to win the war for the hearts and minds of the next generation. Israel is now in the same mess as well stuck with a divided country, part of which wants to fight to defend it, and part of which does not.

Force can win battles, but when a civil war is won, the real war to change the deep faults that made it necessary begins.

6. A Single Incident can begin a War - People are naturally reluctant to fight, but one incident can crystallize how intolerable further apathy can be. Whether it was the pig on the altar or Hannah strapping on a sword to resist "droit de'signor", a point is always reached beyond which no more can be borne. It may come at an unexpected moment and in an unexpected place, not from the great atrocity but the small cruelty and ordinary injustices that reach their limits, but it usually comes and it reminds those who had taken refuge if fear, apathy and complacency that the time for such things is ended, and that only one road remains open before them, and only one bloody gate. And when it does, the real struggle begins.

7. God is not a Pacifist, Neither are his Followers - The only truly pacifist religion lives in exile with its homeland under the grim boot of Chinese Communist thugs. But religion, and any strong belief system, is not for pacifists. If you are not willing to fight for your beliefs, either your beliefs lack substance, or you do.

Pacifism is not the refuge of spirituality, but self-righteousness and irresponsibility. The responsible stand up and are counted before God, in his house of prayer and on the battlefield. To believe that there is a moral order, is to recognize that evil must be resisted so that good can thrive. He who will not pick up a gun when his town or his family is threatened, is not nobler for it, but ignoble because by refusing to resist evil, he aids it in its goals.

In the face of evil, every pacifist is a traitor. Before God, everyone who will not fight for what is right, aids what is wrong. That does not mean that force is innately righteous, or that simply putting the name of God before any conflicts puts you automatically in the right. It means that there is such a thing as Righteous Force, and that the warrior on the battlefield fighting for what is right, is as Godly as the healer or the priest or the elder, the scholar and the judge.

8. History Writes the Ending, We Do Our Part - History neatly segments events into beginnings and endings, into causes and effects, gives names to battles and wars, and decides who mattered and who didn't. And though that eye is flawed, it colors how we perceive the past as structured and ordered. But that is a false structure imposed on the chaotic turbulent events of another era. We cannot know where our own histories begin and end, we have no more of a guide to chart where we are on the great wall chart of history. We can only do our part and try to do what is right, as they did in those times long ago.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Macabee Struggle of Chanukah Comes Again

Chanukah is coming again, and by that I don't mean the secularized Chanukah of electric bulb Menorahs, plush teddy bears wearing Yarmulkes and foil wrapped chocolate coins, that has as much in common with the real Chanukah as the holiday shopping season has with any real religious holiday.

By the real Chanukah, I mean the life and death struggle for the survival of the Jewish people under which a small band of Jewish extremists known as the Macabees employing by turns violence and political maneuvering, forced out the Syrian-Greek conquerors of their homeland and their Hellenized Jewish collaborators determined to embraced a secular identity in a prolonged struggle, and reclaimed the capital city of Jerusalem and the Holy Temple.

Today the modern Jewish Hellenists who relearned in the 20th century, what the Hellenists of Macabees' days knew, that the best way to destroy authentic Jewish religious and national values, was to gut them from the inside leaving only a hollow shell. To leave the Temple standing but to fill it with pagan idols, to leave Synagogues in place but to transform them into pagan temples dedicated to the Democratic party, to leave Jewish Holidays in place but to stuff them with messages about consumerism, tolerance, the environment and whatever nonsense best represents their own borrowed belief structure.

That is the essence of Hellenism, the subversion of Jewish beliefs and identity by turning them into hollow shells for their own agenda. And that agenda demands the destruction of authentic Jewish beliefs and goals. The original hebrew sums up the Hellenistic agenda best, whether it is that of the modern day "Jewish" liberal at Temple Beth Shalom or the ancient Hellenist cavorting in the streets of a defiled Jerusalem, LeHaskicham Et Torateha Ulehaaviram MeHukei Retzonecha. To Cause Them to Forget Your Torah and to Lead Them Away from the Laws you Willed.

Today Jerusalem is on the verge of being divided and there is a new Antiochus whose images hang on the walls of Hellenistic synagogues, a new image to bow down to in a revived form of Emperor worship, Barack Hussein Obama, whose emissaries already speak of sending an international force to divide up what remains of Israel after a decade and a half of retreats and surrenders under Hellenistic government after Hellenistic government, willingly kneeling into place beneath the boots of mighty nations and empires.

The one target they can safely vent all their wrath upon are once again religious and Zionist Jews, evicted from their homes, arrested and dragged into court on the thinnest of pretexts, libeled and smeared as extremists and the cause of all the country's troubles.

Meanwhile abroad, the Hellenistic work proceeds apace. With the triumph of tyranny in the United States, J-Street, the left wing Anti-Israel lobby is set to displace the moribund AIPAC. The Jewish in name only organizations that backed Obama, like the Rabbis for Obama, consist of extreme left wing anti-Jewish and Anti-Israel activists, who will now be the official political voice for and against Jews in America and around the world.

And the ugly work is already coming about. Left wing "Jewish" media outlets, such as the Forward, whose founder Abe Cahan originated the American version of turning Judaism into a trojan horse for socialism strategy, and the JTA are trumpeting their war against Kosher meat, with the Forward actually serving as a source for the Iowa raid. The real issue here are not the Rubashkins themselves, but the reality that this was an attack on the weakest link in the Kosher meat industry. An opening shot in a larger war being more subtly waged by more trojan horse "Jewish" groups from large organizations to phony grass roots groups such as Uri L'Tzedek and Hechser Tzedek. These are just the farthest outcroppings of entire networks of phony grass roots groups aimed at destroying Judaism in America and funded by the usual suspects who are of course also working to promote left wing and anti-American causes.

The modern day Hellenists in both America and Israel have seen the demographic writing on the wall, between generic assimilation, intermarriage and low birth rates, they lose, and the future in the normal course of events would belong to committed religious Jews with an actual Jewish identity, rather than a pathetic self-hating fealty to the furthest left wing extreme. Which naturally has kicked in their hate into overdrive. And has helped bring on this modern day Chanukah.

In their misguided sense of self-preservation, destroying those Jews who possess a Jewish identity is their last best hope for ideological survival. And in the name of that internal demographic war, everything possible is being done to crush Religious Zionism in Israel. In the name of that demographic war, liberal "Jewish" groups in America have viciously sharpened their knives and gone after religious Jews in America while throwing the survival of Israel to the wolves.

Today holding Jewish beliefs, the belief in the authenticity of the Torah and of the right of Israel to the land of Israel brands you an extremist. And so it is Chanukah again, that fast approaching window where respite, if not salvation, can be bought for a time, or all will crumble again and the lights of Chanukah will go out into the bitter darkness of exile. Make no mistake about it, it has happened before, and it can happen again.

Even the victory of the Macabees was brief, a short respite, undone by treachery and the Hellenization of their successors, to lead them down into Roman slavery. So too the children and grandchildren of Herut stalwarts, such as Olmert and Rahm Emanuel have become the new Yannais, while the Haredim quarrel and squabble as they did then.

The ultimate question of Chanukah is can we break the cycle. Both Purim and Chanukah are minor holidays ushering in minor salvations, great massacres averted and homelands briefly reclaimed. And other holidays, such as Lag Ba'omer, once known as Yom Yerushalayim, ended in far more precipitous defeats so that their original meaning has been all but blotted out, aside from a few torches lit today for a long dead scholar rather than for the liberation of Yerushalayim.

But the time when such rhetoric was academic has passed already. We are headed into a dark time now, when we will either be broken or emerge more whole than we have ever been. One way or another we will survive, we have after all survived the fall of two Temples, and countless massacres for thousands of years, peaking but not ending, with what is known as the Holocaust. As long as a core of committed Jews remains who raise their children that way, we will survive... and the Hellenists will wither and pass away as they always have, the malice and hate of liberal Jews dwindling ultimately into futility and self-imposed extinction.

The question before us, is will we survive as a proud nation in our own homeland or as scattered refugees moving across a hostile world, always seeking shelter and knowing always that each shelter is only a temporary expedient against the storm.

We are not called upon to equal the Macabees, we are called upon to better them. If we take refuge in apathy or in the long-suffering belief that salvation is around the corner and nothing remains for us to do but to wait for it, then the darkness and the exile is waiting for us. In spirit our children can either be princes or beggars, or they can not even exist. The choice as always is up to us.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Selecting Carolyn Kennedy

In seeking to be appointed to a Senate seat, Carolyn Kennedy has exactly two advantages, her last name and her close ties to Barack Hussein Obama.

And no honest person could ever claim otherwise, or seriously argue that if both of these factors were not present, that Carolyn Kennedy would have any more of a chance at being appointed to a Senate seat, than being appointed Queen of Denmark.

Never has a man who is not even a seated President, or even the President Elect, tried to dictate two Senate appointments. Compounding that is Biden's own plot to reserve his Senate seat for his son, using his advisor as a seat warmer, much as JFK did when he used a family friend to fill his seat until Ted Kennedy would be old enough to take it.

Hope nobody accidentally confused the Democratic party with Democracy.

Even as the Democrats in Illinois are frantically trying to avoid a special election, because they fear that a public backlash against the Democratic party might lose them a safe seat, Obama's people are trying the same stunt that they tried in Illinois, in New York State... this time gambling on seizing New York's Senate seat.

Usually the first thing that a tyrant does in a Democracy is tighten Federalization by appointing his own people to govern the provinces. Putin did it, and now Obama is taking a shot at it before he's even been confirmed by the Electoral College. But in a Democracy things don't go nearly that smoothly.

Rahm Emanuel's attempt to finesse the Illinois Senate seat backfired landing him in the middle of a Federal investigation. It isn't that Rahm or his master were too honest to deal with Blago, they were simply too greedy to follow the number one rule of machine politics, Share the Wealth.

Obama wasn't interested in cutting a deal for the Illinois Senate seat, he just wanted the seat. And Rahm Emanuel, who was used to throwing the phone at donors who didn't contribute enough, followed that up. And now with a Federal investigation and sudden press scrunity having caused Obama's golden thug to head for the hills and away from the business of seizing the reins of government-- turning the New York Senate seat over to a woman who's famous for being famous, and whose support of Obama let him market himself as a New JFK, has suddenly gotten a lot trickier.

Neither rank and file New Yorkers, nor the local press or local politicians are thrilled about the idea. After just senselessly renaming the Triborough Bridge, the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, at a cost of 5 million dollars, at a time when the budget is tight, roads and bridges are in disrepair and the State Government is set to levy a whole load of new taxes-- the average New Yorker feels that enough has been done for the Kennedys without giving them a Senate seat for Christmas too.

The New York Press likes its politicians to have personalities, and Carolyn Kennedy is a facade in search of a person. A marketable brand rather than a human being.

And New York State politicians want pork from the Federal government, and a Senator is their main tool for getting it. Putting an Obama loyalist in office who owes her job to the man in the White House instead of to them, would be the worst disaster possible. Federalism has already drained the states of many, and poured it into the Federal coffers, State politicial machines help draw some of that money back to the state where it came from.

New York State has already endured Hillary Clinton, who worked on playing national politics and working toward achieving her own Presidential ambitions, while neglecting the state of the state. A seat filler whose loyalty wouldn't be either to the machine or the state, would be the equivalent of Putin appointing his friends as Governors. And Obama may try to appoint his horse to the Senate, but New York's political machine isn't interested in giving up their place at the table for Obama's horse.

With Blago, Obama has shown that he wants to take without giving, and with Emanuel forced to keep his distance, pushing Carolyn Kennedy into the Senate has only gotten trickier. New York State is facing a budget crisis and a cash crunch, which means it needs two reliable Senators in D.C. One and a socialite who got some photo ops with Obama, won't cut it.

Patterson can't be guilted into giving way. He's reached well above his level of incompetence and isn't deluded enough to entertain any political ambitions beyond what he already has. And on top of that Patterson is a creature of New York's political machine. He owes his career to hundreds of men and women, rather than to the national party, let alone to a Junior Senate from Illinois. And it's those men and women who are likely to put forward one of their own for the job.

In New York, Obama is faced with a choice he can't rig, and won't buy. Which leaves it up to Carolyn Kennedy to do the buying. If there's one thing Obama is good at, it's sacrifice. And while he's prepared to use Carolyn Kennedy, he's not about to risk an already scandal plagued situation by pushing too hard. So while Carolyn Kennedy works the phones and makes the offers, she has already discovered that she will have to do all the heavy lifting by herself.

Obama's people have never been very strong in New York. Not only did Obama lose the New York primary, but even his election showing was underwhelming for a Blue State with a large minority population. The Chicago Mob may have taken Washington, but New York has its own mob, and whatever talks are going on there are cautious and guarded. Replacing one celebrity carpetbagger with another really isn't on the agenda. So while Obama and some members of the national press may have selected Carolyn Kennedy, they won't have to get her past the voters, but past people as ugly, cynical and greedy as themselves.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Death by Gratification in an Unbalanced Society

It's in human nature to learn through positive and negative reinforcement. People desire positive outcomes and learn to avoid negative outcomes. And it is the negative outcomes that are extremely vital to the learning process.

Understanding that hot things burn is vital for a child to avoid serious injury. It is also vital that the functioning adult once have been a child who learned that hot things burn. Subtract the negative outcome and what remains is a desire for gratification unchecked by any understanding of negative consequences.

Self-help gurus often encourage people to accentuate the positive, and to recognize how much good there is in their life, rather than highlighting how much is wrong or lacking. But that is contrary to human nature and even basic biology. Our own safety and self-preservation requires that we notice what is wrong, while learning to take the good things for granted. Constantly being happy that we are breathing is all very well in a philosophical sort of way, but it is far more important to notice and take care of even the minor aches and pains, as they may be symptoms of something more serious. That of course is the point of pain.

And so the negative plays a crucial role in human development. The negative outcome, or even the fear of a negative otucome, is more compelling than the promise of an equivalent positive outcome. Coming of age, most human beings have learned that negative outcomes are dangerous, and while positive outcomes are desireable, they must be balanced against the risk of a negative outcome.

Taken the right way this produces balanced, healthy and functioning people. But what happens when the negative outcomes begin to be taken off the table. What happens when the child never learns to fear hot objects, or is taught to attribute a burn on touching a hot object, to something other than his own action in touching a hot object?

The question isn't complicated because we happen to be living in that society right now.

For generations we have worked very hard to take negative outcomes off the table, as a result each generation has grown up more handicapped than the last, by its inability to learn the basic facts of life.

As negative outcomes disappear, the pleasure seeking side functions unchecked. The old rational balance between pleasure and pain collapses, and what that means for society is utterly disastrous. In a society with a balance between negative and positive outcomes, people forge strategies that enable them to avoid negative otucomes, and to embrace supermortality goals allowing them a legacy that transcends death. Whether that legacy is building a family or building a skyscraper, or discovering a new scientific principle.

In a society that has become unbalanced toward the negative outcomes, life is hard and the result touches off constant violence, brutality and rule by terror. Or in other words what we can see across much of the Third World.

In a society that has become unbalanced toward positive outcomes, people lose an understanding of consequences and embrace pleasure seeking. Morals degenerate as people "live to be happy" and pursuit of pleasure becomes a major goal, resulting in a rapid race to the bottom as successive taboos are tapped out by people with little understanding or belief in negative consenquences.

Where an understanding of negative consequences causes people to form goal achieving strategies which produce happiness as a byproduct, rather than focusing on happiness as the goal, the lack of that understanding drives people to "cut out the middleman" and in general be intolerant of any delays or processes and procedures, producing a society of people that "want it all now".

Rebelliousness becomes seen as a higher calling by people who no longer recognize that social stability is a virtue, rather than an obstacle. When pleasure seeking is a higher principle, social stability of any kind is an obstacle and must be torn down. Such assaults may be disguised by various forms of idealism, but pleasure seeking rather than idealism is at the root of them.

When the rebels move into public life, their goals are to take more and more negative outcomes off the table, cushioning the next generation even further from the real world. Warnings are everywhere, criminals are coddled, bureaucracy expands with the mission of taking care of the people. Any classical symbols of authority and the superego are despised, as threatening. Morality is uprooted and turned inside out. The outsider is welcomed in, and the native is driven out.

This of course insures that the next generation understands even less about the real world than the prior one did. And that they live in a world that is far more dangerous than ever, without them being aware of it.

Abstractions are embraced, concrete ideas are washed away. Describing your feelings about a problem becomes far more important than describing the problem itself. Media is everywhere, reality is filtered, distorted and played with until it becomes unrecognizable. The goal of art becomes not to depict reality, but to depict an inner mental state or an altered perspective. Stories no longer have endings, poems no longer rhyme, the dominant creative culture is rooted in the psyche of the individual, and not in any form of reality and strives to escape formal rules whenever possible.

Risky behavior becomes a way of life, in entertainment, in social settings, and politically and economically as well, Of course entertainment, politics and business often draws in people for whom negative outcomes are imaginary and risk is a challenge, and pleasure seeking reigns supreme, but what has changed is the lack of any plan to avoid negative outcomes, or even understanding that it is a possibility. Ventures are launched, which on rational analysis are simply indefensible, public behavior hits a new low each day fueled primarily by irresponsibility, and on it goes.

The end result for many individuals in such a society, and for the society itself, is death by gratification. Remove enough negative consequences, and an individual and eventually a culture will destroy itself.

The debates over abortion, homosexuality, drug use, terrorism, immigration and crime are debates between those who can understand negative consequences, and those who cannot. Which is why such debates typically reach a dead end. Because you cannot convey to someone that a hot object burns, and telling them that it does is not nearly the same thing.

For those who woke up on 9/11, even those who afterward went to sleep, felt that pain, and the knowledge now that the hot object burns. They did not often understand what to do about it, but tens of millions of people suddenly felt an understanding of the world that had been denied to them. The sudden solidarity, the determination, the new role models, all came because generations of a society that had been taught to think and view the world like children, were suddenly forced to think and see the world like adults.

If couldn't last of course for many, who were led back to the usual pleasure seeking mechanisms, told by the government to forget and go shopping, led through the therapy maze to talk out their feelings, place themselves at the center of a crisis, and return to life with the sense that they were all that mattered, and finally fading back into a culture glutted with self-entitlement, the succeeding rebelliousness and magical thinking-- all of which equal a blindness to the real threat.
But the problem remains the same. Europe and America are children living in a world of adult consequences that the heavy hand of government and the media have sheltered them from. Pleasure seeking has taken the fore. Marriages are delayed, birth rates fall, illegal immigration rises as negative outcomes are taken off the table for native workers, crime rises, terrorism rises, and a declining society confronts an all out invasion-- incapable of even understanding what must be done.

The problem however is not simply the invasion, it is the enforced childishness that brought it about. Subtract the invaders, and the same pleasure seeking society which has lost an understanding of negative outcomes, will still pursue its own folly. Japan has no Muslim invasion to contend with, but its birth rates are falling, its institutions are crumbling, and its governments offer no useful solutions for confronting the threat to their survival coming from North Korea.

Or to put it another way, The Problem is Not in the Stars, but in Ourselves.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Afternoon Roundup - The UAE Part 2

 Dhimmi Watch

"FM: UAE committed to maintaining good bilateral ties with Iran," from Xinhua, December 19:
ABU DHABI, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is committed to maintaining good bilateral relations with Iran, Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said in a report published Friday on local newspaper Gulf News.
Iran is an important neighbor of the UAE and the two countries enjoy many important common interests and ties, Sheikh Abdullah said.

"On this basis, we hope that the establishment of the UAE-Iranian Ministerial Joint Committee will give a positive push to the existing relations between the two countries," a statement by Sheikh Abdullah to the Gulf News was quoted as saying.

The remarks were made in response to the issue of search procedures of Iranian visitors at UAE airports that raised concerns of Iranian authorities, according to the report.

The UAE thinks it is necessary and important that all issues potentially affecting bilateral relations with Iran must be resolved in a proper and timely manner. "There is no doubt that there is an urgent need for a solution to the issues," Sheikh Abdullah said.

"We asked the Iranians to task the UAE-Iranian Consular Joint Committee, due to meet later this month, with resolving the issue and ensuring that proper search procedures are followed. This is based on our belief that the interests of both countries make it necessary to contain any reasons for misunderstanding and resolve them," he added.

More on Dubai and Al Queda

Two of the hijackers came from the UAE and hijacker money was laundered through the UAE. The details are spelled out in documents in the government's case against Moussaoui.

The ties with bin Laden and the Taliban reach far back into the '90s. Prominent Persian Gulf officials, including members of the UAE royal family, and businessmen would fly to Kandahar on UAE and private jets for hunting expeditions, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2001. In addition to ranking UAE ministers, these parties included Saudi big wigs like Prince Turki, the former Saudi intelligence minister who now is ambassador to the U.S.

General Wayne Downing, Bush's former national director for combating terrorism, was quoted on MSNBC in September, 2003 saying, "They would go out and see Osama, spend some time with him, talk with him, you know, live out in the tents, eat the simple food, engage in falconing, some other pursuits, ride horses. One noted visitor is Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktum, United Arab Emirates Defense Minister and Crown Prince for the emirate of Dubai.''

Bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar joined the hunting parties, and there are suspicions Al Qaeda and Taliban personnel are smuggled out on returning flights.

Here is one report, sourced to the 9-11 Commission,

"February 1999: Bin Laden Missile Strike Called Off for Fear of Hitting Persian Gulf Royalty. Intelligence reports foresee the presence of bin Laden at a desert hunting camp in Afghanistan for about a week. Information on his presence appears reliable, so preparations are made to target his location with cruise missiles. However, intelligence also puts an official aircraft of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and members of the royal family from that country in the same location. Bin Laden is hunting with the Emirati royals, as he did with leaders from the UAE and Saudi Arabia on other occasions (see 1995-2001). Policy makers are concerned that a strike might kill a prince or other senior officials, so the strike never happens. A top UAE official at the time denies that high-level officials are there, but evidence subsequently confirms their presence. (9-11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (B))"

As the Financial Times put it, in the UAE, "Western fraud investigators may find a link here or a connection there, with a person suspected of breaking western laws. But in Dubai, and its neighbor Sharjah, trails tend to vanish like wind-blown tracks in desert sands . . . Secrecy keeps everyone guessing—and speculating . . . 'Medieval feudalism' is how one senior western banker described Dubai's style of government, 'with a veneer of 21st century regulations.' " 

Meanwhile the US is working to help Iran, I mean the UAE, develop a nuclear program for "civilian purposes." Because of course if there's one thing an oil rich dictatorship, most of whose residents are foreign workers, needs is civilian nuclear power for peaceful purposes. (Hat tip WorldAntiTerror)

The Bush administration plans to sign its first nuclear-cooperation agreement with a Middle Eastern nation within the next few weeks, according to a senior U.S. official, raising concerns among congressional critics who say the deal could fuel nuclear proliferation in the region.

The proposed deal with the United Arab Emirates has attracted attention because the U.A.E.'s largest trading partner is Iran. The U.A.E. has served in the past as a transshipment point for technology with military applications headed to Iran.

Though I'm sure Obama will just cut out the middleman and help Iran directly.