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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Where Have All Our War Heroes Gone?

By On October 31, 2009
Today Barack Hussein Obama is a million times more famous than Jeremy Glick, Todd Beamer or any of the other Flight 93 passengers who rushed the cockpit and prevented the terrorists from using their plane as guide missile. He is more famous than any of the firefighters, NYPD and PAPD police officers, as well as civilians who tried to save lives during the attacks of 9/11. He is of course vastly more famous than any of the soldiers who have died over the last eight years fighting terrorism.

In Israel, the preparations are underway for the annual Rabin commemorations. The former Prime Minister is not being remembered for his shelling of a ship full of Jewish refugees and arms being brought in by Nationalist Zionists. He is not being remembered for his Six Day War heroism, which consisted him of having a nervous breakdown and then having a helmet plopped on his head for that famous Jerusalem photo, incidentally a photo that conservative general, Rehavam Ze'evi, who would later be murdered by the same terrorists that Rabin helped bring into Israel, is routinely cropped out of. No, Rabin is remembered for signing the disastrous Oslo accords, turning over a sizable portion of Israel to Arafat's terrorists, and creating a disaster that has cost the lives of a great number of Israelis in the process. Naturally Rabin is remembered as a hero, and is vastly more famous than of the soldiers and civilians murdered because of his policies.

And that in sum total is the problem with the world today. Our cultural heroes are not the people who fight evil or save lives, but who pimp appeasement in the name of peace. Every insipid quote from them about non-violence is repeated and savored, treated as a great insight into how we should all live. It doesn't matter whether their actual lives bore any resemblance to their fictional lives.

In real life Gandhi was a sadistic hypocrite who flirted with Nazi and Japanese occupations, viciously abused his wife and children, endorsed Apartheid so long as it excluded his fellow Indians and casually flipped from moralizing about extremes of non-violence, to endorsing even the most brutal butchery if it accomplished his political ends. That of course is not the Gandhi we know. The Gandhi we know is a saint of peace, an apostle of appeasement whose virtues are used as a model for urging us to never respond with force to the people who want to kill us.

Let us go back to America for a moment. Which American leader has an entire holiday dedicated in his name? Martin Luther King, who delivered the following speech;

"Perhaps the more difficult but no less necessary task is to speak for those who have been designated as our enemies. What of the National Liberation Front -- that strangely anonymous group we call VC or Communists? What must they think of us in America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the south? What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of "aggression from the north" as if there were nothing more essential to the war? How can they trust us when now we charge them with violence after the murderous reign of Diem and charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings even if we do not condone their actions. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts... And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them -- the only party in real touch with the peasants. "

Had the speech been penned in the halls of the Kremlin, it could hardly have been written any differently. And yet Martin Luther King has his own holiday, while the numberless American soldiers of every race and creed who died in Vietnam, remain anonymous except for a list of names on a wall.

And so it goes as we reward those who speak about peace and counsel appeasement. We speak about them fighting for peace, when in truth those who fight for peace are those who pick up a rifle and stand in defense of their country against those who would destroy, enslave and oppress. They exploit freedom to urge a surrender to those who would take away that very freedom they abuse.

The West has embraced appeasement as its cultural model, and it is a process that has been underway for some time. American 19th century liberals who had become very enthusiastic about war before the Civil War, embraced anti-war activism denouncing every conflict America entered into. In Europe the senselessness of WW1 turned it into a convenient model for reducing every war as another conflict between capitalists and imperialists, an attitude that nearly turned over most of Europe to Hitler, all but for England bringing in Churchill at the last minute to do the dirty work of war, and then giving him the boot once he was done, to make way for the work of building the socialist utopia.

In Israel Rabin's assassination helped create a convenient icon that elevates the death of one single man, over the deaths of all caused by his policies. It is as if Chamberlain had been shot to death, and Labor had gone on treating his death as a vindication of his policies even with German troops running wild across the countryside. That is literally the situation in Israel, as everyone from politicians to schoolchildren on down will be lectured sonorously on the great virtues of peace as embodied by a man who destroyed Israel's security and created its greatest crisis... in exchange for a Nobel Peace Prize.

This flavor of leftist lunacy epitomizes just how appeasement has become embodied as the modern political virtue of virtues... despite endless examples to the contrary. The great modern heroes imposed on us are the men who chose to give up, to wave the white flag in the name of peace or whatever collection of trite virtues about love, togetherness and amity that their speechwriters could cobble together on short notice.

But while a decadent culture may reward pacifists and appeasers with golden thrones and laurels, at least after death, the real world does not. In the real world, Obama's Afghan policy is faltering badly, because soft power is just a fancy way of saying indecisive. Ahmadinejad and Chavez are playing the Great Leader like a cheap deck of cards and the world is laughing at us. In the real world, agreements with the VC meant the submergence of Vietnam beneath the boot of a Communist tyranny. In the real world, shaking hands with Hitler and Stalin meant agreeing to the mass murder of millions and the tyranny of hundreds of millions. In the real world shaking hands with Arafat meant shaking hands with terrorism. And in the real world the much ballyhooed ideas, the stirring quotes that coat a sugary layer over the reality of embracing evil, are a suicide pill for civilization.

Let us stop venerating the appeasers and stop treating the Gandhis, Rabins, Kings, Chamberlains and Obamas as heroes. They are not heroes. Speaking about peace is not heroism and fighting for peace does not mean delivering a well written speech absolutely detached from the hard realities of the world. Heroism is not about expressing ideas that others will have to die for because there will be no one left to defend them. Heroism is not found by surrendering to evil, by leaving your nation naked to those who would murder, torture and enslave your citizens. Heroism is found in resisting them. Death is not proof of heroism. Many men have died and the worms have eaten their bones. Dying in defense of others is heroism and it is the common virtue that unites our true heroes, who rushed into burning buildings, manned tanks and machine gun posts in the face of overwhelming opposition, and fought back even when appeasement and the sweet song of peace seemed easier by far.

Ir is time to reject the obscene lie that claims that a well written speech about non-violence is nobler and more worthy of note and remembrance than that lonely soldier in the fog waiting for the enemy to come.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Enjoy Sharia Law on Broadway

By On October 30, 2009

The Obama Administration is finally ready to begin the Big Push. No, not the one to stop the Taliban... but to pass a gargantuan health care nationalization plan that the majority of the American people are opposed to and that no one besides China can actually pay for.

While Hillary Clinton is off doing "valuable work" by holding meetings with assorted Pakistanis, Joe Biden is trying not to pass out during interviews, Pelosi and Reid are trying to shove ObamaCare down the American throat like a bad case of strep. On the bright side, if ObamaCare covers as many people as Obama's Stimulus plan did, I imagine it will cover about two dozen people somewhere in Vermont.

Back in Americaland though, more health care bills just means another civil war among the Democrats. Naturally the first target was Senator Joe Lieberman who was supposed to have been made an example of for actually trying to be a moderate and resisting the party radicals. Lieberman instead survived and even thrived.

Naturally the fun is just getting started. Ads are already being run targeting Lieberman... by both sides, with the conservative 60 Plus coalition warning of cuts in medicare and the nutroots damning Lieberman as what else but a shill for the insurance companies.

Of course using that same logic, Obama was a shill for Wall Street... but the double standards just keep on coming. But it's a lot of work nowadays, because Democrats have to begin selling Americans on the idea that the economy has recovered and the recession is over... despite all those lost jobs and the fact that nothing at all has recovered outside of Wall Street, where taxpayer money was fueled into the same dark maw that caused the problems in the first place.

Then there's health care reform, which Democrats have figured will be hard to sell, unless you can convince the American people that the economy is now good and the US government is rolling in extra dough. And if they can't do that by the 2010 elections, the veto proof majority is likely to be gone, and the Dems will be left with the kind of congress the GOP had post 2006, just enough power to take the blame, not enough to accomplish anything.

With Obama's numbers dropping, there's a stench of desperation coming off the Dems. A bad foul stench.

And MSNBC, the default network of the far left is running into trouble too, particularly with its newest, most hyped and most radical member. Rachel Maddow.

Most cable news ratings are going to show declines from their election year heyday last fall, but for MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show (which debuted in September, 2008) those year over year declines have made October, 2009 its lowest rated month ever in both average viewers and the cable news targeted adults 25-54 demo, down 54% and 65% respectively from October, 2008.

Which suggests that MSNBC may be going the way of Air America, at least in the case of Maddow, an Air America alum, who has served as a forum for the most radical of the nutroots. While MSNBC is crowing that it beat CNN, this is more of a reflection of how badly off CNN is, than any kind of win for MSNBC.

It's not hard to see why Obama is running scared. Cable News is going the way of Talk Radio. And its biggest success, Glen Beck, comes out of the radio market. But it's also not hard to see the rapid end of the CNN model, of network news in general, because what sells best is open propaganda, not between the lines bias. MSNBC's ratings are miserable, but they're still less miserable than CNN, whose only real hope for ratings is the burgeoning Anderson Cooper gay scandal.

The 2008 election probably marked the final break between the old model of news, and the new one, that emphasizes scandals and rants. As a guardian op ed points out, FOX has helped push CNN and MSNBC to openly embrace radicalism, dropping the facade of journalism.

This is an odd and patronising fear, though true at one level. Fox is certainly influencing CNN and MSNBC, but in a liberal, not conservative, direction. That is, to compete with Fox's ratings-rich combination of news and punditry, those networks have had to scramble to find leftwing counterparts to Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly.

This has been a boon for leftwing gabbers. MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow, all of whom dedicate themselves to railing against Republicans nightly, owe their careers in a way to Fox's success in carving out a large place for punditry in the cable media landscape. If anything, MSNBC is even more opinionated in a liberal direction than Fox is in a conservative one. Even the news anchors on MSNBC don't bother to conceal their anti-conservative hostilities anymore. David Shuster and Tamron Hall scoffed openly at Rush Limbaugh's NFL ownership bid.

CNN's Jack Cafferty, a grumpy liberal version of Bill O'Reilly, also owes his career to Fox, as does Rick Sanchez. CNN, which once prided itself on high-brow news presentation, feels it has to get into the opinion game too.

And when the bias is open, it becomes harder to claim that talk of liberal media is just a "right wing fantasy". Unintentionally FOX has helped make the liberal media come out of the closet.

On the one hand this kind of ugliness is now the default mode. On the other hand, there are no more rocks to hide behind. It was possible to argue that Dan Rather was just doing his job and not taking sides, but no one can even begin to make that same argument about Cafferty or Olbermann. And an open bare knuckle fight may be preferable to a thousand poisoned knives in the dark.

And that's what really bothers the Obama White House.

Meanwhile in worldchanging news, Hillary Clinton went to Pakistan where she had the solution to all of Pakistan's problems. Embrace Obama's Tax-Fu. (Via Gateway Pundit)

“The percentage of taxes on GDP (in Pakistan) is among the lowest in the world… We (the United States) tax everything that moves and doesn’t move, and that’s not what we see in Pakistan,” she said.

First of all you have to have a functioning country to be able to tax everything that moves. Second of all in a country where terrorists can make money off the black market, do you really want to push aggressive taxation that will expand the black market?

And then there was Hillary Clinton's hard core grasp of the major issues;

LAHORE: The leadership of Al Qaeda is in Pakistan, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.

“I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to,” she added. “Maybe that’s the case; maybe they’re not gettable. I don’t know... As far as we know, they are in Pakistan,” Clinton told senior Pakistani newspaper editors in Lahore,

Is anyone even briefing her anymore?

Clinton attempted a relaxed manner, with an aside about having a Pakistani roommate.

One wonders if she meant Huma Abedin whose parents were Pakistani.

At IsraPundit, Bill Levinson looks at how Green Jobs are Made in China

The New York Times (10/29, B6) reports, “A consortium of Chinese and American companies announced a joint venture on Thursday to build a 600-megawatt wind farm in West Texas, using turbines made in China. Construction of the $1.5 billion wind farm will be financed largely by Chinese banks, with the help of loan guarantees and cash grants from the United States government.”

Next I would like to take a little time out to address an article from Vdare, a site I do not link to, by Steve Sailer. You can find the text of the article here. I'm not in the habit of replying to everything that comes out of that burst sewage pipe, but since Michelle Malkin thought the article was buzzworthy, I've decided to address it.

It's easy enough to destroy it point by point, but since the article is a barely coherent hodgepodge of claims about Ashkenazi genes, Jewish media power, ancestor worship, Goldman Sachs, Israel... let's skip to the actual conclusion.

Steve Sailer concludes his "article" with the following claim:

Thus Jewish demonization of immigration reform patriots appears to have two motivations:


And this demonization is the single most important reason that America’s immigration disaster is still above criticism, long after it has become obvious that it is a disaster, and despite the fact that an overwhelming number of Americans are strongly opposed to it.

Really? One could almost imagine that the United States Chamber of Commerce (the organization so many bloggers are now rushing to defend) had not been pushing for more immigration and the legalization of illegal immigrants.

For the 111th Congress, the Chamber will:

* Continue to push for comprehensive immigration reform that: increases security; has an earned pathway to legalization for undocumented workers already contributing to our economy, provided that they are law-abiding and prepared to embrace the obligations and values of our society; creates a carefully monitored guest or essential worker program to fill the growing gaps in America's workforce recognizing that, in some cases, permanent immigrants will be needed to fill these gaps; and refrains from unduly burdening employers with worker verification systems that are underfunded or unworkable.

If you're confused by what any of that means, it means the Chamber of Commerce wants to legalize illegal aliens already in the US, increase temporary worker visas and increase the number of permanent immigrants.

Why does the Chamber of Commerce want that? Because it's about the money and about bringing in the cheap labor.

Really now, why do you think that prominent Republicans like Bush Sr, Bush Jr and McCain were such big fans of open borders and bringing in more immigrants. It didn't have a whole lot to do with Steve Sailer's Jewish conspiracy, and a whole lot to do with the fact that the needs of big business are not those that necessarily benefit America itself.

But unpleasant facts like that are not nearly as sexy as blaming the whole thing on the Jews.

Of course Steve Sailer might reply that the Jews run the Chamber of Commerce. But do Jews run the Catholic Church?

While Sailer appears to blame Jewish romanticism of immigration, such romanticism is hardly limited to Jewish immigrants, versus say Catholic, Irish, Italian and Latino immigrants in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

In fact the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has been a major force behind the push for legalizing illegal immigrants, who happen to be heavily Catholic.

A poll by the Migration and Refugee Services of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops found that 69 percent of Catholics supported legalizing illegal aliens.

That kind of percentages are far more likely to promote unrestricted immigration, rather than the all-powerful Jews of Sailer's mythology.

I don't blame the Catholic Church for promoting the immigration of more Catholics to America. I just wish they would limit that support to legal immigration only. Nevertheless the Church has the right to promote what it likes, as does every other group in America. It's possible to take issue with what they promote, but it is perfectly possible to criticize an organization's policies, without trafficking in conspiracy theories about entire ethnic groups or trying to level all the blame for an international problem on one particular group.

The fact of the matter is that immigrant groups who came to America within the last 125 years are going to be far more likely to see immigration positively, than those who have not. Additionally big business has always needed immigration as a source of cheap labor. Steve Sailer's article, "Norman Podhoretz’s Why Are Jews Liberal? Not Good Enough", detours from those basic facts to promote his agenda, which is to begin by claiming that the Jews have taken over the GOP and to conclude by essentially arguing that the Jews have taken over America, since as Lawerence Auster points out

To say that the Jews are the primary force that is suppressing the supposed immigration restrictionist sentiment of the overwhelming majority of Americans, to suggest that but for the Jews the non-Jewish majority would have ended America's mass Third-World immigration policy by now

... which as has been demonstrated is blatantly false.

The article's early mention of Joe Sobran props up Sailer's only real thesis that runs through the piece, that Jews have leveraged their power to make themselves above criticism. One wonders which universe Sailer is living in, because in my universe the average newspaper takes the side of terrorists over Israel, emphasizes the Jewishness of criminals and is willing to print outright smears about Judaism.

A lot of the American Far Right seems slow to learn the lessons that the European Far Right is learning... that maybe they have bigger problems to deal with than the Jews. But it's always easier to take the lazy Protocols of the Elders of Zion way out.

Continuing the roundup, Obama's Muslim advisor doesn't regret anything she said on a Hizb U Tahir program, only that she went on it. Which is the sort of thing that we would buy if we believed that she was either ignorant of Hizb U Tahir, something that itself would make her unqualified to advise Obama on Muslim issues. So either Dalia Mogahed is a liar and in bed with Islamists, or incompetent. Either way she should go.

But of course we know that Obama's people have a history of quietly making contact with Islamists and terrorists. Even before he crawled into the White House.

Vlad Tepes meanwhile cites the new face of Cambridge grads, forget stiff upper lip and tweed, think Burqas.

Cambridge University will allow female Muslim students to wear burkas at graduation ceremonies, it emerged yesterday.

By tradition, students are required to wear dark suits and white shirts under their graduation gowns.


Yesterday it said burkas could also be worn under mortar boards to graduation ceremonies, as well as during tutorials and lectures.

Membership of Cambridge’s Islamic Society suggests it has around 600 Muslim students.

Goodbye Cambridge.

At Boker Tov Boulder, First Amendment "NOT WITHSTANDING"

Readers will note that the Organization of the Islamic Conference has a membership of 57 states. When Candidate Obama alarmed some folks by claiming he had campaigned in 57 states, there was a hue and cry -- not about what he had said and what it might mean, but against those who had noticed.

Back in the dusty BtB archives, I once wondered aloud about the "other countries" in Obama's statement that "we can't ... expect that other countries are going to say OK." I wrote then that

I don't get it. What other countries? Does he mean we take our orders from the OIC?

I guess that's exactly what he meant.

At Fiery Spirited Zionist, Obama is working to redistribute some American wealth to those 57 Islamic states

The White House Friday highlighted a new multi-million-dollar technology fund for Muslim nations, following a pledge made by President Barack Obama in his landmark speech to the Islamic world.

The White House said the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) had issued a call for proposals for the fund, which will provide financing of between 25 and 150 million dollars for selected projects and funds.

Now what are the odds that the money will directly or indirectly benefit terrorists? Considering the Zakah money that most Muslim businesses provide, a sizable portion of which goes to Islamists or terrorists... we might as well just give it to the Taliban directly.

Oh wait... we already are.

Meanwhile the way is being paved with a spate of articles claiming that there really is no group called the Taliban, that it's a broad coalition, most of whom just want food and water. The same claim was also made about Al Queda.

For those with longer memories, the same claim was made about the Viet Cong, who we were assured were mostly not Communists and perfectly jolly fellows who would happily lay down their arms if we just gave them reason to trust us.

No less a personage than Martin Luther King himself delivered this kind of nonsense back in the 60's.

What of the National Liberation Front -- that strangely anonymous group we call VC or Communists? What must they think of us in America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the south? ... Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts.

How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent Communist and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will have no part? They ask how we can speak of free elections when the Saigon press is censored and controlled by the military junta. And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them -- the only party in real touch with the peasants. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded.

Well luckily Martin Luther King was absolutely right. We struck a peace settlement with the Viet Cong who were not all Communist and today Vietnam is a thriving utopia where its people have free elections and all are welcome to... oh wait. We struck a deal, the deal was worthless... and the nice folks that Benedict Arnold Jr told us are not at all Communists... went and created themselves a Communist dictatorship with no free elections.

Who knew? And who wants to bet that by the time Obama's people are done, they'll find some nice Taliban to negotiate with, force Karzai to cut a deal, and then take the helicopters from the embassy while beneath us the Taliban return to implement the glorious gender justice of Sharia law?

But gender justice in Islam is not completely a lost cause. Never fear.

At FaithFreedom, we have the story of a Muslim wife who tried to honor kill her husband.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A 37-year-old wife from New Brighton tried to slit her husband’s throat as he slept because he was not the devout Muslim she believed she married, and pressured her to eat pork and drink alcohol, authorities allege.

In a rambling, four-page handwritten confession, Rabia Sarwar laid out the “mental and emotional cruelty” that led to her trying to kill her husband, Susan Wagner High School teacher Sheikh Naseem, early yesterday morning, a law enforcement source said.

“I tried my best to cut his throat,” Ms. Sarwar admitted, according to court papers. Except Naseem woke up during the attempt, and took the knife from her, authorities said.

The way the law enforcement source describes it, Ms. Sarwar, who is Pakistani, told investigators that Naseem, who is half-Pakistani, had presented himself as a devout Muslim before the two had wed five months ago.

But after the marriage, she discovered more about him, she told investigators — before meeting her, he had only dated non-Muslims, and he considered Salman Rushdie to be one of his favorite authors.

Well clearly he had to die.

But the good news is that Rabia Sarwar represents a way forward for Muslim women to gain equal rights to kill men who aren't Muslim enough.

For centuries Muslim men have been able to kill Muslim women who they felt weren't Muslim enough. Now in a stirring tribute to Sharia's gender justice, perhaps Muslim women will enjoy the same rights to slit throats, throw acid and behead.

Between female suicide bombers and female honor killers, you can't deny the fact that Islam is doing its best to give Muslim women an equal role in carrying out the true teachings of Islam.

But you know aside from the homicidal stuff, the rest of the picture doesn't look good. See the following article at Reality Check

The 2009 report by the World Economic Forum has listed predominantly Islamic nations in the bottom of their annual Global Gender Gap (GGG) Index. This included such major nations as Pakistan (ranked 132 out of 134), Saudi Arabia (ranked 130 out of 134), Iran (ranked 128 out of 134), Egypt (ranked 126 out of 134), and Turkey (ranked 129 out 134). Yemen, which is 99 percent Islamic, was the bottom ranked nation as 134 on the Global Gender Gap Index. The only nation not predominantly Islamic in the bottom of the Global Gender Gap index was Benin.

In addition, the 2009 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index report does not include rankings on a number of significant and predominantly Islamic nations where women are oppressed. Somalia (population of nearly 10 million) was not included in the index. Endless numbers of reports of the stonings and Islamic supremacist abuses of women have been reported in Somalia in the past year, including the stoning to death of a 13 year old girl based on “Sharia law” in October 2008. Sudan (population of nearly 41 million) was also not included in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index. Among other nations, Afghanistan (29 million) and Iraq (29 million) are also not included in this Global Gender Gap Index. With the index not reporting on these 109 million, the desperate fate of an estimated 50 plus million women are not included in this Global Gender Gap index report.

Even with these significant exclusions from the Global Gender Gap index report, the bottom 10 index nations (excluding Benin), which are all predominantly Islamic nations, represent a population of over half a billion individuals. These include Yemen (134 out of 134), Chad (133), Pakistan (132), Saudi Arabia (130), Turkey (129), Iran (128), Mali (127), Egypt (126), Qatar (125), Morocco (124). If women represent half of the population in these nations, then these bottom 10 predominantly Islamic nations demonstrate the ongoing oppression of an estimated 250 million women.

But there's good news. You don't have to go to Chad or Mali or Pakistan to enjoy Sharia law.

You can get it right here on Broadway.

The much-hyped, soon-to-open Breslin restaurant, situated in the 12-story Ace Hotel on Broadway and 29th, is giving members of the Masjid Ar-Rahman mosque across the street some agita. “Five times a day, there’s a hundred cabs on the street—the good news is you can always get a cab,” co-owner Ken Friedman told the Transom the other evening. He said some mosque visitors “object to seeing people drink alcohol.”

After the recent FergusStock, a festival during which famed British chef Fergus Henderson cooked whole pigs for a rapt crowd of New York chefs and foodies, Mr. Friedman said the mosque’s leaders called a meeting with the hotel. “They said, ‘Can you move the bar?’” he said. “And I laughed. And the guy said, ‘Oh, you think that’s funny?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, that is funny, that is really funny, because we’re not going to move the bar just because you discovered we’re serving booze.’ Can you name one restaurant in New York that doesn’t serve booze?”

Mr. Friedman and his partner, Spotted Pig chef April Bloomfield, did agree to nix plans for a dive bar in a townhouse next door, but as for the restaurant, “I said, ‘This is the United States of America and we’ll do whatever the fuck we want.’” He said the mosque had suggested it couldn’t control the behavior of “a few bad eggs”; i.e., “we could get a brick through our window.” Mr. Friedman said he made the police aware of this threat.

Enjoy your Sharia law. Now on Broadway.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Soft Power is a Fancy Way of Saying Indecisive

By On October 28, 2009
When Barack Obama completed his long march on the White House, liberal pundits promised us that he would completely transform US foreign policy from the dark days of the Bush Administration through soft power. Now thanks to all that squelching soft power we have gone from a foreign policy in which few liked us but we could get things done unilaterally... to a foreign policy in which everyone supposedly likes us but are actually less willing to help the new multilateral us, and as a result what we are left with is a foreign policy approach that can't get anything done at all anymore.

Anyone observing Obama's months of waffling on Afghanistan and Iran (the waffle clearly being an obvious example of soft power) can't help but conclude that soft power is just a fancy way of saying indecisive. An excuse for endlessly exploring ways to win over others to our point of view, leading to an endless chain of meetings in which nothing actually gets done. Soft power is a committee's way of making more committees, a boost for foreign aid and a chance to spend countless lives and dollars trying to fight wars the way that everyone else would like us to fight them. Which is either not at all, or wearing bright blue helmets and paying off insurgents who turn out to be playing both sides.

The Bush Administration tried soft power over and over again, only to find that old fashioned hard power is what actually gets things done. Anyone who remembers Colin Powell making his pitiful rounds at the UN remembers that. And it's no real surprise, because while soft power may be helpful for soliciting handshakes, long term alliances are sustained by at least one of the partners demonstrating his ability to carry his own weight, act forcefully and punish betrayals of the alliance. Even Barack Obama who has championed soft power toward Iran and the Taliban, flipped over to the old fashioned kind of power when it came to FOX News. Of course all it took to make Obama abandon the mantra of soft power was for him to confront a situation that unlike Iran and the War on Terror, he considered to be a genuine crisis... a cable news network not beholden to his agenda.

Soft power is perfectly fine if you're running for office while trying to be as non-threatening as possible. But real leadership requires making the hard decisions no one else will, and you can only pass the buck so often to the Pentagon or Joe Biden's office, before it becomes clear that you don't have a foreign policy, above and beyond simultaneously running for office in every country in the world.

Democracy may be a popularity contest, but foreign affairs aren't, and soft power is premised on D.C. rules, the notion that if you hand out enough pork, you'll win more allies. But handing out pork to the Taliban, just insures you'll be facing well fed Taliban come next spring. If an honest politician is a politician that stays bought, then tribal cultures who are always looking to cut deals three different ways, have no honest politicians. Paying an insurgent to go home, while the Taliban pays that same insurgent to fight, only creates a chaotic battlefield in which it becomes impossible to know on who's side anyone is anymore.

Every war in which America focused on winning hearts and minds first, and winning the war second, is a war we've lost. You can't buy loyalty, only a temporary ally at best. What you can do is win loyalty or insure loyalty by demonstrating that you have staying powers and that your words are not simply words, but have a tangible reality and active consequences.

The key words in foreign affairs are what's in it for me. A payoff is the cheapest and least worthwhile way to gain an ally, because all you gain is an ally for sale to anyone who can make a higher bid, who has no loyalty whatsoever, and will sell you out when the moment is right. Mutual interests are a much stronger bond, but they require actual mutual interests based on substantive agendas, rather than the virtual mutual interests based on some deluded notion that assorted third world dictatorships have the same wishes for peace and beliefs in a better future that we do. Finally there need to be negative consequences, whether stemming directly from us or indirectly from what will occur if the course of action we propose is not followed.

Soft power as practiced by Obama however is all carrot and no stick, letting our enemies munch away on the carrot, while we promise never to let a stick touch our hands. If you talk enough of peace to the wrong people, it becomes indistinguishable from surrender. If you adopt a foreign policy whose chief virtue is that it allows you to make speeches, while kicking over all the military decisions to the military, while denying them the support they need to implement those decisions-- then you've created an environment in which you will insure that they will fail, while your public image will succeed. At least until the consequences of your ego and incompetence moves the country from the Chamberlainian mode, back to the Churchillian.

The key problem with Obama's plan for Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan is that he has no plan except to avoid becoming entangled with any of them in order to shift blame for the coming disasters on someone else's head. Generals often end up with the responsibility for implementing political decisions that make no sense in relation to the facts on the ground. Obama's political decision on the War on Terror can be best summed up as, "Keep busy, but don't involve me in any of it, or ask me for anything." A rule that General McChrystal openly broke thereby throwing the Afghanistan debate into the public arena, and forcing the White House to try and defend their non-policy, even if the only soldiers they can find to do it are bravely manning their blackberries and pencil sharpeners in Joe Biden's office.

Embracing soft power is a handy way to act busy without accomplishing anything or risking much of anything. The Clinton Administration used soft power to go after Al Queda. The Bush Administration used bombs and bullets. Now we've switched back to a soft power breakfast buffet of waffles with a hearty serving of appeasement and pork, topped off with Coalition soldiers dying because their rules of engagement now favor the Taliban, because one side was paying off the Taliban without the other knowing about it, or because the Taliban are certain that their victory is near and have become bolder than ever.

Soft power means never having to be sure of anything, never having to do anything and never having to say sorry to the people who die because of your ineptness and indecisiveness. Isn't soft power wonderful?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Balance between Power and Freedom

By On October 27, 2009
Power and freedom are both quantities that can only co-exist at the individual level. Power at the institutional level is inimical to individual freedom, because power at the institutional level is most commonly represented in the form of control.

Some control is of course necessary, it is why government exists as a necessary evil. It is why we must have courts and police officers, armies, inspectors and assorted other functional arms of the system. But that necessary evil is a balance between freedom and authority. And at the point where the necessary evil becomes an unnecessary evil, the balance tilts toward tyranny.

What is an unnecessary evil? If a necessary evil is the use governmental authority that fulfills a vital function, an unnecessary evil is governmental authority that fulfills no vital function, or government for the sake of government. This was once the American view of government that treated government with justified suspicion, particularly centralized government. Today it has become a minority view. Instead the compulsive expansion of government is seen as a necessary good... and the more functions that government takes on, the better.

And so the balance between government power and individual freedom has tilted sharply in the direction of government power. That is the inevitable result of extending centralized power, which in government always comes at the expense of those over whom the government holds power... the citizenry.

America's Founders understood that the more power is collected in a single place, the less freedom there can be. Since government power is expressed as control over the lives of those who live under it, they were profoundly hostile toward the expansion of that power. The Declaration of Independence rejects any notion of government for the sake of government, as opposed to a government of the and by the people, and the Constitution reflects a healthy suspicion of the motives of the very government it was there to emplace.

They were not anarchists, they understood quite well that government was necessary, but they understood also that power corrupts, and that men with power tend to gather more power to themselves, a process that throughout history has brought down even the highest minded republics and nations.

The Constitution was meant to frame a strict structure for the United States government, one that would prevent not only future Caesars and Napoleons, but would prevent ambition and arrogance from wielding unjustified power in the name of even the best of intentions. And that is exactly what happened.

Americans did not wake up one morning to a coup, or saw a crusading general seize power and declare himself President for Life. Instead what took place was the subtle erosion of the restrictions on government authority, and a redefinition of the purpose of government, broadening its areas of responsibility in the name of the public good.

Today in the name of the public good, the government regulates what you may eat, where you may live, how you may travel, where you may build and where you may pray, everything from the great industries to the intimate details of your family life. All in the name of the public good.

For now the government has not yet regulated what you may say and where you may say it, mainly because the tattered shreds of the old Constitution still stand in the way, but if government authority continues to expand, that freedom like all others, will be nothing more than a barrier of sand against the onrushing tide.

The Founders understood that human appetite for power was unlimited, and that were numberless rationalizations for it. The growth of socialism across Europe and America was done in the name of the public good, yet once its proponents gained real power their tactics showed a ruthless ugliness that was only limited by the scope of their authority.

The Soviet experiment, in contrast to the American experiment, demonstrated what true socialism implemented under absolute authority looks like. The experiment has been repeated in numerous nations across the world. The results have been the same each and every time. But there should be no surprise in that, as giving absolute power in the name of any ideology will result in the same exact effect.

Socialism is only as humane as the limits of the authority of those who implement it. The less limits there are, the more ruthless it becomes. That is because socialism is the theory of government absolutism writ large. And that is an inevitable recipe for tyranny.

As America moves toward socialism, and away from traditional constitutional government, in the name of the public good... it is worth remembering that power does not co-exist with freedom. Despite whatever public good is being met, the expansion of government leads inevitably to a decrease in freedom.

The more government expands, the less freedom the people who live under it have. The more power is concentrated within government, the more unrestricted its use becomes, which is why the separation of powers is such a vital part of the American system of government. Many of America's Founding Fathers were gravely worried over that concentration of power within the Federal government, and its potential for expansion. That worry has long ago become reality.

Modern Americans have been conditioned to believe that freedom is a function of government, when freedom is in fact the absence of government. That dangerous misconception creates a distorted view of the intended place of government. No government can give freedom. Freedom is not given by government to the people, it is created through the absence of coercion, not through legislated rights. By embracing the socialist premise that government actions protects and creates rights, American democracy has reverted to a pre-Constitutional understanding of the relationship between government and the individual. And in doing so Americans have stopped being citizens who shape our government and become subjects who are shaped by it, for our "own good".

Monday, October 26, 2009

Voting like Episcopalians

By On October 26, 2009
The Conservative Jewish scholar, Martin Himmelfarb once quipped that, "Jews earn like Episcopalians, and vote like Puerto Ricans". That quip is often quoted but little questioned, because in fact Episcopalians often vote like Puerto Ricans themselves.

The Episcopalian Church supports illegal aliens, health care nationalization, the anti-war movement, abortion, card check, gay rights and affirmative action. It has an openly gay Bishop, it is a member of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and the Church has even spoken out in support of transgender civil rights. It was one of the key backers behind 40 Days for Health Reform. The 75th general convention delivered a resolution condemning the War in Iraq. The All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena took the anti-war position so far it became infamous for delivering an anti-war sermon before the 2004 election, resulting in an IRS investigation.

As it turns out, Jews do vote like Episcopalians after all. And the Episcopalians are not alone. America's elite liberal Protestant Churches served as the model for liberal Jewish Temples, just as liberal Protestant clergymen served as models for liberal Jewish clergymen, who were essentially aping the manners and politics of their social betters. All together they form what is known as the Religious Left, liberal clergy committed to using government powers to enforce their conception of social justice.

There are of course a great many members of their congregations who disagree. Some sit by silently or dismiss this week's sermon on the need to help the stranger, who in this case is likely to be a Muslim or transgender illegal alien. Some take more aggressive action which is the situation that has resulted in the split within the Anglican Communion.

The premise behind Himmelfarb's assumption is that Jews earn like upper class Americans, but vote like lower class Americans. The problem with that premise is that upper class Americans actually often vote like lower class Americans. Liberalism is not practiced by a bunch of radicals huddling in a cellar over a handful of bombs somewhere. And even when it is, the radicals tend to be the sons and grandsons of bank Presidents, as in the case of Bill Ayers and Barack Obama. Liberalism is practiced by the upper classes, as much if not more so than conservatism.

The fundamental economic difference between Democrats and Republicans lies in their differing approaches to economic aspiration. The Republicans emphasize the individual economic aspirations of those on bottom and in the middle climbing up the ladder through hard work, while Liberalism is rooted in the noblesse oblige of those on the top or the middle lifting up those below them through various social programs.

That is why Conservatism appeals most powerfully to the economic ideals of the working class and lower middle class, while Liberalism plays on the sense of obligation felt by the upper class and upper middle class, and the entitlement of some in the permanent lower classes.

Liberals love to play on the idea that Republicans are party of the rich, but Bill Gates, the richest man in America, is a liberal who after retiring from Microsoft has dedicated his time to using his foundation to push his political views. Bill Gates incidentally comes from a Congregationalist family. The second richest man is Warren Buffett, from a Presbyterian family, who like Bill Gates made the inevitable transition to being an agnostic, and sits on the board of the Gates Foundation. And of course is a liberal. During the 2008 election, Buffett said that it would take a lobotomy for him to vote for a Republican candidate because of his views on social justice.

Gates and Buffett's views help define why America has become so liberal. Both men like so many of their peers believe in wealth redistribution. Accordingly both Gates and Buffett donated to Obama. And both men are putting their money where their mouths are, by donating the bulk of their wealth to charity. And such views and behaviors are far from uncommon among America's wealthiest. The problem is that they are imposing them on everyone else as well.

Modern liberalism would probably not exist without the Ford Foundation. Or George Soros' wealth. Or to put it more simply, it would not exist if the top 1 percent of wealthiest people in America, as well as in Europe, Israel and much of the Western world, did not believe that their countries should be reorganized into great socialist hives. And did not spend large portions of their wealth to do just that.

The problem is not that Jews vote like Puerto Ricans, the problem is that they vote like Episcopalians. That is that Jews have abandoned the working class and middle class roots of their grandparents, in favor of joining in at the elitist table of liberalism. In an endless session of fundraisers and dinners for the liberal cause of the month, and most of all for redistributing the wealth that they attained, but don't feel they have a right to.

The people who believe most in the American Dream are not the Gates' and the Buffett's, but the Joe the Plumbers... the working class people hoping to move up, and struggling with the byzantine bureaucracy, unions and taxes that some of the wealthiest people in America helped impose on them. It is that segment of America that works hard for a living, or that remembers what it is like to work hard for a living... that represents the real grass roots base of the Republican Party. And it is that segment that unleashes the ugliest class warfare backlash from liberal elitists, whether it is Sarah Palin or Joe the Plumber.

Because there is class warfare in America, but it is a form of class warfare that thwarts the aspirations of those Americans trying to work their way up through hard work, by those who believe that sort of thing is an outdated relic that needs to make way for a socialist state. And paradoxically it is those Americans who have benefited the most from capitalism, who are doing the most to destroy it. For those who ask why Jews vote liberal, it may be much more pressing and important to ask the question, why Episcopalians who were America's elite vote liberal?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What George Bush Thought of Mohammed

By On October 25, 2009
By George Bush I don't mean the 41st or 43rd Presidents of the United States, but the 19th century clergyman and historian George Bush, who was also the author of the first American biography of Mohammed. Bush was also the great-grand uncle of the 41st President, and the great-great grand uncle of the 43rd President. But his views on Islam were significantly different than those of his more Saudi friendly modern day relations.

George Bush was one of the more famous ministers of his day, a biblical scholar, a liberal and controversial thinker. And while his biography of Mohammed was not particularly controversial in its day, you would have trouble finding a single bookstore willing to carry it today. Bush questioned everything about Mohammed's life and history, and phrases such as, "But in the Koran, a complete fabric of imposture, the last thing we are to expect is an honest adherence to the truth", would summon riots today.

Indeed riots nearly occurred when some of the clerics at Egypt's Al Azhar University got their hands on a translation of Bush's book, "The life of Mohammed: founder of the religion of Islam". A nervous state department in 2004 quickly put out a notice stating that the book had not been written by the current President, but by "a distant relative of the current president, five generations removed, but not his direct ancestor", was the product of "more parochial times" and its views "have nothing to do with the attitudes of current President Bush, who is respectful of Islam as one of the world's great religions"

Yet despite the long passage of time and the greater availability of sources today, George Bush's 19th century text on Mohammed is overall a good deal more accurate than the apologetic pablum that Karen Armstrong and her ilk ship out to college campuses. In fact George Bush seemed to understand Islam a good deal better than his grand-nephews several times removed.

George Bush draws a picture of Mohammed as a canny plotter, the orphaned son of a powerful dynasty looking to reclaim what his family had lost. A clever merchant who kept his ear close to the ground and plotted to take advantage of the power vacuum created by tribal infighting and the decline of the Persian and Roman empires. A man who with greedy genius built an empire by transforming his personal ambitions into a vast religion.

Boasting chapters with summaries such as "Mohammed forms the design of palming a new religion upon the world, the Prophet pretends to have a night journey through the seven heavens" and "the Jews the special objects of Mohammed's enmity", pull rather few punches and at times read as if they had been written by Geert Wilders, not a fairly progressive liberal clergyman and New York University professor.

Take Bush's critique of Mohammed's progressive revelation of the Koran;

He declared himself appointed to promulge a new revelation in successive portions, the aggregate of which was to constitute the Bible of his followers. The original or archetype of the Koran, he taught, was laid up from everlasting in the archives of Heaven, being written on what he termed the preserved table, near the throne of Allah, from which the series of chapters communicated by Gabriel were a transcript. This pretended gradual mode of revelation was certainly a master stroke of policy in the impostor.

...Had the whole volume been published at once, so that a rigid examination could have been instituted into its contents as a whole, and the different parts brought into comparison with each other, glaring inconsistencies would have been easily detected and objections urged which he probably would have found impossible to answer. But by pretending to receive his oracles in separate portions, at different times... he had a ready way of silencing all cavils, and extricating himself with credit from every difficulty, as nothing forbade the message or mandate of to-day being modified or abrogated by that of to-morrow.

Or George Bush's commentary on Mohammed's cynical campaign to win over converts;

The marks of imposture are much more discernible upon the pages subsequently revealed, in which the prophet had private ends of a sinister nature to accomplish... He applied himself in the most insinuating manner to all classes of people; he was complaisant and liberal to the poor, cultivating their acquittance and relieving their wants; the rich and noble he soothed by flattery; and bore affronts without seeking to avenge them. The effect of this politic management was greatly enhanced by the peculiar character of those inspired promises and threatenings which he brought to enforce his message.

His promises were chiefly those of a blissful paradise in another life; and these he studiously aimed to set forth in colours best calculated to work upon the fancies of a sensitive and sensual race, whose minds in consequence of their natural habits were little susceptible of the images of abstract enjoyments. The notions of a purely intellectual or spiritual happiness pertains to a more cultivated people.

... Mohammed was well aware that a plenitude of these visible and palpable attractions, to say nothing of grosser sources of pleasure, was an indispensable requirement in a heaven suited to the temperament of his countrymen... such is the Mohammedan paradise, rendered alluring by its gross, carnal and luxurious character.

Or his commentary on how Mohammed got around the difficulty of producing actual miracles;

At a later period, when he was at Medina at the head of an army, he had a more summary way of solving difficulties arising from this source, for his doctrine then was, that god had formerly sent Moses and Jesus with the power of working miracles, and yet men would not believe, and therefore he had now sent him, a prophet of another order, commissioned to enforce belief by the power of the sword. The sword accordingly was to be the true seal of his apostleship.

Or Bush writing of Mohammed's night journey to Jerusalem;

The attentive observer of the distinguishing traits of Islamism will not fail to discover innumerable points of resemblance between that system and the divinely revealed religion of the Jews; and it appears to have been an object studiously aimed at by the impostor (Mohammed) to assimilate himself as much as possible to Moses, and to incorporate as many peculiarities of the Jewish economy into his own fabrication as he could without destroying the simplicity of his creed. This fact is in keeping with what may be asserted in general terms, that the descendants of Ishmael, under a consciousness that the covenanted blessings of God have flowed down in the line of Isaac and Jacob, have ever shown a disposition to imitate what they could not attain.

George Bush also notes the transition from Mohammed as the man of peace who does not compel anyone in religion, to the brutal warlord. A transition defined by how much power Mohammed had at his disposal.

In numerous passages of the Koran, published at Mecca, he expressly declared that his business only to preach and admonish, that he had no authority to compel anyone to embrace his religion... Indeed so far was he from allowing his followers to resort to violence, that he exhorted them to bear with meekness the injuries offered them on account of their faith...

But his exemplary moderation continued for the space of twelve years, seems to have been owing altogether to his want of power, and the ascendancy of his enemies; for no sooner was he enabled by the assistance of the men of Medina, to withstand his adversaries, than he suddenly "altered his voice" declaring that Allah had allowed him and his followers to defend themselves by human weapons against the infidels, and as his forces increased, he pretended to have the divine permission to act upon the offensive also, to attack his foes, to root out idolatry, and the urge the true faith at the point of the sword.

... This force, intolerant and sanguinary spirit will be found to distinguish most of the chapters revealed at Medina, so that it can be frequently determined from the tone and temper pervading it, without consulting the date, whether the portion was revealed before or after the flight. The prophet's followers have faithfully acted up the spirit of these precepts, and the terrific announcement attending the Moslem arms has been, "The Koran, death or tribute."

Finally Bush sums up the moral code of Mohammed thusly;

"Even at the present day among the prophet's disciples all over the East, no trait is more common or more revolting than 'recklessness of life', which is doubtless to be ascribed as much to national habits as to native cruelty or ferocity of disposition. We must indeed think but little of the morality of such a people, and must behold with indignation a pretended prophet, while professing to purify the moral code of his countrymen, continuing still in the practice of some of the worst of its tenents. Here, in fact our heaviest condemnation falls upon Mohammed. He did not observe the rules of morality which he himself laid down, and which he enforced upon others by such terrible sanctions. No excuse can be offered for the impostor on this score. He abused his claims as a prophet to screen the guilty excesses of his private life, and under the pretence of a special revelation, dispensing himself from the laws imposed by his own religion, had the female sex abandoned without reserve to his desires.

... This is but too fair a specimen of the general character of the Koran. By far the greater part of its contents were fabricated to answer particular purposes which he could effect in no other way; and this was an expedient which never failed. If any new enterprise was to be undertaken, any new objections answer, any difficulty to be solved, any disturbance among his followers to be hushed, or any offence to be removed, immediate recourse was had to Gabriel, and a new revelation, precisely adapted to meet the necessities of the case, was granted.

....teaching, that the grand principles of morality are not eternal and immutable, growing out of the very nature of the relations substituting between the Creator and his creatures, but are mere arbitrary rules, subject to be relaxed, modified, or dispensed with, as circumstances may dictate."

In short George Bush reduces the story of Mohammed and the narrative of Islam to its bare bones as a sham and charade, carried out by one man and his greedy and deluded disciples. Bush is by no means as harsh as he could be no Mohammed. At times he defends him against the attacks of early Christian writers. He takes tales of Mohammed's supposed heroism in battle at face value, though those tales all come from his own followers. Nevertheless the book succeeds at dissecting Islamism far better than any college text could.

And if all this had not sufficiently succeeded in offending and enraging Muslims, George Bush had also called for the creation of a Jewish State in Israel.

It is ironic that a 19th century George Bush understood the character and menace of Islam, far better than his 20th century kindred. Had George W. Bush listened more to his namesake and less to CAIR, America might be far safer for it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Obama Replaces the War on Terror with the War on Critics

By On October 24, 2009
For eight years Democrats pounded at the doors of D.C., throwing their own fecal matter around, and claiming that it was only a matter of time until Bush had them all rounded up for being unpatrotic. And like the frenzied mob at a Black Friday sale waiting for the doors to open, shoving and shoving against the glass, until the doors finally open, and the mob bursts through stomping over any store personnel in the way, Democrats have been completely unable to let go of the attack dog politics of the last 8 years and actually govern.

Instead what we've gotten is massive incompetence, massive malfeasance and an enemy of the month. When in doubt the motto of the Obama Administration has been, ATTACK SOMEONE. Whether it's Rush Limbaugh, Jim Cramer or Glenn Beck-- the party now in power, but still trapped in the vortex of their own hate, is obsessed with waging a war on all their enemies, both real and imaginary. Forget the E Pluribus Unum on the seal of the United States. The new motto is, They're all out to get me.

Putting the most radical Democrat in the race and his coterie of dot com brats, wannabe Marxists with homes in Chevy Chase and academic radicals, followed by an admiring train of media groupies, has only made the whole thing that much worse. Taking radicals who believe the government is out to get them into power is a historically proven way to get a government certain that the only way to build paradise is to destroy anyone who stands in their way.

Opponents of the Bush Administration often branded its War on Terror as being paranoid, an overreaching of executive power and a threat to civil liberties. Of being too paranoid and too willing to see enemies on all sides. With the Obama Administration however the War on Terror is now making way for a much higher priority conflict, one being fought against American citizens... the War on anyone who disagrees with them. If the Bush Administration had terror alerts, the Obama Administration has critic alerts.

Despite holding both Congress and the White House, in less than a year the Obama Administration is well on its way to becoming the most paranoid White House in American history. In less than a year, the Obama Administration has already launched major campaigns against talk radio and cable news hosts, threatened reporters who "crowd the plate", demanded that other news networks stop listening to the cable news network that is being critical of him, declared war on the Chamber of Commerce, threatened the AMA, threatened car dealers, threatened health insurance companies, thrown its backing behind a phony Anti-Israel lobby masquerading as a Pro-Israel lobby in order to displace the actual major Pro-Israel lobby, continued blaming all its financial missteps on the Bush Administration, gave away hundreds of billions to banks and auto companies only to turn around and blame them for mismanaging it-- and the list goes on and on.

There's one word for that kind of behavior, particularly for a party that has secured a veto proof majority and can pass just about any legislation it wants, no matter how destructive or even downright illegal -- crazy. After 8 years of being the opposition party, the Democrats have not adjusted to being in power. And while the Republicans have begun to learn to act like an opposition party--- the Democrats bizarrely enough also insist on acting like the opposition party. And what are they opposed to? Anyone who criticizes them or rejects any of their proposals.
Democrats continue to hurl abuse at conservative media personalities, as if they were in charge of some Latin American banana republic, instead of a country with centuries of legislative tradition. And their approval ratings continue to sink further as a result, because what the radical regime of Mao admirers in D.C. can't seem to understand is that they were not elected to wage war on the Republicans-- no matter what their nutroots tell them, they were elected to address serious economic problems. And they have only made them much worse by treating the stimulus and bailout plans as loot for their donors, political allies and pet projects.

Democracy means having a voice of opposition always at your back. But by demanding the legislative privileges of the ruling party, combined with the attack politics of the opposition party- the Democrats have created an unholy mixture that is a surefire moonshine recipe for tyranny. Democracy is the right to dissent, and a ruling party that insists on waging a war against its critics using the leverage of two of the centers of governments, is severely undermining the right of dissent.

The most disturbing aspect of the Obama Administration's War on Critics is that it is directed primarily not at Republican politicians, but at media figures and ordinary citizens who show up at Town Hall meetings to voice their dissent. Had the Obama Administration directed its full fire at Michael Steele, John Boehner or at least potential 2012 opponents such as Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney, it would still be a profound waste of time and abuse of political power-- but it would not be nearly as dangerous as when it assails radio hosts or Town Hall protesters.

There is a fundamental difference between attacking political opponents in Congress, and attacking anyone in the general public or press who speaks out against your policies. An Administration that consistently does the latter is displaying dangerously paranoid behavior that can easily tip over into going beyond smear campaigns of intimidation and into taking direct action to forcibly suppress that same speech it does not like.

Politically the Democratic approach is failing. Limbaugh and Beck have only benefited from the White House's attempts to smear and silence them. And most Americans have not swallowed the bizarre claim that the Obama Administration can't get anything done because of its critics. While the Democrats continue acting as if Bush is in power and it's their solemn duty to destroy him, the actual burning issues go unaddressed. Democrats pretend that they can ignore the economy and the War, because those are supposedly legacies of the Bush Administration. The problem with that sort of delusional irresponsibility though is that voters expect solutions, and they don't expect them from Limbaugh or Beck, but from the folks living it up in D.C. on the taxpayer dollar.

The role of critics is to question. The role of government is to answer those critics, not with personalized smear campaigns and shunning, but by demonstrating that their policies actually work. The Obama Administration has been unable to do this, and with a sharply rising deficit, huge unemployment rates and no bang for all the stimulus and bailout bucks-- instead continues to try and silence the critics. But the United States is not Venezuela or Cuba, and unlike his ally Hugo Chavez, Obama cannot send troops to seize FOX News and turn it over to CNN. So instead he's doing the next best thing, and in the process sharply undermining the barriers that protect free speech and political dissent in America.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Afternoon Roundup - All the Trains Run Through Obama

By On October 23, 2009

This week Obama began throwing around his weight more than usual. In the USSR all the trains ran through Moscow in order to centralize control of the country. In the US today, Obama is pushing to make sure that all the trains run through him.

First Obama's minions began pushing the rest of the media to denounce and distance themselves from FOX. This of course is only the latest in the Obama Administration's long addiction to public Stalinist purges and denunciations, but this time it was launched against an entire network.

And second the Obama Administration now appears to be targeting state Democrats who don't "coordinate" with the White House. The Washington Post spins it as the White House distancing itself from a supposedly losing candidate in the Virginia Governor's race, but the practical upshot of it is that it's a warning shot that blames losing candidates for not relying enough on Obama, sending the message that the failure to "coordinate" your campaign with the White House will be a death blow to your candidacy.

Senior administration officials have expressed frustration with how Democrat R. Creigh Deeds has handled his campaign for governor, refusing early offers of strategic advice and failing to reach out to several key constituencies that helped Obama win Virginia in 2008, they say.
Translation, he failed to pay off ACORN, SEIU and whatever other munchkins and 527's the Obama Administration has its deals with.

Of course the next step is to suggest that Deeds is kind of a racist, or forced to be a racist because everyone in Virginia is a racist.

A senior administration official said Deeds badly erred on several fronts, including not doing a better job of coordinating with the White House. "I understood in the beginning why there was some reluctance to run all around the state with Barack Obama," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly about the race. "You don't do that in Virginia. But when you consider the African American turnout that they need, and then when you consider as well they've got a huge problem with surge voters, younger voters, we were just a natural for them."

Of course that fails to explain why if race is the issue, Obama won in Virginia.

But a more pertinent point is that Obama's approval rating fell well below 50 percent in Virginia, which might actually make him a liability, for political, not racial reasons. And just maybe Deeds wasn't willing to turn over his campaign to Obama's cluster of radical left wing groups and unions, and mortgage the next four years, just to have Obama come to town for a day or two, and take some pictures.
But national Democrats are contrasting Deeds with New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine and New York congressional candidate Bill Owens, who they say have more actively sought the White House's help and more vigorously and publicly backed its agenda. Polls show Corzine in a competitive position in New Jersey and Owens ahead, while Deeds has turned aggressively to Obama voters in recent days in an effort to overcome a significant deficit in the polls.

Spot the key phrase in that paragraph. That's right, it's "and more vigorously and publicly backed its agenda"

The real point of course is that Corzine is further left and more willing to give the Obama Administration a blank check in New Jersey.

Although Deeds often praises the president on the campaign trail, he has distanced himself from Obama and Democratic policy priorities at times. At a debate in September, he declined the opportunity to label himself an "Obama Democrat." And just this week, he said he did not believe that a public health insurance option is necessary and that as governor he might consider opting out of one if Congress extends that right to states.

Again the key criticism is that Deeds hasn't been willing to lean far enough to the left, to hyphenate his party identification with Obama, and to back a public option.

Democrats on both sides of the Potomac River cite prominent Democratic businesswoman Sheila Johnson's endorsement of McDonnell in July as the first sign of trouble in the Deeds campaign. They say Deeds let several weeks go by after his June 9 primary without calling Johnson, the co-founder of Black Entertainment Television and one of Kaine's leading donors.

Again Deeds just didn't pay enough fealty to the people around Obama. All the trains have to run through Moscow Obama.

Meanwhile in more "people around Obama" news, we have this following lovely tidbit.

Comedian David Cross brought his stand-up routine to Washington's Warner Theatre Wednesday night and made a shocking confession (assuming he wasn't joking...) at the end of his routine: That he snorted cocaine while seated just yards away from President Barack Obama at this year's White House Correspondents' Association dinner.

"But it's crazy and there's security, Secret Service is standing there," said Cross. "I've got photos of all this. ... I'm there and the president is right here and with all these people at the table" Cross snorted some coke, he said. "Maybe 40 feet from the president of the United States!"

Cross said he texted his friend to say, "No way you can ever top that."

I'm sure Obama will be very angry with his fellow cokehead for not sharing.

Meanwhile in the UK there's a flurry of worry over BNP leader Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time and the BNP's increase in popularity.

Of course it would be childishly easy for any party to steal the BNP's fairly one issue thunder, by getting serious on immigration, deporting Islamists and closing the door to out of control immigration. But none of them show any willingness to do it, which is why the BNP will continue holding on to a valid populist issue that anyone with any common sense understands represents a major national crisis, and yet one that no mainstream party wants to touch.

Until that happens the far right will keep making political gains, while newspaper columnists dismiss the reason for those gains as just the product of xenophobia and ignorance. And while it's easy enough to dismiss the BNP, there is no dismissing the immigration elephant in the room. Those same issues became vital in elections in Italy, Holland and France. It's only a matter of time before they play that same role in the UK and the US as well.

Back in the US, falling temperatures are freezing out global warming dogma.

Global warming is becoming a much tougher sell. A new Pew Research poll says the percentage of people surveyed, who believe climate change is a very serious problem, has dropped from 44 percent last year to 35 percent.

Only 57 percent believe there is solid evidence of rising temperatures. That's down 14 percent. There is a similar drop in those who say global warming is man-made. Just 36 percent believe it, down from 47 percent.

One expert at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, Daniel Weiss, tells the Wall Street Journal the findings were caused by: "Right-wing media personalities... distorting science while the mainstream media remains trapped in its he-said, she-said narrative."

Oklahoma Republican Senator and global warming skeptic James Inhofe says the poll reflects concerns over proposed climate change legislation: "The more Americans learn about cap-and-trade — the more they oppose cap-and-trade."

Naturally the CAP folks will argue that it's all Rush Limbaugh's fault. These of course are the same people incapable of a rational debate, who are now busy tarring and feathering the formerly popular Freakonomics author for questioning an element of global warming dogma.

The duo has been hammered with a smear campaign, unprecedentedly, before the book has even been released.
“It reminds me of what happened when Michael Crichton wrote ‘State of Fear,’” said Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, which gets some of its funding from the energy industry. “The problem for the left is that there are still some people who don’t toe the party line who have megaphones. And anyone who has a megaphone, they’re going to go after.”

And some of their harshest fire is saved for people on their side of the line, who step just a bit out of line.

Continuing the roundup, Stop Islamization has an article on Islam, A Powerful Doctrine of Cruelty and Hate – Attempted “Honor Killing” (Arizona)

Yesterday, another atrocity perpetrated by a follower of the “religion of peace” occurred, this time outside of Phoenix, Arizona. Apparently, the father of a not-Islamic-enough 20-year old daughter decided that she had become “too western”. His “religion of peace” response – run her (and her friend) over with his car. This peaceful response on the part of the father in this case was meant to result in the death of the daughter (not “peace”). According to CNN, she is in the hospital with life-threatening injuries [1]. CNN provides no details on the friend’s condition.

The “Arizona Republic” has several articles [2] on this case, none of them on the front page of their site. Both victims remain in hospital today; the “peaceful” father is still at large.

Family and friends of the victims told detectives that the suspect had made threats toward his daughter because she was not living according to traditional Iraqi values, Tellef said. However, police cannot immediately determine whether that was the motive in the incident.(Arizona Republic [3])

What could the reporters of the “Arizona Republic” mean by “traditional Iraqi values”? Is there some Baathist tradition of parents killing their children because they aren’t Baathist enough? Is this some new “traditional value” that is post-Sadam? Or is this some Islamic tradition that is meant to destroy children who are leaving or who have left Islam? There is substantive precedent to believe that the cause of this barbarism and cruelty and homicidal intent on the part of the father in Arizona is a direct result of Islamic concepts and “legal” guidelines and obligations and nothing else. This attempted child murder is called an “honor killing”

But naturally, it can't be an Islamic tradition, as we all know it's the religion of peace...

Debbie Schlussel cites a report which shows just how unprepared America is for bioterrorism under Obama's watch.

The Obama administration is . . . failing to address the more urgent and immediate threat of biological terrorism, a bipartisan commission created by Congress is reporting today.

The report . . . cites failures on biosecurity policy by the White House, which the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction says has left the country vulnerable. The commission, created last year to address concerns raised by post-9/11 investigations, warns that anthrax spores released by a crop-duster could “kill more Americans than died in World War II” and the economic impact could exceed $1.8 trillion in cleanup and other costs.

The government’s efforts “have not kept pace with the increasing capabilities and agility of those who would do harm to the United States,” the report says. “The consequences of ignoring these warnings could be dire.” Says commission Chairman Bob Graham, a Democratic former senator from Florida: “The clock is ticking.” . .

But who needs to prepare for bioterrorism, when we can tackle the far more burning issue of GLOBAL WARMING. Now 10 percent off at Borders.

In another slice of the globe worth watching news, tensions are again escalating between China and India.

Keep in mind that the last time the rhetoric spun out of control over a border dispute, the result was the Sino-Indian War

Beijing - China and India have taken a vituperative war of words and diplomatic barbs to an unusual level of tension in recent days, prompting fears that the traditional rivalry between the two Asian giants could spin out of control.

"The most urgent present job for both sides is crisis management," says Han Hua, an expert on South Asia at Peking University. "I don't think either government wants the situation to go further downhill."

The recent angry exchanges were prompted by a decades-old border dispute over which the two countries went to war in 1962, and which has proved impervious to 13 rounds of negotiations since.

But deeper resentments lie behind the spat, says Shen Dingli, deputy head of China's South Asia Research Institute. "The structural problem is leadership," he argues. "The question is who leads in Asia?"

The real question is who leads globally. With the US under Obama out of the race, there will be far more explosions of local and global tensions, as aspiring governments seek to fill the vacuum that the US surrender on the world stage has left open.

Politico looks at Obama's strategy for marginalizing conservatives, a political cordon sanitare if you will.

Hume challenges the media to be more than WH lapdogs

Via CAMERA, Yoram Ettinger reports on changing demographics in Israel, between its jewish and Muslim population

Kerry flip flops again, this time on J Street

At Gateway Pundit, Evil dictator meets Obama chic comes to DC

A Co-founder of Human Rights Watch blasts his own organization for its pandering to evil

At Human Rights Watch, we always recognized that open, democratic societies have faults and commit abuses. But we saw that they have the ability to correct them — through vigorous public debate, an adversarial press and many other mechanisms that encourage reform.

That is why we sought to draw a sharp line between the democratic and nondemocratic worlds, in an effort to create clarity in human rights. We wanted to prevent the Soviet Union and its followers from playing a moral equivalence game with the West and to encourage liberalization by drawing attention to dissidents like Andrei Sakharov, Natan Sharansky and those in the Soviet gulag — and the millions in China’s laogai, or labor camps.

When I stepped aside in 1998, Human Rights Watch was active in 70 countries, most of them closed societies. Now the organization, with increasing frequency, casts aside its important distinction between open and closed societies.

Moral equivalence wins again.

The Weekly Standard challenges the uninsured figures being spread by the Obama Administration

Meanwhile soldiers being sworn in to the Shimshon Brigade in Israel refused to expel any more Jewish families, to make way for Hamas and Fatah strongholds

Immediately after an IDF swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall on Thursday night, IDF soldiers being sworn in to the Shimshon Brigade and their parents raised signs vowing not to participate in the evacuation of Homesh.

Homesh is a Jewish town in northern Samaria from which all Jews were expelled by then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2005 to demonstrate that the disengagement expulsion of Jews was not limited to Gaza. Since then, Jews have returned to Homesh time and time again, with the IDF expelling them each time, often on the Jewish Sabbath.

Steven Plaut writes on the man the Gulag could not break

At IsraPundit, Bill Levinson writes that the Democrats are now openly the party of Wall Street profiteering on cap and trade
Senator Gillibrand’s own words, from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, show that the real purpose of Barack Obama’s climate change legislation is to give Wall Street speculators yet another tulip bulb scheme to replace the mess (mortgage backed securities) for which we are still paying with a $750 billion stimulus package, various bailouts at the taxpayers’ expense, and ten percent unemployment.

We encourage our readers to circulate this article, and Senator Gillibrand’s own words, as widely as possible to show that Barack Obama’s cap and trade agenda has very little to do about protecting the environment and everything to do with lining the pockets of fat-cat Wall Street speculators, the same kind that gave us the dot-com bubble and the housing bubble, at the expense of the American people. It is especially important to convey this message to the working people who make up the Democratic Party’s base. We also remind our readers that General Electric, which stands to benefit enormously from cap and trade, raised almost half a million dollars in bundled contributions to elect Barack Obama.

The entire thing is worth reading...

Edgar at the Jihad threat also writes about Mia Farrow's Anti-Israel Tantrum

I have seen some pretty insane anti-Israel rants recently but the Mia Farrow CNN interview I saw yesterday probably takes the biscuit. I tried to find the interview to link to - but it is not on either the CNN site or youtube yet. I didn't catch the start of the interview but my understanding is that the rationale for the interview was that Mia Farrow had visited Gaza as part of her role as 'UNICEF Ambassador'. I heard her say something like the suffering of the Palestinian children in Gaza and the West Bank was 'the worst ever seen in the world', but that was nothing compared to what she said in response to the interviewer Rosemary Church's question about whether her role had led her to see the suffering of Israeli children from Qassam rocket attacks. Her response was that the Qassam rockets fired at them

"were only filled with mud".

At the JIDF, a story on how the Jews dominated Israel in 1695

..No settlement in the land of Israel has a name of Arabic extraction. The names of settlements are mostly of Hebrew extraction; some of Greek or Latin-Roman. In fact, no Arab settlement (except for Ramla) has had an original Arabic name to this day. Most names of Arab settlements are of Hebrew or Greek extraction which have been impaired and replaced by meaningless names in Arabic.

There is no meaning in Arabic for the names Acre, Haifa, Jaffa, Nablus, Gaza or Jenin and the names of cities, such as Ramallah, El-Halil and El-Kuds have no historical or philological roots in Arabic. In the year 1696, the year in which the tour was taken, Ramallah, for example, was called Beit El, Hebron was called Hebron and Mearat HaMachpelah was called El Chalil (a name for Abraham of the Bible). The land was, on the whole, empty and desolate; the inhabitants were few and concentrated in the cities of Jeusalem, Acre, Safed, Jaffa, Tiberius and Gaza. Most of the inhabitants of the cities were Jews, the others were Christian; there were very few Moslems, mostly nomadic Bedouins.


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