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Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Don't Drink the Fascist Tea

By On April 30, 2010
This week the liberal media and its assorted band of activists lost their minds over Arizona. The treatment of the state over a simple law checking immigration status showed how quickly the collective insanity of the left can rear its ugly head. In a matter of a week, Arizona was being treated as if it was one of the states in the Civil War. Boycotts of Long Island manufactured of Arizona tea were being declared. As well as boycotts of Arizona tourism, 20 percent of which benefits Native American tribes.

Naturally Governor Brewer was quickly being compared to Hitler. Because to the left, anyone to the right of them is Hitler. (But if you compare them to the Communists, then you're guilty of Red Baiting. Even if they actually are Communists. Especially if they actually are Communists.)

And the lunacy continues. Protesters at Wrigley Field chanted "Boycott Arizona" because the Diamondbacks were playing there. What do the Diamondbacks have to do with immigration? They're from Arizona, aren't they?

The irony is that the same left which screams about collective punishment in Gaza, where an entire population voted for Hamas, is thrilled about the idea of boycotting an entire state and any businesses in it, or even businesses with the same name... in order to "Send a Message."

This is of course exactly the same kind of reasoning that sends them into hysterical rage and violent satire when expressed by a Donald Rumsfeld or a Dick Cheney. But of course collective punishment is perfectly okay when a US State passes a law that they disagree with.

And so this being Chicago, one Leone Jose Bicchieri decided to bring a bullhorn to Wrigley Field and scream against Arizona. Leone Jose Bicchieri runs the Chicago Workers Collaborative and a senior fellow at the Center for New Community. And of course an SEIU organizer. Because the Purple Shirts have to keep on marching.

Jose Serrano with Dictator Hugo Chavez
Then there was Congressman Jose Serrano, only the 14th most embarrassing congressman from New York (but that's only because of stiff competition from such luminaries as Charles Rangel, Nydia Velasquez, Eric Massa, Jerold "The Waddler" Nadler and Paul Tonko) demanded that Major League Baseball change the site of the All Star Game from Pheonix... to perhaps his native Bronx.

Which means Serrano now wants to use Congress to control where All Star Games can happen. Par for the course in the Obama Regime.

But this will now make Jose Serrano famous for something else besides trying to constantly repeal the 22nd Amendment. Now he can be known for trying to dictate where baseball games can be held. Speaking as a New Yorker, I would much rather go to baseball games in Arizona, than in the Bronx. Real prairie beats urban prairie, any day of the week. The Bronx after all is our Detroit.

But just to get in on the act, Failed LA Mayor Villaraigosa came forward in support of something without a "Million" in the title, for support. Support for boycotting Arizona. Included are tragic sob stories like this...
For Erica Jimenez, Arizona’s law is personal.

“We have some other family members living in Arizona, so now they’re worried," Jimenez said as she stood outside Los Angeles City Hall, where vendors are selling an array of ethnic food.

Her uncle lives in Phoenix. He is undocumented. His U.S.-born children are not.

"They’re trying to move out as fast as they can," she said. "Most of them are going back to Mexico."

So in other words the law is working as it was intended to.

But the people who have mismanaged California into the ground and destroyed its economy... will now try to destroy Arizona's economy. But if they're really serious about doing that, a boycott is not the best approach.

If Villaraigosa is really serious about destroying Arizona's economy, he should just move there and run for office. Once elected he can do for Arizona, what he did for LA.

Besides for all the high horse riding here by California pols, California voters would love to have the same laws in place that Arizona does. They would too, if activist judges didn't do their best to suppress democracy. So Los Angeles and San Francisco city governments should start by boycotting their own state.

The Gate has an article making a variation on that same point...

When Proposition 8, the ballot initiative outlawing same-sex marriage, passed in November 2008, "we got calls threatening to boycott California," recalls Joe D'Alessandro, CEO of the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We told them they were going to hurt the very LGBT businesses they were trying to support."

That's one reason why D'Alessandro is opposed to the boycott-Arizona movement, especially when it comes to travel. "It hurts the people it's supposed to help," he said. In this case, mostly workers in Arizona's hospitality industries - including, of course, Latinos - should the boycott, as San Francisco leaders appear to want, have some bite.

...

Steve Falk, CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, feels the same way about San Francisco's boycott plans, having received similar messages.

"And a reverse boycott would hurt San Francisco businesses and employees more than elected leaders making bad policy decisions," he said.

A price worth paying? It's difficult to see how San Francisco Housing Authority director Henry Alvarez canceling his appearance this weekend at a regional housing and redevelopment conference in Scottsdale hurts Arizona or helps San Francisco.

Yes, it would have been useful, Alvarez acknowledges, to have shared San Francisco's experience with project-based housing voucher programs - the subject of his panel - and to learn from other municipal housing officials in these tough times. "But I have no regrets." he said.

"I'm an African American with a Latino name. I could easily be one of the people stopped on the street in Arizona. I think we have to do something, although I'm not sure what it is."

... we have to do something but I'm not sure what that is.

With brilliant leadership like that, I think it's pretty clear why California is in the state that it is now.

But common sense can't possibly stop angry liberals who toss out Nazism and Apartheid like buzz words at a synergy convention.

Meanwhile the source of SF's fiscal problems remains a complete and absolutely unsolvable mystery. (Much like why Leno is asking California's Austrian born Governor with an approval rating slightly higher than that of Charles Manson if he'd want to run for President.)

More than 1 in 3 of San Francisco's nearly 27,000 city workers earned $100,000 or more last year - a number that has been growing steadily for the past decade. The number of city workers paid at least $100,000 in base salary totaled 6,449 last year. When such extras as overtime are included, the number jumped to 9,487 workers, nearly eight times the number from a decade ago. And that calculation doesn't include the cost of often-generous city benefits such as health care and pensions.

But in a whole other story out of California, Monica Showalter tells the story of California's Man Made Drought
Would France rip out its storied vineyards? Would Juan Valdez scorch Colombia's coffee crop? Sri Lanka its black pepper harvest? China its tea?

But then there's California.

On a springtime drive through the Central Valley, it's hard not to notice how federal and state governments are hell-bent on destroying the state's top export — almonds — and everything else in the nation's most productive farmland.

Instead of pink blossoms and green shoots along Highway 5 in April, vast spans from Bakersfield to Fresno sit bone-dry. Brown grass, dead orchards and lifeless grapevine skeletons stretch for miles for lack of water. For every fallow field, there's a sign that farmers have placed alongside the highway: "No Water = No Food," "No Water = No Jobs," "Congress Created Dust Bowl."

Locals say it's been like this for two years now, as Congress and bureaucrats cite "drought," "global warming" and "endangered species" to deny water to this $37 billion breadbasket through arbitrary "environmental" quotas.

The entire article is worth reading for a shocking look at what federal centralization and environmentalist zealotry has planned for all of us.

Some blogs have covered the case of a woman being denied protection under New Jersey's shield law. However I don't know that this is the best test case, considering that the woman wrote her comments on a message board. One of the reasons stated in the decision was;

"defendant had no control over the operation of the Web site and made no editorial or journalistic contribution to it by posting her comments. Nor did she represent herself to be a newsperson in her posts."

And she doesn't appear to have had a working website or blog

"Despite defendant's announcement, however, the website was never fully launched and therefore published no findings. Although defendant said that the "front end of [the website] was a news magazine," she did not identify any journalist hired, and admitted that "that portion of the site was still being worked on and was not live."

She created no independent product of her own nor made a material substantive contribution to the work of others. As the motion judge found, defendant herself admitted that she had never actually published anything in Pornafia, "and thus there is little evidence (other than her own self-serving statement) that [defendant] actually intended to disseminate anything newsworthy to the general public."

and
As the motion judge correctly observed, Oprano operated as a "message board," which is "no more than a forum for . . . conversation." We agree with his observation:

To extend the newsperson's privilege to such posters would mean anyone with an email address, with no connection to any legitimate news publication, could post anything on the internet and hide behind the Shield Law's protections. Certainly, this was not the intention of the Legislature in passing the statute.

So bloggers who are targeted over what they write on their own blogs and state that they cover news may not be as vulnerable as it seems. But the decision does demean the idea of bloggers as legitimate news providers and investigators. Calling her a blogger and the comments about news media vs new media are ugly and reek of a problematic decision which picked on a weak case in order to bash new media.

The decision very questionably uses a rule from a criminal case in order to define what a newsperson is. The likely reason this was done, was in order to find an archaic loophole to define 'journalist' as narrowly as possible, even while the judge admitted that the State had regularly upheld a broad definition. That means this decision itself is not likely to hold up.

You can see the problematic transition here... from

The Supreme Court has recognized the Legislature's "intent to preserve a far-reaching newsperson's privilege in this State[,]" Maressa v. New Jersey Monthly, 89 N.J. 176, 187, cert. denied, 459 U.S. 907, 103 S. Ct. 211, 74 L. Ed. 2d 169 (1982), and that the privilege was intended "to be as broad as possible." State v. Boiardo,

to

Although the statutory procedure detailed in paragraph (b) is specific to requests by criminal defendants, In re Schuman, 114 N.J. 14, 27 (1989), we discern no reason not to apply the more traditional rules

It's legal sleight of hand and smacks of an agenda

The ruling claims that

However, the fact of presenting information on a new, different medium, even if capable of reaching a wider audience more readily, does not make it "news," for purposes of qualifying for the newsperson's privilege. Simply put, new media should not be confused with news media. There is, of necessity, a distinction between, on the one hand, personal diaries, opinions, impressions and expressive writing and, on the other hand, news reporting. The transmission or dissemination of a "message" through the new medium of the Internet, or the display of one's content or comment thereon, does not necessarily entitle the author or writer to the same protection as a "newsperson." Although any attempt at defining "news" would ultimately prove illusory, some delimiting standards must pertain lest anyone with a webpage or who posts materials on the Internet would qualify.

But besides demeaning the idea of bloggers or new media sources as being engaged in news gathering cites no real evidence for this line of attack. This sticks out all the more because the next paragraph defines the shield law as focusing on the process, not the medium

We read New Jersey's Shield Law to similarly focus on the news process rather than the medium or mode through which the news is disseminated to the public.

But if anything the ruling does highlight the importance for bloggers to self-identify themselves as being engaged in investigative and editorial work.

Defendant has produced no credentials or proof of affiliation with any recognized news entity, nor has she demonstrated adherence to any standard of professional responsibility regulating institutional journalism, such as editing, fact-checking or disclosure of conflicts of interest. Defendant's only proof that Pornafia qualifies as a news medium is a press release she issued only months before her allegedly defamatory statements appeared on electronic bulletin boards operated by others. The press release publicized that Pornafia was an "information exchange" about fraud in the adult entertainment industry, and its "aim" was to provide "a cost free information resource for victims, potential victims, legitimate industry players, and pertinent government agencies worldwide." However, the statement was vague as to how exactly defendant intended to accomplish Pornafia's goals. Were people simply going to post comments about their experiences, with defendant providing the platform for that "information exchange"? Was defendant going to provide links to other outside sources of information? Did defendant intend to do any "investigative reporting" to provide content for the site?

And this opened the door to the decision. And it's why self-identification is a must. Because it puts the burden of proof on the other side to show that you are not a journalist.

To sum up, the defendant's lawyer appears to have argued the case sloppily, the defendant was not a blogger and is being sued over message board comments-- but the court decision seems to have very little understanding understanding of the internet, relies on dated precedents and goes out of its way to bash bloggers.

This is why it's important to self-identify, because libel lawsuit threats are one way that companies and powerful people will try to silence dissenting voices.

In New York, two Muslim men were charged with trying to help Al Queda. Just par for the course on the homefront.

Via Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, Professor Louis Rene Beres warns that Iran, which has produced its share of Suicide Bombers, may become the world's first Suicide State

Meanwhile as Gilad Shalit has been held captive for 1400 days, Israel provided medical treatment to the daughter of Hamas leader Elham Fathi Hammad and helped transport her.

Israel Matzav says that Israel stupidly failed to get something about Shalit in exchange for the treatment, but then again, Israel has kept providing humanitarian aid to Gaza, only to be accused of genocide. And  considering that Hammad has four wives (the maximum legally allowed to a Muslim who isn't Mohammed), he might actually consider one daughter to be expendable. This is a region where daughters are routinely killed at birth simply for not being boys.

So for Hammad forcing the Israeli and Jordanian governments to hold consultations was much more likely a way to show off Hamas' newfound clout, then any actual humanitarian concerns.

In another piece of surreal irony, Barghouti, who is calling for an academic boycott of Israel... is actually a student at Tel Aviv University.

Omar Barghouti is a co-founder of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PCABI), which claims that the “entrenched system of racial discrimination and segregation against the Palestinian citizens of Israel...resembles the defunct apartheid system in South Africa.”  PACBI calls for the “refrain from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions” and advocates for a “comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels.”

Barghouti is a frequent speaker on Israeli “apartheid” at NGO events (e.g. War on Want). Amnesty International timed its factually challenged November 2009 report, “Troubled Waters,” to coincide with Barghouti’s speaking tour in the US, linking water issues to “Israeli apartheid.”

Surprisingly, Barghouti is also a PhD student at Tel Aviv University – a fact that negates his charge of Israeli “apartheid,” and an affiliation seemingly incongruous with his boycott of “any form of academic and cultural cooperation” with Israel.

When asked about his hypocrisy, Barghouti said; “My studies at Tel Aviv University are a personal matter and I have no interest in commenting.”

As opposed to everyone else's studies at Israeli universities, which he considers to be a public matter. Naturally Tel Aviv U has refused to expel him, even as he calls for an international boycott of it. This takes us back to Steven Plaut, who has accurately said that

A Jewish liberal is someone who thinks that Mexicans with no US visa have the right to move to East Los Angeles but Jews must be prevented from moving to East Jerusalem.

That seems to sum up things this week rather nicely...

Continuing the roundup, Iran has been elected to the UN Commission on Women's Rights. Which is a little like David Duke being appointed to a Commission on Civil Rights. Especially what with a current bid in Iran to arrest women who have suntans. (Suntans continue to be legal for Iranian Muslim males.)

Europeans living in countries with growing Muslim populations might be advised to stock up on their quota of suntans now.

On the AGW front, Jennifer M. Cohen, PhD. has been working on a critical analysis of some of the science in the debate. Her Review of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network Version 2: Adjusted Temperature Record for Penn. is available as a PDF here. to the Citizen Audit Report of the UN Climate Bible. Anyone interested in combating the AGW myth with science would be advised to read these.


But in a less scientific explanation, a Muslim cleric affiliated with Hamas is claiming that Iceland's volcanic problem is Allah's punishment for infidels. I don't know exactly why Allah hates Iceland so much, but being  desert god maybe he doesn't like the cold very much.


"Oh Jihad fighters, people of Ribat (religious war). We heard and we saw what happened at the beginning of this week in Europe [volcanic ash covering airspace]: Some of Allah's brigades struck Europe with His force... this caused great loss of property and of life - only Allah knows their extent. A devastating volcanic eruption sent by Allah, paralyzed all movement, and a state of emergency was declared, and passenger flights were cancelled, and it struck the Infidels and polytheists with fear and terror...

So it seems Allah's Brigades are nothing but hot air.


In Book News, Alex Grobman has a book out on The Palestinian Right to Israel, a book that critiques the Islamic myth of their right to Israel.


THE ARAB/ISRAELI CONFLICT is among the most intractable disputes in the world today. In this meticulously researched and well-written work, historian Alex Grobman systematically and methodically exposes the myths and lies about the Arab right to the land of Israel. Grobman traces the historical, religious and spiritual connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel after the end of Jewish sovereignty in 70 CE; dispels the Arab claim that Palestine is a “twice promised land,” because the British pledged it to both the Arabs and the Jews; examines the Arab reaction to the Balfour Declaration and Jewish immigration to Palestine that established a precedent for dealing with Arabs that continues to this day; and describes Arab activities during WWII to thwart an Allied victory.
Also there is Grains of Sand - The Fall of Neve Dekalim from Shifra Shomron


Set in Neve Dekalim, Gush Katif, Israel, "Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim" is told through the vantage point of teenager Efrat Yefet, a high school student living under the dual threat of Arab attacks and the Israeli government's 2005 Disengagement plan to destroy her town and adjacent communities. She, along with family, friends, and neighbors, try to lead ordinary lives as the ever-encroaching conflict gets closer, and the whole community joins efforts to save their beautiful towns from destruction.

With an insightful and poignant voice Ms. Shifra Shomron, a teenager who experienced it first-hand, plunges the reader into the front row seat. She draws on universal themes including faith, family, identity, loss, and hope to weave a compelling story that grows in intensity.


From Caroline Glick, via Doc's Talk


Bipartisan support for Israel has been one of the greatest casualties of US President Barack Obama's assault on the Jewish state. Today, as Republican support for Israel reaches new heights, support for Israel has become a minority position among Democrats. Consider the numbers. During Operation Cast Lead -- eleven days before Obama's inauguration -- the House of Representatives passed Resolution 34 siding with Israel against Hamas. The resolution received 390 yea votes, five nay votes and 37 abstentions. Democrats cast four of the nay votes and 29 of the abstentions.

Again I want to remind readers that I will be in Los Angeles at the Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivor's forum on Watch Dog Media Bites Lap Dog Media. You can RSVP here. We'll be discussing the role of new media in confronting the mainstream media. (Click to Enlarge)





Finally Ted Belman at Israpundit reprints Haetzni's article and warns that There Will Be No Diplomatic Solution


 In light of these reservations, Obama’s attack on Israel is groundless since the conditions that would obligate Israel to the Road Map haven’t been met at all. Since May 23, 2003, the date the government obligated itself to these reservations, we’ve heard nothing about them, as if they vanished into a black hole. At the time, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice told us: you can decide among yourselves whatever you want, but just as no one consulted you when we formed the Quartet or formulated the Road Map, no one’s cares about your “reservations” now. Today, it appears that she was right: Israel’s reservations aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. The Secretary of State’s position was indeed correct: the Road Map was a dictate and no one heard the Israeli poodle’s whimper of protest in the form of “reservations”.

Here, with the Road Map, was the beginning of our loss of independence: we subjugated ourselves to the Quartet, we agreed to be supervised and judged by their inspectors, we gave them the authority to convene international conventions with the power to declare Palestinian independence, and we accepted the principle that the Arabs have legitimate claims to Jerusalem and regarding the refugees — all under the umbrella of the Saudi Initiative. All this, in addition to the obligation to freeze settlements and destroy outposts.

We waged our first war of independence against the British and the Arab armies when we were very weak ­ we had a population of 650,000, which is the same as the population of Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem today. We had almost no arms, only a nascent army, and no economy — we were like a newborn baby, naked and vulnerable. Those conditions are incomparable with our situation now. And yet, despite our current strength and resources, if we aren’t now willing to undertake the risks and hardships entailed in a second war for our independence, we’re likely to loose everything we achieved in our first war of independence.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Opening Round on Immigration

By On April 28, 2010
When Arizona passed a law enforcing a Federal statute, Liberals across America reacted with their usual calm and rational approach of invoking the Nazis, boycotting anything with Arizona in its name including products that are not actually made in Arizona, and threatening a barrage of civil suits and protests to counter a law that the majority of Arizonians and Americans support.

The irony is that only a few weeks after the media was busy warning us ominously about all the hate and extremist anti-government rhetoric in the Tea Party movement, it has done a Full 180 and is now itself indulging in hateful anti-government rhetoric. Soon enough the very same reporters who spoke out on the dangers of people protesting on behalf of their Constitutional rights, will be speaking out on how wonderful it is to have  illegal aliens protesting for their rights in major cities.

The objections to the bill aren't about fairness toward individuals. After all this Congress and this Administration just passed a law compelling everyone to buy health insurance on the suspicion that one of them might get into an accident and cost the government money. At least that was the rationalization that Obama himself used in an interview. But the liberal hypocrisy on preventative policing allows them to call for preventative policing of factories because they might possibly pollute, opposition protests because they might possibly get out of hand and individuals because they might possibly not pay for their own health care-- while vocally opposing preventative policing in Arizona. Because it's fair to fine law abiding citizens hundreds of dollars for just breathing, but it's unfair for police to enforce an existing law.

This isn't about Federalism either. Liberals have cheered on states and sanctuary cities that refused to cooperate with immigration authorities. Because just like anti-government rhetoric, state governments defying the Federal authorities is one of those things that's right when it's progressive and wrong when it's conservative. But while that sort of ideological moral compass whose needle always points left may be fine for those already on the left, most Americans aren't buying it. And that is because they don't see illegal immigration as a political issue, but as a problem that needs solving.

Where Democrats and some Republicans see a potential voting base, most Americans just see an unregulated workforce in a time of high unemployment and a drain on social services. And they see most politicians being more eager to cover their asses than to do something about. Which is why they support the Governor of Arizona, and not the little man with the big ears in the White House. While the latter has leveraged his power to create a nanny state, the former actually took steps to solve what most residents consider to be a problem.

The current immigration mess is a volatile situation that liberals created for their own benefit, and are outraged at the thought that their agenda might be thwarted. The Democratic party's "gut liberal" reaction was as usual a mistake. And no amount of MSNBC goosestepping rhetoric will change that. The "gut liberal" reaction plays really well in 1 percent of the country and falls flat everywhere else. And Obama's aggressive push against Arizona will just serve to remind voters again that his centrism was an election day glaze covering up a hard left center.

Arizona's action not only cuts off the Obama Administration at the pass for its Amnesty plans, but takes the populist position at a time when Democratic politicians are already terrified of the upcoming midterm elections. Obama and Congress thought that they could decide when to launch their amnesty campaign at their own leisure. But now their hand has been forced, and the polls are stacked against them. Naturally they will retaliate in the usual community organizer way, through the press, through political intimidation, and through their own rights organizations which will "monitor the situation" searching for an incident they can exploit. But it is now an uphill battle.

And Arizona's actions have wider implications beyond immigration. Under Barack Hussein Obama, the government has badly neglected its core functions of protecting Americans from external threats, in favor of its round of socialist charades. Now Washington D.C. has been put on notice that the states will act, even if Washington D.C. does not. And in the Federal government will not enforce the law, there are state governments that will. Immigration is not the end of it. The War on Terror remains an obvious area where the government has neglected its responsibilities in order to curry favor with Islam. And the next time an Islamic terrorist kills civilians in a more independent minded state, its residents may also decide that serious enforcement is needed.

The fundamental gap between the worldview of the left, in which government manages the lives of the people under its authority, and that of ordinary Americans, in which government protects the people against overriding external threats, has opened up in Arizona. But not just in Arizona. Because with the left in the driver's seat in D.C., there is no one to look out for American interests either globally or locally. To the left, a Mexican illegal alien is no different than a US citizen, because they don't recognize nations as valid entities. And for all that Obama wraps himself in the flag when convenient, over the last year his actions have begun to speak louder than words.

Obama not only does not believe in American Exceptionalism, though he summons that too in his speeches when convenient, but he does not see himself as an American leader, only as the head of an authority that governs the people in his jurisdiction, regardless of legal status. America to him is just Chicago writ large. And that's the way he governs. His national politics are no different than his local politics. Just louder and with a bigger impact, and more money to take in and spread around. Washington D.C. is nothing but the new base of his political machine. And like his colleagues on the left, he sees what is going on in Arizona in terms of class and racial warfare, a mindset that leaves him unable to sympathize with the valid concerns of the people of Arizona.

To the current regime, there are no Americans... only people who happen to live in America. Warm bodies who are capable of providing resources for the government, and consuming resources to be repaid with loyalty. The populations of countries are to them like game pieces on a Risk board, objects on a map to be moved around in order to claim voting districts. And so the Democrats have been moving Third World immigrants into America, for the same reasons that Labor moved Muslim immigrants into Europe. Power. Political power. That is what it comes down to in the end.

The Democrats' tone deafness on immigration originates from the extent to which they have tied their own political fortunes to the demographic transformation of America. And to their disconnection from the idea of America as anything but a logo and a flag, more akin to a sports team than anything of substance. They don't see why anyone would object to pieces being moved around the board, after all it's just pieces, which means in their minds the only objection has to be to their color. Because when you engage in class and racial warfare, you assume that everyone else is too, and that you are only acting in self-defense. And thus follow the accusations of Nazism, Fascism and Racism. When in fact the majority of Latinos in Arizona support the law, precisely because they have the most to lose from the collapse of social services and the export of Mexico's Cartel Culture into the United States.

Not that the Republicans don't own their fair share of the blame. The Republican party has taken too much money from the US Chamber of Commerce (which is rather liberal on immigration) and numerous corporations that directly or indirectly profit from illegal aliens to ever do more than talk tough about it. Add on a few Republican politicians afraid of losing their limited portion of the Latino vote by opening themselves up to liberal accusations of racism, and other Republicans politicians who shamelessly "farm" the illegal immigration issue, but have absolutely no interest in seeing anything done about it-- and there's plenty of reasons for the GOP's general inaction.

And so all too we often we have Republican Presidents and Senators who push a softer line. We have Republican congressmen who say the right things, but know that too many of their donors are running plants filled with illegals, and that either enforcement or amnesty would hurt them badly. (And what's more the Democrats know it too, which is what gives them their boldness on an issue that in theory should be an easy populist home run for the GOP.) Finally of course there are the firebrand Republican politicians who seem all fired up about illegal immigration, and are willing to campaign on the issue, but run the other way when an actual measure is passed that might make a dent in the situation. And that's because they want to exploit the problem, not solve it.

But the current economic crisis and its accompanying unemployment have mobilized public hostility to any idea of legalization, and strengthened a push for enforcement. Arizona is moving with the public sentiment, the Democrats are swimming against it, because they've once again forgotten about the same economic crisis that they exploited to leverage themselves into power. The Republican party right now is being powered by populism, because its leading figures have no ideas, just conferences, those of them that aren't jockeying for a 2012 run. And the smart populist money says enforcement.

This is still only the opening round on immigration. Arizona has forced Obama's hand. The Democrats hope to find a silver lining by exploiting the issue in order to bring out Latino and minority voters out of a generally moribund midterm election turnout. But they might not be counting on how many other voters they will bring out as well. It's doubtful that even the Democrats think they have a winning hand on the issue, but they're also depending on changing the demographics of the electorate in order to play the long game. And just as with health care, they might be prepared to accept short term defeat in 2010 and even in 2012, in order to achieve long term political gains. Because they're counting on a Republican party too timid to reverse their policies once it's in power. And nationally they may be right. Which is why it be up to the states to do the right thing, after all.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

They Don't Have to Silence Us, If We Silence Ourselves First

By On April 27, 2010
What is a free country? Is it a country that is free of being ruled by any other country, or is it a country of free people who are not afraid. The truth is that no country can be free, unless its people are free. Not freedom as embodied in legal documents or stirring anthems, which nearly every country has, but free in their minds. Unafraid to believe, to speak and to live.

Tyranny isn't a man holding a gun to your head and telling you what to do. Tyranny is when you do what you're told, because you're holding the gun to your own head. And then you have become a collaborator in your own oppression. It is possible to be enslaved without ever becoming a slave. And it is sadly possible for people to act like slaves without any chains being anywhere in sight.

No regime, no ideology and no power can maintain absolute physical control of all the people, all of the time. To rule, they need to control not their bodies, but their minds and their souls. Tyranny wants loyalty, but it will settle for fear. And fear once internalized, destroys moral courage and replaces it with moral cowardice, eroding the strength of beliefs and ideas with the poisonous liquid of dread. The individual becomes an agent for the forces of tyranny, warning himself against any action that could get him into trouble. And then he is finally a slave.

In Stockholm Syndrome, hostages try to take control of their powerlessness by identifying with their captors. Under tyranny, entire populations can suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, paying devoted obeisance to the tyrants who murder them in numberless amounts. Because once oppression is internalized, it comes to seem like a benediction. The mind forged slave embraces his chains as a moral good, clings to them as an expression of all that is right and sensible in the world. He will even die for them. Because to a slave, freedom is more terrifying than death.

Recently we rediscovered the simple fact that even on Cable television, on a network where anything goes, one thing does not go. Depicting Mohammed. Even in a bear suit. That same iron law has been unofficially passed in country after country, where operas, newspapers, books, television programs have all been censored in order to avoid offending the people who might kill them if they were not censored. Speech and image have been blocked, cut out, snipped and silenced. Not because anyone has actually been killed, but because attempts have been made to kill some people. Which is apparently enough to make free speech go the way of the Dodo.

And that is exactly the point. They don't have to silence us, if we silence ourselves first. They don't have to oppress us, if we oppress ourselves first. They don't have to demand our surrender and submission, if we surrender and submit first. Islam, we love it. Sharia law, we'll gladly adopt it. Free speech, it has to have its limits. Women's rights, we'll have to walk a fine line. Freedom. Ha, what freedom. We've already traded that away for a nice set of multicultural bongos, a few curry shops, a glass of arack and a leatherbound copy of the Koran.

A free country is not one that nickel and dimes its birthright of freedom like a ten year old begging his parents to extend his curfew. It is a country whose people uncompromisingly refuse to surrender their freedoms, in the face of tyranny, torture and death. In the face of armies, tanks, secret police and all the forces of the world arrayed against them. And a country that compromises on its freedom is no longer free. It will know fear. It will know terror. It will be oppressed, and there will be no relief from that oppression, until they choose freedom over tyranny once again.

Fear is a reflex. Tyranny thrives on it, imbues it and feeds it. It kills randomly in order to spread that terror further. To create populations who never know when their day will come. When the suicide bomber, the black van, the sword and the secret police will come for them. Men will fight and die for freedom on the battlefield, but the struggle to remain defiant in a society where everyone is afraid all the time is a much harder fight. Yet overcoming that reflex to find safety by surrendering and collaborating, by learning to love Big Brother and embracing his ideals, is what it takes to be a free citizen of a free nation.

Pavlov, the formulator of the Pavlov Reflex, knew quite a lot about conditioning. His own experiments showed that fear could be conditioned by the ringing of a bell. Perhaps those insights were what enabled Pavlov to go on defying the Soviet Union for decades. At a time when most scientists and researchers were terrified out of their minds at a slip, a wrong word that might send them to a long death in the basements of the Lubyanka or an even longer death in the Gulags-- Pavlov would ride buses and lecture the passengers on the fascism of the Soviet regime. And while those scientists eventually ended up in the Gulags themselves, Pavlov died a natural death.

Where so many Russians had become conditioned to hear the ringing of the bell everywhere, and to search for it when they didn't, to be afraid all the time, and to love the thing they feared in order to have some measure of security-- Pavlov understood the reflex and rejected it. He chose to be a free man instead. And freedom comes from standing up to evil. From confronting it and defying it. Not from submitting to it and collaborating with it. From silencing yourself in the hope that you will no longer be afraid when the bell rings.

Today the bell is Islam. The bell is Mohammed. That two headed religion with its two faces, the Religion of Peace and the Religion of Death. And if you focus hard enough on it as the Religion of Peace, perhaps you won't notice the grinning skull on its other side. And so the bell rings, and the poodles run to their master, licking his hands and showering him with adoration. Oh yes Islam is a wonderful religion. It has so many human rights. Truly it is a paragon for us today. If only we could be as free as Muslims. If only.

And what is the source of Islam's power? Comedy Central reminds us of that again. Its power is simple enough. Its followers are more willing to kill those who resist, than those who are not its followers are willing to resist them. 

No military victory. No superior technology. Not even sheer numbers, as there is still no First World country in which Muslims have officially become a majority. Their power comes from fear. From being prepared to murder anyone who disagrees with them. Until the mere threat alone, from a worthless source, is enough to badly panic a multibillion dollar corporation. The same corporation that would never take protests from Jews or Christians seriously, caves when a single Muslim on a previously obscure website threatens a beheading. What is the difference? The difference is murder. Muslims murder people who offend them. And having gained a reputation for that, they are quickly parlaying it into practical political power.

A nation's police, legal and military divisions are entirely useless if they cannot protect the exercise of such basic freedoms. Without that they become nothing more than glorified social service centers that enforce the law only when it isn't too dangerous for them. Only when it won't offend the wrong people. The wrong people being those who kill on casual provocation. And such a country, though it may have documents to its name attesting its freedoms, and endless ranks of judiciary appointees and professors debating those freedoms-- they mean nothing if the people cannot actually exercise those freedoms.

The Bush Administration's War on Terror did not actually put an end to fear of Islamic terrorism, instead it fed it with endless alerts and prolonged battles thousands of miles away, while in the heart of civilization, terror remained emboldened enough to wave its green scimitar decorated flag. That is why the assault on Salman Rushdie was in some ways a more significant strategic blow than 9/11. On 9/11 thousands of our fellow Americans died. But when we surrender to Islamic terror and intimidation, our freedom dies. For everyone. And the bell begins to ring.

Only by defying Islam, can we begin the process of taking back our freedoms. Only by speaking out, do our voices matter. Because they don't have to silence us, if we silence ourselves first.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Inevitability of Sharia Law in the West

By On April 26, 2010
When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. And so liberals believe that the solution to every problem is more socialism. Americans often believe the solution to every problem is more democracy. And Muslims believe that the solution to every problem is Islam. Combine the three, and you arrive at the inevitability of Sharia law in the West. As Muslims harness democratic pluralities in countries that have become socialist and thus less free, they will impose Islamic law.

In the conception of religion held by Western Liberals, religious moderates are people who are willing to allow the separation of religion from civic life, or even its domination by the civic code. Religious extremists they believe are people who want to impose religion on public life. By this standard however, there is virtually no such thing as a Muslim moderate, because Muslims do not recognize the hallowed ideas of Western liberals such as pluralism and the separation of church and state.

Even the few exceptions such as Turkey, did not create separate spheres, so much as they imposed forced secularism in order to modernize the country. And these exceptions are also collapsing, notably in Turkey where the Islamists under Erdogan have come to power. The imposed secularism in countries such as Turkey originated at a time when it was thought that a Muslim country had to forcibly secularize in order to enjoy the benefits of a modern state.

But the willingness of Westerners to accommodate Islam, and the billions in oil money that have flowed into Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have discredited that notion by showing that one can be a fanatical Muslim and still be a doctor in England, or own skyscrapers in Dubai, be a Lord or a Peer, a respected professor in a French university or have a nuclear reactor assembled in your country. Political correctness, appeasement and Dhimmitude have eroded the gains made by secularization, and helped radicalize Islam.

Muslim countries who are socially, morally and politically backward, nevertheless have access to all the modern technology and conveniences of the West. Their backwardness makes it all but impossible for them to actually reform their countries so they provide opportunities for their own people, but makes it all too easy for them to export their surplus populations to the West.

And so a goat herder who still believes that he has the right to kill his daughter if she so much as looks at a boy, can get on a 747 and arrive in London or Paris in a matter of hours. New York or Los Angeles in a matter of a few more. His children will go to Western schools, where they will be implicitly or explicitly taught the superiority of Islam, almost as much as they would be in a Madrassa. They will never be forced to choose between Islam and the benefits of the West-- and so they will inevitably choose both, benefiting from their free educations, their professional careers and the good life, while embracing increasingly fanatical Islamic ideas, in order to balance out their materialistic lives.

This combination of a Western trappings and Islamic interior will doom the West. Because Islam is an ideology that is less about faith, than it is about governance. Unlike their Western liberal patrons, Muslims do not recognize any distinction between church and state. Which means they are bent on imposing their religion on the state. Western liberals believe that most Muslims are moderate. Most Muslims however believe that the remedy for all social, political and moral ills lies in Islam.

A believing Muslim, whether Westerners consider him an extremist or a moderate, will believe that Islam and the Koran have the solution for all of society's ills. Social problems are caused by a lack of Islam. In his worldview, Muslim countries can only repair their problems through Islam. And non-Muslim countries in the Dar al Kufr (Realm of the Infidels), Dar Al Harb (Realm of the Sword) are bound to be even worse off, because they don't follow Islamic law. Which means their only solution is Islam.

In such a scenario, Sharia is inevitable. Because as Western liberals think of social reforms in terms of added government control, Muslims think of reform as added clerical control. This makes Muslims and Socialists seem like natural allies, at least for a time, because both confuse reform with centralization that takes individual liberties. Meanwhile the Western Liberal is deluded enough to think that any application of Sharia law will be moderate, when in fact it will be no such thing. Because the Muslim understanding of the world is radically different than the Western understanding of the world.

For example take the recent statement by a Muslim cleric that blames immodestly dressed women for earthquakes. Such an idea has a basis in Islam. It may seem utterly insane to the Western mind, but it demonstrates a worldview in which every individual action is inherently interconnected with the larger social welfare, (an idea shared by both Muslims and Socialists). And if indeed women not wearing a burka cause earthquakes-- then the greater good demands that they be compelled to wear them. After all what is more important, freedom of dress or people dying in earthquakes?

Variations of that argument will accompany resistance to any Islamic ban. And the only response to it can be that the idea behind it is lunatic and unproven. Yet the former would be construed as denigrating Islam and the latter is a useless point, as there is also no way to disprove that (or any other insane linkage that a cleric might come up with).

If you really doubt that such a thing can happen in the rational West, remember that much of our best and brightest currently believe that cow flatulence and human exhaling is destroying the planet, that gender differences are the product of nurture and that people who share their political views have superior genes. The belief of that Islamic cleric is no more absurd than these, and with enough force and propaganda behind it, is just as likely to be accepted. And much worse things will be as well.

As a country's population rises, it will approach the Sharia tipping point. Sharia law's imposition will be sold as social reforms, just as they are throughout the Muslim world. And since only disruptive forces would be opposed to it, naturally criticizing its implementation would be one of the first bans. There is only one clean way to avoid it. Just as there is only one clean way to avoid a Communist or Nazi takeover. And that is not to have people inside your borders who want to see the country turn into a Nazi, Communist or Islamist state. If you fail to do that, then sooner or later, you will either face a bloody civil war, or/and live under a Communist, Nazi or Islamist state.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Obama's 5 Big Lies About Israel

By On April 25, 2010
In preparation for his attempt to impose a final solution on Israel, Obama is spreading a variety of lies through the media and his spokesmen about Israel. And by exposing those lies, we can best get at the truth.


1. Netanyahu Must Choose Between Obama and his Right Wing

What Obama's people would like you to believe here is that all it would take to restore good relations with the Obama Administration is for Netanyahu to reject the "extremists" and do what Obama tells him to do.

But in fact the vast majority of Israelis support Netanyahu's position that Jews have the right to live anywhere in Jerusalem, and oppose Obama's position that Jews have no right to live or build homes in parts of Jerusalem that were seized by Jordan in 1948 and ethnically cleansed of Jews.

Netanyahu's real choice is between Obama and the vast majority of his country's voters. By demanding that he turn his back on them and do what Obama says, the real demand here is for Netanyahu to completely disregard Israel's democracy, and betray his own electorate, and enact Apartheid in Jerusalem. This will supposedly appease Obama. And all Netanyahu has to do is disregard the Israeli people's wishes in favor of DC's wishes.

So Netanyahu must choose between Obama and democracy. And the media is blasting him because he chose democracy over Obama.


2. Obama Wants Netanyahu's Right Wing Coalition to be More Centrist

More centrist. Really? Netanyahu's current coalition includes the left wing Labor party, an immigrant's rights party and the party of Sefardi Jews. It even has an Arab Muslim Deputy Minister.

So what is Obama's idea of a centrist Israeli government? One that jettisons Shas, the party of Jewish refugees from Muslim countries, and Yisrael Beitenu, the party of Jewish refugees from the USSR-- in favor of Kadima, an illegitimately created party headed by Tzipi Livni, a former member of Netanyahu's own Likud party. How is a coalition with Kadima more "centrist" than a coalition with the Labor party and parties that represent Israel's different minorities? The answer is it isn't. The only thing "centrist" about Kadima, is that Tzipi Livni airheadedly endorses every Obama proposal, which hasn't exactly made her popular in the country. But it has made her popular with Obama, who wants to force her into a coalition with Netanyahu.

If you believe the Washington talking heads, Livni will make Netanyahu's coalition more centrist than former Labor Prime Minister Ehud Barack. This despite the fact that Kadima officials have repeatedly stated they will not enter any coalition headed by Netanyahu.

Let me emphasize this again. Obama's people are trying to force Netanyahu to drop two parties, one of Jewish refugees from Muslim countries and another of Jewish refugees from Communist countries-- (it's not too hard to figure out why Obama would dislike both) in order to form a more "centrist" coalition with a former member of his own party.


3. Tensions Between Obama and Israel Were Caused by Netanyahu's "Insult" Toward Biden 

The truth is that the relationship between Obama and Israel has always been bad. And that's not surprising. Obama was a longtime member of a church whose pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright portrayed Israel in terms reminiscent of Nazi newspapers. He was friends with Rashid Khalidi who was a spokesman for the PLO terrorist organization. His own background as a child was in the Muslim world, where Israel is viewed as nothing short of the devil.

Once elected, Obama made his first phone call to current PLO head and Holocaust denier, Mahmoud Abbas. And it didn't take long for the administration to begin making demands of Israel, and then refusing to accept any compromises. All this was long before Biden paid a brief visit to Israel, and pretended to be outraged because potential housing on an empty plot of land in Jerusalem went through one part of a multi-stage approvals process.

Was Biden offended by this as a demonstration of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem? Not likely since Biden himself had co-sponsored no less than three Senate resolutions in support of a United Jerusalem under Israeli rule. If we are to believe that Biden was offended, then he was offended by policies he himself supported.

The truth of the matter is that the Obama Administration was looking to pick a fight and waited for an incident that they could claim was an Israeli provocation. Israel didn't insult America, Biden or Obama by approving possible housing to be built in Jerusalem. Rather Obama who had always disliked Israel, took the chance to pick a fight, while pretending to be the victim.


4. Netanyahu Must Come Back to the Negotiating Table

What negotiating table? Israel has spent almost two decades at the negotiating table. It has given up land and put even its own capital on the table under Prime Minister Barak (currently a member of Netanyahu's "Right Wing" coalition. The Palestinian Arabs have never put anything on the table. They have taken and taken.

Netanyahu has already agreed to freeze home building in Judea and Samaria. Checkpoints have been dismantled, despite the fact that this allows terrorists to slip through and murder Israelis. Israel has repeatedly offered to go back to the negotiating table. It is Abbas, the first foreign leader that Obama spoke to, who refuses to negotiate. Not only that Abbas has asked Obama to impose a solution.

If Abbas wants Obama to impose a solution. And Obama wants to impose a solution. Then what is there left to negotiate? The exact place where Obama will impose his solution. This argument is a cynical ploy to blame Israel for not wanting to negotiate, when in fact Israel is the only party in this conflict that wants to negotiate and that has consistently tried to negotiate.

But neither Obama nor Abbas are interested in negotiations. They only want Israel to obey their demands.


5. Israel is Costing the US Blood and Treasure

The US has fought three wars since Vietnam. Each of those wars were fought on behalf of, or against Muslims. In the Gulf War, the US responded to Saddam's invasion of its Kuwaiti allies with armed force. In Yugoslavia, the US intervened on behalf of Kosovar Albanian Muslims. In Afghanistan and Iraq, the US overthrew Muslim dictatorships and tried to stabilize the two countries.

It is Islam that has cost the US an untold fortune in blood and treasure. It is Muslims that have dragged the US into three wars. In the Gulf War, the US was responding to an invasion of Muslim Kuwait. In Yugoslavia, the US was responding to the supposed ethnic cleansing of Albanian Muslims. In Afghanistan and Iraq, the US was fighting back against an Al Queda attack, motivated by the presence of a US base in Saudi Arabia, and in Iraq, against Saddam Hussein's continuing defiance of sanctions.

Thousands of Americans dead and hundreds of billions of dollars. Now that's real blood and treasure. And the toll keeps on climbing. But in truth the first "Blood and Treasure" extracted by Muslims from America predated the modern State of Israel. Instead it took place on the "Shores of Tripoli" as President Thomas Jefferson chose to go to war with the Muslim pirates who were raiding American ships and enslaving American sailors, because they viewed them as subhuman infidels.

Of course the Obama Administration which has banned any mention of Islamic terrorism, can't possibly address any of that. All it can do is direct false smears at Israel.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Regulations Have Consequences

By On April 24, 2010
It is part of the basic theory of government that when the regulators try to regulate the regulated, the regulated will in turn try to control the terms of their regulation by attempting to influence the regulators. In other words, that which government controls, will try to control it. Because regulation is a two way street. By regulating people, countries and industries-- you are entering into a relationship with that which you regulate.

To rule over the unrepresented creates an unstable situation. And so the regulated will either attempt to indirectly or directly influence the regulators, overthrow them or escape their control. This too is an inevitable outgrowth of the basic theory of government, one which liberals tend to deliberately ignore when complaining about corporate lobbying. Corporate lobbying and donations to both parties are a direct product of the growth of government regulation, interference in industries, bailouts, grants and other forms of corporate welfare. The more government interacts positively or negatively with business, the more business lobbyists will try to influence how those interactions go.

There is of course one easy way to end most corporate influence on politics. But it is not one that the very people agitating against corporate money in politics will champion. That is because it requires them to give up power. Corporations are motivated to spend money in the hopes of either earning a profit or avoiding a loss. Spending money on lobbying would dry up if there were no profits or losses to be gained from doing so. But the very politicians who wail about corporate money, still expect those donations to keep coming in. And they continue exercising power over entire industries and fields, which naturally summon the companies dealing in them to try to shape how that power is exercised.

What has the expanding network of government regulations wrought? First, it has created a vast industry of lobbyists from companies who either want to avoid regulation or want to exploit regulation in order to benefit themselves or harm their competitors. Companies who want the government to pass along taxpayer money to them or create monopolies for their benefit. Companies who want government contracts for items that the government doesn't need or doesn't need to buy at that price, but will anyway because companies find it cheaper to donate to congressmen than compete fairly for the contract. All this is the result of a system in which government regulations have made it increasingly entangled with the very businesses that government is regulating.

Secondly, it has convinced many companies that it is simply easier to opt out, and move their manufacturing facilities out of the control. This has been a boon for China, but a disaster for America. The manufacturing sectors of America have become depressed, and perfect fodder for Democratic politicians to bring home the dole by taxing America's remaining businesses. But as Thatcher once reputedly said, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." In America, if the process goes on, there will be two types of companies, government subsidized companies and companies that have relocated overseas. And America will finally have Europe's economy with everyone on the dole, including the companies themselves.

As government continues to press companies over overseas revenue, they will find it simpler to relocate their headquarters overseas. Some have already done it. This will deprive the system of another source of taxable revenue, which will only drive them to press down harder on the existing sources. Which will further accelerate the entire process. But the people behind it know exactly what they're doing.

The combination of regulation and taxation makes it gradually too expensive for companies to operate legitimately. That means the only possible way for them to continue operating is to either leave the country, or throw in with the system and get a grant to begin doing something absolutely useless. Under socialism, rent seeking behavior by a company is much safer than making a good product and selling it. And so the successful business strategy now relies on integrating business with government, to produce a socialist state, in which business is not simply regulated by government, but is an actual part of government.

Consider a system in which Cap and Trade can allow speculators hiding behind environmentalist credentials to rob existing companies of billions of dollars, and decimate entire industries-- through government regulation. Under such a system it makes no sense to own a factory. Instead it makes sense to visibly drive a Prius while flying a private jet around the country, talk about the shrinking icebergs while eating imported lobster, and lobbying for wealth redistribution from actual productive companies.

That is the socialist strategy. Not to destroy business. But to destroy legitimate and productive business. Business that does not rely on government for its moneymaking strategy. And in the end all that remains is a whitemarket economy that is tightly regulated, low priced, inaccessible and virtually useless for obtaining many basic products and services-- and a blackmarket economy that is unregulated, overpriced and where anything can be found. That doesn't just apply to the kind of health care system that the left would like to impose on America. That is the kind of system they want to impose comprehensively in every area of life, minus of course the blackmarket, which is of course an inevitable outgrowth of overregulation.

Regulation is inimical to economic diversity. The more you regulate a field, the less authentic economic diversity it can have, because economic diversity is a function of economic creativity and mobility. Regulation leads to central planning in the long run, and to a freeze on economic creativity in the short run. The more regulation you have, the less economic diversity remains and the economic ecosystem rewards only business strategies that are symbiotic or parasitic on government. Regulation steadily makes the government the key, and then eventually the only player in the marketplace, as it comes to control everything from manufacturing to the sale of the products all down the line.

The growing influence of corporate money on politics is not a sign of capitalism, but of socialism. Capitalism does not require buying politicians. Socialism does. And the influence of corporate money on politics parallels exactly the influence that politicians have on business. It is a two way street, and those that the regulators regulate will attempt to influence the regulators. The more this happens, the more it's a sign that there are too many regulations, not too few.

Regulators like to believe that they can absolutely control human behavior. But human beings respond in unexpected ways. And one of those ways is that they will strive to escape or seek to control, those who would control them. Democracy is the outgrowth of the practical recognition that the rule of the people is also the best way to maintain a civil and working society. It avoids the power struggle between the government and the governed. By trying to rule without representation, the power struggle resumes. Because regulations have consequences. And the first consequence of regulation is that those you rule over, will try to rule over you.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Afternoon Roundup - An Afternoon of Golf and Treason

By On April 23, 2010


Off on another vacation, after a round of golf after skipping the Polish President's funeral, Obama showed his commitment to saying things while doing nothing, by condemning Arizona's immigration bill, as unhelpful. Which considering his party's plans for mass legalization of illegal aliens, it no doubt is.

While Obama is hunting for another Republican Senator besides Lindsey Graham to back ObaMigration (TM), the usual folks are condemning the bill. Their key criticism seems to be that it will result in racial profiling. The logical outcome of this argument however would be to ban virtually all preventative or suspicion based police work, as studies show that everything from stop and frisk to highway stops usually involve a higher percentage of minorities. And in fact civil rights groups have used this exact argument against them.

The logical solution however is not to ban preventative policing, but to fight racism and bigotry among law enforcement personnel. That goes for enforcing all the laws, including Arizona's immigration bill. Because if preventative policework is illegal, then the only function of law enforcement becomes to investigate crimes after they are reported. Some libertarians might indeed embrace such a scenario, but very few liberals would, as it would also mean ending inspections of factories and products.

Legal Mexican-Americans and immigrations are among the biggest victims of illegal immigration moving through the Southern border, particularly in the border towns, where crime and drug violence have spiked, and the social services funding isn't there. Democrats champion legalization, not out of benevolence, but because they want a population with little means of social advancement, who will be dependent on government largess. This cynical policy is the same reason that Europe has been flooded with Muslim immigration by left wing parties.

While Obama would very much like to push through ObaMigration, as it would shove millions of new Democratic voters onto the voting rolls, and wipe out states like Arizona, which are already struggling with the economic toll from illegal immigration through Mexico. (Through mind you, more than from.) The economic realities of such a bill however would be far more explosive than ObamaCare-- and if the Obama Administration really wants to see the Tea Party movement take hold nationally, that would be the way to go.

But meanwhile Obama himself and a number of Illinois political figures, including Dick Durbin, are being subpoenaed by Blagojevich's lawyers, who are determined to make this as much of a political spectacle as possible. Of course the probability of this going anywhere is very low, but the public should be reminded of the fact that this was all one gang, and that this is the Culture of Corruption that Barack Hussein Obama's political career sprang from, like a weed from the moist dirt.

Because there's always lies on top of lies and corruption on top of corruption. Peeling back one layer of the rotten onion, just leaves that many more underneath.

Case in point...

A top Senate Republican on Thursday accused the Obama administration of misleading taxpayers about General Motors’ loan repayment, saying the struggling auto giant was only able to repay its bailout money by dipping into a separate pot of bailout money.

Sen. Chuck Grassley’s charge was backed up by the inspector general for the bailout — also known as the Trouble Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Watchdog Neil Barofsky told Fox News, as well as the Senate Finance Committee, that General Motors used bailout money to pay back the federal government.

“It appears to be nothing more than an elaborate TARP money shuffle,” Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a letter Thursday to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Don't worry we'll get our money back... it'll just still be our money. That's the way it's always worked, to be fair. But it's still repugnant.

And speaking of repugnant... Senator Schumer meanwhile has stepped forward on JM in the AM to be mildly critical of the Obama Administration's pressure on Israel, while trying to excuse it at the same time.

Like every politician, Schumer tries to highlight his own role as an advocate, which points up the fact that this is more about his campaign than anything else. He's essentially making the argument that voting for him will mean having a strong advocate with influence on the White House. This is of course a load of equine byproducts, as the Obama Administration dislikes Schumer, who took away Princess Caroline's Senate seat, and Schumer dislikes the Obama Administration which kneecapped Hillary. Obama can't entirely ignore Schumer, but he won't be paying too much attention to him.

That said Schumer demonstrates that he does know what's going on. He tries to minimize the problem as growing pains with a new Administration that hasn't realized that the Palestinian Arab Muslim side has no interest in honestly negotiating. In doing so he misrepresents history, Clinton himself admitted at the time that he only realized at the very end of his term, that Arafat had been leading everyone on. But the very fact that Schumer felt pressed to step forward, suggests the situation behind the scenes may be even more ominous.

And unsurprisingly, the Obama Administration responded with a putdown of Schumer...

The Obama administration pushed back on Friday against critical comments made by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) accusing the president of having a "counterproductive" policy on Israel.

Asked by the Huffington Post about the remarks during the morning's gaggle, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs replied: "I don't think it is a stretch to say we don't agree with what Senator Schumer said."

Boker Tov Boulder has the latest poll of Jews, which shows marked disapproval of the Obama Administration.
American voters disapprove by 44 to 35% of the way the President is handling the situation between Israel and the Palestinians.

Jewish voters disapprove 67 to 28%.

I suspect the Q poll was done with more depth, insofar as covering a broader section of the Jewish community.

Also to readers in New York, there will be a rally in support of Israel and/or in protest of the Obama Administration's actions on Sunday.

STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH ISRAEL’S RIGHT TO BUILD AND LIVE IN ITS OWN COUNTRY.

A CLARION CALL FOR A UNITED JEWISH JERUSALEM, AND PROTEST AGAINST THE ADMINISTRATION’S SCAPEGOATING OF ISRAEL. DATE:

A Rally in Solidarity with Israel, Sun, April 25, 2010

TIME: 1 PM LOCATION: Israel Consulate, 2nd Ave between 42nd and 43rd St,

Turning to the Republican side, some people are impressed by a statement put out by Rand Paul that seems to be Pro-Israel. But the first thing to remember is that Ron Paul's people briefly tried to sell him as Pro-Israel too in many of the same terms... namely that Ron Paul would leave Israel alone.

Walter Block of the Mises Institute authored an open letter to Jews arguing that foreign aid was bad for Israel and that under Ron Paul, the US would no longer try to control Israel's foreign policy. And promoted Jews for Ron Paul, an organization that turned out to be a fraud. More curiously, Block claimed that Ron Paul might actually triple foreign aid to Israel's enemies, which would destroy them.

But the first problem with the Pauls is not Israel. It's America. The problem is that they support Islamic terrorists because they've identified with the entire worldview of the far left and far right, which claims that the US government is run by a vast conspiracy, and that Muslim terrorists are just blowback as a result of our foreign policy. Which is a fancy way of saying that they believe that if they can overthrow the "American Empire", everything with Islam will be hunky dory.

Rand Paul has spoken in those terms before on the Alex Jones show. Like his father, he identifies more with Al Queda and Iran, than with the US.

While some of Ron Paul's Jewish supporters tried to claim that he would leave Israel, because he believes in respecting the sovereignty of other countries, in fact he attacked Israel for going after its kidnapped soldiers, something that was not taking place inside US borders. Essentially Paul was making the same argument then that Obama is making today, that Israel's actions affect the US, which gives him the right to demand that Israel stop defending itself.

He hasn't made that argument for Saddam Hussein, because like much of the far right and far left, free nations take a beating, while Muslim ones get a free pass. So while a libertarian President who ended foreign aid and stopped interfering in Israel's own war on terror might be a godsend, the Pauls are coming at this from a whole other perspective.

But now Rand Paul, the jolly chap who said

"Iran feels threatened because we have troops in Iraq and troops in Afghanistan... we have to understand their perspective, that they feel threatened."

...and favored releasing captured terrorists back on the battlefield is supposedly pro-Israel. And I buy that as much as I buy that he's suddenly in favor of keeping terrorists locked up, when back in 09, it was a different story
Rand Paul “couldn’t agree more” with those who believe Guantanamo has “significantly damaged the reputation of the United States” and who want to “see it shut down.”

So while Rand Paul's statement is very nice, it's also a complete break from everything that's come before it, aside from the paragraph about foreign aid, which is left over from Ron Paul's own campaign for office. And when a politician comes out with a radically new position, I have to believe that his old position is the real thing.

Furthermore as others are pointing out, Rand Paul has endorsed Adam Kokesh, which means getting in bed with Code Pink, a radical left wing org tied to Obama and Hamas of all things.

Bubba has gone into great detail on Adam Kokesh in an open letter. Here are a few brief excerpts, but the entire thing is worth reading

Mr. Kokesh joined the Iraq Veterans Against War (IVAW) in February 2007, at which time he was 25 years old. The IVAW was formed by the Vietnam Veterans Against War (VVAW), the now infamous group formed by John Kerry in 1970, and responsible for the fraudulent maligning of our Vietnam veterans at the Winter Soldier Conference in 1971.

As an active member of the IVAW, Mr. Kokesh was involved in numerous anti-military activities and actions. While executing these actions, Mr. Kokesh knowingly made common cause with a wide array of other well-known, radical anti-America and communist groups. The list of these other groups includes, but is by no means limited to, the following:

SDS
Code Pink
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition
United for Justice and Peace
Communist Party of America
Muslim Brotherhood
Black Panthers

In cooperation with the above-named groups and the IVAW, Mr. Kokesh: participated in multiple anti-war demonstrations in Washington DC, and other cities throughout the country; organized and incited violent demonstrations at military recruiting stations; participated in an initiative to encourage active duty soldiers to desert their military post; and, organized and participated in a Winter Soldier Conference 2, an effort designed to malign and undercut the morale of our soldiers who were fighting and dying on the battlefield.

And to top it all off Genuine GOP Mom provides a visual aid of Rand Paul and Adam Kokesh's associations



This along with Rand Paul's record is disturbing stuff that some Republicans have chosen to shrug off because Sarah Palin is on good terms with Rand Paul and campaigns for him. Well Palin is also on good terms with Lindsey Graham and campaigns for McCain. I'm not going to critique her motives, but it's clear that she doesn't have a purity test when it comes to the politicians she supports.

Continuing the roundup, Debbie Schlussel posts PBS's disturbing look at pedophilia in Muslim Afghanistan

Turkey is trying to use its Turkish Muslim diaspora in Germany to subvert the country.

Obama has cut funds to promote Democracy in Egypt by 50 percent

And disgracefully enough, Michael Steele appeared at Al Sharpton's National Action Network conference. But so did one of Obama's mentors, who claimed that Sharpton is Obama's link to the streets.

Just to remind everyone of who Al Sharpton is. Sharpton led racist attacks on Jews and Asians, including the Crown Heights Pogrom in which there were three fatalities. Sharpton is no different than David Duke.

And while the media rants on about Tea Party violence, Obama's link to the street is a hate group leader.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Competing for Islam's Favor Against Ourselves

By On April 21, 2010
WWI was caused less by the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, and more by Germany and Austria Hungary's eagerness to appease the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Before and during WW2, England and Germany both assiduously courted Muslim support in the Middle East. The Holocaust was one of the byproducts of this rivalry, as Germany courted Arab Muslims by appealing to the genocidal impulses of the likes of the Mufti of Jerusalem, while England courted them by reneging its agreements, and shutting the door to Jewish refugees trying to flee Europe for Israel. While the Holocaust would have happened regardless, it is likely that the death toll would have been significantly lower, without the presence of Islam in the equation.

After the war nothing changed much, except the names of the players. The competition itself however still went on. Instead of England and Germany competing for Islam's favor, it was not the US and the USSR. Both sides cultivated patron Muslim countries, spent and lost huge sums of money on them, and then got a knife in the back for it, time and time again.

The US courted Saudi Arabia under the fanatical rule of the House of Saud, America's oldest partner in the region. In return the Saudi royal family nationalized American oil companies (for which the US government compensated the companies with taxpayer dollars) and then used that money to fund a global Jihad, while the royals incidentally began buying up major chunks of America. 9/11 was only the topper on a large poisonous cake that had been baking in the febrile heat of the Saudi desert for a long time, as petrodollars fed fanatical Islamic pre-medieval beliefs that had been growing steadily more arrogant and insane in direct proportion to the amount of wealth flowing in.

The USSR tried to export Communism, but had to settle for backing the likes of Egyptian dictator Nasser, despite his casual slaughter of domestic Communists. The heap of corruption in Cairo was considered such a great prize that both the US and the USSR competed feverishly for it. The US betrayed England, France and Israel in 1956 by backing Nasser's seizure of the Suez Canal and forcing their withdrawal through economic blackmail, an act that Eisenhower would later admit he deeply regretted. Nevertheless Nasser threw in with the USSR, which was the most willing to pile on the weapons exports.

But devotees of happy endings will be glad to hear that after losing several wars with those same weapons, the United States finally won the bidding war for one slightly used alliance with Egypt. At a cost of only a few billion dollars a year and turning a blind eye to the persecution of Christian Copts. And things have never been better. The Obama Administration recently slashed funds for promoting democracy in Egypt by 50 percent off. Which is a discount when you think about it, because 50 percent off Egyptian democracy is a bargain, when you consider that it's an item much harder to find than platinum or gold.

When Obama visited Egypt's Al Azhar University, he naturally made sure to praise it as a source of knowledge and enlightenment. He may or may not have had in mind one Al Azhar scholar who issued a Fatwa which said that a grown man and woman could be alone together, only if she breastfeeds him first. (This sort of radical reformism would not fly in Iran, where students of different sexes studying together are required to get temporarily married first, a procedure also used to legalize prostitute. One can only imagine what European educational systems will look like under Islam.)

But while the breastfeeding Fatwa may seem ridiculous, Al Azhar University is also the source of far less humorous fatwas. It also happens to be a source of terrorism and Islamic extremism. But don't worry about your tax dollars going to indirectly fund terrorism. At least not if you're British, because then your tax dollars are going directly to Al Azhar University, to run the The Al-Azhar English Training Centre (AAETC), whose mission is to "give students the skills to "discuss and explain Islam". It is certainly generous of British taxpayers to be forced to underwrite training for Muslim missionaries, because the "Captain Hooks" of tomorrow can't be expected to set up shop in Manchester with no English skills. But this program nevertheless needs to be praised for trying to teach Al Azhar graduates to promote Islam by speaking to people, instead of blowing them up or chopping off their heads.

This is what courting Islam looks like. A flattering speech here and there. Loose immigration policies. A terrorist set free by the British government in exchange for an oil deal. The US government turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia and the UAE's role in terrorism in exchange for more oil deals. The French government shaking its fist a little at a few rogue imams and then quieting down, hoping that the 5 million Muslims got the message, and will try and keep the car burning down on weekends, and then promoting a Mediterranean alliance, just as Russia is promoting a Bosporus alliance-- as if Muslims would allow themselves to be ruled by non-Muslims for very long.

Madness? No, competition. The Muslim world has a lot of oil and a lot of people, and Western governments want the former, while keeping the latter peaceable. And that means competing for Islam's favor with each other, with the newly resurgent Russia which is back to its old ways of shipping weapons by the fleet, China which is feeling its global oats and poking its head well beyond its borders now-- but mostly the Muslims themselves.

Before WW1, Western European nations were competing with each other for the favor of Muslim rulers. Before WW2, England and Germany were competing for the favor of Muslim rulers with each other. During the Cold War, the US and the USSR were competing for the favor of Muslim rulers. But today the remnants of the civilized world are competing for the favor of Muslims, against the Muslims. In effect we're bidding up against ourselves. Because the big threat today is no longer Western, it's Islamic. The old competition was about forming alliances with the Muslim world against the enemy of the day. Today the enemy of the day is Muslim. That phantom menace we call "Islamic Extremism" if we're feeling terribly politically correct, and "Islam" if we're not.

If the old rivalries at least provided some rational justification for this gamesmanship, today it's more like holding up a sign reading, "We're nice. Please don't kill us." On paper we're competing to uphold "moderate" Muslim regimes against the Islamists who would otherwise take over. Which means we're competing with the Islamists to win the favor of Muslim rulers and populations. This is considered Realpolitik. Meanwhile the left argues that we're only upholding dictators, and that if we stopped supporting them, the people would overthrown them, stop hating us and form socialist republics. The last time this was tried, the Carter Administration gave us Iran.

But of course this is only two sides of the same insane coin. Either we pacify the dictators, who already support Islamic terrorism, so that the real awful Islamist dictators won't come to power... and then really support terrorism. Or we overthrow the dictators, and let the real awful Islamist dictators come to power, because maybe they're not so bad after all. Maybe we can have an oil deal with them. And train some of them to explain Islam to us in good English, hopefully without chopping our heads off first.

And that right there is the problem. Our foreign policy is a debate between the realists who want appeasement, and the lunatics who think the natural outcome of every revolution is socialism, and even when it isn't (as in the case of Iran) they'll pretend it is anyway to avoid looking as stupid as they should feel. Of course there's always a third option, and I don't mean invading them, rebuilding them, and then withdrawing in time for them to adopt Sharia law. Stop competing. Stop courting the good opinion of a backward ideology that still thinks women are a form of inconvenient bacteria and that non-Muslims should always defer to Muslims. Stop pandering to them. Stop bowing and scraping to them. Stop giving them weapons, visas and then wondering what happens when the bombs begin going off.

Once upon a time we competed against each other, today we're courting one side of the Muslim world's schizophrenic split personality, against the other side. We approach the two-headed hound of Islam, and then argue over which head we should pat first, to keep the beast from biting us. It's all one beast. And feeding scraps to one head or the other, won't win us anything except more bites. The thing to do is to stop feeding the beast and stop being under the impression that there's more than one hound in question. It's all one animal. And it hates us. And it will go on hating us. And it will go on biting us for as long as we let it.

We are no longer bidding for the Muslim world as an ally. We are bidding to prevent it from being our enemy. But the problem is that the very people we're bidding for, already see us as the enemy. We are not going to change that with free English lessons, weapons and speeches praising their enlightenment, and clapping with delight when one of their clerics sorta suggests that terrorism is probably wrong. We're not children and we're not cowards, and we should stop acting like both. By competing for Muslim favor, we are only bidding ourselves, and paying up to the very people who are our enemies. By competing for their favor, we are only undercutting ourselves.

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