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Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Over the Cliff

By On November 30, 2012

OF FISCAL CLIFFS

Here's how the game is played. No matter what happens with the fiscal cliff negotiations the Republicans will get blamed. There is no scenario, perhaps short of agreeing to Obama's proposal to give him the power to borrow unlimited amounts of money, raise taxes and do the same crap that got us into a sixteen trillion dollar hole to begin with, and then maybe appoint him king, that will change that. And even that brief moment of praise will last about six seconds.

Republicans are playing into the hands of the enemy by emphasizing the fiscal cliff negotiations. There is very little to negotiate here. Obama, fresh off a stolen election, carved out over the bodies of hurricane victims, is daring Republicans to say no to him. And a dispirited Republican establishment is still feeling beaten and too willing to give in.

There are two scenarios here. Either Obama is bluffing or he isn't. And it doesn't really matter which one is correct. The crisis is being exploited with nonsense about fixing the giant hole in the economy created by Obama, by raising taxes on the rich. Even though the tax hikes wouldn't even begin to cover a month of spending.

The fiscal cliff is a strategic crisis weapon, but it's the wrong crisis for Republicans to focus on. The crisis here is spending, not the fiscal cliff. The crisis is the viability of Social Security. The crisis is in the personal things that people care about. The crisis is not how to find ways to let politicians spend more money.



FOUR SIMPLE QUESTIONS

1. How can a place with no elected officials be considered a state?

2. How can Palestine be a state if it’s actually two mutually hostile states run by two different governments?

3. How can a place that is almost entirely subsidized by foreign aid qualify for statehood?

4. How can a place that has made no progress in 20 years qualify for statehood?

...from 4 Questions for Anyone Who Supports a Palestinian State





WHY HAMAS IS STILL AROUND

Short answer, because Israel isn't allowed to kill them or even deport them.

Twenty years ago, on December 1992, Israeli forces responded to Hamas atrocities by arresting over a thousand Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists and deporting 415 of them into Lebanon.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 799 which “strongly” condemned the deportation of “hundreds of Palestinian civilians” and expressed “its firm opposition to any such deportation by Israel”. It further demanded that Israel “ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied territories of all those deported.” United Nations Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali called for taking “whatever measures are necessary” to compel Israel to take back the terrorists.

In a story headlined, “Deporting the Hope for Peace”, Newsweek sympathetically described the Hamas terrorists “shivering in the cold.” The New York Times reached for the poetic describing the hillside they were camped out on as “desolate”; though it’s hard to see how desolate it could have been when it was surrounded by reporters. The Christian Science Monitor wrote of them huddling “under heavy rain.” The media spent more time providing weather updates from Lebanon than it did covering the local weather.

Despite the truckloads of supplies, a few days later Abdel Aziz al-Rantisi, the future leader of Hamas, described by the Associated Press only as a Gaza physician, demanded that the UN and the Red Cross bring them food, water and fuel because they were already starving and forced to fast to stay alive. The media breathlessly reported that the temperature had dropped to below freezing and the men were on the verge of death.

In reality, the deported terrorists had food and water brought in from local villages and their “desolate hillside” would become an enclave of television sets, fax machines, copy machines, cell phones, a fridge filled with soda and a satellite dish beaming Iranian television shows to  them. Rantissi, who would later boast, “By Allah, we will not leave one Jew alive in Palestine” was living better than many of his victims.

One Associated Press story described a deportee eating a breakfast of jam, cheese and bread or beans and chickpeas with lemon sauce, and then a lunch of tuna fish or sardines, and then complaining, “I’m so sick of this food. I eat only to stay alive.”

That was 20 years ago. And today Hamas is still chowing down and whining that Gaza is starving. They did an excellent job of learning the lesson that the media taught them. Always play the victim.



THE MUSLIM WORLD IS TRULY MODERNIZING

Saudi Offers “Castrated African Slave” for Sale on Facebook




ROMNEY SOLIDLY WON THE ORTHODOX JEWISH VOTE

There have been false claims made by Jewish liberals that Obama won or broke even with the Orthodox vote. I've seen Beachwood, OH, repeatedly, and misleadingly, brought up.

But the numbers from the heartland of American Orthodox Judaism in New York City are not even close. Instead you see isles of blue (Romney votes) trapped inside a sea of a red (Obama votes) across Orthodox parts of Brooklyn.

Here's what Williamsburg looks like.




TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT THE ASIAN VOTE

In my piece on the Asian vote, I take a closer look at what happened to the Asian vote. And the answer appears to be, a sizable growth in Chinese and Indian immigrants, who are very closely linked to the Democratic Party.


 
IT'S OBAMA'S WORLD, WE JUST LIVE IN IT

Egypt Sentences Mo Filmmaker to Death, Obama Sentenced Him to Only One Year

Truly we live in a moderate Muslim country. One year in the Federal pen for insulting Islam is pretty mild compared to a death sentence.

Sure we criticize Obama a lot and often justly. But it’s important that we also show our appreciation for living in a country that Obama described as “one of the largest Muslim nations in the world” where people who offend Islamic theocracy get sentenced to a mere one year in prison.

Obama may be a terrible leader by American standards, but compared to Assad, Erdogan, Morsi, Ahmadinejad and Karzai, he’s really not so bad.



IT'S OBAMA'S WORLD, WE JUST LIVE IN IT II

Obama Considering Directly Arming Syrian Al Qaeda

School District with %58 Graduation Rate, 50 Million Budget Deficit Spent 2.7 Million on Plastic Surgery for Teachers

At one point the school board offered to cancel 100 teacher layoffs if the union would drop the cosmetic surgery program for a year, according to The Atlantic. The union declined the offer.

AP Under Attack for Removing Islamophobia, Homophobia from Stylebook

Islamic Foundation Pays Indonesian Parents 9 Dollars to Mutilate their Daughters’ Genitals

Israeli Mother-of-Four Fights off Terrorist with Martial Arts

What most upsets David Carr at the New York Times is the idea of a woman fighting back when members of the news media hit them. As a member of the news media who has hit a few women in his time, Carr would consider this an Israeli action that is truly over the line.

Obama Donors Got $21,000 in Government Money for Every $1 They Gave

British Court Convicts Woman of Racism for Calling Woman from New Zealand “Australian”

How Obama’s FEMA Criminally Botched the Hurricane Recovery Effort

 "I asked, ‘Why haven’t you been sent out?’” he says. “Then he just lays the story on me, tells me about all the personnel they have out there, more than 100 ambulances, two paramedics per ambulance, everybody waiting for marching orders.”

Horrified, the logistical worker offered to help transport them to a place where they could be useful.

“He said they couldn’t do it because FEMA had them all under contract, and they couldn’t go out without FEMA’s say-so.





MURDERING THE ECONOMY, ONE JOB AT A TIME

Over-educated tourists often make a pilgrimage to Cannery Row, lined with rows of defunct canneries, but named after John Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row. The novel with its eccentric characters exists, the real life canneries are gone.

Not only have the sardine canneries of Cannery Row closed, but little noticed, the last sardine cannery in America closed this year, with the end of Stinson Seafood in Eastern Maine.

Now Obama has succeeded in shutting down the Drakes Bay Oyster Company, the last oyster cannery in California. 

Hope, change and hopelessness. The Death of the Drakes Bay Oyster Company





BIG BAD RED BOMB

I have two articles this week on Front Page about Oliver Stone's propaganda Showtime series.

The Untold History of the Left

There is a reason why old terrorists become academics. On the college campus there is no historical revisionism of the left so discredited that it cannot find credulous audiences among the young. And there is no one better than Oliver Stone for the job.

Stone’s specialty is turning left-wing propaganda into pop entertainment. From “Platoon” to “Born on the Fourth of July” to “JFK” to “Nixon” to “W,” Oliver Stone has played Andy Warhol to the red soup companies of men like Robert Scheer. And pop entertainment, whether it’s the Obama campaign or Oliver Stone’s Showtime series, is a vital weapon in winning the hearts and minds of a generation that is overeducated but lacks the ability to burst its own intellectual bubble.

And... The Atom Bomb and the Truth Bomb

Stone’s untold history isn’t just revisionist; it’s seventy-year-old revisionism from a regime and an ideology every bit as ugly as Nazism. It’s the revisionist history of the aggressor power in the Cold War looking to retroactively justify its aggression against the free world by accusing the leading nation of the free world, that had fed and provided for its soldiers and civilians, of conspiring against it.

Like William Carlos Williams’ red wheelbarrow, all this edifice of bad history depends on Henry Wallace, FDR’s Vice President, and at the time, a Soviet dupe. Stone is obsessed with imagining a different policy that would have emerged if Wallace, not Truman, had become president. There is just one little problem with that. Wallace, despite being fooled by the Soviet Union, did eventually figure out the truth.

In 1952, Wallace wrote an article titled, “Where I Was Wrong” in which he said that, “Before 1949 I thought Russia really wanted and needed peace. After 1949 I became more and more disgusted with the Soviet methods and finally became convinced that the Politburo wanted the cold war continued even at the peril of accidentally provoking a hot war.

“As I look back over the past 10 years I now feel that my greatest mistake was in not denouncing the Communist take-over of Czechoslovakia in February of 1948… my analysis failed to take into account the ruthless nature of Russian-trained Communists whose sole objective was to make Czechoslovakia completely subservient to Moscow.”

Henry Wallace had learned from his mistakes. Sixty years later, Oliver Stone still has not.

And Wallace's candidate of choice was Eisenhower. So much for Stone's Wallacian utopia in which America lived in idyllic peace and friendship with the USSR.




WE ARE ALL NAZIS NOW


We are all Socialists now. We are all Nazis now. At least those of us who vote monstrous systems like this into power and then look away from the atrocities that our governments commit.

One doctor has admitted starving and dehydrating ten babies to death in the neonatal unit of one hospital alone.

Writing in a leading medical journal, the physician revealed the process can take an average of ten days during which a baby becomes ‘smaller and shrunken’.



IF ONLY HE HAD BEEN A GOOD LAD...

That teen’s first mistake was throwing a ham at a mosque. If he had done something respectable like smashing the windows of a Jewish shop while chanting “Free Gaza” then the judge would have hailed him as an idealistic model to the nation’s youth. If he had only groomed young girls from broken homes for sex, the way so many mosque worshipers do, then the police would have looked the other way. But sadly he chose to commit a truly unpardonable act for which there can be no possible excuse. He hammed up a mosque. He offended Muslims.

British Police Arrest Teen Who Threw Ham at Mosque, Osama Bin Laden’s Right Hand Man Still Free in London




Susan Rice, Incompetent or a Liar?

This is not a good position to take if you want an upgrade to Secretary of State. Rice’s entire defense is that her understanding of what happened in Benghazi was so crippled by the talking points that she was unable to understand what was going on. Is this supposed to be an argument for making her Secretary of State?


How the Muslim Brotherhood Drove Out the Jews of Aleppo, Syria

In Aleppo, Syria, the Jewish community was devastated by a mob led by the Muslim Brotherhood. At least 150 homes, 50 shops, all 18 synagogues, five schools, an orphanage and a youth club were destroyed. Many people were killed, but the exact figure is not known. Over half the city’s 10,000 Jews fled into Turkey, Lebanon and Israel.
How Chicago’s Two Worst Congressmen Gave Us Eight Years of the Worst Man in the White House

Reynolds had been elected to the House in 1992 succeeding Democrat Gus Savage, who’d been condemned by the House Ethics Committees over allegations of sexual misconduct with a Peace Corps volunteer during an official visit to Zaire.

Savage made racist and anti-Semitic statements against both white and Jewish people. Savage once gave a speech in which he listed the names of all of the Jewish donors living outside of the Chicago area who donated money to his opponent. This led to a backlash, to which Savage responded that only white people could be racist.

Savage’s excuse for trying to rape a Peace Corps worker? You guessed it. Racism!

Savage denied the allegations and blamed them on the “racist press.” The Savage – Reynolds election was good clean Chicago fun.

Savage claimed that “racist Jews” were donating to Reynolds, while Reynolds claimed that Savage was involved in a drive-by shooting that injured him.

During the 1994 House campaign, Reynolds was indicted for sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse. The married congressman had developed an attraction to a 16-year-old female constituent.

Reynolds denied the charges, said they were racially-motivated, continued his second House campaign and, naturally, was easily reelected in November 1994.

Chicago. Would it really be so bad if the earth opened up and swallowed it whole?




TAX-FAN WARREN BUFFETT OWES 1 BILLION IN BACK TAXES

Come on guys, you don't think an Obama supporter would actually pay his taxes. That's for little people.

There are are two recent cases where Warren has done everything possible to AVOID paying taxes that he actually owes. The first case involved a 14-year fight over the dividend-received deduction that was finally settled with the IRS in 2005. The second case is still pending after 10 years in which he owes just over $1 BILLION in back taxes. 

A billion here, a billion there and soon you're shilling for Obama.




A Letter to His Unborn Child

When they refuse to treat you, a Jew, as an ordinary person, you shall become extraordinary. When they treat you, an Israeli, as the exception to the rule, you shall become exceptional. Where I shed the rags of the Diaspora, you will wear the robe of kings. Where I was “the return,” you are “the renaissance.” צהייל will be emblazoned on your chest, where there was once a star. You will cry at the sight of Zion, where we once cried to return. You will speak the tongue of the prophets, rather than the language of the exile. (Your heroes will be legends from the land, rather than stars from the screen.) You, my child, will be the first of our line to be born in the Land of our Fathers...

from Times of Israel via Boker Tov Boulder





IS IT REALLY SO STRANGE?

What is far, far stranger—and really is a surprise—is that 27% of Republicans or Republican-leaners also had a positive attitude toward socialism.

The only explanation I can think of—other than that the world has gone mad—is that a lot of people are unaware of what the terms “Republican” and “socialism” mean.

... or alternatively they are very aware of what it means. Sure ignorance is a convenient explanation, but it's dangerous to prematurely rule out malice.



THE RACE TO JERUSALEM

Now he has started clearing the way to make good use of that prize.  Morsi is on the move.  He is moving very quickly to consolidate power, and position Egypt as a force to be reckoned with in the “race to Jerusalem.”  No longer a sleepy, despotic backwater, Egypt is now ready to play on the same field as Iran and Turkey.  We can expect Morsi to play off Turkey and Iran, remaining on good terms with both as he will seek to do with the US and Europe.  It won’t be time for a “break” with anyone until Morsi has acquired an advantageous position for inducing the fall of Jerusalem – the denouement sought eagerly by the Muslim Brotherhood, and hollered about often by Morsi himself.

...from J.E. Dyer at Optimistic Conservative. There's a New Pharaoh in Town






WHAT THEY WON'T TEACH YOU ABOUT THE "PALESTINIAN" REFUGEE CRISIS IN SCHOOL.

Lebanon

Around half of the 400,000 refugees live in camps, deprived of many rights. Refugees don't have any property rights, no access to the Lebanese healthcare system and there are certain restrictions on jobs we are allowed to do.




Also, FYI, Lebanon naturalized more than 100,000 Palestinian Christians and Shiites. Second, who do you think was funding the militarization of the PLO? THE ARAB GOVERNMENTS, whether it's Saudi Arabia or Iraq or some other Arab country.



Kuwait

Kuwait expelled more than 450,000 Palestinians when Arafat declared his support for Saddam during the Gulf war.


Syria

Surprisingly, refugees there are treated quite well, almost like a citizen. Although this is changing and the Palestinians are being forced to choose sides in the Syrian uprising.


Iraq

Palestinians enjoyed full rights under Saddam's reign, however after the 2003 war they were severely targeted with discrimination or killings and the majority fled the country.


Egypt

You can read this report here. Not only are they discriminated against (no free education) but they receive no UN assistance whatsoever. If they go out of the country for more than 6 months, their residency permit might be revoked. Imagine being born and living in a country your whole life and needing to renew your residency permit every couple of years.


Jordan

It's the only country that naturalized Palestinians after the annexation of the West Bank, perhaps because they needed the population back then.

...
Moral of the story: Israel naturalized over 1.5 million Palestinians. They enjoy full citizen rights and many of them would remain in Israel even if a Palestinian state is established.



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

America Has No Foreign Policy

By On November 28, 2012
The United States of America has a State Department, it has row after row of people who speak badly every language from Arabic to Swahili badly, and it has rich donors who take on the task of acting as ambassadors to some foreign country every four to eight years. There are think-tanks, actual tanks and institutes dedicated to turning out papers on foreign policy. And despite all this, or perhaps because of all this, the country still has no foreign policy.

Americans are by nature isolationist. American leaders, since Woodrow Wilson dumped ashes from his pipe on the Oval Office carpets and dumped America into the international game of empires, are bent on getting involved in world politics. Unfortunately everything they know about world politics comes from the back of cereal boxes. And yes that includes our current precious genius who comes to us from eating dog and living the life of a privileged member of Indonesia's upper classes, but knows almost as little about the world outside Chicago, as he does about economics.

The big problem with American foreign policy is that there isn't one. Our current foreign policy can be boiled down to three words. "Don't Hate Us." The current administration has introduced an innovative fourth word. "Please."

It's a long way from a century ago when American leaders still had no foreign policy, besides warning European countries to stay out of their hemisphere, but had begun to think that being involved in the affairs of other countries was a prerequisite for global good citizenship.

Theodore Roosevelt won a Nobel Prize for trying to get the Russians and Japanese to end a disastrous war in which the Japanese had the suicide determination and the Russians had the machine guns, but barely broke even.

Roosevelt, like many of his successors, had no true foreign policy beyond articulating American greatness on the world stage. But the deeper those successors involved themselves in international politics, the more they came to see American greatness as the obstacle, not the point. The more the United States became involved in organizing global alliances to hold back one threat or another, the more that same national greatness began to be seen as an obstacle to maximizing those alliances.

A hundred years ago, American presidents thought that their country should be a world power because of the manifest destiny of its national greatness. A century later they were minimizing that national greatness to preserve world power status.

Roosevelt's "Pedicaris alive or Raisuli dead" became "Let's Pull Together" and "Don't Hate Us" during the Cold War. And today the motto, in a world where a whole lot of people want to do it, is, "Please Don't Kill Us."

The United States does not appease in pursuit of its objectives, appeasement has become the objective. Being hated is the ultimate national security threat. Being loved is the ultimate national security objective. These aren't even sarcastic observations. They are actual policy.

CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) through outreach to Muslims is our foreign policy and like global warming and gay rights, it encompasses every single area of our government, to the absurd extent that NASA's top priority under the dog-eater-in-chief was designated as improving Muslim self-esteem. NASA's former priority of boosting American self-esteem was no longer appropriate because that would just make people hate us even more and make us act in such a way that they would hate us.

Americans and American leaders now both want the same thing. To be left alone. But American leaders remain convinced that the best way to be left alone is to appease those who might want to attack their country by minimizing national power and contributing more lunch money to their international cause of free lunches.

America is often accused of bullying other nations, but our policies are not those of a bully, they are those of his victim cowering in the corner with broken glasses and smeared tears, one hand extended with his crumpled up lunch money inside. Our lunch money total comes into the many billions, but as our bullies and their advocates remind us, we're rich enough to be able to afford it.

The kid in the corner has been bullied enough that his only policy is avoiding another incident. That is our foreign policy, driven by CVE or Here's Some More Halal Lunch Money, finding ways of getting the bullies to leave us alone. Even the more militant elements of our military campaign are defensive, ripe with ways to convince the bullies to leave us alone, using drones to minimize civilian casualties and nation building exercises to turn our bullies into friendly peaceloving countries.

Reactive foreign policies are a recipe for defeat, but America has never had any foreign policy beyond progressive world citizenship and coalition building against global threats. And that has made American into the world's social worker and the world's policeman for so long that it has hardly any sense of what it might want for itself, as a country.

America is still involved in global citizenship projects even though the dictatorships who are the plurality of the global polity and the progressives who define global citizenship innately hate it. while working hard at maintaining global coalitions that do not exist against a threat that not even it is prepared to name. Whatever relevance these had, they no longer have any relevance when the conventional clash of nations of the Cold War gave way to the ride of the barbarians in the Islamic Wars of Terror.

The United States has been suckered into playing the same game as Israel. The impossible game of winning wars without alienating anyone. And that game is played by not winning wars and being more hated than if they had won all those wars. If we are forced to fight because we are hated, then the only way to avoid fighting is not be hated which means fighting just enough to survive, but not enough to earn us any more than the minimum amount of hate balanced against the minimum amount of survival. And if we win, maybe they'll leave us alone. If they don't, we'll fight back even less.

During the Cold War the United States sacrificed its economy, its trade balance and its manufacturing sector to score coalition points and contain Communism. With Communism defeated and capitalism thriving in Russia and China, the United States is now stripping away civil liberties to counter Islamic terrorism. But that doesn't just mean strip searches in airports, it means outlawing anything that offends Muslims. And if we survive that, and the Muslim world becomes a mecca of free speech, then we'll have won yet another Pyrrhic victory at our own expense.

Countering external threats is a legitimate foreign policy interest, but it cannot be the only interest. That way leads to a purely reactive foreign policy and down the garden path to Stockholm Syndrome politics that accept responsibility for the actions of an aggressor to maintain the illusion of control over his actions. Our leaders, the ones who eat dogs and the ones who just pose for photos with them, are already there. If we reach European critical velocity, then we'll be there as an entire nation, not just members of our chattering and spending classes.

America needs a foreign policy that is bigger than its defensive needs but smaller than progressive ambitions of global citizenship. It is a foreign policy that cannot be defensive or altruistic, but that actually resurrects the long buried question of American interests, rather than American obligations or needs. And to get there, the country's policymakers have to get in touch with their 19th Century selves and stop asking what America is obligated to do for the world or what it desperately needs from the world, but what it would like to do with the world.

That is the way that Russia or China think. It's the way that most countries, from the largest rivals to the smallest islands, approach the outside world, not as a place that they are obligated to or whom they dare not offend, but as a place for extending their ambitions and sense of self into. That does not mean going on a spree of territorial expansionism, necessarily, but that too would be a healthier way to function than the listless apathy of appeasement that has overtaken American foreign policy.

A foreign policy is assertive. It seeks to gain things, rather than to minimize losing things. It is not as concerned with the feelings of the world, as it is with the feelings of its own citizens. To the question of what it wants, it does not answer with the time-honored response of Miss America contestants, to make the world a better place, but rather it answers to make America better, bigger, richer and stronger. That answer is not idealistic, it is realistic. It is how other countries expect us to think and it is how they react no matter how altruistic our policies may be.

American foreign policy needs goals and horizons to gain definition. It needs to want something more than a way to avert the next big explosion or to feed the hungry people of Warlordistan to have a foreign policy that is based on substance, rather than cobwebs of fears and dreams. It needs to stand not for a better world, but for a better, stronger and richer America.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

With Democracy For All and Freedom for None

By On November 27, 2012
It would be tempting to attribute the disaster spreading across the Middle East to a brief flirtation with democracy snake oil, but for the better part of the last century the political class of the United States could talk of nothing else. Nearly every war was fought was to spread democracy, protect democracy or worship at the altar of democracy.

For much of the 20th Century it was the working assumption of the sort of men who got up to give speeches in crowded halls that it was democracy that made America special. But it is not so much that democracy made America special, as America made democracy special and workable. And that is because democracy only works when government is limited. When government power isn't limited, then democracy is just tyranny with a popular vote behind it.

In a poignant historical irony, American democracy went into a prolonged decline just as its political class was busy speechifying about the importance of exporting it abroad. Government authority was increasingly centralized and elections began to come down not to ideas, but to divided groups fighting it out in a zero sum struggle for total control of each other's lives. American democracy has been exported to Iraq. And Iraqi democracy was exported to America.

With unlimited authority vested in the government, we no longer have elections to decide policy, but to determine whether an oppressive social and cultural agenda complete with a loss of civil rights will be forced on the rest of the country. And our last election was as polarized as an Iraqi election and with a similar outcome.

Democracy was never the solution for the Middle East; a region that is properly multicultural in the sense of being a collection of quarreling tribes, religious factions and ethnic groups. And all that democracy accomplished was to give the majority another tool for oppressing the minority. Instead of bloody revolts leading to dictatorships, there were bloody revolts leading to elections which then led to dictatorships. And only a fool or Thomas Friedman would consider the addition of this extra step to be any kind of improvement.

A multicultural society does not invalidate government by popular vote unless that society is also so split along tribal lines that elections are decided based on the rate at which races and religious groups make up that society. When demographics become valid predictors of political outcomes, then democracy becomes theocracy and ethnocracy. And the only alternative is to resort to reserved political offices for different groups in Beirut style.

There are two elements that make democracy livable. Limited government and national character. And the former depends on the latter. Dispense with the national character and you lose the limited government and democracy becomes a slow descent into tyranny, accompanied by the spectacle of hollow elections.

The Muslim world lacked either limited government or national character and so the democracy experiments there were doomed to become one type of horror show or another. The two dominant streams of political ideology in the region are Socialist and Islamist. The difference between the two is that the Socialists are mildly Islamist and the Islamists are mildly Socialist. Both of them however have no tradition of respect for the law and are motivated by utopian programs based on absolute power.

There was never going to be a good outcome. Understanding that democracy would no more solve the region's problems than shooting a rabid dog full of PCP would improve its mood was as easy as looking at the dominant political movements that were going to compete in such an election. Each of those movements, aside from hating America, also has no ability or interest in working with anyone outside their narrow agenda except in temporary alliances that would end in the inevitable betrayal.

American leaders were ill-prepared to grasp this because the Republicans were still besotted with an idealistic vision of American democracy propounded by the Democratic Party in the first half of the last century and utterly incapable of understanding that democracy is a tool and it only works in the hands of a people of good character.

No major Republican leader has spoken against the democracy export business because questioning the export of democracy to another country also questions the character of the people there. Republicans talk about American Exceptionalism, but limit it to the country's political systems. In such a narrow reading, America is superior because its political systems are superior, not because its people are any different or better than anyone else.

But people define systems more than systems define people. Democracy works differently in Phoenix than it does in Detroit and democracy in Cairo works differently than it does in Tokyo. The ballot box is a Rorschach inkblot, an open space that people interpret and make use of in their own way. For some people the ballot box is a means of controlling one's masters. For others it's a way of appointing masters who will control and steal from other people on their behalf.

The Democratic Party could understand the expected outcome, but could not be expected to see anything wrong with it. The Muslim Brotherhood was just doing what they were trying to do; take power and then exploit the election to rewrite the laws, destroy any existing checks and balances and use an economic crisis and temporary rule to ram an entire cultural agenda down the throats of the country in order to transform it into a place more to their liking.

A fanatical ideology that disguises its intentions well enough to make it past the polling places and into the government is democracy's silver bullet; whether it's fired from a gun wielded by the left or by the Muslim Brotherhood. And if there is a large enough electorate cheering it on, then democracy becomes populist tyranny. It becomes what all unlimited power does, regardless of whether it's wielded by men who seized power with bloody axes or after a vote count, it becomes unlimited repression.

Limited government is the missing ingredient in such democracies, but limited government is also the first up against the wall after the democratic revolution has been completed. Fanatics don't believe in limiting their own power. They believe that the only way to make things right is with unlimited power. They cannot be trusted because they do not put any principle or value above getting their own way. The law means nothing to them, truth and honor even less, ethics is a dead letter and as radicals they have no long term investment in the republic and don't mind if it perishes while they tear down its values and institutions.

Limited government embodies respect for the individual, for the values of one's neighbors and their right to keep living their lives the way that they always have. If you believe in the essential decency of people, then you are also willing to leave them alone. If however you do not believe that people will make the right decisions on their own, then you invariably reject limited government.

The individual as a moral entity is at the heart of limited government. The left, which denies the individual, viewing him only as a representative of a race or a class, of a brainwashed polity in thrall to movements and false beliefs that must be crushed, has no room for limited government. Neither does Islam, which rejects human free will, for the moral imperative of the Jihad and the forced conversion of infidels.

Democracy without the individual means as much as a million monkeys composing Shakespeare. Without the individual, the ballot box is only a tool for collectivist impulses and identities, for a makeshift insecure majority imposing its will on a minority or a coalition of insecure minorities doing the same thing to a majority. There is nothing special or exceptional about such behavior. And it is arguable whether it is more moral for such a display to take place through the vehicle of democracy, rather than open riot and repression. The latter at least do not bother to disguise what they are.

Limited government deriving from individual freedom is the only thing that lifts democracy above the violence of the mob. The Muslim world never had that and so its experiments with democracy were doomed to be nothing more than a baton being passed from one form of tyranny to another. More tragically, the United States which once had it is losing both the limited government and the individual freedom. And that means that democracy in America is bound to follow the same path as in the Muslim world, where democracy becomes only another way of taking over a country.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Noose Around Israel's Neck

By On November 26, 2012
Israel is being hanged on a public gallows erected on the grounds of the United Nations with yards of rope gleefully supplied by the Muslim world. But the hangmen are mostly Westerners who still think that the Muslim lynch mob at their doorstep can be pacified with the death of a single victim.

There are three things you can do when you are about to be hanged. You can walk proudly, recite a glorious line or two to embed your martyrdom in historical memory, and then allow yourself to be hanged. Jews have an extensive body of experience with that brand of martyrdom.

Alternatively you can plead your case all the way to the gallows, arguing that a mistake has been made, that your case has been improperly reviewed, begging for someone to listen and do something. This way also ends in a hanging. But it's the hanging of a slave without even a shred of dignity attached to it. A man that dies pleading with his murderers, and puts his fate in the honesty of the liars and hypocrites whose own crimes makes the worst of his look like virtues, is a craven fool.

Because there is really only one thing you can do when the noose is being placed around your neck. Resist. A noose works by tightening around your neck and cutting off your air or breaking your neck. If you resist the tightening of the noose, you may actually survive. On the other hand if you follow through all the procedures, if you allow your hands to be tied behind your back, and the noose to be fastened around your neck while trusting in the system to do right by you-- your death is inevitable.

For seventeen years Israel has been walking toward the gallows. Its leaders have led it there by the nose ring of international assurances. Its people have been led there by refusing to see what is waiting ahead for them, even while the blood was being cleaned off the streets. Every attempt to reach a peaceful solution, every concession and show of good faith, has only tightened the bonds around its hands and the noose around its neck.

That is because every concession Israel has made, has further restricted not only its ability to defend itself, but even its ability to do basic things such as build residential housing in the capital of its own nation. Every gesture and agreement Israel has signed has bound it to ever more restrictive terms. And none of them have brought any peace. All they have ever done is set the bar higher for the next round of concessions demanded by the enemy and its aiders and abettors in the next phase of negotiations.

This is not a peace process, and it has never been one. It is a public lynching. It is the lynching of a country whose only real crime is that its existence offends the religious fanaticism and prejudices of a billion Muslims, who control much of the world's oil, and whose followers are willing to riot and kill in the streets of nearly every major city in the world at the slightest offense.

The lynching began as a trial where the murderer wore a fine suit and his victim sat in an orange jumpsuit in the dock. Every day during the trial, the murderer would be allowed to leave the courtroom to kill again. And every afternoon he would return to the courtroom with bloody hands that the judge and jurors would pretend not to see. And if the victim dared to call attention to those bloody hands, he would be silenced and told that those murders too were his fault. Hadn't he after all provoked the murderer into committing them?

Now the trial is coming to a close. The farce that the proceedings ever had anything to do with peace is unraveling. And we can thank Hamas and Obama for that. The endgame is all too clear. The undoing of that "mistake" which allowed the oldest and most persecuted minority in the Middle East to briefly reclaim their homeland from the tyranny of Muslim Caliphs and Sultans. To serve as a homeland for their persecuted brethren from the east and the west. From the south and the north. That mistake.

Every time Israel tries to be accommodating, it instead takes a step closer to the gallows. It allows the noose to be tightened around its neck. And every time that happens, it has to fight harder for air. Eventually if things keep going this way, there will be no air at all. Only a sad forlorn figure swinging in the hot eastern wind from the desert. And cries of Ibtach al Yahood among the rubble of cities and gardens of Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv and Ariel.

Israel cannot survive by accommodating a lynch mob. Only by having the courage to defy it. When the international community at the behest of the Muslim lynch mob dictates the parameters of Israel's survival, it must expand those parameters by pushing through them to the other side. If they want to recognize terrorists, then kill those terrorists. If they want to unilaterally create a Palestinian state, then annex those territories. Accommodation is a noose. Defiance is the air of freedom. Every time Israel retreats, it is condemned for it. When it advances, it is condemned for it also, but its freedom of action expands.

The world will always condemn Israel regardless of its intentions. But like any form of name-calling, those condemnations only gain power when Israel allows its actions to be dictated by them. Israel is not condemned because of what Israel does. It is condemned because of a diseased pattern of Islamic bigotry, left wing radicalism and international dhimmism converging in one place. This is a pattern of hate that cannot be undone. It can only be ignored.

When you listen to the threats and taunts of those who hate you, you give them power over yourself. If you try to accommodate your behavior to gain their favor, their outpouring of hate for you will only grow. For it is not your behavior they hate, it is you. By showing weakness, you invite attack. By giving your enemies power over you, all that you accomplish is to drive them into a feeding frenzy at your vulnerability. If you go on this way, you will either be a slave or a corpse. A slave if they have any use for you alive. A corpse if they don't. Either way you have put your head into the noose they made for you.

Israel cannot go on this way. No country could for long. Yet it does, marching on toward the gallows, protesting that there has been a terrible mistake here. But there is no mistake here. None at all. The executioners nod sympathetically and promise to look into it, as they bind his hands behind his back. It's a farce and everyone except the dumbest among the lynch mob, and the condemned knows it.

But like the condemned man refusing a blindfold in the anecdote who's scheduled to be executed, Israel keeps being warned not to make trouble. Go quietly. Breathe deeply. Soon it will all be over. What will the world say, if Israel resists? Exactly what the world says now.  The troublemakers that are the cause of all the troubles of the otherwise peaceful nations of the Middle East. The worm in the lovely healthy apple otherwise covered with Muslim tyrannies.

Every threat that has been made has come about when Israel made concessions, not because it refused to. Every time Israel has chosen the high road, its enemies have ambushed it from the low road. It's past time to wake up and start learning some lessons. The noose is drawn. And the nation is gasping for air. That breath of air was Jerusalem. The next one will be the Galilee. And then what? How many more breaths are left after that?

Before Oslo, Israel was threatened with terror if it did not comply. It complied and the terror increased manifold. And if did not negotiate further, it was threatened with international isolation. It negotiated. It gave. And it was isolated anyway. It was threatened with boycotts, and it gave, and the boycotts came anyway. Now they threaten the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. Followed by a One State Solution. Followed by international intervention. Noose, gallows and all. And does anyone think that all these will not come about anyway if Israel gives Abbas and his terrorist cronies their own official state with a capital in Jerusalem?

No compromise has worked until now. Which means no compromise will work. A process in which one side repeatedly compromises and the other side repeatedly threatens and takes, is not a process, but a holdup. If a man threatens you with a gun, then you might think that you can buy him off. Until he returns again and again. And then it is no longer a threat, it is a process. Israel is in that process, or rather it is being processed. At the end of the process is death. If you pay attention only to the gun, and not the pattern of threats, you may keep giving in, until you have given up your home, your wife and your children, and you have nothing left but your life. And then you will lose that as well. That is the nature of the process. To survive, you must not see the gun alone, but the process it is part of.

When Israel withdrew from Gaza, allowed Hamas to control it, and did nothing but prevent Hamas from having outside access, the world howled as if Israel had filled the country with graves from end to end, as Sudan or Iran or some of the other members and former members of the UN Human Rights Commission have. That is not justice. That is a lynch mob. And what does Netanyahu do in response? Like nearly every Israeli government before him, he backs off. Because given that tidbit the lynch mob will be appeased. It will, won't it. Won't it?

We are no longer talking about negotiations. Or any serious discussion of a state. We are talking about the world rising up in one voice to defend the rights of a genocidal organization whose charter includes the words; "The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him." The pretense is over and done with. This is not about anything resembling peace. This is about death. This is a lynch mob. Some come willingly. Others think that they have no choice. That a single murder will buy them the tolerance of the Dar Al Islam.

This is what a noose looks like. These are the gallows. As its hands are bound, Israel loses the ability to defend itself. As the noose tightens, Israel dies. Only by resisting the noose, can it survive. Only by fighting to free its hands, can it resist. The way of surrender is the way of death. And after Israel dies, its own hangmen will be next. Because the lynch mob has only begun. Its appetite is whetted by death. Its hunger will only be sharpened by blood, not sated by it. And it will cover the world in blood, if it is not stopped. But now the noose draws tight. Only a little more air is left. What will Israel do with that air? Appeal for justice, or fight with all its strength to rip the noose away. For now the choice is still hers. When the noose has done it work, it no longer will be.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Anti-Democratic Party

By On November 25, 2012
In one of the curious ironies of history, the Democratic Party, in its present form, is animated solely by opposition to majority rule; an obsession that it attempts to disguise with insincere attempts at class warfare.

There is nothing that the Democratic Party fears so much as democracy, which is why it is far more comfortable ruling through judicial rulings and the unrestricted powers of an unelected bureaucracy. Obama's two victories have given it a taste of a post-majority and post-American country ruled by a coalition of minorities, but its glee at that may be premature.
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The Democratic Party has built its house of cards on locking in political and economic privileges for the different tiers of its coalition. From food stamps to government jobs, it is the old political machine gone nationwide, dispensing money and privilege to the different group of its coalition, as a remedy for the supposed privileges enjoyed by the majority.

It still talks about equality, now and then, but it has no interest in equality, because that's too close to democracy. An equal population might start voting on economic merits, rather than the old game of special favors and privileged positions, and the Democratic Party, with its baggage train of professors who have never done anything more difficult than bore a class to death, bureaucrats who fear reform worse than death, and corporate and union bosses who expect special favors, would have nothing to offer them.

The coalition of the privileged underprivileged, united against the majority rule of the people who, unlike them, only erratically vote in their own self-interest, can achieve impressive turnouts, but that turnout is dependent on having something to gain from an election. And the closer the coalition of minorities comes to being the majority, the more unsustainable the payoffs become.

Liberalism has spent so much time working to destroy majority rule, that it has no idea what to do beyond that. Its only ideas involve suppressing majority rule through government power. It is incapable of meeting any challenge that cannot be oriented on the old familiar axis of oppressor and oppressed... and that makes it incapable of mature government.

Democrats with any economic sense turned on Obama after it was clear that he was incapable of having a serious conversation about economic reform. Those who didn't, like Bloomberg, made it clear that they supported him for his social policies, not his economic policies. After the election, Obama justified their fears by going back to pushing tax hikes and cuts to the military as the solution for out of control spending and debt.

Cutting the military has long been a fond dream of the left and there's plenty to cut. By the time Obama is done with the military, they really will be down to horses and bayonets. Raising taxes will bring in a little more money which will be thrown down the same old coalition hole as the money that came before it.

The Democrats are incapable of function as a majority party any longer. They have no solution to the country's economic problems because they are unwilling to take responsibility for them. All their prescriptions involve looting the things they oppose and transferring the money to the things they support, substituting more radical redistributionism for responsible government, and then refusing to take responsibility for anything that they have done.
 
The outcome of this program can already be seen in the cities where Democrats collect the most votes; from the living and the dead. But the abandoned houses, the dead streets and the factories that haven't made anything in fifty years do nothing to dissuade them from their course. Having ruined the country's greatest cities, they are certain that they failed only because the pigeons fled the coop for the suburbs and for freer cities. Give them the whole country and they will have all the money that they need to crack down on all the people who want to work for a living, on behalf of the people who want to be taken care of by the big benevolent hand of the state.

Repeat the process nationwide and the country will go the way of the cities. Economic growth will stop, companies will flee and the Detroitization of America will continue apace. 

America will have government jobs and jobs subsidized by the government. Everything will be affordable, but will cost more and be hard to find. And there will be no one left to pay for any of it.

The Democrats don't imagine that they will end up here because it's not supposed to happen. But their brief modern history as a party at odds with mathematics and reality is littered with things that were not supposed to happen, but did anyway. The old crooks of Tammany Hall had no more morals than a shark on a blood trail, but at least they could count. They knew that they were dirty rotten thieves and they gloried in it.

Tammany Hall men were thieves who pretended to be social workers. Their idiot descendants are thieves who believe that they are actually social workers and that their social programs make them immune from mathematics. Tammany Hall chiefs kept count so as to know when to grab as much of the loot as possible and flee the country, like Richard Croker who fled back to Ireland with millions of dollars to continue his hobby of buying racehorses, or Boss Tweed who made it as far as Spain before being taken for a child molester. Their latter day counterparts can't count and imagine that they'll be Solar Barons living high off their carbon credit investments in their offset flying cars. Their worst flaw may be that they don't even know when to run away.

The Democratic Party was mildly respectable as a party of thieves. It is now a party of thieves tagging along behind a leadership that combines the best qualities of the Bolsheviks and the sensible management style of the Jacobins, engaged in a perpetual revolution against a power structure that consists of themselves, a dissolute upper class Republican opposition and a working class population that hates their guts, but has no idea how to get rid of them.

The Anti-Democratic Party functions in perpetual opposition, even when it is in power, blaming all its problems on their Republican predecessors, the way that their Bolshevik compatriots blamed the lack of bread on the problems inherited from the old regime. It never makes mistakes because it is never in power. It is hanging around Washington and representing the oppressed in between the Republican Administrations who show up to clean up its messes.

The Democratic Party defines itself by opposition, opposition to property, opposition to values and opposition to any and all structures that predate its latest revelation from the Angel of Political Correctness. It is constantly tearing things down and takes no responsibility for building things up again. Even its building programs are a destructive tearing down of something. It tears down coal and oil to build unworkable solar and wind stations. It tears down private enterprise to add more draining government jobs. It tears down freedom to build up government.

As a party in perpetual opposition to its own disasters, the Democratic Party is free to take power without ever taking responsibility for the uses of that power. As an Anti-Democratic party, is it not meant to be accountable to the voters or to the unfair system that they stand for. It is determined to build a system that will exist only to tear down their power and that is the gloriously dysfunctional system that we have now. The perpetual revolution for perpetual revolutionaries who are only working within the system to blow it up and then collect a nice fat pension from the system.

Such a state of affairs cannot go on forever. The Democratic Party has gotten what it wanted and that is to fundamentally transform America. But aside from a brief spurt of gloating, it cannot accept that either because it would mean ending its way on the majority that is a minority and bending down to the business of good government. And that is a little too much like having a real job with real responsibilities and real accountability.

The Democratic Party has become the left and the left does not know how to govern a country, only how to oppose the government of a country. That is why the left is invariably purged by the more sensible members of its own movement once the revolution is complete. It's either that or be stuck with them. The left knows that the only way to get anything done is to get rid of the left. It's the rest of the country that has yet to learn the same lesson.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Don't Give Up

By On November 24, 2012
The difference between victory and defeat often comes down to morale. You've seen it in baseball games and wars. It's that faint sense of air leaking out of the balloon. A weariness and malaise that kicks in when one side decides it can't win and doesn't want to be here anymore.

November 2012 was not a defeat. It was a loss in a close election that rattled the Democrats by showing just how much of the country had turned on their savior. It was a rebuke to Obama's mismanagement of the country and the economy over the last four years.

Or it would have been if the Republican Party had not reacted to its loss by screaming and wailing in despair after their hopes were ludicrously inflated by establishment posters. Followed by running around like a chicken without a head because we fell 400,000 votes short of winning key states. And this defeatist behavior has helped the media create the myth of a second-term mandate.

The country did not repudiate us. The majority of Americans did not pledge allegiance to some rotten post-American country. The majority stayed home. And that is damning, but it's also comforting because these are the people we have to win over. They don't believe in Obama, but they don't believe in us either. They don't believe in politics because it isn't relevant to their lives.

The more Republicans treat the election as a renunciation of everything that they stand for or a reason to give up on the country, the more Democrats posture as having won a tremendous ideological and cultural victory, instead of a limited strategic victory. Our reaction legitimizes theirs.

Republican consultants and pollsters fed the dream of an easy victory and that vision of an inevitable victory made the actual defeat much more shocking and devastating. It made people despair thinking that if we couldn't win an election this "easy", then it's completely hopeless. But this was never going to be an easy ride. Not against the first black man in the White House with a money advantage and the media in his pocket. Not against opponents running a coordinated smear campaign while rigging the economy in their favor.

Obama may have Carter's policies times ten, but he also has the image and the ruthless political machine of JFK. And even Reagan had to work hard to beat Carter. It wasn't the easy ride that some Republicans like to remember it as. Even though the economy was a disaster, the hostages were in Iran and Carter's performance had been so bad that he had a high profile Democratic challenger in the form of Ted Kennedy who took the fight to the Convention; Reagan did not break out until the debate. Now imagine Reagan running against JFK. The man in the cowboy hat might have won, but let's not pretend that it would have been any easier than it was for Romney. 

Beating Obama was possible and for a brief shining moment the window was open, when Romney had one good debate performance, but then it closed again as the storm blew in and the polls filled up with the handpicked demographics of the welfare state. And we lost, but we also won.

Win or lose, elections send a message and the message for this election to Obama was not, "We like what you've been doing the last four years. Great job!"

Obama lost his mandate. To win, he had to run a divisive campaign dependent on minority groups. And that locks him in a box outside the mainstream. Forget any of that nonsense about bringing the country together again. That is over and done with. The transformation of Obama from mainstream leader to bellicose mouthpiece for the left was completed at his first post-election press-conference.

Republicans might understand what this means if they weren't busy with an opportunistic internal civil war. And if sizable chunks of the rank and file weren't busy proclaiming that no election can ever be won again because the demographics of the country had changed so dramatically and everyone is so addicted to free stuff.

Neither one is true.

The demographics have not made it impossible for Republicans to win, not unless Republicans make that a self-fulfilling prophecy by jumping on the amnesty express. And you can beat Santa Claus, because our fat red man is a redistributor and does not give or take equally from all.But doing that requires spending more time making a case on the specific individual economic impact , rather than endlessly singing the wonders of free enterprise and depending on enough people to align with your economic philosophy to carry you over the top.

Romney was great when it came to talking about the impact of the economy on large businesses. He was much poorer at connecting to the concerns of ordinary people. He wasn't Reagan and Obama is a much better campaigner than Carter and there was no significant split in his party to tie him down. His victory was not inevitable, though he came close. A better candidate might have won. Even Romney might have won if he had tackled a wider range of issues and done a better job of connecting with the frustrations and anxieties of ordinary people.

In a period of prosperity or hope, he might have even been the perfect candidate. And it's not hard to imagine the electorate choosing someone like him to preside over growth and prosperity. But Mitt was running for the wrong job at the wrong time. He was running for the presidency of a bankrupt company and the shareholders were no longer at the point where they wanted someone competent and professional to run the company. They wanted someone who shared their anger or would protect them from the worst of the company's collapse.

And that may be the larger reason why Romney lost. 

This was a loss and there are lessons to be learned from it, but it was not a repudiation of conservative values, the end of America or any of the other things that some people keep insisting it is.

The country isn't lost and acting like it is will just make it easier for the Democrats to win. Right now the establishment is trying to sell out the base and the base is abandoning ship. That is a truly toxic combination which could very well accomplish what this defeat did not. It can bring down both the Republican Party and the Conservative movement.

On the one hand we have Liberal Republicans who want to realign their party as a less extreme version of the Democratic Party. On the other hand we have Paleoconservatives who view the country as a hostile cultural territory that they are no longer interested in fighting for, but a liberal Sodom and Gomorrah that they would be happy to see burn. Some expect a better America to emerge out of the ashes. Most do not. They just want to see America destroyed to prove their point.

Pulling out of the political process is no answer. It's comfort food before the apocalypse. There isn't any room in this country for private enclaves, cultural or otherwise. Not when the left gets through with it. There will be as much room for a real or virtual conservative enclave in 2035 as there was for one in the USSR in 1932 or as there is for one today in Cuba. If the left consolidates its control, then the only place to go will be underground, alive or dead. History bears ample witness to that.

Right now we can still fight and win, but the window is closing on that. If we accept the premise that change is no longer possible, then it really will be all over.

The left has not won. It is doing what it always does, acting as if its victory is inevitable. And that is the sum of its ideology. The left believes that its movement is the inevitable progress of history. It believes that it must win, it's only a matter of time. That sense of inevitability can be a powerful thing. And its opposite number, the thing that the left tries to instil in its opponents, the sense that they are doomed fossils, dinosaurs watching the comet, is equally powerful in killing hope and urging on the false wisdom of bowing to the inevitable. Amnesty, why not? It's inevitable.

Defeat is a teacher. How we behave in defeat shows what we are made of. It shows whether we have what it takes to win. If we fail the tests of defeat, then we shall never be worthy of victory.

Kipling said it best in his famous poem, "If". "If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster/And treat those two impostors just the same/If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken/Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools/Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken/And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools."

The question is can we do that? Will we bend down and do that?

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