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351  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Democrat line: "Escaping Job-Lock"... on: February 10, 2014, 07:30:37 AM
Obama Enemedia Machine: It’s not Obamacare-induced unemployment, it’s “escape job lock”

Posted By Pamela Geller On February 9, 2014

The  Washington Post is packaging joblessness as …… freeing.

The Obama propaganda machine is in fifth gear. Even Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda didn’t try to sell unemployment to the Germans. They used it to sell …. war, but this is Goebbels to the next level. And it’s voluntary state media — this is The  Washington Post spreading this manure.

I don’t know who or what we are, but this is not America.  It’s war on every basic and good fundamental value America ever held dear.

“Just when you think the Washington Post has hit rock bottom, they sink deeper into the tar-pit” By Director Blue [2]

To paraphrase Jim Geraghty [3], in a nation of 320 million people, I’m sure you can find someonewho’s happy with Obamacare. [4]And guess what? The execrable Washington Post and someone named “Sandhya Somashekhar” [5] – which I’m pretty sure is pronounced “Gesundheit!” — found someone delighted that they can quit their job. You know, to “escape job lock”, which is the new term for Obamacare-induced unemployment.

And guess what? The execrable Washington Postand someone named “Sandhya Somashekhar” [5] – which I’m pretty sure is pronounced “Gesundheit!” — found someone delighted that they can quit their job. You know, to “escape job lock”, which is the new term for Obamacare-induced unemployment.

Count Polly Lower among those who quit their jobs because of the health-care law… It happened in September, when her boss abruptly changed her job description. She went from doing payroll, which she liked, to working on her boss’s schedule, which she loathed…

Hold up: Polly had to work on her boss’s schedule? Oh, the humanity!

At another time, she might have had to grit her teeth and accept the new position because she needed the health benefits… But with the health-care law soon to take effect, she simply resigned — and hasn’t looked back.

“It was wonderful. It was very freeing,” said Lower, 56, of Bourbon, Ind…

Yes, isn’t being jobless an aspirational goal for everyone? You know, so they can pursue their goals, like writing cowboy poetry or weaving risque macrame.

…[Lower] is now babysitting her 5-year-old granddaughter full time. With the help of federal subsidies that kicked in Jan. 1, she is paying less than $500 a month for health coverage for herself and her husband.

So let’s state this more clearly: thanks to Obamacare, Lower has now joined the roughly 100 million Americans collecting an average of $9,000 each from more than 80 means-tested welfare programs [6].

The Washington Post found … Lower through Families USA, a health advocacy group that supports the health-care law and maintains a database of people who have benefited from it.

[7]And just who is Families USA? They’re an SEIU front group [7] that has been pushing for socialized medicine for years [8].

In short, the Washington Post is doing its level best to protect Democrats as we head into the 2014 midterm elections even as millions lose their jobs and their health care; and as many as 100 million more may be similarly impacted in 2015, unless the Imperial President rewrites the Obamacare law again through executive edict.

And where does “Sandhya Somashekhar” and the Washington Post find their loathsome propaganda? Why a hardcore, militant labor union aligned with the Marxist-Leninist movement [9], of course!

Our goal as socialists is to abolish private ownership of the means of production. Our immediate task is to limit the capitalist class’s prerogatives in the workplace…In the short run we must at least minimize the degree of exploitation of workers by capitalists. We can accomplish this by promoting full employment policies, passing local living wage laws, but most of all by increasing the union movement’s power…

I’ll let Jonah Goldberg dispense with Gesundheit and her Marxist propaganda [10] in his usual, incisive fashion.

…the real CBO story should be: “That awkward moment when everyone realizes Obamacare was a huge mistake.” The same CBO report projects that by 2024 the number of non-elderly uninsured will be — drum roll, please — 31 million Americans.

And that’s why all of this talk of Democrats as the Job-Lock Liberators is pathetic and hilarious at the same time. Virtually every promise has been broken, every prediction falsified. And now, at a time when millions want work that doesn’t exist, Democrats are claiming victory by trimming the amount of work actually being done.

Hopefully voters will look for ways to liberate these Democrats from the curse of job-lock come November.

The title of the WaPo secretion is “They quit their jobs, thanks to health-care law.”

I don’t think that headline means what they think it means.
352  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Brilliant Essay on the importance of Conservatism in The Arts... on: February 07, 2014, 01:18:12 PM
Crisis in the Arts

Posted By On February 7, 2014

Introduction: Conservatives tend to see our popular culture as a toxic waste site where traditional values—religion, family, patriotism,  initiative and personal responsibility– are ferociously mocked 24/7.  They see Hollywood as occupied by nihilistic leftists interested less in entertainment than in ideology and making films that ram radical ideas down our country’s  throat.  They see the arts generally as controlled by people who have contempt for the hopes and fears of ordinary middle class Americans, portraying them as a crass “booboisie.”

And in all these critiques, conservatives are right.  Popular culture is at war with America and with the idea that ours is a good country, let alone a great one.  The question is not whether this war is taking place, but whether we’re going to fight back.

That’s exactly the question Andrew Klavan, the best selling author of over a dozen works of fiction, addresses in Crisis in the Arts: Why the Left Owns the Culture and How Conservatives can Begin to Take it Back. Klavan shows that it is not enough for conservatives to bemoan the left’s hostile takeover of the culture or to withdraw from the culture because they see it as politically hostile and morally vulgar.  Conservatives can win the culture war, but only if they put an army of culture warriors in the field, people who understand that enduring art is not about propaganda but about human striving and the struggle between good and evil. As Klavan writes, “For those conservatives with artistic talent and ambition this is a spectacular moment to take to the barricades… But to take advantage of this moment, conservatives have to come to grips with a situation that they naturally find uncomfortable: to wit, we are now the counter culture.  We need to act like the rebels we now are and stop trying to win the favor of the big studios and publishers and mainstream reviewers.  We need to make stuff.  Good stuff. And get it out to the audience any way we can.”

Crisis in the Arts is a battle plan for fighting the culture war by a leading conservative who has been behind enemy lines with several New York Times best sellers and who refuses to cede our cultural heritage to people hostile to America.

To order the pamphlet, click here.

To read the pamphlet, see below:


The Trouble With The Arts
By Andrew Klavan

“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.”  Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Defence of Poetry, written 1821, published 1840.

“I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”  James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1916

“Politics is downstream of culture.”  Origin unknown, frequently quoted by Andrew Breitbart.

When conservative activist Andrew Breitbart died in 2012 at the shockingly young age of 43, those of us who believe in liberty lost a rare conservative advocate for the arts.

“The people who have money, every four years at the last possible second, are told, ‘You need to give millions of dollars, because these four counties in Ohio are going to determine the election,’” Breitbart once said in a speech to the National Policy Council.  “I am saying, why didn’t we invest 20 years ago in a movie studio in Hollywood, why didn’t we invest in creating television shows, why didn’t we create institutions that would reflect and affirm that which is good about America?”

Why indeed?  Breitbart understood — what Shelley and James Joyce knew — that the conscience of a race is forged in the soul of a nation’s artists, and it is from that conscience that legislation and politics arise.  By the time a fight becomes political — by the time its outcome depends on an election — it is often too late to win by means of rational argument.  The battle has already been decided in movies and on television, in novels and in popular songs that, over time, create a general sense — an atmosphere — of what is right and what is wrong, what is cool and what is not, what it takes to be, in Joseph Conrad’s phrase, “one of us.”

Conservatives thrill to the cogent popularization of political ideas by talented broadcasters like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, but Breitbart understood that, in the long run, all the good ideas in the world can’t combat the compelling narratives provided by the arts.  Bring out the charts that demonstrate a free market creates more and better jobs than do government programs, prove mathematically that the wealthy spread prosperity more effectively than socialism, write treatises explaining that conservatives give more money to charity than liberals, that many women yearn to leave the workforce to keep house and raise children, that capitalism helps minorities, that most veterans are perfectly sane — it will all count for nothing.  People already know that the rich are evil and the poor oppressed, all businessmen are corrupt, all conservatives greedy, all housewives are desperate, all soldiers go mad at the sight of war and so on.  They know these things because they saw them, again and again, at the movies

Breitbart’s passion for reforming the arts made him lamentably uncommon in a conservative movement that too often succumbs to the self-righteous pleasures of philistinism, that too often wallows in the easy satisfaction of condemning the artistic creations of the left while never daring to try to match them with original content of its own.  While right-wingers grump at onscreen sex and nudity, or decry the rise of the anti-hero, or lament sympathetic mainstream depictions of gays, or sniff at scenes of violence and blasphemy and triumphant wickedness, the left marshals these eternally popular and, in fact, legitimate tools for dramatizing the human condition and utilizes them to sell nihilism, statism and socialism to the impressionable young.

“I don’t go to the movies anymore!” I often hear conservatives say.  “They’re all garbage.  What do I need them for when I can stay home and watch the classics on my big screen TV?  John Wayne and Bette Davis — now there were movie stars for you!  And modern novels?  Why should I read all that foul language when I can go to my bookshelves and take down Dickens or Jane Austen any time I want?  That’s good enough for me!”

No one expects conservatives or anyone else to patronize works of art they don’t enjoy or that offend their sensibilities, but you can’t win a fight by ceding the field.  Conservative cultural ostriches are essentially abandoning those contemporary artists who might, at least in part, agree with them.   With no audience to support them, creators with conservative, patriotic, religious or libertarian views are left to the mercy of dishonest and calculated attacks by the powerful leftist reviewers in the so-called “mainstream” venues.  Their works are judged by the very people who have labored for the last sixty years to insure a virtual left wing monopoly over Hollywood, the publishing industry and other distributors of artistic content.

The simple fact is:  You can’t tell the arts to get off your lawn.  They aren’t going anywhere.  They will continue to create the attitudes of the future — the conscience of the American race — while you hide your eyes in a self-righteous huff.

And cultural philistinism is not just a problem among rank-and-file conservatives.  It is — even worse — endemic among our intellectuals.  Consider conservative think tanks.  As a vaccine against the virus of leftism that has been sweeping through our universities since the sixties, conservatives have created a network of research organizations where liberty-loving Big Brains can gather to study, write and speak.  David Horowitz’s Freedom Center, the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Manhattan Institute, Hoover Institution are all justly famous centers of conservative thought.  Intellectuals at these places have done indispensable work on foreign policy, jurisprudence, municipal governance, constitutional law and more.  But none of them centers its work on the arts and popular culture, not one.  It was Breitbart’s dream to start such a cultural think tank; he told me so.  He wanted to build a place in Los Angeles where aspiring right-wing movie makers and novelists could gather for fellowship and support.  He didn’t live to see that dream through.

So as things are?  If you want to hear an interview with the hot new musician, or a discussion about a brilliant new novel or an assessment of which new cable TV series is really breaking ground, you have to turn on NPR and swallow some government-funded socialism with your culture.  The Wall Street Journal’s Saturday Review section, God bless it, is the only major review venue that will even give a fair shake to conservative-minded work.  There are no major awards for patriotic authors and filmmakers.  There are precious few grants that will support young or struggling artists of an openly conservative bent.  Even the rare right-wing or patriotic film festival that springs up now and again always ends up favoring non-fiction documentary work, which is cheaper and easier to produce than narrative film.

Meanwhile, the left uses its considerable media power to shower politically sympathetic artists with praise and attention while doing its best to denigrate and blacklist the right.  Powerful review venues like The New York Times laud even bad films and novels for their pro-left views while ignoring or attacking any work with openly right-wing sympathies.  And while a brilliant leftist actor like Sean Penn can win the Oscars he deserves even though he’s a brain-dead supporter of Communist tyrants, outspoken conservative talents like actor Kelsey Grammer, TV producer Joel Surnow and writer/director Cyrus Nowrasteh have all been snubbed, hounded or even censored for their political positions.  Nicholson Baker can write a novel imagining the assassination of President George W. Bush and win praise but if even a rodeo clown makes a rude joke about Barack Obama, he is chased out of the business.  You can’t get barred from a project in Hollywood or New York for being a left-winger; you can be quietly, and even not so quietly, excluded from many projects for being on the right.  Any artist who cares about his career knows which political side his bread is buttered on.

As a result, politically outspoken art is preponderantly left wing.  Indeed, American history has been virtually rewritten at the movies.  The real-life assassination of cold warrior president John F. Kennedy by a Communist was transformed into a murder-by-right-wing-conspiracy in the Oscar-winning Oliver Stone film JFK.  Bill Clinton’s adulterous Oval Office affair with a woman half his age was fictionalized as an age-appropriate, non-adulterous romance attacked (for some reason!) by evil right wing zealots in The American President — a film whose late 1995 release was timed perfectly to aid Clinton’s re-election bid.  As I write this, the number one box office hit is The Butler which dishonestly denigrates the impressive civil rights achievements of Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon while neglecting to mention that almost all opposition to truly effective civil rights advances came from Democrats.

And, in what was surely one of the movie industry’s most shameful interludes, the George W. Bush-era American wars against our Islamist enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan were greeted by Hollywood with a parade of anti-war, anti-American propaganda. The Valley of Elah showed soldiers driven to homicidal insanity by participation in the Iraq conflict; Green Zone showed the war in Iraq to be the result of right wing lies; Lions for Lambs depicted the soldiers sent to Afghanistan as heroic fools misused by evil Republicans; Rendition showed an innocent American Muslim being kidnapped and tortured with the blessing of the CIA; the massively popular and equally idiotic Avatar was a thinly disguised tale of American troops wiping out native cultures, presumably like those in the middle east — and on and on.  Even films that depicted American heroism like The Hurt Locker and The Kingdom were morally ambiguous when it came to America’s role in the wars.  And Taking Chance, a beautiful and deeply moving HBO movie that took no position on the war but lauded our warriors as heroes, was roundly lambasted by so-called “mainstream” critics as jingoistic.

What made all this so very despicable was that, for the first time in Hollywood’s history, these powerful vehicles of anti-American propaganda were produced and released while our soldiers were in the field in harm’s way, fighting and dying at the hands of low, hateful, tyrannical Islamist enemies.  While Hollywood certainly did its best to disparage the Viet Nam War, almost all of the major anti-war films of that era came out after the American political left had helped engineer our defeat.  By the time Apocalypse Now or Platoon hit the screens, the war was over, our soldiers safely home.

I visited Afghanistan briefly during the war and happened to witness firsthand how Taliban propaganda undermined American efforts to win local hearts and minds toward democratic governance.  I found it heartbreaking to think that these murderous Islamist lowlifes were getting cinematic encouragement from left wing millionaires tut-tutting U.S. efforts at their cozy tables at the cafe in West Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont.  To be clear, there is nothing wrong with citizens opposing their government’s wars — that’s an important part of the democratic process.  But it is wrong — very wrong — to produce powerful propaganda that undermines our military’s efforts while a war is in progress.  The freedom to make art does not absolve you from the responsibility of using its power morally.  Hollywood’s unbroken leftist attacks on our war effort could not have gone unanswered if conservatives had had a more prominent and outspoken role in the movie industry and the cultural media.

Now, some moviegoers may point out that there were wonderful conservative films produced in this era too.  The Dark Knight trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Toy Story 3 come immediately to mind.  These movies showed both the necessity and moral complexity of battling evil and stood up for individual independence versus tyrannical statism.  And unlike the anti-war films, which were nearly all third-rate bombs, these were excellent and hugely successful pictures which might well endure as classics.

But note another obvious difference.  None of these films dealt with history head on.  The Dark Knight movies, about comic book hero Batman, came closest, referring to their fantasy villains as “terrorists,” and depicting a socialist movement very much like Occupy Wall Street.  In the immediate sense, however, it’s fair to say that conservative principles were generalized in these films and applied only in their thoroughly make-believe worlds.  As I once joked, Batman had to wear a mask in The Dark Knight because if anyone found out he was really George W. Bush, the picture would not have gotten made.

At the movies — in the arts — conservative reality almost always comes disguised as fantasy whereas leftist fantasy comes disguised as reality!  Conservative works put forward true principles.  Leftist creations rewrite specific history.  Conservatives are giddy with pleasure and relief when a popular novel or film doesn’t thoroughly trash capitalism or sexual morality or faith in God.  Meanwhile, the left wing writers of TV shows like Law and Order tear true stories from the headlines every single week and rewrite them to impose pro-left, anti-right values on their narratives.  To cite but one example of many:  in 2005, brain damaged Terri Schiavo was judicially starved to death at the request of her husband while evangelical Christian pro-life groups fought to save her.  That same year, Law and Order produced a fictional version of the case in which an evangelical Christian engineered the murder of a Schiavo-like character’s husband.

No matter how one feels about the issues of the case, the transformation of life-affirming evangelicals into murderers unfairly represents the right-wing Christian point of view.  After all, only one person was killed in the real-life case, and it was Christians who battled to save her.  A similar political transformation takes place on the show virtually every week, and always in one direction — leftward.

If you don’t think leftists know the importance of using popular art to rewrite history, consider that the very rare films that look at historic reality from an even slightly conservative point of view are hounded from pillar to post by powerful left wing interests.  Cyrus Nowrasteh’s massively popular TV mini-series The Path to 911 — which accurately portrayed Bill Clinton’s politically-motivated failure to take out bin Laden before he struck so catastrophically on 9/11 — has, unprecedentedly, not been released on DVD because of pressure on the Disney Corporation by the Clinton gang.  Joel Surnow’s mini-series The Kennedys — only slightly critical of that sometimes criminal lefty political clan — was hounded off the popular History channel by Kennedy friends and relegated to a far more obscure cable station.  And, of course, when Mel Gibson’s beautiful The Passion of the Christ ignited a wave of faith-based excitement among evangelicals… well, what happened to Jesus in that movie was nothing compared to what left wing critics did to Mel!

Perhaps some will point out that left wing attempts to rewrite history are almost all commercial failures.  But that, I’m afraid, is to miss the point.  No one may have watched Green Zone or Lions for Lambs when they came out.  But those movies will be available for home viewing forever.  History grows old but art goes on living.  To this day, Oliver Stone’s completely wacky version of the Kennedy assassination is all the history of that era some young people know.

Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson got it just right.  The so-called “scandal” involving his wife Valerie Plame — a meaningless bagatelle ginned up to a headline by a left-wing media out to destroy President George W. Bush — was re-written as a heroic left wing fight against a corrupt Republican administration for the 2010 Sean Penn vehicle Fair Game.  When an interviewer pointed out that the film would probably die at the box office, Wilson responded, “For people who have short memories or don’t read, this is the only way they will remember the period.”  Exactly.

This freedom to rewrite history in novels, movies and television shows while critics aid and abet the distortion of the truth — this left wing monopoly over not only the arts but the critical infrastructure that supports the arts — this is not the left’s fault.  They are only doing what leftists traditionally do:  creating narratives to replace the facts and browbeating and blacklisting the opposition into silence.

No, this situation is the right’s fault, our fault.  We have allowed it to happen.  It is just as Andrew Breitbart said:  we focus our money and our intelligence and our attention on abstruse policies and last minute election number crunching while letting the longer game of conscience-creating culture go unattended.  For conservatives, the present political situation is always an emergency that has to be attended to right now.  If Obamacare passes, the Constitution is finished.  If illegal immigrants win amnesty, the nation is doomed.  If the military budget is cut, the world will spiral into chaos.  All these statements may well be true, but while we are rushing off to stick our fingers in the latest hole in the nearest dyke, the very ground beneath our feet is being steadily eroded by both popular and highbrow culture.  The left had our emergency attitude in the 1960’s and 70’s when they took to the streets — and they lost the White House to first Richard Nixon and finally Ronald Reagan.  They learned from that mistake and began the famous “long march through the institutions,” that transformed our culture even as we celebrated our political victories.

The right’s response to the left’s takeover of the arts has been panic, red-faced outrage, and stay-at-home philistinism.  We have taken on the roles of cultural censors and scolds, longing for an idealized 1950’s that wasn’t real in the first place and, in any case, will never return.  Such attitudes can, at best, inspire rearguard actions destined to failure.

Less obviously — but just as surely in my opinion — an active conservative art scene that strikes back with nothing but family-friendly entertainments containing good solid values and pro-American flag-waving will likewise ultimately result in conservative cultural irrelevance.  Don’t get me wrong; it would be great to have more of such content available.  But ideas, like money, trickle down from the top, and the best thinkers want and need art that represents life in all its moral ambiguity and complexity.  Sexuality, violence, darkness, perversion and evil are central aspects of the human condition and a culture that doesn’t represent them will finally cause a reaction and be rejected as hypocritical and dishonest.  Remember, the young Americans who so viciously attacked their country and its values in the 1960’s and 70’s grew up watching Leave it to Beaver, Doris Day and the later John Wayne!  When confronted with imperfect American reality, they threw a nationwide tantrum attacking the good with the bad.  The generations that built the fifties grew up in a much less saccharine artistic atmosphere.

How then can conservatives gain a greater voice in our culture and what would a more conservative culture look like?  It is easy to respond to such questions with red meat cant that wins the frowning, nodding approval of right wing audiences.  “Less nudity!  More family fare!  More patriotism!  More God!”  Such answers give conservatives a satisfying sense of righteous indignation, while guaranteeing long-run failure that will leave the arts in the hands of the left so they can do with them as they will.  I would like to propose an approach that is more counter-intuitive to a conservative sensibility but also more strategic and more likely to succeed.  Most importantly, it is more in sympathy with the endeavor of the arts themselves and therefore less likely to do damage to and impose restrictions on the free play of imagination, creation and appreciation that are the arts’ great gifts and among the true pleasures of being alive.

What is Art?

“Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings and also experience them.”  Leo Tolstoy, What is Art?

“If you want to send a message, use Western Union.”  Advice to storytellers, variously attributed.

One of the most frustrating and confusing experiences for conservatives is going to a work of art or pop culture and finding themselves enjoying as entertainment what, politically, is a slap in the face — or what Big Hollywood’s John Nolte calls “a sucker punch.”  The recent Oscar-winning film Argo, directed and starring the talented and appealing left-winger Ben Affleck, was a thrilling history-based tale of escape with an all-American hero.  It was also a dishonest rewrite of history that blamed U.S. and British meddling for the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979, carefully buried and sanitized Democrat president Jimmy Carter’s fatal incompetence during the crisis and eradicated the role of Ronald Reagan’s election in bringing the crisis to a conclusion.  For me, the fact that it was a good movie made its bad history all that much harder to swallow.

But in fact, it is silly and pinched to fight the allure of art for the sake of politics.  No one wants to resist the sentimental tale of love and sacrifice in the hit film Titanic simply because the movie’s historical inaccuracies are purposely crafted to convey a simplistic socialist message.  Likewise, even the most sane and responsible young person might find herself singing along with a Katy Perry song that glamorizes and sanitizes teenaged drunkenness and promiscuity.

It’s not wrong to want the art we enjoy to reflect our values — it’s simply ineffective to battle a catchy tune and clever lyrics with a moralizing frown of disapproval.  Da Smooth Baron MC had a point:  you actually can’t fight the rhythm.  The left has triumphed in the arts because they know how the arts work.  Before we can fight back, we have to understand what art is and what it’s attempting to do.

Too often, political and religious people approach the arts as a means rather than an end.  Art, they believe, exists to transmit messages — good messages rather than bad, their messages rather than the opposition’s.  They see storytelling, songwriting, picture painting and the like as “the spoonful of sugar,” that makes the medicine of wisdom go down.

This is a reductive approach and doesn’t explain the mysterious power of culture.  For one thing, many great and enduring works of art are, like life itself, open to several, sometimes contradictory, interpretations.  Indeed, the greater a work of art, the more it seems to foil any attempt to reduce it to a single “inner meaning.”  As a simple example, consider the enduring image of Big Brother from George Orwell’s 1984.  Originally intended as the symbol of an oppressive Communist state, it is nowadays often used by Communist sympathizers to represent the overbearing incursions of right wing snooping.  As annoying as this may be to us conservatives, we all realize that any oppressive government on either side can justly be accused of acting like Big Brother.  Like all true art, 1984 is greater than its own intentions.

Consider too the eagerness with which people consume entertainment.  They line up around the block to see a popular movie.  They engage in intense, sometimes obsessive, speculation about the next episode of a cherished television show.  From time to time, a novel will spread through one or another segment of the population like a more or less benevolent flu.  Art and discussions about art are human universals, endemic to every society.   We take this for granted, yet it’s actually quite odd when you stop to think about it.  As someone who has worked in the arts and loved the arts my whole life, I often find myself asking:  why am I compelled to tell stories that aren’t true about people who don’t exist — and why should the audience listen to them?

The reductive notion of art as mere fable or parable does not account for the depth and power of our need for it.  Neither, in my view, does Tolstoy’s idea that art is a vehicle for transmitting feelings.  Or that is, Tolstoy doesn’t really address the question of why we want — why we need — to experience the feelings of some artist we have never met.   Nor does he explain why some trashy art can evoke all kinds of emotions while the greatest art is sometimes not full of feeling at all but rather has a certain cold quality about it, its power akin to the sternly perfect beauty of mathematics.

No, art’s power to convey wisdom and its ability to communicate feeling make up only a small part of its overall purpose.

Art is a method of recording the ineffable inner experience of being human.  There are no words that can directly describe what it is like to be self-consciously alive.  Only symbols, stories, pictures and music can do it.  The simplest person, when asked to convey the internal experience of an event, will either respond with something meaningless and emotionally incomprehensible (“It was the greatest thing ever!”) or will resort to figurative language and metaphor.  “It was like waking up on Christmas morning and seeing presents under the tree!”  “It was like getting lost in a dark wood!”  “It was like being called upon to avenge a murder and being paralyzed with indecision!”  This is where stories — and pictures and songs — begin.  They are the answers to the question:  What’s it like to be a human being?

The deeper, richer, and more complex the artist’s answer to that question, the more universal and enduring his work of art becomes.  The play Hamlet is a brilliant evocation of what it was like to be a thinking person at the historical moment when the once-universal moral truth of Catholicism was shattered by Reformation — but it is so brilliant, that it more or less predicts every emotional-philosophical dilemma that will arise from that intellectual cataclysm for the next five hundred years.  Its depiction of the internal human moment is so complete that it becomes a depiction of all the moments that led up to it and all the moments that will come after it as well.  It is the inner life of the modern West dramatized in a four hour play.

We need this.  We need to tell and to hear the story of man’s inner life — to write it down, paint it, film it, play it on the harpsichord or synthesizer — because it is our human nature and our human privilege to preserve what we learn and pass it on and build on top of it.  No other animal can do that.  It is possible no other animal has such a story to tell.  I do not think my dog knows what it’s like to be a dog.  But, whether she does or not, she does not seem to be able to explain it to the dog next door.  Animals seem to pass on only that information that travels through their genes and so animals can only grow and adapt through physical stimulus, through evolution.  People write things down and preserve them and can therefore build on the ideas and learning of their predecessors.  We write down how to make a wheel so our children won’t have to reinvent it.  We make art so that man’s vision of himself might deepen over the centuries.  A life without art is emotionally illiterate, an animal life that will, at best, be wasted reinventing the wheel of human wisdom.

So the purpose of art is not to edify or instruct, though it can instruct and often does edify.  The purpose of art is not even to delight, though, if it’s art, it will delight because that’s its nature, that’s the way it works.  The purpose of art is to record and transmit the internal human experience.  Great art does this greatly, bad art does it badly, pop art oftentimes does it sentimentally and superficially — but it is what all art is trying in its own way to do.

This may seem like distant philosophical speculation but, in fact, understanding art’s purpose has practical implications and applications.  It helps us to understand what a work of art is doing well and what it is doing badly, and how a work of art that is somehow “good” (has a catchy tune or an affecting story) can also be used for bad purposes (lying about history or romanticizing debauchery). It also helps clarify what conservatives should want from the culture, and what they can do to get it.

When is Art Conservative?

The single biggest mistake conservative cultural warriors make is this:  they expect a conservative culture to look conservative.  It will not.  If the purpose of culture is to record and convey the internal human experience in its entirety, it is going to record and convey a good many things of which we disapprove.  There is simply no getting around the wickedness, corruption, greed, lust and sheer troublemaking goofiness lodged in the hearts of the best of us — and therefore, there is no getting around their entertainment value or their legitimacy as subjects for art.

Conservatives should definitely fight back against an artistic establishment in Hollywood and New York that refuses to elevate good values.  There should be more TV shows and movies and novels that talk about happy families, decent businessmen, edifying religion, manly men and womanly women — all of which are currently being excised from the arts by left wing censorship and so-called political correctness.

But having said that, conservatives should have no problem with the art of darkness — if it is also the art of truth.  Conservatives should not be afraid to make and praise art that depicts the worst aspects of human nature as long as it does so honestly — that is, in the context of the moral universe in which every choice has its price and every action has its consequences whether internal or external or both.

Take the HBO television series The Sopranos, for an example.  It is a great show, revolutionary and brilliant.  It would be easy and understandable for a conservative to take umbrage at the characters’ ceaseless barrage of foul language, their gleeful violence and empty, even sometimes abusive sexuality.  But that would be to miss the exquisite complexity of the show’s moral vision.  The Sopranos captures the joy of power and the temptations of violence but it also shows the brutal soul-destroying effects of the mobster life.

In one installment, entitled “From Where to Eternity,” Jesus Christ actually responds to a prayer.  He grants a wounded gangster his life after first vouchsafing him a vision of the hell to which he’s undoubtedly bound.  Another gangster in the episode is haunted by the spirits of the men he killed.  The threat of eternal judgement hangs over everything.  And yet, despite the evidence all around them, the gangsters ignore the moral promptings of the spirit.  They go on killing and even celebrate the rewards they’ve won through their murderous and dishonest lifestyle:  “God has been good to us!”  It’s stunningly real, tragic and affecting.

Without moralizing, without bringing its bad characters to anything like justice, the writers present a vivid and true depiction of the way people behave and the consequences of that behavior.  Whether you believe in Christ or not, whether you see hell as real or metaphorical, the series gives us a double vision of how evil is, on the one hand, exhilarating and seductive, and how, on the other hand, it turns a person’s soul to ashes.  There is, undoubtedly, rollicking entertainment to be had in watching the characters do nasty things to one another, but the overall effect actually serves to deepen the viewers’ moral vision of this complex and often wicked existence.

Think of it this way:  a work of art is a world unto itself.  It is responsible to the real world not in its individual symbols and events but only in its overall effect.  Some evangelical Christians made the mistake of attacking the delightful Harry Potter novels because Potter is a wizard and wizardry and magic are against Christian teaching.  But Potter’s wizardry existed in a completely fantastical world that did not play by the same rules as the real world.  In the context of that world, his fictional wizardry not only exemplified excellent moral values, it also laid the foundations for faith.  The novels are deeply Christian when judged, not by their individual incidents, but by their overall effect.  By condemning them, the evangelicals lost a hugely popular teaching tool.

Again, no one is required to consume art that offends his sensibilities.  That isn’t the point at all.  People who are offended by cursing or violence or sex shouldn’t watch television shows like The Sopranos.  I like scary stories and I’m told The Walking Dead is a wonderful TV series about a zombie apocalypse.  But I mostly watch TV at night and I don’t particularly want to see animated corpses devouring human beings before I go to bed, so I take a pass.  But I don’t mistake my personal tastes for aesthetic or moral judgment.

Left to themselves, and without censorship from left or right, the arts in a free nation are naturally going to contain anything and everything that transmits the human experience.  There will be excellent family fare, works of high-minded nobility and soaring expressions of religious feeling — but there’ll also be plenty of rattling good stuff that’s wild, sexy, violent, crazy and culture-critical.  On first glance, these latter traits may seem to go against everything conservatives believe in — self-discipline, restraint, sanity and a respect for tradition — but they have to be judged in the context of the work of art’s created world.

To me, conservative art is any art that honestly acknowledges the moral universe.  There is such a thing as good and evil — if there were not there could be no action that was better or worse than any other.  Who has experienced the world that way?  No one.  Not even the relativist college professors who teach such garbage to the young can truly believe it in fact.  We all know that love is better than hate, freedom better than slavery, independence more essential to the soul than safety.  Relativism — the sine qua non of modern leftism — is simply a lie.

But while good and evil are real, the human heart is not in harmony with them and never has been.  To paraphrase Saint Paul, we do not always do the good we want to do, and the evil we don’t want to do, we keep on doing.  Because we are fallen creatures then, there is, in human life, a price for every choice we make and a consequence for every action.  Marriage may be moral, but it is attended by frustrations.  Adultery may be a thrill but it savages the people we love most.  Criminals are evil but good men sometimes envy their freedom.  Slavery destroys the soul but liberty is fraught with peril.  Art needs to explore these tensions and we shouldn’t be afraid when it does.  After all, the founders of America did not create the Constitution because western culture had given them a simplistic happy-face view of human nature.  They had read the classics.  They understood mankind.  The document they created is a machine for delivering freedom not to the cast of The Donna Reed Show but to us, self-interested, corrupt, often stupid and wicked citizens that we are.

It is an honest view of human beings at odds with the moral universe that creates the conservative dedication to moral discipline, firm limits on the powerful, care for tradition and, most importantly, reverence for the individual’s inner world and free choices.  We do not need to be afraid of art that depicts the world honestly.  It is only leftist lies we need to fear, because the truth — even the ugly, immoral, and thoroughly entertaining truth of human nature — is on our side.

Reclaiming the Culture

If we stop worrying about the unpleasant actions and events that take place in some art, if we stop fanning our faces over the evil characters who live in some imaginary worlds, if we stop bothering ourselves about the sex, the cursing and the violence on our movie and TV screens, we begin to see that the real trouble we face in the arts is two-fold:  blacklisting and lies.

First, blacklisting.

The left uses its grip on Big Media to attack conservative culture.  Even a well-loved production like Downton Abbey was called out by the press when its conservative leanings were descried.  Less high profile works don’t stand a chance against pre-emptive reviewer attacks.

The left uses its domination of the movie and book and art industries to keep conservatives out — ask any conservative who’s been interrogated, insulted or outright silenced for “Creating while Conservative.”  All three have happened to me personally.

The left even uses political clout to chill the freedom of conservative expression — as when California Senator Dianne Feinstein threatened investigations against Zero Dark Thirty for its political incorrectness and thus, very likely, ruined its chance to win an Oscar.

We need to fight back.

For those conservatives with artistic talent and ambition, this is a spectacular moment to take to the barricades.  Big Media is tottering under the assault of new technologies.  With electronic publishing and social media, books can be self-published and self-promoted.  With the new video cameras, professional-looking films can be produced on the cheap and distributed online.  YouTube, iTunes, smart phones, tablets, blogs — all provide opportunities for new kinds of work and new ways for that work to be dispensed.

But to take advantage of this moment, conservatives have to come to grips with a situation that they naturally find uncomfortable:  to wit, we are now the counter-culture.  When it comes to the arts, Radical Leftists are The Man.  We need to act like the rebels we now are and stop trying to win the favor of the big studios and publishers and mainstream reviewers.  We need to make stuff.  Good stuff.  And get it out to the audience any way we can.

And those in the audience need to support the stuff that gets made.  We don’t have to hold our noses and praise artistic garbage because we agree with its politics; but we might stop preening ourselves on our blessed integrity and stop looking for ways to shoot down good work in order to show just how fair-minded we are.  The film 300 was a wonderful piece of conservative pop culture, a brilliant use of video game style storytelling that celebrated the defense of western values at the battle of Thermopylae.  I read conservatives criticizing the very over-the-top fantasy elements that made the movie a massive hit.  I even heard some conservatives complain about the bare chests of the Greek warriors as if that made the film homoerotic.  (Heaven forfend a film about ancient Greece should be homoerotic!)  Did these right wing critics want the left to love them for their objectivity?  To hell with the left.  We need many more successes like 300.  Buy a ticket, applaud, go home.  That’s all you have to do.

Finally, for those conservatives with money, this is also a moment of opportunity, a moment when leftist censorship can be rolled back.  Breitbart was right:  we do need a movie studio.  We also need publishing houses that don’t just turn out right wing screeds but also produce literature.  Equally important, we need an infra-structure welcoming to the arts:  critical journals, culturzal podcasts, radio and TV to counter NPR and Public Television, awards, award ceremonies, grants, appreciation.  Artists work for love as much as money.  Conservatives give them exactly none.  We need to appreciate honest works that go beyond family fare and patriotic jingoism and Judeo-Christian piety.  Next time you wonder how our culture went so wrong that a corrupt mediocrity like Barack Obama could win a second term as president, remember:  it happened at the movies while you were giving your millions to political consultants.  Play the long game; support the arts.

That’s blacklisting.  Now, lies.

The best defense against lies is not censorship but the truth.  The best defense against dishonest art is honest art.

It’s wonderful when terrific films like Toy Story 3 and The Dark Knight express values conservatives can support.  But there’s simply no reason we can’t make art about real life as well.

One doesn’t have to be jingoistic or simplistic to tell a story wholeheartedly supporting war against Islamo-fascism.  Why are there so few?

As I write this, Law and Order is planning a rewrite of the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case.  I’m willing to bet it furthers the left wing narrative that this was a crime involving race when all the facts say otherwise.  What story is the right telling about the case?  Let me guess:  none.

Republicans have supported most civil rights legislation; Democrat policies have ravaged African-American communities:  tell good stories about that.   (I did in The Identity Man — and, in an otherwise positive review, the Wall Street Journal scolded me for sounding a political note in a thriller novel!  For shame.)

The left produces film after film, book after book, TV show after TV show demonizing conservative politicians, lying about conservative ideas, hagiographizing sleazy Democrats and rewriting history to edit out the terrible damage their policies have done.  We don’t need to answer propaganda with propaganda but there’s no reason our stories can’t include the historical truth — no reason except the fact that liberal venues will attack us and idiot conservatives will fret we’re getting “too political.”  Yet the alternative is to accept the spread of the left’s empire of lies.

We need to counteract another sort of lie in the arts as well:  let’s call it the lie of consequence.  Some works of art, especially popular art, are a record of our daydreams.  There’s nothing harmful in that per se.  Most men understand that if we really lived like James Bond, the broken bones and STD’s would render our medical expenses ruinous.  Most women know that an S&M relationship like the one in 50 Shades of Gray would be more degrading (and painful) than it was worth.  Yes, young boys need to be advised that fighting a Russian spy on top of a moving train can be hazardous to their health and young girls should be told that a relationship that begins with a beating is unlikely to end in a fairy tale romance.  But the fact is, we all have fantasies that are anti-social, improper, ridiculous and unkind and there’s nothing wrong with airing them out now and again.  They’re part of the human condition and I suspect that trying to suppress them only gives them more power over us.

But there are cultural works that use our fantasies to entice us into the worst of ourselves.  Rap music that glamorizes murder and the abuse of women; torture-happy horror movies that lovingly portray the vivisection of living people; sexual pornography that hypnotizes us out of our humanity and can actually be addictive and life-destroying.  While it has been one purpose of this essay to try to convince my fellow conservatives to eschew knee-jerk condemnation of artistic images that might at first offend them, I will not try to disguise the fact that I find these misuses of the arts I love to be pathetic and despicable.

As a matter of strategy if nothing else, however, I can only recommend that we respond to these emanations of original sin with criticism rather than censorship, and concern rather than outrage.  Rappers who make money bragging about “killin’ them bitches” and “dustin’ some cops off,” are cheap braggarts and liars, selling self-destruction as triumph.  We are told that they are expressing the rage of the black streets.  Who cares?  An inarticulate shriek would do the same.  Art — the honest record of the inner life — always operates truthfully in its context.  These songs don’t.  The fact is: middle-class white kids bop to this garbage — and then, if they’re lucky, they go home to see their law-abiding parents treat each other with respect and so learn better.  A poor kid, especially a black kid in a community where intact families have all but vanished, is in far more peril of being swept on the rhythm of this self-aggrandizing filth into the dustbin of a wasted life.  Nice going, soul-man.

The same charge of dishonesty can be brought against torture horror, that beguiles you into dehumanizing its victims, and porn, that beguiles you into dehumanizing yourself.  (Feminist author Erica Jong once said that after watching pornography for ten minutes, she wanted to have sex; after watching for twenty minutes, she never wanted to have sex again as long as she lived.  That’s a clever and accurate description of how pornography works.)  Lots of kids get a shrieky thrill from a bloody horror romp, and most men sneak a peek at naked lady pictures from time to time, so over-reaction is always a counter-productive danger.  I’m against censorship on principle and also because I think it’s generally useless in the internet age.  But thoughtful and passionate criticisms and dissections of the lies inherent in these genres can be powerful and can filter down to those who need to hear them.  In the arts, to paraphrase St. Paul again, everything is permissible but not everything is helpful.  When works of culture are anti-human, it’s important to say so and explain why.

And, of course, this is where the makers of wholesome entertainments play a role.  Depictions of men and women happy in relationship, depictions of families that are sources of strength rather than merely factories of neurosis, stories and songs that lift up the better angels of our nature may not appeal to the coastal critics and other self-proclaimed sophisticates, but they are important reinforcements of what we know to be true:  faith, family and industry may seem restrictive — they may be restrictive — but they are, in fact, the surest paths to freedom and happiness.

In the end, however, critical attacks and negative reactions, while sometimes necessary, will always be our least effective tools.  The arts can only be reclaimed by those who love them.  Because the job of the arts is to say as much as possible — to say everything — about what it’s like to be human, attempts to silence or curtail them will always be antithetical to the endeavor and likely to backfire.  The arts are a positive enterprise, and positive action — creation, appreciation, support and praise — are the most powerful weapons a culture warrior possesses, and the ones that conservatives tend to use the least.  The left censors and blacklists right wingers, but that’s because they’re in the wrong and can’t abide disagreement.  Conservatives should welcome all voices, because we’re in the right and will win most arguments — and where we lose arguments, we should be willing to reconsider and change our minds.

The vision that inspired the American experiment in liberty was a vision created and preserved and handed down through works of western art and culture.  It was a complex vision of man as a flawed creature in a moral universe striving toward the freedom for which he was made.  The voice of that creature speaks to us over centuries in works as dark and bloody as the Greek tragedies and as bright and delightful as the American musicals, in symphonies and bagatelles, in doggerel and epic verse.  Uncensored, that voice, intentionally or not, consciously or not, will always cry out for the very things conservatives most believe in:  personal independence and lasting love, a good life today and a better life tomorrow, faith in a God who is no stranger to our suffering and who will yet become the father of our joy.

The arts, even at their least, are one of humanity’s most noble enterprises.  They have been highjacked by adherents of a low and oppressive ideology.  We should take them back.

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353  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism, socialism: on: February 06, 2014, 12:23:26 PM
Horowitz is still very active.  He continues to write extensively.  Go to to see what his organization puts out - including much which is authored by him.

With regard to Alinsky - it would benefit you to know exactly what he teaches in his book - but Horowitz's pamphlet provides a good summary and applies it to specific Obama policies.  Hillary Clinton also did her master's thesis on Alinsky.

Like "Mein Kampf" - it behooves you to know what the person behind the movement believed.  "Rules for Radicals" should be available very cheaply - it's a very short book.
354  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals"... on: February 06, 2014, 10:37:49 AM
Yes, I have read the book, and no - that post is a cobbled-together list of socialist/Marxist principles.

Alinsky dedicated "Rules for Radicals" to Satan - seriously.  Take a look at the book for yourself - it's not a difficult or a long read.

Also - for an excellent analysis of just how Barack Obama is following Alinsky's blueprint to the letter - see this pamphlet written by David Horowitz:

355  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Left's Unending Anger... on: February 06, 2014, 10:26:51 AM
The Angry Left

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On February 6, 2014 @

The American left has never had it this good with two terms of an uncompromising leftist in the White House dedicated to its agenda, making and unmaking laws at a whim, siccing the IRS and federal prosecutors on his political enemies and transforming the country at a breathtaking pace.

Obama is what generations of the left have worked toward. This is the flicker of hope they kept alive throughout the Nixon years, Carter’s collapse and the long stretch of Reaganomics. This is what Bill Clinton robbed them of by gauging his actions against the polls instead of blasting full steam ahead regardless of what the public wanted.

So why is the left so angry?

Watch MSNBC or browse any left-wing site and you see a level of anger that would make you think that Al Gore had just conceded or Nixon had just won reelection. There’s more anger in the privileged circles of the left than in the political rearguard of the Tea Party.

That anger trickles from the top down. Obama’s interview with Bill O’Reilly was yet another opportunity for the most powerful man in the country to blame a vast right-wing conspiracy. A day doesn’t pass without another email from Obama, his wife, Sandra Fluke or Joe Biden warning that without another five or ten dollar contribution, the “right” will take over America.

The left has unchallenged control over the government, academia and the entertainment industry and yet it talks as if the country is 5 seconds away from Sarah Palin marching into Washington, D.C. at the head of an army of Duck Dynasty fans to outlaw abortion.

The apocalyptic political paranoia and the uncontrolled outbursts of rage haven’t changed much since 2003. Ten years later, the ideologues in power still act as if George W. Bush is serving out his fourth term. Every day on MSNBC, a stew of conspiracy theories about oil companies, Israel, the Koch Brothers, Wal-Mart and Karl Rove leaves a slimy trail across the television screen.

On the Internet, manufactured outrage has become the only progressive stock in trade. Did Jerry Seinfeld say that he values humor over racial quotas? He’s a racist. Did an ESPN magazine out a compulsive liar who also happened to be pretending to be a woman? Lock him up. Did Mike Huckabee say something that could be misinterpreted with enough ellipses and out of context “Twitterized” quotes? Before you know it, he’s a sexist pig.

It says something deeply disturbing about a progressive readership that eats up hate and doesn’t react to anything positive. The rash of fake hate crimes feeds into that same perverse need for an enemy to hate and fight. The left used to pretend that it wanted to do something positive, but now that it has the power, it can’t stop searching for someone to hate instead.

The left is more comfortable being angry than being anything else; it finds it easier to rally the troops against something than for something so that even its triumphs only lead to more anger. The MSNBC tweet about an interracial Cheerios commercial was revealing of a deeper problem within the left. It was assumed that the MSNBC audience wouldn’t care about an interracial ad unless it could somehow pretend to “spite” the right by watching it.

Obama’s awkward stumble from cause to cause, letting the old Bush policies run on Autoplay unless a crusade kicks in, as it eventually did on gay marriage and illegal immigration, is indicative of the problem with the left’s governing style. It cares less about gay marriage or legalizing illegal aliens than it does about stirring up conflict.

That is another reason why the left began neglecting some of its bread and butter issues after Obama won. Aside from the need to protect its own man, it wasn’t really all that interested in closing Gitmo, gay marriage or opposing the War in Iraq. The things it wants to do are never as important to it as its obsessive need to feel that it is fighting against the right.

For all the Obama Worship, the left is more united by hatred for Sarah Palin or Ted Cruz than by its support for its own leaders. It derives its identity more from the things that it is against — the middle class, the country, the businessman, the white male — than from the things that it is for.

The left’s sense of self is strongest when it is attacking, not when it is inspiring, when it is destroying, not when it is building.

Deprived of an external enemy, its ideologues carve out narrow orthodoxies and denounce each other for violating them. When the right and the center have been purged, the purges of the left begin and don’t end until there is nothing left except one tyrant-guru and his terrified minions.

The small scale bloodsport documented in the outward reaches of feminism by The Nation in its article “Feminism’s Toxic Twitter Wars” as transgender rights activists denounce Eve Ensler for excluding them by using the word “Vagina” and black feminists denounce white feminists for ignoring their concerns is typical.

When all enemies to the right have been eliminated, the left doesn’t find peace. Its ideology is a weapon, its gurus are egomaniacs and its followers joined to fight. When it wins in an arena, whether it’s academia or entertainment, the winners begins warring against each other proving that even in an ideological vacuum its ideology remains a destructive force whose followers would rather denounce and destroy, than educate and enlighten.

As a victorious parasite writes its own obituary, a successful left is a threat to its own existence and the only thing saving the left from a violent disintegration is the right.

Hating the right is the only thing that keeps the left together. When it doesn’t have Nixon to kick around anymore, it dissolves into a wet puddle of goo. If it didn’t have Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney and every other figure who took his turn starring in their grim theater of the Two Minutes Hate, it would revert back to the petty infighting of a thousand minor eccentric causes.

The left needs to believe in a vast right-wing conspiracy. It needs the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, Evangelical Christians, AIPAC, oil companies, defense contractors and every other element of its conspiracy theories to keep its followers focused on the “real” threat instead of purging each other for tone policing, insufficient privilege checking and any other outrage of the week.

Like the Salafists shooting and shelling each other in Syria, the ranks of the left are filled with dogmatic and intolerant fanatics whose only goal in life is the absolute victory of their point of view. Their mutual fanaticism and aggrieved sense of victimhood gives them more in common with each other and that very commonality is the source of their mutual hatred. Only they can understand each other well enough to truly want to kill each other.

It isn’t hope that animates the left’s leaders and thinkers, but the darker side of human nature. That dark side is why the left’s victories end in tragedies, why the red flags are painted with blood and why when its followers have run out of enemies to kill, they turn on each other and destroy their own movements with firing squads, gulags and guillotines.

Hate is the force that gives the left meaning.
356  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The D'Souza Indictment and Double Standards... on: January 31, 2014, 10:06:47 AM
D’Souza’s Indictment and Double Standards

Posted By Matthew Vadum On January 31, 2014

The Obama administration’s indictment of critic Dinesh D’Souza on campaign finance law violations is a reminder that it’s dangerous to be in the opposition when the president is a lawless strongman who knows the media will protect him no matter what.

Democratic malefactors remained at large on Friday as D’Souza pleaded not guilty to charges that he directed two individuals to each make $10,000 donations to the campaign of Wendy Long, an unsuccessful Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, on the understanding he would reimburse them, which he did not long after.

The court in New York reportedly imposed unusually tough release conditions on the bestselling conservative author, ordering him to post a $500,000 bond and not to leave the country.

D’Souza’s attorney told U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman that the facts were more or less not in dispute. “I think there’s a dispute over how it happened and whether what happened violated federal law,” Benjamin Brafman said.

As The Blaze reports,

Outside court, Brafman said there was no corrupt intent, a necessary component of the law, in his client’s actions, and he said the $20,000 in donations fell short of the $25,000 required to bring a criminal case. He said it was a situation that was normally resolved with a fine rather than criminal charges. He said there was no request by D’Souza that Long do anything, and the Senate candidate had no knowledge that campaign finance rules had been violated. Brafman said D’Souza and Long had been friends since college and “at worst, this was an act of misguided friendship by D’Souza.”

So why was D’Souza subjected to serial killer treatment, arrested, incarcerated, maybe perp-walked, for something that’s roughly the campaign finance law equivalent of a traffic ticket?

Could it be because D’Souza went too far in criticizing the notoriously thin-skinned Obama with his compelling, scathingly critical documentary, 2016: Obama’s America? The movie brought in an astounding $33 million in revenue, making it the second most popular political documentary in U.S. history behind Michael Moore’s lie-filled, anti-George W. Bush temper tantrum from 2004, Fahrenheit 9/11.

D’Souza is now arguably in trouble because Obama’s people promised retribution during the president’s second term. “After we win this election, it’s our turn. Payback time,” Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s close, trusted adviser, has been quoted saying in reference to the 2012 election. She warned:

“Everyone not with us is against us, and they better be ready because we don’t forget. The ones who helped us will be rewarded, the ones who opposed us will get what they deserve. There is going to be hell to pay.”

Some Obama apologists, incidentally, suggest the Jarrett quotation is apocryphal. They may be right. Even if it is made up, it doesn’t matter. Chicagoan Jarrett is every bit as devious and vindictive an Alinskyite as Obama is. Whether Jarrett used those exact words or not, the quotation exquisitely encapsulates the beliefs of Obama’s inner circle, whether it’s Rahm Emanuel or Hillary Clinton bragging about the opportunities for change that a crisis presents, or Anita Dunn praising Mao Zedong, or Justice Department nominee Debo Adegbile proclaiming the innocence of cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. Jarrett and Obama’s other advisers clearly think these Machiavellian thoughts every day.

Obama himself does not forgive and he does not forget. Obama threatened Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) during a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus soon after his first inauguration. “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother,” Obama said in an effort to keep DeFazio, himself a radical leftist, in line.

An old associate of Obama and Bill Ayers from Chicago, Mike Klonsky, wrote a blog post on Jan. 24 suggesting he has special inside knowledge about why D’Souza was indicted.

“Note to Dinesh D’Souza — You probably shouldn’t have Tweeted that racist remark about Obama and Trayvon Martin. Shit like that sometimes comes back to haunt you.”

What was this “racist” remark exactly? Two days before Thanksgiving, D’Souza wrote on Twitter, “I am thankful this week when I remember that America is big enough and great enough to survive Grown-Up Trayvon in the White House!”

Given that Obama famously likened himself to Trayvon Martin, it’s difficult for rational people to understand what the fuss is all about. D’Souza merely threw Obama’s own words back at him. The tweet may be biting or mordant but there is nothing even remotely racist about it.

Whiny Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post was typical of the leftist lynch mob as he condemned the tweet as “vile” and having “racist implications” but didn’t bother explaining what exactly those racist implications were. Among today’s radical left-wingers, racism is in the eye of the beholder, and if you can’t see it for yourself, then presumably you’re part of the problem.

Republican D’Souza may be feeling the fury of an angry Democratic president, but there are plenty of Democrats who have escaped investigation/prosecution for the wrongdoings attributed to them.

Here are just a few of such individuals:

1) Eric Holder.

Purveyor of unequal justice for all.

Obama’s attorney general is so contemptuous of the rule of law and the constitutionally-prescribed oversight authority of Congress that the House of Representatives –including almost two dozen Democratic lawmakers– voted  to find him in contempt of Congress on June 28, 2012. A hateful man who rhetorically spits on conservatives, Holder is a law enforcement chief who has made it clear he considers it his job only to protect the rights of minorities and left-wingers. If you’re not on his side or your skin is the wrong color, don’t even think about getting justice from his Justice Department.

As New York Times bestselling author of Injustice, J. Christian Adams, writes

“The havoc Holder has created goes far beyond corruption on any single issue. The damage he has done crosses all components of the Department of Justice, and has trickled down to infect the systems of law and legal jurisprudence throughout the country. He has tried to transform the federal agency intended to be above politics into an institution advocating radical change and extreme remedies.”

The litany of prosecutorial abuses and selective prosecutions under Holder grows. There is the DoJ’s refusal to take up cases involving alleged civil rights victims when the victim is white. There is also: the crackdown on Gibson Guitars; the overzealous, possibly malicious, prosecution of investigative journalist James O’Keefe III; using federal resources to agitate for a state-level prosecution of George Zimmerman based on trumped up charges; using federal resources to help anarchists and activists from the violent Occupy Wall Street movement agitate at the Republican National Convention in 2012; the DoJ vendetta against Fox News and reporter James Rosen; and the DoJ’s flagrant manipulation of the 2012 election.

Holder also spearheaded an attack on the Second Amendment and lied to Congress about it. He flooded the U.S. border with Mexico with illicit firearms, leading to the deaths of a U.S. border patrol officer and many Mexican nationals.

2) Maxine Waters.

Race hustler and corrupt-o-crat.

Few politicians combine ignorance, obstinate self-righteousness, racial demagoguery, and extremism quite as perfectly as the congresswoman from South Central who has become a major force shaping federal banking policy. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), a longtime cheerleader for Fidel Castro, was only too happy to use the 1992 Los Angeles riots as a political advertisement. She viewed the 53 deaths, thousands of injuries, and $1 billion in property damage as a shining example of participatory democracy. The word riot never escaped her lips. She called the unrest a “rebellion” and “a spontaneous reaction to a lot of injustice and a lot of alienation and frustration.”

“She is one of the most self-serving, hate-filled, race-obsessed politicians in America,” says columnist Michelle Malkin. “The Democratic Party doesn’t just embrace her. It kneels at her feet.”

A few years ago Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) named Waters as one of the 13 “most corrupt” members of the U.S. Congress. CREW cited a Los Angeles Times investigation disclosing how a number of Waters’s relatives had made more than $1 million during the preceding eight years by doing business with companies, candidates, and causes that Waters had assisted. The lawmaker has had frequent run-ins with House ethics authorities.

3) Harry Reid.

Senate Majority Leader and rich guy.

For someone with a relatively clean reputation among the press, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) certainly has been involved in a lot of shady deals. Reid has allegedly illegally accepted gifts, commingled personal and campaign funds, and made a handsome profit a decade ago on a questionable land deal. He misreported the transaction on congressional disclosure forms and stonewalled when pressed for details.

Between 2001 and 2004, Reid, in apparent violation of Senate ethics provisions, wrote at least four letters pressing the Bush administration to take action on issues  important to Indian tribes that were clients of the notoriously corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff. CBS News reports that “starting in the mid-1990s, he [Abramoff] became a master at showering gifts on lawmakers in return for their votes on legislation and tax breaks favorable to his clients.” Eventually Abramoff was convicted in federal court of corrupting public officials, tax evasion, and fraud, and he served three-and-a-half years in prison.

During the 2001-04 period, Abramoff’s staff was in regular contact with Reid’s office. Whenever Reid wrote a letter on behalf of the Indian tribes, he reportedly collected donations from Abramoff’s lobbying partners and clients around the same time period. These donations totaled nearly $68,000, yet the Abramoff affair has been labeled a “Republican” scandal.

In August 2012, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Reid was strong-arming NV Energy, Nevada’s primary electricity provider, to purchase more “green energy” from a Chinese solar company named ENN Mojave Energy LLC. This happened even though NV Energy had already exceeded its state-mandated quota for green energy (which generated higher electric bills for customers). “There’s another factor, however,” noted the newspaper, “one more personal to Reid: His son, Rory Reid, is one of the attorneys for the ENN Mojave Energy project…. Success for ENN in finding customers helps Rory Reid, and its failure could cost him a client.”

4) Lois Lerner.

Tax bureaucrat from Hell.

Former Obama IRS Exempt Organizations Division Director Lois Lerner remains at large after (improperly) taking the Fifth Amendment at congressional hearings. Lerner earned her place in infamy when she presided over her IRS division’s targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups. Right-of-center nonprofit groups were subjected to extra scrutiny under Lerner and their applications for tax-exempt status were routinely delayed. Lerner engaged in similar shenanigans when she ran the Enforcement Division of the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

5) Wade Rathke.

Shakedown artist and coverup expert.

Eric Holder’s Justice Department has not investigated the man who founded the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in 1970 and ran it into the ground until its board fired him in 2008. Wade Rathke orchestrated a massive internal coverup after his brother Dale Rathke embezzled close to $1 million from ACORN around 2000. Some of the money was taken from ACORN employees’ pension funds.

Before it filed for bankruptcy on Election Day 2010, ACORN was an essential part of the Democratic Party’s voter fraud apparatus for decades so it’s not surprising that Rathke got off scot-free. Rathke has even been rewarded by the Obama administration. United Labor Unions (ULU) Local 100 in New Orleans, which Rathke heads, has received federal funding to enroll people in Obamacare exchanges.

6) David Brock.

Character assassin, gun-toting hypocrite, and Obama publicist.

Media Matters for America (MMfA) founder and George Soros lieutenant David Brock is an admitted liar who claims that Hillary Clinton’s enemies invented the Benghazi scandal to undermine her presidential run. But it’s not illegal to be a pathologically mendacious sleaze or to slither around on the same moral plane as a 9/11 truther conspiracy theorist.

Although MMfA constantly advocates for tougher gun laws, like many wealthy left-wingers, Brock doesn’t believe that gun laws apply to him. The Daily Caller reported that he told friends and co-workers that right-wing assassins were trying to kill him. Brock’s personal assistant reportedly carried a concealed Glock handgun around the District of Columbia, where it is illegal to do so, in order to protect Brock.

Because Brock is a friend of the Obama administration, no action has been taken against him. (Presumably if charges were to be pursued against Brock it would be done by the local government for the District of Columbia but it’s not as if the Obama administration has no pull with that Democrat-controlled local  government.)

It is also not illegal to operate political propaganda machinery while suffering from serious mental illness though one has to question why donors would keep funding an organization run by such an unstable individual.


Will any of these shady Democrats be investigated or prosecuted during the balance of President Obama’s term in office?

Don’t count on it.
357  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Thomas Sowell on "Income Inequality"... on: January 29, 2014, 09:30:26 AM
The Inequality Boogeyman

Posted By Thomas Sowell On January 29, 2014

During a recent lunch in a restaurant, someone complimented my wife on the perfume she was wearing. But I was wholly unaware that she was wearing perfume, even though we had been in a car together for about half an hour, driving to the restaurant.

My sense of smell is very poor. But there is one thing I can smell far better than most people — gas escaping. During my years of living on the Stanford University campus, and walking back and forth to work at my office, I more than once passed a faculty house and smelled gas escaping. When there was nobody home, I would leave a note, warning them.

When walking past the same house again a few days later, I could see where the utility company had been digging in the yard — and, after that, there was no more smell of gas escaping. But apparently the people who lived in these homes had not smelled anything.

These little episodes have much wider implications. Most of us are much better at some things than at others, and what we are good at can vary enormously from one person to another. Despite the preoccupation — if not obsession — of intellectuals with equality, we are all very unequal in what we do well and what we do badly.

It may not be innate, like a sense of smell, but differences in capabilities are inescapable, and they make a big difference in what and how much we can contribute to each other’s economic and other well-being. If we all had the same capabilities and the same limitations, one individual’s limitations would be the same as the limitations of the entire human species.

We are lucky that we are so different, so that the capabilities of many other people can cover our limitations.

One of the problems with so many discussions of income and wealth is that the intelligentsia are so obsessed with the money that people receive that they give little or no attention to what causes money to be paid to them, in the first place.

The money itself is not wealth. Otherwise the government could make us all rich just by printing more of it. From the standpoint of a society as a whole, money is just an artificial device to give us incentives to produce real things — goods and services.

Those goods and services are the real “wealth of nations,” as Adam Smith titled his treatise on economics in the 18th century.

Yet when the intelligentsia discuss such things as the historic fortunes of people like John D.Rockefeller, they usually pay little — if any — attention to what it was that caused so many millions of people to voluntarily turn their individually modest sums of money over to Rockefeller, adding up to his vast fortune.

What Rockefeller did first to earn their money was find ways to bring down the cost of producing and distributing kerosene to a fraction of what it had been before his innovations. This profoundly changed the lives of millions of working people.

Before Rockefeller came along in the 19th century, the ancient saying, “The night cometh when no man can work” still applied. There were not yet electric lights, and burning kerosene for hours every night was not something that ordinary working people could afford. For many millions of people, there was little to do after dark, except go to bed.

Too many discussions of large fortunes attribute them to “greed” — as if wanting a lot of money is enough to cause other people to hand it over to you. It is a childish idea, when you stop and think about it — but who stops and thinks these days?

The transfer of money was a zero-sum process. What increased the wealth of society was Rockefeller’s cheap kerosene that added hundreds of hours of light to people’s lives annually.

Edison, Ford, the Wright brothers, and innumerable others also created unprecedented expansions of the lives of ordinary people. The individual fortunes represented a fraction of the wealth created.

Even those of us who create goods and services in more mundane ways receive income that may be very important to us, but it is what we create for others, with our widely varying capabilities, that is the real wealth of nations.

Intellectuals’ obsession with income statistics — calling envy “social justice” — ignores vast differences in productivity that are far more fundamental to everyone’s well-being. Killing the goose that lays the golden egg has ruined many economies.
358  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More Suicidal Appeasement Policies re: Islam & Terrorism... on: January 28, 2014, 11:19:10 AM
First-Class Islam: Eric Holder Puts Muslims Above Terror Suspicion

Posted By Timothy Furnish On January 28, 2014 @

From 2008 to 2011, I was a guest lecturer at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (the primary DHS training facility, located in coastal Georgia) and at Joint Special Operations University (which brings foreign officers to learn of U.S. irregular warfare, located in Tampa). At both venues I was asked to lecture on the history of terrorism.

I did so in an even-handed and comprehensive manner, exploring the issue across place (Europe to East Asia), time (ancient Assyria to al-Qaeda), and ideology (religious: pagan, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, and Muslim; and political: right-wing, left-wing, anarchist, environmentalist, etc.). Only 14 of the 44 PowerPoint screens in my presentation dealt with Islamic terrorism, although several of those actually mitigated against the concept.

Nonetheless, in June 2009 I was told that I could no longer lecture at FLETC, because the edict had come down from the new Obama administration that “no trainer who uses the term ‘jihad’ shall henceforth be used.” (This was over two years before the Obama administration was openly hostile to realistic training about Islam [1].)

JSOU continued to utilize me until late 2011, when I was told by the course instructor that Muslim student officers had complained that “I talked too much about Islamic terrorism.”

I was actually surprised that I had not been yanked the year before, when references to Islam and jihad were stricken [2] from Obama’s kinder, gentler National Security Strategy document. That same year, noted Islamic studies expert Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee [3] that foiled Islamic suicide bombers in the U.S. were motivated by “Islam that is not consistent with” that religion’s “true teachings.”

Now, the Obama administration — led by Holder — has decided that Islam is a “race,” [4] and therefore to examine or even to adduce a Muslim’s Islamic beliefs about jihad [5], beheading [6], violence against kuffar [7] (“infidels”), or re-establishing a caliphate [8] is tantamount to racism. This administration behavior is rationalized because “federal authorities have in particular singled out Muslims in counter terrorism investigations and Latinos for immigration investigations.”

It is difficult to express just how willfully ignorant of reality these statements and accompanying policies are.

Per the immigration example: as over 80% of “undocumented aliens” are from Mexico or another Latin American country [9], it would be foolish, indeed delusionary, to ignore that fact. The same logic applies to directing extra scrutiny towards individuals who hold a set of beliefs that may predispose them to violence against others not of that belief system.

And that is the primary point: Islam is a belief system. Not a race.

Muslims can be of any skin, Bosnian or Turkish, Nigerian, Saudi, Chinese. If American, Muslims can perhaps be of several nationalities. This is equally if not more true of Christians, who can be white Finns, black Ethiopians, brown Lebanese, or Koreans, to name but a few examples. It is not possible to look at someone (sans distinctive clothing) and ascertain whether he or she is Muslim or Christian — or secularist, for that matter.

Advocacy groups and willing dupes in the media and Democrat Party — like Senator Dick Durbin — have foolishly yet successfully conflated race and ideology in the case of only one religion, Islam. They have made examining the latter tantamount to discrimination against the former.  No one ever argues that singling out Christians for repression because they hold politically incorrect views about gay marriage or abortion amounts to “racism.”

Beyond the obvious fact that beliefs do not constitute a race, Holder et al. are massively wrong to deny the clear link between certain Islamic beliefs and terrorism.

Currently there are 57 groups on the U.S. State Department Foreign Terrorist Organization list [10]; 38 of these are stridently Islamic in ideology and goals. Ten of these are secular/Leftist, six are nationalist, one is anarchist, and one each is Jewish and Christian. (The latter one — the Japanese, sarin gas-using Aum Shinrikyo — is at best only nominally Christian, and better described as generically apocalyptic.)

So: 67% of the world’s terrorist groups as recognized by the U.S. (more, actually, if State were honest and comprehensive; they should includee Syria’s Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria, etc.) are Muslim.

Since 9/11, 82% of U.S. Department of Justice terrorism convictions have been of Muslims, despite the fact that Muslims comprise less than 1% of the American population. (I accessed this data some time ago; it has since mysteriously disappeared from the DOJ website [11].)

The University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database [12] tracks terrorism incidents from 1970 to today: search for “Islam” and you find almost 5,000 entries. Search for “Christianity” and you will find a grand total of 14.

The NSA could probably save a lot of money — as well as abide by the Constitution — if it simply acknowledged the following:

A person with neither a first nor a last Muslim name stood only a 1 in 500,000 chance of being a suspected terrorist. The likelihood for a person with a first or a last Muslim name was 1 in 30,000. For a person with first and last Muslim names, however, the likelihood jumped to 1 in 2,000 (Levitt & Dubner, Super Freakonomics, 2009, p. 93).

Clearly, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, Islam is the world’s major ideological motivator of terrorism and violence. (I have neither the time, nor the patience, to yet again demonstrate the legitimate Islamic roots of violence. Ray Ibrahim’s brilliant article [13] should be all the proof needed for those able to handle the truth.) Yet Eric Holder and his boss would have the federal authorities most responsible for protecting the public — led by the FBI — pretend that up is down, freedom is slavery, and Islam is peaceful except when “twisted” by a “handful of extremists.”

Instead of ardent Islamic beliefs being treated as a clear marker for potential terrorism, they are now a talisman [14] protecting the holder not just from scrutiny, but suspicion.

Obama and Holder are transforming the U.S. into a dhimmi nation: one that cowers before Islamic law and demands that its non-Muslim citizens — especially its 240 million Christians — meekly accept their second-class status and never broach the glaringly obvious fact of Islamic violence, even if this means making all non-Muslims less safe. The question for those of us in the majority, then: just how long will we put up with such a dangerous policy?

Article printed from PJ Media:

URL to article:

URLs in this post:

[1] Obama administration was openly hostile to realistic training about Islam:
[2] when references to Islam and jihad were stricken:
[3] Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee:
[4] has decided that Islam is a “race,”:
[5] jihad:
[6] beheading:
[7] violence against kuffar:
[8] re-establishing a caliphate:
[9] 80% of “undocumented aliens” are from Mexico or another Latin American country:
[10] U.S. State Department Foreign Terrorist Organization list:
[11] mysteriously disappeared from the DOJ website:
[12] Global Terrorism Database:
[13] Ray Ibrahim’s brilliant article:
[14] talisman:
359  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama Adopts Stalinist Tactics - What's Next??? on: January 28, 2014, 08:18:39 AM
The D’Souza Arrest: Obama Adopts the Stalinist Style

Posted By Robert Spencer On January 27, 2014

I’m no fan of Dinesh D’Souza, but this is ridiculous.

Dinesh and I locked horns a few years back when he attacked me in his book The Enemy At Home, saying that books like mine should not be written. His line was that Islam was a religion of peace, that pious, morally upright Muslims had been driven to lash out against the U.S. because of the immorality of our pop culture, and that American conservatives should ally with what he termed “conservative Muslims” against their common, amoral Leftist foe.

He and I debated this at CPAC in 2007 and on several radio shows, which grew increasingly heated as he charged me with “Islamophobia” (a term used by Muslim Brotherhood entities to stigmatize opposition to jihad terror) and invoked Saudi-funded Islamic apologist John Esposito as an authority.

The ensuing years have only shown more vividly what nonsense Dinesh’s position was, as “conservative Muslims” the world over wage jihad against America, and non-Muslims everywhere, more furiously than ever.

I rehash all this to show the falsehood of the line that has been circulating around in the Leftist media ever since Dinesh D’Souza was indicted: that only people who share D’Souza’s views are concerned about his indictment. As Tal Kopan put it in Politico, “In the wake of the indictment of conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza for alleged fraud, conservatives are crying foul that it is evidence of the Obama administration punishing its critics.”

Liberals should be as concerned about this as conservatives. Foes of jihad should be just as concerned about it as those who share D’Souza’s worries about “Islamophobia.” For the evidence is mounting that D’Souza has indeed been targeted for being a public and high-profile foe of Barack Obama – a development that should disquiet anyone who believes in the value of a stable, functioning republic with a loyal opposition. Pamela Geller notes here that D’Souza is not remotely the only conservative or Obama critic who has been targeted for prosecution, while Obama’s Justice Department has turned a blind eye to illegal campaign contributions from Gaza during Obama’s 2008 campaign. And then there was the Obama Justice Department’s dismissal of the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case.

What’s more, bail for D’Souza was set higher than that given to several people accused of attempted murder, rape, assault, and the like. To whom is Dinesh D’Souza more dangerous than a man who sexually assaulted a teenager, or a man who kept old men captive in a filthy “dungeon”?

This is something new in American politics. When I was six years old, I took notice of the presidential campaign, and asked my father who was the “good guy”: Richard Nixon or Hubert Humphrey. My father answered, “They’re both good men. They both want to do what is right for the country. They just disagree on what some of the right things to do may be.”

That kind of respect for the opposition was commonplace in America back in 1968, but it has all but vanished now. I remember being taken aback in college by the obscene, relentless, vicious hatred that the Left directed toward Ronald Reagan – I was at that time entirely sympathetic with their disdain for him, but the frenzy with which they expressed it, their wild furious contempt, shocked me. And that was nothing compared to what they had in store for George W. Bush. The Democratic Party as a whole, along with the entire Leftist establishment, adopted the Alinskyite tactic of ridiculing, mocking and smearing their foes instead of engaging them on the level of ideas. Leftists now routinely portray their opponents as simultaneously stupid and evil, idiotic but crafty; it’s practically a reflex.

Decades of this have poisoned the well of American politics, and paved the way for Obama to take the demonization to the next level by unleashing the law on them. Arresting prominent members of the opposition is the kind of behavior we have seen from the likes of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler; it is a hallmark of authoritarianism, not (until now) of politics in the United States. Of course, Stalin and Hitler didn’t stop with arresting their foes; they had them murdered as well, usually after a show trial. Obama is not doing that, but is even one step down this road one that Americans want to take?

Leftist pundits who are waving away concern over the arrest of D’Souza should bear in mind that the worm could turn. They could, for some reason or another, find themselves somewhere down the line opposing the Obama regime or some other presidency that apes Obama’s strategy. Then those who are claiming that only believers in crazy “conspiracy theories” are concerned about the Obama Justice Department’s (to say nothing of the Obama IRS) clear pattern of singling out opponents of the President for prosecution while ignoring more serious crimes among his friends may find themselves on the receiving end of this tactic.

Civility and mutual respect are in dire need of restoration in the American public square, but two have to play at that game, and only one side is even interested in the game at all. With the arrest of Dinesh D’Souza, Barack Obama has adopted a key feature of the Stalinist style of politics. Before he or anyone else gets the idea of adopting anything else from the authoritarians’ playbook, Americans – Left and Right – would be well-advised to stand together to repudiate him and these tactics once and for all, and resoundingly.

But by relentlessly demonizing their opponents, Barack Obama and his cohorts have almost certainly already made that impossible.
360  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: January 22, 2014, 07:11:08 PM
My thoughts exactly, G M !   cheesy
361  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Response to Crafty... on: January 22, 2014, 05:08:41 PM
I love Allen West, but he is not of the depth to go further than Congressman.

Herman Cain had a moment in the sun, but has done little WORK since then and appears to have been a johhny-one-note

Ben Carson has our attention, but has ZERO political experience, and essentially no executive experience, and is a cipher on foreign affairs.

Clarence Thomas is a Justice, not a political figure.

Condaleeza Rice was not a Secretary of State of note.  Other than that she is pure academic; she lacks political experience, executive experience, etc.

Of course I agree that all have been treated quite unfairly, but IMHO we need to keep looking.

Ummm - if you're looking for the perfect candidate with all the right qualifications, you're never going to find him.  Abraham Lincoln, for God's sake, had no foreign policy or executive experience.  And using the last several Democrat U.S. Presidents as a sample, MANY of them fall far short of the merits/qualifications of each of those on this list.  Barack Obama is an obscene joke as a President.  Surely any of those mentioned would do a better job than he has.
362  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: January 22, 2014, 11:29:45 AM
"Why can't the Right come up with their Barack Obama?"

There have been plenty of these candidates, but they are targeted for destruction by both the Democrat establishment and the media, and even establishment Republicans - because these groups cannot tolerate their message.  Think Allen West, Herman Cain, Ben Carson, Clarence Thomas, Condoleeza Rice - need I go on?
363  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Another excellent Thomas Sowell piece... on: January 22, 2014, 09:53:32 AM
Sowell points out a fact I often remind leftists/liberals of when they accuse conservatives of being "haters."

Leftists: For the ‘People’?

Posted By Thomas Sowell On January 22, 2014

One of the things that attracted me to the political left, as a young man, was a belief that leftists were for “the people.” Fortunately, I was also very interested in the history of ideas — and years of research in that field repeatedly brought out the inescapable fact that many leading thinkers on the left had only contempt for “the people.”

That has been true from the 18th century to the present moment. Even more surprising, I discovered over the years that leading thinkers on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum had more respect for ordinary people than people on the left who spoke in their name.

Leftists like Rousseau, Condorcet or William Godwin in the 18th century, Karl Marx in the 19th century or Fabian socialists like George Bernard Shaw in England and American Progressives in the 20th century saw the people in a role much like that of sheep, and saw themselves as their shepherds.

Another disturbing pattern turned up that is also with us to the present moment. From the 18th century to today, many leading thinkers on the left have regarded those who disagree with them as being not merely factually wrong but morally repugnant. And again, this pattern is far less often found among those on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum.

The visceral hostility toward Sarah Palin by present day liberals, and the gutter level to which some descend in expressing it, is just one sign of a mindset on the left that goes back more than two centuries.

T.R. Malthus was the target of such hostility in the 18th and early 19th centuries. When replying to his critics, Malthus said, “I cannot doubt the talents of such men as Godwin and Condorcet. I am unwilling to doubt their candor.”

But William Godwin’s vision of Malthus was very different. He called Malthus “malignant,” questioned “the humanity of the man,” and said “I profess myself at a loss to conceive of what earth the man was made.”

This asymmetry in responses to people with different opinions has been too persistent, for too many years, to be just a matter of individual personality differences.

Although Charles Murray has been a major critic of the welfare state and of the assumptions behind it, he recalled that before writing his landmark book, “Losing Ground,” he had been “working for years with people who ran social programs at street level, and knew the overwhelming majority of them to be good people trying hard to help.”

Can you think of anyone on the left who has described Charles Murray as “a good person trying hard to help”? He has been repeatedly denounced as virtually the devil incarnate — far more often than anyone has tried seriously to refute his facts.

Such treatment is not reserved solely for Murray.

Liberal writer Andrew Hacker spoke more sweepingly when he said, “conservatives don’t really care whether black Americans are happy or unhappy.”

Even in the midst of an election campaign against the British Labour Party, when Winston Churchill said that there would be dire consequences if his opponents won, he said that this was because “they do not see where their theories are leading them.”

But, in an earlier campaign, Churchill’s opponent said that he looked upon Churchill “as such a personal force for evil that I would take up the fight against him with a whole heart.”

Examples of this asymmetry between those on opposite sides of the ideological divide could be multiplied almost without limit. It is not solely a matter of individual personality differences.

The vision of the left is not just a vision of the world. For many, it is also a vision of themselves — a very flattering vision of people trying to save the planet, rescue the exploited, create “social justice” and otherwise be on the side of the angels. This is an exalting vision that few are ready to give up, or to risk on a roll of the dice, which is what submitting it to the test of factual evidence amounts to. Maybe that is why there are so many fact-free arguments on the left, whether on gun control, minimum wages, or innumerable other issues — and why they react so viscerally to those who challenge their vision.
364  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Van Susteren... on: January 21, 2014, 01:57:24 PM
And exactly WHY, may I ask, has Van Susteren not mentioned a word about this until now???
365  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Judge Jeanine Pirro Utterly Destroys Hillary Clinton... on: January 20, 2014, 09:49:55 AM
This is well-worth watching - a 12-minute damning indictment of Hillary Clinton and her State Department:
366  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's Impeachable Offenses Re: Benghazi... on: January 14, 2014, 11:13:05 AM
New Declassified Docs Expose Obama’s Benghazi Lies

Posted By Arnold Ahlert On January 14, 2014 -

Newly declassified documents reveal that high-ranking members of the Obama administration were aware that the September 11, 2012 assault on the American consulate in Benghazi was a “terrorist attack” only minutes after the battle began. In classified testimony given on June 26, 2013 to the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, Gen. Carter Hamm, former head of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) revealed he was the one who broke the news to former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. According to declassified testimony obtained by Fox News, Hamm testified that he learned about the attack only 15 minutes after it began at 9:42 p.m. Libya time. Thus, the administration’s carefully crafted narrative that the attack was based on a video has once again been revealed for the lie it always was.

“My first call was to General Dempsey, General Dempsey’s office, to say, ‘Hey, I am headed down the hall. I need to see him right away,’” the General told lawmakers. ”I told him what I knew. We immediately walked upstairs to meet with Secretary Panetta.” Hamm characterized the ability to meet with both men so soon after the attack occurred as a fortunate ”happenstance” because “they had the basic information as they headed across for the meeting at the White House.”

That meeting had been pre-scheduled with the president for 5 p.m. EST. A Defense Department (DOD) timeline notes that the meeting occurred one hour and 18 minutes after the attack began, and even as the battle at the consulate was ongoing. The DOD also revealed that an unarmed drone arrived over the battlefield during that time. As both men revealed in subsequent testimony, the meeting with the president lasted approximately 30 minutes — after which they never heard from anyone in the White House again.

Hamm revealed that he met with Panetta and Dempsey when they returned from that session.

Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) was the lawmaker who put Hamm on the spot regarding the administration’s video narrative. ”In your discussions with General Dempsey and Secretary Panetta, was there any mention of a demonstration, or was all discussion about an attack?” McKeon asked. Hamm characterized the discussion of a demonstration as “peripheral,” but noted that ”at that initial meeting, we knew that a U.S. facility had been attacked and was under attack, and we knew at that point that we had two individuals, Ambassador Stevens and Mr. Smith, unaccounted for.”

Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), an Iraq war veteran and Army reserve officer, pressed the General more forcefully on the nature of his conversation with Panetta and Dempsey. He expressed his concern “that someone in the military would be advising that this was a demonstration” rather than a terrorist attack. Hamm noted their was some “preliminary discussion” of the point, but emphasized that they were aware of what was really going on. “But I think at the command, I personally and I think the command very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack,” he testified. Hamm also reiterated that “with General Dempsey and Secretary Panetta, that is the nature of the conversation we had, yes, sir.”

Hamm, Dempsey and Carter were not the only ones aware that a terrorist attack was occurring. The declassified transcripts show that key officers, along with several channels of command throughout the Pentagon and its combatants commands, were equally quick to label the assault a terrorist attack.

Wenstrup took the approach with Marine Corps Col. George Bristol, commander of AFRICOM’s Joint Special Operations Task Force for the Trans Sahara region, that he did with Dempsey. Bristol testified he was in Dakar, Senegal when the Joint Operations Center called to tell him about “a considerable event unfolding in Libya.” Bristol called Lt. Col. S.E. Gibson, an Army commander stationed in Tripoli, who informed Bristol that Ambassador Stevens was missing and ”there was a fight going on” at the compound. ”So no one from the military was ever advising, that you are aware of, that this was a demonstration gone out of control, it was always considered an attack on the United States?” Wenstrup asked Bristol. ”Yes, sir. … We referred to it as the attack,” he replied.

When their investigations continue, staffers on the Armed Services subcommittee have indicated their desire to recall Panetta to ask him additional questions. ”He is in the president’s Cabinet,” Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), chair of the panel that collected the testimony, told Fox News. “The American people deserve the truth. They deserve to know what’s going on, and I honestly think that that’s why you have seen — beyond the tragedy that there was a loss of four Americans’ lives – is that the American people feel misled.”

Kim R. Holmes, a former assistant secretary of state under President George W. Bush, echoed that assertion. ”Leon Panetta should have spoken up,” he insisted. ”The people at the Pentagon and frankly, the people at the CIA stood back while all of this was unfolding and allowed this narrative to go on longer than they should have.”

As of now, the retired Panetta has resisted requests for further testimony.

Preliminary conclusions reached by those same staffers regarding Panetta’s earlier testimony that a rescue operation would have been impossible, agreed with the former Secretary’s assessment. But those same documents reveal it was because America’s assets in the region were badly arrayed. And not just with regard to Benghazi, but other Middle East hotspots as well. Transcripts from top military commanders paint a woeful picture of gaps in the position of assets worldwide. Examples of unpreparedness include the reality that no aircraft were put on high alert for September 11, and that the closet F-35 fighter jets to Benghazi, stationed in Aviano, Italy were unarmed. Moreover, the closest mid-air re-fuelers were 10 hours away in Great Briatin.

Other assets, including AC-130 gunships were 10 hours from Libya, and a unit of 23 special operators that comprise part of a discretionary, “in-extremis” force, were training in Croatia. According to testimony, they didn’t even make it to a staging base in Sigonella, Italy until 19 hours after the attack began.

Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), the Republican chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, addressed this disturbing reality. ”It does not appear that U.S. military forces, units, aircrafts, drones, or specific personnel that could have been readily deployed in the course of the attack in Benghazi were unduly held back, or told to stand down, or refused permission to enter the fight,” she concluded. “Rather, we were so badly postured, they could not have made a difference or we were desperately needed elsewhere.”

The newly released documents also reveal that Gen. Hamm had been left out of the loop in White House-led discussions regarding military preparedness and force posture on the eve of Sept. 11. This revelation undercuts White House assurances that then-counterterrorism adviser John Brennan had ”convened numerous meetings,” and the president and his national security principals discussed “steps taken to protect U.S. persons and facilities abroad.”

Perhaps they they did. But it remains unknown why the head of AFRICOM would not be include in those discussions.

Hamm insisted that no one told him to stand down, there simply weren’t assets available to counter the attack. He repeatedly argued that having an F-16 do a fly-over in  Benghazi wouldn’t have made any difference, despite that tactic being routinely employed to disperse enemy forces in Afghanistan.

AFRICOM and Pentagon officials insisted they were more worried about threats emanating from Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan on Sept. 11, 2012. “As I look back at the intelligence, I don’t see the indications of imminent attack in Benghazi,” Ham said. Yet Maj. Gen. Darryl Roberson, vice chief of operations on the Joint Staff in the Pentagon that night, seemingly confirmed the lack of military preparedness. ”We were postured as appropriately as we can be and we thought we should be around the world. It wasn’t just in Africa, in North Africa, that we had issues. We had issues around the world.”

“Appropriately postured”–but with “issues”?

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) remained skeptical of Hamm’s assessment. ”The extraction took an exceptionally long amount of time,” he noted. ”I still don’t understand, with two men down by 10:00 p.m. local time and then another attack at 5:00 a.m. the next morning, how at 6:05 in the morning the Department of Defense prepares a C-17 to go down, and that doesn’t actually depart Germany until 2:15 p.m. and doesn’t return back to Germany until 10:19 p.m. I have flown with you from Germany to Libya. It is not that far a flight.”

Another infuriating fact revealed by the documents regards a FAST team of Marines in Rota, Spain. They were apparently forced to deplane and change out of their uniforms before flying to Libya. “When we got people down do you really have — do you really actually let somebody push the military around and say, well, you are in the wrong uniform,” Chaffetz asked in disbelief. “Is that really a reason to delay the FAST team coming in to protect Americans, that they are not wearing a t-shirt?”

Nothing should surprise anyone with regard to Benghazi anymore. Not the administration’s wholesale lying about a video. Not the callousness of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who wondered aloud in congressional testimony, “what difference at this point does it make?” regarding the how and why of the attack. Not the equal amount of callousness demonstrated by a president who handed off responsibility for the operations to Panetta and Dempsey, and promptly disappeared, even as he showed up at a Las Vegas fundraiser the next day with his oft-repeated campaign slogan that was also a lie: “A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New York skyline, but al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is dead,” Obama told the audience.

That would be the same al Qaeda that, according to CNN, “appears to control more territory in the Arab world than it has done at any time in its history.”

The can be no doubt any longer what the president knew and when he knew it. On September 11, 2012 four Americans were killed in a terrorist attack. The president was aware of that reality shortly after 5 p.m. EST, even as a drone flew over the battlefield relaying video in real time. And despite all the lying, and incompetence, not a single person has been fired or held accountable, nor has even one member of the media asked the president where he was between the time he left Panetta and Dempsey, and boarded a plan for the fundraiser in Las Vegas.

Last Sunday, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates may have inadvertently given America some insight in that regard. He was describing Obama with regard to Afghanistan. “As I write in the book, it was this absence of passion, this absence of a conviction of the importance of success that disturbed me,” Gates said.

Americans might ask themselves whether that lack of compassion and absence of conviction extended to Benghazi.

Or perhaps former Carter campaign worker Pat Caddell had it right at an Accuracy in Media conference in June of 2012, when he lambasted the media and their unrelenting efforts to cover for Obama. “If a President of either party—I don’t care whether it was Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton or George Bush or Ronald Reagan or George H. W. Bush—had a terrorist incident, and got on an airplane after saying something, and flown off to a fundraiser in Las Vegas, they would have been crucified!” he declared.

Perhaps that time is coming.
367  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Untold Numbers of Victims of "The War on Poverty"... on: January 10, 2014, 10:56:14 AM
The War on Poverty’s Biggest Casualties

Posted By Matthew Vadum On January 10, 2014

Fifty years after liberals launched their sacrosanct “War on Poverty,” Americans, and black Americans in particular, aren’t better off.

But neo-Marxist ideologue that he is, President Obama is determined to double-down on leftist failure, widening the so-called war by calling for the biggest welfare spending increases in American history— amounting to more than $10 trillion over a decade, according to the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector.

This War on Poverty that Obama wants to escalate came on the heels of the death of President John F. Kennedy.

As the country was reeling in shock just seven weeks after Kennedy was assassinated, his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson, urged Congress to embark on a new metaphorical war effort against poverty. In that State of the Union address on Jan. 8, 1964, Johnson said, “Let this session of Congress be known … as the session which declared all-out war on human poverty and unemployment in these United States.”

This “unconditional war on poverty in America … will not be a short or easy struggle, no single weapon or strategy will suffice, but we shall not rest until that war is won,” Johnson said. ”The richest nation on earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it.”

The War on Poverty also gave taxpayers’ money to so-called community groups like ACORN and Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation in order to encourage them to agitate against the status quo. This, in turn, stimulated demand for more government spending as taxpayer dollars became a kind of ever-increasing subsidy for pro-Big Government activism. The federal government still hands out huge grants to left-wing groups to subsidize their efforts to take away our economic freedoms.

A half a century later, federal and state welfare spending, adjusted for inflation, is now 16 times greater. The country has spent $20.7 trillion in 2011 dollars over the past 50 years on welfare programs, far exceeding what the U.S. has spent on every war it has fought.

Already the federal government administers 80 different means-tested welfare programs. Government blew $916 billion on these programs in 2012 alone, and about 100 million Americans accepted aid from at least one of the programs, costing $9,000 per recipient on average, a figure, Heritage’s Rector notes, that doesn’t include Social Security or Medicare benefits.

Yet “victory” in the War on Poverty is nowhere in sight. In 2012, 15 percent of Americans lived below the poverty line, roughly the same percentage as in the mid-1960s. Currently, around 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, which the government defines as a four-member family earning $23,550 a year. And 47 million Americans receive food stamp benefits, 13 million more than when President Obama was first sworn in.

“Liberals argue that we aren’t spending enough money on poverty-fighting programs, but that’s not the problem,” according to Rector. “In reality, we’re losing the war on poverty because we have forgotten the original goal, as LBJ stated it half a century ago: ‘to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities.’”

Despite an orgy of federal spending, blacks and other minorities have suffered the most from big government poverty alleviation efforts. The anti-marriage, anti-family tilt of welfare policies has devastated black communities.

“The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do, what Jim Crow couldn’t do, what the harshest racism couldn’t do, and that is to destroy the black family,” says economics professor Walter E. Williams of George Mason University, a black man who rose from poverty.

As a result of misguided government policies that grew out of the War on Poverty, out-of-wedlock birthrates have mushroomed, David Horowitz and John Perazzo report in “Government vs. the People.”

By 1976, the illegitimacy rate for whites jumped to 10 percent from 3 percent in 1965. Blacks fared far worse, as their illegitimacy rate skyrocketed to 50.3 percent, more than double the percentage in 1965. “In 1987, for the first time in the history of any American racial or ethnic group, the birthrate for unmarried black women surpassed that for married black women,” they wrote.

Currently, whites have an illegitimacy rate of 29 percent, compared to a shocking 73 percent for blacks. Overall, the poverty rate for single parents with children was 35.6 percent in 2008, but for married couples with children it was a much lower 6.4 percent.

The poverty rate for single Hispanic parents with children was 37.5 percent in 2008, but for married Hispanic couples with children it was 12.8 percent. The poverty rate for single black parents with children was 35.3 percent in 2008, but for married black couples with children it was 6.9 percent.

The economic situation of blacks has deteriorated sharply during Barack Obama’s presidency, in particular. Nationally, unemployment stands at 7 percent but among black Americans unemployment has essentially stood still. When Obama was inaugurated in 2009 black unemployment was 12.7 percent. Today it is 12.5 percent.

In 2008 the black poverty rate was 12 percent; now it is 16.1 percent. Median income fell by 3.6 percent in white households to $58,000 in the same time frame, but slid 10.9 percent to $33,500 for black households, according to the Census Bureau.

“The data is [sic] going to indicate sadly that when the Obama administration is over, black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category,” Tavis Smiley, a black, left-wing radio talk show host said in the fall. “On that regard, the president ought to be held responsible.”

These terrible numbers help to explain the president’s recent attempt to change the subject from the economy to “income inequality,” an abstraction that fails to register with most Americans.

They also help to explain why Obama intends to push for an increase in the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour, in his State of the Union address on Jan. 28.

Left-wingers have successfully been changing the subject, moving the discussion away from their policy failures for 50 years now.

Why should they change a winning formula now? They know they can continue to count on taxpayer funding for their adventures in leftist activism.
368  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Mike Tyson on Philosophy on: December 16, 2013, 09:47:19 AM
I don't really do any light reading, just deep, deep stuff. I'm not a light kind of guy.

That describes me as well.  Interesting to see Tyson opening himself up to the intellectual world.  I saw an interesting interview of him by Greta Van Susteren not long ago.  He may actually be getting his life in order.  Miraculous, if true.
369  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Nelson Mandela - Some Inconvenient Facts... on: December 10, 2013, 08:13:57 AM
Nelson Mandela: The Untold Story

Posted By Jack Kerwick On December 10, 2013 @

Given that the entire planet seems to be of one voice in both mourning the loss of Nelson Mandela and celebrating his life, most will find it inconceivable that anyone would think to so much as suggest that Mandela was anything less than the saint that his admirers are working tirelessly to depict him as.

But truth is truth and Mandela was no saint.

Mandela was a proponent of “democratic socialism” who, along with the South African Communist Party, unleashed a torrent of violence against his political opponents that included the bombing of government sites. He was convicted of “sabotage” and attempting to overthrow the government—charges to which he openly confessed at his trial.  And in spite of having been released from prison in 1990 after serving 27 years and eventually becoming South Africa’s first black president, he remained on the United States Terror Watch list until as recently as 2008.  The late Margaret Thatcher characterized Mandela’s African National Congress as a “typical terrorist organization.”

Ilana Mercer is a writer and former resident of South Africa who knows all too well about Mandela and his legacy.  One of her books, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, includes a chapter chock full of interesting, but inconvenient, facts regarding the man who is now being lauded as never before.

Mercer informs us that long before apartheid came crumbling down, the government of South Africa offered to release Mandela from jail as long as he promised to renounce violence.  Mandela, though, “refused to do any such thing [.]”  Mercer adds that Mandela’s “TV smile has won out over his political philosophy, founded as it is on energetic income redistribution in the neo-Marxist tradition, on ‘land reform’ in the same tradition, and on ethnic animosity toward the Afrikaner.”

In 1992, two years after Mandela was set free, he was videoed at an event surrounded by members of the South African Communist Party, his own African National Congress (ANC), and “the ANC’s terrorist arm, the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), which Mandela led.”  Courtesy of YouTube, all with eyes to see could now witness “Mandela’s fist…clenched in a black power salute” as the members of MK sang their anthem, a little song according to which they reaffirm their pledge to “‘kill them—kill the whites.’”

Mandela remained a socialist to the last, Mercer assures us, even though he cleverly—but transparently—“rebranded” it. Mandela’s was a racial socialism, a point established beyond doubt by the remarks he made in 1997.  Mercer quotes Mandela insisting that “the future of humanity” cannot be “surrendered to the so-called free market, with government denied the right to intervene [.]”  Mandela also declared the need for the “ownership and management” of the South African economy to reflect “the racial composition of our society” and criticized “the…capitalist system” in South Africa for elevating to “the highest pedestal the promotion of the material interests of the white minority.”

For the conceit of those Westerners who assume that Mandela’s thought is a justified response to the evils of apartheid, Mercer has just the treatment. She reminds us that Mandela and his ANC “had never concealed that they were as tight as thieves with communist and terrorist regimes—Castro, Gaddafi, Arafat, North Korea and Iran’s cankered Khameneis.”  Mercer further reminds us that in addition to once cheering, “‘Long live Comrade Fidel Castro!’” Mandela referred to Gaddafi as “‘my brother leader” and Arafat as “‘a comrade in arms.’”

Moreover, though awarded by President George W. Bush in 2003 with the Medal of Freedom Award, Mercer observes that Mandela couldn’t resist issuing the harshest of indictments against America.  “‘If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world,’” Mandela said, “’it is the United States of America.’” He added that “‘they,” meaning Americans, presumably, “don’t like human beings.’”

And what is Mandela’s legacy to his native South Africa?  It is the purpose of Mercer’s book to show that it is nothing to write home about.  “Since he [Mandela] came to power in 1994, approximately 300,000 people have been murdered.”  “Bit by barbaric bit,” she writes, “South Africa is being dismantled by official racial socialism, obscene levels of crime—organized and disorganized—AIDS, corruption, and an accreting kleptocracy.”

Mercer’s book is a rarity inasmuch as it supplies us with a brutally frank account of the real South Africa that Nelson Mandela helped to bequeath to the world. While the rest of the world is busy singing hosannas to Mandela over the next few days, those of us who are interested in truth would be well served to visit it.
370  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More on Mandela's complex legacy... on: December 09, 2013, 10:06:37 AM
Nelson Mandela, Western Saint

Posted By Bruce Thornton On December 9, 2013

The passing of Nelson Mandela has been attended with the usual global encomia we have come to expect from those political leaders who have become international celebrities. Sometimes these extravagant praises and out-sized mourning surpass any real achievement. It is hard to find any justification in Princess Diana’s life for the hyperbolic praise and hysteria that saturated her funeral rites. Many another “leader of his people” or “liberator” has after his death been bestowed with dubious qualities and achievements, while his crimes and flaws are airbrushed from the narrative. That’s why George Orwell famously counseled, “Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent.”

Future historians may temper the current exalted judgment of Mandela, and there is much to remember as the world rushes to beatify him. His endorsement of communists and support for terrorists he made part of the struggle against apartheid should not be forgotten. Nor should be the victims of machete attacks and  “necklacing,” the gruesome practice of putting around the victim’s neck a tire filled with gasoline and then igniting it, This form of lynching was a favorite of the African National Congress, of which Mandela was a member.

But after spending 27 years in prison, Mandela recognized on his release in 1990 the pragmatic reality that the dismantling of apartheid and the inclusion of the black majority in governing South Africa meant that the revolutionary justice of the sort that has ruined Zimbabwe, and the command economy beloved by Marxists, both were the road to just another form of injustice and ultimately failure. Yes, on his release he proclaimed that “we have no option but to continue” the armed struggle, but what he did was negotiate with South African president F.W. de Klerk to achieve a relatively orderly and peaceful transition to black political participation.

Upon becoming president in 1994, Mandela also avoided the actions that could have plunged South Africa into violent civil war, and the economic disintegration that would have followed the imposition of a bankrupt socialist ideology that has devastated so many African nations. He championed “truth and reconciliation” instead of payback, and economic growth rather than dirigiste snake oil, instead selling off some government-owned industries. He eschewed petty symbolic changes that would have divided black and white South Africans rather than unite them. Thus he refused demands to change the name of the national soccer team, considered by many blacks a token of apartheid, and instead supported the team as a symbol of national unity. His generous persona pacified anxious whites and earned his government international prestige.

As the National Review has pointed out, however, once he became president Mandela seemingly kept his affection for the communist tyrants and other leftist autocrats who had supported him not on principle, but as a Cold War stick with which to beat the free West. He did the global tyrant circuit, visiting Fidel Castro and other thugs, and giving them outrageous moral support that ignored their crimes and their much more brutal prisons than the one in which he had been imprisoned. As National Review writes, “He used his moral authority to buttress the prisoners’ jailers and torturers. He praised Qaddafi’s ‘commitment to the fight for peace and human rights in the world.’ (One of Mandela’s grandsons, incidentally, was named for Qaddafi.) Of Fidel Castro’s Cuba, he said, ‘There’s one thing where that country stands out head and shoulders above the rest. That is in its love for human rights and liberty.’” And he indulged the uncritical, crude anti-Americanism that is the rosary of the international left, saying of the United States, “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America.”

There is, however, more significance to Mandela’s life than the achievements noted by his encomiasts, or even his flaws. Like Gandhi before him, Mandela was a creation of the West. He was trained in the Western-modeled universities of Fort Hare, which was created for black Africans, and the University of Witwatersrand, which admitted some black students even under apartheid. He was influenced by anti-colonial and Marxist ideology, the origins of which lay not in tribal culture but in European civilization. He also had available the uniquely Western liberal-democratic ideals such as equality, human rights, non-violence, anti-racism, and democracy, precious little of which can be found elsewhere in Africa. His efforts against the nuclear-armed South African apartheid regime were ultimately successful because they were directed against a Western civilization that could be appealed to on the basis of those ideals and that would be reluctant to use massive violence. And this appeal created sympathetic supporters both in white South Africa and across the world, who made the cause of black South Africans their own and provided material and moral support.

Indeed, Mandela could not have succeeded against any other than a liberal-democratic Western country. His efforts would in the end have been as futile as Gandhi’s silly 1939 letter to Adolph Hitler, which begged for peace from the dictator who counseled England’s Lord Halifax, “Kill Gandhi, if that isn’t enough then kill the other leaders too, if that isn’t enough then two hundred more activists, and so on until the Indian people will give up the hope of independence.” What Mandela’s career demonstrates is the power of Western ideals which, despite the universal evils of human nature that have tarnished Western history, could transcend those brutal constants of history and effect change on the basis of principle rather than violence. From this perspective, Mandela represents the intellectual incoherence of anti-Western multiculturalism, which uses Western ideals like anti-colonialism and anti-racism to demonize the West, and ignores the unique principles of the West without which a Mandela or a Gandhi would have ended up forgotten failures.

Second, for all its brutality and injustice, in the scale of continuing global oppression and violence apartheid was not the monumental and unique evil into which Western liberal intellectuals and leftists carrying water for communist regimes made it. It’s curious that many black Africans illegally immigrated into an apartheid South Africa supposedly akin to Nazi Germany. Without that publicizing of apartheid in the West, Mandela’s efforts would have fallen on deaf ears. Just look at the relative indifference to the massive slaughters in Rwanda and the Congolese civil war, the oppression of Uighurs and Tibetans by the Chinese, the millions massacred in Sudan, or the mainstream media’s blackout of the on-going genocide of Christians in the Muslim Middle East. All that suffering, rape, torture, plunder, and murder do not gratify the endemic self-loathing of leftist Westerners that made apartheid a crime against humanity on a par with Nazism. Thus those other instances of violence are not elevated into a global cause demanding divestment, boycotts, and international shunning. No doubt many Westerners were sincerely moved by the injustice of racialist exclusion, but why haven’t we seen an equally intense reaction to the other, in many cases much worse, examples of oppression and violence?

Nelson Mandela’s achievements deserve recognition. We can even accept that the darker shadows of his portrait will be ignored. But we should acknowledge that his life is a testimony not just to his own character and deeds, but to the unique goods of Western civilization that made Mandela and his achievements possible.
371  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politically (In)correct on: December 08, 2013, 10:27:13 AM
The fall of the Soviet empire was certainly instrumental (if indirectly) in facilitating Mandela's release from prison.  The New Yorker is correct about this, even though they don't give Reagan any credit for it. Another lesson lost entirely on the current generation of 20-somethings, who up until very recently held Obama responsible for virtually none of the current ills of this country, and generally view Reagan through a hard-leftist lens, to the extent they consider him at all.  The left has successfully re-written history using the public schools and the media since Reagan left office.  

I'll also concede that Mandela is a complex character.  He was certainly willing to employ the most vile means to achieve his goals in the beginning, and he did partner with some of the worst oppressors in the world at the time.  On the other hand, if one believes in forgiveness and redemption - and being a Christian, I do - it's arguable that he sincerely recognized the error of his ways and reformed himself before the end of his life.  He was also one of the most non-narcissistic leaders I've seen in my lifetime.  It's worth noting that Obama seems to be absolutely consumed by his ego and sense of self-importance.  While no man can actually see into another's heart, it's my impression based upon actions, not words - that Mandela understood compassion and forgiveness - I'm not at all certain Obama does.
372  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / David Horowitz on Nelson Mandela... on: December 06, 2013, 10:18:32 AM
Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

Posted By David Horowitz On December 6, 2013

Mandela began as a terrorist and never turned his back on monsters like Arafat and Castro, whom he considered brothers in arms. When he was released from prison by deKlerk, he showed unexpected statesmanship, counseling reconciliation rather than revenge, no small achievement in a country in which the “liberation” movement (led by Mandela’s wife and party) placed oil filled inner tubes around the necks of former comrades and set them on fire.

But if a leader should be judged by his works, the country Mandela left behind is an indictment of his political career, not an achievement worthy of praise – let alone the unhinged adoration he is currently receiving across the political spectrum.

South Africa today is the murder capital of the world, a nation where a woman is raped every 30 seconds, often by AIDs carriers who go unpunished, and where whites are anything but the citizens of a democratic country which honors the principles of equality and freedom.

Liberated South Africa is one of those epic messes the Left created and promptly forgot about.
373  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Ann Coulter's Latest - SO TRUE... on: December 05, 2013, 08:28:52 AM
Liberals Talk Race and Crime — And Hilarity Ensues!

Posted By Ann Coulter On December 5, 2013

On a break from pretending to believe they live in a country bristling with violent white racists, the Non-Fox Media have been trying to debunk stories about the “Knockout Game,” in which young black males approach random strangers and try to knock them out with one punch.

The left’s leading line of defense against the Knockout Game is to argue that young black males have always been violent, so, hey, this is nothing new.

You’re welcome, black America!

In Slate, Emma Roller wearily recounted other episodes of black-on-white violence in order to announce: “The ‘Knockout Game’ is a myth.”

Reminiscing about the flash mobs that shook many parts of the country a few years ago, Roller wrote: “I remember the summer of 2011, a story about a crowd of (black) teenagers at the Wisconsin State Fair randomly attacking fairgoers went viral as a sign of a burgeoning race war.”

So you see, stupid right-wingers, young black males have always been violent, so what’s the big deal about the Knockout Game?Your honor, my client’s not a killer; he’s a serial killer.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes reached for a different example of monstrous black-on-white violence in order to dispute that the Knockout Game is anything new.

Looking like a translator for the deaf with all the air quotes he had to make for “supposed” “trend” and “Knockout Game,” Hayes compared it to what he called the fake trend of “wilding” after a mob of black youths violently attacked and raped a white woman jogging in New York’s Central Park in 1989. According to Hayes, “there never was such a thing” as wilding.

Whether the boys who were convicted of the crime did it or, as liberals now claim, a man already sentenced to life in prison did it, the Central Park jogger was brutally raped and nearly murdered by either one or several young black men. (They all did it — see Chapter 13 of my book “Demonic.”)

The following year, 1990, blacks committed 57 percent of all the violent crime against whites, while whites committed only 2 percent of the violent crime against blacks, according to the Department of Justice’s annual Victimization Report.

Thanks for the memories, Chris!

Oh, and contrary to Hayes’ proclamation, black men raping white women is something of a “trend” — at least according to FBI crime statistics. At least since 1997 (I got bored and stopped looking any farther back) blacks have raped several thousand white women every year, while white-on-black rapes have numbered between “0.0″ and “Sample based on 10 or fewer.” (See Chapter 11 of “Mugged.”)

In a particularly incomprehensible defense of black America in Mediaite, Tommy Christopher denounced the “sketchy” news reports of “the so-called ‘Knockout Game’” by citing the video of a group of black teenagers walking past teacher Jim Addlespurger, when one of the black teens steps from the group and knocks the teacher out cold, and then they all laugh about the assault as they continue walking.

But Christopher helpfully notes that a cop said this “was just a random act of violence.” So don’t worry about the Knockout Game, white people — this is mostly just ordinary, everyday black-on-white violence.

Flash mobs, wilding, day-to-day black violence — talk about damning with faint praise!

Liberals have to work so hard to avoid noticing the astronomical crime rate among young black males that their brains freeze.

Roller attributed public interest in a story about mobs of young black males attacking families at a state fair to white people’s need to validate their “fear” that black people are dangerous. (Milwaukeeans hardly even notice when mobs of whites surround their families at a state fair, punch them, kick them and smash their cars, while shouting racial slurs.)

But Roller implied that blacks engaging in violence is wildly unusual: “When a few YouTube videos are able to convince terrified white folks that young black people are dangerous, they may as well assume that all cats can play the keyboard.”

Is a disproportionate amount of keyboard playing in the country being done by cats?

According to the FBI, between 1976 and 2005, blacks, who are about 12 percent of the population, committed 53 percent of all felony murders and 56 percent of non-felony murders. The Centers for Disease Control recently reported that young black men are 14 times more likely to commit murder than young white men.

White liberals know this. Blacks certainly know it. Despite the hoo-ha over George Zimmerman shooting Trayvon Martin, most black people’s experience is not that white vigilantes are shooting them. For every one of those, there are 1,000 black teens killing other black people.

But if liberals took the first step toward sanity and admitted that young black men commit an awful lot of violent crime, they might have to ask why that is.

That’s a dangerous question for people who refuse to acknowledge the devastation of fatherless boys caused by liberal welfare policies. (See Chapter 6 of “Never Trust a Liberal Over 3″ to see how the British welfare system has created the same social disaster among hordes of white people.)

Unable to consider the obvious explanation — single-motherhood — liberals are left with nothing but genetic determinism.

So liberals defend young black males from the charge of playing a Knockout Game by telling us young black men are always violent.

Don’t worry, black America. White liberals have your back.
374  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Spencer and Geller Banned from Britain for Supporting Israel... on: December 04, 2013, 08:58:31 AM
Spencer and Geller Banned from Britain for Supporting Israel

Posted By Robert Spencer On December 4, 2013 @

New revelations about why I was banned from entering Great Britain reveal how deeply compromised the British government is to hard-Leftists and Islamic supremacists – including the most virulent haters of Israel.

As faithful FrontPage readers may recall, last June I was banned from Britain because, as a letter from the U.K. Home Office told me, “your presence here is not conducive to the public good.” Why not? Because I said (quite factually) that Islam “is a religion and is a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose for establishing a societal model that is absolutely incompatible with Western society.” And also because, the letter said, “you are the founder of the blog Jihad Watch (a site widely criticized for being Islamophobic),” and “you co-founded the Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America, both of which have been described as anti-Muslim hate groups.”

Note the passive voice: the Freedom Defense Initiative (actually the American Freedom Defense Initiative, AFDI) and Stop Islamization of America “have been described as anti-Muslim hate groups” by whom? The letter didn’t say. And Jihad Watch has been “widely criticized for being Islamophobic” by whom? The letter gives no hint, instead attempting to establish these charges as the judicious assessment of neutral observers.

Now, however, newly released documents relating to our case, as Pamela Geller discussed in a recent Daily Caller article, reveal that the Home Office’s decision was guided by far-Left agitation groups with a deep animus against Israel.

Of course, this was already obvious from the Home Office’s repetition of the charge that Jihad Watch is “Islamophobic” in its letter to me. “Islamophobia” is a manipulative and propagandistic neologism designed to intimidate non-Muslims into thinking that there is something “bigoted” and “racist” about resisting jihad terror and opposing Sharia oppression of women, non-Muslims, gays and others. The only people who use it at all are Islamic supremacists who want to clear away all obstacles to the advance of jihad, their Leftist allies, and those whom they have bamboozled into thinking it is a legitimate term of discourse – such as the British Home Office.

So it was obvious already who was whispering into the Home Office’s ear, but now it is confirmed. As Pamela Geller noted, in the newly revealed documents “all reference to the identities of those who asked that we be banned have been blacked out.” However, “their black marker missed one reference, revealing that one of the groups complaining about us was Faith Matters. Faith Matters was founded by a Muslim named Fiyaz Mughal, who also heads up Tell Mama, a group dedicated to tracking ‘Islamophobia.’ Tell Mama lost government funding in June after making false claims of waves of attacks ‘Islamophobic incidents.’”

So around the same time that Tell Mama was being stripped of its government funding for lying about the prevalence of “anti-Muslim hate crimes,” that same government was accepting its advice and counsel in favor of banning Pamela Geller and me from the country. Was the Home Office unaware that Tell Mama was wildly exaggerating “Islamophobia” in Britain, and was thus an untrustworthy source for any information related to it, or did it simply not care?

As the Home Office makes its case against us, it also cites as authorities two pro-jihad smear sites, Loonwatch and Islamophobia Today – both of which have published numerous false charges, distortions, and outright lies about me, my public stands on various issues, my activities, and my associations. Both are devoted to completely discrediting anyone who dares to criticize jihad and Islamic supremacism, and to portraying those who oppose jihad terror as just terrible, terrible people. Generally they do this in the context of lurid ridicule of and furious hatred and contempt for their targets, larded with risible pseudo-scholarly “refutations” of their works recalling nothing so much as Der Stürmer. And true to their Nazi prototype, both are relentlessly anti-Israel, retailing Palestinian jihad propaganda with the same clownish fury and disregard for the facts that marks their analyses as a whole.

That anyone regards such sites seriously, with their gleeful flouting of accuracy and genuine analysis, and willingness to retail any smear to discredit their targets, is strange enough. That the British Home Office would be among those who do is a telling indication of just how thoroughly David Cameron’s Conservative government has been compromised, and how abjectly it has capitulated to a far-Left agenda.

The prime confirmation of this comes from one email from the Home Office’s massive team investigating Geller and me. The author (name redacted, of course) notes that the subject profiles that were prepared on us cite our “pro-Israeli views,” and argues that this material be removed, lest the wicked Zionists Geller and Spencer “argue publically that their exclusion is on the basis of their support for Israel.”

Well, that let the cat out of the bag. So here goes: I am hereby arguing publically that my exclusion was on the basis of my support for Israel, along with my “Islamophobia.” In banning me from the country, the British government capitulated to far-Left and Islamic supremacist pressure groups that are both virulently anti-Israel and enraged about the trumped-up phenomenon of “Islamophobia,” while making excuses for or ignoring altogether the reality of Islamic jihad and the numerous human rights abuses perpetrated daily in its name.

Were this a Labour government, this capitulation might be understandable – after all the Leftist/Islamic supremacist alliance has been noted in numerous quarters for years, and people nowadays more or less expect liberals and Leftists to be anti-Israel and anti-counterjihad, if not outright pro-jihad. But the Tories?

The Conservative government of David Cameron has failed the British people as thoroughly and resoundingly as the Republican Party has failed the American people. Both could have and should have constituted themselves as a loyal opposition, departing from the Leftist line. Instead, they have parroted it in innumerable ways, and disenfranchised millions of their constituents by offering no alternative to the dominant paradigm.

Whether or not I ever get into Britain again, the Conservative collapse revealed in the Home Office documents relating to my ban reveal a ruling party, and a society, that is profoundly confused, deeply compromised, and facing far greater crises to come.
375  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: November 26, 2013, 11:32:42 AM
I've met and chatted with Caroline.  She's an incredibly sharp, incisive, no-nonsense person who tells it like it is with no sugar-coating.  I think she's actually just being honest and factual in this piece.
376  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: November 21, 2013, 08:51:29 AM
Pelosi: I Never Met ‘Anybody Who Liked His or Her Plan’

Posted By Larry Elder On November 21, 2013 @

Asked whether she needed to apologize to the formerly insured who have lost their health insurance plans, former House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said, “Did I ever tell my constituents that if they liked their plan they could keep it? I would have if I’d ever met anybody who liked his or her plan. But that was not my experience.”

Pelosi, whose net worth — combined with her husband’s — is estimated between $35 and $180 million, never “met anybody who liked his or her plan”? Her out-of-touch comment reminds one of then-New Yorker film critic, liberal Pauline Kael. In 1972, after Republican Richard Nixon crushed Democrat George McGovern, 49 states to one, a shell-shocked Kael said, “Nobody I know voted for Nixon.”

Pelosi’s world is that of rich people and government workers whose health care plans are better than those of their counterparts in the private sector. How would she know that, according to a pre-Obamacare ABC News-Kaiser Family Foundation-USA Today survey, “88 percent of the insured rate their coverage as excellent or good” and “89 percent are satisfied with the quality of care they receive”?

Ms. Pelosi, meet Kristen Powers, Fox News analyst and a Democratic strategist. After her policy was canceled and her premiums doubled, Powers said: “My blood pressure goes up every time they say that they’re protecting us from substandard health insurance plans, because there is nothing to support what they’re saying. … I am losing my health insurance. … If I want to keep the same health insurance, it’s going to cost twice as much. There’s nothing substandard about my plan.

“All of the things they say that are not in my plan are in my plan, all of the things they have listed. There’s no explanation for the doubling of my premiums other than the fact that it’s subsidizing other people. They need to be honest about that, that that’s the reason they don’t want to change it.

“It’s because they’re basically taking the people who are responsible enough to get health insurance in the individual market and asking them to subsidize other people. So they’re taking young healthy people and asking them to subsidize other people.” Well, “shared sacrifice” — that’s the whole point behind Obamacare, isn’t it?

Democrats flat-out despise insurance companies. They’ve been called “immoral villains” (Pelosi), “deceptive and dishonest” (President Barack Obama), “fly-by-night” (former Gov. and DNC chair Howard Dean), “rapacious” (Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.) and “greedy” (Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.).

Are health insurance companies any greedier than any other for-profit sector of the economy? In 2009, before Obamacare, profit margins for the network and communications equipment industry averaged 20.4 percent; Internet services and retailing was 19.4 percent; pharmaceuticals averaged 19.3 percent; railroads 12.6 percent; gas and electric utilities 8.7 percent; and food consumer products 6.7 percent. Health insurance and managed care companies? They averaged 2.2 percent.

Follow the money.

Of the political contributions by the, say, communications/electronic industry in 2012, $94.6 million went to Democrats, and $55.7 million to Republicans. But from 1990 to the current 2014 cycle, according to, insurance companies gave 63 percent of their political donations to Republicans versus 37 percent to Democrats.

Obamacare is now more unpopular than ever, in large part because of broken promises. At the televised health care summit in February 2010, just before passage of Obamacare, then-Minority Whip Eric Cantor predicted millions would lose their coverage. He had the following exchange with the President:

Cantor: I don’t think you can answer the question in the positive to say that people will be able to maintain their coverage, people will be able to see the doctors they want, in the kind of bill that you are proposing.

Obama: “The 8 to 9 million people that you refer to, that might have to change their coverage … would find the deal in the exchange better.” Yet Obama still publicly assured people that “no one” would take away their policy, if they liked it.

Finally, Obama still gets a pass on a tale he repeatedly told to sell Obamacare. How many times did we hear that Obama’s mom, dying of cancer, had to fight with her carriers to pay her medical and hospital bills? The story, crucial to humanizing the fight, turns out to be bogus. According to a book by an ex-New York Times reporter, the sole dispute was between Obama’s mother and an insurance company over a disability policy his mother had taken out. The insurance company said she’d had a pre-existing condition when she applied for that policy. But her medical bills — and this is what Obama insisted they fought over — were in fact paid by her health care insurer, directly and without dispute.

Yes, our health care system “suffers.” But it suffers from a lack of free markets. The antidote is more competition — reducing barriers to entry, health savings accounts, giving individuals the same health care tax breaks as given to business, competition across state lines, and for tough cases, charity.
377  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / How to Raise a Child to Have Conservative Values... on: November 18, 2013, 03:44:43 PM
If You Want a Conservative Child

Posted By Dennis Prager On November 18, 2013 @

In my last column, I proposed some explanations for why many conservative parents have left-wing children.

In a nutshell, American parents who hold traditional American values — such as belief in small government as the basis of liberty, in a God-based moral code, that American military strength is the greatest contributor to world peace and stability, or in American exceptionalism, not to mention in the man-woman definition of marriage or in the worth of a human fetus — are at war with almost every influence on their children’s lives. This includes, most importantly, the media and the schools.

Here, then are some suggestions for raising a child with American, i.e., conservative, values.

First, parents who are not left-wing need to understand that if they do not articulate their values on a regular basis, there is a good chance that after one year, let alone four, at college, their child will adopt left-wing views and values. Do not think for a moment that values are automatically transmitted. One hundred years ago they may have been — because the outside world overwhelmingly reaffirmed parents’ traditional values — but no longer.

You have to explain to your children — repeatedly — what America and you stand for. (That, if I may note, is why I wrote “Still the Best Hope” and why I started

Second, they need to know what they will be taught at college — and now in many high schools — and how to respond. When they are told from day one at college that America and its white citizens are inherently racist, they need to know how to counter this libel with these truths: America is the least racist society in the world; more black Africans have immigrated here of their own volition than were came here forcibly to be slaves; and “racist” is merely one of many epithets — such as sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, and bigoted — that the left uses instead of arguments.

Third, when possible, it is best that your child not go to college immediately after high school. One reason colleges are able to indoctrinate students is that students enter college young and unworldly. It is very rare that adult students are convinced to abandon their values and become left-wing. Why? Because they have lived life and are much less naive.

For example, someone with life experience is far more likely than a kid just out of high school to understand that the best formula for avoiding poverty is to take personal responsibility — get a job, get married and then have children — not government help.

Teenagers who spend a year before going to college working — in a restaurant, for a moving company, at an office — will mature far more than they would after a year at college. And maturity is an inoculation against leftism.

If your home is Jewish, Catholic, Protestant or Mormon, another option for the year after high school is to have your child devote a year to studying religion in some formal setting. The more your child knows, lives and adheres to the principles of any of these religions, the less likely he or she will convert to Leftism, which has been the most dynamic religion of the last hundred years. For example, it is a fundamental belief of each of these Judeo-Christian religions that the root of evil is within the evildoer. But it is a fundamental belief of leftism that people murder, steal and rape overwhelmingly because of outside influences such as poverty and racism. The moment your child understands that people who commit evil are responsible— not poverty or racism — they cannot be a leftist.

Fourth, don’t be preoccupied with instilling high self-esteem in your child. It is the left that believes that self-esteem is a child’s right, something that parents and society owe children. Conservatives believe that everyone, including children, must earn self-esteem. Indeed, the belief in earning — rather than in being given — is conservative.

Fifth, teach character. The left has essentially defined a good person as one who holds progressive social positions — on race, the environment, taxes, health care, etc. That is why the left, including the feminist left, could so adore Bill Clinton who regularly used his positions of power to take advantage of women: He held progressive positions.

If your child recycles or walks five kilometers on behalf of breast cancer, that is lovely. But if your child refuses to cheat on tests or befriends an unpopular kid at school, that is character. And teaching that definition of character is more often done in a conservative (usually a religiously conservative) context.

It is not all that hard to produce a son or daughter able to withstand left-wing indoctrination. You just have to understand that it doesn’t happen automatically.
378  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Conan O'Brien Discovers Muslim Polygamy is No Joke... on: November 12, 2013, 06:32:29 AM
Conan O'Brien Discovers Muslim Polygamy is no Joke

Robert Spencer - PJ Media - November 12, 2013

Late night comic Conan O’Brien tweeted Friday night: “Marvel Comics is introducing a new Muslim Female superhero. She has so many more special powers than her husband’s other wives.” The predictable self-righteous firestorm ensued.

O’Brien was referring to “Kamala Khan,” Marvel Comics’ new Muslim superhero, unveiled with great fanfare last week. They are only introducing this Muslim superhero because of the hugely successful post-9/11 campaign by Islamic supremacists and their Leftist allies to portray Muslims as victims of “Islamophobia” and “hatred” — when actually the incidence of attacks on innocent Muslims is very low (not that a single one is acceptable or justified), and the entire “Islamophobia” campaign is an attempt to intimidate people into thinking that there is something wrong with fighting against jihad terror and Islamic supremacism.

Will Kamala Khan fight against jihadis? Will Marvel be introducing a counter-jihad superhero? I expect that the answer is no on both counts.

In any case, O’Brien’s tweet was just a silly quip, but as the Ayatollah Khomeini said, “There is no humor in Islam.” One of those who were offended wrote: “I didn’t know that @ConanOBrien had Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller writing for him now. Interesting.” A legion of Leftists descended upon O’Brien’s Twitter feed, accusing him of being a “f***ing racist scumbag” and “Islamophobic,” and his joke of being “kinda tasteless”; “really ignorant and terrible”; “in very poor taste”; and “f***ing gross and racist.”

“Racist”? What race is Muslim polygamy again? I keep forgetting. O’Brien’s joke has a factual basis. The Qur’an says: “And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses. That is more suitable that you may not incline [to injustice].” (4:3)

But as O’Brien is discovering now, calling attention to uncomfortable truths about Islam is “racist” and wrong, even if they’re undeniably…truths. I am sure that Conan O’Brien will not make this mistake again: almost immediately after people began criticizing him for it, he took the offending tweet down. After all, he wants to stay on television; bringing uncomfortable aspects of Islam to light is quickest way to be read out of polite and decent society. Just ask Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, formerly darlings of the Leftist intelligentsia — until they touched that third rail of American public discourse and dared to criticize the violence and brutality that Islamic jihadists commit and justify by reference to Islamic texts and teachings.

Polygamy devalues women, reducing them to the status of commodities, and stands as an affront to their equality with men as human beings. But none of the enlightened Leftists condemning Conan O’Brien for his little joke would dare speak out for the Muslim women who suffer in polygamous arrangements; to do so would be “Islamophobic,” “racist,” and probably “gross.”

This strange stigmatizing of those who speak out against what is manifestly a legitimate human rights issue is testimony to the effectiveness of the global campaign that Islamic supremacist groups have been carrying out for years to deflect attention away from the reality of Islamic jihad, and to clear away obstacles standing in the way of that jihad. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the largest voting bloc at the United Nations, has for years been pressing at the UN for resolutions criminalizing criticism of Islam. It routinely ignores how Islamic jihadists quote the Qur’an and invoke Muhammad to justify violence and terrorism, but cries “Islamophobia” when non-Muslims quote those jihadis quoting the Qur’an and invoking Muhammad.

They want to fool people into thinking that non-Muslim “Islamophobes” are responsible for “linking Islam with terrorism,” when actually the ones doing that linking are the jihadis. The objective is to intimidate non-Muslims into thinking that it is “bigoted” and “hateful” to discuss the Islamic motives and goals of jihadis, much less to resist them — so that those jihadis can do their work unopposed and unimpeded.

In the same way, when Conan O’Brien calls attention, in the most light-hearted and glancing way, to the reality of Muslim polygamy, the attention of the fatuous and self-important Left (but I repeat myself) focuses not on the oppression of women under Islamic law, but on Conan O’Brien as “Islamophobic.” The lesson has been reinforced so relentlessly and repeatedly over so long a period now that neither the OIC nor any other Islamic supremacist entity has to utter a word condemning Conan O’Brien before Twitter lights up with condemnations of him from Leftist non-Muslims. They don’t have to ask their instructions any more.

They know: any negative word about the oppression of women in Islam, and indeed, any negative word at all about jihad terror or Islamic supremacism in general, is “racist” and to be rejected with all the scorn and indignation one can muster. Last year I had a very illuminating lunch with a Leftist writer who has attacked me numerous times for “Islamophobia.” In the course of conversation, I asked him if he thought there was a jihad threat at all. He admitted that there was, but claimed that I had wildly exaggerated it.

Very well, I responded, and posited a hypothetical: what would he do if the jihadis really did start mounting attacks in the U.S. with the regularity of their attacks in, say, Nigeria or Thailand? What if Islamic supremacists began demanding accommodations to Islamic law that plainly contradicted Constitutional freedoms? He responded that he thought that if those things happened, people of good will on the Left would stand up and offer resistance.

But he was wrong. They won’t. Because they have been taught for years that any criticism of Islamic jihad terror and oppression, no matter how accurate, no matter how mild, is that most abhorrent of things, “racism.” And so they will most likely accept their subjugation with bland and self-satisfied complacency: they’re subjugated dhimmis in the smoking ruins of a once-great society, but at least they weren’t “Islamophobes.” I hope that if this happens, Conan O’Brien will be ready with an apposite quip – right before he is led away to the reeducation camp.
379  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Will Obama Give Iran the Deal of the Century? on: November 11, 2013, 08:17:13 AM
Will Obama Give Iran the Deal of the Century?

Posted By P. David Hornik On November 11, 2013 @

Israeli officials were described as “furious at the Obama administration” over what seemed to be an emerging nuclear deal between the P5+1 countries (the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China, plus Germany) and Iran.

One official was quoted saying that “the Americans capitulated to Iranian maneuvering…. Kerry wants a deal at all costs and the Iranians are leading the Americans by the nose.”

As for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, he was described as being “in shock.” That was evident enough in a statement Netanyahu released Friday morning after seeing off Secretary of State Kerry at the airport, in which Netanyahu dispensed with diplomatic bromides and said:

I urge Secretary Kerry not to rush to sign, to wait, to reconsider, to get a good deal. But this is a bad deal—a very, very bad deal. It’s the deal of a century for Iran; it’s a very dangerous and bad deal for peace and the international community.

Kerry’s visit to Israel had already been a rough one, in which he first stigmatized Israeli communities as “illegitimate” and then, on Israeli TV Thursday night, as The Times of Israel’s Raphael Ahren aptly put it, “appeared to come perilously close to empathizing with potential Palestinian aggression against Israel.” (Reactions by other Israeli commentators were titled “Kerry, give it a rest” and “Kerry: Stay home”.)

But the real stunner came on Friday when Jerusalem apparently got word of the deal that seemed to be taking shape in Geneva. It led to the canceling of a joint media appearance between Netanyahu and Kerry, and prompted, instead, a bitter exchange between them before Kerry headed off to the Swiss city.

The possible deal gravely worries Israel—and others with a realistic view of the situation—because it allows Iran to continue uranium enrichment (albeit at a lower level—now meaningless given Iran’s advanced centrifuges), continue the construction of its heavy-water reactor in Arak (aimed at producing plutonium bombs), while not requiring the dismantling of a single centrifuge.

At the same time, in “reward” essentially for nothing, the deal gives Iran sanctions relief far beyond what Israeli officials had been led to expect, reportedly including “the unfreezing of $3 billion of fuel funds, an easing of sanctions on the petrochemical and gold sectors, an easing of sanctions on replacement parts for planes and a loosening of restrictions on the Iranian car industry.”

With Chinese, Italian, German, and other companies champing at the bit to resume doing lucrative business with Iran, it’s believed such an opening will lead to the sanctions regime’s total collapse.

So Israel was relieved when it turned out the deal—for the time being—had fallen through on Saturday. But with the talks set to resume in nine days, trepidation remains high.

Israel’s ally in objecting to the putative deal has turned out to be France. That appeared to validate earlier reports that, among the Western powers, France was the most clear-eyed about the ayatollahs’ regime and the closest to Israel in its perceptions. France has long had tight ties with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states and appears to have absorbed some of their realism—and fear—about a nuclear Iran.

Meanwhile, on Sunday morning, Netanyahu’s office issued a press release in which he stated:

Over the weekend I spoke with President Obama, with President Putin, with President Hollande, with Chancellor Merkel and with British Prime Minister Cameron. I told them that according to all the information reaching Israel, the impending deal is bad and dangerous.

It is not only dangerous to us; it is dangerous for them, too. It is dangerous for the peace of the world because in one fell swoop it lowers the pressure of the sanctions which took years to build, and conversely, Iran essentially preserves its nuclear uranium enrichment capabilities as well as the ability to advance on the plutonium enrichment path.

…I asked all the leaders what the rush is. And I suggested that they wait…. It is good that this was ultimately the choice that was made but I am not fooling myself—there is a strong desire to strike a deal….

Iran’s allegedly “moderate” president Hassan Rouhani, for his part, did not sound conciliatory on Sunday when he said Iran’s “red lines” included uranium enrichment and that “We will not answer to any threat, sanction, humiliation or discrimination.” But with Iran’s interlocutors—possibly with the exception of France—already apparently ready to fold on the enrichment issue, Rouhani’s words seemed aimed mainly at Israel.

For Israel, after so many avowals of President Obama’s determination to prevent Iran from going nuclear, the latest turn of events is alarming and disillusioning. Many believe that, as long as diplomatic activity between the P5+1 and Iran is going on, Israel is effectively screened out of taking military action. Netanyahu had that in mind when he also said on Friday: “Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to do to defend itself and the security of its people.”

If the situation looks desperate and Israel takes that course, it will not be without (tacit) allies in the region.
380  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Obama's Transformation of the U.S. Military... on: November 08, 2013, 08:16:22 AM
Purging and Transforming Our Military

Posted By Matthew Vadum On November 8, 2013 @

President Obama hasn’t just been hollowing out the military since taking office, he’s been gutting it, purging it of ideologically hostile personnel, and fundamentally transforming it into something other than a war-fighting force, military experts say.

Although few with military ties are willing to say it openly, it seems the administration is leading an orchestrated effort to seriously undermine the readiness of the military. Some reports indicate that Obama has purged 197 senior military officers since moving into the White House and that many of the retired officers have been harassed at their new civilian jobs for criticizing the president’s policies. The effects of these purges will be felt long after Obama leaves office.

This is, of course, the same through-the-looking-glass administration that goes out of its way not to label actual Islamic terrorists as terrorists, that calls terrorist attacks “man-caused disasters,” and refers to the Global War on Terror as the “Overseas Contingency Operation.”

A retired senior military officer and combat veteran who remains involved in national security affairs, told FrontPage in an interview that President Obama is involved in social engineering of the United States military.

“Having women in combat is bad,” he said. “It is changing the social complexion of the infantry and we now have this epidemic of sexual assaults.”

Soldiers are told not to be mean to gays, he said. “Do you really think the individuals who are joining the all-volunteer force will be joining to pull triggers or to get sensitivity training?”

The former officer said that President Obama is getting rid of experienced war fighters for no apparent reason.

The “poster child” for such firings is James Mattis, a real soldier’s soldier and four-star general in the Marine Corps who retired unexpectedly this past May at age 63. As a brigadier general Mattis led a brigade into Kandahar in fall of 2001 and a Marines division into Iraq during the invasion in 2003.

“Mattis should have been the next chairman of the joint chiefs of staff but mysteriously he gets retired,” the officer said. Mattis had been asking questions about Obama’s policy toward, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran, that the powers that be didn’t want asked, he said.

In early 2009 Obama cashiered David McKiernan, the general in charge of the Afghanistan war. He was replaced by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, whom he also fired. Obama canned his intelligence chief, Gen. David Petraeus. Gen. John Allen, another key figure in the Afghanistan war, resigned unexpectedly, according to an analysis by the “Vernuccio/Allison Report,” a radio show carried by WVOX 1460 AM in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Gen. Carter Ham fell on his sword soon after the White House denied permission for a rescue mission to save officials trapped at the besieged U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. Admiral David Gaurette, who oversaw an aircraft carrier group in the Middle East, also had retirement thrust upon him, as did Marine Gen. James Cartwright.

Vice Admiral Tim Giardina and Major Gen. Michael Carey, military commanders involved with the nation’s nuclear defenses, have also been shown the door by the president.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady told WND that President Obama has forced out so many military leaders who have doubts about his policies that the nation’s armed forces no longer feel prepared to fight or to try to win armed conflicts.

“There is no doubt he is intent on emasculating the military and will fire anyone who disagrees with him” over such issues as “homosexuals, women in foxholes, the Obama sequester,” said Brady, a recipient of the military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor.

“They are purging everyone, and if you want to keep your job, just keep your mouth shut,” another top retired officer told WND.

“Not only are military service members being demoralized and the ranks’ overall readiness being reduced by the Obama administration’s purge of key leaders, colonels – those lined up in rank to replace outgoing generals – are quietly taking their careers in other directions,” the media outlet reports.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin said four-star generals are being retired at an alarming rate under Obama. “Over the past three years, it is unprecedented for the number of four-star generals to be relieved of duty, and not necessarily relieved for cause.”

“I believe there is a purging of the military,” he said. “The problem is worse than we have ever seen.”

Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Oliver North weighed in on the issue on Mark Levin’s radio show last night.

Although “there’s a lot of dead wood wearing flags and stars … [who] wouldn’t know how to fight their way out of a paper bag,” a suspicious number of flag officers have been given walking papers by the Obama administration, he said. He continued:

There’s a group of people, and I don’t think it’s anything close to a hundred, but there’s probably several dozen who tried to do the right thing and they weren’t promoted by this administration because it was contrary to their policy whether it was the administration’s stated narrative that we’ve ended al-Qaeda, therefore we’re safe in the world, or whether it’s the stated narrative that we’re doing a pivot toward Asia which is total baloney because there’s no money to do it with, or it’s the people who want to defend America with a real serious ballistic missile defense and they were fired because they said, “hey gosh, we’re not doing what we need to do to protect the American people.”

Generals and admirals who “feel strongly that something has gone wrong and something isn’t being done right, you have a moral obligation to know, first of all, your career is probably over anyway, so have the courage to stand up at a podium, take off your stars, throw ‘em down [on] the podium, and tell the truth to the American people on your way out the door.”

This “has not happened yet and it should have happened a long time ago,” North said, adding:

The military is being turned into a laboratory for radical social engineering experiments. They’re wrecking the finest military force the world has ever known — brighter, better educated, trained, led, and now the most combat-experienced military force in the history of the world. And they’re not standing up and saying, “stop wrecking it.” This administration is intent on wrecking it.

The president has also taken some steps that seem aimed only at harming morale. Obama plans to force Marines of both sexes to don unisex headwear that critics mock as “girly hats.”

According to former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie, ranking SEAL commanders have banned their subordinates from wearing the Navy’s traditional “don’t tread on me” insignia. The patch depicting a coiled rattlesnake ready to strike is typically worn by SEALs and is a variation of the Gadsden flag, a Revolutionary era vexillological device that has been used by the U.S. Marines and Navy since 1775. In 2002 the secretary of the Navy ordered that a variation of the flag, the Navy Jack, be flown on all U.S. Navy ships for the duration of the Global War on Terror.

The Left abhors the Gadsden because it is carried at Tea Party rallies and has been used as a symbol of resistance to Obama’s authoritarianism.

Leftist influencer and all-purpose crackpot Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Gadsden flag as a symbol of hate that in “contemporary society [is] the flag of the militia movement.” The flag says “Don’t mess with us,” and implies, “Don’t mess with us at the point of a gun,” says Potok.

Since taking office in 2009, the Obama administration has been on a relentless drive to stigmatize and delegitimize opposing points of view. The administration has instructed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to treat conservatives and libertarians as potential terrorists. Obama’s IRS targets conservative and Tea Party groups for harassment and special investigations.

Americans ought to be alarmed that the administration is now using the same heavy-handed, un-American tactics to turn members of the nation’s armed forces against its domestic political adversaries.

We know, for example, that a January 2013 Department of Defense (DoD) diversity training center “student guide” entitled “Extremism” instructs soldiers that conservative organizations are “hate groups” and Tea Party supporters are potentially dangerous extremists.

The DoD materials not only take aim at modern conservative groups but label America’s Founding Fathers as extremists who would be unfit to serve in today’s military. The teaching guide advises that instead of “dressing in sheets,” radicals today “will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.” American patriots who fought for Independence from the United Kingdom in the 1700s are identified as adhering to “extremist ideologies.”

“In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements,” the document states. “The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”

The materials advise soldiers to rely on the Alabama-based neo-Marxist Southern Poverty Law Center as a resource in identifying hate groups. A 2006 report from the SPLC, essentially an anti-conservative attack machine funded by George Soros, claimed improbably that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”

This is what happens when you make a radical left-wing community organizer Commander-in-Chief of America’s armed forces.
381  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: October 25, 2013, 11:52:50 AM

It has to be a grass-roots effort.  No, it won't be easy, and it is far from certain it will succeed, or how long it may take.  Indeed - even Levin himself concedes that it is POSSIBLE that we may be past the point at which this plan can be implemented before collapse/catastrophe occurs.  I acknowledge that as well.  But what is the alternative you would suggest?

Remember that only about one-third of the colonists supported the American Revolution.  To say the leaders of that movement faced daunting odds is a huge understatement - even today, many would say their success was nothing short of miraculous.  We may be destined for severe trials, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.  I'm open to alternative suggestions - I just haven't seen any that I think are as good or better than Levin's.  One thing is certain - I'm NOT going to curl up in the fetal position and accept defeat.
382  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America on: October 25, 2013, 07:58:04 AM
Is this the proper American Muslim response to jihad in America?

By Pamela Geller - October 23, 2013 -

On Friday, October 11, a Muslim convert who calls himself Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum was taken off a terror-bound bus in California and arrested for aiding and abetting the jihadi group al-Qaeda.  Another Muslim busted for jihad in America.


This is hardly new or unique.  We see these reports daily.  Muslims and converts to Islam wage jihad in the cause of Islam.  They cite the Quran, chapter and verse.  Muslims worldwide continue the 1,400-year-old war to impose Islam across the world -- all citing the same Islamic texts and teachings.


There is a problem in Islam.


So what is the response of the Muslim community?


On the same day that Hassan Abu Omar Ghannoum was arrested, the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California issued a statement: "We share the collective concern for the safety of our communities and security of our nation."  However, it went on to say: "We ask that law enforcement officials and members of the media refrain from assuming that the alleged criminal's wrongful conduct, if any, was a product of his self-proclaimed faith or associations with members of the southern California Muslim community."


Obfuscation, cover-up, and deceit.  The bottom line is that they know exactly what Ghannoum is doing and why.  Ghannoum's brother said that after converting to Islam, Ghannoum had gone to Lebanon to learn more about the religion: "He wanted to view more of the religious things. Firsthand experience."  His sister said that he went to Syria to study the Quran.  While there, he began posting on Facebook about how he was fighting alongside the jihad forces there, bragging about his "first confirmed kill" and writing: "So pumped to get more!!"


The Islamic Shura Council of Southern California never mentioned the possibility that Ghannoum's study of the Quran inspired him to wage jihad.  They just warned everyone else not to consider that possibility.  Did the Shura Council call for the expunging in the Quran of the violent texts that call for jihad?  No.


We never see that from Muslim groups.  What we do see is this Islamic pattern of stealth jihad.  Muslim Brotherhood groups issue pro-forma, fill-in-the-blank condemnations after jihadi attacks or arrests (e.g., the Boston bombing), but they never address the Islamic texts that inspire jihad -- nor do they attempt to organize programs that intervene in the recruitment of young Muslims or Muslim converts to jihad.  What are the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, CAIR, ICNA, ISNA, et al. doing to stop the mosques preaching and teaching jihad?  Nothing.  Instead, these Muslim groups urge Muslims not to talk to law enforcement (as with the notorious CAIR poster telling Muslims not to talk to the FBI), and they seek to dismantle counter-terror programs in the USA.


Why isn't the Muslim community trying to reform Islam?  Why aren't Muslim groups shutting down mosques that teach and preach jihad?  What mosque did Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum attend?


And this isn't the only example of Muslim groups' denial and obfuscation.  The United Muslim Nations International (UMNI) group asked the South African media to stop using terms like "Islamist" to describe jihad attacks such as the recent one in Nairobi's Westgate Mall.  South African Muslim leader Ganief Hendricks said that "the biased terminology of editors" was "not helpful," and added: "What happened in Nairobi, in the mall attack, may have been a bank robbery gone wrong, using Islam as a cover-up."


Here again we see Islamic supremacism even among the "moderates."  Why is UMNI asking the media not to use terms like "Islamist"?  So as not to incite jihad?  The jihadists can separate the victims by religion in the Nairobi Westgate Mall, and Muslims are released (and this is not new; we saw this in Algeria, Mumbai, etc.) but the non-Muslims are tortured and killed, but the media can't use the word Islam?


Victims at the mall had to say an Islamic prayer and give Muhammad's mother's name, but the media cannot report events as they took place.


Why is the Muslim world asking this of the media?  Why isn't the Muslim world taking this up among its own ranks?  Why isn't the Muslim world looking inward to reformation, to address the daily acts of jihad in the cause of Islam?


Further, the word "Islamist" itself is already a concession.  Think about it.  Do we use "Christianist" (outside a few rabid leftists)?  Judaist?  Essentially, what does it mean to say that someone or something is "Islamist" as opposed to "Islamic"?  Nothing, really, except that the person speaking doesn't want to offend Islam by speaking unwelcome truths about the political nature of the religion.


I have been called the most vile names, and let me assure you that it never entered my mind to respond violently.  The idea that the kuffar are responsible for the violence of jihadists is an Islamic supremacist concept.


AFDI has issued an 18-point platform for defeating jihad in America.  If Muslim groups in the U.S. were genuinely "moderate," they'd endorse every point.  Instead, they smear us as "Islamophobes."  It's telling.


Pamela Geller is the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of, and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here.
383  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Crash is Coming... on: October 24, 2013, 04:41:11 PM
G M:

My sentiments exactly.  I couldn't agree more strongly.  I'm well aware that many if not most Americans (who are not and never do pay attention) think that this line of thinking is crazy.  All of my best friend's father's Jewish friends and family told him he was a crazy, chicken little, alarmist nut-job when he warned them to get out of Austria in 1938 and moved here to the U.S.  Most of those people died in the death camps.  We are at an analogous point in history right now in this country.  Ignore it at your own peril.

384  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: October 24, 2013, 02:02:29 PM
Guys - please read my previous post once again.  Neither Crafty nor anyone else is addressing what I state there.  You folks are acting as though the solution to our problems is to work within the current establishment party leadership, against an immovable leviathan of leftist media.  I repeat - the Federal Government is BROKEN, Congress is currently IMPOTENT, and any solution to these problems must come from the STATE legislatures.  We're in a post-constitutional era as far as the Federal Government is concerned.  They are lawless.  This navel-gazing about how things SHOULD be IF the system worked is not getting us anywhere.

That is the sense in which I mean the discussion is academic at this point.  Until the root cause is addressed, nothing else is going to work long-term.
385  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: October 23, 2013, 07:12:32 PM
It still is a bulwark of CONSERVATIVE votes.  The Republican Party leadership, however - is at war with its base.  The few exceptions - Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Louie Goehmert, et. al. are the way forward.  The old dead, rotting wood - McCain, McConnell, Boehner - and the younger appeasers - Ryan, Cantor, Woodall, and many others - must be defeated and removed from office.  The current Republican Party is doomed with its present "leadership" of eunuchs.

If this nation would simply adopt Reagan's posture of "peace through strength, trust but verify," as we would with a proper Constitutionally Conservative leader - our standing on the world stage would be restored.  This isn't going to happen from within the Federal Government.  The plan Mark Levin outlines in his book "The Liberty Amendments" I believe - is the only way to stop this nation's accelerating decay, short of civil war.  Those are the cold, hard facts.  The federal government is now unmoored from the Constitution.  We have a completely lawless President.  We have an impotent Congress willing to capitulate to his every thuggish demand, and a media which might as well be literally state-controlled.  They're relentlessly promoting the leftist agenda and protecting this President voluntarily.  I repeat - Congress is now impotent.  If the STATE LEGISLATURES don't force a return to Constitutionally-limited government, we are doomed.  I see no other solution, as I say - short of an armed patriot resistance against a tyrannical federal government.  That would be a most unfortunate development, but quite possibly necessary if the Founders' vision is to be preserved.
386  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: October 23, 2013, 05:05:08 PM
The Muslim Brotherhood’s Man in the White House

Posted By Robert Spencer On October 23, 2013

When the State Department announced early in October that it was cutting hundreds of millions in military and other aid to Egypt, it was yet another manifestation of Barack Obama’s unstinting support for the Muslim Brotherhood, a support that has already thrown Egypt back into the Russian orbit. The aid cut was essentially giving the Egyptian people a choice between Muslim Brotherhood rule and economic collapse. Nothing else could have been expected from Obama, who has been a Brotherhood man from the beginning.

Obama’s support for the Brotherhood goes back to the beginning of his presidency. He even invited Ingrid Mattson, then-president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), to offer a prayer at the National Cathedral on his first Inauguration Day – despite the fact that ISNA has admitted its ties to the Brotherhood. The previous summer, federal prosecutors rejected a request from ISNA to remove its unindicted co-conspirator status. Obama didn’t ask Mattson to explain ISNA’s links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. On the contrary: he sent his Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett to be the keynote speaker at ISNA’s national convention in 2009.

Even worse, in April 2009, Obama appointed Arif Alikhan, the deputy mayor of Los Angeles, as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security. Just two weeks before he received this appointment, Alikhan (who once called the jihad terror group Hizballah a “liberation movement”) participated in a fundraiser for the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Like ISNA, MPAC has links to the Muslim Brotherhood. In a book entitled In Fraternity: A Message to Muslims in America, coauthor Hassan Hathout, a former MPAC president, is identified as “a close disciple of the late Hassan al-Banna of Egypt.” The MPAC-linked magazine The Minaret spoke of Hassan Hathout’s closeness to al-Banna in a 1997 article: “My father would tell me that Hassan Hathout was a companion of Hassan al-Banna….Hassan Hathout would speak of al-Banna with such love and adoration; he would speak of a relationship not guided by politics or law but by a basic sense of human decency.”

Al-Banna, of course, was the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, an admirer of Hitler and a leader of the movement to (in his words) “push the Jews into the sea.”

Terror researcher Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project has documented MPAC’s indefatigable and consistent opposition to virtually every domestic anti-terror initiative; its magazine The Minaret has dismissed key counterterror operations as part of “[t]he American crusade against Islam and Muslims.” For his part, while Alikhan was deputy mayor of Los Angeles, he blocked a Los Angeles Police Department project to assemble data about the ethnic makeup of mosques in the Los Angeles area. This was not an attempt to conduct surveillance of the mosques or monitor them in any way. LAPD Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing explained that it was actually an outreach program: “We want to know where the Pakistanis, Iranians and Chechens are so we can reach out to those communities.” But Alikhan and other Muslim leaders claimed that the project manifested racism and “Islamophobia,” and the LAPD ultimately discarded all plans to study the mosques.

And early in 2009, when the Muslim Brotherhood was still outlawed in Egypt, Obama met with its leaders. He made sure to invite Brotherhood leaders to attend his notorious speech to the Islamic world in Cairo in June 4, 2009, making it impossible for then-President Hosni Mubarak to attend the speech, since he would not appear with the leaders of the outlawed group.

Then on January 31, 2011, when the Mubarak regime was on the verge of falling in the Arab Spring uprising, a former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Frank Wisner, met secretly in Cairo with Issam El-Erian, a senior Brotherhood leader. That meeting came a week after a Mubarak government official announced the regime’s suspicions that Brotherhood and other opposition leaders were coordinating the Egyptian uprising with the Obama State Department.

Early in February, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, tried to allay concerns about a Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt by claiming, preposterously, that the group was “largely secular.” Although the subsequent torrent of ridicule compelled the Obama camp to issue a correction, the subtext of Clapper’s statement was clear: the Obama Administration had no problem with Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt, and was not only going to do nothing to stop it, but was going actively to enable it.

And so in June 2011, the Administration announced that it was going to establish formal ties with the Brotherhood. The U.S.’s special coordinator for transitions in the Middle East, William Taylor, announced in November 2011 that the U.S. would be “satisfied” with a Muslim Brotherhood victory in the Egyptian elections. In January 2012, Obama announced that he was speeding up the delivery of aid to Egypt, just as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns held talks with Brotherhood leaders – a move apparently calculated to demoralize the Brotherhood’s opposition in the Egyptian elections.

Not surprisingly, when Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi was declared the winner of Egypt’s 2012 presidential election, Obama immediately called Morsi to congratulate him. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hurried to Cairo to meet with Morsi in July 2012, as anti-Brotherhood protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy complex there. The Obama administration’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt had been so glaringly obvious that foes of the Brotherhood regime pelted her motorcade with tomatoes and shoes for delivering that country up to the rule of the Brotherhood. Protestors held signs reading “Message to Hillary: Egypt will never be Pakistan”; “To Hillary: Hamas will never rule Egypt” and “If you like the Ikhwan [Brotherhood], take them with you!”

Obama invited Morsi to visit the U.S., although by September 2012, when Morsi had called for the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the 1993 World Trade Center jihad attack plotter, as well as for restrictions on the freedom of speech, and persecution of Egyptian Christians had increased dramatically, Obama quietly canceled the proposed meeting.

Meanwhile, Obama’s foreign policy displayed a decided pro-Brotherhood orientation. Former U.S. prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy has listed a great many strange collaborations between Obama’s State Department and Muslim Brotherhood organizations, including:

• Secretary Clinton personally intervened to reverse a Bush-administration ruling that barred Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the Brotherhood’s founder and son of one of its most influential early leaders, from entering the United States.

• The State Department collaborated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of governments heavily influenced by the Brotherhood, in seeking to restrict American free-speech rights in deference to sharia proscriptions against negative criticism of Islam.

• The State Department excluded Israel, the world’s leading target of terrorism, from its “Global Counterterrorism Forum,” a group that brings the United States together with several Islamist governments, prominently including its co-chair, Turkey — which now finances Hamas and avidly supports the flotillas that seek to break Israel’s blockade of Hamas. At the forum’s kickoff, Secretary Clinton decried various terrorist attacks and groups; but she did not mention Hamas or attacks against Israel — in transparent deference to the Islamist governments, which echo the Brotherhood’s position that Hamas is not a terrorist organization and that attacks against Israel are not terrorism.

• The State Department and the Obama administration waived congressional restrictions in order to transfer $1.5 billion dollars in aid to Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood’s victory in the parliamentary elections.

• The State Department and the Obama administration waived congressional restrictions in order to transfer millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian territories notwithstanding that Gaza is ruled by the terrorist organization Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch.

• The State Department and the administration hosted a contingent from Egypt’s newly elected parliament that included not only Muslim Brotherhood members but a member of the Islamic Group (Gamaa al-Islamiyya), which is formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization. The State Department refused to provide Americans with information about the process by which it issued a visa to a member of a designated terrorist organization, about how the members of the Egyptian delegation were selected, or about what security procedures were followed before the delegation was allowed to enter our country.

Once in power in Egypt, the Brotherhood government drafted a new constitution, enshrining Islamic law as the highest law of the land, restricting the freedom of speech and denying equality of rights for women. The Associated Press reported that the  constitution reflected the “vision of the Islamists, with articles that rights activists, liberals and Christians fear will lead to restrictions on the rights of women and minorities and civil liberties in general.”

AP reported that the constitution’s wording gave the Muslim Brotherhood “the tool for insisting on stricter implementation of rulings of Shariah,” and that “a new article states that Egypt’s most respected Islamic institution, Al-Azhar, must be consulted on any matters related to Shariah, a measure critics fear will lead to oversight of legislation by clerics.”

Cairo’s Al-Azhar is the foremost exponent of Sunni orthodoxy. Its characterization of what constitutes that orthodoxy carries immense weight in the Islamic world. It hews to age-old formulations of Islamic law mandating second-class dhimmi status for non-Muslims, institutionalized discrimination against women, and sharp restrictions on the freedom of speech, particularly in regard to Islam. Al-Azhar’s having a role in the government of Egypt and its administration of Sharia meant the end of any remaining freedom in Egyptian society.

While forcing this constitution on Egyptians, the Morsi regime became increasingly brutal toward dissenters. In a move reminiscent of Communist governments, the Brotherhood regime had opposition leaders investigated for high treason. Morsi even tried to arrogate dictatorial powers for himself, although he backed off after protests. Huge crowds came out to protest against the Morsi regime – a clear indication that if Obama had backed the Brotherhood because he thought it represented the popular will of the vast majority of Egyptians, he was dead wrong. Yet as all this was happening, Hillary Clinton demonstrated how out of touch the Obama Administration was with what was really happening in Egypt when she said, according to Fox News, that “the U.S. must work with the international community and the people in Egypt to ensure that the revolution isn’t hijacked by extremists.”

The Arab Spring “revolution” was “hijacked by extremists” as soon as the Muslim Brotherhood regime took power. Yet as the turmoil in Egypt increased, Obama responded not by admonishing the Muslim Brotherhood regime to respect the human rights of all its citizens, but by shipping over twenty F-16 fighter jets to Egypt, as part of an aid package amounting to over a billion dollars. A Republican congressional aide noted at the time that “the Morsi-led Muslim Brotherhood government has not proven to be a partner for democracy as they had promised, given the recent attempted power grab.” The Obama Administration responded by downplaying the significance of the Brotherhood’s increasing authoritarianism, speaking blandly about “Egypt’s democratic transition and the need to move forward with a peaceful and inclusive transition that respects the rights of all Egyptians.”

It was no surprise last summer, then, when millions of Egyptians took to the streets to protest against the Brotherhood regime and it was suddenly and unexpectedly toppled from power, that numerous anti-Brotherhood protesters held signs accusing Obama of supporting terrorists. One foe of the Brotherhood made a music video including the lyrics: “Hey Obama, support the terrorism/Traitor like the Brotherhood members/Obama say it’s a coup/That’s not your business dirty man.” A protestor in Tahrir Square held up a sign saying, “Obama you jerk, Muslim Brotherhoods are killing the Egyptians.” Signs like that one became commonplace at anti-Morsi protests; another read, “Hey Obama, your bitch is our dictator.”

Yet as the anti-Muslim Brotherhood riots reached their peak, Obama responded by sending a group of American soldiers to Egypt to help with riot control.

As an Egyptian newspaper crowed about the influence of Muslim Brotherhood operatives within the Obama Administration, it was no surprise that Obama would want them in power in Egypt as well. By cutting off aid in October 2013, he was strong-arming the Egyptians until they would have no choice but to agree – or turn to the Russians, as Egypt’s military regime has recently said it might do. Egypt has been an American ally, but is now returning to the sphere of influence of a resurgent Russia – thanks to Barack Obama’s uncritical support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt, albeit imperfect, was a reliable and pivotal ally of the U.S. in the Middle East for three decades. With the Camp David Accords it kept an uneasy but unmistakable peace with Israel, while the Sadat and Mubarak regimes kept a lid on the Brotherhood and Salafist forces that were clamoring for Egypt to declare a new jihad against the Jewish State. Egypt’s unwillingness to go to war with Israel during that period stymied the anti-Israel bloodlust in neighboring Muslim countries as well, for Egypt’s size, position, and history give it a unique stature in the Islamic world.

All that is gone now. Egypt is on the way to renewing its alliance with Russia, which led it to mount two wars against Israel, in 1967 and 1973. Obama has alienated America’s allies and emboldened her enemies, all in a vain attempt to appease a group that was never going to be a friend of the U.S. in the first place. If he didn’t have so many other blots on his record, this could be the most dangerous aspect of his legacy.
387  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: October 23, 2013, 12:10:09 PM

3) That said, it is too late now to undo and we must look forward from here.  In the new Multi-Polar World, the US's over arcing strategic concept is , , , what?

This discussion is purely academic as long as Obama remains in the White House. He believes the United States is a bully, responsible for most of the ills of the world, and needs to be cut down to size.  Obama is no different in this regard from other radical leftists.  He is accomplishing this goal quite effectively in my estimation.  I think it's all quite deliberate - note well his active support of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Until this man leaves office - and frankly, I have serious doubts at this point that he has any intention of doing so - the U.S. government will continue to be perceived by its enemies as a "paper tiger," its threats nothing but empty talk and no action.  Obama has accomplished his objective.
388  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Loving & Hating America... on: October 22, 2013, 10:56:11 AM
Loving and Hating America

Posted By Walter Williams On October 22, 2013

As I’ve documented in the past, many leftist teachers teach our youngsters to hate our country. For example, University of Hawaii Professor Haunani-Kay Trask counseled her students, “We need to think very, very clearly about who the enemy is. The enemy is the United States of America and everyone who supports it.” Some universities hire former terrorists to teach and indoctrinate students. Kathy Boudin, former Weather Underground member and convicted murderer, is on the Columbia University School of Social Work’s faculty. Her Weather Underground comrade William Ayers teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Bernardine Dohrn, his wife, is a professor at Northwestern University School of Law. Her stated mission is to overthrow capitalism.

America’s domestic haters have international company. 24/7 Wall St. published an article titled “Ten Countries That Hate America Most” ( The list includes Serbia, Greece, Iran, Algeria, Egypt and Pakistan. Ranking America published an article titled “The U.S. ranks 3rd in liking the United States” ( Using data from the Pew Global Attitudes Project, it finds that just 79 percent of Americans in 2011 had a favorable view of Americans, compared with Japan and Kenya, which had 85 and 83 percent favorable views, respectively. Most European nations held a 60-plus percent favorable view of Americans, compared with countries such as Egypt, Pakistan and Turkey, with less than 20 percent favorable views.

An interesting facet of foreigners liking or hating America can be seen in a poll Gallup has been conducting since 2007 asking the questions: “Ideally, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move permanently to another country, or would you prefer to continue living in this country? To which country would you like to move?” ( Guess to which country most people would like to move. If you said “the good ol’ US of A,” go to the head of the class.

Of the more than 640 million people who would like to leave their own country, 23 percent — or 150 million — said they would like to live in the United States. The U.S. has been “the world’s most desired destination for potential migrants since Gallup started tracking these patterns in 2007.” The United Kingdom comes in a distant second, with 7 percent (45 million). Other favorite permanent relocations are Canada (42 million), France (32 million) and Saudi Arabia (31 million), but all pale in comparison with the U.S. as the preferred home.

The next question is: Where do people come from who want to relocate to the U.S.? China has 22 million adults who want to permanently relocate to the U.S., followed by Nigeria (15 million), India (10 million), Bangladesh (8 million) and Brazil (7 million). The Gallup report goes on to make the remarkable finding that “despite large numbers of people in China, Nigeria, and India who want to migrate permanently to the U.S., these countries are not necessarily the places where the U.S. is the most desired destination. Gallup found that more than three in 10 adults in Liberia (37 percent) and Sierra Leone (30 percent) would move permanently to the U.S. if they had the opportunity. More than 20 percent of adults in the Dominican Republic (26 percent), Haiti (24 percent), and Cambodia (22 percent) also say the same.” That’s truly remarkable in the cases of Liberia and Sierra Leone, where one-third of the people would leave. That’s equivalent to 105 million Americans wanting to relocate to another country.

The Gallup poll made no mention of the countries to which people would least like to relocate. But I’m guessing that most of them would be on Freedom House’s list of the least free places in the world, such as Uzbekistan, Georgia, China, Turkmenistan, Chad, Cuba and North Korea.

I’m wondering how the hate-America/blame-America-first crowd might explain the fact that so many people in the world, if they had a chance, would permanently relocate here. Maybe it’s that they haven’t been exposed to enough U.S. university professors.
389  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Truth About Robert Spencer... on: October 21, 2013, 08:13:13 AM
The Truth about Robert Spencer

Posted By On October 21, 2013 @

The charge: Both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League have labeled the group that Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller founded as an anti-Muslim hate group.

The facts: Robert Spencer is no more “anti-Muslim” than foes of the Nazis were “anti-German.” It has become common, because of the efforts of Islamic supremacist and Leftist groups, to equate resistance to jihad terror with “hate,” but there is no substance to this. Spencer’s work has been entirely dedicated to defending the freedom of speech and the principle of equality of rights for all people before the law.

The SPLC keeps tabs on neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups. And that is good. But the implication of their hate group label is that the group that Spencer and Geller founded, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, is another one of those, which is false. While the SPLC may have done good work in the 1960s against white racists, in recent years it has become a mere propaganda organ for the Left, tarring any group that dissents from its extreme political agenda as a “hate group.” Significantly, although it lists hundreds of groups as “hate groups,” it includes not a single  Islamic jihad group on this list. And its “hate group” designation against the Family Research Council led one of its followers to storm the FRC offices with a gun, determined to murder the chief of the FRC. This shows that these kinds of charges shouldn’t be thrown around frivolously, as tools to demonize and marginalize those whose politics the SPLC dislikes. But that is exactly what they do. Its hard-Left leanings are well known and well documented. This Weekly Standard article sums up much of what is wrong with the SPLC.

The ADL traffics in the same reckless defamation. They have libeled the preeminent lawyer and orthodox Jew David Yerushalmi as an “extremist,” an “anti-Muslim bigot” and a “white supremacist.” The ADL has even condemned Israel for fighting anti-Semitism. According to Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance: “The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) – biggest Jewish ‘defense’ organization — admits in private that the biggest danger to Jews since WWII comes from Muslim Jew-hatred, but because it fears offending its liberal donors and being charged with ‘Islamophobia,’ the organization remains essentially silent on the issue. In a study of ADL press releases from 1995 to 2011– a good if not perfect indicator of ADL priorities – we found that only 3 percent of ADL’s press releases focus on Islamic extremism and Arab anti-Semitism.” (For the full study, see

The ADL has defamed many people. The ADL was successfully sued for over $10 million for defaming a Colorado couple, whom they accused of bigotry. The judgment was confirmed by every court that reviewed it, and was ultimately paid by the ADL. This was the largest defamation judgment in the history of the State of Colorado — paid by the Anti-Defamation League.

The charge: Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller were both banned from Britain because of their founding of “anti-Muslim hate groups.”

The facts: The letter to Spencer from the UK Home Office said he was banned for saying: “[Islam] is a religion and is a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose for establishing a societal model that is absolutely incompatible with Western society because media and general government unwillingness to face the sources of Islamic terrorism these things remain largely unknown.” This is a garbled version of what Spencer actually said, which is that Islam in its traditional formulations and core texts mandates warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers. This is not actually a controversial point to anyone who has studied Islam. Imran Ahsan Khan Nyazee, Assistant Professor on the faculty of Shari’ah and Law of the International Islamic University in Islamabad, in his 1994 book The Methodology of Ijtihad quotes the twelfth century Maliki jurist Ibn Rushd: “Muslim jurists agreed that the purpose of fighting with the People of the Book…is one of two things: it is either their conversion to Islam or the payment of jizyah.” Nyazee concludes: “This leaves no doubt that the primary goal of the Muslim community, in the eyes of its jurists, is to spread the word of Allah through jihad, and the option of poll-tax [jizya] is to be exercised only after subjugation” of non-Muslims.

A Shafi’i manual of Islamic law endorsed by the most prestigious institution in Sunni Islam, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, says that the leader of the Muslims “makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians…until they become Muslim or else pay the non-Muslim poll tax,” and cites Qur’an 9:29 in support of this idea: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden-who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book-until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled.” [‘Umdat al-Salik o9.8]

Also, the assumption that the British government is fair, consistent, and judicious in such judgments is false. Just days before Spencer and Geller were banned, the British government admitted Saudi Sheikh Mohammed al-Arefe. Al-Arefe has said: “Devotion to jihad for the sake of Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls, and to sever limbs for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for the believer. Allah said that if a man fights the infidels, the infidels will be unable to prepare to fight.”

That was acceptable in Britain. Spencer’s work, which has consistently been in defense of human rights, was not. He has never advocated for or condoned violence. Spencer and Geller are challenging this capricious decision and are confident they will prevail.

The charge: Robert Spencer inspired the Norwegian terrorist mass murder Anders Behring Breivik, who cited Spencer many times in his manifesto.

The facts: This charge is meant to imply that Spencer calls for violence and that Breivik heeded his call. This is absolutely false. In all his quotations of Spencer, Breivik never quotes him calling for or justifying violence – because he never does. In fact, Breivik even criticized him for not doing so, saying of Spencer, historian Bat Ye’or and other critics of jihad terror: “If these authors are to [sic] scared to propagate a conservative revolution and armed resistance then other authors will have to.” (Breivik, 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, p. 743) Breivik explains in his manifesto that he was “radicalized” by his experiences with Muslim immigrants in the early 1990s, before Spencer had published anything about Islam (See Breivik, p. 1348).

Breivik also hesitantly but unmistakably recommended making common cause with jihadists, which neither Spencer nor any other opponent of jihad would ever do: “An alliance with the Jihadists might prove beneficial to both parties but will simply be too dangerous (and might prove to be ideologically counter-productive). We both share one common goal.” (Breivik, p. 948). He even called for making common cause with Hamas in plotting jihad terror: “Approach a representative from a Jihadi Salafi group. Get in contact with a Jihadi strawman. Present your terms and have him forward them to his superiors….Present your offer. They are asked to provide a biological compound manufactured by Muslim scientists in the Middle East. Hamas and several Jihadi groups have labs and they have the potential to provide such substances. Their problem is finding suitable martyrs who can pass ‘screenings’ in Western Europe. This is where we come in. We will smuggle it in to the EU and distribute it at a target of our choosing. We must give them assurances that we are not to harm any Muslims etc.” (Breivik, p. 949)

Investigative journalist and author Daniel Greenfield explained:

Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic goes so far as to call a prominent researcher into Islamic terrorism, Robert Spencer, a jihadist. The Washington Post admits that Spencer and other researchers are not responsible for the shootings, but sneers nonetheless. And the New York Times and a number of other outlets have picked and touted the “64 times” that Spencer was quoted in the shooter’s manifesto…

The “64 times” cited by the Times and its imitators reflects lazy research since the majority of those quotes actually come from a single document, where Spencer is quoted side by side with Tony Blair and Condoleezza Rice….

Many of the other Spencer quotes are actually secondhand from essays written by Fjordman that also incorporate selections of quotes on Islam and its historical background. Rather than Breivik quoting Spencer, he is actually quoting Fjordman who is quoting Spencer.

Quite often, Robert Spencer is quoted providing historical background on Islam and quotes from the Koran and the Hadith. So, it’s actually Fjordman quoting Spencer quoting the Koran. If the media insists that Fjordman is an extremist and Spencer is an extremist — then isn’t the Koran also extremist?

And if the Koran isn’t extremist, then how could quoting it be extremist?

The New York Times would have you believe that secondhand quotes like these from Spencer turned Breivik into a raging madman….

Breivik was driven by fantasies of seizing power, combined with steroid abuse and escapism. He used quotes from researchers into terrorism to pad out his schizophrenic worldview, combined with fantasies of multiple terrorist cells and an eventual rise to power.

This is not so different from lunatics who picked up a copy of “Catcher in the Rye” and then set off to kill a celebrity. A not uncommon event, for which J.D. Salinger bears no responsibility whatsoever.

The charge: Robert Spencer denies the Srebrenica genocide and justifies Serbian war crimes against Muslims.

The facts: This charge implies that Spencer approves of violence against innocent Muslims, which is absolutely false. It is based on two (out of over 40,000) articles published at Jihad Watch in 2005 and 2009 questioning whether the massacre of Muslim civilians in Srebrenica in 1995, which was unquestionably heinous, rises to the level of an attempt to exterminate an entire people. Neither was written by Spencer and neither approves of the killing of Muslims or anyone. In ”Srebrenica as Genocide? The Krstić Decision and the Language of the Unspeakable,” published in the Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal, Vol. VIII in 2005, Katherine G. Southwick writes:

In August 2001, a trial chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) handed down the tribunal’s first genocide conviction. In this landmark case, Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstić, the trial chamber determined that the 1995 Srebrenica massacres—in which Bosnian Serb forces executed 7,000-8,000 Bosnian Muslim men—constituted genocide. This Note acknowledges the need for a dramatic expression of moral outrage at the most terrible massacre in Europe since the Second World War. However, this Note also challenges the genocide finding. By excluding consideration of the perpetrators’ motives for killing the men, such as seeking to eliminate a military threat, the Krstić chamber’s method for finding specific intent to destroy the Bosnian Muslims, in whole or in part, was incomplete. The chamber also loosely construed other terms in the genocide definition, untenably broadening the meaning and application of the crime. The chamber’s interpretation of genocide in turn has problematic implications for the tribunal, enforcement of international humanitarian law, and historical accuracy. Thus highlighting instances where inquiry into motives may be relevant to genocide determinations, this Note ultimately argues for preserving distinctions between genocide and crimes against humanity, while simultaneously expanding the legal obligation to act to mass crimes that lack proof of genocidal intent

If Spencer is guilty of “genocide denial,” so also is the Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal. In reality, neither are. The raising of legitimate questions does not constitute either the denial or the excusing of the evils that Serbian forces perpetrated at Srebrenica or anywhere else.

The charge: Robert Spencer blames all Muslims for the crimes of Islamic jihad terrorists who are condemned by the vast majority of peaceful Muslims.

The facts: This charge is never accompanied by any quote from Robert Spencer, because it has no basis in reality whatsoever. He has never blamed all Muslims for the crimes of jihad terrorists. He has called upon peaceful Muslims to acknowledge the fact that Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism, and to take action to mitigate the ability of these texts to incite violence. This call has not generally been heeded.

The charge: Spencer has argued that there is no distinction between American Muslims and radical, violent jihadists.

The facts: What Spencer actually said was that U.S. Muslim organizations have been slow to expel violent jihadists or report their activities, and so they move freely among peaceful Muslims. He was referring to the fact that there is no institutional distinction between Muslims who reject jihad terror and those who embrace, so jihadis move freely in Muslim circles among those who oppose them and claim to do so. In other words, there are no “Islamic supremacist” mosques and “moderate” mosques. There are just mosques, and there are both peaceful Muslims and jihadis in some of them. The Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston Marathon in April 2013, were members in good standing of the Islamic Society of Boston. The Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s most vocal Muslim organization, has counseled Muslims in the U.S. not to speak to the FBI.

The charge: Spencer and Pamela Geller sponsored ads that equated all Muslims with savages.

The facts: In reality, the ad said: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.” The savages to which the ad was referring, obviously, were those jihadis who have massacred innocent Israeli civilians such as the Fogel family and celebrated those massacres.

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390  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islamic Countries "Testing" for Homosexuality... on: October 10, 2013, 06:39:19 AM
Here is Robert Spencer's post quoting an article in the Daily Mail - Rush Limbaugh also quoted this article on his show on Tuesday.  Of course - there is no such "test," but these barbarians are claiming to have one, and to be using it to prevent homo travelers from entering their countries.

Why is it that I don't hear a peep from "gay activists" in the U.S. about this?  They love to scream about "oppression" of gays here.  Meanwhile - within this article is a list of Middle Eastern countries that mete out the death penalty for homosexuality.

As Robert facetiously asks in his post:  "Hmmmmm, what do all these countries have in common?"  But - I've been called a "bigot" here in Atlanta by gay people simply for suggesting that Islam oppresses gays, women, and non-believers. Sadly, "mainstream" - otherwise known as liberal or idiotic - gay organizations continue to defend Islam, or at a minimum stay silent about it.  NOTABLY - Israel welcomes gay people and has a large population of open gay couples, who are even allowed to adopt children.  Israel is the ONLY Middle Eastern country where homosexuals don't have to live in fear for their lives.  See below:

391  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's PURPOSEFUL Weakening of the United States... on: September 11, 2013, 07:37:15 AM
Obama's Successful Foreign Failure

The president may look incompetent on Syria. But his behavior fits his strategy to weaken America abroad.
By NORMAN PODHORETZ - September 8, 2013

It is entirely understandable that Barack Obama's way of dealing with Syria in recent weeks should have elicited responses ranging from puzzlement to disgust. Even members of his own party are despairingly echoing in private the public denunciations of him as "incompetent," "bungling," "feckless," "amateurish" and "in over his head" coming from his political opponents on the right.

For how else to characterize a president who declares war against what he calls a great evil demanding immediate extirpation and in the next breath announces that he will postpone taking action for at least 10 days—and then goes off to play golf before embarking on a trip to another part of the world? As if this were not enough, he also assures the perpetrator of that great evil that the military action he will eventually take will last a very short time and will do hardly any damage. Unless, that is, he fails to get the unnecessary permission he has sought from Congress, in which case (according to an indiscreet member of his own staff) he might not take any military action after all.

Getty Images
President Obama on Friday at the G-20 economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Summing up the net effect of all this, as astute a foreign observer as Conrad Black can flatly say that, "Not since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, and before that the fall of France in 1940, has there been so swift an erosion of the world influence of a Great Power as we are witnessing with the United States."

Yet if this is indeed the pass to which Mr. Obama has led us—and I think it is—let me suggest that it signifies not how incompetent and amateurish the president is, but how skillful. His foreign policy, far from a dismal failure, is a brilliant success as measured by what he intended all along to accomplish. The accomplishment would not have been possible if the intention had been too obvious. The skill lies in how effectively he has used rhetorical tricks to disguise it.

The key to understanding what Mr. Obama has pulled off is the astonishing statement he made in the week before being elected president: "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America." To those of us who took this declaration seriously, it meant that Mr. Obama really was the left-wing radical he seemed to be, given his associations with the likes of the anti-American preacher Jeremiah Wright and the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, not to mention the intellectual influence over him of Saul Alinsky, the original "community organizer."

So far as domestic affairs were concerned, it soon became clear—even to some of those who had persuaded themselves that Mr. Obama was a moderate and a pragmatist—that the fundamental transformation he had in mind was to turn this country into as close a replica of the social-democratic countries of Europe as the constraints of our political system allowed.

Since he had enough support for the policies that this objective entailed, those constraints were fairly loose, and so he only needed a minimum of rhetorical deception in pursuing it. All it took was to deny he was doing what he was doing by frequently singing the praises of the free-enterprise system he was assiduously working to undermine, by avoiding the word "socialism," by invoking "fairness" as an overriding ideal and by playing on resentment of the "rich."

But foreign policy was another matter. As a left-wing radical, Mr. Obama believed that the United States had almost always been a retrograde and destructive force in world affairs. Accordingly, the fundamental transformation he wished to achieve here was to reduce the country's power and influence. And just as he had to fend off the still-toxic socialist label at home, so he had to take care not to be stuck with the equally toxic "isolationist" label abroad.

This he did by camouflaging his retreats from the responsibilities bred by foreign entanglements as a new form of "engagement." At the same time, he relied on the war-weariness of the American people and the rise of isolationist sentiment (which, to be sure, dared not speak its name) on the left and right to get away with drastic cuts in the defense budget, with exiting entirely from Iraq and Afghanistan, and with "leading from behind" or using drones instead of troops whenever he was politically forced into military action.

The consequent erosion of American power was going very nicely when the unfortunately named Arab Spring presented the president with several juicy opportunities to speed up the process. First in Egypt, his incoherent moves resulted in a complete loss of American influence, and now, thanks to his handling of the Syrian crisis, he is bringing about a greater diminution of American power than he probably envisaged even in his wildest radical dreams.

For this fulfillment of his dearest political wishes, Mr. Obama is evidently willing to pay the price of a sullied reputation. In that sense, he is by his own lights sacrificing himself for what he imagines is the good of the nation of which he is the president, and also to the benefit of the world, of which he loves proclaiming himself a citizen.

The problem for Mr. Obama is that at least since the end of World War II, Americans have taken pride in being No. 1. Unless the American people have been as fundamentally transformed as their country is quickly becoming, America's decline will not sit well. With more than three years in office to go, will Mr. Obama be willing and able to endure the continuing erosion of his popularity that will almost certainly come with the erosion of the country's power and influence?

No doubt he will either deny that anything has gone wrong, or failing that, he will resort to his favorite tactic of blaming others—Congress or the Republicans or Rush Limbaugh. But what is also almost certain is that he will refuse to change course and do the things that will be necessary to restore U.S. power and influence.

And so we can only pray that the hole he will go on digging will not be too deep for his successor to pull us out, as Ronald Reagan managed to do when he followed a president into the White House whom Mr. Obama so uncannily resembles.

Mr. Podhoretz was the editor of Commentary from 1960-95. His most recent book is "Why Are Jews Liberals?" (Doubleday, 2009).
392  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Senator McCain's Ignorance and Arrogance... on: September 04, 2013, 07:49:52 AM
John McCain and ‘Allahu Akbar’

Posted By Robert Spencer On September 4, 2013 @

Tuesday morning, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) got a bit hot under the collar when Brian Kilmeade of Fox News noted that the Syrian rebels whom Barack Obama and McCain want to aid militarily were shouting “Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar!” as rockets hit Syrian government offices. McCain’s response to Kilmeade demonstrated not only his ignorance of Islam, but his abysmal misjudgment of what is happening in Syria. And on the basis of that ignorance, he is aiding Obama’s rush to yet another war.

“I have a problem,” Kilmeade said, “helping those people screaming that after a hit.” That incensed McCain, who shot back: “Would you have a problem with an American or Christians saying ‘thank God? Thank God?’ That’s what they’re saying. Come on! Of course they’re Muslims, but they’re moderates and I guarantee you they are moderates.”

Wrong on all counts. In the first place, it does not mean “thank God,” as McCain seems to have affirmed when he said, “That’s what they’re saying.” Allahu akbar means “Allah is greater” – not, as it is often translated, “God is great.” The significance of this is enormous, as it is essentially a proclamation of superiority and supremacism. Allah is greater – than any of the gods of the infidels, and Islam is superior to all other religions. states this obliquely: “Allahu akbar implies that God is superior to all tangible and intangible, temporal and celestial beings.” This may seem to be an innocuous theological statement until one recalls that Islam has always had a political aspect, and Islamic jihadists always shout “Allahu akbar” when attacking infidels. It is a declaration of the superiority of their god and their way of life over those of their victims. 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta also stated that it was meant to make the infidels afraid. He wrote instructions to jihadists that were found in his baggage: “Shout, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers.”

In equating this war cry, which we recently saw Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members shouting as they destroyed a church and tore off its cross, with “thank God,” McCain was manifesting the moral equivalence that is not only fashionable these days, but required for acceptance into polite society. Only wretched “Islamophobes” don’t accept the mainstream media and government dogma that Christianity is just as likely as Islam to incite its adherents to violence. That there aren’t any Christians anywhere shouting “thank God” as they fire rockets at anyone doesn’t deter McCain from making this equivalence. Religious dogmas, and that’s what the idea that Christianity and Islam are equally violent is, are not subject to the same standards of evidentiary proof as are more mundane realities.

And he guarantees that the Syrian rebels are moderates? This is the John McCain who, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star, “was unwittingly photographed with a known affiliate of the rebel group responsible for the kidnapping of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims one year ago, during a brief and highly publicized visit inside Syria” in May.

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers later tried to do damage control for this disastrous photo-op, saying: “A number of the Syrians who greeted Senator McCain upon his arrival in Syria asked to take pictures with him, and as always, the Senator complied. If the individual photographed with Senator McCain is in fact Mohamed Nour [the kidnapper], that is regrettable. But it would be ludicrous to suggest that the Senator in any way condones the kidnapping of Lebanese Shia pilgrims or has any communication with those responsible.”

Fair enough. Accidents will happen. Mistakes will be made. But at the time that the picture was taken, McCain didn’t treat it as if it had been some random and meaningless photo-op with people he didn’t know. Instead, on May 28, he tweeted out the photo and added: “Important visit with brave fighters in #Syria who are risking their lives for freedom and need our help.” Accordingly, it is ludicrous for McCain to be insisting now that “they’re moderates and I guarantee you they are moderates” when he and/or his staff were so out of touch in May that he may have been photographed with a Sunni jihad terrorist. He has already demonstrated his inability to distinguish Syrian “moderates” from “extremists.” So why should we trust him now?

What’s more, while McCain is guaranteeing that the Syrian rebels are moderates, the New York Times reported months ago that “nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.” The situation of the secularists has not improved since then. And the Long War Journal reported on June 29 that the Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, which is “al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria,” has “cooperated with Free Syrian Army units to establish sharia, or Islamic law, in Aleppo and in eastern Syria.” What is the Free Syrian Army? McCain’s moderates: “the US government is backing the Free Syrian Army despite the group’s known ties to the Al Nusrah Front.”

McCain’s appalling ignorance and Obama’s ongoing enthusiasm for all things Muslim Brotherhood, including the Syrian opposition, are leading the U.S. into disaster. McCain, as a leader of the Republican Party, ought to be articulating a coherent and rational alternative to Obama’s potentially catastrophic adventurism and rush to intervene in Syria despite lacking a clear goal and genuine allies on the ground within the country. Instead, he and John Boehner and the rest of the Republican establishment are falling over themselves to see who can say “Me too” to Barack Obama fast enough.

What America needs most in these dark days of fantasy-based policymaking is a loyal opposition. But that is the one thing we do not have. Not in any effective sense, as our warships wait in the Mediterranean for the signal to start firing on Syria, with enthusiastic bipartisan support.
393  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Boehner Caves Once Again... on: September 04, 2013, 07:39:27 AM
Boehner’s Syria Surrender

Posted By Matthew Vadum On September 4, 2013 @

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated yesterday he trusts President Obama to carry out military strikes against Syrian government targets as punishment for that government’s alleged use of poison gas against its own citizens.

“The use of these weapons has to be responded to, and only the U.S. has the capability,” Boehner said after President Obama feted him at the White House. “I’m going to support the president’s call for action and I believe my colleagues should support this call for action.”

Boehner’s decision is already hurting his standing in his own political party, further embittering rank-and-file conservatives who accuse him of being a weak leader. Boehner’s action amounts to siding with the same administration that lied its way into war in Libya, tried to cover up the deadly fiasco in Benghazi, Libya, and that even now sides with the Islamofascist terrorists of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

On Aug. 31, with his approval ratings and second-term agenda in tatters, President Obama said ”after careful deliberation, I have decided that the United States should take military action against Syrian regime targets.”

It will not be “an open-ended intervention” and there would be no “boots on the ground,” he said. “I’m confident we can hold the Assad regime accountable for their use of chemical weapons, deter this kind of behavior, and degrade their capacity to carry it out.”

“What message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price?”

After Obama described himself inaccurately as “president of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy” –the U.S. is a constitutional republic, not a democracy– he said he would ask Congress for authorization to use force overseas.

Although Obama said he believes he already possesses “the authority to carry out this military action without specific congressional authorization, I know that the country will be stronger if we take this course, and our actions will be even more effective.”

“We should have this debate,” he said, “because the issues are too big for business as usual. And this morning, John Boehner, [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell agreed that this is the right thing to do for our democracy. ”

After months of heel-dragging, the administration said several weeks ago that Syria’s government crossed the much-vaunted “red line” President Obama laid down for U.S. action in that regime’s two year war against opposition forces. Obama said last summer that if Syria used chemical weapons such an action would be a “game-changer” for the United States.

Pundit Charles Krauthammer said Obama isn’t seeking congressional approval now because he holds lofty principles:

His respect for the separation of powers and for the role of Congress is rather minimal, as he showed with suspension of provisions of health care, the creation of the DREAM Act and one executive fiat by suspending half of the immigration laws.

Look, this isn’t a sudden stroke of constitutionalism. This is simply expediency and delay. The problem is not that he’s not selling his strategy. It’s that he doesn’t have a strategy. And that’s the reason everybody, left, right, and center, has no idea what he’s doing. He zigzagged left and right. He telegraphs he’s going to strike, he does nothing. He calls on the Congress and then goes off and plays golf when his secretary of state had given a speech the day before with remarkable urgency and passion.

More likely Obama is trying to divide the Republican Party internally and get the GOP associated with what promises to be a disastrous foreign policy move.

As Obama adviser David Axelrod gloated on Twitter, “Big move by [president of the United States]. Consistent with his principles. Congress is now the dog that caught the car. Should be a fascinating week!” Obama knows that throwing the issue to Congress should take the GOP’s focus off the much more important legislative battles of the weeks ahead.

Obama and his advisers also know they can count on friendly media outlets to spin whatever transpires overseas in the administration’s favor.

Obama’s determination to win congressional approval comes after British Prime Minister David Cameron’s government suffered a humiliating defeat in the House of Commons. Considering how badly Obama has treated the British since taking office, it’s not all that surprising that a resolution authorizing the use of British military might in the proposed U.S.-led Syrian adventure was defeated in Parliament last week in a vote of 285 to 272.

Meanwhile, Obama’s plan to assault Syrian government targets was also embraced yesterday by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

Despite the endorsements, Obama still faces an “uphill battle” for congressional support, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.

That there will be much of a battle in Congress is difficult to believe. According to Bloomberg News, “no U.S. president has ever been turned down by Congress when asking to use military force.”

Boehner’s entirely predictable move is just the latest in a long series of unnecessary capitulations by the famously conflict-averse lawmaker. It very likely foreshadows Boehner’s approaching cave-ins on raising the national debt ceiling, Obamacare funding, and immigration reform.

Some conservatives have offered half-hearted endorsements of the enterprise. Others say Obama must attack Syria to maintain U.S. prestige.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says the U.S. must hit Syria to remain credible as a superpower, an argument rejected by foreign policy veteran Andrew McCarthy. “No matter how wrong [McCain] is, the Republicans seem to line up behind him,” McCarthy said on Mark Levin’s radio show last night.

There are always going to be plenty of double-level, Realpolitik, chess-player justifications for intervening in a place like Syria but in the end it is unclear how attacking the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will serve America’s national interests.

Assad is aligned with the Islamists in Iran and the opposition to his regime consists largely of Islamists themselves. There is no silver lining to U.S. involvement in Syria. The Middle East is a mess as it more or less always has been.

And it is unclear how bombing government targets in Syria will serve any larger purpose — political, strategic, or humanitarian.

At a congressional hearing yesterday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey was unable to explain what the administration hoped to accomplish by attacking Syria.

“What is it you’re seeking?” asked Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.).

“I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking,” Dempsey said.
394  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Senator McCain's Willful Ignorance/Stupidity... on: September 03, 2013, 04:16:08 PM
And note well that the media, other than Fox News, is praising McCain for "shaming" Kilmeade.  How sickening.  If we can't even identify the enemy, we are toast.  Sadly, this administration is in sympathy with the Muslim Brotherhood - as I mentioned earlier.  McCain seems to be a useful idiot in my estimation.  There are reports claiming that Obama is secretly a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.  This wouldn't surprise me at all - but neither does it really matter.  He is acting as if he is one of them.
395  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / In reply to Crafty... on: September 03, 2013, 11:05:05 AM
GM's post below is right on the money.  However, I don't think he goes far enough.  We have a President who has neither the will nor the determination to do what needs to be done regarding Iran, and should have been done decades ago.  There are no "good guys" to support in Syria.  If we back the rebels, we are backing Al-Qaeda.

Lindsey Graham and John McCain long ago lost their grip on reality.  If they think they are going to get any sort of agreement from Obama which he will honor - they are truly psychotic.  Obama doesn't want to do anything meaningful in Syria.  I believe he is in sympathy with the Muslim Brotherhood.  Many previous administrations have by their inaction led us to the point where Obama will either by action or inaction cause the Middle East to ignite.

So - we are left with the ugly consequences of a powder keg region set to explode - quite possibly into another World War.  Iran will not stop when it gets nukes (and it is only a matter of time, if they don't already have them) with nuking Israel.  We will be a target as well.  Just as with WWII - the United States is going to be drawn into this war whether it wants to or not.  We will be attacked - whether by an EMP or a direct nuclear assault.  If anyone thinks either Obama or this impotent Congress is going to do ANYTHING effective to stop this - they had better put down the crack pipe.
396  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How Obama Plans to Benefit from the Syrian Political Fight... on: September 02, 2013, 10:54:22 PM
Obama’s Plan to Blame Syria on Congress

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On September 2, 2013 @

Obama’s belated agreement to take the Syrian strikes before Congress, while asserting that he will not be bound by whatever Congress decides, buys him a convenient exit strategy.

The Congress trap will let Obama opt out of an attack that he is ambivalent about while blaming Republicans for destroying American credibility. Even now the progressive spin machine is roaring into action and denouncing Congress for not immediately returning to session to consider Obama’s plan.

Considering that Obama waited for two years before deciding to bomb Syria, it seems ridiculously hypocritical of his political palace guard to denounce Congress for not immediately springing into action; but hypocrisy is hardly an obstacle for a Democratic Party that dramatically reversed its position on Iraq and now once again favors unilateral wars over WMDs.

Obama’s Rose Garden speech baited the trap with its warning to Congress to avoid partisan politics.

“I ask you, members of Congress, to consider that some things are more important than partisan differences or the politics of the moment. Ultimately, this is not about who occupies this office at any given time; it’s about who we are as a country. I believe that the people’s representatives must be invested in what America does abroad,” Obama said.

That is the Catch 22 trap. Either Congress adopts an unpopular attack in order to do the supposedly responsible thing or it gets accused of sabotaging American credibility for partisan politics and is held responsible for a great many dead children.

Obama prefers creating Alinskyite political traps for his opponents over doing the responsible thing. And his favorite trap is the one that shifts the blame for his irresponsibility to the Congressional Republicans who have been his favorite target ever since Bush retired to paint dog pictures.

Either Congress “invests” in Obama’s war and immunizes him from criticism by the Republican Party. Or Obama opts out of the war and blames Republican obstructionism for undermining American credibility abroad while splitting the Republican Party between interventionists and non-interventionists.

Obama’s speech and the distorted media coverage of it have given the impression that Congress gets the final say and that Republicans either have to give Obama a blank check on Syria or get the blame. These are the same cynical tactics that Obama has employed on the economy.

When faced with a difficult political choice, Obama’s natural instinct is to find someone to blame and to use that blame to sow division among his enemies while escaping responsibility for his own disaster.

On the debt ceiling, Obama self-righteously insisted that he would not allow Congress to avoid “paying our bills”. The bills were actually his bills, but he frequently uses the singular possessive pronoun for things that he believes that he controls but does not own, like the United States military, but shifts over to the plural possessive pronoun when trying to avoid responsibility for things that he should own up to.

“Now is the time to show the world that America keeps our commitments,” Obama said in the Rose Garden. But America had made no such collective commitments. Congress certainly had not.

When avoiding responsibility, Obama uses “Our”  to mean “Mine”.  What he really means is that having made a mess of Syria, he intends to dump the problem on Congress and make it “our problem” while still keeping all of his options open.

Once Congress begins debating Syria, the media will spin it as “partisanship” and an inability to reach a decision while contrasting that unfavorably with the decisiveness that led Obama to announce that his red line had been crossed some months later. Congress will be lambasted in editorials and cartoons for being unable to make a decision while Syrian children are dying.

Congress can give Obama the option of staying out of Syria while scoring political points. And that is why the Republican Party has to be careful when navigating these treacherous political currents.

Americans largely oppose intervention in Syria. So do most other countries. The Republican Party should not undermine its 2014 prospects by rubber stamping an unpopular military campaign that will raise Obama’s profile and reward Al Qaeda. But it should also avoid giving the appearance of irresponsibility that the media will be looking to seize on.

The best way to blunt the push for war is to ask the tough questions about the links between Al Qaeda and the Free Syrian Army, why so little attention is being paid to chemical weapons manufacture by the Al Nusra Front and whether the strikes will actually destroy Assad’s WMD stockpiles or whether they are only meant as the symbolic gesture that some officials have said that they will be.

Obama has said that he does not intend to intervene in the war or to implement regime change by military means. These assertions would be more credible if he were not arming the Syrian rebels and if he were willing to carry out drone strikes against Al Nusra Front leaders, instead of limiting the attack to the Syrian military, implicitly favoring the operatives of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Mitt Romney failed to be fully prepared when challenging Obama’s Libyan War narrative. Republicans should learn from his mistake.

Benghazi was the outcome of Obama’s Libyan War. Republicans failed to hold him accountable for that. Now Obama has thrown another war with even more dangerous implications into the lap of Congress while hoping that it will blow up in their faces.

The debate will provide a national forum to question whether we should be picking a side in this war. The interventionists will point to photos of dead children, a staple of regional conflicts, but Republicans should instead ask the hard questions about the number of dead and exiled Christians at the hands of the Islamist militias we will be fighting to protect. And they should even call on some of them to testify.

In Libya, Obama claimed that the humanitarian plight of the people of Benghazi required urgent military intervention, but it was really the Islamist militias of Benghazi that he was worried about. In Syria, any strikes will be conducted on behalf of the same Islamist militias scrambling to hold on to cities that were once full of Christians, but are now run by Sunni Islamic Jihadists implementing Islamic law at gunpoint.

Obama intends to use Syria as a weapon in a political power struggle against the United States Congress, but it’s also an opening for exposing his Muslim Brotherhood alliances and the wisdom of his Muslim Brotherhood regime change operations in Syria and Egypt.
397  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / U.S. Military Being Indoctrinated to Oppose Conservative Groups... on: September 02, 2013, 10:39:28 PM
Conservative Enemies of the State

Posted By Matthew Vadum On September 2, 2013 @

Conservative organizations are “hate groups” and Tea Party supporters are potentially dangerous extremists, according to educational materials the Obama administration is using to indoctrinate members of the nation’s armed forces.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request made by good-government group Judicial Watch, the Pentagon recently released 133 pages of lesson plans and PowerPoint slides provided by the Air Force from a January 2013 Defense Department diversity training center “student guide” entitled “Extremism.”

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton slammed the Department of Defense documents for what he described as their bias against conservatives.

“The Obama administration has a nasty habit of equating basic conservative values with terrorism. And now, in a document full of claptrap, its Defense Department suggests that the Founding Fathers, and many conservative Americans, would not be welcome in today’s military,” said Fitton.

And it is striking that some of the language in this new document echoes the IRS targeting language of conservative and Tea Party investigations. After reviewing this document, one can’t help but worry for the future and morale of our nation’s armed forces.

The DoD materials not only take aim at modern conservative groups but label America’s Founding Fathers as extremists who would be unfit to serve in today’s military.

The teaching guide advises that instead of “dressing in sheets,” radicals today “will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.” American patriots who fought for Independence from the United Kingdom in the 1700s are identified as adhering to “extremist ideologies.”

“In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements,” the document states. “The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”

This language mirrors what the public is now being fed by the mainstream media. The term “neo-Confederate” is increasingly used by journalists and leftists as an epithet to smear anyone who doesn’t long for an all-powerful federal government unconstrained by the Constitution.

For example, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid said a few days ago that supporters of the Second Amendment draw their inspiration from the antebellum, slave-holding South. “There’s this sort of neo-Confederate thread that runs through this pro-gun movement and NRA movement,” she said in a discussion about gun control.

The DoD teaching guide treats Islamic terrorism as insignificant, ignoring, for example, the murder spree committed by self-described “soldier of Allah,” U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, at Fort Hood in 2009. The guide references Islamic extremism only in passing and doesn’t provide a precise definition for extremism. “[W]hile not all extremist groups are hate groups, all hate groups are extremist groups,” it states.

Curiously, at times the materials blather on almost incomprehensibly, using psychobabble to alert soldiers to the supposed perils posed by extremists.

The materials repeatedly refer to extremists as “haters,” an urban colloquialism that appears in hip hop music and in humorous graphic art posted on the Internet. The pseudoscientific materials also discuss the “seven stages that hate groups go through.”

It is as if the authors are winking at each other, acknowledging that what they’re writing is nonsense.

But the tone elsewhere in the teaching guide is deadly serious. It advises soldiers to rely on the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center as a resource in identifying hate groups.

A 2006 report from the SPLC claimed –improbably– that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”

The SPLC is a leftist attack machine funded by George Soros. After it labeled the conservative Family Research Council a “hate group,” a gay rights activist shot up FRC headquarters in Washington, D.C. in a terrorist attack in 2011. FRC president Tony Perkins blamed the “hate group” designation for the attack, saying the gunman “was given a license to shoot … by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center has been at this game a long time, making money by sliming conservatives. It is so fabulously wealthy that it stashes cash in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, two of those tax haven countries the Left keeps complaining about. In addition to those foreign accounts, in its most recent publicly available tax return (for the year ended Oct. 31, 2012), the SPLC discloses gross receipts of $46.8 million that year and an absolutely astounding $256.5 million in net assets.

Many hardcore left-wingers don’t take the SPLC seriously. It was mocked by the far-left Nation magazine’s JoAnn Wypijewski who described its founder, Morris Dees, as a “millionaire huckster.”

The SPLC lumps all sorts of groups on America’s political Right together, labeling them enemies of the Republic. Conservative, libertarian, anti-tax, immigration reductionist and other groups are all viewed as legitimate targets for vilification. To the SPLC, you practice “hate” whenever you fail to genuflect with politically correct reverence before every human difference.

According to Mark Potok of the SPLC, even everyday symbols are secret amulets of hate. He describes the Gadsden flag, a yellow-colored flag that bears the phrase “Don’t tread on me” and features a coiled rattlesnake ready to strike placed above the phrase “Don’t tread on me,” is a symbol of hate that in “contemporary society [is] the flag of the militia movement.” The flag says “Don’t mess with us,” and implies, “Don’t mess with us at the point of a gun,” says Potok.

In fact the Gadsden flag, a favorite of Tea Party supporters, has been used by the U.S. Marines and Navy since 1775. In 2002 the secretary of the Navy ordered that a variation of it, the rattlesnake jack, be flown on all U.S. Navy ships for the duration of the Global War on Terror. The order has not been rescinded by the Obama administration. Perhaps Potok didn’t get the memo from his leftist friends in the White House.

Since taking office in 2009, the Obama administration has been on a relentless drive to stigmatize and delegitimize opposing points of view. The latest assault on American values comes from the same administration that instructed Department of Homeland Security officials to treat conservatives and libertarians as potential terrorists.

It’s also the same rogue regime that goes out of its way not to label actual Islamic terrorists as terrorists, that calls terrorist attacks “man-caused disasters,” and refers to the Global War on Terror as the “Overseas Contingency Operation.”

The Obama administration refuses to disavow Saudi-style blasphemy laws and issued the FBI report, “Guiding Principles: Touchstone Document on Training,” which forbids FBI agents from treating individuals associated with terrorist groups as potential threats to the nation.

Americans ought to be concerned that the newly discovered Defense Department teaching guide attempts to spread the Obama administration’s venomous hatred of conservatives to heavily armed individuals charged with defending the nation from enemies both foreign and domestic.
398  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why It Matters Who Wins In Egypt... on: August 27, 2013, 07:40:24 AM
Why It Matters Who Wins in Egypt

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On August 23, 2013 @

These days and weeks of bloody struggle in Egypt have implications that go far beyond the country and the region.

The conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and its opponents will determine whether an Islamic terrorist group will run Egypt.

Forgotten in all the Arab Spring cheerleading is the simple fact that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist group. And not only is it a terrorist group but it is the single most influential Sunni Islamic terrorist group in the world, spawning entire networks of terrorist organizations; including Al Qaeda.

Egypt holds great resources and great wealth, advanced weapons and even limited nuclear capability. But beyond that it is also where the modern age of terror began, where Western ideas crossbred with the ancient Jihad of Islam to create a new strategic threat.

The Arab Spring, the Islamist Winter and the Military Summer are more than just seasons for Egypt, they are also transformative phases for the country that long stood at the crossroads of terrorism.

The road to America’s modern confrontation with Islamic terrorism began in Egypt. The World Trade Center bombing was spawned by a leader of the Egyptian Islamic Group, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. Mohamed Atta, the key figure in the September 11 attacks, was an Egyptian member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Today the Engineers Syndicate, the Brotherhood front group that Atta was a member of, is holding rallies in support of Morsi.

The Syndicate is one of many front groups that the Muslim Brotherhood uses to recruit new members. That same process takes place at most American colleges through front groups such as the Muslim Students Association; four of whose chapter presidents became high-ranking Al Qaeda members. One of whom co-founded Al Qaeda.

The clash between the Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood is at the heart of the War on Terror. Al Qaeda may often be associated with Saudi Arabia, but its real roots lie closer to Egypt.

Before Ayman al-Zawahiri became the leader of Al Qaeda, he was a member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and headed up the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization spun off from the Muslim Brotherhood that eventually merged into Al Qaeda.

Membership in the Muslim Brotherhood is a biographical note that Ayman al-Zawahiri shared with Osama bin Laden. Al Qaeda’s interim Emir after Bin Laden’s death was Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, maintaining the Egyptian identity of the new Al Qaeda leadership.

Zawahiri was described as the “brains” of Al Qaeda while Bin Laden was its purse and its public image. That organizational and interpersonal relationship mimics the greater one between the Muslim Brotherhood and its wealthy Gulf oil backers.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and other oil kingdoms may fund terrorism, protect terrorists and fill out their ranks; they may spread the corrosion of its clerics into the West, but they aren’t its brains.

Al Qaeda after Bin Laden is more “Egyptian” and more “Brotherhood” than ever. It draws its rank and file Jihadists from the usual sources, but its orientation has shifted away from Azzam’s global Jihad against the infidels and toward the Islamic civil wars that Zawahiri had sought to fight all along.

There have been no major Al Qaeda operations launched against America. Instead Al Qaeda has reemerged as a loosely aligned group of franchises fighting to take over Muslim countries.

The strategy that emerged distinctly in Iraq, where Al Qaeda often seemed more focused on killing Shiites than on killing Americans, has exploded into full scale civil war in Syria, where Al Qaeda in Iraq is operating as the Al Nusra Front.

In Syria, Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front and the Muslim Brotherhood’s brigades in the Free Syrian Army appear to also be loosely aligned, fighting toward the same objectives.

The Arab Spring helped complete the realignment of Al Qaeda’s objectives. It became what its Egyptian faction of Muslim Brotherhood activists had always wanted it to be; a force for helping them take over entire countries, rather than aimlessly bombing Western targets.

Al Qaeda’s two biggest operations took place after the Arab Spring and were carried out on a much bigger scale than September 11. In Mali and in Syria, Al Qaeda franchises attempted to capture entire countries. These operations were aligned with the regional objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood.

When Al Qaeda attempted to seize Mali, President Mohammed Morsi came out firmly against any intervention. Morsi also aggressively pushed for intervention in Syria and called for a No Fly Zone.

The second wave of attacks of September 11, a day most remembered for the assault on the Benghazi mission and the murder of Ambassador Stevens, was concentrated largely in countries and areas under the control of the Brotherhood and allied Islamists, whether it was entire countries, such as Egypt and Tunisia, or cities, such as Benghazi.

In Washington and London, the politicians wanted to believe that the Muslim Brotherhood was a check on its violent splinter groups like the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Egyptian Islamic Group and even on Al Qaeda. Instead the Muslim Brotherhood was quietly working with them to advance the common Islamist objectives of imposing total Islamic rule on the region in the form of a united Caliphate.

Morsi’s regime freed Egyptian Islamic Group terrorists and even attempted to appoint an EIG leader as governor in Luxor, where memories still linger of its infamous massacre. That appointment may have been one of the tipping points that toppled the Brotherhood, but it was also a clear message that not only was the Muslim Brotherhood not disavowing its so-called splinter groups, but it was aiding them.

Washington and London may think that they are playing the Muslim Brotherhood against Al Qaeda, but they are the ones being played.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s defeat has damaged the group’s morale by hitting its sense of historical inevitability. It is a long way from being destroyed, but if it suffers a series of defeats in Egypt, Syria and beyond, it will lose members and momentum. And the Brotherhood’s loss will also be Al Qaeda’s loss.

Obama’s weakness created an opening that the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda took advantage of. Now they are at the climactic moment in their great game of Jihad. Either they win here and the road to the Caliphate becomes much smoother or they lose badly and risk becoming relics of history.

It’s a crucial strategic moment that will determine whether the next bomb goes off in America or Egypt.
399  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The Death of the Dollar... on: August 24, 2013, 07:10:42 PM
Brandon Smith - - August, 2013

Even after seven years of writing macroeconomic analysis for the liberty movement and bearing witness to astonishing displays of financial and political stupidity by more "skeptics" than I can count, it never ceases to amaze me the amount of blind faith average Americans place in the strength of the U.S. dollar. One could explain in vast categorical detail the history of fiat currencies, the inevitable destruction caused by inflationary printing and the conundrum caused when any country decides to monetize its own debt just to stay afloat - often, to no avail.
Bank bailouts, mortgage company bailouts, Treasury bond bailouts, stock market bailouts, bailouts of foreign institutions: None of this seems to faze the gibbering bobbleheaded followers of the Federal Reserve cult.  Logic and reason and wisdom bounce like whiffle balls off their thick skulls. They simply parrot one of two painfully predictable arguments:
Argument No. 1:
There is no way foreign countries will ever dump the U.S. dollar because they are so dependent on American consumers to buy their export goods.
Argument No. 2:
There is no way the dollar's value will ever collapse because it is the dominant petro-currency, and the entire world needs dollars to purchase oil.
I have written literally hundreds of articles over the years dismantling the first argument, pointing out undeniable signals that include:
China's subtle dumping of the dollar - using bilateral trade agreements with other developing nations and, more recently, major economic powers like Germany and Japan
The massive gold-buying spree undertaken by China and Russia - even in the face of extreme market manipulation by JPMorgan Chase and Co. and CME Group Inc.
The dumping of long-term U.S. Treasuries by foreign creditors in exchange for short-term Treasuries that can be liquidated at a moment's notice.
The fact that bonds now are supported almost entirely by Fed stimulus. When the stimulus ends, America's ability to honor foreign debts will end and faith in the dollar will crumble.
Blatant statements by the International Monetary Fund calling for the end of the dollar's world reserve status and the institution of special drawing rights (SDRs) as a replacement.
The second argument held weight for a short time, only because the political trends in the Mideast had not yet caught up to the financial reality already underway. Today, this is quickly changing. The petrodollar's status is dependent on a great number of factors remaining in perfect alignment, socially, politically and economically. If a single element were to fall out of place, oil markets would explode with inflation in prices, influencing the rest of the world to abandon the greenback. Here are just a few of the primary catalysts and why they are an early warning of the inevitable death of the petrodollar.
Egyptian Civil War
I was recently contacted by a reader in reference to an article I wrote concerning the likelihood of civil war in Egypt, a civil war which erupted only weeks later.
She asked why I had waited until this year to make the prediction and why I had not called for such an event after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, as many mainstream pundits had. The question bears merit. Why didn't Egypt ignite with violent widespread internal conflict after Mubarak was deposed? It seemed perfectly plausible, yet the mainstream got the timing (and the reasons) horribly wrong.
My response was simple: The Mideast is being manipulated by elitist organizations towards instability, and this instability is a process. The engineered Arab Spring, I believe, is not so much about the Mideast as it is about the structure of the global economy. An energy crisis would be an effective tool in changing this structure. Collapse in the Mideast would provide perfect opportunity and cover for a grand shift in the global paradigm. However, each political step requires aid from a correct economic atmosphere, and vice versa.
If you want to identify a possible trend within a society, you have to take outside manipulation into account. You have to look at how economic events work in tandem with political events and at how these events benefit globalization as a whole. The time was not right after Mubarak's overthrow. The mainstream media jumped the gun. If the target is the U.S. dollar and Egypt is the distraction, this year presented perfect opportunity with the now obvious failure of quantitative easing stimulus being exposed.
As the situation stands, the Egyptian military regime that overthrew Mohammed Morsi has completely cut the Muslim Brotherhood out of the political process and murdered at least 450 protesters, including prisoners already in custody.
Morsi supporters have responded by torching government buildings and shooting police personnel. But the real fighting will likely begin soon, as the current government calls for a ban on the Muslim Brotherhood itself. Simultaneously, hatred for the United States and its continued support of the Egyptian power base - regardless of who sits on the throne - is growing to a fever pitch throughout the region.  This is not healthy for the life of the petrodollar in the long run.
It is important for Americans to understand when examining Egypt that this is not about taking sides. The issue here is that circumstances are nearly perfect for war and that such a war will spread and will greatly damage oil markets. The Suez Canal accounts for nearly 8 percent of the world's ocean trade, and 4.5 million barrels of oil per day travel the corridor. Already, oil prices have surged due to the mere threat of disruption of the Suez (as I predicted). And this time, the nation is
going to recover. A drawn-out conflict is certain, given the nature of the military coup in place and the adamant opposition of the Muslim population.

Strangely, there are still some in the mainstream arguing that the Suez will "never close" because "it is too important to the Egyptian economy," The importance of the Suez to the Egyptian government is irrelevant in the midst of all-out revolution. The Suez will close exactly because there will be no structure left to keep the canal open. In the meantime, oil prices will continue to rise and distrust of the United States will continue to fester.
Saudi Arabia Next?
The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia is at once symbiotic and parasitic, depending on how one looks at the situation. The very first oil exploration and extraction deal in Saudi Arabia was sought by the vast international oil cartels of Royal Dutch Shell, Near East Development Company, Anglo-Persian, etc., but eventually fell into the hands of none other than the Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company. The dark history of Standard Oil aside, this meant that Saudi business would be handled primarily by American interests. And the Western thirst for oil, especially after World War I, would etch our relationship with the reigning monarchy in stone.
A founding member of OPEC, Saudi Arabia was one of the few primary oil-producing nations that maintained an oil pipeline that expedited processing and bypassed the Suez Canal. (The pipeline was shut down, however, in 1983). This allowed Standard Oil and the United States to tiptoe around the internal instability of Egypt, which had experienced ongoing conflict which finally culminated in the civil war of 1952. Considered puppets of the British Empire at the time, the ruling elites of Egypt were toppled by the Muslim Brotherhood, leading to the eventual demise of the British pound sterling as the top petro-currency and the world reserve. The British economy faltered and has never since returned to its former glory.
On the surface, Saudi Arabia seems to have avoided the effects of the Arab Spring climate, but all is not as it seems. The defection of Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al-Saud has brought up startling questions as to the true state of the oil producing giant.

Saudi prince defects: 'Brutality, oppression as govt scared of Arab revolts' (EXCLUSIVE)
I believe this defection is only the beginning of Saudi Arabia's troubles and that America's largest oil partner is soon to witness domestic turmoil that will disrupt oil shipments around the world. America's support for a monarchy that is so brutal to its population will only hasten the end of the dollar's use in global oil trade, especially if these puppet regimes are toppled.
For those who doubt that Saudi Arabia is in line for social breakdown, I would ask why the nation felt it necessary to pump billions of dollars into the new Egyptian military junta.
While the country is surely being used in some cases as a proxy by the West, the Saudi government itself is fearful that success of dissenting elements will spread to its own borders. Little do they understand that this is part of the globalist game plan. Without control over Saudi petroleum, the United States loses its last influential foothold in the oil market, and there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the dollar will fall as the petro-currency soon after. The desperation caused by such an energy crisis will make international markets beg for a solution, which global banking cartels led by the IMF are more than happy to give.
Iranian Wild Card
The U.S. government's outright creation of the Syrian insurgency and its funding and armament of al-Qaida agents have understandably angered numerous Mideast nations, including Iran. Iran sits on the most vital oil shipping lane in the world: the Strait of Hormuz. About 20 percent of the world's annual oil exports are shipped through Hormuz, and the narrow inlet is incredibly easy to block using nothing but deliberately sunken freighters. In fact, this tactic is exactly what Iran has been training for in order to frustrate a U.S./Israeli invasion.
A U.S. or NATO presence on the ground or in the air above Syria, Egypt or Iran will most likely result in the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, causing sharp rises in gasoline costs that Americans cannot afford.
Russia/China Oil Deal
Finally, just as most bilateral trade deals removing the dollar as world reserve have gone ignored by the mainstream media, so has the latest sizable oil deal between Russia and China. Russia has been contracted by the Chinese to supply 25 years of petroleum, and this deal follows previously established bilateral guidelines - meaning the dollar will not be used by the Chinese to purchase this oil.
I expect that this is just the beginning of a chain reaction of oil deals shunning the dollar as the primary trade mechanism. These deals will accelerate as the Mideast sees more internal strife and as the popular distaste for the United States becomes a liability for anyone in power.
The Dollar Is A Paper Tiger
Some might argue that oil discoveries in the Midwestern U.S. could be used to counter the disruption of oil pipelines in the Middle East, and certainly, there is much untapped oil in America.  However, to claim that this oil would somehow negate a crisis is naive, primarily because oil supply is not the ultimate issue; the dollar's petro-status IS the ultimate issue.  That status is dangerously reliant on the continued stability of Western friendly regimes in the East.  We can produce all the oil we want within our own borders, but if the dollar loses global standing as the world reserve, we will STILL see a massive debasement of our currency's value, we will still see collapse, and I guarantee, most of our domestic oil will end up being exported as payment to foreign creditors just to satisfy outstanding debts.
The dollar is no more invincible than any other fiat currency in history. In some ways, it is actually far weaker than any that came before. The dollar is entirely reliant on its own world reserve status in order to hold its value on the global market. As is evident, countries like China are already dumping the greenback in trade with particular nations. It is utterly foolish to assume this trend is somehow "random" rather than deliberate. Foreign countries would not be initiating the process of a dollar dump today if they did not mean to follow through with it tomorrow. All that is left is for a cover crisis to be conjured.  Existing tensions in the Mideast signal a pervasive crisis, most likely an energy crisis, in the near term.
400  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hollywood's Pact with Hitler... on: August 05, 2013, 09:38:45 AM
The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler

Posted By Ben Shapiro On August 5, 2013

In his blockbuster new book, The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact with Hitler, Ben Urwand documents how the film industry went out of its way in the lead-up to World War II to help Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Scripts dealing with the German military, including All Quiet on the Western Front, were run by the German government for approval. Full scenes dealing with German treatment of Jews were cut from several movies. Entire projects were quashed because of actual or presumed Nazi disapproval.

After All Quiet on the Western Front, “every studio started making deep concessions to the German government, and when Hitler came to power in January 1933, they dealt with his representatives directly,” Urwand writes. The German government utilized what it called “Article 15,” which allowed the government to ban a company’s entire slate of films if even one of the films was considered anti-German.

In 1933, the German government went even further: they threatened to ban all American films in the country if Herman Mankiewicz and Sam Jaffe went ahead with an anti-Nazi film called The Mad Dog of Europe. The Hays Office, which ran the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association of America, tried to shut down the film. The picture eventually ended up being killed thanks to objections from Hollywood funders. “The episode,” writes Urwand, “turned out to be the most important moment in all of Hollywood’s dealings with Nazi Germany. It occurred in the first year of Hitler’s rise to power, and it defined the limits of American movies for the remainder of the decade.”

Nothing has changed.

Since September 11, 2001, the film and television industry has consistently refused to portray Islamists as enemies of the United States. As early as 2002, Hollywood was already cutting Islamic villains from mainstream films – The Sum of All Fears, based on the Tom Clancy book in which Palestinian terrorists gain access to a nuclear device, was altered so that the villains were now, ironically enough, neo-Nazis. That’s not atypical.

Even when Hollywood attempts to portray Islamist villains, it has to apologize for it. In 2005, Fox backed off the Islamic villains in its hit series 24 after pressure from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and forced star Kiefer Sutherland to read CAIR-approved text: “Now while terrorism is obviously one of the most critical challenges facing our nation and the world, it is important to recognize that the American Muslim community stands firmly beside their fellow Americans in denouncing and resisting all forms of terrorism. So in watching 24, please, bear that in mind.”

Americans are typically portrayed as the moral equivalents of jihadists in film. In The Kingdom (2007), Muslim terrorists bomb a US military installation; the end of the film features the Muslim terrorists and US trackers mirroring each other in their xenophobic rhetoric, pledging to “kill them all.” Rendition (2007) portrayed American anti-terror techniques as the cause of terrorism across the globe. The Green Zone (2010) suggested that Americans invaded Iraq for oil.

As in the 1930s, the question for Hollywood isn’t merely principle, but money. Middle Eastern money now funds a solid share of filmmaking around the globe. Alnoor Holdings, based in Doha, began a $200 million film fund in 2010; Imagenation Abu Dhabi launched a $1 billion film fund in 2008. And regional potentates have invested a fortune in oil money in various US media entities.

The same holds true with China, which is the fastest-growing movie market on the planet. The communist regime pours hundreds of millions of dollars into filmmaking, and just as the Nazis did during the 1930s, pledges to cut off distribution for any films that are considered too anti-Chinese. That’s how the army which invades America in the remake of Red Dawn which was initially Chinese became North Korean after a re-do.

In some ways, Hollywood’s self-censorship today is significantly worse than self-censorship during the 1930s. During that period, at least, there were concerns about the rise of the Nazis; Carl Laemmle, who produced All Quiet on the Western Front, said, “”I am almost certain that [Adolf] Hitler’s rise to power … would be the signal for a general physical onslaught on many thousands of defenseless Jewish men, women and children.” He was right. But today’s Hollywood honchos don’t see the threat of Islamism; they see instead the threat of the United States. They don’t see the threat of China; they see the threat of US imperialism. Unlike their predecessors, they are ideologically aligned, in too many cases, with America’s enemies. And when finances and ideological interests are aligned on behalf of America’s enemies, American viewers are in serious trouble.
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