This is a repeat of an essay by Jillian Becker, first posted on April 29, 2011.
The rise of enthusiasm for Socialism in America, demonstrated by the great numbers of enthusiasts flocking to hear Bernie Sanders, the Democratic candidate for the presidency, preaching it, prompts us to post the essay again.
It is human nature to be selfish. If we weren’t selfish we wouldn’t survive. If we didn’t eat when we were hungry, warm ourselves when we were cold, seek cures for our illnesses, defend ourselves (and our children and our life-sustaining property), we’d die out pretty damn quick. Or rather, we would never have come into existence as a species at all.
We are most of us capable of sympathy with others, and we often willingly give away a thing we own to another person. Some are altruistic. A few will even give up their lives to save the lives of others. Nevertheless, we are all naturally and necessarily selfish.
Christianity and Communism require human nature to change. As it can’t, Christianity’s commandments to love our enemies and forgive those who do us harm turn many a person of good will and high aspiration into a hypocrite if not a corpse. Communist theorists have never settled the question of whether human nature must change so that the Revolution can take place, or whether the Revolution must take place in order for human nature to change. Of course it will never change, but there’s no stopping the collectivist dolts arguing about it.
Capitalism works well because it is in tune with our nature. Adam Smith called it “the natural order of liberty”. Everyone selfishly desires to provide for his needs. To pay for what he wants from others – services and goods – he has to provide something that others will pay him for. Millions do it, and the result is prosperity. Capitalism is an abstract machine most beautiful to behold in the wonder of its workings. When individuals have the incentive to achieve, acquire, and enjoy something for themselves, they’ll go to great lengths to afford it. They’ll compete with each other to provide what others want, toil to make it the better product, and set the price of it lower. The best is made available at the least cost. Everyone is both a taker and a giver, and everyone benefits. True, not everyone’s effort always succeeds, but nothing stops anyone from trying again.
Of course capitalism isn’t a remedy for every ill and discontent. But a capitalist society offers the best chance to an individual to make the best of his condition – being alive – which presents him with a tough challenge – to stay alive for a few score years, and make those years as good as his energy, cunning, and adaptability to conditions outside of his control (plus his statistically likely share of luck), can help them to be.
In a capitalist society no one has a fixed place, whether below, in the middle, or on top. A person can rise, sink, or stay. A truly capitalist society is necessarily a free society in which no one is prevented, by some ruler or ruling clique, from bettering his lot, striving, succeeding, or failing.
Capitalism is the enemy of that God of whom all the children in the British Empire used to sing at morning prayers in school assemblies before the Second World War:
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small;
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.
The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
He made them high and lowly,
He ordered their estate.
The children were being taught to be content with everything as it was, trusting that God the ruler up there, all wise, permanent and unchallengeable had ordained how everyone had his fixed place and should stay in it, and because He had ordained it, it must be perfect. The recognition that such a God was an indefensible authoritarian, a whim-driven cosmic dictator, an unjust and arrogant tyrant, came – perhaps unconsciously – to the choosers of Anglican hymns only after a few of the earth’s dictators had been trounced in a prolonged and terrible blood-letting.
But then Socialists took over from God. They decided what was best for humanity. They established the Welfare State. No rich men in castles, no poor men at gates. The State would provide every citizen with depressing accommodation, dull food, health care if he were judged worthy of being kept alive, indoctrination in schools. Though the Socialist State is a slave society, the citizens are not called slaves but Social Security Recipients, National Health Patients, Students, Workers. The belief of their rulers is that they’ll be content because the State provides them with “everything”; they’ll be grateful for the food however poor, the unit in the tower block however depressing, the bed in the hospital however filthy, the indoctrination however boring. The great thing about it, to the collectivist mind, is they won’t have to strive to keep alive. And no one will have cause to pity or envy anyone else, since no one will have less or worse, or more or better – except of course the rulers up there, all wise, permanent and unchallengeable who ordain that everyone else has his fixed place. They reserve plenty, choice, comfort, luxury, information, and power to themselves.
The recognition that such a State is counter to the human instinct for freedom – call it “selfishness “ if you will – should have come to every sane adult the world over when the Soviet Empire crashed. The idea of Socialism should have died then. But if it did, it was only for a short time. Like the Christian God, it rose again, and lives now in the White House, an administration indefensibly authoritarian, whim-driven, unjust, and arrogant.
Selfish human nature with its instinct for liberty, its impelling desire to possess what is good for it materially and mentally, is the force that can and must defeat it.
Among the many still unanswered question about the tragedy of Benghazi, these stand out above all others:
Why were “more than 600” requests from Ambassador Stevens for better security for the US mission in Benghazi not granted?
Whether or not they “reached” Hillary Clinton’s desk – and she denies that any of them did – the question why better security was not granted has never been answered.
What could the reason be?
And why was Ambassador Stephens then sent to the insecure mission in Benghazi on the specially dangerous anniversary day of 9/11/12?
On the face of it, it looks as if the State Department was party to a planned assassination of its own ambassador.
But why would it want that?
Al-Qaeda’s hackers of Hillary Clinton’s easily-hacked emails would have known what Hillary Clinton’s game in Benghazi was. But the American people she was paid to serve do not.
Everyone outside of the Obama conspiracy can only conjecture.
So possible answers to the questions are invited.
The Left is actively and passionately aiding Islam in its “holy war” to conquer the non-Muslim world by arms and by stealth. This despite the fact that the values and principles declared by Islam are – every single one of them – in total opposition to those declared by the Left. (Eg. Equality of women versus female subjugation; normalization of homosexual relationships versus throwing gays off high buildings; intolerance of religion versus forced religious conformity.)
The question is: Why?
Is the idea that when the Western nation states with their free political and economic systems have been destroyed by combined effort, they – the Left – will be able to bring Islam under control?
Are there other possible answers? We can’t think of any.
Daniel Greenfield explains how “a Socialist totalitarian utopia”, if it is achieved, will be, and can only be “an Islamic theocracy of slaves, terror and death”:
The left helped create Islamic terrorism; its immigration policies import terrorism while its civil rights arm obstructs efforts to prevent it and its anti-war rallies attack any effort to fight it. …
When a Muslim terrorist comes to America, it’s the left that agitates to admit him. Before he kills, it’s the left that fights to protect him from the FBI. Afterward, leftists offer to be his lawyers. The left creates the crisis and then it fights against any effort to deal with it except through surrender and appeasement.
Islamic violence against non-Muslims predated the left. But it’s the left that made it our problem. Islamic terrorism in America or France exists because of Muslim immigration. And the left is obsessed with finding new ways to import more Muslims. [Chancellor of Germany] Merkel is praised for opening up a Europe already under siege by Islamic terror, Sharia police, no-go zones and sex grooming and groping gangs, to millions.
The left feverishly demands that the whole world follow her lead. Bill Gates would like America to be just like Germany. Israel’s deranged Labor Party leader Herzog urged the Jewish State to open its doors.
And then, after the next round of stabbings, car burnings and terror attacks, they blame the West for not “integrating” the un-integratable millions who had no more interest in being integrated than their leftist patrons do in moving to Pakistan and praying to Allah … But “integration” is a euphemism for a raft of leftist agenda items from social services spending to punishing hate speech (though never that of the Imams crying for blood and death, but only of their native victims) to a foreign policy based on appeasement and surrender. Islamic terrorists kill and leftists profit from the carnage.
The ongoing threat of Islamic terrorism is a manufactured crisis that the left cultivates because that gives it power. In a world without 9/11, the Obama presidency would never have existed. Neither would the Arab Spring and the resulting migration and wholesale transformation of Western countries.
In the UK, Labour used Muslim immigration as a deliberate political program to “change the country”. In Israel, Labor struck an illegal deal with Arafat that put sizable portions of the country under the control of terrorists while forcing the Jewish State into a series of concessions to terrorists and the left. The same fundamental pattern of Labour and Labor and the whole left is behind the rise of Islamic terrorism.
Muslim terrorism creates pressure that the left uses to achieve policy goals. Even when it can’t win elections, Muslim terrorism allows the left to create a crisis and then to set an agenda.
The left’s patronage of Islamic terrorists for its own political purposes follows a thread back to the origin of Islamic terrorism. Islamic violence against non-Muslims dates back to the founding of Islam, but the tactics of modern Islamic terrorism owe as much to Lenin as they do to Mohammed.
Today’s Islamic terrorist is the product of traditional Islamic theology and Soviet tactics. The USSR did not intend to create Al Qaeda, but they provided training and doctrine to terrorists from the Muslim world. …
Truth to tell, the US and its Western allies provided money and materiel to Bin Laden and his followers in the late 1980s to help them overthrow the Soviet domination of Afghanistan. But that fact does not in any way detract from the validity of Greenfield’s case.
The earlier phase of Islamic organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, had been inspired by fascists who were seeking to use them in their own wars. Over this layer of secret societies plotting takeovers and building networks of front groups, the Soviet Union added the terror tactics that had been employed by the left. And the leftist mad bomber became the Muslim suicide bomber. Terrorism in the Muslim world has evolved from functioning as a Third World proxy army for the left, in much the same way as guerrillas and terrorists from Asia, Africa and Latin America had, to a diaspora whose migrations lend a domestic terror arm to a Western left whose own spiteful activists have grown unwilling to put their lives on the line and go beyond tweeting words to throwing bombs.
With the Muslim Brotherhood, the origin organization of Al Qaeda, ISIS and Hamas, among many others, so tightly integrated into the American and European left that it is often hard to see where one begins and the other ends, Islam has become the militant arm of the purportedly secular left. Western leftists and Islamists have formed the same poisonous relationship as Middle Eastern leftists and Islamists did leading to the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Arab Spring. Leftists expected Islamists to do the dirty work while they would take over.
But then something happened that the Leftists did not expect – and that they still haven’t learned from:
Instead the Islamists won and killed them.
Having learned nothing from the Hitler-Stalin pact, the left has replayed the same betrayal with the Mohammed-Stalin pact in the Middle East and now in the West. But the end of the Mohammed-Stalin pact will not be a Socialist totalitarian utopia, but an Islamic theocracy of slaves, terror and death.
On September 11, I saw with my own eyes how eager and willing leftists were to rush to the aid of Islamic terrorists even while their fellow Americans were dying.
Nothing has changed. Every Islamic act of brutality is met with lies and spin, with mass distraction and deception by the treasonous left. Every effort to fight Islamic terrorists is sabotaged, undermined and protested by the enemy within.
Since September 11, the left has trashed the FBI’s counter-terrorism and has now succeeded in destroying the NYPD’s [New York City Police Department] counter-terrorism while transforming the FDNY [New York City Fire Department] into an affirmative action project.
What the September 11 hijackers could never accomplish on their own, the leftists did for them by defeating the three forces that had stood against Islamic terrorists on that day. And it would not surprise me at all if some of the “No War” scribblers have gone on to play an influential role in that treason.
The left has crippled domestic and international counterterrorism. American soldiers are not allowed to shoot terrorists and the FBI and NYPD can’t monitor mosques or even be taught what to look for. Islamic terrorism has achieved unprecedented influence and power under Obama. ISIS has created the first functioning caliphate and Iran marches toward the first Jihadist nuclear bomb. The mass Muslim migration is beginning a process that will Islamize Europe far more rapidly than anyone expects.
The Jihad would not be a significant threat without the collaboration of the left. Without the left standing in the way, it’s a problem that could be solved in a matter of years. With the aid of the left, it threatens human civilization with a dark age that will erase our culture, our future and our freedom.
We cannot defeat Islam without defeating the left. That is the lesson I learned on September 11. It is a lesson that appears truer every single year as the left finds new ways to endanger us all.
Hoping to annoy feminists, but essentially because we think it is true, we remark from time to time that women would never have conceived the idea of objective justice.
In a gynocracy there would be no rule of law.
Gynocracy is government by women. Rule by governesses. Yikes!
But surely, you say, it couldn’t happen in the USA?
We think it can. We think it is already here.
If Howard J. Krongard, former inspector general at the State Department, turns out to be right that Hillary Clinton will not be indicted because four women will protect her from the law, our conviction will become even firmer, to the point of intransigence.
Paul Sperry reports Krongard’s prediction, writing at the New York Post on Hillary Clinton’s felonious activity and how the State Department colluded in it:
The State Department is lying when it says it didn’t know until it was too late that Hillary Clinton was improperly using personal e-mails and a private server to conduct official business — because it never set up an agency e-mail address for her in the first place, the department’s former top watchdog says.
“This was all planned in advance” to skirt rules governing federal records management, said Howard J. Krongard, who served as the agency’s inspector general from 2005 to 2008.
The Harvard-educated lawyer points out that, from Day One, Clinton was never assigned and never used a state.gov e-mail address like previous secretaries.
“That’s a change in the standard. It tells me that this was premeditated. And this eliminates claims by the State Department that they were unaware of her private e-mail server until later,” Krongard said in an exclusive interview. “How else was she supposed to do business without e-mail?”
He also points to the unusual absence of a permanent inspector general during Clinton’s entire 2009-2013 term at the department. He said the 5¹/₂-year vacancy was unprecedented.
“This is a major gap. In fact, it’s without precedent,” he said. “It’s the longest period any department has gone without an IG.”
Inspectors general serve an essential and unique role in the federal government by independently investigating agency waste, fraud and abuse. Their oversight also covers violations of communications security procedures.
“It’s clear she did not want to be subject to internal investigations,” Krongard said. An e-mail audit would have easily uncovered the secret information flowing from classified government networks to the private unprotected system she set up in her New York home.
He says “the key” to the FBI’s investigation of Emailgate is determining how highly sensitive state secrets in the classified network, known as SIPRNet, ended up in Clinton’s personal e-mails.
“The starting point of the investigation is the material going through SIPRNet. She couldn’t function without the information coming over SIPRNet,” Krongard said. “How did she get it on her home server? It can’t just jump from one system to the other. Someone had to move it, copy it. The question is who did that?” …
The FBI is investigating whether Clinton’s deputies copied top-secret information from the department’s classified network to its unclassified network where it was sent to Hillary’s unsecured, unencrypted e-mail account.
FBI agents are focusing on three of Clinton’s top department aides. Most of the 1,340 Clinton e-mails deemed classified by intelligence agency reviewers were sent to her by her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, or her deputy chiefs, Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan, who now hold high positions in Clinton’s presidential campaign.
“They are facing significant scrutiny now,” Krongard said, and are under “enormous pressure to cooperate” with investigators.
He says staffers who had access to secret material more than likely summarized it for Clinton in the e-mails they sent to her; but he doesn’t rule out the use of thumb drives to transfer classified information from one system to the other, which would be a serious security breach. Some of the classified computers at Foggy Bottom have ports for memory sticks.
Either way, there would be an audit trail for investigators to follow. The SIPRNet system maintains the identity of all users and their log-on and log-off times, among other activities.
“This totally eliminates the false premise that she got nothing marked classified,” Krongard said. “She’s hiding behind this defense. But they [e-mails] had to be classified, because otherwise [the information in them] wouldn’t be on the SIPRNet.”
Added Krongard: “She’s trying to distance herself from the conversion from SIPRNet to [the nonsecure] NIPRNet and to her server, but she’s throwing her staffers under the bus.”
Then comes the shocking but all too credible prediction:
Still, “It will never get to an indictment,” Krongard said.
For one, he says, any criminal referral to the Justice Department from the FBI “will have to go through four loyal Democrat women” — Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, who heads the department’s criminal division; Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates; Attorney General Loretta Lynch; and top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.
Even if they accept the referral, he says, the case quickly and quietly will be plea-bargained down to misdemeanors punishable by fines in a deal similar to the one Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, secured for Gen. David Petraeus. In other words, a big slap on the wrist.
It really is time that some high-energy man took over the leadership of the United States, and appointed men like him to positions of power, especially in the State Department and the Department of Justice!
The female figure of Blind Justice (which we use as our Facebook icon) should be male. But there is no known way to transgender symbolic figures.
Afterword: Before one of our smart readers, in whom we take much pride, reminds us that Margaret Thatcher ruled Britain better than almost any man in the last century except Winston Churchill, we would point out that she was an exceptional woman, and often called “the best man in the Conservative Party“.
Something fishy in the Arabian Gulf:
There is something fishy about how such a high-tech U.S. craft can “stray accidentally into Iranian waters due to a navigation error”, as Defense Secretary Ash Carter described it on Thursday to Univision. The Pentagon had previously claimed engine trouble for an incident that’s humiliated the U.S., as Iranian video showed to the world 10 American sailors on their knees at gunpoint.
From Investor’s Business Daily:
How can an advanced, ultra-agile U.S. combat boat suffer a “navigation error” that leads to a terrorist state capturing its sailors? Tehran just revealed military ineptitude warranting a congressional probe.
The Swedish-designed Combat Boat 90 can make the sharpest of turns at high speed, stop nearly on a dime, maneuver like magic and, with its Rolls-Royce jet-propulsion system, can speed along at over 45 miles an hour in rivers and shallow coastlines while transporting 18 amphibious troops.
But what good is any of that if it falls into enemy hands? …
A retired operations commander for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain, Christopher Harmer, told CNN the capture constituted “a severe failure”, charging that “either the naval leadership put these sailors in an impossible situation, or the sailors are professionally incompetent”. Harmer has researched the increased lethality of Iran’s submarine fleet for the Institute for the Study of War.
That one of the sailors would appear in an Iranian video apologizing may have actually violated the military’s Code of Conduct, which requires that a detainee give name, rank, serial number and age, but “evade answering further questions” and “make no oral or written statements disloyal” to his country “and its allies or harmful to their cause”.
Harmer told the Washington Times, “The U.S. Navy looks extraordinarily incompetent. … In its ability to transit boats without violating Iranian waters, they look incompetent to know how to deal with a mechanical malfunction, and now that they’ve been taken into custody, they’re apologizing.”
Harmer told CNN there was “no reason for a small vessel to be out that far and especially without escorting ships around it”, and “the Navy has to explain why you have small ships transiting 300 miles of open ocean”.
Iran claims its Revolutionary Guard Corps seized the CB90’s GPS gear and that it revealed U.S. espionage. As reported in Defense News, House Armed Services Committee member Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a Marine who served in the Iraq War, claimed there was no way the Iran military “didn’t reverse engineer, or look at and copy everything that they possibly could” of the two commandeered boats’ high-tech equipment.
In the midst of this disaster did Secretary of State John Kerry make another bad deal with Tehran, following last year’s nuclear pact, to get the sailors released swiftly?
All of this warrants a high-profile congressional investigation. Sailors and valuable equipment get captured, are humiliated on video, and finally one ends up making a statement that serves terrorist propaganda purposes.
“Semper Fortis” — always strong [an unofficial motto of the US Navy] — hardly describes what this incident reveals about the U.S. Navy after seven years of Barack Obama.
When the captured crews were released the next morning, the two boats sailed away with no sign of “mechanical failure”. Had both boats been afflicted with it? Had it been hard or easy to repair? Who repaired it?
Here is more editorial comment from IBD:
Ten U.S. sailors kneel at gunpoint before Iran’s military, then actually apologize, and while held captive, merit no mention in the president’s speech to Congress. It’s American weakness illustrated.
We don’t yet have the full facts on how a U.S. naval vessel was allowed to be seized by the world’s foremost terrorist state. But as Desert Storm infantry commander Gen. Barry McCaffrey (ret.) warned in an NBC News interview, “this is an affront to our military presence in the Gulf and will unsettle our allies in the region.” …
Images can hurt a global power profoundly. … For Iran, images of U.S. sailors kneeling in submission, and video of one apologizing on behalf of the rest — and, by extension, on behalf of the U.S. — are priceless.
“It was our fault,” the sailor said on camera. “And we apologize for our mistake.”
What a comparison with the tortured crew of the U.S.S. Pueblo, captured by North Korea in 1968, who during their captivity discreetly extended their middle fingers when posing for propaganda photos.
Today, Secretary of State John Kerry says, “I want to express my gratitude to Iranian authorities. …”
As Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said, “Before we thank the Iranian naval forces and attempt to defend and normalize their behavior, as Vice President Biden and Secretaries Kerry and Carter appear inclined to do, we should demand answers” to questions that include:
“Where exactly were the sailors intercepted? Why were they detained instead of being merely escorted into international waters? What was the nature of the technical malfunctions on both vessels? … Was sensitive equipment compromised? (and) Why were the sailors not permitted to contact U.S. higher headquarters in the region for the 16 hours they were detained?”
Cotton also noted that the administration presumes that Iran conducted a rescue mission, “when Iran has characterized the incident as U.S. ships trespassing into its waters and ‘snooping’.”
He added: “Our sailors never should have been detained in the first place, and blithely accepting such action will only embolden the ayatollahs who wish to do harm to Americans and our allies in the Arabian Gulf.”
This humiliation of the U.S. comes less than a week before we lift sanctions unfreezing $150 billion for new terrorist activities, as promised in Obama and Kerry’s Iran nuclear deal — a pact that Tehran has not even been required to sign.
Our sailors were held as Obama stood before Congress on Tuesday night, but they weren’t deemed worthy of mention in the president’s [State of the Union] address.
New York City submits to Islam.
This is from an article by Benjamin Weingarten at the excellent City Journal:
As part of a recently announced legal settlement with representatives of the Muslim community, the NYPD has agreed to purge materials critical to understanding the threat to New York City from domestic Islamic terrorism.
The plaintiffs in Raza v. City of New York and Handschu v. Special Services Division charged that the NYPD had targeted Muslims for surveillance solely because of their religious affiliation. Among other things, the settlement stipulates that the NYPD must remove from its website a comprehensive 2007 report authored by senior analysts Mitchell D. Silber and Arvin Bhatt.
Radicalization in the West identified homegrown Islamic terrorism as the primary extremist threat to New York City. As then-police commissioner Ray Kelly noted in a preface, the report’s aim was to assist policymakers and law enforcement officials around the country by providing a thorough understanding of the danger posed by domestic terrorists. It also sought to help intelligence and law enforcement agencies better understand the radicalization process. Based on a rigorous analysis of almost a dozen jihadist plots across the U.S. and Europe, the report identified the enemy’s ideology on its own terms. The report didn’t say that jihadism had nothing to do with Islam; nor did it suggest that Islam was a “religion of peace”. Its sole concern was assessing the jihadist threat, not undertaking an Islamic exegesis.
From the day the report was released, Muslim groups pounced. “By afternoon, American-Muslim organizations had issued press releases criticizing the report,” Time noted in 2007. “The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it cast suspicion on all U.S. Muslims, even though the report repeatedly stresses that there is no obvious way to profile would-be terrorists.” What did they find so objectionable? According to the complaint filed in Raza, the report provided the “analytic underpinnings” for the NYPD’s Muslim Surveillance Program. The plaintiffs asserted that the program “stigmatizes an entire faith community and invites discrimination. It specifically singles out Muslims for profiling and suspicionless surveillance because of their religious beliefs and practices”. The Raza plaintiffs sought to have the program shut down, arguing that it operated on “a false and unconstitutional premise: that Muslim religious belief and practices are a basis for law enforcement scrutiny”.
They are, of course.
Now, the NYPD has agreed not only to remove Silber and Bhatt’s report from its website, but the terms of the settlement also require the NYPD to assert that it does not, has not, and will not rely upon the report to open or extend investigations.
Within 24 hours of the settlement, however, events conspired to underscore the danger it potentially presents. In Philadelphia, a self-identified jihadist attempted to assassinate a policeman. Edward Archer fired 13 shots at Officer Jesse Hartnett, striking him with three. Archer reportedly told investigators while in custody that he “follows Allah, and that is the reason he was called upon to do this”. Further, according to Philadelphia police captain Richard Ross, Archer “believed that the police defend laws that are contrary to the teachings of the Quran”. In 2012, Archer allegedly traveled to and spent several months in Egypt. According to his mother, he was a devout Muslim who had practiced the faith for an extended period of time. Despite Archer’s words and actions, and the reports of Philadelphia law enforcement officers involved in the investigation, the city’s mayor [Jim Kenney] declared during a press conference, “In no way, shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you’ve seen on the screen.”
Tragic as it nearly was, the Philadelphia shooting couldn’t have been timelier. Archer fits the exact profile that Silber and Bhatt sketched in their report — as do most examples in recent memory of American jihadists.
Religious ideology is not incidental to jihad; it’s central. For Islamists, jihad is an intrinsic part of a pious Muslim’s religious duties. All Muslims are not jihadists, but all jihadists are self-identified Muslims.
Well, it might be more accurate to say every Muslim if true to the commands of his faith is a jihadi, though not necessarily a violent one.
Yet, New York mayor Bill de Blasio appears willing to pursue the see-no-Islam policy preferred by Philadelphia’s mayor. And, according to a 2013 report from Judicial Watch, a similar purge of materials linking Islamic ideology to jihad has already occurred at the federal level, with apparently disastrous consequences, given the mushrooming domestic jihadist threat.
More than any other area of government, national security and defense must be insulated from political correctness. To remove analyses that might give us insight into our enemies represents a dereliction of duty by our political representatives. Political correctness can and will get Americans killed. If we are to defeat the threat from Islamic terrorism, we must dispense with euphemisms, take off our blinders, and see our enemy clearly.
Sheer common sense. So what possible reason can there be for the federal government – from which the lesser powers in the land take their cue – to “purge materials linking Islamic ideology to jihad”?
We can think of no reason other than that the Obama administration is on the side of the violent jihadis. If it is not that, there can only be excuses such as unpardonably deliberate ignorance, or disqualifying stupidity, or certifiable insanity.
Today we have posted the last essay, number 18, in the series by Jillian Becker titled The Darkness of This World.
Find it in full under Pages in our margin.
Here is part of it:
America the Last Best Hope?
A multitude of enlightened Europeans cultivated reason, and built a culture that was innovative, prosperous, powerful, and humane. Other Europeans wanted to destroy all that, and succeeded. Rebels from and against the prosperous educated classes – philosophers and poets, artists and politicians – taught generations to intoxicate themselves with fantasies of destruction, spoliation, and atrocity that could, and at times did, inspire real events of vast horror, suffering, and death. From each of them Europe seemed to recover for a while. But at the time of this writing, the rebels have triumphed. The dark vision prevails. Europe is rotten. Multitudes of Europeans, seeing nothing in their culture worth preserving and no point in its survival, reluctant even to beget children, are yielding to immigrating hordes of aliens from the Third World who lust for conquest and are governed by laws devised in the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula in the Dark Ages.
So must the greatness of Europe be altogether lost? Surely not! Surely in the states of America, united on Enlightenment principles of liberty, reason, tolerance, and participatory government, European civilization will be preserved and enhanced? There where every citizen is free to pursue his own happiness, to hold property securely, to have his say in a government of limited powers, the United States will continue to prosper and advance? America, it is said, is a forward-looking “can do” society – innovative, prosperous, powerful and humane. “The last best hope of earth.” [As President Lincoln said of his country in a message to Congress on 1 December, 1862.]
And for a while yet it may continue to be so. But the seed of the evil flowers of the culture – Marxism, political sadism, and most potently poisonous of all, the political philosophies of the New Left – have found as fertile soil in America as in Europe.
The mainly bourgeois “anti-bourgeois” terrorist groups that rose with the “sixty-eight” protest movement in America, did evil just as intentionally as their European counterparts. And went in for the same posturing and frivolity. The US was at war in Vietnam, and the anti-draft demonstrations on university campuses gave a serious aspect to the American rebellion, but the war and the draft were pretexts rather reasons for it, as two leaders of the young radicals, Peter Collier and David Horowitz, confessed years later in their book – the best I have found on the subject – Destructive Generation: “The war in Vietnam was a gift of chance that allowed radical leaders to convince others of a need for a social apocalypse and of the necessity for their destructive strategies.”
These authors, long since cured of the romantic radicalism of their youth, look back and “wince” at the “homemade hankerings for Armageddon”. The Sixties, they write, was a time of “monumental idealism”, when “dewy-eyed young people in the throes of a moral passion … sought only to remake the world”. They would do this by destroying “the evil empire of ‘Amerika’” and freeing “the captive peoples of the world”. It was a time, they say, “when innocence quickly became cynical “ and “when a gang of ghetto thugs like the Black Panthers might be anointed as political visionaries”.
The Black Panthers and many of the “dewy-eyed” rebels intended to do what they fully recognized as evil in pursuit of their ideals. For instance, a man known as J. J. – a member of the white middle-class group that became the terrorist organization called Weatherman and later Weather Underground – was notable for “his [drug augmented] high energy, his nonstop, almost demonic chatter, his ability to carry listeners with him by the sheer force of his words rather than their depth”. And J. J.’s idea “was not to create a perfect state operating by the clockwork principles of Marxist law but to promote a chaos that would cripple America and ultimately cast it into a receivership that would be administered by the morally superior Third World. Unafraid to pursue his theme to its logical end, J. J. would add that people shouldn’t expect the revolution to achieve a Kingdom of Freedom ; more likely, it would produce a Dark Ages.” J. J. “[laid] out the ‘White Devil’ theory of world history. ‘We’re against everything that’s “good and decent” in honky America. … We will loot and burn and destroy. We are the incubation of your mother’s nightmares!’”
As in West Germany, France and Italy, the terrorist bombers of America demanded their rights under the law that they broke, mocked, and abominated. “Despite their incessant complaints of police brutality, Sixties radicals lived for the most part in a no-fault system, demanding their constitutional rights at the same time as they were abusing and denouncing the Constitution. They knew they had the option, which many of them ultimately used, of diving back into the System [and their comfy bourgeois lives] when they tired of being extrinsic. (For this reason New Leftism, although discredited in politics, continues to thrive in the ‘academic work’ of former radicals who returned for postgraduate degrees to the universities they had earlier tried to destroy.) It was an example of the cynicism that marked the decade – counting on the fact that America was exactly the sort of flexible and forgiving society they were condemning it for failing to be.”
The evil was done not only to shock their bourgeois parents, as their drugs, promiscuous sex, and bombs were meant to do and did, but for a very much higher good, of course. The very much higher good: “social justice”; “ending oppression” in the forms of “ racism”, “sexism”, “homophobia”, “classism”, “imperialism”, “colonialism”; all of which required the destruction of “the capitalist system”.
Most of them did not, however, describe themselves as Communists. Without reading the works of Marx, or of Marxists, Trotskyites, or New Left political philosophers, they all – in harmony with their European counterparts – looked forward to a political apocalypse; a revolution that they considered themselves to be hastening, that would change everything and replace the earthly Hell of oppression and social injustice with a Heaven of … something yet to be defined.
Collier and Horowitz write of “the decade’s transcendental conviction that there was something apocalyptic lurking behind the veil of the ordinary, and that just a little more pressure was needed to pierce the last remaining membrane – of civility, bourgeois consciousness, corporate liberalism, sexual uptightness, or whatever else prevented us all from breaking through to the other side”. And: “Again it was that hunger to reach the apocalypse just beyond, the essential act that would make them real revolutionaries.” And “the Weatherpeople, like all parvenus, spent considerable time working on a genealogy that would connect them with noble [sic] forbears: Russian narodniki and European anarchists, Cuban fidelistas and Vietnamese guerrillas.”
A work of fiction that impressively conveys the real evil of the 60s rebels is American Pastoral by Philip Roth. A percipient discussion of it and the issues it raised was published in Commentary magazine by Carol Iannone. I summarize the plot and quote her most illuminating comments relevant to my theme:
An only child – cheerful, affectionate, charming as a little girl – of a business man who in his youth had been an athlete and a Marine, and his beauty queen wife, grows up to be “overtaken by the 60s”, sets a bomb in a post office and kills a local doctor. She goes underground and kills three more people in another bombing.
“In his manly way” (Carol Iannone writes) the father “ tries to see where his own responsibility lies for what has happened to his much loved daughter … only to be forced again and again to confront the blazing chaotic irrationality of it all. What he cannot understand … is her hatred of America. ‘How could she “hate” this country when she had no conception of this country? How could a child of his be so blind as to revile the “rotten system” that had given her own family every opportunity to succeed? To revile her “capitalist” parents as though their wealth were the product of anything other than the unstinting industry of three generations …’”
“The 60s, in brief, are not just about the bomber young and their war with ‘Amerika’; in the 60s, ‘the indigenous American berserk’, have entered the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, touching everything and everyone with their ‘mockery of human integrity, every ethical obligation destroyed’.”
It entered the academies, and through them the mind of the nation, until the counter-culture has become The Culture. Collier and Horowitz write: “[N]owhere is the entrenchment of the Sixties mentality more complete or more destructive than in the university. That the Left should now dominate the academy involves a savage irony, of course. It was only after failing in their intent to burn down the university in the Sixties that radicals decided to get on the tenure track in the Seventies. Unimpeded in their long march through these institutions by fair-minded centrists of the sort they themselves now refuse to hire, these Leftists have brought a postmodern Dark Age to higher education – “deconstructing” objective truths to pave the way for chic academic nihilism: creating a curriculum of contempt for American history and culture; and transforming many classrooms into chambers of inquisition and indoctrination.”
The demonic achievements of the rebels were crowned by the election, in 2008, to the presidency of the United States of one of their own: Barack Hussein Obama, the son of a 60s counter-culturist mother and an African father who was both a Communist and a Muslim; and was associated eventually in the son’s mind with “colonial and imperial oppression” of his ancestral land, Kenya, when it was under British rule.
President Obama acceded to the White House with all his ideological baggage intact: the credo of the New Left plus admiration of Islam. And this at a time when Islam was becoming the main enemy of the Western world, practicing terrorism on a large scale, waging open warfare in the Middle East, and launching a migrant invasion of Europe that European governments allowed, encouraged, and all too willingly submitted to. Obama’s policies facilitated the European calamity, and he took steps to help Islamic Iran, which constantly reiterates its intention to destroy America and conquer the non-Muslim world, to become a nuclear power. He has lowered America in the eyes of the world. He and his minions treat the Constitution with contempt.
In the universities the counter-culture has become the orthodoxy. A majority of instructors indoctrinate students rather than educate them, teaching them what to think rather than how to think. Some Leftist representatives in Congress have passed a resolution to curb free speech. And the spirit of free enterprise, which made America rich and mighty, has been all but crushed by tyrannical regulation. Wealth has been taken from those who have earned it and given to those who have not. In short, the New Left has triumphed – though without attaining its heaven on earth.
Can the harm it has done be undone? At present the dark stream of unreason flows strongly. The resistance to it should be the vigorous self-interest inherent in human nature, the desire in most of us to succeed; and the lure of science, technology, all they give us for the betterment of our lives. Only as long as free personal endeavor and innovation continue to characterize America, will there be hope – if not the last, certainly the best – for our splendid civilization to survive in this, our only world.
This list of 2015 ludicrousness could be lengthened indefinitely … The common thread is the collapse of judgment in, and the infantilization of society by, government.
George Will looks back at 2015:
We learned that the value of property that police departments seized through civil-asset forfeiture — usually without accusing, let alone convicting, the property owners of a crime — exceeded the value of property stolen by nongovernment burglars.*
The attorney general of New York, which reaps billions from gambling — casinos, off-track betting, the state lottery — moved to extinguish (competition from) fantasy football because it is gambling.
Florida police raided a mahjong game played by four women aged 87 to 95 because their game’s stakes allegedly exceeded the $10 limit set by the state.
A Michigan woman was fingerprinted, had her mug shot taken and was jailed until released on bond because she was late in renewing the $10 license for her dog.
New Jersey police arrested a 72-year-old retired teacher, chained his hands and feet to a bench and charged him with illegally carrying a firearm — a 300-year-old flintlock pistol (with no powder, flint or ball) he purchased from an antique dealer.
The University of Georgia said sexual consent must be “voluntary, sober, imaginative, enthusiastic, creative, wanted, informed, mutual, honest.” Imaginative consent?
Connecting climate change to sex, the National Bureau of Economic Research warned that hot weather leads to diminished sexual activity.
Elsewhere in “settled science,” the government’s dietary rules were revised, somewhat rehabilitating red meat, sodium, eggs and other good stuff.
Since federal food police dictated changes in school lunch programs, food tossed in the trash is up 56%, salt shakers are being smuggled into schools, and there are black markets in potato chips.
The IRS persecutes conservative advocacy groups but does not prosecute IRS employees who are tax cheats: An audit revealed that over the last decade, the IRS fired only 400 of the 1,580 employees who deliberately violated tax laws, rather than the 100% required by law.*
New York’s City Council honored the “bravery” of Ethel Rosenberg, the executed traitor who spied for Stalin.
Declaring her candidacy, Hillary Clinton said she will fight for, among many others, “truckers who drive for hours.” Yes, hours. Elsewhere, she rejected the presumption of innocence, aka due process: Those alleging sexual assault have “the right to be believed,” which she did not believe when her husband was the accused.*
A 9-year-old Florida fourth-grader was threatened with sexual harassment charges if he continued to write love notes telling the apple of his eye that her eyes sparkle “like diamonds.”
A Texas 9-year-old was suspended for saying his magic ring could make people disappear.
A young girl was sent home with a censorious note from her school because her Wonder Woman lunchbox violated the school ban on depictions of “violent characters”.
An Oregon eighth-grader, whose brother served in Iraq, was suspended for wearing a T-shirt that depicted an empty pair of boots representing soldiers killed in action. The school said the shirt was “not appropriate.”
A Tennessee boy was threatened with suspension from elementary school because he came to school with a military-style haircut like that of his stepbrother, a soldier.
A government arbitrator prevented the firing of a New Jersey elementary school teacher who was late to school 111 times in two years.*
A suburban Washington high school promoted self-esteem by naming 117 valedictorians out of a class of 457. Two Edina, Minn., elementary schools hired “recess consultants” to minimize “conflict” — children saying “Hey, you’re out!” rather than “Nice try!”
The principal of a San Francisco middle school withheld the results of student elections that did not produce properly “diverse” results.
When some deep thinkers in academia decided that yoga, like ethnic food, constitutes “cultural appropriation,” a clear thinker wondered whether offended cultures would send back our polio vaccines.
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni reported that 48 of the top 52 liberal arts colleges and universities do not require English majors to take a Shakespeare course.
Not much can be done against stupidity in power. Putting up with it is one of the penalties we have to pay for democracy – until some more effective political system is devised to protect liberty.
* Items marked with a star are also examples of corruption and/or sheer nastiness.
It seems possible that Bernie Sanders could actually be the Democratic Party’s nominee for the presidency if Hillary Clinton were to be indicted for the obvious felonies she has committed.
He calls himself a “democratic socialist”. From all that we can discover about him, we’d say that “Communist” would fit him perfectly.
But okay, “democratic socialist” will do for now.
“Democratic”? Leftist dictatorships like to call themselves “democratic”. It means nothing there. Sanders points to Scandinavian examples of “democratic socialism”. Denmark, Sweden, Norway are welfare states which hold democratic elections. They’re often held up – rightly or wrongly – as proof that socialism can be a workable system, even though it has failed everywhere else.
So how well can socialism work?
John Hinderaker writes at PowerLine:
Over the last 200 years, free enterprise has led to an unprecedented explosion of wealth, individual liberty and creativity. Nothing in human history … has enriched the human race to anything like the same degree. If human history has conclusively established any fact, it is that free enterprise is fantastically successful, while socialism is a pitiful failure. Think of North Korea, the USSR, Maoist China, Albania, East Germany, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, India until it wised up. The list goes on and on.
And yet…the siren song of socialism still lures suckers. Currently, Venezuela is learning the age-old lesson the hard way. But we can’t laugh at Venezuelans, when Bernie Sanders is a serious contender for our presidency and is far and away the campus favorite. How is it that socialism (or the urge toward socialism, anyway) can survive? It is the cockroach of ideologies, seemingly impervious to all efforts to kill it.
It may be helpful to think of socialism as a species of fraud. There are many types of fraud, but nothing new under the Sun. … The same con games that flourished hundreds of years ago still work. Charles Ponzi’s financial empire collapsed in 1920, and he was arrested and sent to prison. Yet hardly a month goes by without another Ponzi scheme being revealed. There is only one way in which a Ponzi scheme can end: in disaster. This is a mathematical fact. Yet people fall for them, over and over. …
Socialism is fraud writ large. …
Only under socialism could Fidel Castro become the richest warlord, relative to his subjects’ wealth, in recorded history. (And that was the least of his sins.) Only under socialism could Maria Gabriela Chavez, daughter of socialist tribune of the people Hugo Chavez, beloved by the American left, waltz off with a $4 billion fortune. But then, she was a piker: Chavez’s Minister of the Treasury stashed $11 billion in Swiss bank accounts.
Charles Ponzi’s mistake was that he should have gone into politics. He could have gone far as a socialist politician, and could have avoided prison. … A fraudster like Bernie Madoff will only take your money. A socialist will take your money, but that is just the beginning. When you give power to the power-mad, your freedom and human dignity, and perhaps your life, are soon forfeit.
Bernie Sanders’s economic theory is very simple, superficial and childish. He thinks there is a fixed amount of wealth (he calls it “the wealth” as if it exists in nature independent of human activity) and it is unfairly distributed. Too much over here, too little over there. Government must come along and spread it nice and evenly.
We doubt that Hillary Clinton has a better understanding. She insists that businesses do not create jobs. Obama is also unaffected by economic realities.
Perhaps what America needs is a successful businessman to take charge. In which case voters might cast a considering eye on Donald Trump.
As, in fact, they are.
We are to a large extent libertarian conservatives.
We agree with Libertarians on many issues.
Where we part company with them is chiefly over foreign policy. A realistic understanding of what is happening in the world cannot but be pessimistic. War is raging in the Middle East as a horrifying army of Islamic savages – ISIS – spreads its tyranny and commits atrocities. The war sends millions of Muslim “refugees” into Europe, which will before long become a continent dominated by Muslims and subjected to the cruelties of Islamic law.
The evil tentacles of ISIS stretch far and reach America. The worst terrorist attack in America since 9/11 was carried out by ISIS affiliates late this year at San Bernardino in California. Islam is a growing menace to the Western world, to America, to liberty.
Deliberately to ignore this reality is obviously and astonishingly foolish.
Yet Libertarians do ignore it. Or, if they have to notice it, they play it down and brush it aside. They prefer to look on the bright side of current events.
John Stossel, a cheerful Libertarian, writes at Townhall:
Terrorism! Crime! Deadly storms! Hillary Clinton!
We like the inclusion of Hillary Clinton among the horrors.
We reporters focus on bad news, but at year’s end, let’s remember what went right. 2015 was a better time to be alive than most any prior point in history.
He means, of course, to be alive in America.
The rich got richer. Some people think that’s a problem, but why? Do rich people sit on their piles of money and cackle about how rich they are? Do they build giant houses that damage the environment? Well, they sometimes do.
But mostly they invest, hoping to get richer still. Those investments create jobs and better products and make most everyone else richer. Even if the rich leave money in banks, banks lend it to people who put it to productive use.
Sure, income inequality has grown – but so what? The rich don’t get richer at the expense of the poor. Poor people’s income grew 48 percent over the past 35 years. Bernie Sanders says that “the middle class is disappearing”. But that’s mainly because many middle-class people moved into the upper class. Middle class incomes grew 40 percent over the past 30 years.
We receive all that with nods and smiles.
This year we heard more horror stories about bad schools and students who don’t learn. But take heart: Seven more states passed education choice legislation.
That means more students can opt out of bad schools and pick better ones, and over the long haul competing schools will have to get better at what they do. That will lead to a brighter future for all students – and for society, which will benefit from their improved skills.
That too is good news.
In 2015, two more states and Washington, D.C., legalized marijuana. Authorities are always reluctant to give up control, but gradually the end of the expensive, destructive and futile drug war will come.
We have no quarrel with him there.
Meanwhile, real crime – violence and thefts – continue to fall. We cover horrible mass shootings and spikes in crime in cities like Baltimore and St. Louis, but overall, crime is down – over the past 20 years, down by about half.
And that is very good news.
He comes back to terrorism:
Unfortunately, terrorism has increased – mainly because of ISIS in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Nevertheless, there are far fewer deaths from war and terror than there were 30 years ago, and in America, the odds of you or your family being killed by a terrorist are infinitesimal compared to disease, accidents and a thousand more-ordinary threats.
And that is where our nodding stops and our smiles vanish.
In our experience – not inconsiderable – of dealing with terrorism, we have all too often heard glib apologists, mainly spokesmen of the Left but also Libertarians, bring up the statistics of deaths in accidents outnumbering deaths in terrorist attacks. To do so is not just stupid, not just irrelevant, but bad. Accidents are by definition events that nobody is responsible for. To compare the danger of accidents with the danger of terrorism – to treat terrorism as just another hazard in contemporary living – is to remove the moral dimension from the frightful business of deliberately terrifying, killing, maiming, and shattering lives which is what terrorists do.
To disregard the immorality of terrorism is tantamount to condoning it.
Nothing ensures the triumph of evil as effectively as the abandonment of moral judgment.
Of course John Stossel does not mean to abandon moral judgment. He, like most Libertarians, has simply not given enough thought to the matter.
So on that point his optimism lapses into sheer insouciance.
But he moves on to other topics:
Marriage is good for civilization. This year the Supreme Court declared that gay people may get married. Government shouldn’t be in the marriage business at all, since marriage is a contract between individuals, but if it’s going to wade into that issue, it’s better to have one clear rule instead of ugly ongoing fights about it.
Ending the political squabble means we can all go back to minding our own business and worrying about our own marriages.
We won’t quarrel with him over that either, although we think the word “marriage”, with its age-long connotations, is unsuitable to describe a contractual union between two people of the same sex.
In 2015, women in Saudi Arabia got to vote.
But a woman in Saudi Arabia still may not drive. Or walk abroad without a male relative escorting her. Or inherit as much her brothers. Or be fully believed in court unless a second woman backs up her testimony.
More countries elected leaders, rather than inheriting them.
But some may not be able to replace them in another election.
With what he says next, we heartily agree:
The picture isn’t all rosy. As I mentioned, terrorism is up. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are on track to lead America into bankruptcy. We have eternal problems like hunger and disease.
But even those “eternal” problems are closer to being solved than they used to be.
Thanks to better vaccines, 6 million fewer children under the age of 5 die each year compared to 30 years ago.
Twenty-five years ago, 2 billion people lived in extreme poverty – that meant surviving on about a dollar a day, often with little access to basic needs like water and food. “Experts” predicted that number would rise as the population grew. Happily, thanks to the power of free markets, they were wrong. In the space of a generation, half the people most in need in the world were rescued.
Ten percent of the world’s people still live in dire poverty, but the trend is clear: Where there is rule of law and individual freedom, humanity is better off.
But then again, he makes a recommendation we cannot like:
As Marian Tupy of HumanProgress.org puts it, “Away from the front pages of our newspapers and television, billions of people go about their lives unmolested, enjoying incremental improvements that make each year better than the last.”
So enjoy it.
Away from the sources of news about what’s going on in the world? There again is the misguided aspect of the Libertarian outlook. See, hear, speak no evil and it will be just as if there is none? Dangerous nonsense!
But with his last words we cordially join in:
Happy New Year!