Tens of millions of slaves 3

Slavery is not a thing of the past. Some 36 million people are counted this year as slaves. And there are certainly countless more.

Many domestic servants in Arab countries – Saudi Arabia for instance – are not counted as slaves because in theory they are paid wages, but their conditions of work are conditions of enslavement and many go unpaid in practice.

Almost the entire population of North Korea could be described as enslaved in their own country. And according to the Guardian: “Thousands of migrant labourers from North Korea are toiling for years on construction sites in Qatar for virtually no pay – including on the vast new metropolis that is the centrepiece of the World Cup – in what may amount to “state-sponsored slavery”.

And the number of slaves is growing continually, as men of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) – among other devout Muslims – sell women and girls in open slave markets.

Yahoo! News reports:

The Walk Free Foundation, an Australian-based human rights group, estimated in its inaugural slavery index last year that 29.8 million people were born into servitude, trafficked for sex work, trapped in debt bondage or exploited for forced labour.

Releasing its second annual index, Walk Free increased its estimate of the number of slaves to 35.8 million, saying this was due to better data collection and slavery being uncovered in areas where it had not been found previously.

For the second year, the index of 167 countries found India had by far the greatest number of slaves. Up to 14.3 million people in its population of 1.25 billion were victims of slavery, ranging from prostitution to bonded labour.

Mauritania was again the country where slavery was most prevalent by head of population while Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup, rose up the rank from 96th place to be listed as the fourth worst country by percentage of the population.

“From children denied an education by being forced to work or marry early, to men unable to leave their work because of crushing debts they owe to recruitment agents, to women and girls exploited as unpaid, abused domestic workers, modern slavery has many faces,” the report said.

“It still exists today, in every country – modern slavery affects us all.”

The index defines slavery as the control or possession of people in such a way as to deprive them of their freedom with the intention of exploiting them for profit or sex, usually through violence, coercion or deception.

The definition includes indentured servitude, forced marriage and the abduction of children to serve in wars.

Hereditary slavery is deeply entrenched in the West African country of Mauritania, where four percent of the population of 3.9 million is estimated to be enslaved, the report said.

After Mauritania, slavery was most prevalent in Uzbekistan, where citizens are forced to pick cotton every year to meet state-imposed cotton quotas, and Haiti, where the practice of sending poor children to stay with richer acquaintances or relatives routinely leads to abuse and forced labour, it said. …

The next highest prevalence rates were found in India, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Syria and Central African Republic.

The index showed that 10 countries alone account for 71 percent of the world’s slaves.

After India, China has the most with 3.2 million, then Pakistan (2.1 million), Uzbekistan (1.2 million), Russia (1.05 million), Nigeria (834,200), Democratic Republic of Congo (762,900), Indonesia (714,100), Bangladesh (680,900) and Thailand (475,300).

And last year’s report by the Walk Free Foundation recorded this shocking information:

The United States, per capita, has a very low rate of slavery: just 0.02 percent, or one in every 5,000 people. But that adds up to a lot: an estimated 60,000 slaves, right here in America. 

And this year?

Here’s the 2014 Walk Free Foundation’s map:

The total number of people enslaved by region

Speaking of atheism 0

A chat about atheism, religion, and science. Recorded December 14, 2010.

Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens.

New DOJ boss same as the old DOJ boss? 1

Under Attorney General Eric Holder the Department of Justice became an agency for enforcing discrimination against whites and patronizing blacks.

His probable successor is Loretta Lynch. Will she perpetuate Holder’s outrageously unjust policies, or will she try to use it for the purpose it was established for?

We quote from an article by J. Christian Adams at PJ Media (via Watchdog Community – a site we recommend to our readers):

The nomination of Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general is a deft political decision by President Obama. Lynch’s nomination satisfies the racial interest groups yet doesn’t carry the toxic record that other possible nominees carried. … [and so] provides the false promise [that] the Justice Department may improve once Holder is gone.

That hope ignores the fact that Holder, while lawless as can be, was the symptom of an institutional problem when progressives wield power at the most powerful federal department. Holder may go, but hundreds who think just like him will still be managing affairs …

It’s worth noting one good thing about Lynch. She is coming from a United States attorney’s office. … [Her]  most beneficial qualification is being an outsider in an era where the DOJ insiders have turned the department into a plaything to appease the most extreme elements of the Democratic Party. Her experience as a two-time U.S. attorney is the one bright spot in her nomination.

That’s where the good news about Lynch ends.

Most notably, she seems to be a devotee of the fable that Jim Crow is coming back, and that laws designed to ensure election integrity are really a plot to disenfranchise minorities. She specifically attacked voter identification laws. She called them an effort “to take back” what Martin Luther King had won.

Opposition to voter ID is designed to scare minority voters and help Democrats win turnout wars.

Her misplaced opposition to voter ID portends a broader problem. The department under Holder has undertaken racially selective law enforcement. While DOJ officials bluster about criminal civil rights cases that never happen, such as against George Zimmerman and in Ferguson, they brazenly refuse to prosecute civil rights cases when white victims are subject to racially motivated violence. Incident after incident after incident has occurred in the last few years, and Matt Drudge routinely catalogs them at the Drudge Report.

A single prosecution of these cases, nay, even an investigation, would deflate Holder’s critics, myself included. But these cases have not been prosecuted under Holder because the prosecutors oppose using civil rights laws to protect white victims of hate crimes. Holder even said so himself in congressional testimony – saying that hate crime laws are designed to protect traditional racial minorities.

That’s code for, if you aren’t one of “his people” the law won’t protect you. …

Will Lynch commit to keeping quiet about DOJ investigations, or will she stoke racial division, as Eric Holder did in Ferguson?

The Senate should bore into Lynch’s views on the same, and hard. There are plenty of skilled questioners on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Armed with the list of racially motivated attacks over the last few years, they should extract a commitment from her that she will break with Holder’s racially selective law enforcement.

Exhibit One can be the inspector general’s report on the Justice Department Civil Rights Division which documents the pervasive opposition at all levels to racially neutral enforcement of civil rights laws.  Ask Lynch if she will implement the changes to hiring practices that former Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez refused to implement – namely hiring people other than ideological progressives to serve as lawyers.

Senators might also ask Lynch if she thinks blacks are less sophisticated voters than whites. After all, that’s what a paid Justice Department expert testified to in the attack on Texas voter identification laws. Does Lynch think it is appropriate for hundreds of thousands of dollars to line the pockets of hired DOJ experts who espouse such segregationist-style nonsense?

Senators might also ask Lynch if she has the spine to tell a president that he can’t simply suspend immigration laws by fiat. Or, does she believe he can?

Will Lynch’s on-the-ground understanding of the threats of Islamic terror in New York cause her to reassess the department’s queer biases? For example, will the department continue to employ lawyers in sensitive national security positions advising on terror policy when they represented Islamic terrorists at GITMO before coming to DOJ?

Some might rejoice at Holder’s departure, assuming a clean slate means a new approach. Beware. The Justice Department has suffered the same type of fundamental transformation the president promised for the country. Without stiff and sophisticated congressional oversight, Lynch may be Eric Holder 2.0.

Posted under Commentary, Law, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, November 15, 2014

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The folly of raising the minimum wage 11

minwage

There should be no minimum wage at all in the interest of a thriving economy.

But if there is going to be such a misconceived thing, it should be very low indeed.

Many minimum wage jobs can be performed by machines. Automation will be hastened by the imposition of a minimum wage.

Minimum wage enforcement can only create unemployment.

It is not what an employee needs that should determine his wage, but how much he can contribute to the business that employs him. If his job earns the business at least three times his wage, he is worth what he is paid. The more he contributes, the more he is worth. If he needs more, he can get it by contributing more. The bigger and better his contribution, the better he’ll do for himself.

This is the way capitalism – what Adam Smith called “the natural order of liberty” – works.

From each according to his need, to each according to his ability.

Posted under Capitalism, Commentary, Economics by Jillian Becker on Friday, November 14, 2014

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Sauce for the Israeli goose … 4

… is not the same for the Coalition gander.

General Dempsey reported on Israel’s extraordinary efforts to avoid harming civilians.

The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, told an audience in New York that he believed the Israel Defense Force went to “extraordinary lengths” to limit civilian casualties in this past summer’s military conflict in Gaza.

The military leader was speaking to the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

In addition to praising the IDF’s efforts to limit civilian casualties, Dempsey also said that the Pentagon sent a team to Israel to see what lessons could be learned from the IDF’s expertise during Operation Protective Edge. This included observing the measures taken by the IDF to prevent civilian casualties and the way in which the Israeli military dealt with the terror tunnels.

The reason this is such extraordinary news is that Israel was criticized harshly and repeatedly for failing to prevent the heavy loss of civilian life during the conflict, which saw more than a thousand Gazans die, including many civilians and children. Various human rights entities accused and continue to accuse Israel of committing war crimes. Even the White House and State Department repeatedly claimed Israel failed to do enough to prevent civilian casualties.

But when asked to address the alleged “callous indifference” by Israel to the extensive damage and civilian deaths, Dempsey told the audience that he thought the IDF “did what they could” to avoid civilian casualties.

“I actually do think that Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties,” Dempsey told the group. “In this kind of conflict, where you are held to a standard that your enemy is not held to, you’re going to be criticized for civilian casualties,” he added.

Dempsey said Hamas had turned Gaza into “very nearly a subterranean society” with tunneling throughout the coastal enclave.

“That caused the IDF some significant challenges. But they did some extraordinary things to try and limit civilian casualties,” Dempsey said, which included “making it known that they were going to destroy a particular structure,” Dempsey said.

In addition to dropping warning leaflets, Dempsey said, the IDF developed a technique called “roof-knocking.” This involves dropping a low-yield explosive or non-explosive device on a rooftop. This “knocking” is a warning to residents to leave the building before it is shelled. Of course, even this effort to limit civilian casualties was criticized for not being gentle enough.

Dempsey said civilian casualties during the summer’s conflict were “tragic, but I think the IDF did what they could” to avoid them.

“The IDF is not interested in creating civilian casualties. They’re interested in stopping the shooting of rockets and missiles out of the Gaza Strip and into Israel,” Dempsey said.

(It  should also  be remembered that Hamas, the elected government of Gaza, used civilians – children in particular – as human shields, often forcing them to remain in the very buildings they had been warned were to be bombed.)

Whatever lessons the team from the Pentagon learnt from the IDF’s expertise at taking measures to prevent civilian casualties, were apparently not applied by the US when the Air Force bombed IS/ISIS/ISIL in Iraq.

AP reports:

US bombing kills children in Iraq.

Iraq’s prime minister on Wednesday ordered his first major shakeup of his military since taking office three months ago, relieving 26 army officers of their commands and retiring 10 others as a monitoring group said airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group and other extremists in neighboring Syria have killed more than 860 people, including civilians, since they began in September. …

On Wednesday, three bombings in and around the Iraqi capital killed at least 17 people and wounded nearly 40, police and hospital officials said.  …

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, meanwhile, said on Wednesday that at least 50 civilians, including eight children and five women, also have been killed in the airstrikes, the group said.

The mainstream media do not feature these deaths. The TV news screens of the West are not filled with images of these dead children. They are of less concern than the dead children of Gaza. Because the hearts of the hardboiled media bleed only when the Israelis are doing the bombing.

What did the Obama administration have to say about all this?

When Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to stop the flood of rockets being launched at its cities, and particularly when it mounted a short ground operation to locate and destroy infiltration tunnels under the border, there was the predictable response from the UN, the NGOs and Israel’s usual critics that it was causing ‘disproportionate’ civilian casualties in Gaza. Surprisingly (or not), the Obama Administration and State Department joined the chorus.

You probably recall John Kerry’s sarcastic remark that Israel had carried out a “hell of a pinpoint operation”.  And you may remember that back in July, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that “there’s more that could be done [by Israel]” to reduce civilian casualties. There are also reports of a particularly “combative” phone call from President Obama to PM Netanyahu during the war.

So [on November 8], the intrepid Matt Lee of the AP asked Psaki whether the Chairman of the JCS knew what he was talking about:

QUESTION: Yesterday, the ICC made its decision that there was no case to prosecute for war crimes in Gaza. But also yesterday – and you spoke about that very briefly here. But also yesterday, General Dempsey, who is no slouch when it comes to military things, told an audience in New York that the Israelis went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage during the Gaza war.

And I’m puzzled, because I thought it was the position of the Administration – or maybe it was just the position of the State Department and the White House – that Israel was not doing enough to live up to its – what you called its own high standards. Back on August 3rd, there was the statement you put out after the UNRWA school incident, saying that the U.S. “is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling’. And that was some pretty fierce criticism.

How do you reconcile these two apparent divergent points of view? When this statement came out, the United States was appalled? Did that just mean the State Department was appalled?

  1. PSAKI: No, that is the position of the Administration; it remains the position of the Administration. As we made clear throughout the summer’s conflict, we supported Israel’s right to self-defense and strongly condemned Hamas’s rocket attacks that deliberately targeted civilians, and the use of tunnels, of course, of attacks into Israel. However, we also expressed deep concern and heartbreak for the civilian death toll in Gaza and made clear, as you noted in the statement you pointed to, that we believed that Israel could have done more to prevent civilian casualties, and it was important that they held their selves to a high standard. So that remains our view and position about this summer’s events.

QUESTION: Okay. But I’m still confused as to how you can reconcile the fact that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – who knows a bit about how military operations work, I would venture to guess; I don’t know him, but I assume that he wouldn’t be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff if he was – if he didn’t —

  1. PSAKI: Correct.

QUESTION: — says that the Israelis essentially did the best that they could and lived up to – by extension lived up to their high standards by taking – by going to, quote, “extraordinary lengths” to limit the collateral damage.

  1. PSAKI: Well, I would point you to the chairman’s team for his – more specifics on his comments. But it remains the broad view of the entire Administration that they could have done more and they should have taken more – all feasible precautions to prevent civilian casualties.

But the Coalition is not required to do the same? Apparently not.

So is there an element of special treatment for Israelis? Do anti-Semitic Europe and anti-Israel pro-Islam Obama set the moral bar higher for Israelis than for any others – or for themselves?

To borrow a saying: We report, you decide.

It’s not terrorism, it’s war 14

European governments cannot think of an effective way to deal with the jihadis in their midst.

Take the case of Sweden. We quote from an article in this month’s issue of Commentary by Annika Hernroth-Rothstein. It is titled A Local Story of Global Jihad:

Sweden has long functioned as a hub for international terrorism and has housed members of international terrorist organizations such as Hamas, the Armed Islamic Group, Al Shabaab, Egypt’s Gamaa al-Islamiyya, and the Islamic State. Because membership in foreign terrorist organizations is not illegal, these operatives have largely been left alone.

In some cases, the Swedish government has gone out of its way to help them. In 2002, Swedish jihadist Mehdi Mohammad Ghezali was captured in Afghanistan by American forces. Deemed an enemy combatant, he was incarcerated at Guantánamo Bay. Stockholm immediately launched a campaign to release Ghezali, and in 2004 he was let out. Five years later, he was arrested in Pakistan for collaborating with the Islamic State.

While other European countries have broadened their anti-terrorism policies in order to crack down on terrorist propaganda, Sweden has become a safe haven for websites and publishers that specialize in jihadist material. Additionally, Sweden is home to certain mosques that are funded by foreign countries and known to function as recruitment centers for terrorist organizations. On the island of Hisingen, for instance, the Gothenburg Mosque, in Sweden’s second-largest city, is financed by Saudi Arabia. The Islamic Center in Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city, is funded and owned by the World Islamic Call Society, an Islamist umbrella organization founded by Muammar Qaddafi. With 60,000 members, it’s the largest mosque in Scandinavia. And the Husby Islamic Center, in the Stockholm suburb, was funded by Qatar. The new mosque to be built in Rinkeby, a suburb of Stockholm, is a Qatari undertaking as well.

But Sweden’s most insidious enabling of jihad is achieved through its generous social-benefits system. According to the latest numbers from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, the average immigrant family in Sweden, consisting of two parents and two children, receives $3,135 per month in benefits. What’s more, these funds are exempt from the country’s standard 33 percent income tax. This may not seem like a lot of money compared with the gargantuan sums we often hear about in cases of international terror financing, but it’s more than enough to do great harm. The Swedish Security Service concluded that the money Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly [a suicide bomber who returned from the Middle east and blew himself up on a Stockholm street] and his wife were given in benefits and loans from the Swedish government was used to finance his trips abroad, where he received terrorist training. The family had no other source of income.

Abdaly, Ghezali, and the country’s approximately 200 other potential militants are manifestations of the larger problem of jihad in Europe. There is no shortage of nightmare stories to attest to this ballooning reality. British citizens who received al-Qaeda training in Afghanistan and Pakistan bombed the London subway in 2005. Mehdi Nemmouche, an ISIS member and French national, fought for jihad in Syria before opening fire on innocents at the Jewish Museum in Brussels this past May. The ISIS executioners who recently beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning delivered their crazed overtures to human slaughter in native British accents. …

Western leaders are now aggressively pursuing ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but while they chase the bad guys from the edge of town, they risk leaving the door to the house wide open. Above all, it must be remembered that the jihadists’ long-term goal is to strike the West. The war they fight has no borders; the caliphate they seek has no geographic limits.

Europe is slow to connect the dots when they form a discomfiting image. For Sweden, a country that prides itself on the progressive values of openness and inclusivity, the steps necessary to fight a counter-jihad at home are almost too painful to countenance. The Swedish measures now in place amount to a kind of counter-radicalization therapy. … Muslim extremism in faraway lands is a suitable topic for discussion, but addressing the jihadists among us is political kryptonite.

Yet such considerations are meaningless to the jihadists themselves. As Abdaly himself put it: “The Islamic State has lived up to its holy promise; we are here in Europe, and in Sweden. We are a reality, not a fantasy.” In Sweden, Europe’s third-largest contributor to the jihad, we’d do well to take our enemies at their word.

Britain is floundering in a fog of of misdiagnosis just as Sweden is.

We quote from a recent article at Stand for Peace by Sam Westrop:

On September 30, Theresa May, the British Home Secretary, gave a speech at the Conservative Party’s annual conference, in which she outlined the threat posed to Britain by terrorism from abroad and extremism at home.

After giving the customary assurance that the actions of ISIS have no basis in Islam and proffering a quote from the Quran, May boasted of the Government’s record fighting fundamentalism, promised new powers to fight extremist groups and declared her gritty determination to uphold “British values”.

This grandiose speech revealed ambition – albeit mostly May’s own. It did not, however, demonstrate any real progress. The Home Secretary’s effusions were example of a government that has only half-heartedly responded to the problem of extremist ideology. It is a government that likes to talk but fails to act.

The Home Secretary then announced a series of weak measures to be taken in dealing with “extremism” in the organized charities, the media, the internet, schools, prisons, universities.

Sam Westrop rightly concludes:

It appears that the Home Office urgently needs to define “extremism.” This definition should include the smiling Islamist who attends interfaith vigils during the day but propagates anti-Semitism and expresses support for Hamas at night.

Extremism is a dangerous animal, but presently it is being given both the carrot and the stick. As long as we allow the human face of Islamist extremism to subsist, and even flourish, we will continue to churn out radicalized Muslim youth who will choose the Kalashnikov over a university degree. No one claims that the answer to Islamist extremism is easy. The question of extremism, however, is remarkably simple. If only the government would understand.

And the US government, under the leadership of a devotedly pro-Islam president, is trying to pretend that holy warriors are simply breaking US domestic law and need to be tried in civil courts.

We quote from the Guardian:

Irek Hamidullin was arraigned on 12 counts, including providing material support to terrorists, trying to destroy US military aircraft and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. Half of the charges are punishable by up to life in prison. Attorney general Eric Holder chose not to seek the death penalty …

Hamidullin is the first military detainee from Afghanistan to be brought to the US for trial. His transfer represents the latest attempt by the Obama administration to show that it can use the criminal court system to deal with terror suspects – a move criticized by some Republican lawmakers who believe such cases should be handled by military tribunals.

US officials say Hamidullin is a Russian veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan who stayed in the country and joined the Taliban. He was captured in 2009 after an attack on Afghan border police and US soldiers in Khowst province. He had been held at the US Parwan detention facility at Bagram airfield before being brought to the US. … He became affiliated with the Taliban in 2001.

The indictment says Hamidullin commanded three groups of insurgents that attacked Afghan border police at Camp Leyza, one of six locations the Taliban had identified as possible targets. He directed insurgents armed with anti-aircraft machine guns to fire at US military helicopters responding to the attack, the indictment says, and later used a machine gun to shoot at US troops and Afghan border police assessing damage at the battle site.

Those are clearly acts of war. Hamidullin should be tried by a military tribunal.

What Western governments fail to understand is that their countries are not being subjected to “extremism”, or “terrorism”, but war. 

The jihad is indeed global. Jihad means Holy War. Sure, it must be fought in Europe as well as in the Middle East. But it must be recognized as a war everywhere

Even if European governments found a way to stop and punish jihadi violence in their own countries, the war would go on. At present they are all acting ineffectively. Instead of joyfully letting all Muslim citizens who want to go and fight with IS/ISIS/ISIL go, and refuse them re-entry, and deprive them of their citizenship (as Geert Wilders so rightly recommends), they try to persuade them not to go, and if they return they give them “therapy”, as if Islam were nothing but a nervous breakdown in a few gullible individuals.  

It is foolish and dangerous to go on calling every Muslim “holy” warrior a terrorist. It is even more foolish and self-deceiving to call IS/ISIS/ISIL a “terrorist organization”. They are one of the armies of Islam. 

Islam is an ideology of world conquest. It is fighting a war against the non-Muslim world. 

At the same time there are battles within Islam. Sunni versus Shia is a perpetual conflict. IS/ISIS/ISIL – the Islamic State – is Sunni. When Shia Iran becomes a nuclear power – which will be quite soon with Obama’s help – there will be a second Islamic force against the rest of the world, competing with the Islamic State for the victor’s crown.

Of course the Iranian force with its nuclear weapons will be a thousand times stronger than the Islamic State.

Even if  the US-led “coalition ” were to defeat the Islamic State, the war would not stop. It will be kept going  on the streets of Western cities in Sweden, Britain, France, Spain, America, until the nuclear bombs of Iran strike –  first Israel and then anywhere else they choose.

How should it be dealt with? At the very least the West should treat Islamic states as it did the Soviet Union. Our long war with the USSR was called a Cold War, but there were many places where it was hotly fought. Persons in the West who were loyal to the enemy ideology were tolerated for the most part if they did nothing actively to aid the enemy. When they acted to help the enemy at the expense of their own country, they were put to death – as the Rosenbergs were.

That is the precedent for the West to follow in dealing now with the equally abominable ideology and aggressive intent of Islam.

Justice seen not to be done 16

How passionately, profoundly, unalterably President Barack Obama loves Islam is demonstrated by the story of Major Nidal Malik Hasan. 

Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a phsychatrist in the US army, was sentenced to death in August 2013 for killing 13 people and wounding 32  at the military base of Fort Hood in 2009.

He said that he did it for the Taliban, the enemy that the US army was fighting a war against in Afghanistan.

He is a traitor and a mass-murdering Islamic terrorist.

A military court tried him for murder and attempted murder and condemned him to death. He is imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. He will live there for years, in comfortable and privileged conditions, while his case is slowly reviewed by appellate courts.

Due process is being scrupulously observed. Justice is being done.

Or is it?

We quote from an article by Michael Daly at the Daily Beast, dated August 6, 2013:

Nidal Hasan’s victims must suffer twice — first when they were shot by the army shrink turned jihadi, and again as the government calls the murder of 13 soldiers at Fort Hood “workplace violence”.

As U.S. Army psychiatrist turned jihadi Nidal Hasan finally goes on trial for shooting 13 fellow soldiers to death at Fort Hood …  the government continues to classify the 2009 attack: “Workplace violence”.

In what might be termed the audacity of nope, the government has declined to call this al Qaeda–inspired mass murder an act of terrorism because to do so would be “unfair to the victims”.

Orwell’s Ministry of Truth could not do better.

The official reasoning is that it would jeopardize the case because, as stated in a Pentagon memo, “defense counsel will argue that Major Hasan cannot receive a fair trial because a branch of government has indirectly declared that Major Hasan is a terrorist — that he is criminally culpable.”

That has not stopped the government from calling the 9/11 attacks anything but terrorism. The 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon has on display the Purple Heart, the medal awarded to all the soldiers who were killed or injured there that day.

But the Purple Heart has been denied the soldiers who were killed or wounded at Fort Hood. And, because they were classified as victims of simple calamity rather than of combat, they and their families have been denied the accompanying benefits. A number of them say they have not even been able to secure adequate care for their wounds.

And, perhaps in part because people assumed that the army would take care of the soldiers as it would any other fallen and wounded warriors, there was no huge outpouring of financial support for them as there would later be for, say, the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

To her great and everlasting credit, nobody has been more vocal about all this than one of the two heroic police officers who took Hasan down and ended the carnage.

“Betrayed is a good word,” Police Sgt. Kimberly Munley has said of the way the soldiers have been treated.

Munley speaks up on behalf of the soldiers even though as a civilian she would be ineligible for the medal or the benefits, even though she was wounded in the attack.

And Munley has more than enough cause to complain about how she and her equally heroic comrade, Police Sgt. Mark Todd, have been treated themselves. …

Maybe you saw them on television seated beside the first lady at the State of the Union address, Munley still in pain from the bullet wound in her leg.

But surely they received something more than that gestural “honor”? Medals? Compensation? Promotion? An award ceremony? Official thanks on behalf of the nation?

Nope.

You may not know that both of them were subsequently laid off due to budget cuts.

You also may not know that Todd suffered a stroke this past Christmas, two days after returning from Afghanistan, having gone to work there for a civilian contractor when his heroism at Fort Hood failed to save him from being “excessed.”

The stroke apparently left him unable to speak, but he has nonetheless been placed on the list of potential witnesses as the trial gets under way at Ford Hood. …

Munley almost certainly will testify at the trial. Her lawyer, Reid Rubinstein, reports that she is as ready as ever to do whatever duty requires.

She is presently honoring a request by the prosecutors to refrain from public comment during the trial. But you can be sure she will have plenty to say afterward. And likely little of it will be about her own troubles.

In the meanwhile, Rubenstein has joined with another attorney, Neal Sher, in filing a lawsuit against the government on behalf of Munley, a number of the shot soldiers, and their families. The suit notes that the army and the FBI ignored repeated warnings that an increasingly militant Hasan was bent on jihadist violence.

The suit charges that, among other things, the authorities “knew or should have known that Hasan was abusing his patients, who were American soldiers returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, by calling them ‘war criminals’ in the course of psychiatric treatment sessions, and promising criminal prosecution against them because these soldiers had killed Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

How nuts is that?

Imagine coming home shaken up by the war and seeking psychiatric help and having this guy call you a war criminal?

Imagine later hearing that this same sick shrink was allowed just to spout lines from the Quran in place of the formal oral presentation required of all new doctors.

And that Hasan’s communications with al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki were initially excused as research into radical Islam.

And that Hasan spoke of being “happy” when a fellow jihadist shot an American soldier to death outside an Arkansas recruiting station in June of 2009 — a soldier who would also be denied a Purple Heart.

And that five months later Hasan allegedly went with a gun into an area where soldiers were either returning from a deployment or preparing to deploy [and shot them].

Among those who were shot was Lt. Col. Juanita Warman, a physician who … died while using her body to shield a fellow soldier, an act that should have earned her a medal for valor as well as a Purple Heart.

Also shot was Pvt. Francheska Velez, just back from Iraq, completing paperwork for education benefits and pregnant with her first child.

“She lived for a short time in terrible pain and agony, knowing that she and her child were dying,” the lawsuit says.

The suit also says that just before the gunfire, Hasan was heard to shout, “Allahu akbar! 

What happened with that lawsuit Rubenstein and Sher brought against the government on behalf of the victims?

Nothing.

Sean Hannity, a sharp thorn in the side of the Left (and long may he continue to be so), brings to public attention a statement the two lawyers have issued five years after the terrorist crime was committed.

Neal M. Sher and Reed D. Rubinstein, attorneys for over 120 Fort Hood terror attack victims and family members, issued the following statement [November 5], on the fifth anniversary of that attack:

Five years ago today, the terrorist Nidal Hasan yelled “Allahu akbar” and, wearing the uniform of an U.S. Army major, began slaughtering Americans. Fourteen innocent people lost their lives and over fifty were injured. For five years, Hasan has bragged of committing this atrocity in the name of Islam to protect the Taliban.

Hasan’s victims saw their lives forever changed that terrible day.  But the real tragedy of Fort Hood was that our government could have easily prevented their suffering.   The U.S. Army and FBI had long known that Hasan was a jihadist with al-Qaeda connections and, simply by following their own standard policies and procedures, easily could have stopped him before anyone was hurt. Instead, because of what the Senate Homeland Committee’s investigation called “political correctness”, the government willfully averted its eyes to Hasan’s jihadism.  Hasan should have been arrested. Instead, he was promoted and given other special privileges.

Incredibly, the government’s policies of political correctness and special privileges for Hasan continued even after his killing spree.  

The day after the carnage, on November 6, 2009, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that U.S. authorities “were taking measures to quell anti-Islam sentiments” in the U.S. and that Hasan “does not, obviously, represent the Muslim faith”.

On November 8, 2009, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey said on the Sunday talk shows that the “real tragedy” of Fort Hood would be damage to “diversity” policies and publicly warned against “guessing at Hasan’s motive,” though the government knew of Hasan’s jihadist motive from the start.

The special privileges for Hasan also continued. Pfc. Bradley Manning, who gave Wikileaks documents, was kept naked in an isolation cell and charged with aiding the enemy. But Hasan, who killed for the Taliban, was not similarly charged or confined. Instead, he was given uniquely comfortable accommodations and special food; permitted to wear a beard, a privilege denied loyal American soldiers; and allowed to give Al-Jazeera an interview praising anti-American “mujahadeen”.     

Though the government went out of its way to coddle Hasan, it had no kindness for his victims. First, they were used as props in staged “mourning” ceremonies to benefit political leaders, then they were personally promised assistance by President Obama and top generals, and finally they were shoved down a memory hole. Hasan’s terrorism became “workplace violence”, meaning that those who survived the charnel house were denied support, benefits and mental health treatment. In some cases, soldiers were physically and mentally abused for requesting treatment of Fort Hood-related injuries.

Five years on, the government has done nothing to help the victims of Fort Hood. …

Now, from our new Congress, we call and hope for action. First, we ask for equity. Congress should provide similar benefits to the Fort Hood victims as it provided to the 9/11 Pentagon victims. The government should not be allowed to dodge its culpability.

Second, we ask Congress hold oversight hearings to investigate and hold accountable the Department of Defense and the White House for their post-attack policies, conduct and abuse.

Will some justice in this case at last be done?

Britain’s cultural problem: moral subjugation by Islam 2

On a day when the news breaks that Muslims in Britain have been arrested for plotting to kill the Queen, we listen to Pat Condell talking about how his country has been morally subjugated by immoral Islam.

Watchmen on the walls 8

The Right has regained considerable power. The cheers die down. The champagne has been drunk. The recovery of America is only just beginning.

Continuing to explore ideas about what will follow now, we quote an excellent article – or a rallying cry – by J. E. Dyer, posted yesterday at Liberty Unyielding:

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Commander J.E.Dyer

There’s a division of sentiment among conservatives, the day after a big electoral victory for Republicans.

There are plenty of conservatives who were glad to be able to vote for candidates they admire and believe in. That distinguishes them from other conservatives who had to either withhold their votes in certain races, or vote for GOP candidates they didn’t particularly like.

But even many conservatives who had attractive candidates to vote for share something important with less fortunate conservative voters. They share a sense that America has already experienced a break with the political consensus of the past that can’t be repaired with this election.

This isn’t only because Congress will remain divided from the president across policy lines for the next two years. That is important – and not mainly because it will theoretically result in gridlock.  (Some gridlock would actually be pretty darn healthy at this point.) It’s important because the president has executive power, and Congress doesn’t.

Realistically, we can expect Congress to be slow and timid in any attempts to block executive unilateralism by the Obama administration. The American people, the targets of weaponized government, won’t get any meaningful relief.

But it’s even more than that. Something bigger than American partisan politics is going on in the world, and what the voters accomplished on Tuesday will do little to position America better to face it. That’s the sense of settled foreboding I see in many conservatives.

It won’t all be up to the United States government, in any case. The world is going to hand us problems created by others – diseases, foreign despots who churn out refugees; Islamists, Russia, China, Iran, some damn fool thing in the hot-spot of your choice – that could very well impinge as much on the daily lives of Americans as anything Obama does before 2017. They could impinge more, whether they involve geopolitical disruption or economic shocks.

Too much is unsettled now. Getting from where we are to where we need to be will require stopping at a waypoint we haven’t reached yet. The election on Tuesday is not that waypoint.

Indeed, to revive the American spirit of liberty, the waypoint will almost certainly have to have the same weight and import as our constitutional convention of 1787-89.  It’s not clear yet what combination of circumstances might make it possible to identify such a waypoint, and take advantage of it.

For the time being, those with a coherent idea of liberty and limited government expect little gratification from today’s partisan politics. They see what those who voted for Republicans as a status-quo alternative to Democrats don’t: that the status quo itself can’t continue. Creeping bureaucratic despotism – what we live under now – is unsustainable. It’s not the future. …  People have nothing to live for under its lash; ultimately, as limitations and pessimism drive out opportunity and hope, it must destroy itself.

That’s a statement of enormous optimism. What can bring bureaucratic despotism to an end?

Even this clear-eyed writer cannot answer that vital question.

But what the outlines of the future will look like, and what factors might give events a push, no one can foresee from here. …

But Commander Dyer is sure there are better times ahead – because America is the embodiment of an idea: the idea of liberty, and it is an idea that cannot die.

The truth is that deadlines keep passing, for everyone who predicts one certain doom or another. America has not been loaded into a garbage truck from which the only exit is in the landfill. This country still has a lot of living to do.

Liberty has always been an idea, and as an idea, it can’t be killed. It stills burns in the hearts of millions of Americans.

Only some of them know what liberty really is, but there are still millions of those people. And here’s what I perceive about them. Although they remain committed to the political process – they think it’s important not to give up on it – their investment in it is on the wane right now.

The reason?  The political process is not making the difference between liberty and overweening government anymore.  Electing Republicans doesn’t bring relief from overregulation, collectivist statism, and the growth of public bureaucracies that are easily taken over by fanatical ideologues.

This is why the 2014 midterm election isn’t an end-state, nor … a model for the future. It isn’t good enough to elect Republicans to take over the same business the U.S. federal government has been doing for 100 years now.  It’s the business that has to change.

Seeing this clearly is going to keep liberty-minded conservatives in tension with old-consensus Republicans between now and 2016.  But having a vision for something better always does that. …

So, though it is good that the Democrats – the ideologists of serfdom – have been defeated, she does not believe that the Republican Party will bring us the liberty we crave.  

It’s actually exciting, and a source of optimism, to realize that our future doesn’t have to be charted within the confines of the patterns of the past.  Yes, the GOP leadership in Congress is still an old-consensus leadership.  But it’s not discouraging to recognize that the Republicans we’ve just handed a congressional majority aren’t going to change much for us.  It’s liberating to stop expecting them to.

The task now is for the sons and daughters of liberty to educate themselves on liberty itself, and man the ramparts as watchmen on the walls.  … The watchmen on the walls have to be on the lookout for opportunity: knowledgeable about how liberty has been established in the past, and ready to interpret circumstances and openings when they arise.

I think those circumstances and openings are going to arise, although I can’t tell you today what they will be.  I do know that the day has come when it is more important to fan the flames of liberty than to damp them down, through the political process, in search of consensus.  Putting too much into consensus only teaches us to believe lies about freedom, and we’ve been doing that for too long. …

I look to the future.  Join me if you can.  History gives us every reason to be optimistic about a future with liberty, because liberty is healing.  Liberty is the empire of hope.  So get up on those walls, troops.  We’ve got some watching to do.

Posted under Commentary, government, Leftism, liberalism, liberty, Philosophy, Progressivism, Socialism, tyranny, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Thursday, November 6, 2014

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71 genders and one T-shirt fits all 14

We wonder which of the 71 genders now recognized, these three belong to. Anyway they’re all feminists. Shouldn’t Pajama Boy be with them? And Barry “Chickenshit” Obama?

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Our opinion: They’d all look great in a Burkha! 

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Here’s the Telegraph’s list of the 71 genders:

The 21 new options for UK Facebook users

Asexual

Female to male trans man

Female to male transgender man

Female to male transsexual man

F2M

Gender neutral

Hermaphrodite

Intersex man

Intersex person

Intersex woman

Male to female trans woman

Male to female transgender woman

Male to female transsexual woman

Man

M2F

Polygender

T man

T woman

Two person

Two-spirit person

Woman

The list of the 50 previous gender options

Agender

Androgyne

Androgynes

Androgynous

Bigender

Cis

Cis Female

Cis Male

Cis Man

Cis Woman

Cisgender

Cisgender Female

Cisgender Male

Cisgender Man

Cisgender Woman

Female to Male

FTM

Gender Fluid

Gender Nonconforming

Gender Questioning

Gender Variant

Genderqueer

Intersex

Male to Female

MTF

Neither

Neutrois

Non-binary

Other

Pangender

Trans

Trans Female

Trans Male

Trans Man

Trans Person

Trans Female

Trans Male

Trans Man

Trans Person

Trans Woman

Transexual

Transexual Female

Transexual Male

Transexual Man

Transexual Person

Transexual Woman

Transgender Female

Transgender Person

Transmasculine

Two-spirit

At least one of these should be easy to recognize: the Bigenders.

There seems to be a certain redundancy in (for instance) Female to Male and also FTM and even still F2M. But I can already hear an exasperated voice – breaking in mid-sentence – crying out impatiently: ‘You’re so dumb! Can’t you get it that there’s all the difference in the world whether you want a full label applied to you or only the initials or a description suitable for a text message?”

What is the difference, we wonder, between the first list of Trans- (female male man person) and the second list of the same which we have italicized? We suspect a printing error occurred there, and if so the total of the tally is wrong. The number needs to be reduced from 71 to 67 max.

The Trans person is a particularly curious category. What can a person trans into? An animal? A plant?

Man and Woman were not among the previous options, and have apparently only just been introduced. Most people were ahead of Facebook there.

Gender Fluid brings to mind the shape-changers of Star Trek

Amazing that, with so comprehensive-seeming a list, there is still the category of “Other”. Wouldn’t Male, Female, Other have covered everything?

And most amazing of all is Pangender. There are people going about among us who are all of the listed genders simultaneously? Aren’t some of them mutually exclusive – as, for instance, Neither and Man/Woman? Or Agender and most of the others?

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(The picture of the three feminists comes from a Front Page article by Daniel Greenfield.)

(Hat-tip to Robert Kantor for the 71 genders.)

Posted under Commentary, Feminism, Humor, Leftism, Miscellaneous, Progressivism, Sex by Jillian Becker on Monday, November 3, 2014

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