The District of Columbia Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a bill that includes a proposal to pay residents a stipend not to commit crimes. It’s based on a program in Richmond, California, that advocates say has contributed to deep reductions in crime there.
Deep reduction in crime? Criminals no longer have to go out to get other people’s money. It’s handed over to them. They can stay warm in bed.
Under the bill, city officials would identify up to 200 people a year who are considered at risk of either committing or becoming victims of violent crime. Those people would be directed to participate in behavioral therapy and other programs. If they fulfill those obligations and stay out of trouble, they would be paid.
Bribe victims not to be victimized?
And what behavioral therapy does a victim need to not be a victim? If such therapy is known, why can’t we all be treated to it?
Or is just being paid to “stay out of trouble” the magic formula? Sounds good to us.
The bill doesn’t specify the value of the stipends, but participants in the California program receive up to $9,000 per year.
Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, a Democrat who wrote the legislation, said it was part of a comprehensive approach to reducing violent crime in the city, which experienced a 54 percent increase in homicides last year. Homicides and violent crime are still down significantly since the 2000s, and even more so since the early 1990s when the District was dubbed the nation’s “murder capital.”
McDuffie argued that spending $9,000 a year in stipends “pales in comparison” to the cost of someone being victimized, along with the costs of incarcerating the offender.
“I want to prevent violent crime — particularly gun violence — by addressing the root causes and creating opportunities for people, particularly those individuals who are at the highest risks of offending,” McDuffie, a former prosecutor, said in a letter to constituents last week.
How is the paying of protection money “addressing the root causes” of crime?
Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser has not committed to funding the program, which would cost $4.9 million over four years, including $460,000 a year in stipend payments, according to the District’s independent chief financial officer. Without the mayor’s support, it would be up to the Council to find money for it through new taxes or cuts to existing programs.
The program would be run independently of the police department, and participants would remain anonymous. Its goal would be to recruit people who are at risk of violence but don’t have criminal cases pending.
In Richmond, 79 percent of “fellows” participating in the program have not been suspected of involvement in any gun crimes since joining the program, and 84 percent have not been injured by gunfire, the program’s executive director, DeVone Boggan, said in a report to the Council.
Richmond experienced a 77 percent drop in homicides between 2007, when the program was launched, and 2014, although how much can be specifically attributed to the stipends is unclear.
So why doesn’t everyone in Richmond and Washington, D.C. promise their local councils that they won’t commit a crime if they are paid $9,000 a year? Perhaps they could get double by promising not to commit a crime or be a victim.
Why doesn’t the whole country adopt the pleasant idea of this duffer. Be the richer for it – and free of crime forever?
Okay, so its not enough to retire on. You can keep your day job. Just think of the stipend as a gift. A little extra pocket money.
Up for it, Everyone?
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.
Who is the woman whom millions of Americans would vote for to become the first woman president of the United States? What sort of woman is she? What has she done? What does she stand for? What sort of model would she be for rising generations of Americans?
Is she a person who has achieved great things? No. Her only achievements have been catastrophes, bringing incalculable suffering upon millions of people who live their precarious lives in frail societies, most notably in Libya, where she brought unending chaos; in Nigeria, where she actively encouraged Boko Haram, the butchers of untold numbers of defenseless Christians; in Egypt, where she did all she could (but fortunately failed) to keep the tyrannical Muslim Brotherhood in power; in Iran, where she has helped Obama strengthen the oppressive dictatorship of the Ayatollahs.
Is she a woman of ideas? Does she at least associate herself with a political philosophy that promotes freedom, openness, tolerance? No. She has not articulated a single original political idea. And far from promoting freedom, openness and tolerance, she has actively worked with Islamic enemies of America to shut down free speech.
Is she clever? No. Cunning, yes, she is. But she lives in a sort of mental glass house in which she is forever throwing stones. Apparently oblivious to the facts of her own life, she denounces the very people and activities that support her political existence. It is a kind of blind, blundering stupidity.
Or call it “cognitive dissonance”. Examples of it are given by Victor Davis Hanson, who writes at Townhall:
Hillary Clinton recently said she would go after offshore tax “schemes” in the Caribbean. …
Yet her husband, Bill Clinton, reportedly made $10 million as an advisor and an occasional partner in the Yucaipa Global Partnership, a fund registered in the Cayman Islands.
Is Ms. Clinton’s implicit argument that she knows offshore tax dodging is unethical because her family has benefitted from it? Does she plan to return millions of dollars of her family’s offshore-generated income?
Clinton is calling for “huge campaign finance reform,” apparently to end the excessive and often pernicious role of big money in politics. But no candidate, Republican or Democrat, raised more than the $112 million that Clinton collected in 2015 for her primary campaign.
In 2013, Clinton earned nearly $1.6 million in speaking fees from Wall Street banks. She raked in $675,000 from Goldman Sachs, and $225,000 apiece from Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and UBS Wealth Management. Did that profiteering finally make Clinton sour on Wall Street’s pay-for-play ethics?
Clinton has also vowed to raise taxes on hedge fund managers. Is that a way of expressing displeasure with her son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky, who operates a $400 million hedge fund?
For that matter, how did Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea – who worked for a consulting firm and a hedge fund despite having no background in finance – reportedly become worth an estimated $15 million?
Hillary Clinton recently proposed a new $350 billion government plan to make college more affordable. Certainly, universities spike tuition costs, and student-loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion. Colleges spend money indiscriminately, mostly because they know that the federal government will always back student loans.
Yet, since she left office, Clinton routinely has charged universities $200,000 or more for her brief 30-minute chats. Her half-hour fee is roughly equal to the annual public-university tuition cost for eight students.
It’s been said that Clinton is trying to rekindle President Obama’s 2012 allegations of a Republican “war on women”. That charge and the war against the “1 percent” helped deliver key states to Obama. Renewing that theme, Clinton recently declared on Twitter, “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”
Does Clinton’s spirited advocacy of “every” survivor include the array of women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct? In other words, does Hillary now trust the testimonies of survivors such as Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones, whose allegations must be “believed and supported”?
Ms. Clinton has also called for more financial transparency and greater accountability in general – something needed after scandals at government agencies such as the IRS, VA and GSA. But Clinton’s use of a private email server probably violated several federal laws. Her laxity with confidential communications was arguably more egregious than that of Gen. David Petraeus, a national icon who pleaded guilty to mishandling classified materials.
Perhaps Clinton assumes that the electorate is still in the ethical world of the 1990s. Back then, it was somewhat easier to dampen scandals – at least the ones that didn’t involve sex in the White House. But in the age of social media, 24-hour cable TV, instantaneous blogging and a different public attitude toward political corruption and sexual assault, Hillary Clinton now appears to be caught in the wrong century.
Womanizing and sexual coercion can no longer be so easily dismissed. The financial antics of the Clinton Foundation don’t past muster …
Ms. Clinton at times tries to offset scandals by pointing to her record as secretary of state. But few believe that her handling of Russia, Iran, China, Benghazi or Islamic terrorism made the world calmer or America more secure.
There is a brazenness, an audacity, a shameless impudence in her hypocrisy that has no match even among politicians. In this, one would have to look back to medieval Popes to find her equal.
Yet there are tens of millions of voters who would put enormous power into her hands. For no better reason than that she is a woman. Such people deserve their doom, of course. But what of the rest?
America must not fall into the talons of this hell-hag!
Hillary Clinton’s emails reveal more and more, and worse and worse, about her disregard for the security of the nation she was supposed to be serving.
From GOPUSA, by Guy Benson:
If this early January development was a bombshell, today’s revelation is a nuclear bombshell. Hillary Clinton’s improper, unsecure email server appears to have endangered national security even more than previously thought – and her excuses continue to melt away under intensifying scrutiny. [These are the] extremely serious findings from the intelligence community’s Inspector General … :
Hillary Clinton’s emails on her unsecured, homebrew server contained intelligence from the U.S. government’s most secretive and highly classified programs, according to an unclassified letter from a top inspector general to senior lawmakers. Fox News exclusively obtained the text of the unclassified letter, sent Jan. 14 from Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III. It laid out the findings of a recent comprehensive review by intelligence agencies that identified “several dozen” additional classified emails — including specific intelligence known as “special access programs” (SAP). …
Intelligence from a “special access program,” or SAP, is even more sensitive than that designated as “top secret” – as were two emails identified last summer in a random sample pulled from Clinton’s private server she used as secretary of state. Access to a SAP is restricted to those with a “need-to-know” because exposure of the intelligence would likely reveal the source, putting a method of intelligence collection – or a human asset – at risk.
Currently, some 1,340 emails designated “classified” have been found on Clinton’s server, though the Democratic presidential candidate insists the information was not classified at the time. “There is absolutely no way that one could not recognize SAP material,” a former senior law enforcement with decades of experience investigating violations of SAP procedures told Fox News. “It is the most sensitive of the sensitive.”
Hillary’s campaign unsuccessfully attempted to dispute the IG’s previous determination that her woefully under-secure bootleg server contained intelligence deemed “top secret”; this is even worse. Her already-dubious and legally-irrelevant “marked classified” excuse suffers another crushing blow. More:
The [SAP] programs are created when “the vulnerability of, or threat to, specific information is exceptional,” and “the number of persons who ordinarily will have access will be reasonably small and commensurate with the objective of providing enhanced protection for the information involved,” it states. According to court documents, former CIA Director David Petraeus was prosecuted for sharing intelligence from special access programs with his biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell. At the heart of his prosecution was a non-disclosure agreement where Petraeus agreed to protect these closely held government programs, with the understanding “unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention or negligent handling … could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation.” Clinton signed an identical non-disclosure agreement Jan. 22, 2009.
She sure did.
And it includes this line:
As used in the Agreement [which she signed], classified information is marked or unmarked classified information.
No wonder officials inside the FBI are reportedly champing at the bit for an indictment. Her conduct makes Petraeus’ criminal but limited indiscretions look like child’s play. In case you’d forgotten, Mrs. Clinton insisted last year that no classified material whatsoever had passed through her private server. That lie, one of several, has now been disproven more than 1,300 times, and today’s news marks another devastating disclosure. America’s top diplomat trafficked in the most sensitive US intelligence secrets that exist via her private server, which she’d been explicitly and urgently warned was uniquely vulnerable to foreign penetration. This isn’t about breaking some arcane rules or fudging some statements to deflect a political headache. This is about high-level state secrets being willfully and recklessly compromised by a powerful cabinet secretary in a hair-brained scheme to protect her political ambitions. And yes, it was willful. Her inner circle knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that her email arrangement was a serious problem.
As Americans wonder whether the politicized Obama Justice Department will move forward with charges against Mrs. Clinton, one wonders whether she may come to regret uttering these words:
There should be … no individual too big to jail.
They were uttered by her in the last debate among Democratic candidates for the presidency.
One of the slogans of her campaign is: “Ready for Hillary?”
Hillary herself believes she has been ready for the White House ever since she lived in it as First Lady, and perhaps since long before that.
But it is another big house she would be advised to get ready for now. The jailhouse.
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.
It is astonishing that someone who is under criminal investigation by the FBI should be standing as a candidate for the presidency of the United States. Astonishing that the Democratic Party is letting her stand and will almost certainly nominate her as its official candidate. Astonishing that it is apparently not even taking the precaution of putting up an alternative plausible candidate. Astonishing that she carries on campaigning as if criminal charges are not hanging over her.
Hillary Clinton is a shameless scofflaw.
Here is a useful review of the charges the FBI could bring against her. (But will Obama’s corrupt “Department of Justice” consent to indict her?)
Judge Andrew Napolitano writes at Fox News Opinion:
While the country has been fixated on Donald Trump’s tormenting his Republican primary opponents and deeply concerned about the government’s efforts to identify any confederates in the San Bernardino, California, killings, a team of federal prosecutors and FBI agents continues to examine Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state in order to determine whether she committed any crimes and, if so, whether there is sufficient evidence to prove her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
What began as an innocent Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, a D.C.-based public advocacy group promoting transparency in the executive branch, has now become a full criminal investigation, with Clinton as the likely target.
The basic facts are well-known, but the revealed nuances are important, as well. When the State Department responded to the Judicial Watch FOIA request by telling Judicial Watch that it had no emails from Clinton, Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit. When the State Department made the same representation to the court – as incredible as it seemed at the time – the judge accepted that representation, and the case was dismissed.
Then The New York Times revealed that Clinton used a private email server instead of the government’s server for all of her work-related and personal emails during her four years as secretary of state. After that, the Judicial Watch FOIA case was reinstated, and then the judge in the case demanded of State that it produce Clinton’s emails.
When Judicial Watch expressed frustration to the judge about the pace at which it was getting emails, the judge ordered Clinton, “under penalty of perjury”, to certify that she had surrendered all her governmental emails to the State Department.
Eventually, Clinton did certify to the court that she did surrender all of her governmental emails to the State Department. She did so by sending paper copies of selected emails, because she had wiped clean her server. She acknowledged that she decided which emails were personal and which were selected as governmental and returned the governmental ones to the State Department.
She has denied steadfastly and consistently that she ever sent or received any materials marked “classified” while secretary of state using her private server.
All of her behavior has triggered the FBI investigation because she may have committed serious federal crimes.
For example, it is a crime to steal federal property. What did she steal? By diverting to her own venue the digital metadata that accompany all emails — metadata that, when attached to the work-related emails of a government employee, belong to the government — she stole that data. The metadata do not appear on her paper copies — hence the argument that she stole and destroyed the government-owned metadata.
This is particularly troublesome for her present political ambitions because of a federal statute that disqualifies from public office all who have stolen federal property. (She is probably already barred from public office — though this was not prominently raised when she entered the U.S. Senate or the Department of State — because of the china, silverware and furniture that she and her husband took from the White House in January 2001.)
Clinton may also have committed espionage by failing to secure the government secrets entrusted to her. She did that by diverting those secrets to an unprotected, nongovernmental venue — her own server — and again by emailing those secrets to other unprotected and nongovernmental venues.
The reason she can deny sending or receiving anything marked “classified” is that protected government secrets are not marked “classified”.
So her statement, though technically true, is highly misleading. The governmental designations of protected secrets are “confidential,” “secret” and “top secret” – not “classified”.
State Department investigators have found 999 emails sent or received by Clinton in at least one of those three categories of protected secrets.
Back when Clinton became secretary of state, on her first day in office, she had an hourlong FBI briefing on the proper and lawfully required care of government secrets.
She signed a statement, under penalty of perjury, acknowledging that she knew the law and that it is the content of emails, not any stamped markings, that makes them secret.
Earlier this week, my Fox News colleagues confirmed the certain presence of top-secret materials among the 999 emails.
Intelligence from foreign sources or about foreign governments is always top-secret, whether designated as such or not. And she knows that.
As well, she may have committed perjury in the FOIA case. When the House Select Committee on Benghazi, in its investigation of her role in the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, gathered emails, it found emails she did not surrender to the State Department.
Last week, the State Department released emails that give the FBI more areas to investigate. These emails may show a pattern of official behavior by Clinton designed to benefit the financial interests of her family’s foundation, her husband and her son-in-law.
Moreover, the FBI knows of a treasure-trove of documents that may demonstrate that the Clinton Foundation skirted the law and illegally raised and spent contributions.
Two months ago, a group of FBI agents sat around a conference table and reviewed the evidence gathered thus far. Each agent was given the opportunity to make or detract from the case for moving forward. At the end of the meeting, it was the consensus of the group to pursue a criminal investigation.
Judge Napolitano cautiously states that “Clinton is the likely target”. Well, it’s not likely to be anyone else!
We wonder impatiently how long it will take. We would be filled with joy – okay, Schadenfreude – if she were to be charged immediately after being nominated the Democratic candidate for the presidency.
Pat Condell tells the truth about our need for the truth:
Here is Hillary Clinton, when the coffins of the men who died in Benghazi and members of their families were beside her, blaming “a video” for the violent attack that killed them:
And here she is asserting that she did not say that:
Hillary Clinton lies not just by habit, but by nature. She is a liar as a tortoise is a creature with a shell. Her lies are her carapace.
Atheists of the Left – “Humanists” some call themselves – often reveal with unconscious irony how close Leftism is to Christianity: the same moral myopia, hubris, and sentimentality.
In order to enjoy the cheap emotional satisfaction of feeling they are “good people”, they go in for this sort of thing.
We quote from the Friendly Atheist at Patheos:
After the Daily Caller News Foundation posted a map of supposed “radical mosques” in the U.S., it wasn’t long before threats were made against them.
But in a wonderful gesture on Monday, the Humanists of the Palouse reached out to the Muslims, sending them a letter of concern and offering whatever help they could:
To our Muslim friends in the Moscow/Pullman area,
Recently, we have been made aware of threats to our community, centered on the Pullman Islamic Center and it and many other Mosques being mis-reported as “radical”. In today’s climate, these threats should not be taken lightly, and we certainly do not. We fully support your right to practice religion free from harm and harassment.
We recognize your members as valued residents of the Palouse. The Humanists of the Palouse want you to know that we will always defend religious freedom and cultural diversity, and threats against these are threats against our very way of life. We stand with you, and offer our support.
If you feel threatened, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to accompany anyone who feels that their safety is at risk (e.g. grocery shopping, on a walk around town, or just for someone to talk to). If we can advocate for you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, and know that you have friends and allies amongst The Humanists of the Palouse.
The Center’s Board of Trustees soon issued this heartfelt response:
The entire Board of Trustees of the Pullman Islamic Association joins me in thanking you and the Humanists of the Palouse generally for this powerful statement affirming civil rights in this country. We are especially moved that a humanist group so completely supports the local Muslim group, since Islam is the most disrespected group in this country. We have noticed that the correct way to define and appreciate humanist groups in general and yours in particular is as lovers and defenders of civil rights, individual and group democratic dignities and freedom of thought, not as haters of religion. Your group’s neighborly defense of freedom of religion in the Palouse demonstrates your focus on freedom and social justice. We are impressed by and thankful for your firm support and offer of assistance and solidarity.
One of our Board of Trustees members is meeting with an FBI agent today, which demonstrates that the federal police are taking this threat seriously. Given this sobering reality of threatened arson and violence your support will always be appreciated by the leaders and membership of the Pullman Islamic Association. We hope we will not need to ask for your offered assistance, but if we do need or want such support, we will indeed reach out to Humanists of the Palouse.
That’s how you do it, friends.
You can disagree on theological issues, but I’d hope local atheist groups around the country would be willing to reach out to Muslims who are actually being persecuted by overzealous conservatives eager to shut them down.
If they lose their religious freedoms, we all do.
Can they possibly not know that sharia law – inseparable from the ideology of Islam – condemns apostasy, which is what atheism is deemed to be? And prescribes death as the punishment for atheists? (Atheist men; women not always.) In some Islamic lands they are imprisoned rather than executed. But all risk their lives, and such freedom as anyone has in a Muslim majority country.
These are reports of atheists, apostates, free thinkers who have been sentenced to prison, and/or flogging, and/or death in Islamic countries recently – the crime of atheism often being euphemized into something else in court. And some who have been killed by their Muslim compatriots.
1. From the Economist, on Alexander Aan in Indonesia:
A MOB attacked Alexander Aan even before an Indonesian court in June jailed him for two and a half years for “inciting religious hatred”.
His crime was to write “God does not exist” on a Facebook group he had founded for atheists in Minang, a province of the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Like most non-believers in Islamic regions, he was brought up as a Muslim. And like many who profess godlessness openly, he has been punished. …
Sharia law, which covers only Muslims unless incorporated into national law, assumes people are born into their parents’ religion. Thus ex-Muslim atheists are guilty of apostasy—a hudud crime against God, like adultery and drinking alcohol. Potential sanctions can be severe: eight states, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Sudan have the death penalty on their statute books for such offences. …
Most atheists are prosecuted for blasphemy or for inciting hatred. (Atheists born to non-Muslim families are not considered apostates, but they can still be prosecuted for other crimes against religion.) Even in places where laws are lenient, religious authorities and social attitudes can be harsh, with vigilantes inflicting beatings or beheadings.
Many, like Kacem el-Ghazzali, a Moroccan, reckon the only solution is to escape abroad. The 23-year-old was granted asylum in Switzerland after people found out he was the author of an anonymous blog, Atheistica.com. …
Nahla Mahmoud, a 25-year-old Sudanese atheist … fled to Britain in 2010. …
Ibn Warraq, the pseudonymous Indian-born author of “Leaving Islam”, a collection of essays by ex-believers, … lives in exile and has received death threats for campaigning on the behalf of apostates. … Arguments for the death penalty [he says] are usually based on a Hadith, one of the sayings which, along with the Koran, form the basis of Islamic law: “The Prophet said: whoever discards his religion, kill him.” …
Ibn Warraq says that the nub of the problem is that sharia makes atheism the number one sin, ahead of murder. …
2. From the Guardian, on Ashraf Fayadh in Saudi Arabia:
A Palestinian poet and leading member of Saudi Arabia’s nascent contemporary art scene has been sentenced to death for renouncing Islam.
A Saudi court on Tuesday ordered the execution of Ashraf Fayadh, who has curated art shows in Jeddah and at the Venice Biennale. The poet, who said he did not have legal representation, was given 30 days to appeal against the ruling.
Fayadh, 35, a key member of the British-Saudi art organisation Edge of Arabia, was originally sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes by the general court in Abha, a city in the south-west of the ultraconservative kingdom, in May 2014. But after his appeal was dismissed he was retried earlier this month and a new panel of judges ruled that his repentance did not prevent his execution.
3. From Patheos, the Friendly Atheist itself, on Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia:
December 26, 2013 by Paul Fidalgo [who is admirably scathing in his disgust – ed).
Saudi blogger and religious dissident Raif Badawi has been cruelly punished and toyed with by the Saudi legal system for about a year now, and things have taken a darker turn. According to Badawi’s wife, now living in Lebanon, the high court will try Badawi on the charge of apostasy. If convicted, Badawi could be executed.
This comes after a court opted not to charge him with apostasy in January, but did put him up on charges of “insulting Islam and showing disobedience”. How did they come to this decision? Badawi is the co-founder of a website called the Liberal Saudi Network, which is bad enough, but imagine the horror that washed over Saudi society with this kind of action:
The evidence against him included the fact that he pressed the “Like” button on a Facebook page for Arab Christians.
As a result of this heinous behavior, in July, Badawi was sentenced to 600 lashes and seven years in prison.
Which was horrifying enough. But now it looks like Badawi is being brought up on apostasy charges in earnest. Badawi’s case is one of many being watched by the Office of Public Policy at the Center for Inquiry, where I work, and our Campaign for Free Expression. Browse the cases we have listed there, and you’ll see that, sadly, Badawi’s case is hardly unique.
Cases like this need more international attention, and those who position themselves as “allies” of Saudi Arabia, such as the United States, need to discover their consciences. How can the civilized world refer to itself as such when an ally practices such barbarism, it looks the other way?
The judge in Badawi’s subsequent appeal stiffened the original 2013 sentence – seven years in prison and 600 lashes – to 1000 lashes, ten years in prison and a fine of $266,000. See our post, The punishment of reason, January 12, 2015, where there is an eyewitness description of the first of the series of lashings Badawi is being subjected to.
Badawi had written, “My commitment is… to reject any repression in the name of religion… a goal that we will reach in a peaceful, law-abiding way.”
This was interpreted by the judge as “insulting Islam”.
Badawi’s health is now frail. He is unlikely to survive the lashings.
4. From Poetry Foundation, on Hashem Shaabani in Iran:
We were saddened and horrified today to learn of the death of Hashem Shaabani, who was executed on January 27th by the order of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
From Radio Free Europe:
An Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal reportedly had sentenced the poet to death, along with 14 others, last July on charges that included “waging war on God”.
Press reports said Shaabani was hanged after his sentence was approved by President Hassan Rohani.
In a statement on February 5, Freedom House said Shaabani was subjected to severe torture and interrogation during his three years in prison.
Human Rights Voices also reports on the execution, writing:
To those who knew him, was a man of peace and understanding struggling to extend spaces of individual freedom within the despotic Khomeinist system … In one of his letters from prison, made available to use through his family, Shaabani says … “I have tried to defend the legitimate right that every people in this world should have which is the right to live freely with full civil rights. With all these miseries and tragedies, I have never used a weapon to fight these atrocious crimes except the pen.”
5. From the Guardian on Avijit Roy and Rafida Bonya Ahmed in Pakistan:
No one could have predicted that the Bangladeshi writer Rafida Bonya Ahmed would make it to London last week. … In February, Islamist fanatics hacked her husband, Avijit Roy, to death with meat cleavers as the couple left a book fair in Dhaka. They nearly killed Ahmed too: slicing off her thumb and covering her body with wounds. …
Together, Ahmed and Roy ran a secular blog that promoted the writings of young liberal Bangladeshis They wrote on evolution and humanism; they condemned extremism fearlessly, as the title of Roy’s 2014 book The Virus of Faith makes clear. Seeing and fearing a courageous opponent, the enemies of free thought killed him for his ideas. …
6. From a Reuters report on Ananta Bijoy Das and others in Bangladesh:
Third Atheist blogger killed in Bangladesh.
A blogger was hacked to death by machete-wielding attackers in Bangladesh on Tuesday (May 12), the third killing of a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority nation in less than three months.
Ananta Bijoy Das, a blogger who advocated secularism, was attacked by four masked assailants in the northeastern district of Sylhet on Tuesday morning, senior police official Mohammad Rahamatullah told Reuters.
Rahamatullah said Das was a 33-year-old banker.
He was also editor of science magazine “Jukti,” which means “logic,” and on the advisory board of “Mukto Mona” (Free Mind), a website propagating rationalism and opposing fundamentalism …
According to the monitoring service SITE Intelligence Group, Islamist militant group Ansar al-Islam Bangladesh said al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) had claimed responsibility for the attack. …
Imran Sarker, the head of a network of activists and bloggers in Bangladesh, said Das was “a progressive free thinker and a good human being”. …
Militants have targeted secularist writers in Bangladesh in recent years …
On March 30, Washiqur Rahman, another secular blogger who aired his outrage over [Avijit] Roy’s death on social media, was killed in similar fashion on a busy street in the capital, Dhaka.
Their deaths followed the killing in 2013 of Ahmed Rajib Haider, who backed calls to impose the death penalty on Islamist leaders accused of atrocities in Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence.
Why do our fellow atheists – of the leftist “Humanist” persuasion – not burn with anger against the ideology that persecutes atheism, secularism, rationalism, and shun the company of its devotees?
If they think they are earning the goodwill and tolerance of the Muslims towards whom they’re making this gesture, they’re pathetically deluded. Their nice little letter is not going to change sharia law, or the minds of those who want to impose it on us all.
They seem simply not to believe that the Muslims they contacted might be members of “radicalizing” mosques – which is to say, mosques with imams who urge them to support terrorist groups or join ISIS. There’s no hint that they explored the possibility. In their minds, the accusation must be wholly unjustified.
And one more thing. When those poor persecuted Muslims “in the Moscow/Pullman area” whimpered that “Islam is the most disrespected group in this country”, they are lying. The president of the United States is the son of a Muslim and an Islam lover who has brought Muslim Brotherhood advisers into his administration – and has clearly formed policies on their advice..
At the time of this writing there have been 27,322 deadly attacks carried out by Muslims since 9/11. (See the tally in our margin, taken from The Religion of Peace.) Muslim terrorists do all they can to terrify non-Muslims, and then cynically accuse them of an irrational fear of Islam, calling it “Islamophobia”.
Muslims are the target of few “hate crimes” in the US. But they perpetrate more than any others do.
We quote from an article by David J. Rusin at Islamist Watch. His staistics come from a December 2014 report of 2013 figures. (We await the 2014 report this coming December):
New FBI Hate Crime Stats: Another Blow to Islamist Fictions
There were 1,031 incidents inspired by religion last year, 625 (60.6 percent) of which were anti-Jewish. Anti-Islamic ones constituted just 13.1 percent.
On April 15, 2013, Muslim terrorists murdered three and injured hundreds at the Boston Marathon, prompting familiar warnings about an imminent anti-Muslim backlash. The FBI’s findings are proof that such collective punishment did not materialize — as it almost never does.
How have Islamist groups greeted the FBI data? With silence. It is the sound of disappointment on the part of radicals who need Muslim victims, preferably real ones, to serve as human shields for the Islamist agenda. Bad news for Islamists is once again good news for the rest of us.