At last … 6

Katie Pavlich reports at Townhall:

Eleven House Republicans have sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray officially referring Hillary Clinton, fired FBI Director James Comey, fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for criminal investigation. FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who were caught sending hundreds of anti-Trump text messages during the Clinton investigation, have also been referred for criminal investigation.

U.S. Attorney John Huber, who was tapped by Sessions a few weeks ago to investigate the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe, was copied on the request.

“Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately,” lawmakers wrote.

As the letter outlines, Comey is under fire for allegedly giving false testimony to Congress last summer about the FBI’s criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s repeated mishandling of classified information. Specifically, lawmakers cite Comey’s decision to draft an exoneration memo of Clinton months before FBI agents were done with their work and before Clinton and key staffers were interviewed for the probe. They’re also going after him for leaking classified information to a friend, which Comey admitted to under oath.

“It would appear that former Director Comey leaked classified information when sharing these memos with Professor Richman. Accordingly, we refer James Comey to DOJ for potential violation(s) of: 18 USC 641, 18 USC 793, and 18USC 1924 (a),” the letter states.

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch is being referred for allegedly “threatening with reprisal the former FBI informant who tried to come forward in 2016 with insight into the Uranium One deal”.

“With regard to top counterintelligence FBI agent, Peter Strzok, and senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page, we raise concerns regarding their interference in the Hillary Clinton investigation regarding her use of a personal email server,” the letter states.

McCabe has been referred for perceived violation of three different codes after a DOJ inspector general report released last week showed he lied under oath multiple times to FBI and OIG investigators.

As far as Clinton’s referral, lawmakers argue she should be held accountable for “disguising payments to Fusion GPS on mandatory disclosures to the Federal Election Commission.”

At the very least! She surely has much more to answer for.

Will Sessions and Wray do what they’re asked to do?

It’s a happy day, but not yet time to celebrate. The guilty must be found guilty, and heavy sentences must be pronounced upon them.

Our editorial mind is closed to any possibility of their innocence.

Our rule of skepticism is suspended.

May this be the beginning of a wave of justice that will overwhelm them.

A report from Syria 83

Our British associate, Chauncey Tinker, proprietor of The Participator, has drawn our attention to this video.

OAN is a conservative news channel.

The reporter, Pearson Sharp, makes a strong case that the gas attack on Douma was staged for propaganda purposes. We had believed and said that there was a gas attack, so we post the video as self-correction. (Of course, we still cannot be sure whether or not there was a gas attack, and if there was, who launched it. Sharp’s interpreter may have deceived him, for instance; or the witnesses could have been lying.)

In any case, we are glad that the sites in Syria connected with the production of chemical and biological weapons have been bombed to rubble.

Since the Russians have acquired a firm foothold in Syria, and Iran too has a dangerous presence there, was the bombing politically and strategically justified?

Bruce Thornton writes, in part, at Front Page:

Given that our economy is inseparable from the global economy, we have no choice but to be concerned about the critical straits and canals through which global commerce travels, and the airports throughout the world through which people can reach our shores in less than a day. We also can’t ignore the numerous illiberal and autocratic regimes whose beliefs and values conflict with those of the West. The global market … needs a global sheriff so that this astonishing increase in technological innovation and wealth and their global distribution is free to continue. We may not have chosen this role, we may not like or want the job, but history so far has left the U.S. as the only great power with the military capacity for keeping order, and the political beliefs and principles that ensure we will not abuse that power to oppress others.

Yet that truth does not justify the one-world idealism that believes everybody on the planet wants to live like Westerners, or to embrace Western principles and goods like political freedom, tolerance of minorities, free speech, sex equality, secularist government, an open society, and the preference for discussion, negotiation, and treaties as the way to solve conflict rather than brute force. The great diversity of ways of life and beliefs means that transnational institutions, agreements, covenants, and U.N. Security Council resolutions will always in the end be instruments of diverse and conflicting national interests. They are honored as long as they serve those interests, but abused or subverted when they don’t, especially by the more powerful nations. …

The West’s military dominance in the 20th century ensured that other nations would bandwagon with the West and sign such international agreements, with the tacit proviso that they would violate them whenever necessary, even as they paid them lip-service. The history of the last century, which is littered with violated treaties and covenants, proves this obvious truth. …

Indeed, Syria offers a perfect example … of a superficial adherence to international covenants that facilitates violations of them. After Barack Obama issued his empty “red line” threat about Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated an empty “solution” to the problem by making Russia the authority overseeing the elimination of Assad’s stockpiles, even though it was and still is not in Russia’s geostrategic interests to disarm Assad. So we got a theatrical compliance that left Assad his weapons, and even worse, gave Russia a sanctioned entrée into the Syrian civil war. The pretense of adhering to international law gave cover to Russia’s strategic aims in the region, one of which was the continuation of Assad’s murderous regime. …

What could justify the raids against Syria? Deterrence is frequently invoked, but it obviously didn’t work last year after the President destroyed some of Assad’s jets. Over the past year, Assad has continued to use chemical weapons on civilians. Indeed, within hours of our latest attack Assad was using high explosives and barrel-bombs to slaughter people who are just as dead or mangled as the victims of his chemical attack. Further consequences may follow. Russia and Iran for now may be blustering to save face, but there still may be some retaliation that we will then have to answer. For once a nation goes down the road of deterring a bad actor by force, it has to continue indefinitely in order to maintain its prestige. It can’t announce publicly that it is a “one-off”.

Americans traditionally do not like constant war or military interventions, particularly “humanitarian” ones. We prefer to intervene when necessary, kill the bad guys, then come back home … Unfortunately, in today’s interconnected world, such conflicts are not as rare as we’d like. But we must make it clear that we will not intervene when necessary just to rush home as though the work is done, nor will we engage in conflicts and occupation of the defeated enemy in order to create liberal democracy.

Rather, we need a foreign policy similar to the “butcher and bolt” policy of the British Empire, or what Israel calls “mowing the grass”. This means when an adversary or enemy challenges our power and interests, or those of our close allies, we should use force to send a message, usually by destroying some of its military assets. We should not rationalize this action by appealing to international law, the U.N., or some fantastical common vales or principles of the mythic “international community.” We should make it clear that there is no time-certain for when we stop, rather that we will return whenever we judge it necessary. And we should do it on the principle that a sovereign nation has a right to defend itself as it sees fit, and owes accountability only to its citizens.

In the near future, bombing Syria will likely still be necessary, not just to deter Assad or change the regime into a liberal democracy, but to let all the players in the region know that the greatest military power in history is watching events in a region we deem vital to our interests, and that we will use force to remind them of our unprecedented ability to project devastating power across the globe. Such a policy will strengthen our prestige, and concentrate wonderfully the minds of our adversaries.

The only remaining question is, Will we the people of the United States be willing to pay the costs and accept the risks of such a policy?

Posted under Iran, Russia, Syria, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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Missile strikes on Syria: punishment, prevention, and warning 4

“What did the missile strikes on Syria’s chemical weapons sites do for America?”

“Why should Americans expend blood and treasure for Syrians victimized by their own government?”

“America is not the world’s policeman.”

Such are the questions and protests that are coming from angry commentators, including many conservatives.

So was President Trump’s decision to act as he did right or wrong?

Claudia Rosett, for long a trusty reporter on the horror show called the United Nations, writes at PJ Media:

With air strikes on Syria’s chemical weapons facilities, carried out jointly with Britain and France, America has done the right thing.

Leading from in front, President Trump is finally redrawing the red line that President Obama erased in 2013. Whatever the threats and criticisms that will surely follow, the world will be safer for it. The vital message is that America is no longer the hamstrung giant of the Obama era. Tyrants such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, and his patrons in Moscow and Tehran, have been served notice that it would be unwise to continue to assume that America will waffle, appease or simply retreat while they take upon themselves the shaping – to monstrous effect – of the 21st-century world order. This message is also likely to resonate in Beijing (which has reportedly been planning live-fire naval exercises next week in the Taiwan Strait) and Pyongyang (with its nuclear missile projects).

The immediate aim of the US-led air strikes was to end the chemical weapons attacks that Syria’s Assad regime has continued to inflict on its own people – despite Assad’s promises in 2013 to surrender his chemical weapons, and Russia’s promise to ensure Assad did so. On Friday, speaking at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Ambassador Nikki Haley charged that by U.S. estimates, “Assad has used chemical weapons in the Syrian war at least 50 times” – some of these attacks within the past year, including the gas attack that killed dozens … in the Syrian city of Douma.

There’s room for debate about whether it is America’s responsibility, on humanitarian grounds, to stop such atrocities. But whatever your views on protecting children in a far-off land from the hideous effects of chemical weapons, there is a larger, strategic reason for trying to stop Assad. Syria, with its liberal use of chemical weapons, has been setting a horrific precedent – repeatedly violating the Chemical Weapons Convention to which Damascus acceded in 2013, and eroding the longstanding international taboo against chemical warfare. This is dangerous way beyond Syria. As Haley told the UN Security Council: “All nations and all people will be harmed if we allow Assad to normalize the use of chemical weapons.”

In theory, the United Nations was supposed to prevent this, ensuring in tandem with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that Assad would give up all his chemical weapons – with the specific oversight and guarantees of Russia, under a deal cut in 2013 by Obama and Putin. As I explained in an article earlier this week for The Hill, the UN has failed utterly, thanks to Putin’s cynical exploitation of the entire setup. Russia used the chemical weapons disarmament deal as a portal for its own military entry into Syria in support of Assad, and has since been using its veto on the UN Security Council, along with a torrent of Kremlin propaganda, to run diplomatic cover for Assad.

As many conservative commentators pointed out at the time, it was stupid (if not collusional) of Obama and his secretary of state John Kerry to hand over the responsibility for overseeing Syria’s WMD abandonment to Russia.

The upshot has been that if the US does not stop Assad’s use of chemical weapons, then nobody will.

Neither Britain nor France would have done it without the US.

The US could have done it on its own. British and French participation in the missile attack was useful for President Trump, though not necessary for the success of the operation. The huge majority of the missiles were American – 88 of the 105. Nine were French and 8 were British.

Prime Minister May allowed British forces to strike Syria along with US forces because she “owed” President Trump for his supporting her, when she hit back at Russia for the poisoning of two Russian expats in Britain by expelling Putin’s diplomats and closing a consulate. She asked President Trump to do the same, and he did. She was able to give the order for the strike on Syria by the RAF without consulting parliament because the MPs were still absent on their Easter break. She seized the moment, and now there’s an outcry in the Commons – as well as the country – about it.

As for President Macron, he seems to be fascinated by President Trump, wanting to follow him and yet also to direct him. Macron claimed that he had “convinced” Trump that he should keep the US military engaged in Syria – and then he retracted the claim.

Last April, after Assad used sarin gas in an attack that killed almost 100 people, Trump ordered a strike of 59 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian airbase. Evidently, that was not enough to stop Assad’s chemical weapons spree.

At a Pentagon press briefing Friday evening held shortly after Trump’s public announcement of the strikes on Syria, Gen. Joseph Dunford listed three targets “struck and destroyed,” which he said were “specifically associated with the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program.” The last two on his list were chemical weapons storage facilities, one of which included “an important command post”. On these, I don’t know anything beyond the generic descriptions Dunford gave at the briefing.

But the first target on Dunford’s list had a very familiar ring. He described it as “a scientific research center located in the greater Damascus area”. He added: “This military facility was a Syrian center for the research, development, production and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology.”

That sure sounds like the notorious Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, also known as the SSRC. In which case there can be no doubt that these air strikes were aimed at an incredibly high-value target, an outfit central to some of the worst depravities of Assad’s weapons programs, and – as it happens – a longtime client of North Korea and Iran. On the 99 percent probability that this was the research center to which Dunford referred, here’s some background:

For starters, I’d credit Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis with telling it exactly as it is, when he said at the same Pentagon press briefing Friday night, “We were very precise and proportionate. But at the same time, it was a heavy strike.”

The SSRC has been on the U.S. sanctions list for 13 years, first designated under the Bush administration in 2005, with periodic, horrifying updates under the Obama and Trump administrations, targeting its various fronts, procurement arms, officials and connections.

This is not just any old research center. According to the U.S. Treasury, it is “the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the missiles to deliver them”. …

On April 24, 2017, following Assad’s sarin gas attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, the Trump administration blacklisted 271 employees of the SSRC, stating that these individuals “have expertise in chemistry and related disciplines and/or have worked in support of SSRC’s chemical weapons since at least 2012”.  In other words, during the same time frame in which Russia (and former secretary of State John Kerry) were assuring us that 100 percent of the chemical weapons were gone from Syria, the Syrian regime’s SSRC was prolifically busy plowing ahead with Assad’s chemical weapons program.

We also have it on good authority that during roughly that same interval, the SSRC was ordering up shipments from North Korea. According to the UN Panel of Experts on North Korea sanctions, in a report dated March 5, 2018, their investigations into weapons and dual-use shipments to Syria from North Korea turned up more than 40 shipments between 2012 and 2017 “by entities designated by Member States as front companies for the Scientific Studies Research Centre of the Syrian Arab Republic.” Among these shipments were items “with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs”.

If the SSRC was indeed struck and destroyed, the likely benefits are enormous. That would deprive Assad of one of the most diabolical laboratories of his evil regime, quite likely providing a big setback to his chemical weapons program, with the two-fer that it might also have zapped his bioweapons program.

It would also send a useful message to everyone from the SSRC’s suppliers, such as Iran and North Korea, to such predatory dictators as Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi Jinping. Destroying the SSRC with air strikes ought to drive home, in a way that no amount of UN debate and no quantity of sanctions designations ever could, that these days the U.S. and its allies are serious about their red lines. 

The SSRC was struck. According to the caption to this picture in The Independent, this rubble is what’s left of “part” of it.

Enlightenment, atheism, reason, and the humanist Left 25

This is a kind of review. But it is more of an argument about ideas that vitally affect the real world.

I am in emphatic agreement with roughly half of what Professor Steven Pinker says in his new book Enlightenment Now: the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress*, and in vehement disagreement with the rest of it. Like him, I esteem the Enlightenment most highly; profoundly value science; and certainly want progress in everything that makes us happier and better informed, our lives longer, healthier, less painful, and more enjoyable. Like him, I am an atheist. It is chiefly with his ideas on Humanism that I disagree. Which may seem strange since humanism is atheist. And, certainly, on all his criticisms of religion I am in complete accord. More than that: where small “h” humanism is concerned with humane morals – the imperative to treat our fellow human beings and other sentient beings humanely – the great professor and I could sing in harmony.

“The moral alternative to theism,” he writes, “is humanism.”

But Humanism-the-movement holds principles that I not only do not like, but strongly dislike. They are principles of the Left. And  while he is not uncritical of the Left, Professor Pinker upholds those principles. Humanism, wherever it may be found, is a Leftist ideology. And because the Humanist movement is well-established, widespread, its opinions prominently published, and taught (or preached) where scholars gather, atheism is assumed by many to belong to the Left, inseparably, part and parcel of its essential ideology.

Atheism may be indispensable to the Left, but Leftism is not necessary to atheism.

Atheism as such carries no connotations. No political or ethical ideas logically flow from it. It is simply non-belief in the existence of a divine being. Nothing more. A person’s atheism does not itself make him more humane or less humane.

Steven Pinker implies that it does. Although he states that “atheism is not a moral system … just the absence of supernatural belief”, he also declares that “secularism leads to humanism, turning people away from prayer, doctrine, and ecclesiastical authority and toward practical policies that make them and their fellows better off.”

He reasons along these lines:

“Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis.”

Not from holy books. Agreed.

“Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.”

Agreed.

There being no supernatural moral authority, and as human beings have natural needs –

“Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.”

So far, no cause for quarrel. But he elaborates on this last statement to demonstrate that Humanists do this “deriving” well:

“Humanists ground values in human welfare, shaped by human circumstances, interests and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem …”

There it comes, as if it followed logically from scientific knowledge and humane secularism, one of the main obsessions of the Left: concern for the planet, for which, the Left claims, human beings bear responsibility. The words “man-made global warming” silently intrude themselves; as does the “solution” for it – global governance, by those who know what the human race must do; total communism, the highest principle of the Left; its vision of a whole-world Utopia. Though Steven Pinker himself is not a Utopian, he writes a good deal in this book about the virtues of “globalist” politics. He sees globalism as an enlightened, reasonable, science-based, progressive, humanist creed. To “maximize individual happiness”, he remarks, “progressive cultures” work to “develop global community”. He has much praise for international institutions – including, or even led by, the (actually deeply evil) United Nations. He is confident the UN and other international bodies such as the EU, formed after the end of the Second World War, can help keep the world at peace. In fact, there has not been a single year since 1945 when the world has been without a war or wars.

To the globalist view he opposes the populist view. Not wrong when stated thus. But he does not see the populist view as the one held by 63 million Americans who voted Donald Trump into the presidency of the United States because they wanted more jobs, lower taxes, and secure borders; or that of the British majority who voted to withdraw their country from the undemocratic and corrupt European Union. No. He sees populism as a cult of “romantic heroism”, a longing for “greatness embodied in an individual or a nation”.

He is adamantly against the nation-state. He thinks that those who uphold the idea of the nation-state “ludicrously” envision a “global order” that “should consist of ethnically homogeneous and mutually antagonistic nation-states”. Who has ever expressed such an idea? And he puts “multiculturalism” (the failing experiment of enforcing the co-existence of diverse tribes within a nation’s borders) on an equal footing with “multi-ethnicity” (the melting-pot idea that has worked so splendidly for the United States of America).

To him, nationalism is ineluctably authoritarian and fascist. He sees President Trump – who is in fact unswervingly for individual freedom – as a “charismatic leader” of the dictatorial Mussolini mold. The politics of the Right for Professor Pinker are irredeemably dyed in the wool with Nietzschean anti-morality, “superman” aspirations, and genocidal urgings. Libertarianism is tainted with it too. He writes: “ … Ayn Rand’s celebration of selfishness, her deification of the heroic capitalist, and her disdain for the general welfare had Nietzsche written all over them.”

Interestingly – and restoratively to my esteem for him – he also asserts that certain Marxists and certain Leftist movements are equally, or even more, colored with Nietzsche’s inhumanity: “[Nietzsche] was a key influence on … Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault, and a godfather to all the intellectual movements of the 20th century that were hostile to science and objectivity, including Existentialism, Critical Theory, Post-structuralism, Deconstructionism, and Postmodernism.”

Steven Pinker’s humanism, then, is not far to the Left, just “left-of-center”. And most of the humanists I have known (and argued with) would also place themselves on that section of the political spectrum. “[T]he moral and intellectual case for humanism is, I believe, overwhelming …,” he writes.

He concludes (and here he specifically rejects Utopianism):

We will never have a perfect world. And it would be dangerous to seek one. But there is no limit to the betterments we can attain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human flourishing. This heroic story … belongs not to any tribe but to all humanity – to any sentient creature with the power of reason and the urge to persist in its being. For it requires only the convictions that life is better than death, health is better than sickness, abundance is better than want, freedom is better than coercion, happiness is better than suffering, and knowledge is better than superstition and ignorance.”

That is the vision of the Decent Thinking Western Man. He believes that all human beings ultimately want the same things; that the good life is defined for all in the same general terms; that all  would agree to the Golden Rule, which has been “rediscovered in hundreds of moral traditions”.

But are those beliefs true? He himself records that there are many who do not value knowledge above ignorance, reason above superstition, freedom above coercion, even life above death. Which is to say, he writes about Islam (in which there is no Golden Rule). He knows Islam has no trace of “Enlightenment humanism”. He declares it an “illiberal” creed, and observes that “[M]any Western intellectuals – who would be appalled if the repression, misogyny, homophobia, and political violence that are common in the Islamic world were found in their own societies even diluted a hundred fold – have become strange apologists when these practices are carried out in the name of Islam.”

He finds one explanation for the double-standard of these intellectuals in their “admirable desire to prevent prejudice against Muslims”. But when it comes to revulsion against ideologists of repression, misogyny, homophobia, and political violence, is it prejudice or is it judgment? He says also that some of the apologetics are “intended to discredit a destructive (and possibly self-fulfilling) narrative that the world is embroiled in a clash of civilizations”. (Or, as I see it, of civilization against barbarism.) I wonder how anyone can look at the drastically changing demographics of Europe, or at least the Western part of it which will surely be under Islamic rule before the century is out, and not notice the clash.

But he does say that “calling out the antihumanistic features of contemporary Islamic belief is in no way Islamophobic”. Being the decent thinking Western man that he is, he is firmly for critical examination of all ideas.

His optimism shines out of the book. He thinks Islam can be reformed, even that a Muslim Enlightenment is possible. He believes there was an earlier age of Islamic Enlightenment, an “Islamic Golden Age” which could serve as a precedent. Well, if one wants to see bright possibilities, Islam may come to prefer science to the assertions of its prophet. It may become humane in its law and stop oppressing women. It may contribute to human progress. But whatever changes may come to Islam in the future, at present it does not value life above death, freedom above coercion, knowledge above superstition. And there is no good reason to believe it ever will.

 

Jillian Becker    April 12, 2018

 

*Enlightenment Now: the Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker, Viking, New York 2018. The quotations in the article come from the last chapter, Humanism.

About the mass destruction of populations 69

Moral clarity is needed on the question of whether the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad can be allowed to get away with using gas against the Syrian people in the civil war over which he presides year after year.

The answer is NO. He cannot be allowed to.

Gas was delivered on to the Syrian town of Douma from the air. No rebel faction has aircraft. It could only have been delivered by Assad, or his Russian allies at his behest.

There is no defense against chemical and biological weapons. They can be used against large numbers of civilians. That is why they are called “weapons of mass destruction”.

So yes, it is worse to kill off whole populations with gas or anthrax than to engage an army with conventional weapons.

If Assad or anyone else in a position to develop and deliver mass-murdering gas gets away with doing it, others will do it too, such as the mullahs of Iran, the despot of North Korea.

And if gas is re-introduced as a weapon of war, no one anywhere will be out of its reach.

Bad actors hesitate to use biological weapons – the spreading of diseases, such as anthrax – because the stuff can kill the attackers as easily as the attacked. Disease is wholly impartial and no respecter of persons. But gas, dropped from the air as it was over Douma, kills only those below, not those who drop it or send it. It is the cheapest weapon of mass destruction an immoral government with an air force can use.

Elliot Friedland writes at the Clarion Project:

[President] Trump was on the phone with the leaders of France and Britain, the only two other Western powers with serious force projection capabilities, although their militaries pale in comparison to that of the United States. …

The question is whether the United States and her allies will wage war on Syria.

Many pundits and politicians from both sides of the aisle feel the question has already been decided. Of course the President should act in the face of such immorality. America has a responsibility to lead, to not let tyrants commit atrocities with impunity. Despite the partisan rancor that normally characterizes Washington, there is remarkable unity around the idea that Trump ought to authorize at least some military action in Syria.

There are many good reasons to support such a position. Clarion Project’s Ryan Mauro forcefully argued the case against Assad on Fox News, highlighting the vital importance of maintaining deterrence against chemical weapons attacks.

But opposition to the war is bringing a strange medley of personalities from across the political spectrum together.

Tucker Carlson, one of the most watched right-of-center talk show hosts on American television, delivered a blistering rebuke of the pro-war crowd on his show. He said that even if Assad did order a chemical weapons attack that killed children (which Carlson acknowledges he is perfectly capable of doing), to remove him would only bring further chaos at the expense of American lives and billions more dollars.

In this opinion, he is joined by none other than Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s Labour party, who called for restraint and a multilateral solution brought by the United Nations.

The iniquitous United Nations, that does much harm and no good! (It must be abolished.)

Corbyn has links to Islamist figures, has called Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends” and is embroiled in an on-going anti-Semitism scandal. In the UK, Corbyn’s position was supported by none other than Nick Griffin, former leader of the far-right British National Party. Griffin tweeted that he would vote Labour and support Corbyn if he stopped U.S. airstrikes in Syria.

Left-wing journalist and self-described “anarcho-psychonaut” Caitlin Johnstone wrote in Medium “We All Need to Unite Against War in Syria Regardless of Ideology.” She cites Intercept founder Glenn Greenwald, who got famous breaking Edward Snowden’s Wikileaks as also being against the war.

Patriarcha, an ultraconservative Christian Facebook page even shared her article, calling it “compulsory reading”, despite that page’s longstanding visceral hatred for anything emanating from the left.

The prospect of war is uniting people who normally couldn’t stand to even be in the same room without screaming at each other. The conventional partisan alignments are breaking down in the face of the ever-changing political reality.

Fortunately, the person who will decide what to do is not Tucker Carlson, or Jeremy Corbyn, or Nick Griffin, or Caitlin Johnstone, or Glenn Greenwald, or some “ultraconservative Christian” …

The hubris and incoherence of the Left 14

The sheer incoherence of the Left must surely sink it eventually!

Feminists who claimed for decades to be fighting for women’s “liberation” defend the absolute subjugation of Muslim women. In their thousands, wearing silly pink baby hats, they bob about  Linda Sarsour, a Muslima in a hijab, cheering her every lying word as she tells them how much better for women Islam is than the Constitution of the USA.

Americans who worked passionately for years to keep the teaching of religion – Christianity in particular – out of public schools, are now letting Islam be taught in them. And not just allowing it but insisting on it. And what is being taught is not even the truth about that horrible religion. We would not object if the truth were being told. No; what the children get is a false, prettified version written by deceitful proselytizing Muslims. A supremacist, totalitarian, misogynist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, murderous, savagely cruel ideology is presented to young scholars as a kindly, gentle thing, full of good-will and brotherly love.

And this happened:

So, after being maligned and threatened, Councilman Tom Harrison retracted his objection to Islam being included in the school curriculum, apologized, and groveled.

The idea of the separation of church and state does not exist in Islam. And it will no longer apply in all public schools in the United States, despite the First Amendment of the Constitution. At least, not when it comes to Islam. Islam, a blood-thirsty intolerant creed, is excepted.

Tolerance. Inclusiveness. Diversity. Buzzwords of the Left. Yet Leftists passionately support the intolerance, exclusiveness, and dogmatism that characterize Islam. They ignore its doctrine  that everyone in the world must become Muslim or suffer dire consequences, including murder.

What the Left has never understood, not for a moment since the New Left prophets such as Herbert Marcuse changed the category of persons they declared themselves to be the champions and saviors of  – substituting Lumpenproletarians, convicted felons, hoboes, women, Third Worlders for Karl Marx’s romanticized workers – is that they are patronizing the subjects of their crusade. They are the most extreme of social snobs.

They claim to be acting out of compassion, but there is an awful lot of condescension in their compassion, and an awful lot of vanity in their condescension.

Very few of them ever leave their comfortable quarters in the schools or parliaments or penthouses or manors or leafy suburbs where they write their books, speeches and op-eds, to visit the unsafe regions of the world where the folks they have made their Cause actually struggle to survive. They know almost nothing about them, and do not want to know. How shocked would they be to learn that the most rabid hatred of other races, religions, tribes, or mere skin color, is to be found there, among the “oppressed”, the “deprived”, the “wretched of the earth”?

So yes, there is a privileged white patriarchy consumed with moral vanity. But it is not to be found on the conservative Right. Here no one cares what color a person’s skin is. We do not think with our skins.

The privileged white patriarchy is to be found where ill-informed women march in pink baby hats. Where self-righteous students scream out their opinions against citizens’ ownership of guns. Where George Soros signs his checks.

House Democrats put complete trust in a gang of Pakistani crooks 14

… who exploited them, cheated them, robbed them, mocked them, and seriously endangered them, the government, and the nation.

It’s not fake news. It really happened.

From the Daily Caller, April 1, 2018:

Every one of the 44 House Democrats who hired Pakistan-born IT aides who later allegedly made “unauthorized access” to congressional data appears to have chosen to exempt them from background checks, according to congressional documents.

All of them appear to have waived background checks on Imran Awan and his family members, even though the family of server administrators could collectively read all the emails and files of 1 in 5 House Democrats, and despite background checks being recommended for such positions, according to an inspector general’s report.  But it also includes a loophole allowing them to simply say that another member vouched for them.

No background checks? So what sort of people were the Awans? What could have been found out about them? What reputations did they have?

Among the red flags in Abid’s background were a $1.1 million bankruptcy; six lawsuits against him or a company he owned; and at least three misdemeanor convictions including for DUI and driving on a suspended license, according to Virginia court records. Public court records show that Imran and Abid operated a car dealership, referred to the CIA, that took $100,000 from an Iraqi government official who is a fugitive from U.S. authorities. Numerous members of the family were tied to cryptic LLCs [Limited Liability Companies] such as New Dawn 2001, operated out of Imran’s residence, Virginia corporation records show. Imran was the subject of repeated calls to police by multiple women [complaining of abuse] and had multiple misdemeanor convictions for driving offenses, according to court records.

How did they exploit their position and betray the trust reposed in them?

If a screening had caught those, what officials say happened next might have been averted. The House inspector general reported on Sept. 20, 2016, that shortly before the election members of the group were logging into servers of members they didn’t work for, logging in using congressmen’s personal usernames, uploading data off the House network, and behaving in ways that suggested “nefarious purposes” and that “steps are being taken to conceal their activity”.

A pair of closely-held reports on Imran Awan, his brothers Abid and Jamal, his wife Hina Alvi, and his friend Rao Abbas, said, “the shared employees have not been vetted (e.g. background check).”

Were they highly qualified and thoroughly experienced?

No.

“Shared employees” means they were all hired as part-time, individual employees by individual members, cobbling together $165,000 salaries. Jamal began making that salary at only 20 years old, according to House payroll records; Abid never went to college, his stepmother said; and Rao Abbas’ most recent job experience was being fired from McDonald’s, according to his roommate. (“Whether they had formal training or not, they were trained on the job by Imran,” one of Imran’s lawyers said.)

Who first brought them into the confidence of the House Democrats?

Among the 44 employers, the primary advocate for the suspects has been Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who  … was also chair of the Democratic National Committee when Wikileaks published its emails. (The Wikileaks emails show that DNC aides called Imran when they needed the password to her device.) Since then, she and other Democrats have described cyber breaches in the strongest possible terms, such as “an act of war” and “an assault on our democracy.”

But there is no indication Democrats put those concerns into practice when they entrusted the Pakistani dual citizens with their data, nor when suspicious activity was detected.

Once the crooks had been rumbled, did the Dems who’d employed them at least  take immediate steps to find out how much damage they’d done and repair it as best they could?

Well, Debbie didn’t. She kept Imran in his job.

Police banned the suspects from the network after the IG report, but Wasserman Schultz kept Imran on staff anyway. He was in the building and in possession of a laptop with the username RepDWS months later, according to an April 6, 2017 police report.

Was there no security policy that could have prevented this outrage, or at least discovered it sooner?

The House security policy, HISPOL16, says “House Offices shall… ensure background checks, as defined in this policy, have been conducted on Privileged Users”. It includes quarterly reviews of privileged accounts’ appropriateness. By the time the policy was enacted, some members had dropped the Awans for assorted reasons …

What reasons? None given, except –

… including Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona in early 2015 for what her spokesperson called “incompetence”. 

So they weren’t even competent at the job they were paid to do by the Representatives? Kyrsten Sinema may not have been able to judge that. “Incompetence” was probably just her excuse for dismissing the Awans. The real reason seems to be was that she was afraid of them. So were they all – all  the Democratic Representatives who irresponsibly entrusted their computers to the Awan gang.  

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to all 44 members, and none disputed that they had not conducted a background check. Not a single one of the 44 would say which of their colleagues vouched for the Awans, nor stated what criteria they used to determine that it was prudent to give them access to all their data.

Besides Wasserman Schultz, Imran has longstanding personal relationships with Reps. Gregory Meeks and Marcia Fudge of New York, Politico reported.

“Personal relationships”? He was their friend?

Employers also include Rep. Ted Lieu of California on the Foreign Affairs Committee and three members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: Reps. Andre Carson of Indiana, Jackie Speier of California and Joaquin Castro of Texas. …

Two of their employers said not a word when they were robbed by the Awans.

The Awans’ employers also included Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York, who saw $120,000 in computer equipment disappear under Abid Awan’s watch but “wrote off” the taxpayer funds rather than make an issue of it, according to the IG report and multiple senior government officials.

Xavier Becerra, now attorney general of California, ran the House Democratic Caucus, and his server was physically stolen shortly after the IG report named it as evidence in a hacking probe, three senior government officials said.

But wait, there’s more:

The Daily Caller reported on October 2, 2017:

A now-indicted IT aide to various House Democrats was sending money and gifts to government officials in Pakistan and received protection from the Pakistani police, multiple relatives claim.

A Democratic aide also said Imran Awan personally bragged to him that he could have people tortured in Pakistan. Awan’s lawyer acknowledged that he was sending money to a member of the Faisalabad police department, but said there was a good explanation.

The relatives said Awan and his brothers were also sending IT equipment, such as iPhones, to the country during the same period in which fraudulent purchase orders for that equipment were allegedly placed in the House, and in which congressional equipment apparently went missing.

Awan’s stepmother, Samina Gilani, said the brothers were paying police officer Azhar Awan and that he is their cousin.

Facebook confirms that Azhar works for the police and is Facebook “friends” with the former congressional aides, who worked for 45 Democratic House members until the aides were banned Feb. 2, following the discovery of 5,400 unauthorized logins to congressional servers and the funneling of “massive” amounts of data off the congressional network. …

A fellow Democratic House IT aide … recounted a conversation between Awan and three colleagues in a House cafeteria several years ago in which Awan seemed to relish bragging about his ability to have people harassed in Pakistan.

“He wanted to build a CRM [customer relationship management software] but he wanted to do it in Pakistan,” the aide told TheDCNF. “But the government doesn’t allow that. They have to be American, but Imran said, ‘Well, we can say that they’re American, but really they’ll be in Pakistan. I have these guys that work for the Faisalabad police department, and all we have to do is pay them $100 a month and they take them over to the police station, strip their clothes off, hang them upside down and beat them with a shoe. And that person will work hard and be loyal from then on.’  …

In early 2016, $120,000 in equipment, including iPads, were discovered missing from the office of Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke of New York, for which Abid ran IT. Equipment billed to other congressional offices was shipped to their house, and invoices were falsified to show prices as $499 — just under the cutoff at which equipment would be inventoried by central administrators. …

Awan’s younger brothers Abid and Jamal were also on the House payroll, but have not been charged with any crimes. …

According to one witness:

Imran Awan introduces himself [in Pakistan] as someone from U.S. Congress or federal agencies … [so that he] manages to have police to escort him during his visits to Pakistan.”

But:

The Washington Post reported that the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force was investigating the Awans, but that “according to a senior congressional official familiar with the probe, criminal investigators have found no evidence that the IT workers had any connection to a foreign government”.

If true, that raises questions about how thoroughly agents have probed.

Dan Perrin, a former staffer for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations who had studied foreign actors, told TheDCNF there is a risk that the payments to the local police department signal a relationship to Pakistani authorities, such as the intelligence agency ISI, which he said “often works with or is embedded in the major city police forces in Pakistan.”

While they were working on Capitol Hill, the brothers set up a car dealership that took $100,000 from Ali Al-Attar, an Iraqi politician who has been tied to Hezbollah and is wanted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Imran Awan has been indicted for fraud in connection with a crooked car-dealership.

Their former business partner, Nasir Khattak, testified in Virginia court that the car dealership’s finances consisted of byzantine transfers in which staff and cars were often swapped between it and a dealership next door. …

Perrin said the family’s numerous car-related LLCs deserve special scrutiny because car dealerships are a favorite front for people with ties to foreign governments, providing the opportunity for money laundering and “giving the owners access to credit reports on all Americans”. 

To sum up: These Pakistani crooks were engaged by Democratic members of Congress, without any enquiry into their background, to “look after” their computers which contained highly confidential information concerned with the protection of Americans. The Democrats never apparently considered the possibility that their data was being stolen and sent to Pakistani authorities. When their hardware was stolen by the crooks – and they knew it was the Awan gang who had stolen it – they did not go to the police. When the FBI did finally arrest Imran Awan in charges of fraud in a car-dealership – and denied that the gang “had any connection with a foreign government” – Imran Awan continued to be on the payroll of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The Democrats were putty in the hands of the foreign criminal gang. Helpless as babies. They feared to offend them by reporting them to the police or firing them.

Yet these people, for whom large numbers of Americans voted to represent them in the federal government, want, yearn, ache to rule the country. To conduct US relations with foreign powers. To be in charge of the world’s mightiest military force … 

The march of the Left goes on … 8

… through the institutions and beyond.

Who was behind the “March For Our Lives”, into which schoolkids were launched by the tens of thousands? And even more women, according to Dana R. Fisher at the Washington Post:

Like other resistance protests, and like previous gun-control marches, the March For Our Lives was mostly women. Whereas the 2017 Women’s March was 85 percent women, the March for Our Lives was 70 percent women. … Contrary to what’s been reported in many media accounts, the D.C. March for Our Lives crowd was not primarily made up of teenagers. Only about 10 percent of the participants were under 18. The average age of the adults in the crowd was just under 49 years old, which is older than participants at the other marches I’ve surveyed but similar to the age of the average participant at the Million Moms March in 2000, which was also about gun control.

The occasion for the march was the shooting on February 14, 2018, of 14 students and three adults at a Florida high school by a 19-year-old mass murderer.

The pretext for it was to protest against the ownership of guns by citizens of the United States on the grounds that if the gun-ownership were to be made illegal such mass murders would not happen.

The real aim of it was to advance the cause of the Left – unarmed populations dependent solely on government for protection.

Who organized the march and who paid for it?

Breitbart reports:

The March for Our Lives Action Fund, for example, was registered with the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs on Feb. 21, 2018 as a Deleware-based organization with a business address in Encino, California.

The agent for the fund is listed as CT Corporation System, a D.C.-based firm that handles compliance issues. Jeri Rhodes is listed as the executing officer for the filing.

Rhodes is the Associate Executive Secretary for Finance and Administration for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, which is a Quaker lobbying group with the goal to “advance peace and justice.”

The Quakers, famous for being pacifists, have for some time now been aiders and abettors of tyranny and terrorism. For instance, they run collective farms in North Korea, and strongly support the BDS movement and Hamas.  

Rhodes’s LinkedIn profile states that she once worked for Greenpeace.

For the evil Greenpeace does, see our post here.

Major players and organizations — including Everytown, Giffords, Move On, and Women’s March LA — told BuzzFeed News they are helping with logistics, strategy, and planning for next month’s March for Our Lives rally and beyond. Much of the specific resources the groups are providing to the Parkland students remains unclear — as is the full list of supporting organizations — but there are broad outlines.

Giffords,  an organization started by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) that fights gun violence, is working with Everytown and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to plan the main march on Washington — as well as sister rallies across the country. A spokesperson for Giffords told BuzzFeed News that it is “lending support in any way the students need, especially helping to operationalize these marches from logistics to programming”. …

Planned Parenthood and the George Soros-funded Move On are also in the mix of left-wing groups behind the march.

BuzzFeed News reported, “MoveOn said it will encourage its millions of members to follow and promote the March for Our Lives movement on social media and attend the rally” and would help with security and other logistics.

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood said it is “teaching and hosting trainings” for teens “to keep momentum going so they don’t get burned out,” BuzzFeed News reported.

The NPS [National Park Service] permit reveals “persons in charge” of the D.C. event, including Deena Katz, the co-executive producer of Dancing with the Stars who helped organized the Los Angeles Women’s March. …

March for Our Lives also started a GoFundMe page that has raised $3.3 million. The text on the page states:

The funds will be spent on the incredibly difficult and expensive process that is organizing a march like this. We have people making more specific plans, but for now, know that this is for the march and everything left over will be going to the victims’ funds.

… The NPS permit reveals more about the event, including the “event overview”, which states:

Approximately (500,000) student participants and adults from across the country, will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar. In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut shot in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns. March for Our Lives believes the time is now.

The permit also says that the organizers have to spend millions on insurance for the event.

Procure public and employee liability insurance from responsible companies with a minimum limitation of $2,000,000 per person for any one claim and an aggregate limit of $5,000,000 for any number of claims arising from any one incident. The United States of America shall be named as an additional insured on all such policies. The permit number will be included on said policy. …

Nonetheless, the Florida students who are credited with organizing the march insist it is teens, not adults, who are in charge, while admitting adults are involved.

Cameron Kasky, 17, acknowledged that the anti-Trump group Indivisible is helping and said that their assistance is necessary because of the role race allegedly plays in school shootings.

Kasky said in an interview on Friday with National Public Radio:

You know our story was told because we are an affluent white community and we have to shine the spotlight that was given on us on everybody in the world that has to deal with this on a daily basis. So people like Indivisible, who represent students who are in lower-income communities and don’t get to speak out the way we do because people don’t listen — we have to connect with these students.

The March for Our Lives Twitter account also features a video with students stating the anti-gun talking points used by left-wing groups regularly, including blaming the National Rifle Association [NRA] for school shootings.

The March for Our Lives website states that 840 marches are planned in the U.S. and around the world.

Not planned by schoolkids, we may be sure.

Bruce Thornton writes at Front Page:

Last Saturday hundreds of thousands of high schoolers gathered across the country in a “March for Our Lives” rally. Organized and financed by anti-gun nuts and other left-wing outfits, and ornamented with Hollywood celebrities like George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey, the spectacle was filled with the emotional exhibitionism and juvenile policy recommendations one would expect from the most pampered and worst-educated cohort of young people in American history – the perfect shock troops for progressive propaganda. …

The author carries on a bit about the kids having no “faith”, meaning that he thinks being Christian would keep them from this sort of thing. He might note that the Quakers, who are intensely Christian, supported the march. And as to faith – the organizers and paymasters, and all too many of the indoctrinated students themselves, have faith in “progressivism” (aka communism). We do not agree with him about that, but what we like of what he says, we quote:

We have been witnessing for some time [a] combination of adolescent immaturity and therapeutic leftism in the college “snowflake” and “safe-space” phenomenon, and in the intolerance of dissent and willingness to use tantrums to shut up anybody challenging the self-importance of pampered, privileged college students. We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that now high school students are being recruited by the left to “march” against the wicked NRA, which stands in the way of the longtime leftist goal of gutting the Second Amendment.The progressive goal of centralized and concentrated power, and the transfer of all authority and autonomy from the citizens and states to the federal Leviathan, is challenged by the right of citizens to own a means of self-protection that guards against the monopoly of force, historically the foundation of tyrannical power. And what better occasion for chipping away at the citizens’ right to keep and bear arms than the telegenic sentimentalism of a school shooting? And what better cat’s paw for achieving change than innocent high school kids and their trauma – carefully selected, of course, to bring the right message? The drama and pathos of victims, particularly when they’re young, is a great vehicle for peddling incoherent and useless policies – and for camouflaging the truth that those recommendations are basically misdirection from the progressives’ political goals.

Take David Hogg, who was present during the attack last month on the high school in Parkland. The seventeen-year-old appears with four other Stoneman Douglas students on the cover of Time, and has become a darling of the anti-gun crowd for his profanity-laced tantrums that demonstrate perfectly the portrait sketched above: “The pathetic f***ers that want to keep killing our children, they could have blood from children splattered all over their faces and they wouldn’t take action because they all still see those dollar signs,” he said of the NRA and other lawmakers defending the Second Amendment.

Notice how this callow youth simply regurgitates the stale clichés of the gun-control fundamentalists. He obviously has no clue that the NRA has political clout not because of the pittance it gives politicians compared to, say, public-employee unions, but because millions of Americans support its mission to defend a Constitutional right they hold dear. … He has no clue that the demonized, perfectly legal AR-15 was already banned from 1994-2004, without lowering gun-deaths even as the number of guns increased. Like his equally addled elders, he can’t fathom that more regulations of guns do nothing to keep them out of the hands of thugs and psychopaths, but do complicate and limit the rights of law-abiding citizens.

No thought, no empirical evidence, no respect for facts, no reasoned arguments, just the potty-mouth, hysterical emotion, bathetic drama, and attention-getting antics of an immature child who thinks his feelings are the world’s highest priority. …

But we can’t blame the young. The progressive transformation of our culture has been directed at creating just such students, whose natural inclinations to self-drama and emotion rather than thinking make them perfect constituents for an ideology that flourishes among those who obsess over their feelings  

And whatever is said of the youths applies equally to the women.

But there are youths of another sort.

Of course, there are millions of young people who somehow have managed to avoid this progressive siren song. … But they are demonized and scorned by the progressive pundits and politicians who distrust anyone who challenges their narrative. This silent cohort of the young is the true resistance against an ideology that prefers them to be robotic shock troops.

Here is a student, Kyle Kashuv, from the  school that was attacked, who feels the horror of the mass shooting and the sadness of the loss of lives as much as any other, but has thought about the event intelligently, and puts forward common-sense and practical ideas that could really work to  keep schools safe from such an attack. He points out that government – in particular the “cowards of Broward” meaning the progressive Sheriff and his cowardly underlings – failed in its duty, yet the protesters want to put more power in government hands. Because his ideas, including a refusal to blame gun-ownership, do not fit with the ideological aims of the organizers, they would not allow him to speak to the marchers from the platform.

He speaks here:

 

A cold civil war 12

If you vote Republican now, you are voting for the USA to continue as the sort of state it was founded to be: a constitutional republic.

If you vote Democratic, you are voting for the USA to become a dictatorship.

There is a cold civil war being waged over whether the USA is to be a free country or a tyranny.

The following article was sent to us by Don L. With the help of our commenter bobbyvon, we have learnt that it is an abridged version of a speech by Daniel Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish).

How do civil wars happen?

Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country. And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge. That’s the basic issue here. Who decides who runs the country? When you hate each other but accept the election results, you have a country. When you stop accepting election results, you have a countdown to a civil war.

The Mueller investigation is about removing President Trump from office and overturning the results of an election. We all know that. But it’s not the first time they’ve done this. The first time a Republican president was elected this century, they said he didn’t really win. The Supreme Court gave him the election. There’s a pattern here.

What do sure odds of the Democrats rejecting the next Republican president really mean? It means they don’t accept the results of any election that they don’t win. It means they don’t believe that transfers of power in this country are determined by elections.

That’s a civil war.

There’s no shooting. At least not unless you count the attempt to kill a bunch of Republicans at a charity baseball game practice. But the Democrats have rejected our system of government.

This isn’t dissent. It’s not disagreement. You can hate the other party. You can think they’re the worst thing that ever happened to the country. But then you work harder to win the next election. When you consistently reject the results of elections that you don’t win, what you want is a dictatorship. Your very own dictatorship.

The only legitimate exercise of power in this country, according to Democrats, is its own. Whenever Republicans exercise power, it’s inherently illegitimate. The Democrats lost Congress. They lost the White House. So what did they do? They began trying to run the country through Federal judges and bureaucrats. Every time that a Federal judge issues an order saying that the President of the United States can’t scratch his own back without the judge’s say so, that’s the civil war.

Our system of government is based on the constitution, but that’s not the system that runs this country. The Democrats’ system is that any part of government that it runs gets total and unlimited power over the country.

If the Democrats are in the White House, then the president can do anything. And I mean anything. He can have his own amnesty for illegal aliens. He can fine you for not having health insurance. His power is unlimited. He’s a dictator.

But when Republicans get into the White House, suddenly the President can’t do anything. He isn’t even allowed to undo the illegal alien amnesty that his predecessor illegally invented. A Democrat in the White House has ‘discretion’ to completely decide every aspect of immigration policy. A Republican doesn’t even have the ‘discretion’ to reverse him. That’s how the game is played.  That’s how our country is run. Sad but true, although the left hasn’t yet won that particular fight.

When a Democrat is in the White House, states aren’t even allowed to enforce immigration law. But when a Republican is in the White House, states can create their own immigration laws. Under Obama, a state wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom without asking permission. But under Trump, Jerry Brown can go around saying that California is an independent republic and sign treaties with other countries.

The Constitution has something to say about that.

Whether it’s Federal or State, Executive, Legislative or Judiciary, the left moves power around to run the country. If it controls an institution, then that institution is suddenly the supreme power in the land. This is what I call a moving dictatorship.

Donald Trump has caused the Shadow Government to come out of hiding: Professional government is a guild. Like medieval guilds. You can’t serve in it if you’re not a member. If you haven’t been indoctrinated into its arcane rituals. If you aren’t in the club. And Trump isn’t in the club. He brought in a bunch of people who aren’t in the club with him.

Now we’re seeing what the pros do when amateurs try to walk in on them. They spy on them, they investigate them and they send them to jail. They use the tools of power to bring them down.

That’s not a free country.

It’s not a free country when FBI agents who support Hillary take out an “insurance policy” against Trump winning the election. It’s not a free country when Obama officials engage in massive unmasking of the opposition. It’s not a free country when the media responds to the other guy winning by trying to ban the conservative media that supported him from social media. It’s not a free country when all of the above collude together to overturn an election because the guy who wasn’t supposed to win did.

Have no doubt, we’re in a civil war between conservative volunteer government and a leftist Democrat professional government.

Which is another way of saying it is a war for and against individual freedom.

Posted under Leftism, liberty, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, March 29, 2018

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The lure of the West 3

A possible and excellent solution to the Islamization of the West presents itself: Muslims leaving Islam.

Having encountered the far better life, the far richer culture of the West; having felt the freedom; having seen the opportunities –  especially for women – many Muslims are daring to become apostates.

At least in America it is happening to a significant extent.

The Economist reports:

As the number of American Muslims has increased by almost 50% in the past decade, so too has the number of ex-Muslims. According to the Pew Research Centre, 23% of Americans raised as Muslims no longer identify with the faith. Most of them are young second-generation immigrants who have come to reject the religion of their parents. Some, however, are older when their crisis of faith arrives, already married to devout Muslim spouses and driving children to the mosque to study the Koran at weekends.

The vast majority, whether young or old, are silent about their faithlessness. One Muslim college student, who came home drunk one evening, was confronted by his father. Not thinking clearly, the son confessed to his father that he was an atheist, whereupon the father revealed that he too had lost his faith many years ago. Yet he still admonished his son for not hiding his secret well enough.

Publicly leaving Islam is difficult because many Muslims live in tight-knit communities. Many apostates are left closeted, afraid to put at risk their relationships with their parents, on whom they may still depend, or with their siblings and their friends. Non-believing Mormons, Hasidic Jews and evangelical Christians find themselves in a similar predicament. Within Somali enclaves in Minneapolis and Pakistani ones in Dallas, renunciation of Islam is tantamount to renunciation of an entire social circle. “The most frustrating part is living knowing that my life has to be guided by the rules I don’t agree with,” says one still deep in the closet.

Apostasy is different from apathy, but that is also growing among Muslims. Among believers aged 55 or older, 53% say they perform all five of the mandatory daily prayers — no easy feat, considering that the first must be done before dawn. Among Muslim millennials, that proportion falls to 33%. Few would be ostracised for missing a prayer, or not fasting during the month of Ramadan — so long as those misdeeds were not made public.

In broad terms, there are two types of ex-Muslims. Those who are from less religious families simply drift away and face fewer repercussions. “It was a progression,” says one such ex-Muslim, who stopped praying at the age of eight after noticing that nothing cataclysmic happened when she missed a prayer one day. Then she starting sneaking meals during Ramadan, before moving on to alcohol and premarital sex. At 18, she was an atheist.

Then there are those in more religious households. They tend to have cleaner breaks, sudden realisations while studying the Koran or the Hadith, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Often the verses that trigger this are controversial ones about slavery or gender that family members and imams cannot explain satisfactorily. Coming across the writings of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Richard Dawkins, or Christopher Hitchens sometimes has the same effect. Some chafe at sexism or homophobia. “I remember one Halloween, I wasn’t allowed to go trick-or-treating because I had to clean up after dinner, but all my male cousins and brothers got to go,” says one female ex-Muslim who is not out to her family (nor will ever be, she fears).

To cope, some look online, seeking solace in anonymous forums. One, hosted on Reddit, has nearly 30,000 followers. Here ex-Muslims trade stories of families kicking their children out after they confess their disbelief. But they also traffic in lighter-hearted fare, like taking pictures of booze-and-pork meals during Ramadan — enjoyed in the daylight, of course

Despite all the pressure of family and community, more ex-Muslims seem to be going public. Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA), an advocacy organisation, has pushed for those who safely can to publicly declare their renunciations. “The goal is to change things enough so that we no longer need to exist,” says Sarah Haider, EXMNA’s director. The group launched a university tour, entitled “Normalising Dissent”, which has attracted angry critics and required extensive security preparations. Though she must contend with death threats, and has to be quite vigilant about infiltrators to her organization, Ms Haider persists. “Condemnation is still acknowledgment,” she notes.

While the penalties for apostasy can be high in the West, they are much more severe in the Muslim world. In Pakistan, blasphemy carries a death sentence. In Bangladesh, atheist writers have been hacked to death by machete-wielding vigilantes. An atheist who recently appeared on Egyptian television to debate a former deputy sheikh from Al-Azhar University was dismissed by the host and told that he needed to see a psychiatrist.

Millions who were so fortunate as to have been born into freedom in the countries of the West, now despise and even hate their country and their culture. The Left’s grip on education has meant that they have been indoctrinated to feel guilty over their own history and heritage. But the truth is, thanks to the Enlightenment the West is the superior civilization. The West is civilization itself – fighting an intense political battle for its survival against the destructive ideologies of the Left and encroaching Islam.

The more Muslims who come to appreciate our civilization, the more who abandon their religion and adopt our ways, the better for us, for them, for all humankind.

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