Religion poisons everything 1

This video takes little more than 50 minutes to watch, not the hour and more indicated on it.

It’s well worth the time.

We agree with almost everything Christopher Hitchens says here about religion. (We do not share all his tastes or opinions. He never quite escaped from the Left, though he edged further and further Right in his last years.)

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(Hat-tip Andrew M)

Posted under Atheism, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Sunday, July 13, 2014

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About a wall 4

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Posted under cartoons, Latin America, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, July 12, 2014

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Risking all to reach the wicked land 1

Why do people want to immigrate into a country for a better life and more opportunity than they could have in the country they’re leaving, and then want to change the one they flee to into a replica of the one they’ve fled from?

We are thinking of the Muslim immigrants who want to turn western European countries, which have prospered as tolerant democracies under the rule of enlightened law, into sharia-governed hells.

And we are thinking of Central Americans who come illegally into the US, which has prospered because it has been a tolerant democracy under the rule of enlightened law, and then demand that it be just like home – lawless. Lawless enough to let them in and let them stay.

Yes, it was the rule of law protecting individual freedom that allowed the West and above all the United States to prosper.

Funny how the poor benighted peoples of Third Word states curse the US, blame it for all their sufferings, cry damnation upon it, burn its flag, and then risk their very lives trying to get here and stay here.

Victor Davis Hanson writes with indignation at Investor’s Business Daily:

No one knows just how many tens of thousands of Central American nationals — most of them desperate, unescorted children and teens — are streaming across America’s southern border. Yet this phenomenon offers us a proverbial teachable moment about the paradoxes and hypocrisies of Latin American immigration to the US.

For all the pop romance in Latin America associated with Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, few Latinos prefer to immigrate to such communist utopias or to socialist spinoffs like Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador or Peru.

Instead, hundreds of thousands of poor people continue to risk danger to enter democratic, free-market America, which they’ve often been taught back home is the source of their misery.

They either believe that America’s supposedly inadequate social safety net is far better than the one back home, or that its purportedly cruel free market gives them more opportunities than anywhere in Latin America — or both.

Mexico strictly enforces some of the harshest immigration laws in the world that summarily deport or jail most who cross Mexican borders illegally, much less attempt to work inside Mexico or become politically active.

If America were to emulate Mexico’s immigration policies, millions of Mexicans living in the US immediately would be sent home.

How, then, are tens of thousands of Central American children crossing with impunity hundreds of miles of Mexican territory, often sitting atop Mexican trains?

Does Mexico believe that the massive influxes will serve to render US immigration law meaningless, and thereby completely shred an already porous border? Is Mexico simply ensuring that the surge of poorer Central Americans doesn’t dare stop in Mexico on its way north?

The media talk of a moral crisis on the border. It is certainly that, but not entirely in the way we are told.

What sort of callous parents simply send their children as pawns northward without escort, in selfish hopes of soon winning for themselves remittances or eventual passage to the US?

What sort of government lets its vulnerable youth pack up and leave, without taking any responsibility for such mass flight?

Here in America, how can our government simply choose not to enforce existing laws?

In reaction, could US citizens emulate Washington’s ethics and decide not to pay their taxes, or to disregard traffic laws, or to build homes without permits? Who in the pen-and-phone era of Obama gets to decide which law to follow and which to ignore?

Who are the bigots — the rude and unruly protestors who scream and swarm drop-off points and angrily block immigration authority buses to prevent the release of children into their communities, or the shrill counterprotestors who chant “Viva la raza” (“long live the race”)?

For that matter, how does the racialist term “la raza” survive as an acceptable title of a national lobby group in this politically correct age of anger at the [name of the] Washington Redskins?

How can U.S. immigration authorities simply send immigrant kids all over the country and drop them into communities without guarantees of sponsors or family? If private charities did that, would the operators be jailed? Would American parents be arrested for putting unescorted kids on buses headed out of state?

Liberal elites talk down to the cash-strapped middle class about their illiberal anger over the current immigration crisis.

But most sermonizers are hypocritical.

Take Nancy Pelosi, former speaker of the House. She lectures about the need for near-instant amnesty for thousands streaming across the border. But Pelosi is a multimillionaire, and thus rich enough not to worry about the increased costs and higher taxes needed to offer instant social services to the new arrivals.

Liberals and ethnic activists see in open borders extralegal ways to gain future constituents dependent on a growing government, with instilled grudges against any who might not welcome their flouting of US laws.

How moral is that? …

What a strange, selfish and callous alliance of rich corporate grandees, cynical left-wing politicians and ethnic chauvinists who have conspired to erode US law for their own narrow interests, all the while smearing those who object as xenophobes, racists and nativists.

How did such immoral special interests hijack US immigration law and arbitrarily decide for 300 million Americans who earns entry into America, under what conditions, and from where?

Posted under Commentary, immigration, Latin America, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, July 12, 2014

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Nuclear armed terrorists? 3

Terrorists have got hold of nuclear materials that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction, according to Reuters.

Why were nuclear materials in Iraq at all? Once there, why were they not well guarded?

Where did Iraq obtain them? From Iran?

This is from Yahoo News:

Insurgents in Iraq have seized nuclear materials used for scientific research at a university in the country’s north, Iraq told the United Nations in a letter appealing for help to “stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad”.

Nearly 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of uranium compounds were kept at Mosul University, Iraq’s U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the July 8 letter obtained by Reuters on Wednesday.

“Terrorist groups have seized control of nuclear material at the sites that came out of the control of the state,” Alhakim wrote, adding that such materials “can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction.”

“These nuclear materials, despite the limited amounts mentioned, can enable terrorist groups, with the availability of the required expertise, to use it separate or in combination with other materials in its terrorist acts,” said Alhakim.

He warned that they could also be smuggled out of Iraq.

A US  government source familiar with the matter said the materials were not believed to be enriched uranium and therefore would be difficult to use to manufacture into a weapon. Another US official familiar with security matters said he was unaware of this development raising any alarm among US authorities.

Not very reassuring statements, those.

How difficult?

Might there not be alarm among US authorities that is being kept secret?

The terrorist organization that has captured the stuff is of course ISIS, now “the Islamic State”. 

“The Republic of Iraq is notifying the international community of these dangerous developments and asking for help and the needed support to stave off the threat of their use by terrorists in Iraq or abroad,” Alhakim wrote.

Iraq acceded to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material on Monday, said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The convention requires states to protect nuclear facilities and material in peaceful domestic use, storage and transport.

“It also provides for expanded cooperation between and among states regarding rapid measures to locate and recover stolen or smuggled nuclear material, mitigate any radiological consequences of sabotage, and prevent and combat related offences,” according to the IAEA.

And just what are the theoretically co-operating states going to do about it?

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Iran, Iraq, Islam, jihad, middle east, Muslims, News, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Thursday, July 10, 2014

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Sunny outlook 1

We have been inclined to take a pessimistic view of the near future since Barack Obama came to power, weakened the United States, damaged its economy, and restricted the liberty of the people.

In that time, Islam has gained influence in Europe, the Middle East has erupted in civil wars, and an Islamic State – a “caliphate” no less – has been proclaimed by the army of ISIS, which continues to conquer, kill, crucify, decapitate, and oppress fellow Muslims.

Now the Muslim Brotherhood’s terrorist force in Gaza, Hamas, is waging an almost continuous rocket war on Israel.

But David P. Goldman, better known as Spengler, writes this optimistic personal report of the Hamas attack and Israel’s defense:

Sunny with light missile cover in Tel Aviv this morning. I awoke to muffled thuds in the distance, Iron Dome shooting down Syrian-made missiles launched from Gaza, according to news reports. I attended the obligatory morning mixer for hotel guests at the bomb shelter, which fortunately lasted only five minutes before the all-clear sounded. …

Hamas is making a demonstration out of weakness. Money is tight, 44,000 Gaza civil servants haven’t been paid for weeks, and the IDF did significant damage to its infrastructure on the West Bank after the kidnapping-murder of the three yeshiva boys.

Netanyahu will look indecisive and confused, because he has to deal with an openly hostile US administration on one side and his nationalist camp on the other.

Time, though, is on Israel’s side: economically, demographically, strategically. The proportion of Jewish births continues to soar. The fruits of a decade of venture capital investing are ripening into high-valuation companies.

And the Arab world is disintegrating all around Israel’s borders.

I have no idea whether the IDF will go into Gaza on the ground, or what they will do if they do so: that’s a tricky cost-benefit calculation, and no-one outside the government has relevant information. But the broader point is that Israel will win a war of attrition. Hamas has shot off hundreds of rockets (including one that landed a few kilometers from me up north in Zichron Yaakov while I had lunch there yesterday) without causing a single injury. Iron Dome has worked brilliantly. Traffic was a bit lighter than normal last night, but there wasn’t a free table at any of the hundred or so cafe terraces on Dizengoff St., Tel Aviv’s main drag.

There will be no Intifada on the West Bank: the Palestinian Arabs are older, more resigned and less inclined to destroy their livelihoods than in 2000.

Syria and Iraq continue to disintegrate, Lebanon is inundated with Syrian Sunni refugees (weakening Hezbollah’s relative position), and Jordan is looking to Israel to protect it against ISIS. Egypt is busy trying to survive economically.

Medium term, the boycott and BDS threat become irrelevant. “Startup Nation” is becoming market-cap nation as hundreds of Israeli firms exit the venture capital stage and become profitable, mature enterprises. There’s never been anything like this. India and China beckon with a combined market of 2.5 billion people. To the extent that the Europeans threaten Israel with sanctions, the term “Middle East” gradually will be replaced by “Western Asia”. 

(I was interrupted by another brief visit to the bomb shelter, again for five minutes.)

In the short-term, to be sure, Israel must proceed with caution. It is still vulnerable to pressure from the US, which provides the bulk of its military hardware, and economic pressure from Europe, which accounts for a third of its trade. Nonetheless, Israel is winning and its adversaries are losing.

Wanted: a hugely disproportional response 4

Could there be any more nonsensical tactic of war than an attempt at a proportional response?

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A defensive war should be fought with overwhelming force to end the aggression as soon as possible.

We are of course alluding to the current aggressive war being waged on Israel by the Nazi-like terrorist power in Gaza, Hamas, and the far too restrained response by Israel.

Posted under Commentary, Islam, Israel, jihad, Muslims, Palestinians, United States, Videos, War by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, July 9, 2014

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Arms and the free man 1

Here is some interesting information about the  1775 Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, which may not be well known. It comes from an article at Townhall by Chuck Norris:

Most everyone knows about America’s 1776 Declaration of Independence. But did you know that on July 6 a year earlier, Congress initiated a Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms?

It’s true. … On July 6, 1775, just a day after our Founding Fathers issued their Olive Branch Petition to King George III, Congress gave just reason for taking up arms against Great Britain. In the declaration, they wrote they would “die freemen rather than live slaves”. …

The lengthier name is A Declaration by the Representatives of the United Colonies of North-America, Now Met in Congress at Philadelphia, Setting Forth the Causes and Necessity of Their Taking Up Arms.

It was primarily the work of Thomas Jefferson and John Dickinson; the former penned the first draft, and the latter produced the final draft. …

Known as the “Penman of the Revolution,” Dickinson was referred to by Jefferson as being “among the first of the advocates for the rights of his country when assailed by Great Britain.” His name, Jefferson said, “will be consecrated in history as one of the great worthies of the revolution.”

Dickinson was a militia officer during the Revolution, a member of the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania and Delaware, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, president of Delaware, and president of Pennsylvania. …

The Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms [asserts]:

The legislature of Great-Britain, stimulated by an inordinate passion for a power not only unjustifiable, but which they know to be peculiarly reprobated by the very constitution of that kingdom, and desperate of success in any mode of contest where regard should be had to truth, law, or right, have at length, deserting those, attempted to effect their cruel and impolitic purpose of enslaving these colonies by violence, and have thereby rendered it necessary for us to close with their last appeal from reason to arms.

Is it any surprise that when creating our Constitution, our founders would include as prominent the need for a free people to bear arms? The Second Amendment reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Chuck Norris is a devout Christian, and his article includes passages about “the Creator” and the Ten Commandments. We have of course cut those out. But we like what we have quoted. The need for Americans to be armed is greater than ever now that a tyrannical and would-be totalitarian administration is hellbent on nudging the entire population of the US into lockstep obedience to its command.

The name of the problem 2

Here is a news video of citizens rising in revolt on “Independence weekend” – a fitting time to choose.

Some residents of Murrieta, California – a small “bedroom” town of 106,000 – protest against 140 illegal immigrants from Central America, some of them sick with infectious diseases, being brought in buses from the border and dumped on them by federal agents.

The problem needs to be fixed at a federal level, says Alan Long, the mayor of Murrieta. “The problem is in Washington, D.C.”

Right. And its name is Obama.

How environmentalists are committing mass murder on a vast scale 8

Whether the earth is getting a wee bit warmer, or a wee bit cooler, or staying much the same in this wee bit of time in which the present generations live, is of no importance. None. What is important is that a few thousand people are trying to undo our civilization, return the human race to the life of savages (“solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”, as Thomas Hobbes described it), or even wipe it off the face of the earth*. And all to preserve the planet, they say. For whom? For what? They are obsessed madmen, religious fanatics. (Yes, environmentalism is a religion.) And they are winning. They have the ear of Western governments. They command government agencies. Some of them – such as the despots of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – have immense power. Their word is law.

Of the tactics they use, the one that is working best for them and worst for their victims, is stopping Western technology spreading to the Third World, thus keeping poor countries poor, and allowing disease to kill millions upon millions, year after year.

Big Green activists say anything other than solar panels and bird-butchering wind turbines would not be “sustainable”. Like climate change, “sustainability” is infinitely elastic and malleable, making it a perfect weapon for anti-development activists. Whatever they support is sustainable. Whatever they oppose is unsustainable. To them, apparently, the diseases and death tolls are sustainable, just, ethical and moral. Whatever they advocate also complies with the “precautionary principle”. Whatever they disdain violates it. Worse, their perverse guideline always focuses on the risks of using technologies – but never on the risks of not using them. It spotlights risks that a technology – coal-fired power plants, biotech foods or DDT, for example – might cause, but ignores risks the technology would reduce or prevent.

We quote an article by Paul Driessen at Canada Free Press:

Fossil fuel and insurance company executives “could face personal liability for funding climate denialism and opposing policies to fight climate change”, Greenpeace recently warned several corporations. In a letter co-signed by WWF International and the Center for International Environmental Law, the Rainbow Warriors ($155 million in 2013 global income) suggested that legal action might be possible.

Meanwhile, the WWF ($927 million in 2013 global income) filed a formal complaint against Peabody Energy for “misleading readers” in advertisements that say coal-based electricity can improve lives in developing countries. The ads are not “decent, honest and veracious”,  as required by Belgian law, the World Wildlife ethicists sniffed. Other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) make similar demands. …

They are demands which – we ardently hope – will rebound in their green faces.

In fact, the rebounding has begun.

India’s Intelligence Bureau recently identified Greenpeace as “a threat to national economic security”, noting that these and other groups have been “spawning” and funding internal protest movements and campaigns that have delayed or blocked numerous mines, electricity projects and other infrastructure programs vitally needed to create jobs and lift people out of poverty and disease. The anti-development NGOs are costing India’s economy 2-3% in lost GDP every year, the Bureau estimates.

The Indian government has now banned direct foreign funding of local campaign groups by foreign NGOs like Greenpeace, the WWF and US-based Center for Media and Democracy. India and other nations could do much more. Simply holding these über-wealthy nonprofit environmentalist corporations to the same ethical standards they demand of for-profit corporations could be a fascinating start.

Greenpeace, WWF and other Big Green campaigners constantly demand environmental and climate justice for poor families. They insist that for-profit corporations be socially responsible, honest, transparent, accountable, and liable for damages and injustices that the NGOs allege the companies have committed, by supposedly altering Earth’s climate and weather, for example.

Meanwhile, more than 300 million Indians (equal to the US population) still have no access to electricity, or only sporadic access. 700 million Africans likewise have no or only occasional access. Worldwide, almost 2.5 billion people (nearly a third of our Earth’s population) still lack electricity …

These energy-deprived people do not merely suffer abject poverty. They must burn wood and dung for heating and cooking, which results in debilitating lung diseases that kill a million people every year. They lack refrigeration, safe water and decent hospitals, resulting in virulent intestinal diseases that send almost two million people to their graves annually. The vast majority of these victims are women and children.

The energy deprivation is due in large part to unrelenting, aggressive, deceitful eco-activist campaigns against coal-fired power plants, natural gas-fueled turbines, and nuclear and hydroelectric facilities in India, Ghana, South Africa, Uganda and elsewhere. The Obama Administration joined Big Greeen in refusing to support loans for these critically needed projects, citing climate change and other claims.

As American University adjunct professor Caleb Rossiter asked in a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Where is the justice when the US discourages World Bank funding for electricity-generation projects in Africa that involve fossil fuels, and when the European Union places a ‘global warming’ tax on cargo flights importing perishable African goods?”

Where is the justice in Obama advisor John Holdren saying ultra-green elites in rich countries should define and dictate “ecologically feasible development” for poor countries? …

Imagine your life without abundant, reliable, affordable electricity and transportation fuels. Imagine living under conditions endured by impoverished, malnourished, diseased Indians and Africans whose life expectancy is 49 to 59 years. And then dare to object to their pleas and aspirations, especially on the basis of “dangerous manmade global warming” speculation and GIGO [garbage in, garbage out] computer models. …

Genetically engineered Golden Rice incorporates a gene from corn (maize) to make it rich in beta-carotene, which humans can convert to Vitamin A, to prevent blindness and save lives. The rice would be made available at no cost to poor farmers. Just two ounces a day would virtually end the childhood malnutrition, blindness and deaths. But Greenpeace and its “ethical” collaborators have battled Golden Rice for years, while eight million children died from Vitamin A deficiency since the rice was invented.

In Uganda malnourished people depend as heavily on Vitamin A-deficient bananas, as their Asian counterparts do on minimally nutritious rice. A new banana incorporates genes from wild bananas, to boost the fruit’s Vitamin A levels tenfold. But anti-biotechnology activists repeatedly pressure legislators not to approve biotech crops for sale.

Other crops are genetically engineered to resist insects, drought and diseases, reducing the need for pesticides and allowing farmers to grow more food on less land with less water. However, Big Green opposes them too, while millions die from malnutrition and starvation.

Sprayed in tiny amounts on walls of homes, DDT repels mosquitoes for six months or more. It kills any that land on the walls and irritates those it does not kill or repel, so they leave the house without biting anyone. No other chemical – at any price – can do all that. Where DDT and other insecticides are used, malaria cases and deaths plummet – by as much as 80 percent. Used this way, the chemical is safe for humans and animals, and malaria-carrying mosquitoes are far less likely to build immunities to DDT than to other pesticides, which are still used heavily in agriculture and do pose risks to humans.

But in another crime against humanity, Greenpeace, WWF and their ilk constantly battle DDT use – while half a billion people get malaria every year, making them unable to work for weeks on end, leaving millions with permanent brain damage, and killing a million people per year, mostly women and children.

India and other countries can fight back, by terminating the NGOs’ tax-exempt status, as Canada did with Greenpeace. They could hold the pressure groups to the same standards they demand of for-profit corporations: honesty, transparency, social responsibility, accountability and personal liability. They could excoriate the Big Green groups for their crimes against humanity – and penalize them for the malnutrition, disease, economic retractions and deaths they perpetrate or perpetuate.

 

 See our posts: The evil that Greenpeace does, January 16, 2010; The vast left-wing conspiracy, January 18, 2010; The blind cruelty of Greenpeace, January 20, 2010; Fresh wild raw uninhabited world, January 2, 2012.

The hunt is on 0

From PowerLine:

Posted under cartoons, corruption, Humor, Miscellaneous, satire, United States by Jillian Becker on Sunday, July 6, 2014

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