… and put an end to ISIS and all ISLAM with one blow?
In our recent post Freedom from religion (October 6, 2014), we mentioned that a rock could be an object of worship.
There was an ancient tradition in Arabia of anointing and circumambulating stones as a form of worship. Many of the worshipped stones were meteorites. As they came “from the heavens” they were thought to be sent by a god and to contain divine powers. One such stone, long since fragmented, is the one enshrined at Mecca, that Muslims hold sacred and circumambulate.
The Black Stone (Arabic: الحجر الأسود al-Ḥajar al-Aswad) is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building toward which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is revered by Muslims as an Islamic relic which, according to Muslim tradition, dates back to the time of Adam and Eve.
The stone was venerated at the Kaaba in pre-Islamic pagan times. According to Islamic tradition, it was set intact into the Kaaba’s wall by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the year 605 A.D., five years before his first revelation. Since then it has been broken into a number of fragments and is now cemented into a silver frame in the side of the Kaaba. Its physical appearance is that of a fragmented dark rock, polished smooth by the hands of millions of pilgrims. Islamic tradition holds that it fell from Heaven to show Adam and Eve where to build an altar. Although it has often been described as a meteorite, this hypothesis is now uncertain.
Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba as part of the tawaf ritual of the hajj. Many of them try, if possible, to stop and kiss the Black Stone, emulating the kiss that Islamic tradition records that it received from Muhammad. If they cannot reach it, they point to it on each of their seven circuits around the Kaaba.
The broken stone has no value in itself; not as a gem, not as a meteorite sample, and not as a relic of the past. It is not an artifact that could reveal information about ancient civilizations. It is not unique. It is endowed with value only by tradition and superstition.
It could, however, be of enormous importance to the world. The destruction of it – by pulverizing it so completely that no trace of it remains – could be hugely beneficial.
We quote from: Hitler, Stalin, Muhammad: Who ranks as the most evil human ever? by Dov Ivry (a reader of this website) –
Whether what remains on display at Mecca today is the original meteorite is open to question because there are only fragments in a reconstructed edifice. [However,] the remembrance of a stone falling from the sky rings true. … They keep changing the label on the meteorite god. Today it is called Allah. …
Islam, as the worship of the pet rock is known, is always vulnerable to a sudden disappearance from the planet if [the Black Stone] were ever pulverized into powder and the powder scattered over the Pacific Ocean. An atomic bomb might produce that powder at some point. If so, Islam would vanish within a few generations.
If that outcome really is a strong probability, then the sooner the Kaaba is bombed the better (obviously at a time when there are no pilgrims there). Conventional bombs would do. It could be the quickest way of ending the jihad, the Islamic State, and the conflict between Islamic sects, and above all its disappearance might free the world of at least one ancient and persistent religion – the worst of them all: Islam.
The Black Stone
Along with “The UN must be destroyed!”, “Bomb the Kaaba!” takes its place as a slogan of ours.
It is politically correct to exploit children for sinister ends. Here’s a video of children sweetly singing a blame-America pro-Obama warmist song (from eBaums World).
That was first posted in 2012.
This one was filmed and posted a few days ago. (Video and comment below from Best of Cain.)
Now, admittedly, there are only four or five kids in this video. I’d like to know how many intellectuals Bonham had to interview before he found these numbskulls. That said, this is clearly an ideology that is rampant in American Universities. Whenever there’s a problem in the world, no matter what it may be, the United States is to blame.
It should go without saying that our nation, our wealth, and yes, our military might are the greatest stabilizing forces on Earth. The real threat is the vacuum created by our absence.
Unfortunately, that lesson is nowhere to be found in most of higher education’s most hallowed halls.
P.S. An astute Harvard student sent us this message:
“I effing-well hope the US is more dangerous than ISIS! It is not a threat, but may it forever be the mightiest, most dangerous power on earth!”
We heartily concur.
He redeems the reputation of Harvard.
(Hat-tip for 2012 video: Don L)
Oh, how the dimwits in charge of educating our children surpass themselves from time to time!
We cannot resist giving our readers this prize piece of idiocy in full. It’s a collector’s item.
From the National Review:
A Nebraska school district has instructed its teachers to stop referring to students by “gendered expressions” such as “boys and girls”, and use “gender inclusive” ones such as “purple penguins” instead.
“Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls’, ‘you guys’, ‘ladies and gentlemen’, and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention,” instructs a training document given to middle-school teachers at the Lincoln Public Schools.
“Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet on the rug,” it advises.
The document also warns against asking students to “line up as boys or girls”, and suggests asking them to line up by whether they prefer “skateboards or bikes/milk or juice/dogs or cats/summer or winter/talking or listening”.
“Always ask yourself . . . ‘Will this configuration create a gendered space?’” the document says.
No more “gendered spaces”? Phew!
The instructions were part of a list called “12 steps on the way to gender inclusiveness” developed by Gender Spectrum, an organization that “provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for children of all ages”.
We wonder what age the children are who thought all this up. Could be over 40 and still not started on long division.
Other items on the list include asking all students about their preferred pronouns and decorating the classroom with “all genders welcome” door hangers.
If teachers still find it “necessary” to mention that genders exist at all, the document states, they must list them as “boy, girl, both or neither”.
“Both” we have long ago come to terms with. It may not be common, but it’s no unknown. But “neither” we find a trifle puzzling.
Small children aren’t usually much bothered by gender differences anyway. But how will progressive teachers start corrupting their innocence with hard-core pornographic sex education – as is now compulsory in the public schools – without mention of gender?
Furthermore, it instructs teachers to interfere and interrupt if they ever hear a student talking about gender in terms of “boys and girls” so the student can learn that this is wrong.
Get that? It is positively wrong to speak of “boys and girls”. This is pretty extreme stuff by any measure! Good grief – dictionaries will have to be purged. And all literature. Have they any idea of the size of the task they’re undertaking? And what will they do when grandpa and grandma insist on using the forbidden terms?
What about names? Lists of unisex names will have to be drawn up for parents to choose from. (Prison terms for mothers and fathers who thought Rosemary was okay for all – ahem! – genders?)
As is necessary to the Leftist collectivist mind, all teachers and purple penguins are instructed to make sure everyone around them obeys the new rules. Put them right when they stray!
“Point out and inquire when you hear others referencing gender in a binary manner,” it states. “Ask things like . . . ‘What makes you say that? I think of it a little differently.’ Provide counter-narratives that challenge students to think more expansively about their notions of gender.”
Obviously it will soon be compulsory for boys and girls – sorry, purple penguins who prefer skateboards to bikes or bikes to skateboards – to dress the same.
Whatever will they do about some purple penguins’ voices breaking at the age when they do?
Since children are not wanted much these days, perhaps many of the purple penguins could be persuaded to be surgically neutered in their tender years, so that all trace of difference is eliminated before the onset of puberty which brings such distressingly obvious gender differences.
If this policy is followed all the way, unisex humanity will be the last generation, the final achievement of civilization. All the young men gone, all the young girls gone, gone to purple ice-floes every one.
The teachers were also given a handout created by the Center for Gender Sanity, which explains to them that “Gender identity . . . can’t be observed or measured, only reported by the individual”, and an infographic callled “The Genderbred Person“, which was produced by www.ItsPronouncedMetroSexual.com.
Run, run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Genderbred … penguin.
Despite controversy, Lincoln Superintendent Steve Joel has declared that he is “happy” and “pleased” with the training documents.
“We don’t get involved with politics,” he told KLIN Radio’s Drive Time Lincoln radio show. “We don’t get involved with gender preferences. We’re educating all kids . . . and we can’t be judgmental,” he said.
What a splendid jackass it is!
(Hat-tip Robert Kantor)
What proportion of the world’s Muslims are, or are likely to become, jihadists?
Nobody knows even an approximate number.
In search of an answer, we found this article at the website of Daniel Pipes. The content seems to have been gathered by an Indian professor from a book called Prophet of Doom by Craig Winn.
The article was posted in November 2006 and the Muslim population of the world has grown since then. It is now about 1.6 billion.
There has been a proliferation of terrorist groups in the Middle East and North Africa since the start of the “Arab Spring”.
The Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) alone is waging war with over 30,000 fighters, a number said to be growing steadily.
Robert Spencer, a leading authority on Islam, wrote on June 4, 2014:
The threat to the U.S. from global jihadist groups has escalated in the past three years, with the number of groups increasing by more than 50% and the estimated number of militants doubling.
So the figures predicted in the article have almost certainly proved to be under-estimates. But here is what the author worked out:
I am often asked to guess as to how many Muslims are jihadists. … I think the math goes something like this:
There are between 1.2 and 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. Half are women. While a substantial percentage of Islamic women support jihad, less than one in fifty Islamic terrorist acts is actually perpetrated by a female. That leaves us with a maximum pool of jihadists that is just over 50% of the total population.
The overwhelming preponderance of terrorist acts are conducted by young Muslim men 15 to 30 years old. This age bracket covers about half of the male population of the Islamic world, leaving us with a potential jihad pool of 25% of all Muslims – approximately 300 million people.
The most logical way to determine the percentage of Muslims who are salafi/fundamentalists – a precondition to jihad – is to consider the most recent elections in Islamic countries. For example, the fundamentalist Islamic group Hamas received 65% of the popular vote in “Palestine.” The somewhat secular Fatah, at least by comparison to Hamas, won only 30% of the votes.
While he was not popularly elected, Turkey’s president, Ahmet Necdet Sezar, is a fundamentalist Muslim. Turkey’s parliament, which selected him by a 70% majority, is formed as a result of a popular mandate and it is predominately comprised of fundamentalist Muslims. Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is the nation’s most popular leader. He is a convicted felon who believes: “Mosques are our barracks, domes are our helmets, minarets our bayonets, and believers our soldiers.” He won a landslide victory in 2002 – and Turkey is considered to be the most moderate Islamic state.
The newly elected fundamentalist Islamic nutcase ruling Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, earned 62% of the popular vote. The most moderate Islamic challenger garnered less than twenty percent support. The notion that the majority of Iranians are hostile to the Shia mullahs, and are poised for a revolution, is a myth
In Lebanon, politicians got all excited when 50,000 people marched in support of democracy. The following week when 500,000 people protested in support of Islam/Submission, the percentage of fundamentalist Muslims became clear.
Fundamentalist Islamic candidates in the most recent Iraqi elections, those individuals who belonged to clerical parties like the Islamic Revolution in Iraq founded by Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, won 65% of the seats in the new parliament.
While opinion surveys can be suspect, and are often tainted by the manner in which a question is phrased, there are two that are worth mentioning. Opinion polls taken by the British Government reveal that 70% of Iraqis think killing Americans is justified, something that is impossible to justify outside the conditioning of fundamentalist Islam. The rising death toll of American troops and stunning escalation in terror in Iraq give credence to those numbers. Polls taken in Pakistan, where bin Laden is being harbored, reveal that 70% of Pakistanis view the world’s most famous Islamic terrorist very favorably. In fact, Osama has become the most popular name for boys in the region.
Therefore, based upon the most objective data available to us, at least 60% of all Muslims have the potential to be jihadists by way of their fundamentalist voting patterns. That is to say, Islam has grown substantially closer to its salafi, and thus terrorist, roots over the past decade.
It is safe to say that 750 million Muslims are fundamentalists trying to follow Allah’s orders and Muhammad’s example. And as fundamentalists, they are potential jihadists.
If the 60% response levels derived from polling data is an accurate reflection of the current state of Islam, then sex and age criteria further reduce Islamic terrorist candidates down to a maximum of one in every seven Muslims – 25% of 60%. That means that no more than 15% of the total Islamic population of 1.2 to 1.5 billion people has the potential to be a terrorist should the opportunity arise. That equates to a minimum of 180 million potential jihadists and a maximum of 225 million.
But when it comes to actual jihadists, to those who have or will commit an act of terrorism in Allah’s name, my research suggests that they represent no more than one in one hundred of the 180 million young fundamentalist Muslim men prepared mentally, morally, and spiritually to be terrorists. That means that there are 1.8 million actual Islamic jihadists on the planet today – a number which could jump one hundred fold almost instantaneously should the opportunity arise.
Middle East political commentator Daniel Pipes says that there are no less than 130 million Islamic jihadists but I don’t believe that is possible because there haven’t been sufficient jihadist attacks over the past 20 years for that many Muslims to be engaged in the business of killing people for Allah.
But there have been sufficient jihadist attacks now to make that figure plausible. According to the tally kept by The Religion Of Peace (shown continuously in our margin) there have now been over 24000 lethal terrorist attacks by Muslims (most of them on other Muslims) since the jihad attacks on America on 9/11/2o01.
The potential pool of jihadists, however, is reasonably close to Pipes’s estimate. …
Keep in mind that while only 15% of Muslims are potential jihadists today, that percentage is growing rapidly. Thanks to OPEC funding and clerical indoctrination, the Islamic world is becoming increasingly fundamentalist. In twenty years most Muslims could be terrorists – and probably will be.
We do not generally like news people hounding individuals. But when the person being hounded is Lois Lerner, who viciously hounded so many people when she worked for the IRS, we think there is justification for it.
Can you call yourself free if restrictions are put on your freedom?
We of The Atheist Conservative say that a person’s freedom should be limited by nothing but everyone else’s freedom.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia seems to have a different idea of what freedom means.
He grants that with the first amendment the Constitution enshrines the principal of freedom of religion, but according to reports (see below) insists that “freedom of religion” does not include a right to “freedom from religion”.
So you are free to worship something or other, but not free to worship nothing.
How many ways can the idea be expressed? You are not free not to worship anything at all. You are not free not to worship. You have to worship something. It can be anything at all, but you must worship it. Hold it sacred. The thing. Or the person. Or any number of things or persons. You are Constitutionally obliged to consider it or him or her or them divine.
You are perfectly free to decide which it or him or her or them you consider divine. But you are not free to consider that nothing is divine.
You may choose (for instance) an abstraction, a dead Jew, a rock, a wooden or plaster or cloth or straw or polystyrene object, a devil, an ancestor. Or any number of the same. Or even a mixed bag of all of them – a Deity Allsorts.
That is right and proper and permitted by the Constitution of the United States. But you cannot deny that something or someone is, or a bunch of persons real or imaginary are, or at least that a state of mind can be achieved in which you understand that absolutely everything is, divine.
Not, anyway, according to the Constitution.
Which logically means that the Constitution forbids you to refrain from worshiping something. If you do, you may be in breach of Constitutional Law.
And it may follow that the thing you must worship must also be honored with the performance of rites. Simply believing it to be divine may not be enough. To be religious you must follow some ritual of worship. Otherwise you could just claim to worship your Aunt Sally and never do a thing about it. Even your Aunt Sally herself, if she’s alive on this earth and not moved on, or over, or through, or up to another (imaginary but Constitutionally-acknowledged) world, might not believe you are really sincere.
And this from a judge we have held in high esteem? Did he really say something that implied all that? What in fact did he actually say?
The Washington Times reports only these words of his:
I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over nonreligion.
And MSN interprets his words like this:
Defending his strict adherence to the plain text of the Constitution, Scalia knocked secular qualms over the role of religion in the public sphere as “utterly absurd,” arguing that the Constitution is only obligated to protect freedom of religion – not freedom from it.
He probably meant nothing more, after all, than that religious groups may put up their shrines and symbols in public places, and publicly display mottoes with religious references, and that atheist protestors have no grounds in law for objecting.
Austin Cline, who is an atheist, agrees with this view in an essay titled What is Freedom From Religion? But he discusses much more than that issue.
Freedom of Religion Requires Freedom From Religion
Conservatives insist that the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, and argue against strict separation of church and state. Too often, though, conservatives seem to have a flawed understanding of what freedom from religion really entails and fail to realize that freedom from religion is crucial to religious liberty in general.
It is evident that a person misunderstands the concept of freedom from religion when they say that promotion of the idea is part of an effort to eliminate religion from the public square, to secularize America, or to deny religious believers a voice in politics. None of this follows from a belief that people have a right to be free from religion.
What Freedom From Religion is Not
Freedom from religion is not a demand that one never encounter religion, religious believers, or religious ideas at all. Freedom from religion is not freedom from seeing churches, encountering people handing out religious tracts on the street corner, seeing preachers on television, or listening to people discuss religion at work. Freedom from religion is not a demand that religious beliefs never be expressed, that religious believers never voice an opinion, or that religiously-inspired values never have any impact on laws, customs, or public policies.
Freedom from religion is thus not a social right to never encounter religion in public spaces. Freedom from religion has two relevant aspects: personal and political. On the personal level, a right to be free from religion means that a person has the freedom not to belong to any religion or religious organization. The right to be religious and to join religious organizations would be meaningless if there did not exist a parallel right not to join any at all. Religious liberty must simultaneously protect both the right to be religious and the right not to be religious at all - it cannot protect a right to be religious, just so long as you pick some religion.
What Freedom From Religion Is
When it comes to politics, the freedom from religion means being “free from” any government imposition of religion. Freedom from religion does not mean being free from seeing churches, but it does mean being free from churches getting governing financing; it doesn’t mean being free from encountering people handing out religious tracts on a street corner, but it does mean being free from government-sponsored religious tracts; it doesn’t mean being free from hearing religious discussions at work, but it does mean being free from religion being a condition of employment, hiring, firing, or one’s status in the political community.
Freedom from religion isn’t a demand that religious beliefs never be expressed, but rather that they not be endorsed by the government; it’s not a demand that religious believers never voice an opinion, but rather that they not have a privileged status in public debates; it’s not a demand that religious values never have any public impact, but rather that no laws be based on religious doctrines without the existence of a secular purpose and basis.
The political and the personal are closely related. A person cannot be “free from” religion in the personal sense of not having to belong to any religion if religion is made a factor in one’s status in the political community. Government agencies should not endorse, promote, or encourage religion in any way. Doing so suggests that those who accept the religious beliefs favored by the government will, by extension, be favored by the government – and thus a person’s political status becomes conditioned on their personal religious commitments.
What Religious Liberty Is
The claim that the Constitution only protects “freedom of religion” and not “freedom from religion” thus misses an important point. Religious liberty, if it is to mean anything, cannot merely mean that the state won’t use the police to stop or harass adherents of certain religious ideas. It must also mean that the state won’t use more subtle powers, like those of the pocketbook and the bully pulpit, to favor some religions over others, to endorse certain religious doctrines rather than others, or to take sides in theological disputes.
It would be wrong for the police to close synagogues; it is also wrong for police officers to tell Jewish drivers during a traffic stop that they should convert to Christianity. It would be wrong for politicians to pass a law banning Hinduism; it is also wrong for them to pass a law proclaiming that monotheism is preferable to polytheism. It would be wrong for a president to say that Catholicism is a cult and not really Christian; it is also wrong for a president to endorse theism and religion generally.
This is why freedom of religion and freedom from religion are two sides of the same coin. Attacks on one ultimately serve to undermine the other. The preservation of religious liberty requires that we ensure that the government not be handed any authority over religious matters.
Cline also sets out this for our enlightenment:
Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom
In 1779 as a member of the General Assembly, James Madison supported Thomas Jefferson’s historic Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom; after Jefferson left for diplomatic duties in Europe in 1784, Madison became the bill’s prime sponsor. Enactment failed every year from June 1779 until it was finally adopted in January, 1786.
The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom was an important milestone in establishing religious liberty in America and disestablishing official churches.
The Act has questionable opening lines – but read beyond them.
The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom.
Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free;
that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do;
that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time;
that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical;
that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporal rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labors for the instruction of mankind;
that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, more than our opinions in physics or geometry;
that, therefore, the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to the offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow citizens he has a natural right;
that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honors and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it;
that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way;
that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles, on the supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency, will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own;
that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order;
and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
And though we well know this Assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no powers equal to our own and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law, yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.
“Errors cease to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.”
“No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship … but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions on matters of religion.”
Could freedom of speech be more plainly or strongly supported than by those statements?
They mean that we must be free not only to hold any opinions whatsoever on religion, but also to express them publicly whenever and however we choose.
The time may not be far off when humankind as a whole will be free from religion; when people will learn about the irrational beliefs their close ancestors held with passionate conviction and be amazed that in an age of science they could have swallowed such nonsense.
(Hat-tip Don L)
The figure of [Franklin Delano] Roosevelt exhibited before the eyes of our people is a fiction. There was no such being as that noble, selfless, hard-headed, wide and farseeing combination of philosopher, philanthropist and warrior which has been fabricated out of pure propaganda and which a small collection of dangerous cliques in this country are using to advance their own evil ends.
Those are the closing words of The Roosevelt Myth by John T. Flynn, published in 1948. Flynn was a Roosevelt White House insider. His book amply proves his conclusion.
Now we quote a recent article by Stephen Moore at the Daily Signal (originally in the Washington Times):
My seventh-grade son recently wrote a U.S. History paper extolling the virtues of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. “It ended the Great Depression,” he wrote with great certainty. He’s only 12 and parroting what the history texts and his teachers told him.
That’s his excuse. What’s Ken Burns’?
Mr. Burns’s docudrama on the Roosevelts — for those who weren’t bored to tears — repeats nearly all the worn-out fairy tales of the FDR presidency, including what I call the most enduring myth of the 20th century, which is that FDR’s avalanche of alphabet-soup government programs ended the Great Depression. Shouldn’t there be a statute of limitations on such lies?
Ask nearly anyone over the age of 80, and they will say that FDR cared about the working man and “gave the country hope”, a point that Mr. Burns emphasizes. Roosevelt exuded empathy, which isn’t a bad thing … but caring doesn’t create jobs or lift gross domestic product.
Nor does spending government money revive growth, despite the theories put into practice by the then-dean of all economists, John Maynard Keynes. Any objective analysis of these facts can lead to no other conclusion. U.S. unemployment averaged a rate of 18 percent during Roosevelt’s first eight years in office. In the decade of the 1930s, U.S. industrial production and national income fell by about almost one-third. In 1940, after year eight years of the New Deal, unemployment was still averaged a god-awful 14 percent.
Think of it this way. The unemployment rate was more than twice as high eight years into the New Deal than it is today, and American workers now are angry as hornets. Imagine, if jobs were twice as scarce today, the pitchforked revolt that would be going on. This is success?
Almost everything FDR did to jump-start growth retarded it. The rise in the minimum wage kept unemployment intolerably high. (Are you listening, Nancy Pelosi?) Roosevelt’s work programs like the Works Progress Administration, National Recovery Administration and the Agricultural Adjustment Administration were so bureaucratic as to have minimal impact on jobs. Raising tax rates to nearly 80 percent on the rich stalled the economy. Social Security is and always was from the start a Madoff-style Ponzi scheme that will eventually sink into bankruptcy unless reformed.
The cruel irony of the New Deal is that the liberals’ honorable intentions to help the poor and the unemployed caused more human suffering [in America] than any other set of ideas in the past century.
The most alarming story of economic ignorance surrounding this New Deal era was the tax increases while the economy was faltering. … FDR signed one of the most financially devastating taxes: “On April 27, 1942, he signed an executive order taxing all personal income above $25,000 [rich back then] at 100 percent. Congress balked at that idea and later lowered it to 90 percent at the top level.” The New Dealers completely ignored the lessons of the 1920s tax cuts, which just a decade before had unfurled an age of super-growth.
Then there was the spending and debt barrage. Federal spending catapulted from $4.65 billion in 1933 to nearly $13.7 billion in 1941. This tripling of the federal budget in just eight years came at a time of almost no inflation (just 13.1 percent cumulative during that period). Budget surpluses during the prosperous Coolidge years became ever-larger deficits under FDR’s fiscal reign. During his first term, more than half the federal budget on average came from borrowed money.
What is maddening is that thanks to this historical fabrication of FDR’s presidency, dutifully repeated by Mr. Burns, we have repeated the mistakes again and again.
Had the history books been properly written, it’s quite possible we would never had to endure the catastrophic failure of Obamanomics and the “stimulus plans” that only stimulated debt. The entire rationale for the Obama economic plan in 2009 was to re-create new New Deal.
Doubly amazing is that at this very moment, the left is writing another fabricated history — of the years we have just lived through. The [leftist] history books are already painting Obama policies as the just-in-time emergency policies that prevented a Second Great Depression. I wonder if 80 years from now, the American people will be as gullible as they are today in believing, as my 12-year-old does, that FDR was an economic savior.
In confirmation of Steve Moore’s contentions, we take two more extracts from The Roosevelt Myth.
Of the Planned Economy, Flynn writes:
This curiously un-American doctrine was being peddled in America (under the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt) as the bright flower of the liberals. … They did not dare admit that I implied the restoration to the State of a numerous collection of those very powers which we had stripped from the State as the means of giving freedom to men. They called it the Planned Economy. But it was and is fascism by whatever name it is known. … Little by little the government must be made stronger, the, the rights of the citizens must be reduced. Little by little, if the Planned Economy is to be made to work, the free republic must wither. These two ideas – the idea of a free republic and the idea of a Planned Economy – cannot live together.
Elsewhere he quotes from a 1940 address by President Hoover, highly critical of Roosevelt’s New Deal, to warn America where such policies would lead them, explaining what led to the rise of Fascist and Communist dictatorships in Europe: :
In every single case before the rise of totalitarian governments there had been a period dominated by economic planners. Each of these nations had an era under starry-eyed men who believed that they could plan and force the economic life of the people. … They exalted the State as the solvent of all economic problems.
These men thought they were liberals. But they also thought they could have economic dictatorship by bureaucracy and at the same time preserve free speech, orderly justice and free government. They might be called the totalitarian liberals. They were the spiritual fathers of the New Deal. …
These men shifted the relationship of government to free enterprise from that of umpire to controller. Directly or indirectly they politically controlled credit, prices, production of industry, famer and laborer. They developed, pump-primed, and deflated. They controlled private business by government competition, by regulation and by taxes. They met every failure with demands for more and more power and control … Initiative slackened, industry slowed down production.
Then came chronic unemployment and frantic government spending in an effort to support the unemployed. Government debts mounted and finally government credit was undermined. Out of the miseries of their people there grew pressure groups – business, labor, farmers, demanding relief or special privilege. Class hate poisoned cooperation.
It all has a nasty familiar ring to it – because, as Steve Moore asserts, it is a description of what Democratic government is doing now. And yes, it will lead to a collectivist hell if the Democrats, with their present economic policies, are not very soon removed from power.
In conformity with the Islamic doctrine of taqqiya (which means “lying for the benefit of Islam”), the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on “moderate” Muslims in the US to protest against IS/ISIS/ISIL.
A protest rally would “prove” that not all Muslims want to bring the world under sharia law by means of war and violent intimidation.
In response, ten Muslims massed in Washington, D.C.
(Video from Answering Muslims.)
This video tells you what Islam is all about. It is perhaps the most shocking of all the shocking videos about Islam that we have posted or seen.
A Muslim who belongs in the Dark Ages (but has a lap-top) teaches his class how to slice off a human head – and enjoy it. “Have fun!”
We are often more provoked by atheists on the Left than by believers on the conservative Right.
Leftism is a religion. And it is promoting the worst religion of all – Islam.
Douglas Murray writes at Gatestone:
Who has the “right” to talk about Islam? The question arose thanks to the response of a Muslim student society at an American university.
Last week saw the latest in the apparently interminable efforts to make the Somali-born human-rights activist and author Ayaan Hirsi Ali into some kind of pariah. Readers will recall the atrocious treatment of Hirsi Ali by Brandeis University earlier this year, when the “liberal arts university” invited Hirsi Ali to speak and then withdrew the invitation at the behest of certain Muslim students and anti-free-speech activists among the university’s faculty staff. As said at the time, the university’s dropping of Hirsi Ali was a classic case of dropping a firefighter in order to appease arsonists.
The latest round has already kicked off. The William F Buckley Jr Program at Yale University actually asking Hirsi Ali to speak and did not rescind the invitation. On this occasion, an American university managed to hold firm and not bar Hirsi Ali, but the reactions of two types of students were especially intriguing.
First – and of most interest to the press covering this kind of dust-up – was that among the usual criticisms of Hirsi Ali, this time the attacks also came from members of the Yale Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics society. Ahead of the event, those students posted on Facebook that:
“We do not believe Ayaan Hirsi Ali represents the totality of the ex-Muslim experience … Although we acknowledge the value of her story, we do not endorse her blanket statements on all Muslims and Islam.”
What kind of atheists are these who can tolerate any aspect of Islam? Islam is doctrinally intolerant, and intolerance is not to be tolerated.
The very fact that the pro-Islam factions at Yale want to silence a critic proves Islamic intolerance – if proof were needed in a world assailed by jihad.
It is hard to know which of these witless statements to unpick first. The statement as a whole constitutes a motorway pileup of moral confusion. Just take the first point – the possibility that Hirsi Ali does not represent the “totality of the ex-Muslim experience.” That is true. It is also something that Hirsi Ali would probably be the first to admit to. But it is also true of absolutely everybody. Nobody represents the “totality” of any experience. Yale Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics might some day realize that not even they represent the “totality of the atheist, humanist and agnostic experience.” Not even among students. In the Yale area.
And then there is the other group who, rather more predictably, complained about Hirsi Ali speaking at all. The Yale Muslim Students Association wrote to the “Yale community” as well as the Buckley program heads and staff in particular to say that:
“Our concern is that Ms. Hirsi Ali is being invited to speak as an authority on Islam despite the fact that she does not hold the credentials to do so. In the past, under such authority, she has overlooked the complexity of sociopolitical issues in Muslim-majority countries and has purported that Islam promotes a number of violent and inhumane practices.”
It is important to recognize what is true here before getting on to what is false. It is true that Hirsi Ali has, in the past, pointed to teachings and practices that are violent and inhumane in many Muslim-majority countries. Rather than being part of some intolerable smear-campaign, there may of course be a reason for this: which is that there are a vast number of practices that are indeed violent and inhumane in Muslim-majority countries. …
Islam is violent and inhumane.
How about the laws in multiple Muslim-majority countries which punish homosexuals with death by hanging, among other means? What about the laws in many Muslim-majority countries which – if exercised at Yale – would see the execution or imprisonment of members of the university’s Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics society?
But, as with the other petition, the question is posed as one of authority. Hirsi Ali is not meant to speak about Islam because “she does not hold the credentials to do so.” It is an interesting, sly way in which to frame a censor’s argument.
It is also untrue. … Even were it not the case that Hirsi Ali has actually lived the Muslim life, with the personal story she has to tell as a result, any independent person would surely recognize that, if anything, she is somewhat over-credentialed. Hirsi Ali has authored multiple books and written hundreds of original and important articles on Islam. She has been published in every major newspaper in the Western world. She has a university degree from one of the oldest and most distinguished universities in the Netherlands. She has held positions at some of the most important universities and think-tanks in the world. As an extraordinary immigration success story, she was elected to Parliament in the Netherlands in her early thirties and one of the most important figures in the debate on integration in Europe as well as America.
If she is not qualified to speak about this subject, then who is? … There is a reason why she continually draws – even in America – this type of pushback. It is because anti-reformist Muslims everywhere …
Are there Muslim reformists? Into what could Islam be “reformed”? What would be left of Islam if the violence, intolerance, cruelty and lies were taken out of it?
… realize that she presents to their literalist faith a type of poison for which they have absolutely no antidote. Her criticisms are often raw because they are true. Able to do nothing about the truth, they try to silence the truth-teller.
One grows to expect this from Muslim associations. But the atheists? If these students truly believe in education and enlightenment, I would suggest they organize a trip around North Africa and the Middle East. Their experiences may never represent the “totality” of anything. But, especially if they wear their society’s logo on T-shirts, it might give them a personal insight into one of the many points Hirsi Ali has brought to the world’s attention – a point they might one day see is worth their attention, too.
Douglas Murray is reminding atheists that in most of not all Islamic countries, known atheists are punished with imprisonment, or flogging, or execution – often all three.
But few Leftist intellectuals of the Western world ever subject themselves to the regimes they theoretically support or endorse. As everyone knows, some who have actually ventured to put themselves at the mercy of Islam have recently had their heads sawn off.
[Request to readers: if anyone finds a transcript of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's speech at Yale, please bring it to us.]