Win! 1

President Trump is rapidly making America great again.

Yet we have to search for conservative commentators who see it.

Kurt Schlichter sees it. What is more, he has a gift for writing witty abuse. We enjoy it because it is directed at the Left. We occasionally quote him.  (He is religious, but if god stuff pops up – which it doesn’t in the article we quote here – we just cut it out.)

We quote most of this article of his, from Townhall, because we agree with it and enjoy it:

After eight years of Barack Obama’s pathetic fecklessness, America has got its feck back.

And the whiny progressives who prefer our woman-enslaving, gay-tossing, toddler-crucifying enemies to the guy who beat their designated heir to the Crown (Royal) are in a tizzy.

Oh no, America is refusing to continue down the path of submission, humiliation, and utter failure blazed by President Faily McWorsethancarter!

Heavens, we can’t have our enemies respecting us, much less fearing us!

Gosh, we can’t have America re-assuming its rightful place in the world – after all, weren’t we taught that the United States is the root of all evil by our pony-tailed TAs at Fussboy U?

In fact, Donald Trump is in the process of doing what Barack Obama never did and what he and his coterie of pompous twits and political hacks masquerading as a foreign policy brain trust could never do. Trump is establishing a successful foreign policy doctrine. It’s not precisely old school Republican doctrine. It’s also not the activist Bush Doctrine, which is often labeled “neo-con” by people who think “cuck” is a sick burn.

Trump’s policy is “America First.” Obama’s policy was “Blame America First.” Obama employed force only after extensive agonizing and never in the amount required to actually win. The Obama Doctrine was about staving off defeat just long enough so the next sucker would get stuck dealing with the resulting mess while The Lightbringer chills doing who knows what sans spouse in the South Pacific as Bill Ayers types up his memoirs for him.

Obama treated our allies like dirt, and he didn’t just embolden our enemies. He paid them – literally – with pallet loads of cash. Of course our enemies stopped fearing us. To the extent Putin diddled with our election [if he did – ed] by exposing the depths of Democrat corruption, it’s because he wasn’t afraid of that posing, prancing puffboy in the White House.

Putin’s rethinking his play now, as are those Seventh Century cultists in Tehran and that bloated bratwurst in Pyongyang. They all saw Obama for what he was – a preachy wuss without the stones for a fight, adhering to the motto “Make love, not war.”

Trump though? “We don’t understand what they’re going to do in Syria, and not only there,” pouted some Putin puppet. Good. When you’re acting like the most dangerous guy in the room, everyone else thinks twice about making any sudden moves. Be careful, because Trump might just kick your Harry Reid.

There’s been a lot of talk about how Trump is “changing his policies” and “flip-flopping”. The mainstream media is desperate for a “Trump Fails!” narrative that might stick, and “Trump Betrays His Supporters By Fighting America’s Enemies!” is as good as any.

Baloney. These prissy pundits don’t get the essential nature of either Donald Trump or the American people. They confuse Trump’s critique of establishment foreign policy – one that resonated with the Americans our fey elite asks to carry the burden of their interventionist shenanigans – with pure isolationism and even pacifism. It is nothing of the sort. Americans are sick of their lives and treasure being squandered by dithering milquetoasts who tie our troops’ hands and won’t do what’s necessary because they can’t get it through their pointy heads that if it’s important enough to fight a war, then we damn well ought to win it.

Putting America’s interests first does not mean putting our heads in the sand. Americans know these savages need killing, and they’re happy to oblige. Army General George S. Patton understood this essential truth: “Americans love to fight…. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans.”

Congratulations Washington, you managed to disprove Patton on one point. We haven’t won a ground war since Desert Storm in 1991, and we won that because we found the enemy, we fixed them in position, and we killed those bastards until they begged for mercy. Then we came home. That’s the lesson, and Trump seems to get it. What Americans are tired of is having their sons and daughters coming home in bags because D.C. hand-wringers were butch enough to start a fight, but not men enough to finish it.

Notably, the new National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster is a Desert Storm legend, a cavalryman from the mighty VII Corps. See the pieces come together?

Trump gets that we can’t fix Syria, and he has zero intention of dropping in tens of thousands of America’s sons and daughters to teach its inhabitants to play nice. But spraying sarin on little kids crossed the line, morally and strategically. Assad didn’t have to use it; he chose to, and he chose to because he thought he could rub Trump’s nose in America’s impotence the way he had done to Sissy O’Redline.

Trump came under fire from platoons of Eames chair generals and hipster blogtroopers sharing the strategic savvy they earned fetching a thousand lattes. Most of them have never thrown or taken a punch, and they didn’t understand that the only way to stop a bully is with a haymaker to the jaw. Trump’s message was loud and clear, and not just to that little creep cowering in Damascus. Everyone saw what happens when you get in Trump’s face, and how fast the fists flew. And just wait until they see our 350-ship Navy.

Trump’s Tomahawk strike was a tactical and strategic success. Tactically, it bashed a decent chunk of Bashar’s air force. Strategically, it gave dictators and thugs pause – and the limited nature of the response kept us from being sucked into another quagmire in which our magnificent warriors’ sacrifice and success would be squandered by subsequent Democrats a la Vietnam and Iraq. Plus it demonstrated that the key processes for executing American foreign policy are in place and operating again. The Trump Team understands that firmness and focus saves lives by deterring our enemies.

The MOAB strike was vintage Trump. Typical Obama – we had a weapon system that American forces needed, but the military probably didn’t even bother asking to use it. With Trump, they don’t have to ask. Here’s Trump’s order: “Win.”

Trump meets with the Chinese leader and a week later the Chi-Coms are leaning on the Norks. Yet the clueless media is whining that suddenly Trump’s altered some of his positions on trade issues, missing the connection entirely. But in the media’s defense, it has been eight years since Americans walked out of a negotiation having kept their pants.

The mouth-breathing media tells us Trump has done a 180 degree turn on NATO. Nonsense. Trump, like most Americans, rejects the “You hate NATO, you NATO-hating knuckle draggers!” shrieks from the establishment every time some patriot wonders why the Europeans were, for the most part, not pulling their weight in their own defense. Trump simply told them that we are done shrugging and covering the cash shortfalls while they take money that they promised would be going to guns and give it to rape-focused refugees. That’s not at all unreasonable and, as someone who supports NATO and who wears a NATO medal, some real talk was long overdue and necessary to sustain this critical alliance. NATO’s “friends”, by using cheap invective to shield it from legitimate criticism, imperiled its support among the American people. To save NATO, we must fix NATO. That will happen. …

In response, the desperate Democrats are trying to play tough, and it’s adorable. They hate it when a Republican stands up for America’s interests over those of foreigners abroad almost as much as when one stands up for normal Americans here at home (If Hillary had won, we may well have seen the same peace and love here as they created in Libya). That’s why the Russian nonsense was so hysterical. …

Trump is playing tough with our actual enemies. The only enemies that Obama’s national security hacks like Susan “The Video Did It!” Rice and failed young adult romance novelist Ben Rhodes were ever interested in defeating were Obama’s political enemies. …

It’s again clear that if you are thinking about getting uppity with the U.S. of A, you are rolling the dice. Of course, the liberals whine, which is good because the volume of their yelps is a terrific metric for success. The more they cry about it, the better an idea it is. May they weep long and hard, because America has got its feck back.

The arbiters of truth 5

From now on, when you write news on Facebook, it will be judged by certain people – specially talented, it is implied, in being totally uninfluenced by their own likes and dislikes – and if they reject it as untrue, it will be …

Deleted? Banned? Demoted? Obscured?

Discredited, anyway.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Facebook Inc. is inching closer to fact-checking the news on its platform, a role that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg shunned a month ago, by rolling out steps to weed out “the worst of the worst”, the social media platform said on Thursday.

It has inched all the way. It is commissioning fact-checking.

Facebook said it has identified several markers of sites that consistently peddle fake news, and it will demote posts from those sites in people’s news feeds.

It is also outsourcing the delicate task of determining whether individual stories are true or false to a few external organizations and tweaking its news feed algorithm based on their rulings. It is unusual for Facebook to entrust outsiders with this much power to influence the way posts are played in the news feed, the central stream of information that is customized for each user by Facebook’s algorithm. …

Mr. Zuckerberg initially dismissed concerns over fake news, but later backed away from that stance. Still he remains wary of Facebook becoming the “arbiters of truth” … 

By drafting the help of a network of fact-checking groups affiliated with the Poynter Institute, a journalism nonprofit based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Facebook is seeking to keep the task at arm’s length. …

(More about Poynter below.)

The fact-checking organizations — Snopes.com, PolitiFact, ABC News, Factcheck.org and the Associated Press — will sift through the flagged stories to determine if they are fake. It will be up to those organizations to determine whether or not to fact-check them. …

Facebook’s partnerships immediately sparked questions among users and conservatives on the neutrality of the fact checkers themselves.

“Fact checkers all seem to be from the left,” said a Twitter message from the account of Republican strategist Evan Siegfried. “Not good for conservatives.”

If a fact checker determines articles are untrue, those stories will appear lower in Facebook’s news feed and publishers can’t promote them with Facebook ads, the company said. The links will also carry a warning label to indicate that their accuracy is in dispute.

ABC news and the Associated Press (AP) as arbiters of truthful reporting? Orwell, your Ministry of Truth exists, and rules over us! Both are notoriously left-biased. (Read about ABC’s bias here. As for AP – Google “Associated Press misreporting” and see instantly on page one just some of the topics they’ve lied about.)

But wait! Worse is to come.

Aaron Klein writes at Breitbart:

The organization partnered with Facebook to help determine whether a certain story is “disputed” is financed by billionaire George Soros and a slew of other left-wing funders.

The partnering organization is Poynter. It has set up a new subsidiary for this task, the International Fact-Checking Network, and yes, it is funded by George Soros, the ideal man to head Orwell’s Ministry of Truth!

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) drafted a code of five principles for news websites to accept, and Facebook yesterday announced it will work with “third-party fact checking organizations” that are signatories to the code of principles.

Facebook says that if the “fact checking organizations” determine that a certain story is fake, it will get flagged as disputed and, according to the Facebook announcement, “there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed may also appear lower in News Feed”.

IFCN is hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. A cursory search of the Poynter Institute website finds that Poynter’s IFCN is openly funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Poynter’s IFCN is also funded by the Omidyar Network, which is the nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The Omidyar Network has partnered with the [Orwellian-named] Open Society on numerous projects and it has given grants to third parties using the Soros-funded Tides Foundation. Tides is one of the largest donors to left-wing causes in the U.S.

Another significant Poynter Institute donor is the Craig Newmark Foundation, the charitable organization established by Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark. On Monday, just days before the announcement of the Facebook partnership, Poynter issued a press release revealing that Newmark donated $1 million to the group to fund a faculty chair in journalism ethics.

States the press release:

The gift will support a five-year program at Poynter that focuses on verification, fact-checking and accountability in journalism. It’s the largest donation Poynter’s ever received from an individual foundation.

The Newmark Chair will expand on Poynter’s teaching in journalism ethics and develop certification programs for journalists that commit to ethical decision-making practices. The faculty member will also organize an annual conference on ethics issues at Poynter and be a regular contributor to Poynter.org.

Newmark funds scores of liberal groups also financed by Soros, including the Sierra Club, the New America Foundation, and the Sunlight Foundation.

Newmark also finances the investigative journalism group called the Center for Public Integrity, where he serves on the board.  Soros’s Open Society is another Public Integrity donor.

Soros has earned his megafortune in part by short selling currencies and causing economic crises. He is credited with breaking the pound on September 16, 1992 in a day that became known in Britain as “Black Wednesday.” He reportedly made $1.2 billion from that crisis.  In 2002, he was convicted for insider trading.

And that’s the least of his offenses. See the very long list of the organizations through which he works his evil will, and read what their principles and purposes are.

Poynter, meanwhile, has hosted controversial journalism programs in the past, including one that was accused of downplaying the threat of global Islamic terrorism. FoxNews.com reported the course suggested reporters “keep the death toll from Islamic terrorism in ‘context’ by comparing that toll to the number of people killed every year by malaria, HIV/AIDS and other factors”.

It is typical of the Left to compare terrorism to accidents and diseases, as though no moral decision is involved in the committing of random murder. This amounts to a condoning of terrorism, which positively encourages it.

The course taught reporters that the term “jihad” means internal struggle, and it discussed what it claimed was the issue of “right-wing activists” attempting to link American Muslims to terrorism.

As examples of fact-checking, the propagation of such blatant lies does not inspire confidence.

The section includes the good-journalism tip that reporters should check to see if experts they’re interviewing “have a bias or a stake in the story you are covering.” But then it only cites examples of anti-Muslim groups.

The course in Islam, Fox News reported, was supported by a group calling itself the Social Science Research Council, which has received funding from Soros-financed groups.

In response to the report, the Poynter Institute explained that it created the course “as a tool for journalists who want to be accurate in educating their audience about the religion and culture of Islam, Muslim communities in the U.S., and the distinctions between Islam as a political movement and the radical philosophies that inspire militant Islamists”. 

As there is NO distinction to be drawn between “Islam as a political movement and the radical philosophies that inspire militant Islamists”, those journalists who long to achieve strict accuracy will be teaching a lie from the get-go.    

“We believe there is a need to better understand the complexities of Muslim societies and the online course offered by Poynter and Washington State University is a vital resource toward that end,” Poynter added.

The values underpinning the course are truth, accuracy, independence, fairness, minimizing harm and context — the core journalistic values on which we build all our teaching here at Poynter.”

No one should be surprised at Poynter’s capacity for self-deception. It is what makes Leftism possible.

What of the other “fact-checkers”  on which Facebook will rely?

Poynter owns the Tampa Bay Times, and the Tampa Bay Times owns Politifact,

Politifact declares about itself:

PolitiFact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times and its partner news organizations to help you find the truth in American politics. …

Control of the newspaper and its operations, however, lies with a single executive. Upon retirement, that leader picks a successor. …

We received a grant from the Democracy Fund that has assisted us in expanding to new states. …

For our PunditFact project — which fact-checks talking heads and opinion leaders – we have received grants from the Ford Foundation and the Democracy Fund. Seed money for the project was provided by craigconnects. …

The Democracy Fund is administered by the iniquitous United Nations. The Ford Foundation funds such causes as Black Live Matter.

 When it comes to the question of “Who is PolitiFact?” or “Who pays for PolitiFact?”, we can assure you that no one is behind the scenes telling us what to write for someone else’s benefit. We are an independent, nonpartisan news organization. We are not beholden to any government, political party or corporate interest. We are proud to be able to say that we are independent journalists. …

Sorry, but we find that really, really hard to believe.

Then there is Snopes.com. It too is heavily left leaning(Read about it here and here.)

And what of Factcheck.org?

We quote from (conservative) Free Republic, which investigated it:

The “Truthfulness” website called FactCheck.org is itself decidedly BIASED toward the LEFT …

Among several proofs of this assertion, it cites this:

The sponsoring agency behind FastCheck.org, is itself supported by the same foundation, the ANNENBERG FOUNDATION, that Bill Ayers secured the 49.2 million dollars from to create the Chicago ANNENBERG Challenge “philanthropic” organization in which Barack Obama was the founding Chairman of the Board for and Ayers served as the grant writer of and co-Chair of for its two operating arms.

That’s Bill Ayers the terrorist. Read here how he and Barack Obama tried to “push radicalism in schools” through the Annenberg Challenge.

Free Republic concludes its report on Factcheck.com with a question:

Does the LEFT have no conscience at all?

Answer: Absolutely none.

Has all this been revealed to Mark Zuckerberg? Does he not know or not care?

Facebook is a global platform. With this ploy, the lying Left has brought off a power-grab of immeasurable proportions. From now on it will be the arbiter of truth, all over the world.

And for the Left, “truth” equals political correctness.

But does anyone over there on the Left know what you stand for now? Where you’re going, or why?

No Islamic violence is “home-grown” 1

Obama described the massacre carried out by Muslim mass murderer Omar Mateen as “an example of the kind of homegrown extremism that all of us have been concerned about”. But there’s nothing “homegrown” about Omar Mateen. Omar was fighting for a foreign ideology. He just happened to be born in this country. Being born in America does not make him a domestic terrorist.

So Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page. He goes on to say:

One of our biggest errors in the fight against Islamic terrorism has been to treat it as a domestic terrorism problem. Islamic terrorism is not domestic terrorism. Not even when its perpetrators, like Omar Mateen or Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood killer, are born in the United States.

What distinguishes domestic terrorism from international terrorism is not the perpetrator’s place of birth. …

Domestic terrorists seek political change in the United States. International terrorists seek to damage the United States. They are interested in domestic politics only to the extent that it serves their larger agenda for damaging the United States.

Islamic terrorists are not seeking domestic political change the way that Bill Ayers was. They are not domestic elements, but foreign elements. And yet we treat them as if they were domestic terrorists.

Our current strategy of trying to prevent radicalization while assuming that what Islamic terrorists want is to destabilize our political system by “dividing” us is a domestic terrorism response. It might or might not be effective if we were dealing with a domestic terror threat, but we aren’t.

Contrary to what Obama claims, Islam has not always been a part of our history. It isn’t part of us today. … Even the most radical left-wing terrorist has something in common with us. The Islamic terrorist has nothing in common with us. He does not share any part of our worldview. He did not emerge from some fork in the road of our history like the left-wing terrorist did. He does not seek to modify our system, but to utterly destroy it and replace it with something completely alien.

The solution to Islamic terrorism is to stop treating it as a domestic problem. Once upon a time we viewed Islamic terrorism as a foreign problem. When the World Trade Center was first bombed, we did not think in terms of radicalization. We saw foreign enemies infiltrating the United States and plotting against us. We didn’t worry what made them that way. Their mindset was not our problem.

After 9/11, we began treating Islamic terrorism as a domestic problem. The process really took off under Obama. The only accepted view now is that Islamic terrorism has to be countered at a domestic level. We have to work with Muslim groups to counter radicalization while making them feel as included as possible in our society. This same program has failed miserably in Europe. It will fail in America.

The only answer to Islamic terrorism is to treat it as a foreign threat. To quarantine its carriers and to build barriers against the entry of the alien virus of itsideology.

We must recognize that Islamic terrorism is not a domestic insurrection, but a foreign act of war and that it must be fought abroad by force and at home through border control.

As Donald Trump says it must.

D. C. McAllister makes the same point about there being no such thing as “home grown” Islamic terrorism in an article at The Federalist. She rightly points out that the motivation is religious:

It is imperative for us to understand that the driving impulse of a man like Mateen is religious in nature. A lot is being said about how he beat his ex-wife and that he made homophobic comments to coworkers, but this behavior is part of his belief system, which allows men to beat their wives, to put homosexuals to death, and to slaughter unbelievers en masse.

Mohommed Bouyeri, who murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, explained his motivations when he said, “What moved me to do what I did was purely my faith. I was motivated by the law that commands me to cut off the head of anyone who insults Allah and his Prophet.”

It is important to understand this core motivation of Islamic terrorists in order to identify and stop them. If we continue to characterize these mass killings as events disassociated from Islamic doctrine and faith, placing the blame totally on personal hateful impulses, we will fail to identify our enemy. If we can’t identify him — if we can’t name him — we won’t know him, which means we can’t defeat him.

We will also fail to recognize that this is an act of war by a group of people who have no wall of separation between the religious and the political. …

It is, in reality, a religious war, driven by religious doctrine (in this case radical Islam), and carried out with religious impulses. Continuing to call this a hate crime and failing to grasp what actually defines and motivates these people will blind us to their methods, practices, and plans.

It will also cause us to look inward at ourselves instead of outward at the enemy storming our gates. We will wrongly assume we have contributed to the hate in some way, that we have done something to make them lash out and attack us. We will then erroneously conclude that there is something we can do to make them not hate us anymore. This is what leads to political correctness and weakness when we need to be bold and courageous.

The fact is we can do nothing to appease radical Islamists. They are not motivated by our policies, words, and actions, no matter how much they reference them to manipulate us. They are motivated by who we are: We are unbelievers. We are, by our very nature an offense to them. That goes for all of us, whether we are straight, gay, male, female, black, or white. We are in this together, facing an enemy who wants to kill us equally. Our response, therefore, should be a unified one, standing together against a common foe.

That foe does not act alone. Because these individuals are motivated by [what they believe is] a divine directive and act with a communal mindset, they don’t need orders from the leaders of the Islamic State to act.

[In any case] those orders have been issued. In 2014, the chief spokesman for the Islamic State called for all supporters to kill unbelievers “in any manner or way, however it may be’.

“Do not ask for anyone’s advice and do not seek anyone’s verdict,” said Abu Mohammed al Adnani. “Kill the disbeliever whether he is civilian or military, for they have the same ruling.” …  If they want to target U.S. military members because that’s their particular bugaboo at the time, then they are free to do that. Or they can target a gay nightclub, killing homosexuals with the same hand of judgment as their brethren in the Middle East who execute homosexuals by the thousands. …

They don’t need marching orders or emails with instructions. They don’t need a green light from ISIS headquarters. All they need is the courage and the opportunity to do what Allah has commanded — because, according to their faith and doctrine, it is the right thing to do.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the militant Islamist from Jordan who ran a paramilitary training camp in Afghanistan, said Allah commanded them to strike unbelievers (the Kuffar), to –

Kill them and fight them by all means necessary to achieve the goal. The servants of Allah, who perform Jihad to elevate the word of Allah, are permitted to use any and all means necessary to strike the active unbeliever combatants for the purpose of killing them, snatch their souls from their body, cleanse the earth from the abomination, and lift their trial and persecution of the servants of Allah. The goal must be pursued even if the means to accomplish it affects both the intended active fighters and unintended passive ones such as women, children and any other passive category specified by our jurisprudence. 

So obviously a beautiful top-notch religion, Islam. As almost all Western political leaders keep telling us it is. They say we are lucky to have Muslims in our midst. Obama says they have contributed much to America.

He does not tell us what Islam as such has contributed. And we find it hard to think of anything  – other than agony and death.

America’s Red Guard 12

We often quote Daniel Greenfield because we often like what he says and how he says it.

Here he is writing about America’s Red Guard (we quote his article in part):

As the 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution approaches some of the former students who participated in its Red Guard terror have been trying to make amends to their victims. If China’s former leftist fanatics feel some remorse for the atrocities they participated in, the same can’t be said of their American counterparts.

Even as the Cultural Revolution was dying down in China, it flared up in the United States. The Weather Underground drew inspiration from China’s Red Terror. Their founding manifesto cited the Red Guard as a model for a “mass revolutionary movement.”

Bill Ayers, among others, had signed a letter, “Long live People’s China. Long live Comrade Mao.”

The American counterparts of China’s Red Guard remain largely unrepentant because here the  Cultural Revolution never ended. Instead it went mainstream. Its members were never disavowed and their acts of terror continue to be celebrated, minimized and whitewashed by a left that finds them alternately embarrassing and thrilling.

The terrorists became celebrities and the radicals became part of the system and set the rules. There was less violence, but more authoritarianism. Instead of carrying on a futile campaign of bombings and bank robberies, the radicals used the vast wealth and power of the system to train the next generation of the Red Guard. And that next generation did the same thing.

Each wave of the Cultural Revolution in the United States has eroded civil rights and illiberally undermined a liberal society. Though the Red Guards have chosen to work within the system, they are animated by an unmistakeable contempt and hatred for the country and its institutions. Their endgame has not changed. Only their tactics have.

Barack Obama, a child of the Cultural Revolution, is the very model of a modern Red Guard. The mark of a successful revolution is that the revolutionaries no longer need extreme rhetoric since they can do anything they want. The Weather Underground engaged in extreme rhetoric and actions. Obama dispenses with the extreme rhetoric and gets right down to the extreme actions. He is calculating enough to avoid the verbal vindictiveness of an Ayers or a Wright, but he still chose them as his mentors. …

The virtue of the creative individual was displaced by the Red Guard’s virtue of outrage. Its members mistake the thrill of abusing others for the rightness of a moral crusade. They celebrate the elimination of all restrictions that prevent them from punishing their victims as a revolutionary act.

This form of crowdsourced political terror by elites and their pet mobs isn’t new. It’s only new to the United States.

Political outrage is the supreme virtue of both the American and Chinese Red Guard. The denunciations leading from that outrage show off their revolutionary commitment to everyone.

The lines of scapegoats paraded through the media for some petty crime against political correctness are a modern digital version of the Red Guard’s denunciations and humiliations. The politics and the poisoned power motives are the same. The only difference is that the Red Guard lacks the license to commit real violence, as of now, and must instead settle for economic and social violence.

The virtue of outrage leads to a state of authoritarian lawlessness. Legislatures and laws are replaced with an alliance between the executive authority of Barack Obama and the Red Guard activists. The activists demand, the media manufactures outrage and Obama uses executive orders to deliver. …

When outrage displaces the process of the law, what remains is either authoritarianism or anarchy. And despite the occasional Circle-A embroidered on a pricey jacket, the progressive Red Guard are not anarchists. What they are after is not less authority, but more of it. Not more freedom, but less of it. Their rhetoric about banks and corporations disguises what they intend for the rest of us.

They are not fighting against power. They are fighting for power.

The Red Guard, whether it’s the Occupiers or Barack Obama, abide by no rules except those of their own ideology. The United States Constitution and the rule of law mean nothing to them. The rules of their ideology are expressed formally in private, but publicly as outrage or empathy.  …

The momentum of emotion has no room for argument or dissent. There is no possibility of negotiation or compromise. Everything exists in black and white. Reason is not even a factor. There is nothing to debate. Either you agree or you are the enemy.

Under the rule of the Red Guard … freedom of speech and thought are only provided to those who say and think the right things. The same is true for all else. There are no rights, as we know them anymore.  Only a binding mandate of social justice. The right to speak your mind or donate to a political cause is valid only if it serves that mandate. …

“Social justice” of course means injustice. It means government using its monopoly of force to take wealth away from those who have earned it and give it to those who haven’t.

Justice [to the left] is not blind. She’s a community organizer coming out on the side of the social justice faction against the greedy and ignorant majority. The entire system, political, cultural and legal, is a means of enforcing the mandate. Its administrators are an elitist faction whose contempt for the people leads them to believe that tyranny is the only way to equality. …

The artificial and extraordinary force of the Red Guard is a perverse parody of mob rule. Our Red Guard, like many in China’s Red Guard, are the sons and daughters of the elites. Their violence is a ferocious assault of the top against the middle in the name of the low.

They manufacture an elitist populism in order to call for despotism.

In New York City, the sons and daughters of the elite stopped shaving, set up camping tents opposite Wall Street and clamored for the radical change that their parents were already busy implementing.

Occupy Wall Street, like every modern manifestation of the Red Guard in the United States, and like the original Red Guard, was a cynical power move by a ruling elite. The fake populism of 1 percenter brats shrieking about income inequality while campaigning to destroy the middle class and what’s left of the working class was true despotism.

The new Cultural Revolution is aimed at shrinking the already narrow power and prosperity of the majority for the sake of the minority. Not the minority of racial or ethnic minorities, but the minority of elites that is determined to get its way by any means necessary.

The 50th anniversary of China’s Cultural Revolution will coincide with a national election in the United States that will serve in part as a final referendum on the Red Guard reign of the previous eight years. Like the Chinese, Americans will be forced to confront the ruin of their institutions, the polarization of their society and the victims of the Red Guard’s political inquisitions.  

50 years from now, will the students eagerly tearing down a liberal society and replacing it with outraged denunciations and media purges also regret their role in the new Cultural Revolution?

We doubt they will. Bill Ayers never matured sufficiently to regret his acts of terrorism, or his admiration for the atrocious regime of Mao Zedong. He comes from the wealthy middle class. He owes all he has, including his comfortable living, his freedom and his celebrity to the open system of capitalist America. A softly-reared child of privilege,  prosperity, and tolerance (extended to extreme indulgence in his case), he wouldn’t last long under actual communism as enforced by Mao or Stalin or Castro.

Unless Americans of his sort are brought to want, hunger, physical wretchedness and real political oppression, they will never comprehend the true nature of communist totalitarianism. And their reduction to those conditions is unlikely to happen despite all their blind efforts to bring about the system that would guarantee them. Capitalism will go on looking after its aberrant children for decades yet, even though the Red establishment will do all it can to hinder it and demonize it. As Daniel Greenfield says, the Red Guards in power are of Bill Ayers sort. Barack Obama himself belongs to the “1%” he and his minions denigrate. So does Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, and the Clintons.

As we have often done before, we quote Joseph Conrad on the sort of people they are. He is writing here specifically about women. What he says perfectly describes Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, Bill Ayers’s wife Bernadine Dohrn, and Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham. (See our post Daisyville, April 22, 2013).

For all their assumption of independence, girls of that class are used to the feeling of being specially protected, as, in fact, they are. This feeling accounts for nine tenths of their audacious gestures. …

She had acquired all the appropriate gestures of revolutionary convictions – the gestures of pity, of anger, of indignation against the anti-humanitarian vices of the social class to which she belonged herself. … 

She was displaying very strikingly the usual signs of severe enthusiasm, and had already written many sentimental articles with ferocious conclusions.” 

– Joseph Conrad (The Informer)

Conrad’s scornful portrait of privileged women playing with revolutionary ideas applies equally well to the male of the species.

Raising the red flag 12

An Investor’s Business Daily editorial lists some of Obama’s far left appointees, and asks: “Does he have any friends who aren’t crackpots?”

But the question that arises from the list is: Has Obama any friends – has he ever had any friends – who aren’t communists?

America is a country of 320 million people, most of them holding to traditional values. Yet President Obama keeps mining the fringes for his hires. Does he have any friends who aren’t crackpots?

Seriously. The president keeps saying he champions the middle class and its values. But his choices of people to help him run the country are the most extreme in U.S. history, and his second-term nominations are more radical than the first.

No sooner had even some Senate Democrats joined Republicans in voting down a cop killer-coddler for civil rights chief, Debo Adegbile, than Obama sent up a 2nd Amendment-basher for U.S. Surgeon General. Dr. Vivek Murthy advocates doctors asking patients if they keep guns in the home, a shocking invasion of privacy.

Murthy may also have a rocky path ahead of him, but other extreme-left nominees are getting confirmed.

Last year, Obama tapped former Congressional Black Caucus chief Mel Watt as, of all things, head of the federal agency regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together underwrite 90% of all new-home loans. Republicans blocked his confirmation. But thanks to Democrats invoking the “nuclear option” and ending the filibuster, one of the most radical lawmakers in Congress is now effectively running America’s mortgage industry.

Meanwhile, radical racialist Tom Perez runs the Labor Department, where he’s threatening to sue employers who don’t hire minority felons, just like he sued bankers who didn’t make prime loans to un-creditworthy minority borrowers when he was civil rights chief.

You have to be a Kremlinologist to keep track of all the communist-sympathizing cronies orbiting this White House.

Obama’s previous appointees include:

Valerie Jarrett, his closest White House adviser, whose father-in-law worked closely with Obama mentor and Communist Party leader Frank Marshall Davis in a number of front groups during the Cold War.

David Axelrod, Obama’s political aide, whose mother worked for a communist organ in New York and whose mentor was Soviet agent David Canter.

Van Jones, an admitted communist hired by Jarrett as Obama’s green jobs czar.

Anita Dunn, former White House communications director and Obama’s 2012 foreign policy debate coach, who listed communist dictator and mass murderer Mao Zedong as one of her two favorite philosophers whom “I turn to most” when questions arise.

The other was Mother Teresa. The message: Torture, kill, pray.

• Cass Sunstein, Obama’s regulatory czar who wrote a socialist “bill of rights” and who advocates redistributing wealth through climate-change policy.

• Samantha Power, ambassador to the United Nations, a 9/11 apologist who advised the president to follow a “doctrine of mea culpa” and literally bow down to foreign leaders as atonement for America’s “sins.”

• Anne-Marie Slaughter, former State Department policy chief, who advised the president to apologize for the War on Terror.

Rashad Hussein, Obama’s Mideast envoy, who once defended a convicted terrorist (then got caught lying about it), and drafted the president’s Cairo speech apologizing for the War on Terror.

Rose Gottemoeller, Obama’s Soviet-sympathizing chief nuclear arms negotiator, who thinks America is a global “bully” and must unilaterally disarm for the sake of world peace.

• John Trasvina, assistant HUD secretary for fair housing who once headed the radical Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, whose co-founder made racist statements about whites.

• Cecilia Munoz, head of White House domestic policy who used to work for La Raza, the militant Latino group that advocates illegal immigrant rights.

Erica Groshen, Bureau of Labor Statistics chief who sends her children to Camp Kinderland, aka “Commie Camp,” a communist-founded institution where kids during the Cold War sang Soviet anthems.

John Holdren, Obama’s science czar, who’s advised surrendering U.S. sovereignty to a “Planetary Regime” that will redistribute the West’s wealth to underdeveloped countries and who once advocated “adding a sterilant to drinking water” to control population.

Harold Koh, former State Department general counsel who believes in “trans-nationalism” and sees nothing wrong with Shariah law in U.S. courts.

• Tony West, associate attorney general who oversees Gitmo policy, even though he defended al-Qaida and Taliban terrorists including John Walker Lindh, who pleaded guilty to aiding the enemy and fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

So what? In Washington, personnel are policy. These people make the rules we have to live by, from health care to home loans to homeland security.

And these radical political appointees hire other radicals at the bureaucratic levels, where they’ll become entrenched as career federal employees.

In 2008, before Obama was nominated, we warned about his radical associations, including his ties to Davis — a hardened communist with a thick FBI file — at his Honolulu home. His defenders wrote off this Marxist indoctrination as youthful experimentation.

When we pointed out Obama spent 20 years in the pews of an America-bashing preacher, his apologists argued he was merely attending Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church to burnish his urban bona fides.

When we noted Obama launched his political career in the living room of an unrepentant communist terrorist, his defenders argued Bill Ayers had blossomed into a respected professor, that his days of cheering on the Vietcong and bombing the Pentagon were behind him.

We were told the parade of anti-American subversives Obama came in contact with throughout his life amounted to ancient history. But now we have this roster of radical appointments, a current record that’s harder to explain away and which raises the indefeasible question of whether they’re a reflection of himself.

Only there can be no question about it. He and they are birds of a feather.

The enemy has gained the commanding heights of power.

So this is the transformation of America 5

Look up! See the  skies filling with pigs on the wing – because: The left-biased media are exploding with disapproval of the president they have long and deeply adored.

CBS finally got round to airing a report on what happened in Benghazi on 9/11/12  that is not flattering to the Obama administration because it shows – without explicitly stating – that Obama and Hillary Clinton lied about the disastrous events of that night of death and defeat. [But see Postscript.]

Obama’s most faithful dog NBC reveals to its audience that Obama lied when he said that people could keep their health insurance under Obamacare.

Four opinion columnists of the left-leaning Washington Post are shocked, shocked at Obama’s display of incompetence, his denial of culpability, his claimed ignorance of what his administration has been doing badly.

Ruth Marcus becomes quite strong in her disapproval, here. Her theme is “the chaotic reality of the Obama administration’s second term”. She writes:

The menu of current problems [that] go to issues of core competency to govern [are]:

Eavesdropping on foreign leaders. The choices here are unflattering. EitherPresident Obama did not know what his spy agencies were up to, in which case he is not fully in control of the reins of power after nearly five years in office, or he knew, in which case he did not think through the obviously inadequate cost-benefit ratio and his aides are misleading the public now. … How could he not know? If he did know, how could he think the information gleaned could possibly be worth the risk of having foreign leaders discover the surveillance? …

Syria. …   the herky-jerky nature of the administration’s approach — drawing a red line, failing to enforce it, trumpeting enforcement, then suddenly shifting to Congress — does not portray the president in a flattering light. This is first-year-of-first-term amateurishness

Oh yes, health care. The president’s signal domestic policy achievement. Probably the most important legacy of his administration. …  So how could the roll out of the Web site be so bad?

Chris Cillizza writes skeptically:

“Obama didn’t know” has become a regular refrain for this White House. Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the president was unaware of the red flags that had been raised in regards the launch of Healthcare.gov, and back in May the President himself said knew nothing about the reports of the IRS targeting of conservative groups before he read about it in the media.”

And his column is illustrated with a video clip from a CNN report about Obama’s repeated plea that he “didn’t know”, questioning whether this was “a strategy”. The host’s air of mild surprise, his tone of “only asking”, fig-leafs the message that if Obama really doesn’t know what’s going on in his administration, he should.  

Dana Milbank seems more than a little irritated (writing here at IBD):

For a smart man, President Obama professes to know very little about a great number of things going on in his administration. .. Is it better that he didn’t know about his administration’s missteps — or that he knew about them and didn’t stop them?

Richard Cohen – seeming hurt and even a touch angry (here):

[Obama] has lately so mishandled both domestic and foreign policy … [His Syrian policy is] intellectually incoherent and pathetically inconsistent … The debacle of the Affordable Care Act’s Web [raises]questions about confidence. … An erratic presidency has made the world a bit less safe.

Why were they unable to see what sort of man Obama is until now?

They saw what they wanted to see.

What’s happened that they see him more clearly now? Why did they let him get away with so much? Why are they still not complaining about the lies and cover-up of Benghazi?

Is it too late to undo the harm Obama has done to America?

*

We now know that perhaps 16 million peoplewill lose their health coverage because of ObamaCare. But David Axelrod sniffs “the overwhelming majority of the population won’t lose their current coverage,” and Anna Eshoo (my congresswoman) assures us that these millions will now be able to purchase “better” insurance (which they don’t want and which doesn’t fit their needs).

Three years of blatant lies from Obama in order to herd the American people, mostly against their will, into an unworkable, financially disastrous system, all in the service of the long-term goal of the Democratic Party: to increase the power, the reach, and the intrusiveness of the federal government, thereby turning free, independent citizens into wards of the state. This is what Obama meant when he proclaimed shortly before his first inauguration that the total transformation of this country will begin in five days. Next on Obama’s agenda is universal pre-school, that is, a year or two more in state-run, generally mediocre schools and a year or two less time with their parents (who may harbor undesirable, reactionary views). And let us not forget the Obama administration’s long-standing policy of not enforcing immigration laws, which means an ongoing rapid transformation of the demographics of this country and a huge increase in the number of people who will vote for welfare state policies.

What is this transformed America that Obama and most Democrats envision? At best, it’s a bloated European-style welfare state similar to the ones that are currently sinking into insolvency, that are unwilling and unable to defend themselves against the enemies within and without, that are becoming more culturally enfeebled with every passing year, and that are locked in a demographic death spiral which ensures their virtual disappearance as a culture in the lifetime of my grandchildren. At worst, it’s a leviathan state which holds the commanding position in every critical aspect of life, both political and economic — something akin to a Soviet Union but perhaps without the gulags, the purge trials, and the sealed borders. This worst case scenario is not so far-fetched when one considers the chief influences in Obama’s life: the Reverend Wright, Frank Marshall Davis (Communist Party member), Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers, and Obama’s revered father, a Marxist revolutionary. Steve Weinberg, Nobel Prize winner in physics, once expressed amazement that religious people actually believe that the Bible is literally true. When it comes to irrational belief, is it as difficult to grasp the notion that Obama might very well believe and wish to put into practice the anti-American, anti-capitalist worldview of those he has chosen to associate with throughout his adult life?

One may argue that a single man cannot possibly do irreparable damage to a society in eight short years. Let us hope this is true. But think about it! In two generations, Greece has gone from a nation of sturdy fishermen, farmers, and merchants into a bankrupt society whose citizens riot at the prospect of not being able to retire at the age or 50 with full pensions. Massive government intervention, in particular unearned benefits, has done to the Greeks what it has done to so many blacks in this country; that is, it has reduced them to feckless wards of the state. As Ambassador Daniel Moynihan pointed out, culture is more important than laws, but culture can be changed by changing the laws.

As far back as the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville described a new and distinctive culture, one that was totally different from those of Europe. It was a culture characterized by individualism, self-reliance, hard work, suspicion of authority, individual generosity, and the willingness to form local associations to solve social problems. It is what shaped and molded America and is the reason why the United States and not Brazil, Argentina, or Russia is the world’s preeminent power. Obama appears to have nothing but contempt for this culture, as exemplified by his off-hand comment about those people who cling to their guns and religion and his wife’s comment (almost certainly approved by him) on the campaign trail to the effect that for the first time in her life she felt proud of her country. When asked what made America great, Obama cited the passage of Social Security and Medicare – implying that the evolution of 13 weak colonies to the most powerful, the wealthiest, and the most innovative and creative nation in a little over two centuries was nothing compared to social welfare legislation. On another occasion, Obama opined that the Constitution was a flawed document in that it stipulates only negative rights (Congress shall not do this or that) and but does not stipulate positive rights (good jobs, free education, free medical care, free housing, etc.). But by their very nature, it is beyond the power of government to guarantee such “rights”. Government can decree the things it wants done but cannot ensure that these things will be done. If it could, the Soviet Union (which had a magnificent constitution) would have been an earthly paradise but, like all other states that have offered cradle-to-grave fulfillment of human needs, was a giant prison whose citizens were equal in their poverty.

 

Robert Kantor   TAC Associate    October 30, 2013 

 

*Footnote:  A Forbes article headlines: Obama officials [predicted] in 2010 that 93 million Americans will be unable to keep their health [insurance] plans under Obamacare.

Postscript 11/13/13: It turns out that the CBS report was based on a false account. This does not alter the fact that an Obama-supporting TV channel was prepared to discuss Benghazi without whitewashing the Obama administration – unless putting out the program was the start of a cunning plan to tell lies, have them exposed, and so make it seem that any adverse criticism of the administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack is likely to be untrue. It’s a possibility, but we think it more probable that CBS was simply deceived, and its willingness to criticize the administration’s handling of that dire event remains the notable point.

America’s most formidable enemy – it’s president 4

From Canada, David Solway surveys what Barack Obama has done and is doing, and sees a multitude of reasons to fear for the United States. He writes:

I have been suspicious of Obama from the very beginning of his meteoric national career. I could not understand how a man with so obscure a dossier, very few salient records disclosed to the public; with little or no executive or working experience; and affiliated with a host of decidedly shady characters — communist poet and activist Frank Marshall Davis, former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi, unrepentant former terrorist Bill Ayers, America-and-Jew bashing Jeremiah Wright, corrupt financier Tony Rezko, racist leader of the Nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan, to name only a few — could captivate the media, bask in the glow of an adoring public, receive the Democratic nomination, and then be elected to the presidency of the United States.

We too were astonished and bewildered. And distressed.

My suspicion of the man’s bona fides deepened even more after the Honduras affair in July 2009, in which Obama (and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton) sided with leftwing strongman Manuel Zelaya, implicated in a conspiracy to overturn the civil Constitution of the country, and against the democratic legislature that had deposed him.

The historically invalid and politically tendentious Cairo speech, the evident shilling for the Palestinians and their flagrantly concocted narrative of ancestral title, the clear animus against Israel and the outrageous treatment meted out to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu only confirmed my misgivings concerning the president’s political agenda.

That an American president should cozy up to the Venezuelan leftist dictator and bow from the waist to the Saudi monarch was beyond my comprehension. (And more recently, his hearting of Turkish autocrat and neo-Ottoman jihadist Recep Tayyip Erdogan as his personal “friend and colleague” is only a further indication of Obama’s troubling and discreditable policies.)

That he should see to the massive increase of the American debt within only a few years and apply himself, in the words of Victor Davis Hanson, to “tun[ing] a properly moribund economy,”—i.e., “ensuring 50 million on food stamps, putting over 80,000 a month on Social Security disability insurance, and extending unemployment insurance to tens of millions”—was another sign that something was profoundly amiss.

His bruited release of criminal illegals from American prisons defies common sense, as does his refusal to patrol and seal the incendiary border with Mexico.

And that he should eagerly adopt the lifestyle of a Hollywood playboy and the jet-setting 1% … while the country was foundering economically and absorbing one setback after another in the international theater, should have earned him the distrust of every sentient American citizen.

Another stain on this dismal record of political degeneracy is his abandonment of the American ambassador and his entourage in Libya, leading to the death of four Americans.

That, we think, is one of the worst stains on his not merely dismal but shocking record.

… At the same time that ordinary Americans may be deprived of their guns, or forced to scale back on legitimate ownership of certain models and magazine capacities, the Department of Homeland Security has ordered millions of weapons and over a billion rounds of hollow-point bullets (banned internationally), as well as riot gear and other military equipment. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has followed suit, putting in an order for 46,000 rounds of .40-caliber hollow-point bullets. Why, we may wonder, is a weather service being armed to the teeth? Are U.S. citizens now at risk from their own government? …

The National Defense Authorization Act provides for indefinite detention without warrant or probable cause. … The bill does not apply exclusively to terrorists or terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay …  As Senator Rand Paul objected, “Saying that new language somehow ensures the right to habeas corpus … is both questionable and not enough. Citizens must not only be formally charged but also receive jury trials and the other protections our Constitution guarantees. Habeas corpus is simply the beginning of due process. It is by no means the whole.”

Some patriots are profoundly apprehensive over these developments, fearing something like a “hostile takeover” of civil society by a growing state apparatus.

Reason piles on reason to fear Obama.

…  This is a president who has presided over an imploding economy, a ballooning deficit, a deteriorating international situation, an out-of-control Department of Justice, a diminished military, political and racial divisions that are tearing the nation apart, the specter of restrictions on freedom of expression, the appointment of indisputable incompetents and highly dubious characters to sensitive positions of authority (read: Lew, Hagel, Brennan and Kerry, who are only the most recent), and a de facto alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood whose self-admitted project is the destruction of the United States   

This is a president who traffics in blatant lies, cover-ups and misdirections at the cost of American interests and consequently merits being suspected of nefarious designs. …

I say this to my American readers: One way or another, your trophy president is going to bring down your country.

All the evidence points to the likelihood that he is not only an enemy of the United States of America, but its most formidable enemy in the world today. …

I am scared to death of Obama.

You should be too.

*

From the first 6 minutes of this video we learn about an adviser to Obama who condones the oppressive treatment of women in Afghanistan and would have no objection to the blinding of children if it fulfilled a religious obligation.

(Hat-tip Frank for the video)

In the flames of Communist paradise 3

There are millions of people in the Western world, hundreds of thousands of them in the universities, the media, the “Occupy” movement, in comfortable houses and apartments in the great cities, and at  least a few hundred in the present US administration, who “think” that Communism is really really good. The best. The ideal. The golden future that good people must work to establish.

Yeah, yeah – Paradise on earth.

They may know how the Russians suffered under Stalin, the Chinese under Mao Zedong, the Cambodians under Pol Pot. But they won’t allow such right-wing narratives to change their minds. No siree! “Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,” they declare bravely to each other over their well-loaded dining tables, “we’ll keep the Red Flag flying in our faithful hearts and hopes and dreams.” Besides, they say, that wasn’t true Communism, what Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot did.

You know the names of some of them: Anita Dunne, Van Jones, Bill Ayers, Bernadine  Dohrn, Saul Alinksy, Richard Cloward, Frances Fox Piven, Noam Chomsky …

They love humanity and Che Guevara. They feel sorry for the poor and downtrodden and are willing, eager, to kill policemen. They wish heroically to overthrow the rich, capitalism, bankers, the military-industrial complex, dead white men, Bush, Sarah Palin, and … and … you know …

Here’s an extract from an article by Jeff Jacoby at Townhall. It provides more information about life under Communism for them to brush aside:

SHIN DONG-HYUK grew up in North Korea’s Camp 14, one of the monstrous slave-labor prison complexes in which the world’s most tyrannical regime has crushed hundreds of thousands of its citizens, working them to death in conditions of excruciating brutality and degradation. Though the North Korean concentration camps have lasted far longer than their Soviet or Nazi counterparts did, Shin is the first person born and raised in one of them to have successfully escaped abroad. His story is told in journalist Blaine Harden’s Escape from Camp 14, a heart-crushing reminder that man’s inhumanity to man has no limit.

It is a book filled with harrowing passages. At the age of six, Shin was forced to watch as one of his classmates — a short, slight, pretty girl — was beaten to death by their teacher when he discovered five kernels of corn in her pocket. When Shin accidentally dropped a sewing machine while working at the camp’s garment factory, half of his middle finger was chopped off as punishment. Time and again he sees other inmates maimed or killed when they are forced to work under appallingly dangerous conditions. And time and again he joins in collective punishment, unhesitatingly obeying when ordered to slap and beat a classmate or some other prisoner singled out for abuse and discipline.

When Shin was 14, he witnessed the execution of his mother and brother for attempting to escape. His dominant emotion as he watched them die was not sorrow, but anger: He was furious at what they had caused him to be put through. Because of their infraction, he had been savagely tortured, suspended in mid-air over a charcoal fire as interrogators demanded information about where his mother and brother were planning to flee after their escape.

“Shin, crazed with pain, smelling his burning flesh, twisted away from the heat,” Harden writes. “One of the guards grabbed a gaff hook from the wall and pierced the boy in the lower abdomen, holding him over the fire until he lost consciousness.”

North Korea’s slave-labor gulag would be horrific even if its inmates were guilty of actual crimes. But most prisoners are guilty of nothing except being related to the wrong family.

Under a demented doctrine laid down by Kim Il Sung, the communist tyrant who founded North Korea, “enemies of class … must be eliminated through three generations.” The regime therefore fills these unspeakable camps not only with “enemies” who dared to practice Christianity or failed to keep a picture of Kim properly dusted, but with their entire families, often including grandparents and grandchildren. Shin’s father ended up in Camp 14 because two of his brothers had fled south during the Korean War. He and Shin’s mother were assigned to each other by camp guards years later as prizes in a “reward” marriage. They were allowed to sleep together just five nights a year. Shin was thus conceived — and spent the first 23 years of his life — behind the electrified barbed wire of Kim’s ghastly hellhole. …

There is no cruelty so depraved that people cannot be induced to do it, or to look the other way while it is being done.

Or deny that it is being done. Or will assure you that even if it is, it’s better than … than … being exploited in “employment” by people whose only aim in life is to make a profit. Yucks!

The bad, the worse, and the stupid 5

An Italian journalist, Vittorio Arrigoni, has been murdered in Gaza.

Passionately pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel, he was a member if the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), and had been in Gaza since 2008 when he arrived there on a “Free Gaza” boat mission intended to “break the Israeli blockade”.

ISM supports Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza; and those terrorist friends of President Obama, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, are involved with it.

Discover the Networks says about ISM:

Radical, anti-Israel organization that recruits westerners to travel to Israel to obstruct Israeli security operations.

Justifies Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians.

Though professing  a commitment to nonviolence, ISM members openly advocate the “liberation” of Palestinians “by any means necessary,” including “legitimate armed struggle”.

But the members of ISM consider themselves to be “humanitarian”.

From the (anti-Israel) BBC:

Vittorio Arrigoni, 36, was seized on Thursday by a radical group that has been in conflict with Hamas and is seeking the release of its leader.

Police said he was found hanged in a Gaza City house after receiving a tip-off. Two people have been arrested. …

“He came from across the world, left his country and family and his entire life and came here to break the siege, and we kill him? Why?” asked one of his [Palestinian] friends. …

Vittorio Arrigoni was a fierce critic of Israel but it is Palestinians that killed him.

Two members of an al-Qaeda inspired Salafist group have been arrested. Salafists practise an ultra-conservative form of Islam and regard Hamas as too moderate. …

The Salafists had threatened to execute Mr Arrigoni by 1400 GMT on Friday unless several prisoners, including their leader [who was] arrested by Hamas police last month in Gaza City. …

It is not clear why Mr Arrigoni was killed before the given deadline, but the Hamas interior ministry said he had died soon after being abducted.

Ministry spokesman Ehab al-Ghussein said he was killed “in an awful way”.

He described the killing as a “heinous crime which has nothing to do with our values, our religion, our customs and traditions.”

Huwaida Arraf, a co-founder of the ISM, said he was very well known in the territory and had a “dynamic, humanitarian personality”.

“I even thought that whoever has him is going to see his humanity and just let him go, so when I heard what happened to him I was totally shocked.”

Nothing to do with Hamas’s “religion, customs and traditions”?

And a founder of ISM expects Salifists to “see his humanity and just let him go”?

The bitter delight of ironies like those makes the reading of thousands of lines of news and commentary worth while!

News for ISM: the Arab culture is dishonorable and cruel. In the culture of the West, to be honorable, to act honorably, is to do what you know to be right. It is not a matter of what other people expect of you, but of what you expect of yourself: living up to your own principles of decency. It is to do with your probity, not with how you appear to others. You are answerable to your own conscience. Not what you seem to be but what you are, not what you are reputed to do but what you actually do, makes you honorable or dishonorable.

In Arab culture it is what a man seems to be to his fellow Arabs that matters, so the right word for what Arabs call “honor” is “face”. So important is face that if the least breath of unsubstantiated gossip threatens a man with the loss of it, he’ll go to any lengths to recover it. If it touches on the chastity of his wife or daughter or sister, he’ll kill her to recover it. Such an act his fellow Arabs call “restoring his honor”, a man’s face being more important than a woman’s life. Even if she is innocent of any unchaste act or look or thought, if she is being maliciously maligned, or if she is the victim perhaps of violent sexual assault that she resisted by all means, if others say she is defiled his reputation is stained, and he can only cleanse the stain by killing her. Judged by Western standards of morality, such abuse of women is profoundly dishonorable.

As these so-called “honor killings” are carried out in Islamic societies generally, it may be that Islam is the source of the custom. But whatever the origin, this cruelty, this injustice, persists in Arab culture.

We are not speaking of ethnicity. Whatever can be said of a race or a nation, whatever characteristics it is perceived to have, cannot be ascribed to any individual member of it. But a culture is made of religion, custom and tradition. It is what the majority accept, enact, continue, and hand on. And a culture that subjugates women; that beats the Koran into children; that tortures prisoners as a matter of routine; that sends children walking over minefields (as was done in the Iran-Iraq war); that uses children, civilians, hospital patients as human shields, is vicious, uncivilized, and needs to be completely changed.

We do not condone the murder of Vittorio Arrigoni. We are distressed that he was tortured. He was wrong and foolish, he assisted terrorists, and failed to see that the regime he supported was cruel and unjust. Like all his fellow members of ISM, he was blind to the fact that America and Israel, among a minority of countries, genuinely strive for freedom and justice in a dangerous world. He and all those who have lived safely in Western countries and go to places like Gaza to prove their moral superiority, to serve a cause they little understand in societies where quite different ways prevail, seem to expect to be privileged, exempt from the practices they excuse. If they find they are not exempt, that their grand moral gestures are not appreciated, that they are not seen as heroes but as foreign interferers, and are treated in the customary way, they ought to blame themselves. But we don’t think they will.

Is ISM likely to draw the right conclusions from the death of Vittorio Arrigoni, and disband? Probably not. If experience is no cure for foolishness, nothing is.

The acting president 2

Obama is acting the role of POTUS, not  filling it. He reads from a script. He does not understand the responsibilities of his position.

That’s the opinion of several commentators.

Carol Peracchio writes at the American Thinker:

So far, Obama’s approach to being president has appeared to be: 1. Make a speech outlining a policy (health care, stimulus). 2. Hand everything to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. 3. When the negative public reaction reaches critical mass, threatening passage of the legislation, spend the last two days before the vote twisting arms and making offers to Democrats. 4. Pass the legislation on a strictly party-line vote. 5. Make another speech taking full credit for whatever ended up passing.

Unless reading a teleprompter can be considered work, it’s obvious that anything that can be considered an achievement of this presidency is due to Pelosi and Reid, with honorable mention in the arm-twisting category to Rahm Emmanuel. And in the rare instance where a goal of the president does not involve Congress (think the Chicago Olympics), Obama’s “read a speech” approach to hard work is shown to be an utter failure. If there is even a tiny glimmer of light in the Gulf oil spill disaster, it’s that the Obama con that he actually is working and involved has been exposed

A fascinating illustration of Obama’s work ethic can be seen in this article by Jack Cashill, who has done exhaustive research on the dubious authorship of Barack Obama’s autobiography. Apparently a “hopelessly blocked” Obama gave all his notes to his friend Bill Ayers, who “helped” produce a manuscript. Exchange Nancy Pelosi for Bill Ayers, and we see that Obama’s modus operandi toward actual work has not changed. …

President Obama played the Big Con and became president by perfecting the art of appearing cool, calm, intellectual, and competent. Unfortunately, this seems to be the extent of his repertoire of emotions… No matter the crisis, the president reads his lines the exact same way: cool, calm, detached. He is truly one of the worst actors I’ve ever seen. It’s too bad there isn’t a director around who can tell our (Not So) Great Pretender, “I’m afraid you’re just not what we’re looking for.”

From Newsmax, by Theodore Kettle:

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Guiliani, whose tireless leadership in the days and weeks after 9/11 made him a national hero, has accused President Obama of doing everything wrong in his handling of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

“It couldn’t be worse,” Guiliani said Wednesday when asked by Fox News’ Sean Hannity to rate Obama’s performance. “I mean, this would be an example, if you’re taught ‘Leadership 101,’ of exactly what not to do: minimize it at first; two days after or three days after it happened, go on vacation. … He’s been on vacation more often than he has, by far, been to Louisiana or Mississippi, or any of the places affected,” Giuliani added. …

According to Giuliani, the president’s nonchalance delivers a “signal right into the entire bureaucracy, that they’re also very lackadaisical about it. But one of the things you understand as a leader is: your actions are going to energize your bureaucracy to do the best it can.”

The ex-NYC mayor charged that Obama exhibited a similar lack of leadership in the case of the Christmas Day botched airliner bombing last year, with a negative ripple effect as the result.

“He did the same thing on the Christmas Day bombing,” Giuliani told Hannity. “He stays on vacation for 11 days. So the other guys go on vacation.” That’s a clear reference to National Counterterrorism Center director Michael Leiter not cutting short a ski trip after the December 25 near-destruction of a Detroit-bound passenger jet. … The reality is that the administration has made every mistake it could possibly make, right down to this criminal investigation of BP. … Are you gonna distract them from the job of what they’re supposed to be doing? … If we’ve got a bunch of criminals doing it, why are we allowing them to do it?” Giuliani wondered.

From the Heritage Foundation’s Morning Bell:

Pretending that our economy can survive without a commitment to safe oil operations is naïve at best. It is binary: If we don’t drill, we import. And if we don’t open drilling to easier sources such as onshore deposits and shale, we limit ourselves to riskier exploration a mile below the ocean floor. Despite the president’s assertions at his press conference earlier this week, billions of barrels of “easily accessible” oil have been turned into “impossible to access” oil by federal regulations and moratoria – including the President’s own actions – that block any access.

What the President should do is examine the red tape that may have contributed to the failure to contain the environmental disaster. Were there missed opportunities to burn off more of the leaking oil because of overblown air pollution standards? What were the holdups in the use of dispersants? Did federal permitting delays stop Louisiana from creating the artificial barriers it needed? The answers to these questions appear to be yes, and that responsibility lies with the President. He and his team should make it top priority to waive any regulatory barriers that continue to slow cleanup and recovery efforts. …

The Deepwater Horizon platform sat on federal waters and was under federal jurisdiction. It is the responsibility of the federal government to ensure that the leased space is not a threat to public health or safety. And it is the responsibility of the government to ensure the clean up efforts in the Gulf are appropriately managed. …

Coordinating the cleanup is equally imperative … The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorizes the president to oversee the cleanup efforts of the responsible parties, and offshore this duty falls to the U.S. Coast Guard. Yet, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal had to lobby the White House for weeks to get engaged on this front. …

The Obama administration’s resort to criminal investigation and possible prosecution of BP is not only premature, it is predictable. In the wake of accusations that Obama has failed to take decisive action, his administration is taking the path of “nothing shows that you are ‘doing something’ like prosecuting someone.”

It is possible that criminal wrongdoing occurred, but the current approach—one that all but announces that criminal charges will be brought and then seeks to identify the crime and who will be designated as criminal—undermines the criminal justice system and Americans’ respect for the law. …

President Obama instinctively leans toward an activist government except when every so often he hesitates. Ironically, it is these moments that tend to be the precise times when the federal government’s role is most justified, whether that be border security, the war on terror, ceding sovereignty to multilateral organizations, or now in the Gulf. The federal government has a role in the Gulf, and it’s time for the president to articulate it to the American people.

We don’t disagree that Obama’s an incompetent windbag and a bad actor, but he has real power and is using it to impose his collectivist ideals on America, immensely harming the country he was so disastrously elected to lead.

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