The view from the rose garden 13

Good news.

The Obama-Jarrett gang in the White House have not been able to stop the US Army from charging Bowe Bergdahl with desertion and misbehaving before the enemy.

Bergdahl could be sentenced to life in prison.

Mark Steyn writes:

Bowe Bergdahl is to be charged with desertion. This is not exactly a surprising development. As I said when he was released, Bergdahl is “a deserter at best and at worst enemy collaborator”. I incline to the latter view myself, but, be that as it may, there are innumerable instances throughout human history of soldiers who abandon their comrades and attempt to aid the enemy.

What makes this case unique is the behavior of Bergdahl’s commander-in-chief. …

Barack Obama decided to honor this man in the Rose Garden, and to embrace his parents. In front of the President and the world, Bergdahl’s father sent greetings to his son in Arabic and Pashto, and began with the words, “In the name of Allah the most gracious and most merciful …” …

When others objected, the White House dispatched the National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, to tell the American people that Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction”. She surely knew, as did the President, that that was a lie.

Given the background checks an ordinary law-abiding citizen requires these days merely to be permitted to be in the presence of the President, the White House must also have known that the man Obama embraced in the Rose Garden that day – Bergdahl’s father – was a Taliban sympathizer. …

The fact is Bowe Bergdahl walked out and he left America behind … and he did it, by the way, on the advice of his father. He wrote to his father saying, ‘I hate America, it’s a horror, I want to renounce my citizenship.’ And his father emails back, ‘Follow your conscience …’

I don’t think this point has been emphasized enough. … What’s the father’s excuse? He gets communications from his son indicating he’s about to crack. He knows that out there, beyond their vulnerable encampment, is a primitive tribal society where pretty much everyone would either ransom his boy or cut to the chase and saw his head off to make a blockbuster jihadist snuff video for the bazaars of Jalalabad. Surely any responsible parent would say, “Look, I know it can’t be easy for you out there. But there are people who wish to do you harm beyond the fence. Stick with it, talk to your platoon leader … You’re serving honorably in a worthy cause …” You don’t encourage him to take a one-way ticket into the badlands of Afghanistan.

And just to underline that: the justification for Bergdahl Snr’s wacky behavior – the Taliban beard, the invocations of Allah, the Arabic and Pushtu, the pledge that the death of every Afghan child will be avenged – the justification for all this is that, well, he’s also been under a lot of strain. He hasn’t seen his kid for half-a-decade. That could unhinge anyone. Give the guy a break …

But the point is he was pulling this strange stuff before his son was kidnapped.

Which makes that Rose Garden ceremony even more bizarre in its weird optics – the President of the United States embracing a Taliban sympathizer at the White House. There was no need to hold such an intimate photo-op. Yet Obama chose to do it. Why?

That’s still the most important question of l’affaire Bergdahl. Obama didn’t just trade five high-value Taliban leaders-cum-war criminals for one American deserter, but he chose to honor that deserter as an American hero. And, in so honoring him, dishonored all the comrades he deserted.

As for those five Taliban A-listers, as of June 1st they’ll be out of their nominal emirate-probation in Qatar and free to roam the world killing infidels once more. …

That’s the point to remember about this debacle: There is no deal. None. Washington gave away five war criminals who are already pledging to get back to killing – and the superpower got nothing in return. The deserter and his kooky dad are merely the cover for the fact that the United States entered into an end-of-war prisoner exchange without ending the war.

Here’s the history of America’s longest war in two anti-American losers, John Walker Lindh and Bowe Bergdahl, confused young men with a gaping hole at the heart of where their sense of identity should be, stumbling through the Hindu Kush trying to “find themselves”.

In the fall of 2001, the first confused anti-American loser trying to find himself, John Walker Lindh was on the enemy’s side – and was tried, convicted and jailed for 20 years.

By the spring of 2014, the last confused anti-American loser of the Afghan war, Bowe Bergdahl, was on our side – and was honored by the President with a family photo-op in the Rose Garden and declared by the laughably misnamed “National Security Advisor” to have “served the United States with honor and distinction”.

To reprise my current line on “the leader of the free world”:

If he were working for the other side, what exactly would he be doing differently?

We cannot find any precedent in history for the leader of a nation betraying his country to its enemy.

Desperate for a woman? 1

We like this column by Mark Steyn so much, and find it so funny, that we’re quoting it in full.

Our only comments are these:

We fervently hope not to have any Democrat succeed Obama to the presidency.

As America is at war, a president is needed who knows what’s going on in the outer world and can be a first-rate commander-in-chief. And such a person is more likely to be a man. (If the Republican Party had a Margaret Thatcher to offer for election it would be different, but it doesn’t. Such people are very rare.)

“Ignore the noise – Clinton will win in 2016,” we are assured by a columnist in Hillary’s journalistic namesake The Hill. “The email flap will be gone soon enough.”

That’s probably the way to bet. Rightie pundits are going on about government-issue Blackberries, insecure servers, federal record-keeping, the law, national security, peripheral stuff like that. Leftie pundits are saying: yawn, nobody cares, it’s never gonna catch fire, give it up. Everyone implicitly agrees that Hillary did something she shouldn’t and that her justification for doing so is ridiculous. The only disagreement is whether it makes any difference. The Hill‘s Fernando Espuelas says no:

Clinton has a built-in advantage — her gender… Some percentage of Americans, likely a large one, would like to cast a historic vote. When polling points to Americans wanting “change”, what bigger change than a woman as president?

A change to a competent citizen-executive whose administration spends within its means, ceases obstructing economic growth and middle-class prosperity, and restores American influence in the world?

Oh, well. One takes his point: Most other citizens of developed and not-so-developed societies cast those “historic votes” long ago – Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Ceylon, India, Dominica, Jamaica, Guyana, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Israel, Turkey, Portugal, Germany, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Transnistria …

At the time of those “historic votes” on a good half of that list, “gender” was not “a built-in advantage” but a built-in disadvantage that skilled and nimble female candidates had to be exceptional to overcome.

If I follow Mr Espuelas correctly, he’s saying that America is getting round to its “historic vote” so late that “gender” is now such an advantage that any old female candidate can be dragged across the finish line, no matter how shopworn, wooden, charmless, tin-eared and corrupt.

Maybe. But, even so, Hillary Clinton is still a severe test of that thesis. Charles Krauthammer detects “Early-Onset Clinton Fatigue”. Whether that is yet afflicting the electorate, it certainly seems to have gripped the candidate. At that press conference, Hillary seemed to be going through the motions. Flush with Saudi cash and a well-oiled shakedown Rolodex, Clinton Worldwide Inc has no reason not to run for president, but apparently no compelling reason to run. When the candidate runs into trouble, grizzled drooling attack dogs from the Nineties – Lanny Davis, James Carville – are loosed from their chains and limp dutifully from the Old Pooch Home to bare their remaining fang for their mistress.

Is there anyone new, young, talented willing to defend Hillary? I mean, other than Huma [Abedin], the only woman in America whose marriage rivals the exhibitionist creepiness of the Clintons in their heyday.

Let’s take The Hill‘s chap at his word: “Gender” will trump whatever stiff the Republican primary season throws up. In that case, why not run a woman who isn’t quite so bloody awful at running? Someone younger, someone whose principal selling point isn’t her husband’s surname, someone with actual accomplishments and a political philosophy? She doesn’t have to be that much younger, or accomplished. Elizabeth Warren is two years younger than Hillary, and her principal accomplishments are TARP and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, neither of which is my cup of tea. But that’s two more accomplishments than Secretary Clinton can claim. And okay, she’s not the most riveting public speaker, but she’s Tom Jones at Vegas next to a speak-your-weight machine in a pantsuit. And yes, Senator Fauxcahontas Crockagewea Warren’s got her own scandal – in that she got hired as Harvard Law School’s “first woman of color” on the basis of a dubious claim to be one thirty-second Cherokee and having contributed Cole Porter and the Duchess of Windsor’s favorite crab dish from an upscale Manhattan restaurant to a cookbook of authentic tribal recipes.

Yet, with the benefit of hindsight, isn’t that kind of a charmingly amateur, sweetly naive racket? It’s a small-town home-cooked mom’n’pop racket compared to the 24/7 industrial-scale multinational Saudi-kissing pedophile-jetting rackets of Clinton Global Mega-Racket Inc,

As I said, Senator Warren is a mere two years younger than Secretary Clinton, which means, if she’s ever going to run for president, it has to be now. Why not go for it? Wouldn’t Democrats like to elect a real first female head of government like Thatcher or Merkel or Golda Meir or all those Scandinavians? Why should all those Americans itching to cast that “historic vote” have to have it tainted and thrown away on dynastic succession? How “historic” can your vote really be when, insofar as Hillary’s “running” at all, she’s running as if she’s already won and she’s just running out the clock till the coronation? Are Democrat women so cowed and subservient they’re just going to have the House of Saud’s candidate shoved down their throats and meekly be driven to the polls in theirs burqas by Lanny Davis?

Well, yes. Probably. Okay, definitely.

But we can always dream. And my bet is that, after Tuesday, a lot of Democrats are dreaming. A Hillary presidency is an “historic first”: not the first female president, but the second Clinton president, and the second-rate Clinton president.

Warren-Sharpton-copy.jpg,qresize=444,P2C444.pagespeed.ce.fJYOZjMqa87hL3Vse9lS

Warren-Sharpton

 

(Picture from PowerLine)

The glamor of evil 4

With his usual perception and wit, Mark Steyn writes:

The Islamic State [IS] released a 22-minute video showing Flight Lieutenant Muath al-Kasasbeh of the Royal Jordanian Air Force being doused in petrol and burned to death. It is an horrific way to die, and Flt Lt al-Kasasbeh showed uncommon bravery, standing stiff and dignified as the flames consumed him. And then he toppled, and the ISIS cameras rolled on, until what was left was charred and shapeless and unrecognizable as human. …

Even by the standards of his usual rote cookie-cutter shoulder-to-shoulder shtick that follows every ISIS beheading of western captives, the President could barely conceal his boredom at having to discuss the immolation of Flt Lt al-Kasasbeh:

Aaand it, I think, will redouble [pause] the vigilance aaand determination on the part of our global coalition to, uh, make sure that they are degraded and ultimately defeated. Ummmm. [Adopting a whimsical look] It also just indicates the degree to which whatever ideology they’re operating off of, it’s bankrupt. [Suppressing a smirk, pivoting to a much more important subject.] We’re here to talk about how to make people healthier and make their lives better.

The lack of passion – the bloodlessness – of Obama’s reaction to atrocity is always striking. He can’t even be bothered pretending that he means it. …

Given the general halfheartedness of Obama’s “coalition”, King Abdullah [of Jordan] could have been forgiven for also deciding to head for the exit.

Yet he understood the necessity of action. Obama, by contrast … does nothing. His war against ISIS was supposed to be one in which the US would not put “boots on the ground”, but instead leave that to our allies. The allies have the boots, but they could use some weapons, too. Obama has failed to supply the Kurds or anybody else with what they need to defeat our enemies. It’s becoming what they call a pattern of behavior. …

Obama cannot react to atrocities committed by jihadis because he is emotionally (we cannot say intellectually, because unlike his Democratic fans we do not think he has much of an intellect), on their side; which means that, whether he realizes it or not, he is on the side of evil.

Mark Steyn clearly sees that IS is evil. He goes on to consider why it is that tens of thousands of volunteers go eagerly to join its army and help it carry out its atrocities.

You’ll recall Hannah Arendt’s tired and misleading coinage “the banality of evil”, derived from her observation of Adolf Eichmann at his trial in Jerusalem.

We explain when and why she said it, and why it is misleading, in our post The cultivation of evil, the sickness of  Europe, July 20, 2010.

Mark Steyn quotes an earlier article of his:

Hitler felt obliged to be somewhat coy about just how final the final solution was. As Eichmann testified at his trial, when typing up the minutes of the Wannsee conference, “How shall I put it? Certain over-plain talk and jargon expressions had to be rendered into office language by me.” Even the Nazis were reluctant to spell it out.

The Germans didn’t have social media, but they had newsreels, and Hitler knew enough not to make genocide available to Pathé or “The March of Time”. He had considerations both domestic and foreign. Pre-Wannsee, in Poland and elsewhere, German troops had been ordered to shoot Jewish prisoners in cold blood, and their commanders reported back to Berlin that too many soldiers had found it sickening and demoralizing. So the purpose of “the final solution” was to make mass murder painless, at least for the perpetrators – more bureaucratic, removed, bloodless.

As for foreign considerations, Germany expected to be treated as a civilized power by its enemies, and that would not have been possible had they been boasting about genocide.

Seventy years on, the Islamic State has slipped free of even these minimal constraints. They advertize their barbarism to the world, because what’s the downside? Let’s say the guys who burned Flt Lt al-Kasasbeh are one day captured by Americans. They can look forward to a decade or two of a soft, pampering sojourn in the US justice system, represented by an A-list dream-team that’ll string things along until the administration figures it’ll cut its losses and ship them to Qatar in exchange for some worthless deserter.

As for the upside, “the banality of evil” may have its appeal for lower-middle-class Teuton bureaucrats, but the glamor of evil is a far more potent and universal brand. The Islamic State has come up with the ultimate social-media campaign: evil goes viral! At some level German conscripts needed to believe they were honorable soldiers in an honorable cause, no different from the British or Americans. But ISIS volunteers are signing up explicitly for the war crimes. The Islamic State burned Flt Lt al-Kasasbeh alive not only to kill him but to inspire the thousands of ISIS fanbois around the globe. 

For many of its beneficiaries, modern western life is bland, undemanding and vaguely unsatisfying. Some seek a greater cause, and turn to climate change or LGBTQWERTY rights. But others want something with a little more red meat to it. Jihad is primal in a way that the stodgy multiculti relativist mush peddled by Obama isn’t. And what the Islamic State is offering is Jihad 2.0, cranking up the blood-lust and rape and sex slavery and head-chopping and depravity in ways that make Osama-era al-Qaeda look like a bunch of pantywaists.

Success breeds success. The success of evil breeds darker evil. And the glamorization of evil breeds ever more of those “recent Muslim converts” and “lone wolves” and “self-radicalized extremists” in the news. That’s a Big Idea – a bigger idea, indeed, than Communism or Nazism.

Islam, as we know, means “submission”. But Xtreme-Sports Hyper-Islam, blood-soaked and baying, is also wonderfully liberating, offering the chance for dull-witted, repressed young men to slip free of even the most basic societal restraints. And, when the charms of the open road in Headchoppistan wear thin, your British and Canadian and Australian and European welfare checks will still be waiting for you on the doormat back home. …

As the world burns, Obama, uh, redoubles his, uh, vigilance, uh uh uh… Whatever.

Mark Steyn reminds us that “civilization is a fragile and unnatural state of affairs”. Its would-be destroyers now, in the early twenty-first century, are: the environmentalists; the world-government advocates and all the rest of the collectivists, whatever they call themselves –  progressives or socialists or communists; and, above all, most dangerous, already destroying as much as they can of the heritage of civilization, and winning battle after battle, encountering no effective opposition – Islam.

Obama won’t name it, not even by using the polite form of its name that most politicians and commentators use, “Islamism”.

But be assured that against something or other, he is redoubling his vigilance.

The Islamic persecution of Christians 3

As the current wars of religion rage on, the mainstream media are chiefly reporting the war in Gaza. They put much stress on the number of Palestinian deaths – information they get only from Hamas, which has every reason to claim as many deaths as possible. Hamas’s tactic is to provoke attack and then show the wounds – the deaths of the women and children it uses as shields – and cry loudly until “the world” rescues them from defeat.

Is “the world” really concerned about the deaths of civilians in the Middle East? Or only concerned when they die because Israel strikes back at the Arab enemy after years of rocket attacks?

Is “the world” moved by Arab deaths if Israel can’t be blamed for them? Not so much. Shall we say Muslim deaths then? Also not so much.

What about Christian deaths at the hands of Muslims? The oppression and intense persecution of Christians? Christians being stripped of all they possess and expelled from lands their ancestors have lived in as Christians since the second century C.E?  Hardly at all.

No outcry about their treatment from Christian America? No. Not a word from those Presbyterians who have lately evinced so much interest in boycotting Israel? No.

The Pope? He’s praying for their persecution to end. No persecutor named. If he was expecting a quick response from his God now that Omniscient attention has been drawn to the issue, is he disappointed?

The Archbishop of Canterbury?  No –  the Anglican clergy likes Islamic sharia law and helped introduce it into Britain.

What about the UN? You must be joking! The UN is an agency of the Arab states.

David Singer writes at Canada Free Press:

The Syrian civil war has claimed 170,000 lives in three years; this past weekend’s death toll in Syria was greater than what took place in Gaza. By some accounts, the past week may have been the deadliest in the conflict’s grim history. Meanwhile, the extremist insurgents of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), have continued their ravages over a swath of territory stretching from eastern Syria to the environs of Baghdad, Iraq’s capital; the spike in violence in Iraq has led to more than 5,500 civilian deaths in the first six months of this year.” …

The newly-declared Islamic State (IS) – which includes Mosul – Iraq’s second largest city – already exceeds the area of Great Britain. …

Christians were given 24 hours to leave Mosul or convert to Islam and pay a tax – or die.

Nuri Kino – reported on Fox News – confirms the tragic situation in Syria and identifies those engaged in persecuting these ancient Christian communities:

Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, also has been nearly emptied of Assyrians, Armenians and other non-Muslims …

The prideful tone in which the perpetrators speak whenever I have interviewed them — both Al Qaeda and IS — is equally shocking. These are mostly disgruntled young men who were teetering on the edges of society in their own homelands, often in European suburbs, and now believe they have the power to do whatever they want in the name of Islam. They can claim any house in IS-controlled areas of Iraq and Syria as their own, and tell the owners to either leave or risk being killed. They can take any woman as their wife 

At least 700, 000 non-Muslims — Christians, Mandeans, Yezidis and others — have left Iraq by now. No one knows how many have left Syria.

Nina Shea reports in Fox News:

ISIS has set out to erase every Christian trace. All 30 churches were seized and their crosses stripped away. Some have been permanently turned into mosques. One is the Mar (Saint) Ephraim Syriac Orthodox Cathedral, newly outfitted with loudspeakers that now call Muslims to prayer. The 4th century Mar Behnam, a Syriac Catholic monastery outside Mosul, was captured and its monks expelled, leaving behind a library of early Christian manuscripts and wall inscriptions by 13th-century Mongol pilgrims. Christian and Shiite gravesites, deemed idolatrous by ISIS, are being deliberately blown up and destroyed, including on July 24, the tomb of the 8th-century B.C. Old Testament Prophet Jonah, and the Muslim shrine that enclosed it.

Patrick Coburn does not mince his words in The Independent:

It is the greatest mass flight of Christians in the Middle East since the Armenian massacres and the expulsion of Christians from Turkey during and after the First World War.

Yet the media show little interest in exposing the decimation and dispersal of the Christian communities in Syria and Iraq.

And here’s Mark Steyn:

Baghdad used to be 40% Jewish. Tripoli used to be 40% Jewish. And the Jews were all chased out there. And now it’s the turn of the Christians. … ISIS are effectively doing every day what the European media and American campuses accuse Israel of doing. Everyone thinks Israel is slavering with blood and wants to eliminate every last Muslim in Gaza. No, they don’t. They just want to live with them. The difference is ISIS actually wants Iraq cleansed of Christians in the way it was cleansed of Jews, just as the Muslim Brotherhood wants Egypt cleansed of Coptic Christians the way it was cleansed of Jews.

But still the West, Christian by tradition if not in belief or observance, shows little concern.

This can be seen not only in the dearth of comment from governments and churches, but also among the people who seek their information and spread their opinions on the “social media”.

David Singer adds this statistic to his article:

Google reports on the Israel-Gaza war outnumber reports on the ISIS-Christian conflict by about 20:1.

A prize for lies 3

Mark Steyn is being sued for libel in Canada by Michael Mann of Mann-made global warming – and is counter-suing the lying scientist.

In addition to lying about global warming with his infamous “hockey-stick” graph, Mann falsely claims that he was awarded a Nobel prize.

Kim Jong-un, dictator of North Korea, has just held a farcical general election, and finds himself the winner with 100% of the votes.

Very few Muslims (about 7 out of 1.6 billion) have won Nobel prizes, and many Muslims believe that is because of “Islamophobia”, so Iran will award prizes to the overlooked Islamic worthies.*

That is the background to this Mark Steyn joke:

Kim Jong-Un casts his vote for Michael E Mann’s Mustafa Prize

Mark Steyn writes:

Good news for fake Nobel Laureate Michael E Mann. Iran is launching an Islamic Nobel Prize to be named after Mustafa (ie, Mohammed). Given that he wants it so badly, maybe we can nominate Dr Mann for a Mustafa Prize.

* Recently an Iranian ayatollah claimed that Einstein (one of at least 193 Jews out of 13.75 million who really have won Nobel prizes) was a Shi’a Muslim.

Posted under Canada, Climate, Commentary, Environmentalism, Ethics, satire, Science by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

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None so blind 1

What a rotten job the official representatives of Jewish communities in Western countries are doing!

British Jews are still so grateful to Oliver Cromwell for letting them into the country some 350 years ago, that they’d rather put up with anything – slander, humiliation, threats, even physical attack – than complain. Their official representatives play along with the phony “interfaith” racket in the stubborn (but forlorn) hope that it will soften Islamic hatred of them, although that hatred is ineradicably doctrinal as well as political. If it wasn’t for the excellent institution Stand For Peace under the inspired directorship of  Sam Westrop exposing the racket for what it is, there would hardly be any resistance at all to the intensifying anti-Semitism and advancing stealth-jihad in the United Kingdom.

And it’s far worse in France and Sweden.

How well are “official Jews” doing to earn their salaries in Canada and the US?

Abraham Foxman recently announced after 27 years steering the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) he will retire next year. How well has he done?

Andrew Bostom, writing at American Thinker, said of Foxman in 2011 that he is –

… the most blindly agenda-driven organizational Jewish “leader.” The Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’s Foxman sprays defamatory charges – rooted in willful ignorance – against all those legitimately concerned with the ceaseless efforts of mainstream institutional American Islam to insinuate Sharia mores and jurisdiction into US society.

Today Mark Steyn says what needs to be said about this self-blinkered Official Jew:

Canada’s “official Jews” [are] among the most useless people on the planet. Under Bernie Farber, for example, the Canadian Jewish Congress was obsessive about the last three neo-Nazi losers living in their mum’s basement and contributing unread blog posts to obscure “white supremacist” websites. But it had nothing to say about the broad-daylight mass Jew-hatred and, indeed, brazen incitement to murder of large groups of people parading through downtown Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Farber & Co were cardboard warriors, capable only of fighting the battles others had already won long ago.

And so it goes for America’s “official Jews”:

Anti-Defamation League chief Abe Foxman believes that anti-Semitism is at its height since the Holocaust, and threatens the lives of Jews all around the world.

He got that right. He got everything else wrong:

Europe is where the Jewish people have paid the highest price for anti-Semitism, and it’s sort of an old-new phenomenon,” he said, defining it as “nationalists, anti-government people, neo-fascists, neo-Nazis of anti-immigration and anti-government coming together with a glue and cement of anti-Semitism. I think it’s a serious threat to Jewish life.

Is it really possible in 2014 even for the capo di tutti capi of official Jews to be so blind? Foxman is either the most wicked dissembler or, to be more charitable, he reflects merely the blinkered parochialism of America’s liberal Jewish elites. Unlike the head of the ADL, I have no special interest in or responsibility for the welfare of the Jewish people, but I have been to Toulouse, Antwerp, Malmö and the old Jewish East End of London, and I know what I have seen there.

I would like Foxman to go to Toulouse, a city the size of Jacksonville, Florida, where in recent years one synagogue has been firebombed, another set alight when two burning cars were driven into it, a third burgled and “Dirty Jews” scrawled on the ark housing the Torah, where a kosher butcher’s was strafed with gunfire, and a Jewish sports association attacked with Molotov cocktails, and three Jewish children murdered outside their grade school, I would like Foxman to go to Toulouse and tell any Jew he finds there (they are advised by their rabbis not to wear identifying marks of their faith) that it’s all the work of “anti-government people”.

I would like him to go to Malmö – once the first Christian city in Norway and soon to be the first Muslim city in Sweden – and tell such Jews as he can find (they are abandoning the city) that the desecration of Jewish cemeteries and the ugly reinforced steel doors at the Jewish kindergarten and the rocket-proof glass in the windows of the synagogue are all the fault of “neo-Nazis”. Sweden is renowned for its neo-Nazis, isn’t it? Doubtless they were the reason why a year or two back at the Davis Cup the Israeli tennis players had to play their match behind closed doors, in a Baltiska Hallen stadium without a single spectator. For had they opened the doors, the seats would have filled up with Swedish “nationalists” and Swedish “neo-fascists” and all hell would have broken loose.

I would like Abe Foxman to go to Tower Hamlets in London’s East End, where on Holocaust Memorial Day a couple of years ago a visiting New Yorker had to be taken to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel after a Jewish tour group was pelted with stones by a group jeering “If you go any further, you’ll die.” I would like Foxman to tell those Jews that their attackers were an “anti-immigration” group.

I would like him to go to Villiers-le-Bel, where a Jewish girl was brutally attacked by a gang shouting “Jews must die!”, or to Odense, where the headmaster says his school can no longer take Jewish pupils for security reasons, and tell them it’s the fault of Danish “nationalists” and French “neo-Nazis”.

But I don’t suppose Abe Foxman will go anywhere outside his bubble, will he? Is it really too much to expect him somewhere in that long laundry list of antiquated irrelevances to utter the “M” word? As Laura Rosen Cohen writes of this contemptible nothing of a man:

Shame on you, Abraham Foxman. Shame on you.

These Jews are a danger to the Jewish people.

Their denial is so thick and so amoral that it is difficult sometimes to find the words to express my utter disgust and contempt.

By fighting the last war against the German Nazis over and over in their heads, they endanger living Jews. But they will never learn.

It’s so cozy to be a professional Jew, fighting the ghosts of WW2 over and over and never facing the real threats to the Jewish people.

Though the Holocaust must never be forgotten, it must not so obsess generation after generation that they fail to see what is happening all about them. 

Jewish groups missed the threat 80 years ago, too. But why wouldn’t they? There’d always been anti-Semitism in Europe: You can’t buy property here, you can’t stand for parliament there, and everywhere always a certain sliver of people who just don’t want to be around Jews. But it didn’t turn genocidal until the 1930s, and, after a millennium of low-level Jew hate, you can understand why nobody saw it coming.

But the violent, murderous phase of the new Jew-hatred is already here – in the emergency ward of the Royal London Hospital; in the corpse-strewn schoolyard of Toulouse; in the synagogue in Brussels set alight by Molotov cocktails; in a pleasant Jewish home in Antwerp, where burning rags were pushed through the mail flap; at the RER train station in Auber, where a commuter was savagely assaulted by a mob taunting, “Palestine will kill the Jews”; in the suburban home where a young Frenchman was tortured to death over three weeks while his family listened via phone to his howls of agony as his captors chanted from the Koran; in the stairwell of the apartment house where a Paris disc-jockey had his throat slit, his eyes gouged out, and his face ripped off by a neighbor who crowed, “I have killed my Jew!” 

Those “anti-government people” get around, don’t they? The groups who perpetrate this violence come from a minority community – larger than the Jews but not yet larger than everyone else. They are telling you what they will do when they have the numbers to do it. …

Abe Foxman has not had his eyes gouged out, but he is blind, utterly blind.

Building a monumental ruin 9

In lands whose history goes back millennia, there are ruins of great buildings that rulers ordered their subjects and slaves to construct. They stood proud and splendid once, monuments to the prowess of the rulers and the nations. Now, although ruined, they remain as memorials.

Obamacare will be Obama’s memorial. The difference is that it starts off as a ruin.

Mark Steyn tells the story of how the ruin was built here:

For much of last year, a standard trope of President Obama’s speechwriters was that there were certain things only government could do. “That’s how we built this country — together,” he declared. “We constructed railroads and highways, the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. We did those things together.”

As some of us pointed out, for the cost of Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill alone, you could have built 1,567 Golden Gate Bridges — or one mega–Golden Gate Bridge stretching from Boston to just off the coast of Ireland. Yet there isn’t a single bridge, or a single dam (“You will never see another federal dam,” his assistant secretary of the interior assured an audience of environmentalists). Across the land, there was not a thing for doting network correspondents in hard hats to stand in front of and say, “Obama built this.”

Until now, that is. Obamacare is as close to a Hoover Dam as latter-day Big Government gets. Which is why its catastrophic launch is sobering even for those of us who’ve been saying for five years it would be a disaster.

It’s as if at the ribbon-cutting the Hoover Dam cracked open and washed away the dignitaries; as if the Golden Gate Bridge was opened to traffic with its central span missing; as if Apollo 11 had taken off for the moon but landed on Newfoundland.

Obama didn’t have to build a dam or a bridge or a spaceship, just a database and a website. This is his world, the guys he hangs with, the zeitgeist he surfs so dazzlingly, Apple and Google, apps and downloads. But his website’s a sclerotic dump, and the database is a hacker’s heaven, and all that’s left is the remorseless snail mail of millions and millions of cancellation letters.

For the last half-century, Obama has simply had to be. Just being Obama was enough to waft him onwards and upwards: He was the Harvard Law Review president who never published a word, the community organizer who never organized a thing, the state legislator who voted present.

And then one day came the day when it wasn’t enough simply to be. For the first time in his life, he had to do. And it turns out he can’t. He’s not Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos. And Healthcare.gov is about what you’d expect if you nationalized a sixth of the economy and gave it to the Assistant Deputy Commissar of the Department of Paperwork and the Under-Regulator-General of the Bureau of Compliance.  …

[Obama] broke the lifelong rule that had served him so well — “Don’t just do something. Stand there” — and for the first time in his life did something, terribly.

It will bear his name forever.

The sun also sets – and it’s infinitely sad 13

By 2020, in the Land of the Rising Sun, adult diapers will outsell baby diapers: The sun also sets.

Mark Steyn writes about a people – the Japanese – dying out, and reminds us that Europeans are too. Whole nations have embraced “voluntary societal self-extinction”. It could also be called “auto-genocide“.

To Western eyes, contemporary Japan has a kind of earnest childlike wackiness, all karaoke machines and manga cartoons and nuttily sadistic game shows. But, to us demography bores, it’s a sad place that seems to be turning into a theme park of P. D. James’s great dystopian novel The Children of Men. … Baroness James’s tale is set in Britain in the near future, in a world that is infertile: The last newborn babe emerged from the womb in 1995, and since then nothing. … The Japanese seem determined to live up to the book’s every telling detail.

In Lady James’s speculative fiction, pets are doted on as child-substitutes, and churches hold christening ceremonies for cats. In contemporary Japanese reality, Tokyo has some 40 “cat cafés” where lonely solitary citizens can while away an afternoon by renting a feline to touch and pet for a couple of companionable hours. In Lady James’s speculative fiction, all the unneeded toys are burned, except for the dolls, which childless women seize on as the nearest thing to a baby and wheel through the streets. In contemporary Japanese reality, toy makers, their children’s market dwindling, have instead developed dolls for seniors to be the grandchildren they’ll never have: You can dress them up, and put them in a baby carriage, and the computer chip in the back has several dozen phrases of the kind a real grandchild might use to enable them to engage in rudimentary social pleasantries.

The loneliness, the hopelessness, the frustration of biological purpose and the profound longing it naturally gives rise to – the story is infinitely sad.

P. D. James’s most audacious fancy is that in a barren land sex itself becomes a bit of a chore. The authorities frantically sponsor state porn emporia promoting ever more recherché forms of erotic activity in an effort to reverse the populace’s flagging sexual desire just in case man’s seed should recover its potency. Alas, to no avail. As Lady James writes, “Women complain increasingly of what they describe as painful orgasms: the spasm achieved but not the pleasure. Pages are devoted to this common phenomenon in the women’s magazines.”

As I said, a bold conceit, at least to those who believe that shorn of all those boring procreation hang-ups we can finally be free to indulge our sexual appetites to the full. But it seems the Japanese have embraced the no-sex-please-we’re-dystopian-Brits plot angle, too. …  A survey by the Japan Family Planning Association reported that over a quarter of men aged 16–24 “were not interested in or despised sexual contact.” For women, it was 45 percent. …  49 percent of women under 34 are not in any kind of romantic relationship, and nor are 61 percent of single men. A third of Japanese adults under 30 have never dated. Anyone. Ever. … It’s a flight from human intimacy.

They’re not alone in that, of course. A while back, I flew from a speaking engagement on one side of the Atlantic to a TV booking on the other. And backstage at both events an attractive thirtysomething woman made the same complaint to me. They’d both tried computer dating but were alarmed by the number of chaps who found human contact too much effort: Instead of meeting and kissing and making out and all that other stuff that involves being in the same room, they’d rather you just sexted them and twitpiced a Weineresque selfie or two. As in other areas, the Japanese seem merely to have reached the end point of Western ennui a little earlier.

By 2020, in the Land of the Rising Sun, adult diapers will outsell baby diapers: The sun also sets. In The Children of Men, the barrenness is a medical condition; in real life, in some of the oldest nations on earth, from Madrid to Tokyo, it’s a voluntary societal self-extinction.

In Europe, the demographic death spiral is obscured by high Muslim immigration; in Japan, which retains a cultural aversion to immigration of any kind, there are no foreigners to be the children you couldn’t be bothered having yourself.

In welfare states, the future is premised on social solidarity: The young will pay for the costs of the old. But, as the West ages, social solidarity frays, and in Japan young men aren’t even interested in solidarity with young women, and young women can’t afford solidarity with bonnie bairns. So an elderly population in need of warm bodies to man the hospital wards and senior centers is already turning to robot technology. If manga and anime are any indication, the post-human nurses and waitresses will be cute enough to make passable sex partners — for anyone who can still be bothered.

Posted under Commentary, Demography, Europe, Japan by Jillian Becker on Thursday, November 14, 2013

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Shifting sands 2

We who counted ourselves luckier than the general run of humankind because we live in the United States of America are no longer standing on firm ground but on shifting sands.

What accustomed ways, what assumptions on which we’ve always relied, what expectations we’ve long held, what values we’ve taken for granted, are not being interrogated anew?

Customs, values, standards, principles – the elements that cement civilization – are being let go, one after another, at ever increasing pace as we are moved away from liberty into serfdom.

Have you relied on custom? On long accepted moral norms? On the probity of public servants? On high standards of medical practice? On the intellectual openness of universities? On the integrity of scientists? On the solidity of old established institutions? On common values of decency, civility, and honesty?

You, we, can do so no longer. The wrecking crew is out. The fundamental transformation of America is underway.

Immense progress in science and technology will not help us because all invention will come under the ever-expanding control of the government and its ideological army of wreckers.

Over what part of our lives, even the most intimate, is government not taking control?

Our freedom of speech has been qualified by political correctness. Certain words are taboo, and it is widely accepted that they ought to be, on the grounds that some might take offense if they hear them.

In almost everything we commonly do, in almost every sphere of normal activity, we find ourselves in a state of uncertainty. So multitudinous are the regulations continually heaped upon us by government that we could be unknowingly breaking the law every hour of every day, in our businesses, our professions, our leisure, our shopping, our travel, or while simply breathing inside our own homes. The hand of government is on our thermostats. Its scolding tongue lashes us if we use more water than it deems necessary to our survival. It tells us what we ought to eat and drink; what we must do with our garbage; what we may not carry on a plane; what we may not move from one state to another. If we unintentionally break an obscure business regulation, we can be raided by an armed SWAT team and heavily fined. If we gather people together at regular intervals in our home to share a common interest we can be sentenced to a term in prison. (The example our link leads to concerns a bible-studying group. We would hate to attend it ourselves, but we defend the freedom of everybody.)

Do not expect the money you earn, save, or invest to keep its value. Our currency is being continually debased. We cannot even be sure that our cash will be safe in a bank. It’s all too possible that government will summarily confiscate it. What happened recently to private deposits in Cyprus banks could happen here – a blatant act of government theft:

According to in-house memos now circulating, the DHS has issued orders to banks across America which announce to them that “under the Patriot Act” the DHS has the absolute right to seize, without any warrant whatsoever, any and all customer bank accounts, to make “periodic and unannounced” visits to any bank to open and inspect the contents of “selected safe deposit boxes”.

We can  no longer rely on our title deeds to protect our property tenure. On the grounds of “eminent domain” any real estate, including your own home, can be snatched away by government and handed over to someone else who wants to change its use for his own benefit. In the case of land, the government can declare it subject to environmental laws that make it impossible for its owners to use it as they choose.

Government agencies which many or even most considered irreproachably honorable (if also terrifyingly powerful) – such as and chiefly the Internal Revenue Service  – have turned out to be rotten with corruption.

We are surveyed by government all the time. We have come to expect that we cannot make a phone-call 0r send an email that government doesn’t know we made or sent. And government can look at what we said in them at any time it chooses. Under “Obamacare” we cannot have an ingrowing toenail, a terminal disease, a deformity, an embarrassing whatever that untold numbers of persons will not be informed about.

In the matter of our health and “Obamacare”, we do not know how we will pay for medical consultations and treatment in future; what insurance we may have, at what price, or what it will cover.

The political principles on which the Republic was founded are no longer the bedrock of the American nation.

The values our civilization was built on – which are not in any religion but in pre-Christian classical antiquity and the Enlightenment – are no longer esteemed. Worse, they are despised, mocked, and discarded.

Mark Steyn, recognizing the rot, writes of a recent momentous day in the decay of America – June 26, 2013:

First thing in the morning, Gregory Roseman, Deputy Director of Acquisitions (whatever that means), became the second IRS official to take the Fifth Amendment, after he was questioned about awarding the largest contract in IRS history, totaling some half a billion dollars, to his close friend Braulio Castillo, who qualified under a federal “set aside” program favoring disadvantaged groups — in this case, disabled veterans. For the purposes of federal contracting, Mr. Castillo is a “disabled veteran” because he twisted his ankle during a football game at the U.S. Military Academy prep school 27 years ago. How he overcame this crippling disability to win a half-billion-dollar IRS contract is the heartwarming stuff of an inspiring Lifetime TV movie. …

The so-called comprehensive immigration reform is so comprehensive it includes special deals for Nevada casinos and the recategorization of the Alaskan fish-processing industry as a “cultural exchange” program, because the more leaping salmon we have the harder it is for Mexicans to get across the Bering Strait. While we’re bringing millions of Undocumented-Americans “out of the shadows,” why don’t we try bringing Washington’s decadent and diseased law-making out of the shadows?

Just when you thought the day couldn’t get any more momentous, the Supreme Court weighed in on same-sex marriage. When less advanced societies wish to introduce gay marriage, the people’s elected representatives assemble in parliament and pass a law. That’s how they did it in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, etc. But one shudders to contemplate what would result were the legislative class to attempt “comprehensive marriage reform,” complete with tax breaks for Maine lobstermen’s au pairs and the hiring of 20,000 new IRS agents to verify business expenses for page boys from disparate-impact groups. So instead it fell to five out of nine judges, which means it fell to Anthony Kennedy, because he’s the guy who swings both ways. Thus, Supreme Intergalactic Emperor Anthony gets to decide the issue for 300 million people.

As Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben so famously says in every remake, with great power comes great responsibility. Having assumed the power to redefine a societal institution that predates the United States by thousands of years, Emperor Tony the All-Wise had the responsibility at least to work up the semblance of a legal argument. Instead, he struck down the Defense of Marriage Act on the grounds that those responsible for it were motivated by an “improper animus” against a “politically unpopular group” they wished to “disparage,” “demean,” and “humiliate” as “unworthy.”

What stump-toothed knuckle-dragging inbred swamp-dwellers from which hellish Bible Belt redoubt would do such a thing? Well, fortunately, we have their names on the record: The DOMA legislators who were driven by their need to “harm” gay people include notorious homophobe Democrats Chuck Schumer, Pat Leahy, Harry Reid, Joe Biden, and the virulent anti-gay hater who signed it into law, Bill Clinton. …

In his dissent, Justice Scalia wrote that “to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to condemn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions.” Indeed. With this judgment, America’s constitutional court demeans and humiliates only its own. …

As I say, just another day in the life of the republic: a corrupt bureaucracy dispensing federal gravy to favored clients; a pseudo-legislature passing bills unread by the people’s representatives and uncomprehended by the men who claim to have written them; and a co-regency of jurists torturing an 18th-century document in order to justify what other countries are at least honest enough to recognize as an unprecedented novelty. Whether or not, per Scalia, we should “condemn” the United States Constitution, it might be time to put the poor wee thing out of its misery.

Hayek warned us that an over-mighty state would put us on “the road to serfdom”. Well, we’ve arrived. We’ve passed the sign at the side of the road saying “Welcome to Serfdom” and we are now in Serfdom itself. It is built on a quagmire of erroneous theory. Serfs may console themselves with an illusion of security, but serfs are not secure; they exist at the whim of their masters.

By the time Islam takes over and imposes sharia law over the whole of North America, we’ll hardly notice any difference.

*

Afterword: One of our readers and commenters, Roger, laments the drop in standards of personal presentation among his professional colleagues with this description. (Please note we make no judgments of a person by his taste or appearance. We quote this comment because it conveys how some American citizens feel they have strayed into an alien world.)

Yes, our society is changing. I attended a construction “kick-off” meeting yesterday, at which all of the construction “professionals” were present as well as the major trades. This project is for the renovation of a very high end residence, if I mentioned the Client’s name many of you would know the person. The Architect wore an ill fitting suit that looked like it had been piled into a corner of the utility room for weeks, bare feet and flip-flops (on a construction site!) The project manager wore a loose undershirt of the type colloquially known I believe, as a “wife beater”. His entire upper body was covered in multicolored tattoos depicting what seemed to be scenes from robot wars featuring children’s Saturday morning cartoon characters. The representative of one of the mechanical trades wore a patched and worn out dungaree overall and sported a bone through his nose. [They all] wore various metal items in different parts of their faces; earrings, nose rings, lip rings, etc. None seemed in the least bit surprised at the attire of the others. I admit my concentration suffered as I wondered when it was exactly that I had been abducted and brought to this planet, and when the hell could I go home.

When the government switched the answering machine on and went to Vegas 2

Back  in Benghazi, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty held off numerically superior forces for hours before dying on a rooftop waiting for back-up from a government that had switched the answering machine on and gone to Vegas.

Mark Steyn writes cogently at National Review Online:

Hillary Clinton had denied ever seeing Ambassador Stevens’s warnings about deteriorating security in Libya on the grounds that “1.43 million cables come to my office” — and she can’t be expected to see all of them, or any. Once Ambassador Stevens was in his flag-draped coffin listening to her eulogy for him at Andrews Air Force Base, he was her bestest friend in the world — it was all “Chris this” and “Chris that,” as if they’d known each other since third grade. But up till that point he was just one of 1.43 million close personal friends of Hillary trying in vain to get her ear.

Now we know that at 8 p.m. Eastern time on the last night of Stevens’s life, his deputy in Libya spoke to Secretary Clinton and informed her of the attack in Benghazi and the fact that the ambassador was now missing. An hour later, Gregory Hicks received a call from the then–Libyan prime minister, Abdurrahim el-Keib, informing him that Stevens was dead. Hicks immediately called Washington. It was 9 p.m. Eastern time, or 3 a.m. in Libya. Remember the Clinton presidential team’s most famous campaign ad? About how Hillary would be ready to take that 3 a.m.call? Four years later, the phone rings, and Secretary Clinton’s not there. She doesn’t call Hicks back that evening. Or the following day.

Are murdered ambassadors like those 1.43 million cables she doesn’t read? Just too many of them to keep track of? No. Only six had been killed in the history of the republic — seven, if you include Arnold Raphel, who perished in General Zia’s somewhat mysterious plane crash in Pakistan in 1988. Before that you have to go back to Adolph Dubs, who died during a kidnapping attempt in Kabul in 1979. So we have here a once-in-a-third-of-a-century event. And at 3 a.m. Libyan time on September 12 it’s still unfolding, with its outcome unclear. Hicks is now America’s head man in the country, and the cabinet secretary to whom he reports says, “Leave a message after the tone and I’ll get back to you before the end of the week.” Just to underline the difference here: Libya’s head of government calls Hicks, but nobody who matters in his own government can be bothered to.

What was Secretary Clinton doing that was more important? What was the president doing? Aside, that is, from resting up for his big Vegas campaign event. A real government would be scrambling furiously to see what it could do to rescue its people. It’s easy, afterwards, to say that nothing would have made any difference. But, at the time Deputy Chief Hicks was calling 9-1-1 and getting executive-branch voicemail, nobody in Washington knew how long it would last. A terrorist attack isn’t like a soccer game, over in 90 minutes. If it is a sport, it’s more like a tennis match: Whether it’s all over in three sets or goes to five depends on how hard the other guy pushes back. The government of the United States took the extremely strange decision to lose in straight sets. Not only did they not deploy out-of-area assets, they ordered even those in Libya to stand down. Lieutenant Colonel Gibson had a small team in Tripoli that twice readied to go to Benghazi to assist and twice was denied authority to do so, the latter when they were already at the airport. There weren’t many of them, not compared to the estimated 150 men assailing the compound. But they were special forces, not bozo jihadists. Back in Benghazi, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty held off numerically superior forces for hours before dying on a rooftop waiting for back-up from a government that had switched the answering machine on and gone to Vegas.

Throughout the all-night firefight in Benghazi, Washington’s priority seems to have been to do everything possible to deny that what was actually happening was happening at all. To send “soldiers” on a “mission” to “fight” the “enemy” was at odds with the entire Obama narrative of the Arab Spring and the broader post-Bush Muslim world. And so the entire U.S. military was stood down in support of the commander-in-chief’s fiction.

As Mr. Hicks testified, his superiors in Washington knew early that night that a well-executed terrorist attack with the possible participation of al-Qaeda elements was under way. Instead of responding, the most powerful figures in the government decided that an unseen YouTube video better served their political needs. And, in the most revealing glimpse of the administration’s depravity, the president and secretary of state peddled the lie even in their mawkish eulogies to their buddy “Chris” and three other dead Americans. They lied to the victims’ coffins and then strolled over to lie to the bereaved, Hillary telling the Woods family that “we’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video.” And she did. The government dispatched more firepower to arrest Nakoula Basseley Nakoula in Los Angeles than it did to protect its mission in Benghazi. It was such a great act of misdirection Hillary should have worn spangled tights and sawn Stevens’s casket in half.

What are the press toadies of the administration doing to shelter Obama and Clinton now that the truth is coming out?

The dying Los Angeles Times reported this story on its homepage … under the following headline: “Partisan Politics Dominates House Benghazi Hearing.”

Chris Stevens was the poster boy for Obama’s view of the Arab Spring; he agreed with the president on everything that mattered. The only difference is that he wasn’t in Vegas but out there on the front line, where Obama’s delusions meet reality. Stevens believed in those illusions enough to die for them. One cannot say the same about the hollow men and women in Washington who sent him out there unprotected, declined to lift a finger when he came under attack, and in the final indignity subordinated his sacrifice to their political needs by lying over his corpse. Where’s the “partisan politics”?Obama, Clinton, Panetta, Clapper, Rice, and the rest did this to one of their own. …

And Hillary Clinton dismissed the question of what really happened in Benghazi on that hellish night with the angry retort “What difference does it make?”

The embassy security chief, Eric Nordstrom, had the best answer to that: It matters because “the truth matters” — not least to the Libyan president, who ever since has held the U.S. government in utter contempt.

Truth matters … [and] for the American people to accept the Obama-Clinton lie is to be complicit in it.

Will the majority of the American people accept the Obama-Clinton lie about Benghazi? Time will tell.

Posted under Commentary, Islam, Libya, Muslims, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 11, 2013

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