Extreme corruption: why Hillary Clinton protected Boko Haram 2

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A Christian child – one of many thousands – burnt to death in Nigeria by Boko Haram

The Nigerian Muslim group Boko Haram (meaning “book-learning – ie Western education – is forbidden”) is as savage as ISIS, of which it has declared itself an affiliate.

While she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton blocked all attempts to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization. Why?

Patrick Poole writes at PJ Media:

In January 2015, I was one of the first to report on a massive massacre by Nigerian terror group Boko Haram in Borno State in northwest Nigeria, with reportedly thousands killed. Witnesses on the ground reported that bodies littered the landscape for miles as towns and villages had been burned to the ground, their populations murdered or fled.

By that time, Boko Haram had already become the most lethal terrorist organization in the world, now responsible for tens of thousands of deaths.

And yet, as Boko Haram began to ramp up its terror campaign in 2011 and 2012, Hillary Clinton obstructed the official terror designation of the group over the objections of Congress, the FBI, the CIA and the Justice Department.

Why did Hillary Clinton’s State Department drag its feet on the terror designation in the face of near unanimous opposition from the rest of the U.S. government?

A recent series of reports exposes that a close Clinton family confidante — and Hillary campaign bundler — profited from Nigeria’s lucrative oil fields. He engaged in multiple illegal deals throughout Africa.

Also, other donors to the Clinton Global Initiative are deeply involved in Nigeria’s corrupt oil industry.

Were they the motivation behind Hillary’s inexplicable position on Boko Haram?

As PJ Media’s Bridget Johnson has previously asked, is Boko Haram Hillary Clinton’s biggest scandal?  Why is no one in the media talking about Hillary and Boko Haram?

It is worth nothing that Congress had to drag a reluctant State Department kicking and screaming to get Boko Haram designated in November 2013, after Hillary Clinton had left office.

Hillary Clinton’s willful obstruction in the matter is easy to document:

Members of Congress discovered in 2014 that the Clinton State Department intentionally lied and downplayed the threat from Boko Haram, and worked to kill bills in both the House and the Senate calling for their designation in 2012.

As Reuters reported, the Justice Department’s National Security Division strongly urged the State Department to designate Boko Haram, but then a group of 21 American academics rallied to the State Department’s aid by sending a letter to Hillary Clinton strongly arguing against Boko Haram’s designation.

The letter offers weak arguments. Our suspicion is that it was solicited.

We also now know that the Obama administration was sitting on intelligence — obtained as a result of the Bin Laden raid — that revealed Boko Haram’s direct connection to al-Qaeda and the international terror network in 2011 and 2012. In other words, Hillary’s State Department was arguing that Boko Haram had no such connections, that it wasn’t a transnational terror threat, even though the Obama administration — and likely Clinton herself — knew that was false.

And Mindy Belz and J. C. Derrick, writing at WORLD, answers Patrick Pool’s question. They find that – yes, “donors to the Clinton Global Initiative” who are “deeply involved in Nigeria’s corrupt oil industry” were indeed “the motivation behind Hillary’s [otherwise] inexplicable position on Boko Haram”.

The attacks on Jan. 20, 2012, began not so much as an explosion but as an earthquake.

“Whole buildings were shaking,” said secondary school vice principal Danjuma Alkali. “There was so much vibration that some people collapsed from it.” When the jolts stopped, with smoke rising and fire igniting all over the city of 10 million, it became quickly apparent the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram had pulled off the unthinkable.

In coordinated bombings at 23 separate locations in the city of Kano, including police headquarters and military barracks, the group left one of Africa’s largest cities in disarray and panic. The January attacks killed more than 185 people — Africa’s worst terrorism since the 1998 al-Qaeda attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. …

Boko Haram leader Imam Abubakar Shekau took responsibility for the Jan. 20 attacks in a video posted on YouTube …

It would be difficult for Washington to look away: Nigeria at the time was the third-largest source of U.S. crude oil imports. Further, the same day, American Greg Ock was kidnapped in Niger Delta, and Boko Haram announced “an arrangement” to kidnap 22 other Americans.

The next day, Jan. 21, the U.S. Embassy warned U.S. citizens “to review personal security measures”, and it prohibited government personnel from traveling to northern Nigeria. But tracking and cutting off the insider flow of funds propping up Boko Haram was what was needed—and the Kano attacks presented one more overwhelming reason the United States should have designated the group a Foreign Terrorist Organization, or FTO.

A strong chorus rose in Washington for FTO designation — from bipartisan members of Congress to Pentagon officials (including then-head of U.S. Africa Command, Gen. Carter Ham) to a coalition of faith-based human rights groups. At the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued to resist it and other rudimentary steps against the terror group.

Meanwhile, Boko Haram often showed up better equipped than the Nigerian military: “Boko Haram was extorting even government officials in the north, state and local officials, and certainly the military,” said an American working in the area for more than a decade, who spoke to WORLD and is not named for security reasons. “Very wealthy Muslim businessmen totally have been backing Boko Haram. There was huge money involved. Money used to purchase arms — it was crazy.”

Where were the funds and support coming from? In part from a corrupt oil industry and political leaders in the North acting as quasi-warlords. But prominently in the mix are Nigerian billionaires with criminal pasts — plus ties to Clinton political campaigns and the Clinton Foundation, the controversial charity established by Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton in 1997.

The Clintons’ long association with top suspect tycoons — and their refusal to answer questions about those associations — takes on greater significance considering the dramatic rise of Boko Haram violence while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Did some Clinton donors stand to gain from the State Department not taking action against the Islamic terrorist group?

Perhaps the most prominent Nigerian with ties to the Clintons is Houston-based Kase Lawal. The founder of CAMAC Energy, an oil exploration and energy consortium, Lawal had a long history with Bill Clinton before becoming a “bundler” for Hillary’s 2008 presidential bid, amassing $100,000 in contributions and hosting a fundraiser in his Houston home—a 14-room, 15,264-square-foot mansion. Lawal maxed out donations to Hillary’s 2016 primary campaign, and his wife Eileen donated $50,000—the most allowed—to President Obama’s 2009 inaugural committee.

Lawal describes himself as a devout Muslim who began memorizing the Quran at age 3 while attending an Islamic school. “Religion played a very important role in our lives,” he told a reporter in 2006. “Every time you finish a chapter they kill a chicken, and if you finish the whole thing, a goat.”

Today the Houston oil exec — who retired in May as CEO but continues as chairman of the board of CAMAC, now called Erin Energy — tops the list of wealthiest Nigerians living in North America. His firm reports about $2.5 billion in annual revenue, making it one of the top private companies in the United States.

In Africa, Lawal has been at the center of multiple criminal proceedings, even operating as a fugitive. Over the last decade, he faced charges in South Africa over an illegal oil scheme along with charges in Nigeria of illegally pumping and exporting 10 million barrels of oil.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lawal arranged a 2011 plot to purchase 4 tons of gold from a rebel warlord, Bosco Ntaganda, linked to massacres and mass rapes. Ntaganda was on a U.S. sanctions list, meaning anyone doing business with him could face up to 20 years in prison. Lawal contacted Clinton’s State Department, and authorities in Congo released his plane and associates in the plot. He never faced charges in the United States, and he remains a commissioner for the Port Authority of Houston.

Lawal’s energy firm holds lucrative offshore oil licenses in Nigeria, as well as exploration and production licenses in Gambia, Ghana, and Kenya, where he operates in a conflict-ridden area largely controlled by Somalia’s al-Shabab militants.

The firm also has held contracts in Nigeria for crude oil lifting, or transferring oil from its collection point to refineries. Until last year, when newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari began an effort to reform the process, contracting for lifting has been awash in kickbacks, bribes, and illegal activity.

Overland lifting contracts often involve partnership with the North’s past and present governors, including those who serve as quasi-warlords with ties to Boko Haram and other militants.

Lawal’s enterprises have long been rumored to be involved in such deals, as have indigenous oil concerns like Petro Energy and Oando, Nigeria’s largest private oil and gas company, based in Lagos and headed by Adewale Tinubu, another controversial Clinton donor.

In 2014, Oando pledged 1.5 percent of that year’s pre-tax profits and 1 percent of future profits to a Clinton Global Initiative education program. This year, Adewale gained notoriety when the Panama Papers revealed he holds at least 12 shell companies, leading to suspicion of money laundering, tax evasion, and other corruption.

In 2013 Bill Clinton stood alongside Adewale’s uncle, Bola Tinubu, while attending the dedication of a massive, controversial reclamation project called Eko Atlantic. Critics call Bola Tinubu, leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress party, Nigeria’s “looter in chief”. A Nigerian documentary says that when the billionaire landowner was governor of Lagos State (1999-2007), he funneled huge amounts of state funds — up to 15 percent of annual tax revenues — to a private consulting firm in which he had controlling interest.

In the United States, where he studied and worked in the 1970s and ’80s, Tinubu is still a suspect in connection with a Chicago heroin ring he allegedly operated with his wife and three other family members. In 1993 Tinubu forfeited $460,000 to American authorities, who believe he trafficked drugs and laundered the proceeds.

About the time of the Kano bombings, a lucrative potential for new oil opened up in Nigeria’s North — precisely in the Borno State region where Boko Haram has its headquarters.

Between 2011 and 2013, the Nigerian government allocated $240 million toward oil and gas exploration in the Lake Chad Basin, a petroleum reserve stretching from western Chad across Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon. Largely unexplored until recently, oil production hit 100,000 barrels a day in 2013 on the Chad side of the basin.

On the surface Boko Haram violence halted exploration in Nigeria. Despite the millions it was investing, Nigeria’s government geologists and technical staff fled the region in fear of their lives. Using verified incidents provided by the Nigeria-based Stefanos Foundation and other sources, WORLD documented 85 separate terrorist attacks between 2011-2016 in the Lake Chad Basin areas of Nigeria.

The attacks ranged from market bombings that killed half a dozen to the January 2015 Baga attacks, which killed an estimated 2,000, destroying Baga plus 16 other towns and displacing more than 35,000 people (while the world fixated on Paris after the Charlie Hebdo attack).

Beneath the surface … Boko Haram was making it possible for illicit operators to lay claim to the area for their own purposes, and to pump oil from Nigeria’s underground reserves to Chad. Using 3-D drilling, Chad operators can extract Nigerian oil — without violating Nigerian property rights — to sell on open markets. One benefactor of the arrangement is Ali Modu Sheriff, a leading politician in the North, Borno State governor until 2011, and an alleged sponsor of Boko Haram, who is close friends with longtime Chad President Idriss Déby.

The very terrorism that seems to be deterring oil exploration in reality can help illicit extraction, forcing residents to flee and giving cover to under-the-table oil traders. In 2015, a year when overall oil prices dipped 6 percent, Lawal’s Erin Energy stock value skyrocketed 295 percent — the best-performing oil and gas stock in the United States.

The more unstable an area is, the more such traders can control supply and pricing, explained an oil analyst who asked not to be named for security reasons: “Terrorism is the poor man’s weapons of mass destruction. You want the land and what might be beneath, not the people, so you kill them.” …

Christians are the predominant victims of Boko Haram in Borno and surrounding states. Among 85 documented attacks in a five-year period, Boko Haram killed at least 11 pastors and destroyed more than 15 churches. They also destroyed about five mosques. In all, Boko Haram and its affiliated militants have killed an estimated 6,300 people and displaced  2 million in the Lake Chad Basin area since 2011.

The 2014 kidnapping of 276 girls from a Chibok Christian school catapulted Boko Haram into the international spotlight and sparked first lady Michelle Obama’s #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign.

Hillary Clinton once again demonstrated her superhuman ability to exonerate herself from blame for something for which she was eminently responsible:  

Hillary Clinton called the mass abduction “abominable” and “an act of terrorism”. Clinton said “It really merits the fullest response possible, first and foremost from the government of Nigeria.”

Critics argue it was Clinton herself who has led the way on U.S. indifference, spurning the standard FTO designation (issued 72 times since 1997) that could have bolstered U.S. efforts against Boko Haram years before the infamous kidnappings.

While it’s become increasingly clear that oil and corruption are fueling Boko Haram, the full story will take a serious U.S. investigation. Yet even now there is no evidence it’s happening. The Chibok girls, for example, are known to be in the Sambisa Forest with Boko Haram, but authorities have not pursued them.

“Besides military intervention, the United States has many tools for aiding Nigerian authorities. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control — the unit tasked with enforcing key aspects of FTO designations — purportedly doesn’t have enough staff to focus on Boko Haram financing. The administration maintains that Boko Haram raises its funding through local means, such as robbing banks and pillaging villages, even though WORLD obtained evidence the militants have access to international bank accounts.

“There has not been an investigation that has had any positive consequences,” said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., chairman of the House Africa subcommittee. He said he plans to convene a hearing to find out why U.S. inattention persists: “It’s time to have people come up and testify.”

How likely is it that the truth about the Clintons’ protection of Boko Haram will become known to the American public?

Will people come and testify before the House Africa subcommittee?

If they do, will they tell the truth?

If they tell the truth, will the media report what they say?

If the media report the truth, will Hillary Clinton have to answer for her part in the story?

No. Whether or not Hillary becomes president of the United States, she will remain powerful enough for the rest of her life to evade any attempt to bring her to justice, because she is the leader of the Good People, the ones who care about the underdogs of the world, the poor, the persecuted, the oppressed

The cloud of knowing (revisited) 1

President Obama openly promotes Islam both within the United States and abroad.

It seems that at first the plan to do this (or call it a conspiracy, since we are likely to have someone tell us that we are propounding a conspiracy theory), was being cunningly disguised as a plan to promote religion generally –  or at least those religions and religious organizations that “promote peace and human rights”.  As the World Council of Churches did, perhaps – when it had been penetrated, taken over, and manipulated by the USSR?

Did the Chicago Council on Global Affairs assist the plan?

In 2010, after a two year study, that institution found that “Western secularism feeds religious extremism“.

Is it still doing that? Did ISIS, for instance, arise as result of Western secularism?

Or has Western secularism become less “narrow, ill-informed and uncompromising”?

This article of ours was first posted February 24, 2010.

*

Traces of some very abstruse reasoning emerge tantalizingly from the Cloud of Knowing – the thinkers who influence current US foreign policy. Secretive ends are being pursued. Can we discern what they are, or guess what they might be, from the clues dropped by the press?

The Washington Post reports:

American foreign policy is handicapped by a narrow, ill-informed and “uncompromising Western secularism” that feeds religious extremism, threatens traditional cultures and fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights, according to a two-year study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

So, according to a body that calls itself the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, secularism “feeds” religious extremism. Presumably that means it nourishes it, energizes it, makes it stronger than it would otherwise be.

Now how could it do that? Does it drive the religious mad by simply being non-religious? And if so, is it to blame for that, or are the religious perhaps over-reacting?

Wait. It’s not any old secularism that is guilty of annoying the religious; it is specifically Western secularism. Other sorts – if there are sorts of secularism – are not bad, or not as bad.

Why? Apparently because Western secularism, in contrast to, say, Eastern secularism if it exists, is “uncompromising”. But how should not-being-religious compromise? Should it be a little bit religious? If so, how much? And would it then still be secularism?

One may begin to suspect that here is another formulation of the now familiar accusation from the left that the West has only itself to blame for being attacked by religious extremists – aka Muslim terrorists – because it is not Muslim. Or is that leaping too quickly to an as yet unwarranted conclusion?

Let’s proceed cautiously. As well as “feeding” religious extremism, this Western secularism also “threatens traditional cultures”. How? Does it proselytize non-belief? Not that anyone’s heard. Does it try to force non-belief on believers? Again, no, not noticeably. Then does its mere existence raise questions that endanger the belief of “traditional cultures” – in which case what would the Chicago Council on Global Affairs have it do to lift the threat from those intimidated folk?

Wait again – the list of accusations against this dangerous force called secularism is not yet exhausted. It also “fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights”.

Which groups would those be – could we have some names, please? And why can they only carry out their noble mission if they are encouraged?

Answers to these questions cannot be found in the Washington Post story.

What it does tell us is that it took this body two years to reach its conclusion. So we  should not brush it off as nonsense: in two years it is possible to go very deeply into grievances.

What’s more, the conclusion requires, and will elicit, action by the government of the United States.

The council’s 32-member task force, which included former government officials and scholars representing all major faiths, delivered its report to the White House on Tuesday. The report warns of a serious “capabilities gap” and recommends that President Obama make religion “an integral part of our foreign policy”. 

A serious capabilities gap? Not a mere pothole in the diplomatic road to perfect global accord? And it could be filled in by – what exactly? A state religion? No – that could not be the recommendation of 32 officials and scholars representing all major faiths.

Just a generalized religiosity then?

But how is religion, whether specific or a mere aura of sanctity assumed by the State Department, going to improve American foreign policy, soothe the extremists of foreign creeds, reassure traditional cultures,  and stiffen the backbone of groups (presumably different from the religious extremists) intent on virtuously promoting peace  and human rights?

We are not told, and can only hope that the Chicago Council’s report to the White House provides answers to these difficult questions.

Thomas Wright, the council’s executive director of studies, said task force members met Tuesday with Joshua DuBois, head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and State Department officials. “They were very receptive, and they said that there is a lot of overlap between the task force’s report and the work they have been doing on this same issue,” Wright said.

Something is already being done by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships [and the State Department] to make religion in some way an integral part of US foreign policy? It would be most interesting to know what exactly.

DuBois declined to comment on the report but wrote on his White House blog Tuesday: “The Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership and the National Security Staff are working with agencies across government to analyze the ways the U.S. government engages key non-governmental actors, including religious institutions, around the globe.”

Ah! He’s not being exact, but there’s a clue in here somewhere.

The Chicago Council isn’t as influential as the Council on Foreign Relations or some other Washington-based think tanks, but it does have a long-standing relationship with the president. Obama spoke to the council once as a state senator and twice as a U.S. senator, including his first major foreign policy speech as a presidential candidate in April 2007.

It could depend on his sympathy then, with whatever it is they want done.

Michelle Obama is on the council’s board.

Again, ah!

Now we learn that the problem, however obcure it may seem to the public, has been troubling smart people for quite some time.

American foreign policy’s “God gap”has been noted in recent years by others, including former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright.

Well, she has been associated with a few faiths in her time – Judaism, Catholicism, Protestantism. So perhaps she would be especially aware of a shortage of religious belief in the State Department. Could have struck her forcibly when she assumed office.

“It’s a hot topic,” said Chris Seiple [read something very politically correct that he’s written here], president of the Institute for Global Engagement in Arlington County and a Council on Foreign Relations member. “It’s the elephant in the room. You’re taught not to talk about religion and politics, but the bummer is that it’s at the nexus of national security. The truth is the academy has been run by secular fundamentalists for a long time, people who believe religion is not a legitimate component of realpolitik.

Come now, politics can hardly be avoided by a Council of Foreign Relations. But you say that religion is “the elephant in the room”? And it is “at the nexus of national security” ?

The Chicago Council’s task force was led by R. Scott Appleby of the University of Notre Dame and Richard Cizik of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.

Who is Richard Cizik, and what is the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good? According to Newsweek he was the Washington lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals for nearly 30 years, and then, towards the end of 2008, he announced “the formation of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a group devoted to developing Christian responses to global and political issues such as environmentalism, nuclear disarmament, human rights, and dialogue with the Muslim world”.

Hmm.

“Religion,” the task force says, “is pivotal to the fate” of such nations as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria and Yemen, all vital to U.S. national and global security.

So the particular religion they have in mind is Islam?

Not necessarily … don’t jump to conclusions …  it could also be  .. hmmm-mmm … Hinduism and …  Christianity and … who knows what?:

“Despite a world abuzz with religious fervor,” the task force says, “the U.S. government has been slow to respond effectively to situations where religion plays a global role.” Those include the growing influence of Pentecostalism in Latin America, evangelical Christianity in Africa and religious minorities in the Far East.

All of which feel threatened by Western secularism? Are crying out for it to compromise a little?

But okay, mostly Islam:

U.S. officials have made efforts to address the God gap, especially in dealings with Islamic nations and groups. The CIA established an office of political Islam in the mid-1980s. … During the second Bush administration, the Defense Department rewrote the Army’s counter-insurgency manual to take account of cultural factors, including religion.

Could that have had something to do with the shooting of soldiers by an “extremist” Muslim officer at Fort Hood? Just wondering.

The Obama administration has stepped up the government’s outreach to a wider range of religious groups and individuals overseas

… even, say, the Dalai Lama if he’ll use the back door

…  trying to connect with people beyond governments, said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Very hush-hush stuff this.

The effort, he said, is more deliberate than in the past: “This issue has senior-level attention.”

He noted that Obama appointed a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference …

The envoy being a Muslim and a terrorist sympathizer [see our post The trusted envoy, February 20, 2010], and the Organization of the Islamic Conference being a major instrument of the Ummah for the conquest of the non-Muslim world, chiefly by methods of “soft jihad” in Europe …

… and created a new Muslim outreach position in the State Department. In the past year, he said, embassies in Muslim-majority countries have held hundreds of meetings with a broad range of people not involved in government.

Huh? Muslim-majority countries have had hundreds of meetings with individual people not involved with government? What people? Why? To what end? How does the government know about them?

Whatever was going on with that, it was apparently too “episodic and uncoordinated”. Now there must be something more programmatic, more official, more formal, more defined, and definitely involving government:

To end the “episodic and uncoordinated nature of U.S. engagement of religion in the world,” the task force recommended:

— Adding religion to the training and continuing educationofall foreign service officers, diplomats and other key diplomatic, military and economic officials. …

— Empowering government departments and agencies to engage local and regional religious communities where they are central players in the promotion of human rights and peace, as well as the delivery of health care and other forms of assistance.

Leaving aside the code words “human rights” and “peace” which in such a context as this usually mean “leftism” and “Islam” – diplomats, and military and even economic officials should deliver health care?

But here comes the stunner. (Remember that “clarify” in diplomatic talk always means “take it back and say something more to our liking”.)

– Address and clarify the role of religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy.

Cizik said some parts of the world — the Middle East, China, Russia and India, for example — are particularly sensitive to the U.S. government’s emphasis on religious freedom and see it as a form of imperialism.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS A FORM OF IMPERIALISM?

We give up. Such nuanced thought is beyond our grasp.

More corn 3

Noah Rothman writes (in part) at Commentary:

As most of the nation is preparing to celebrate the 239th anniversary of its founding, the left is going about producing self-affirmations and reinforcing its narcissistic prejudices. …

In keeping with this president’s desire to see every holiday politicized and to foist upon exhausted families one of his true believers who will ceaselessly proselytize in favor of the president’s policies, the administration asked its devotees to praise and promote the Affordable Care Act over the Fourth of July weekend. In a blog post, the Department of Health and Human Services provided administration supporters a script that they can recite for the unbelievers in their midst. “With greater access to affordable, quality health insurance, the Affordable Care Act is helping individuals and strengthening our economy!” HHS invited its backers to exclaim,  “Now would you like more corn?”

At a time when Americans should be reflecting on the sacrifices of the Founders and those subsequent generations who sacrificed so much to preserve freedom and self-determination, the administration’s narcissists prefer that you revel in their own accomplishments. This sentiment is of a kind with that expressed by first lady Michelle Obama who remarked that she had never been prouder of the United States than when it appeared set to elect her husband to the presidency. Rather than reflect on the sacrifices of those Americans who toiled so that we might enjoy our present comfort and security, those like Matthews, the first lady, and this administration prefer the reflection in the mirror.

Most Americans still know that the Founders who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor were not merely penning a frat house oath; in revolt against the Crown, those things were truly in the balance. Most Americans do not pine for the legislative efficiency of dictatorial government; they have voted for a divided Washington consistently since 2010, and only the most arrogant would contend that the voters simply don’t know what they want.

Though in sympathy with the author’s drift, and being perplexed rather than arrogant, we ask – as an open, not a rhetorical question – what do they want?

Barak Obama was twice elected president of the United States. He has made America poorer, weaker, less free, less secure, much less respected, much more divided, even worse educated – in short, declining.

Was that what those who voted for him wanted?

In the year and a half remaining to him as president, he will do what he can to accelerate the decline: more debt, more poverty, more constraint, more terrorism, more empowerment of Islam, more concessions to enemies and betrayals of allies, more race-hustling, more indoctrination, more deception …

Now, who would like more … ?

Posted under Commentary, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, July 3, 2015

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Whose misfortune? 3

What is unique about American foreign policy today is not just that it is rudderless, but how quickly and completely the 70-year postwar order seems to have disintegrated — and how little interest the American people take in the collapse, thanks to the administration’s apparent redeeming message, which translates, “It’s their misfortune and none of our own.”

We quote from an article by Victor Davis Hanson in the National Review.

He sets before us a picture of what passes for US foreign policy under Obama, and the disasters that have ensued from it – and continue to get worse.

ISIS took Ramadi last week. …

On a smaller scale, ISIS is doing to the surge cities of Iraq what Hitler did to his neighbors between 1939 and 1941, and what Putin is perhaps doing now on the periphery of Russia. In Ramadi, ISIS will soon do its accustomed thing of beheading and burning alive its captives, seeking some new macabre twist to sustain its Internet video audience.

We in the West trample the First Amendment and jail a video maker for posting a supposedly insensitive film about Islam; in contrast, jihadists post snuff movies of burnings and beheadings to global audiences.

We argue not about doing anything or saving anybody, but about whether it is inappropriate to call the macabre killers “jihadists”.  When these seventh-century psychopaths tire of warring on people, they turn to attacking stones, seeking to ensure that there is not a vestige left of the Middle East’s once-glorious antiquities. I assume the ancient Sassanid and Roman imperial site at Palmyra will soon be looted and smashed. …

As long as we are not involved at the center of foreign affairs and there is no perceptible short-term danger to our security, few seem to care much that western North Africa is a no-man’s-land. Hillary Clinton’s “lead from behind” created a replay of Somalia in Libya.

The problem with Turkey’s Recep Erdogan is not that he is no longer Obama’s “special friend,” but that he was ever considered a friend at all, as he pressed forward with his plan to destroy Turkish democracy in the long march to theocracy.

There was never much American good will for the often duplicitous Gulf monarchies, so the general public does not seem to be worried that they are now spurned allies. That estrangement became possible because of growing U.S. self-sufficiency in oil and gas (thanks to fracking, which Obama largely opposed). Still, let us hope the Gulf States remain neutral rather than becoming enemies — given their financial clout and the availability of Pakistani bombs for Sunni petrodollars.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has it in for Israel. Why, no one quite knows, given that the Jewish state is the only democratic and liberal society in the Middle East. Perhaps it resembles the United States too closely, and thus earns the reflected hypercriticism that so many leftists cultivate for their own civilization.

Theocratic Iran has won more sympathy from the Obama administration. No neutral observer believes that the current policy of lifting sanctions and conducting negotiations will not lead to an Iranian bomb; it is hoped only that this will be unveiled on the watch of another president, who will be castigated as a warmonger if he is forced to preempt its rollout.

The current American foreign policy toward Iran is baffling. Does Obama see the theocracy as a valuable counterweight to the Sunni monarchies? Is it more authentic in the revolutionary sense than the geriatric hereditary kingdoms in the Gulf? Or is the inexplicable policy simply a matter of John Kerry’s gambit for a Nobel Peace Prize or some sort of Obama legacy in the eleventh hour, a retake of pulling all U.S. peacekeepers home from a once-quiet Iraq so that Obama could claim he had “ended the war in Iraq”?

Hillary Clinton has been talking up her successful tenure as secretary of state. But mysteriously she has never specified exactly where, when, or how her talents shone. What is she proud of? Reset with Russia? The Asian pivot to discourage Chinese bellicosity? The critical preliminary preparations for talks with Iran? The Libyan misadventure? Or perhaps we missed a new initiative to discourage North Korean aggression? Some new under-appreciated affinity with Israel and the Gulf monarchies? The routing of ISIS, thanks to Hillary’s plans? Shoring up free-market democracies in Latin America? Proving a model of transparency as secretary? Creating a brilliant new private-public synergy by combining the work of the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and Bill’s lecturing –as evidenced by the Haitian renaissance and nation-building in Kazakhstan?

He also considers the administration’s domestic failures:

Meanwhile, no one seems to much care that between 2009 and 2017, we will have borrowed 8 trillion more dollars. Yet for all that stimulus, the U.S. economy still has staggering labor non-participation rates, flat GDP growth, and stagnant household income. As long as zero interest rates continue, the rich make lots of money in the stock market, and the debt can grow by $500 billion a year and still be serviced. Financial sobriety is now defined as higher taxes bringing in record revenues to service half-trillion-dollar annual additions to an $18 trillion debt.

The liberal approach to the underclass continues as it has been for the last 50 years: The elites support huge, unquestioned redistributionist entitlements for the inner city as penance for avoiding it. Minorities are left to run their own political affairs without much worry that their supposed benefactors live apartheid lives, protected by the proof of their caring. The public is left with the lie “Hands up, don’t shoot” as a construct that we will call true, because the made-up last-seconds gasps of Michael Brown perhaps should have happened that way. As an elite bookend, we have a Columbia coed toting around a mattress as proof of society’s insensitivity to sexual violence, which in her case both her university and the New York City police agree never occurred. In theory, perhaps it could have and thus all but did.

As far as scandals go, no one much cares any more about the implosion of the Veterans Administration. In the public’s defense, though, how does one keep straight the multitudinous scandals — Lois Lerner and the rogue IRS, the spying on and tapping of Associated Press journalists, the National Security Agency disclosures, Fast and Furious, the serial lying about needless deaths in Benghazi, the shenanigans at the General Services Administration, the collapse of sobriety at the Secret Service, the rebooting of air-traffic controllers’ eligibility to be adjudicated along racial and ethnic lines, and the deletions from Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server, which doubled as her government server.

Always there is the administration’s populist anthem of “You didn’t build that”; instead, you must have won the lottery from President Obama. If his economic programs are not working, there is always the finger pointing at those who are too well off. Michelle Obama lectured a couple of weeks ago on museum elitism and prior neglect of the inner city, in between recounting some slights and micro-aggressions that she has endured, presumably on jumbo-jet jaunts to Costa del Sol and Aspen. I think her point is that it is still worse to be rich, powerful, and black than, say, poor, ignored, and non-black. …

He concludes on a note of despondency not far off from despair:

The center of this culture is not holding. …

More Americans privately confess that American foreign policy is dangerously adrift. They would agree that the U.S. no longer has a southern border, and will have to spend decades and billions of dollars coping with millions of new illegal aliens.

Some Americans are starting to fear that the reckless borrowing under Obama will wreck the country if not stopped.

Racial tensions, all concede, are reaching dangerous levels, and Americans do not know what is scarier: inner-city relations between blacks and the police, the increasing anger of the black underclass at establishment America — or the even greater backlash at out-of-control violent black crime and the constant scapegoating and dog whistles of racism.

Whatever liberalism is, it is not working.

It’s certainly not “liberal” in the real meaning of the word. It is the opposite – dictatorial.

We call it Leftism. It has the Western world in its crushing grip.

Obama’s Nigerian candidate wins 12

The Muslim terrorist organization in Nigeria, Boko Haram – as cruel as ISIS, with which it has affiliated itself – was quietly and persistently protected by Obama’s State Department under Hillary Clinton. Throughout her years as Secretary of State, Boko Haram massacred Christians, burning, shooting, and hacking them to death, and carried off Christian girls to sell into slavery. (Though Michelle Obama did get herself photographed, with a rueful face, holding a hashtag sign asking Boko Haram to give one lot of girls back. If her message penetrated the darkness of Africa to reach the Boko Haram savages, it got no response.)

And now a Muslim, Mohammadu Buhari, sympathetic to Boko Haram, has been elected to the presidency.

He promises to implement sharia as the law of the land.

This is from The American Spectator:

Accuracy in Media … identified three steps the Obama administration took to thwart [former President] Goodluck Jonathan’s fight against Boko Haram:

It refused to sell Nigeria arms and supplies critical to the fight, and stepped in to block other Western allies from doing so.…

It denied Nigeria intelligence on Boko Haram from [US] drones operating in the area.…

It cut petroleum purchases from Nigeria to zero, plunging the nation’s economy into turmoil and raising concerns about its ability to fund its battle against the terrorists.

Nigerian Ambassador to the US, Prof. Adebowale Adefuye told members of the Council on Foreign Relations last November that the U.S. justified its actions against Nigeria on the ground that its defense forces “have been violating human rights of Boko Haram suspects when captured or arrested”. The Administration and its propaganda arm make the same complaints against Egypt’s President Sisi: he needs to use a gentler form of persuasion in his attempts to control the violence of the Muslim Brotherhood. …

As was the case in Israel, there were Obama operatives in Nigeria influencing the election results. Politico reported last month, a “strategy group founded by former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod, AKPD Message and Media” worked for Buhari during the campaign.

What is it (we wonder) that Obama likes about Boko Haram?

The Obamas and the fable of the Tsoig 6

Bill Clinton claims that he feels your pain. Do you believe him? Do you think it possible?

Michelle Obama, self-titled “the mom-in-chief”, wants you to understand that her communist-born-and-bred, Islam-promoting husband – incredibly the president of the USA! – should govern you because he’s a loving sort of a guy, and he cares about you:

I see the concern in his eyes … and I hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, “You won’t believe what these folks are going through, Michelle … it’s not right. We’ve got to keep working to fix this. We’ve got so much more to do.”

Do you believe he cares about each one of you? Like the Christian god is alleged to do? Do you think that even if Obama did, even if it were possible which it is not, it would be a good reason why he should govern you?

Do you think you should be loved by your government, even if it were possible for a government to love, which it is not?

Should a government act as if it were loving? Should citizens be nurtured by their government? Should we all be kept on Social Security, fed by food stamps, cured by a national health service, taught what to know and believe by a government department of education? Do you want to be rocked in the arms of the state?

Do you want to live under Socialism?

Socialism (political pornography!) is secularized Christianity.

Christianity (moral pornography!) commands you to love everybody. Do you think you could? Or should? Would it be just to love bad people? Would behaving towards them lovingly instead of punitively dissuade them from doing harm?

Might you not, perhaps, feel filthied and abased by a politics slimed with such hypocrisy, affectation and sentimentality?

If so, you may appreciate the fable of the Tsoig, which now follows.

*

THE  TSOIG

The Tsoig is unique as a species in that it is both animal and plant, and also sapiens: animal in its beginning, plant in its maturity, and in both conditions able to think and talk much like us.

Tsoigs had been known on the Mainland for centuries, but at last one came to the Island.

It arrived on some raft, it was thought, since though Tsoigs can walk until the age of about one hundred they cannot swim; and had this one merely been cast on the waves, the tides would have carried it in quite a different direction. So from the very beginning, one must assume, this particular Tsoig had a positive intention of coming there – a design on the Island, one might say.

On arrival it walked at once to what it judged to be the center of the Island, and there sent down its roots which were already fairly well grown and needed only to be burrowed in for the Tsoig to attain a firm grip and commence its thenceforward vegetable life, spreading very slowly at first.

Contrary to many a tale now told of it, it never did demand that it be ‘worshipped like a God’. To attribute such an idea to it is to give it at once a totally mistaken character. It never ‘demanded’. It never ordered. It had no peremptoriness, no shortness of tone, no sharpness of expression. It had so much self-confidence that it never needed to resort to a commanding or an oracular manner. It always used a tone of gentle persuasion; it wooed, it soothed, it sympathized. There was a touch of the mournful in it at all times, to the point at last of reproachfulness, but never the least trace of insistence or officiousness.

‘Confide in me,’ it would plead, in a rather bland, not very deep voice. ‘Let me be a comfort to you in your trouble.’ That sort of thing. ‘You can rely on me.’ ‘Come and tell me all about it.’ And when you had told it what you had to tell, when you had confided in it, it would say little but ‘There, there, I am sorry.’ For it was not a solution-giver. It hardly seemed to want troubles to end or ills to be cured. Indeed, some biologists are of the opinion that Tsoigs need human sorrow for survival as they need air, water, light and the salts of the earth: that they thrive on sadness, regret, heartbreak; that human sighs are the food of its spirit. And of course if a Tsoig by its spiritual nature could take in our unhappiness, transmute it, and give out happiness, as by its ordinary vegetable nature it takes in the carbon-dioxide of our breath and changes it daily into the oxygen we need, the species would surely be among the most valuable of earthly creatures. However, they do nothing of the kind.

Still, this particular Tsoig was much valued for its mere willingness to absorb whatever was complained to it. Valued by women, that is. Men did not take to it.

The women liked to sit on its root-humps, leaning up against the rather soft ‘bark’ of its trunk (known in the timber and hide trades as Sorgderm, or, more colloquially, Soigeen), and telling it all sorts of nonsense that women can fortunately seldom find anyone to listen to. What the Tsoig gave them, apart from soothing sounds and plenty of attention, were its flowers – rather small, of a dullish pink, and of a slightly unpleasant scent if any at all. It shed them lavishly on these ladies, who persistently expressed their gratitude and insisted to their indifferent husbands that it was ‘a kind old thing’.

But most of all it was sought by the children. And to confound the theories of biologists it seemed to require nothing of children but their delight. It tossed them in its branches, gently and tirelessly, and set them down again lightly on the ground. ‘Climb me, jump on me, play all over me,’ it invited them, and they did. ‘I love, love, love you, little ones,’ it would say, in a phlegm-thick voice, so that it sounded like ‘I l-huv, l-huv, l-huv you, l-hittle ones’.

And on them it showered its all-the-year-round fruits, luscious things, over-ripe as soon as formed, full of juice (known as Tsoigdrain), thin of skin, so that they always burst, you could never find one whole, and the flavour was sickly-sweet, relished by children – and at first by the women, who soon got tired of it. Certain medicinal properties were attributed to Tsoigdrain, but were never proved. The children would overeat of course, and sometimes get sick on the stuff. And all of them, as they grew up, would begin to find the fruit too cloying, and it was seldom that anyone over the age of fifteen would touch Tsoigsimmon (as the fruits of the Tsoig are called).

And when a boy reached the age of fifteen or thereabouts – a little later if he was backward, a little sooner if he was forward – he would not only stop eating the plenty which the Tsoig provided, but would even start shunning the tree, as he might an aunt who continued to treat him as a child too long: and even perhaps developed some sort of unconfessed fear of the thing – its reaching branches, its spreading roots, its ‘come hither’ tones, its ‘I I-huv you so, why don’t you come close and let me I-huv you, I don’t ask anything of you but that you let me l-huv, l-huv, l-huv you’. It moaned too, and got rather moist round the joins where the branches came out of the bole, and gummy in the ‘eyes’ where lesser branches had dropped off.

But the children continued to play on it, and women to confide in it until the men began to notice that the Tsoig was spreading too far and taking up too much space.

‘You must stop spreading,’ they told it, ‘or you will grow right into and through and over our houses, and take up so much of the land that we shall not be able to use it.’

‘I only want to please you all,’ it replied in a hurt tone, ‘and protect you all, and shelter you all, and feed you all … if you have me to do all this for you, you do not need houses or land.’

‘Stop!’ they begged it. But the Tsoig shed gummy tears, and spread a little further, saying, ‘Why do you retreat from me, and speak to me so roughly? Why do you want to hurt my feelings? I only wish for your good. I do everything for you. I l-huv you. Come near and let me embrace you. Here, here, here are flowers for you. Here is fruit – eat, eat!’

‘Just don’t go too far,’ the men said, who didn’t really want to be hard on the Tsoig. And grumbling a bit they went away and left it to the women and children.

But the Tsoig spread further yet, and went on spreading, until at last the men had to tell it, ‘You must go. Get up if you can, and leave the Island. If you can’t we’ll help you. But you must let go with your roots, and take them up, and let us lift you and put you on a raft and take you to the Mainland. There is not enough room on the Island for you and us. Either you must go or we must go, and as we are many and you are one, we suggest that you go somewhere else, where there is more space for you.’

The tree moaned and wept. But it told the Islanders that it would forgive them their cruelty. And the children were full of compassion for the Tsoig, and sat in its branches, and leant their cheeks against its soggy derm, and stroked the oozy bumps and humps of the good old Tsoig.

So the tree stayed, and spread. And it shed so much fruit on the earth that the rank smell of the Island was detectable far out at sea, and even on the Mainland.

‘The Island has been cursed with a Tsoig,’ the Mainlanders said. ‘They should have killed it before it rooted itself firmly. Once a Tsoig has established itself there’s no way to destroy it. The Islanders will soon be putting out to sea.’

‘Tsoig,’ the people of the Island pleaded – this time the women too, ‘please, please go, or else we must leave our homes, and leave the Island, and leave you here all alone. We know that you like to be where there are people. You love people, don’t you? Well, if you went to the Mainland and took root there, all the people of the Mainland would come and see you, and there are many more people there than here, and plenty of room for all. You could spread and spread for another hundred years. And you would not be lonely. But on the Island there is not enough room for you and us. We are many and you are one. You should go. If we go we shall be scattered, separated from one another. We shall have to go to strange new lands and work hard for years to build new houses and recover what we have lost. And we shall be lonely, and homesick for the Island we were born on.’

But the Tsoig only wept, and spread faster, further and further, and splattered its round wet fruits on them.

Then the women took the children into the houses and shut the doors and drew the curtains and the men fetched axes and saws. Ignoring the sobs and cries of the old tree, they hacked furiously at it. But they soon found there was no way of cutting it down or cutting it back; for as fast as a Tsoig is wounded it heals itself, and as fast as its limbs are cut off it grows more, stronger than before, and it had grown too tough to be poisoned. Whatever was poured on its roots and leaves seemed only to nourish it.

So the people had no choice but to get into boats and put out to sea.

Because of the tides those who left from one side of the Island never again found those who left from the other side. Families were broken, and friends lost each other. And worst of all some of the smaller children were snatched up at the last moment by the Tsoig, swung up high, and held fast and unreachable in the embrace of the tree they had trusted. Their parents could not rescue them, and had to abandon them to the Tsoig.

To these young children, clasped helplessly and desperately weeping in the coils of the wet, fruit-erupting branches of the ever more lovingly, closely holding, the ever growing, ever more tightly tangling tree, the Tsoig expounded the moral of its story: ‘L–huv Conquers All.’

 

Jillian Becker

Vicious racist pets of the Democratic left 4

Munir Muhammad’s Coalition for the Remembrance of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad is one of the fragmented organizations squabbling over the vicious legacy of the Nation of Islam … one of the country’s oldest hate groups. [It] has an ugly fratricidal history. Along with its violent attacks on those outside its circle of race and religion, fueled by a belief that white people are subhumans created by a black mad scientist, it has carried on an equally violent campaign against its own. The list of Nation of Islam dissidents murdered or assaulted by their own people stretches back nearly eighty years. …

Daniel Greenfield writes about Munir Muhammad, the Nation of Islam, and the Coalition for the Remembrance of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and how they stand in high favor with powerful Democrats in Illinois, at Front Page:

The difference between the Nation of Islam and most hate groups is that NOI members and groups can receive government contracts and plum posts from the Democratic Party.

Munir Muhammad … has spent the last nine years sitting on the Illinois Human Rights Commission, with a nearly fifty thousand dollar salary …

How does the business manager for a hate group get appointed by two Illinois governors to a human rights commission? It’s surprisingly easy. It’s just a matter of knowing the right people. …

CROE-TV, the Coalition for the Remembrance of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s broadcasting arm …  puts out several television shows featuring Munir Muhammad. … Guests  include Valerie Jarrett [senior advisor and assistant to President Obama], Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Barack Obama. …  former Chicago mayor and brother of the former Chief of Staff, Richard M Daley, .. Senator Dick Durbin, … Louis Farrakhan …

When Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan wanted to get rid of one of his critics, he just swapped him out with Munir Muhammad, who became Vice-Chairman of the Board of Corrections, not to mention also serving on the Cook County Sheriff’s Committee on Religious Tolerance

Ponder that: a man notorious for his intolerance serves on a County Sheriff’s Committee on Religious Tolerance …

… and the Chicago Police Department’s Multicultural Forum.

Illinois politicians didn’t just give Munir Muhammad lucrative policy gigs, they donated thousands of dollars directly to his organization. An organization whose reason for existence is promoting the ideas of a bigot, whose views, aside from skin color, have little to distinguish them from those of Aryan Identity groups.

Governor Blagojevich had doled out some 50,000 dollars in state money to Munir’s hate group and even proclaimed February 12, 2006 to be “Coalition for the Remembrance of Elijah Muhammad Day” and encouraged citizens of the state to recognize the organization for its “ongoing commitment to ensuring the legacy of this influential African-American leader”—an influential leader who had described white people as devils and “born murderers”.

Similar proclamations from the governor’s office in 2004 and 2005 described the Coalition as “an important voice in both the African-American community and the general public”. …

After Blagojevich was gone, Governor Pat Quinn renominated Munir Muhammad to the Illinois Human Rights Commission.

But this time – confusingly to observers like us, resigned to the extreme cynicism of most politicians – there was a sudden astonishing upsurge of decency, or conscience, or revulsion, or something we don’t know about, in the minds of some Democrats, and this notorious racist was voted down:

The result was a brief debate and a close vote with the Illinois Senate splitting mostly down party lines. Twenty senators voted to reappoint Munir Muhammad and thirty voted against—with only seven Democrats crossing party lines to vote against him. … The Illinois State Senate transcript for Munir Muhammad’s original appointment shows that it was carried without a single opposing vote. Obama appeared to be present at the session, which means that he voted to confirm Munir Muhammad.

In 2001, 75,000 dollars was allotted to the Coalition for the purchase of television cameras for its production studios, courtesy of Illinois State Senator Donne E. Trotter. When Gilad Atzmon, a figure so repulsive that even Anti-Israel groups have deemed him too Anti-Semitic to be associated with, appeared on Munir Muhammad’s show, the cameras filming the whole thing may well have been the ones paid for by taxpayer dollars. At the time Barack Obama was a member of the Illinois State Senate and his funding requests appear next to those of Trotter.

But wait, there’s more:

It would be nice to think that Munir Muhammad’s success was an individual blind spot in the system, but it wasn’t. Claudette Marie Muhammad, Chief of Protocol in the Nation of Islam, had been appointed to the Illinois Anti-Discrimination Panel.

And there was Willie Barrow, the Chairwoman of the Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes, an enthusiastic admirer of Farrakhan and one of Obama’s Faith Endorsers. A woman whom Michelle Obama described as “our friend”.

Munir Muhammad has lost his position and his fifty thousand dollar salary, but there is little doubt that Illinois politicians will continue trooping down to the studio to chat with the bigot …

Corruption is the way things are done in Chicago and that includes turning a blind eye to black racist groups who may believe that white people are the devil, but can be counted on to deliver the votes from Elijah Muhammad’s mothership.

Chicago’s dirt is no longer just the property of that city; it belongs to all of us. And Munir Muhammad also belongs to all of us. The men and women he sat across from are no longer just big wheels in state politics — they run the country. And the Chicago Way has become the American Way.

Only for a little while longer, we hope.

Posted under Commentary, corruption, Race, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, May 26, 2012

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A Standing of Stans 1

American fighting men and women (heroes all, whatever their sexual proclivities) are being sacrificed to no purpose in the wretched region of feuding fiefdoms named Afghanistan. It may soon merge with Pakistan. Other stans may join them. There will be a whole Standing of Stans. And they will have Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal to promote jihad.

Because “the coalition forces”, which is to say the United States forces under Obama’s command, have lost the war they’ve been fighting there for – how many decades is it now?

It is not the fault of the US army.

It is because it has been organized into a community of social workers and nation builders.

Its orders are to win hearts and minds. The hearts of Afghans! The minds of Afghans!

Medals are to be awarded to soldiers for not shooting.

The ideal army for an America under an Obama presidency would be manned – so to speak – entirely with women and gay men with pacifist opinions. But with ethnic diversity of course.

Its motto would be: ‘Ask, tell, and no fighting please.”

Its perfect field commander – or rather, “feel commander” – would be Michelle Obama. She would soon have the troops armed only with spades and teaching the Afghans – victims of US aggression, one and all – to grow veggies instead of opium, and watch their fat intake to avoid becoming obese.

Until, that is, the Taliban objects to her being female and doing a job at the same time.

Then Obama could apologize to the Taliban and bring Michelle and the caring sharing land-army home and declare the war over.

“His home country” – Kenya 0

Posted under Africa, United States by Jillian Becker on Monday, May 24, 2010

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To eat or not to eat? 2

PART ONE.  ETHICAL EATING: THE THEORY

One of the latest fads of the elite who know what’s best for the rest of us is “ethical eating”.

The Financial Times recently carried a long article about it. Reviewing three books on the subject, the author, Simon Kuper, castigates us for eating beef, chicken, rice, and salad:

Suppose that you and your partner go out for dinner tonight. You order steak and salad while your partner has chicken with rice. Now inspect your plates. Your cow spent almost all its life in a shed, burping methane that heats the planet. It was then slaughtered, often incompetently: it may have been still alive when its head was skinned and its legs cut off. Your “salad”, doused in dressing, is really “fat with a little lettuce”.

Your partner’s chicken lived for six weeks, diseased and crammed so closely with other birds that it cracked several bones. After torture, came slaughter: the bird was shoved into a truck, taken to the slaughterhouse, and shackled upside down. It died screaming and excreting on itself in terror. The rice comes from plants bred by scientists in the 1960s. Both your meals are lathered in the extra fat, sugar, salt and chemicals to which you have become addicted. Enjoy your meal. …

“… if you’re self-indulgent and sadistic, and care not a whit for the planet”, is not said in as many words, but strongly implied.

The author goes on:

People are increasingly wondering whether they should enjoy today’s food.

Millions of animals experience horrible deaths after worse lives. Constantly sick, they give us our flu pandemics. They occupy and degrade nearly a third of the world’s land, use up and pollute water, and warm the planet. According to the United Nations [and who could possibly doubt them?], animal agriculture is the single biggest cause of climate change. It contributes 40 per cent more to global warming than all forms of transport combined…. Certainly, in rich countries, logic should impel us to close factory farms and turn meat back into a luxury food such as caviar and truffles, to be eaten on special occasions only. …

In the past [when the expectation of life was less than half what it is now, but let not that spoil the argument], “Americans typically chewed a mouthful of food as many as 25 times … now the average American chews only 10 times.” The industry has mastered what it calls “hedonics”: how to make food feel and taste delicious. The new food is also addictive, like drugs. … Many Americans now suffer from “conditioned hypereating”, wolfing down fat, sugar and salt as a habit.

Our betters despise us for that.

“Elites want elite foods,” the FT article asserts. “healthy ethical food.” Do they? Or do they just want the rest of us to eat saltless, unsweetened, undressed mouthfuls of hunted or gathered foods that need to be chewed 25 times?

This sort of moralizing is a great luxury. It should be classed with truffles and caviar.  At the same time, it’s all intensely puritan. The old puritans wanted to drain pleasure out of life for the good of your soul. The new puritans want to do the same for the good of your body.

Environmentalists go even further. They don’t want us to eat at all. The existence of the human race annoys them. We eat. We cook. We make things. Almost everything we do endangers the planet. The planet must be saved from us. For what? The animals, presumably.

Don’t they eat too?

Yes, but you see they’re good, we’re bad. We humans are a disgusting, cruel, greedy species that the earth and all the other creatures would be better off without.

They really do think this way.

If it were the obsession of a few madmen it would be merely a curiosity. But it is the settled opinion of thousand of our species, many of whom have the power to regulate our lives.

Since we cannot be eliminated, or not immediately, we must at least be regulated.

*

PART TWO.  HEALTHY EATING: GOVERNMENT STEPS IN

The solution that our betters propose to the “problem” of us eating what we like, is as always a collectivist one. Government should, say the food police, compel us to eat what it deems good for us, good for our health. Healthy eating by force. The new ethics.

This is from Canada Free Press, by David Pietrusza:

The Invisible Hand moves amber waves of grain from farm to factory to freezer.

We all get fed.

Until now.

This month, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand decided she would allocate another $1 billion the federal treasury on building 2,100 grocery stores nationwide. [Capitalism has been called ‘the incredible bread machine’. It works as long as it’s not interfered with. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand doesn’t know this, and wouldn’t believe or even understand it if it were spelled out for her.] She is an Obama mainstream kook. Her “Healthy Food Financing Initiative” is merely upping the ante on a proposal already found buried in Barack Obama’s 2011 budget to expend $345 billion on a similar fool’s errand.

The idea, if it may be termed that, is to provide grants and loans to fund groceries in so-called “food deserts,” areas “under-served” by the right kind of food emporia, those not providing “fresh” food and thereby fueling the national “obesity epidemic.” …

“By building new grocery stores in underserved areas across the state,” says Gillibrand, up for election this year, “we can give people the opportunity to live longer, healthier lives, save billions in health care costs, and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.”

Getting specific, Gillibrand estimates that her act will “create” 26,000 of those “good-paying jobs.” It’s funny how expropriating money from the private sector to fund tin-horn politicians’s hobby-horses always “creates good-paying jobs.”

Much of the rationale for combating these alleged “food deserts” relies on data as bogus as the “facts” that support the current global warming (er, excuse me, “climate change”) hysteria. Michelle Obama [she who heads the food police] has recently contended that 23.5 million people—included 6.5 million children—now live in these “food deserts,” defined by Ms. Obama as “communities without a supermarket.” Oddly enough, many of these folks are not poverty-stricken. Some are quite well to do. And thanks to the genius of Henry Ford and American capitalism many of them still own cars, so living that distance from a supermarket, translates into driving a whole 4.5 minutes more to a supermarket. …

And that translates into another federal crisis — another federal program.

But beyond jobs and geography, there is health. There is always health, nowadays.

“This initiative,” contends Brooklyn Congresswoman Nydia Vasquez, “is about empowering families to make healthier food choices so they live longer.” [A  perfect example of Obamaspeak, that!]

Let’s see what happens when a government “empowers” people to make the choices it wants them to make.

*

PART THREE.  NO EATING: THE END ACHIEVED

One government that tries to make the people do what it knows is best for them is in North Korea.

How has Kim Jong-il’s food solution work out for the North Koreans? These extracts come from Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, by Barbara Demick :

Kim Jong-Il had taken an even harder line against individual enterprise than his father. “In a socialist society, even the food problem should be solved in a socialist way. Telling people to solve to solve the food problems on their own creates egotism among people,” he said in a December 1996 speech, one of the few in which he acknowledged the food crisis. Other than vegetables grown at home, food was not supposed to be sold on the market. To sell rice or any other grain was strictly forbidden; North Korea considered it illegal and immoral, a stab in the heart of Communist ideology. Any private endeavor fell under the rubric of “economic crime” and the penalties could include deportation to a labor camp, and, if corruption was alleged, possible execution.

North Korea started running out of food, and as people went hungry, they didn’t have the energy to work and so output plunged even further. The economy was in free fall…

All staples are grown on collective farms. The state confiscates the entire harvest … [As famine intensified] the North Korean government offered a variety of explanations, from the patently absurd to the barely plausible. People were told [for instance] that the United States had instituted a blockade against North Korea that was keeping out food …

Enduring hunger became part of one’s patriotic duty. …

How do you tell a mother her child needs more food when there is nothing more to give? Dr Kim would write out a slip admitting the child to the hospital, knowing she had no cure for this condition. The hospital didn’t have any food either

[Many] victims of the North Korean famine … did not go passively to their deaths. When the public distribution system was cut off, they were forced to tap their deepest wells of creativity to feed themselves. They devised traps out of buckets and string to catch small animal in the field, draped nets over their balconies to snare sparrows. They educated themselves in the nutritive properties of plants. … They stripped the sweet inner bark of pine trees to grind into a fine powder that could be used in place of flour. They pounded acorns into a gelatinous paste …

North Koreans learned to swallow their pride and hold their noses. They picked kernels of undigested corn out of the [old] excrement of farm animals. Shipyard workers developed a technique by which they scraped the bottoms of the cargo holds where food had been stored, then spread the foul-smelling gunk on the pavement to dry so that they could collect from it tiny grains of uncooked rice and other edibles.

If you got out to the mountains, you could maybe find dandelion or other weeds so tasty that people ate them even in good times. Occasionally, Mrs Song [one of the author’s sources] would find rotten cabbage leaves … She would take the day’s pickings home and mix it with whatever food she had enough money to buy. Usually it was ground cornmeal – the cheap kind made from the husks and cobs. If she couldn’t afford that, she would buy a still cheaper powder made out of the ground inner bark of the pine, sometimes extended with a little sawdust. … [Nothing] could disguise the god-awful taste. She had to pound away and chop endlessly to get the grasses and the barks into a soft-enough pulp to be digestible. … All she could make was a porridge that was flavorless and textureless. … a porridge mad out of bean and corn stalks … was bitter and dry, and stuck in her throat like the twigs of a bird’s nest…

In the year after Kim Il-sung’s death the only animal product she consumed was frog… North Korea’s frog population would soon be wiped out by overhunting. …

In a famine, people don’t necessarily starve to death. Often some other ailment gets them first. Chronic malnutrition impairs the body’s ability to fight infection and the hungry become increasingly susceptible to tuberculosis and typhoid. The starved body is too weak to metabolize anti-biotics, even if they are available, and normally curable illnesses suddenly become fatal. Wild fluctuations of body chemistry can trigger strokes and heart attacks…

The killer [starvation] has a natural progression. It goes first for the most vulnerable – children under five. They come down with a cold and it turns into pneumonia; diarrhea turns into dysentery. Before the parents even think about getting help, the child is dead. Next the killer turns to the aged … then makes its way through people in the prime of their lives. Men, because they have less body fat, usually perish before women. The strong and athletic are especially vulnerable because their metabolisms burn more calories…

The killer targets the most innocent, the people who would never steal food, lie, cheat, break the law, or betray a friend. …

By 1998, an estimated 600,000 people had died as a result of the famine, as much as 10 percent of the population. … Exact figures would be nearly impossible to tally since North Korean hospitals could not report starvation as a cause of death.

Between 1996 and 2005, North Korea would receive $2.4 billion worth of food aid, much of it from the United States… While big ships laden with donated grains from the U.N. World Food Programme started docking at Chongjin’s port in 1998, the relief was off-loaded into trucks by the military and driven away. Some food reached orphanages and kindergartens, but much of it ended up in military stockpiles or sold on the black market. …

Death was a virtual certainty for people who didn’t show some private initiative. A human being needs at least 500 calories per day on average to survive; a person subsisting on a diet of what could be foraged in the woods would not survive more than three months. …

Hyuck [a homeless boy] found a small and friendly stray [dog], wagging its tail as it followed him into his friend’s yard. Hyuck shut the gate behind them. He and his friend grabbed the animal and shoved it into a bucket of water, holding down the lid. [It took about ten minutes to die.] They skinned it and barbecued it. Dog meat was part of the traditional Korean diet, but Hyuck liked animals and felt bad, though not so bad that he didn’t try it again – although by mid 1996 dogs too were scarce. …

Among the homeless population, a disproportionate number were children or teenagers. In some cases, their parents had gone off in search of jobs or food. But there was another, even stranger, explanation. Facing a food shortage, many North Koreans families conducted a brutal triage of their own households – they denied themselves and often elderly grandparents food in order to keep the younger generation alive. That strategy produced an unusual number of orphans, as the children were often the last ones left of entire families that had perished…

In the first years of the food shortage, the children at the train station survived by begging food, but before long there were simply too many of them and too few people with food to spare…

When begging failed, the children … formed themselves into gangs to steal together …

It was a dangerous life… There were strange stories going around about adults who … would drug children, kill them, and butcher them for meat. Behind the station near the railroad tracks were vendors who cooked soup and noodles over small burners, and it was said that the grey chunks of meat floating in the broth were human flesh. …

The stories got more and more horrific. Supposedly, one father went so insane with hunger that he ate his own baby. … It does appear that there were at least two cases … in which people were arrested and executed for cannibalism…

Even without cannibals … the children couldn’t survive long on the streets…

People … spoke of the large number of bodies scattered around the station and on the trains …

At the station, employees from the cleaning staff regularly made round through the public areas, loading bodies onto a wooden handcart… Some days they removed as many as thirty bodies from the station…

Why doesn’t the government just leave us alone to live our lives?” the women at the [black] market would grumble among themselves.

THAT IS THE QUESTION.

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