The media are on the wrong side 0

… and “Progressive” is the strongest word of condemnation in the English language.

So says Pat Condell, and we agree with him.

 

Posted under Commentary, Islam, Muslims, Progressivism, Videos by Jillian Becker on Sunday, April 21, 2013

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The little country that could 1

There is a formula for a nation’s success and happiness: have children and a free market economy.

Other nations may hate you and envy you; attack you with words, sanctions, terrorism, and rockets; but still you will thrive, prosper, innovate, and grow.

Caroline Glick writes:

A lot has changed since the 1990s. Twenty years after Yitzhak Rabin shook Yasser Arafat’s hand on the White House lawn and so officially ushered in Israel’s Age of Terror, most Israelis don’t really care what the Europeans or the Arabs think of us.

The Europeans prattle on about Israeli racism, and threaten to put yellow stars or some other nasty mark on Israeli goods. They ban Israeli books from their libraries in Scotland. They boycott Israeli universities, professors and students in England. In Italy they hold rallies for convicted mass murderer Marwan Barghouti at their national Senate. And in France they butcher Jewish children.

And then the likes of Catherine Ashton [EU  Representative for Foreign Affairs] expect us to care what they think about us.

Well, we don’t.

… The Europeans and the Americans and their Israeli followers miss the fact that the easiest way to build a secure and peaceful world is not by wooing terrorists. The best way to achieve these goals is by accepting the world as it is. This is what the Israeli people has done. True, we needed to have our fantasies blown away in suicide bombings before we reconciled ourselves to this simple truth. But life has been better, happier and more secure since we did.

The “international community’s” inability to accept that sober-minded contentment is better than pipe dream fantasies has caused leftist writers in Israel, Europe and the US alike to express mystification at a recent survey carried out by the OECD, which ranks Israelis among the happiest people in the world. The ranking made no sense to commentators.

Israelis work harder than other members of the OECD. We complain more than other members of the OECD. We don’t have “peace.” And yet, we are among the happiest people in the OECD.

What gives? For decades before we embarked on the phony peace process, Israel was a model socialist state. We had paralyzing tax rates and failed government industries that crowded private entrepreneurship out of the market. Monopolies ran every sector and provided shoddy goods and horrible services at astronomical prices. The Histadrut labor union owned most of the economy along with the government and in every sector, Histadrut commissars ensured that anyone with an ounce of initiative was subject to unending abuse. …

Just about the time we began extricating ourselves from our socialist straitjacket, we were also recognizing that the peace thing wasn’t everything it was cracked up to be. And at that point we began to understand that happiness and success aren’t about what other people give you – money, treaties, a phone line after a five-year wait. Happiness and success are about what you accomplish.

We think that statement bears repeating: Happiness and success are about what you accomplish.

At that point, sometime between 1996 and 2000, Israelis began creating large families and embracing the free market.

Today, with an average of three children per family, Israelis are the fecund outliers of the industrial world. … There is a direct correlation between children and human happiness. This is why fruitful Israelis have the lowest suicide rate in the industrial world.

When you have children, you have a future. And when you have a future, you work hard to secure it, and have a generally optimistic outlook. …

Israelis are also happy because we see that we can build the future we want for our families and our country even without another glitzy signing ceremony at the White House every six months. Our country is getting stronger and more livable every day. And we know it.

Those on the international stage that share our view that life is about more than pieces of paper signed with Arab anti-Semites recognize what is happening. For them Israel is not “that shi**y little country.” It’s “The Little Engine that Could.”

Take the Chinese. Last July China signed a deal with Israel to build an inland port in Eilat and a 180- km. freight railway to connect Eilat to Israel’s Mediterranean ports in Ashdod and Haifa. The purpose of the project is to build an alternative to the Suez Canal, in Israel. The Chinese look at the region, and they see that Egypt is a failed state that can’t even afford its wheat imports. The future of shipping along the Suez Canal is in doubt with riots in Port Said and Suez occurring on a regular basis.

On the other hand, Israel is a stable, prosperous, successful democracy that keeps moving from strength to strength. When the freight line is completed, as far as the global economy is concerned, Israel will become the most strategically important country in the region.

Then there is our newfound energy wealth. Israel became energy independent on March 30, when the Tamar offshore gas field began pumping natural gas to Israel. In two to three years, when the Leviathan gas field comes online, Israel will become one of the most important producers of natural gas in the world.

Moreover, in 2017, Israel will likely begin extracting commercial quantities of oil from its massive oil shale deposits …

Geologists assess that the field alone contains some 250 billion barrels of oil, giving Israel oil parity with Saudi Arabia. Chinese, Russian and Australian firms are lining up to sign contracts with Israeli energy companies. International analysts assess that Israel’s emergence as an energy power will have a stabilizing impact on the global economy and international security. Israel can end Asia’s oil and gas hunger. It can reduce European dependence on Russia. It will remove OPEC’s ability to dictate world oil prices through supply manipulation.

Israel’s discovery of its energy riches couldn’t have come at a more propitious time. Had Israel discovered its oil and gas 65 or even 20 years ago, we wouldn’t have had the economic maturity to manage our resources responsibly. But now, with our free market, our hi-tech sector and our entrepreneurial culture, we can develop and manage our resources wisely and successfully.

At 65, Israel is becoming a mature, responsible, prosperous and powerful player in the international arena. The only thing we need to ensure that we enjoy the fruits of our labors is security. And the one thing we can do to squander it all is place our hopes in “peace.”

And so we won’t, ever again.

The jihad goes on 2

This post follows on from How goes the jihad?, posted four days ago after two lethal bombs were exploded near the finishing line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people – one of them Martin Richard, aged 8 – and wounding about 180 others, crippling some for life by blowing off their limbs. We quoted a short article we had first posted seventeen months earlier, to focus attention on jihad, because we suspected that the Boston bombing was a continuation of Islam’s perpetual “holy war”. We didn’t mention the bombing. We were waiting to know who the Boston bombers were.

Now we know. We are not surprised. They were Muslims. A pair of Muslim brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were zealously fighting the jihad, as their religion commands them to do.

The Left however will remain utterly at a loss to imagine what their motive could possible be. Typically Politico, for instance, reporting who the bombers were and many things about them, including their religion, comments: “It remains unclear at this time what the motive was behind the Boston Marathon bombing.”

In another piece on the subject, Politico asks and comments:

Why would Chechen refugees, who’ve been locked for nearly two decades in a bitter, violent conflict against the Russian government, harbor such anger against the United States that they’d want to carry out a terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon?” Politico asks.

“The answer is far from obvious,” it concludes.

Which prompts Daniel Greenfield to point out rightly at Front Page:

Those few lines sum up the whole problem with our war on terror. A Muslim terrorist attack by Muslim terrorists? Why? The political establishment has spent decades choosing to ignore the basic facts. Then each time it’s baffled when the obvious happens.

Greenfield lists a few of the facts about one of these Muslim terrorists:

Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s YouTube channel had a playlist titled “Islam” and another playlist titled “Terrorists”. That should be obvious enough even for Politico.

His last subscription was to a channel “Allah is the One.” His Islam playlist includes “The Emergence of Prophecy: The Black Flags From Khorasan”, a Jihadi video that refers to those black flags you see Salafists, including Al Qaeda, waving around.

The video deals with a key part of jihadist mythology: That one of the most significant battles fought against the “infidels” will take place in the Khorasan, a geographic area that includes parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

And where the final battle, the Muslim Eschaton, will take place according to Islamic prophecy.

But the Left, which includes the mainstream media, will ignore all this, because –

Muslim terrorists are non-persons. The political establishment pretends they don’t exist. And then they kill a bunch of people and the media has to explain why the people they can’t see and who they don’t believe exist somehow carried out an atrocity for no reason at all.

And Greenfield concludes with a quotation from the Muslim prophet – that also the Left will ignore:

“I have been made victorious through terror” Mohammed said.

NBC News can find out nothing bad about the brothers, and gathers glowing testimonials for them:

One became an American citizen last year on Sept. 11. The other was a boxer who once said: “I like the USA.” …

The suspect at large early Friday was Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, born in Kyrgyzstan, who became a naturalized American citizen on Sept. 11, 2012 … He had a Massachusetts driver’s license and living in the Boston suburb of Cambridge. …

His father, speaking from Russia, told The Associated Press that he was “a true angel” with an interest in medicine. He was registered as a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, the school said. He was awarded a $2,500 city scholarship toward college two years ago. …

A high school friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told NBC News that he had lots of friends … He was a nice guy. He was shy … As we knew him, he was funny.”

[Another admirer said he was] “just a light, airy, curly-haired kid. I can’t tell you enough what a beautiful young man this was,” she said.

The other brother, killed in a firefight with law enforcement, was identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, born in Russia. He became a legal permanent resident in 2007 …

Tamerlan Tsarnaev studied at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston and wanted to become an engineer, according to a profile that appeared in a Boston University magazine in 2010. He said that he hoped to become an American citizen and one day join the U.S. Olympic boxing team. …He also said that he was a Muslim who did not smoke or drink. …

Tamerlan Tsarnaev boxed in a 2004 tournament as part of a program called Golden Gloves, according to The Lowell Sun newspaper. He told the newspaper then: “I like the USA.”

He said that his first love was music, and that he played the piano and violin.

“America has a lot of jobs,” he said. “That’s something Russia doesn’t have. You have a chance to make money here if you are willing to work.”

His former wrestling coach … described him to NBC News as quiet and courteous …

The father, Anzor Tsarnaev, said that he had seen on television that his son was killed. “They were set up!” he exclaimed …

Both men were believed to have entered the country with their family in 2002 or 2003, when the family sought asylum.

Most of the Muslims of Chechnya are Sufis. The Sufis are the Gnostics of Islam. (Dervishes – those mystics who ritually whirl wearing tall hats – belong to the Sufi order.) By reputation they form an especially peaceful branch of that reputedly peaceful religion.

Most, or more probably all, of the terrorists who seized a school at Beslan and killed hundreds of small children (southern Russia, September 1-3, 2004) were Chechen Sufi Muslims.

Here’s a quotation from the Washington Post describing what they did:

Hundreds of children, their parents and teachers died in the bloody culmination of a 52-hour siege that began when heavily armed Muslim guerrillas [Washpo for “terrorists”] stormed their school Wednesday and ended in an hours-long battle with Russian troops Friday.

The battered, burned and scorched survivors of Beslan’s School No. 1, many of them half-naked children, filled the region’s hospitals as troops continued to fight through the afternoon with guerrillas [Muslim terrorists] holed up inside the school. …

Between 500 and 700 injured former hostages were hospitalized Friday, more than 300 of them children … Hundreds were still unaccounted for … Officials acknowledged that the death toll would exceed 250.

The worst carnage, according to escaped hostages and rescuers, came at the start of the pitched battle just after 1 p.m. Friday, when the [Muslim terrorists] exploded the bombs they had rigged inside the school’s cavernous gym. The children had been held there without food or medicine, and scores perished [were crushed to death] when the gym’s roof fell on them. …

The siege of School No. 1, attended by 6- to 16-year-olds, began just after 9 a.m. Wednesday, when the [Muslim terrorists] blasted their way into the building at the end of the opening-day assembly. …  They … demonstrated their seriousness by mining the school with explosives and threatening to blow it up if Russian forces moved in on them.

For 52 hours, that didn’t happen. Then came what looked to be progress midday Friday, when the hostage takers agreed to allow Russians to collect several bodies … of adults killed in the initial shootout. At 1 p.m., four doctors from the Emergency Situations Ministry arrived to do so.

Instead, a battle erupted.

First, two powerful explosions from inside the building rocked Beslan. Soon, scores of hostages started fleeing, some of them dodging gunfire from the guerrillas. “When the children ran, they began to shoot them in their backs,” said [a] Putin aide …

“Bandits [Muslim terrorists] opened fire on the escaping children and adults,” said [the] regional head of the Federal Security Service. “To save their lives, we retaliated.” …

After initial confusion, the Russian attack began. Helicopters roared overhead, special forces stormed the building, tanks swerved into position. Many of Beslan’s anxious fathers also ran toward the school, some armed, some not – intent only on rescuing their children.

Amidst the shooting, many young hostages, most of them barefoot and almost naked after three days in the withering heat of their gym-turned-prison, ran or limped or were carried to safety. Those still standing gulped bottles of water handed to them by rescue workers. “They’re killing us,” a young girl on a stretcher told a police officer. “They’re exploding everything.”

Many of the injured were bloodied and burned and covered in dirt. A man came out carrying a naked girl, her hair matted, her body streaked with shrapnel cuts, her head lolled back. He laid her on the ground and tried to revive her. When she didn’t respond, he started to cry.

The rescue operation was interrupted by a new round of shooting, right near the line of makeshift ambulances. Rocket-propelled grenades and gunfire from automatic rifles sent the volunteers retreating a block farther from the school, and it was there that four children’s corpses soon appeared, laid out under bloodstained white sheets. Several parents came up and looked under the sheets, searching. Then an old woman in a torn flowered dress was brought out on a stretcher, also dead, and rolled onto the grass next to the four children. …

Across the railroad tracks that divide Beslan, the scene at the hospital was bedlam. The courtyard was crowded with rank upon rank of stretchers with injured and dazed children. Hundreds of relatives clamored to inspect the handwritten lists of the wounded.

Through it all, the battle with the remaining [Muslim terrorists] continued. Some apparently remained inside the school well into the evening  … Others escaped and fought elsewhere in Beslan with Russian troops. As night fell, the school’s gym was still smoldering, its massive windows blown out. The walls inside were pocked with bullet holes and echoed with periodic gunfire and explosions. …

Russian officials have long claimed that Chechen rebels were connected to international Islamic fighters [terrorists], including al Qaeda. Late Friday, they announced that 10 of the dead guerrillas in the school siege were Arabs, and state television showed video from inside the building showing several dead fighters who appeared to be foreign.

And again we pick information and apt comment from an article by Daniel Greenfield, titled Beslan Comes to America:

There has been too much sympathy in some circles for Chechen terrorists. After the Beslan Massacre, Time Magazine asked, “Does Russia Share Blame for Beslan?” The London Times reported that the mastermind of the massacre was “is in a state of shock over what happened, but blames the Russians.”

This was Beslan.

Survivors told how screaming teenage girls were dragged into rooms adjoining the gymnasium where they were being held and raped by their Chechen captors who chillingly made a video film of their appalling exploits. They said children were forced to drink their own urine and eat the petals off the flowers they had brought their teachers after nearly three days without food or water in the stifling hot gym.

These are the types of savage monsters who could place a bomb next to an 8-year-old boy.

Beslan has come to America and it should be a wake up call. There should be no more sympathy for Chechen terrorists. Or for that matter any Muslim terrorists.

And we need to stop bringing refugees from Muslim conflicts to America. That goes for Chechens, Afghans, Syrians and all the rest. All we’re doing is importing bloody wars from around the world here.

Events like the Marathon Massacre are inevitable if we keep maintaining an immigration policy that invites the people responsible for atrocities such as Beslan to repeat them in this country.

The jihad goes on.

Only once 5

Many people had begun queuing up for free tickets to Hawking’s 8:00 p.m lecture, titled “The Origin of the Universe,” 12 hours earlier. By 6:00 p.m. local time, the line was about a quarter-mile long.

People want to know How All That Is Came To Be. They burn to know – and always have. Needing a theory, and knowing nothing, they invented creator gods.

NBC News reports:

Our universe didn’t need any divine help to burst into being … Stephen Hawking told a packed house … at the California Institute of Technology [April 16, 2013]. …

A second auditorium and a Jumbotron*-equipped lawn, which itself was jammed with an estimated 1,000 viewers, were needed to handle the crowd. At least one person was observed offering $1,000 for a ticket, with no success.

Stephen Hawking [said] that many people still seek a divine solution to counter the theories of curious physicists, and at one point, he quipped, “What was God doing before the divine creation? Was he preparing hell for people who asked such questions?”

… Hawking gave a quick review of [several] scientific cosmological explanations, including Fred Hoyle and Thomas Gold’s steady-state theory. This idea hypothesizes that there is no beginning and no end and that galaxies continue to form from spontaneously created matter.

Hawking said this theory and several other ideas don’t hold up, citing recent observations by space telescopes and other instruments.

This report is very much for the non-scientist. But many of us non-scientists could stand a little more science.**  What observations? How did they demolish the steady-state theory? Hawking must have said how, but either NBC couldn’t follow the explanation or thinks its audience couldn’t.

Go here and here (eg) for the real thing. (Hawking’s A Brief History of Time;  and, intriguingly titled, The Dreams That Stuff Is Made Of, important writings of great scientists collected by Hawking.)

The NBC report of the lecture continues:

After giving a brief historical background on relativistic physics and cosmology, Hawking discussed the idea of a repeating Big Bang. He noted that in the 1980s, he and physicist Roger Penrose proved the universe could not “bounce” when it contracted, as had been theorized.

Therefore, time began at the moment of singularity, and this has likely occurred only once, Hawking said. The age of the universe — now believed to be about 13.8 billion years — fits that model, as the number and maturity of observed galaxies seem to fit in the general scheme.

Hawking noted that in the 1980s, around the time he released a paper discussing the moment the universe was born, Pope John Paul II admonished the scientific establishment against studying the moment of creation, as it was holy.

“I was glad not to be thrown into an inquisition,” Hawking joked.

He closed by outlining “M-theory,” which is based partly on ideas put forward years ago by another famed physicist, Caltech’s Richard Feynman. Hawking sees that theory as the only big idea that really explains what he has observed.

M-theory posits that multiple universes are created out of nothing, Hawking explained, with many possible histories and many possible states of existence. In only a few of these states would life be possible, and in fewer still could something like humanity exist.

(There seems to be a contradiction between “M-theory” and the “moment of singularity” which “likely occurred only once”, in both of which Hawking is said to believe. This is probably a result of poor reporting. And the word “created” must be a mistake.)

Hawking mentioned that he felt fortunate to be living in this state of existence.

And that is a remarkable statement, considering how hard his life has been, afflicted for 50 years by a motor neurone disease which keeps him confined to a wheel-chair and has deprived  him of the ability to speak so that he communicates through a speech-generating machine. It prompts us to add a footnote to this post:

There’s a one and one only chance of coming into existence for each human being. So we think it deplorable that in the US, since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, some 56,000,ooo conceived individuals have been aborted. We are not wholly against abortion, but we think it should be rare, performed early in the period of gestation – preferably before 16 weeks – and only for good reason, such as: the pregnancy is the result of rape; the mother’s life is in danger because of the pregnancy and the baby cannot be saved; the child will undoubtedly be born to incurable suffering. And that “undoubtedly” sets an almost insuperable barrier to judgment, in the light of Stephen Hawking’s case.

NOTES

*From Wikipedia: A Jumbotron (sometimes called “Jumbovision”) is a large-screen television using technology developed by Sony, typically used in sports stadiums and concert venues to show close up shots of the event.

** A little more science is to be found in a 2010 NBC report, discussing Hawking’s book The Grand Design, here. The reporter seems unimpressed and unconvinced. We suspect him of being a believer in the supernatural.

Sadis(la)m 1

Are these white middle-class Western men – the villains of contemporary majority opinion among white middle class leftists in the Western world – who are whipping a captive and laughing for the fun of it?

No?

Then what are they? Is there a clue in the video? Does it lead you to a surprising conclusion about their identity, or are you not surprised at all?

Posted under Islam, Muslims, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, April 16, 2013

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A kind of injustice 1

At Guantanamo Bay, prisoners of war are treated unjustly – by being treated far too well.

A punishment should fit the offense. If it’s too harsh, justice isn’t served; and if it’s too lenient, justice isn’t served.

Enemy combatants taken prisoner in the midst of war should not be tried as civilians. They should be held until the hostilities are over then returned to their country. If they are to be tried – for committing atrocities say – it should be by a military court as soon as possible after their capture. Executions should be carried out  by firing squad. (Not by boiling them in oil, great as the temptation to do so might be when they’re terrorists.)

While captive they should all be locked up for 23 hours a day; have no privacy, yet very little company; have no entertainment except books; and be fed on whatever their captors consider adequate for keeping them alive.

If information needs to be extracted from them against their will, physical torture should not be used because no one wants a world in which it’s okay deliberately to inflict physical pain; but humiliation could be effective – especially with those who come from a primitive “honor” society.

But at Guantanamo, the prisoners are indulged to the point of being coddled, and even treated with respect!

And the more they are indulged and respected, the more they complain.

This is from an Investor’s Business Daily editorial:

Earlier this week, the New York Times published a tear-jerker column penned by none other than Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard.

The paper gave Samir Naji al-Hasan Moqbel a national forum to whine about supposed mistreatment at Guantanamo.

“Gitmo is killing me,” claimed the Times’ new “op-ed contributor.” In fact, Moqbel is trying to kill himself. It’s the prison hospital that’s keeping him alive. He gets round-the-clock feedings by nurses he spits on.

The al-Qaida operative vows not to eat until his captors release him and “restore my dignity.” No doubt that will be achieved by rejoining the Islamic jihad in Afghanistan.

The Times editors, apparently doubling as ACLU activists, worked with the terrorist’s lawyers to get out his sob story. They even tasked an illustrator to depict a gaunt Moqbel strangled by feeding tubes.

He and other detainees responsible for the deaths of 3,000 Americans in the Mideast are finding a sympathetic ear inside the administration and media for their incessant bellyaching about how conditions at Gitmo are “killing” them.

Only, these same poor, abused prisoners have 20-hour access to a new $750,000 soccer field and state-of-the art fitness equipment, as well as their own Muslim chef cooking Islamic meals for them after they work up an appetite at Club Gitmo.

The detainees now have three recreational facilities — an indoor rec yard, an outdoor rec yard and a new soccer field. Special passageways let them pass into the rec yards without being escorted by the military.

And yes, you the taxpayer are paying for all this.

The terrorists also are issued prayer beads and rugs and called to prayer five times a day in Arabic. No one is allowed to interrupt them while they bow to Mecca.

We even point them in the right direction with helpful black arrows affixed to their cell floors. They get their choice of Islamic books and videos stocked by a Muslim librarian. They even have their own clerics to preach to them in Arabic.

Everyone gets a Quran, along with little hammocks to keep them from touching the ground when not in use. …

Detainees even convinced prison officials to no longer raise the American flag anywhere they could see it.

Gitmo is no longer a prison camp; it’s a state-sponsored madrassa. But that’s not good enough for the terrorists and their supporters.

They’re now demanding newer facilities and easier access to lawyers. And more are threatening hunger strikes and unrest if they don’t get their way.

Letting them starve themselves to extinction if they choose to would be a good way of getting rid of them, once they have told their captors everything they have to tell.

So naturally the Pentagon is considering plans for a $150 million overhaul to what is already by far the most expensive prison per capita.

Gitmo has an operating budget this year of almost $177 million. That means that taxpayers are paying more than $1 million for the care and maintenance of each of the remaining 166 terrorists.

The administration already has signed off on construction projects that include a new $11 million hospital and medical units for the detainees, and a $10 million “legal meeting complex,” where lawyers can meet their detainee clients and no doubt conjure up more sob stories to plant in the U.S. media.

Yep, that’s one nasty concentration camp we’re running down there in Cuba.

Posted under Commentary, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, April 16, 2013

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How goes the jihad? 2

Seventeen months ago, on September 30, 2011, we posted an article on how Islam was winning its jihad against the non-Islamic world.

Here’s part of it:

Islam’s terrorist tactic is proving hugely powerful and has gained victories that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. It has cowed all the governments of western Europe, and innumerable authorities at all levels in the US. Islam is advancing day by day. Its terrorism is not practiced continually in all target countries, but the threat of it, and the memories of what has been done and could be done again at any moment, are always there. Because authorities are afraid, Islam creeps on.

Day by day, in Western countries into which Muslims migrate in ever-growing numbers, Islam gains its concessions, its privileges: here a mosque; there a partition of a public swimming pool for Muslim women; here a prayer room in a government building; there the removal from a public library of famous children’s books with pictures of pigs in them; here (in Britain for instance) the allowing of sharia courts and the upholding of their rulings by the state; there entitlements tamely paid to multiple Muslim wives by a welfare state with laws against polygamy; and here and here and here the establishment of faculties of Islamic studies, or even whole colleges, with immense grants of money from the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia. Chunks of history, such as the Holocaust, are omitted from school courses because they might offend Muslim students – let truth be damned. Defense contracting companies in the US fall under the ownership of Muslims, who divert a part of the profits – and what defense secrets? – to the Muslim Brotherhood. In places of hot battle, Iraq is plagued with terrorist attacks day after day; and in Afghanistan the Taliban is undefeated and undefeatable, and ready to re-assume its despotic rule when the coalition soldiers have departed. In Libya an al-Qaeda leader has seized a position of power. And all the while, the mullahs of Iran are preparing to attack the West with nuclear weapons.

True, there have not been any more planes flown into buildings in America, but smaller plots of destruction and mass murder are constantly being laid. True, some of them are foiled, but some are attempted (such as an underwear bomb in a plane over Detroit) and some carried out (such as the massacre at Fort Hood), and the motive behind all of them remains: jihad, the holy war of Islam, perpetually waged one way and another for the conquest of the world by successive generations of Muslims, and coming closer to success now than ever before in history.

Not a word needs to be changed.

Posted under Afghanistan, Commentary, Defense, Demography, Europe, Iraq, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Terrorism, United States, War by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, April 16, 2013

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Margaret the Great 3

Margaret Thatcher’s reign over Britain was a pause in the decline of the nation. That is the verdict of almost all the most insightful obituaries that have appeared since her death. She changed Britain, held it for a while as a model to the world of how capitalism can restore wealth and prestige, but did not succeed in reversing its downward trend.

Nevertheless she was one of the British people’s greatest leaders.

Mark Steyn writes:

In Britain in the Seventies, everything that could be nationalized had been nationalized, into a phalanx of lumpen government monopolies all flying the moth-eaten flag: British Steel, British Coal, British Airways, British Rail . . . The government owned every industry — or, if you prefer, “the British people” owned every industry. And, as a consequence, the unions owned the British people. The top income-tax rate was 83 percent, and on investment income 98 percent. No electorally viable politician now thinks the government should run airlines and car plants and that workers should live their entire lives in government housing. But what seems obvious to all in 2013 was the bipartisan consensus four decades ago, and it required an extraordinary political will for one woman to drag her own party, then the nation, and subsequently much of the rest of the world back from the cliff edge.

Thatcherite denationalization was the first thing Eastern Europe did after throwing off its Communist shackles — although the fact that recovering Soviet client states found such a natural twelve-step program at Westminster testifies to how far gone Britain was.

She [Margaret Thatcher] was the most consequential woman on the world stage since Catherine the Great, and Britain’s most important peacetime prime minister. In 1979, Britain was not at war, but as much as in 1940 faced an existential threat.

Mrs. Thatcher saved her country — and then went on to save a shriveling “free world,” and what was left of its credibility. The Falklands were an itsy bitsy colonial afterthought on the fringe of the map, costly to win and hold, easy to shrug off — as so much had already been shrugged off. After Vietnam, the Shah, Cuban troops in Africa, Communist annexation of real estate from Cambodia to Afghanistan to Grenada, nobody in Moscow or anywhere else expected a Western nation to go to war and wage it to win. Jimmy Carter, a ditherer who belatedly dispatched the helicopters to Iran only to have them crash in the desert and sit by as cocky mullahs poked the corpses of U.S. servicemen on TV, embodied the “leader of the free world” as a smiling eunuch. Why in 1983 should the toothless arthritic British lion prove any more formidable?

And, even when Mrs. Thatcher won her victory, the civilizational cringe of the West was so strong that all the experts immediately urged her to throw it away and reward the Argentine junta for its aggression. “We were prepared to negotiate before” she responded, “but not now. We have lost a lot of blood, and it’s the best blood.” Or as a British sergeant said of the Falklands: “If they’re worth fighting for, then they must be worth keeping.”

Mrs. Thatcher thought Britain was worth fighting for, at a time when everyone else assumed decline was inevitable. … [But for her and] anyone with a sense of history’s sweep, the strike-ridden socialist basket case of the British Seventies was not an economic downturn but a stain on national honor.

A generation on, the Thatcher era seems more and more like a magnificent but temporary interlude in a great nation’s bizarre, remorseless self-dissolution.

She was right and they were wrong, and because of that they will never forgive her. … For eleven tumultuous years, Margaret Thatcher did shock them. But the deep corrosion of a nation is hard to reverse …

Not just hard. Impossible. What great power that declined and fell ever rose to greatness again?

America, beware!

*

China had to turn to the capitalist model set by Margaret Thatcher to save its economy – which it did, spectacularly. 

But far from acknowledging a debt, this obituary published in China belittles all her achievements, putting her whole career through the Marxist class-analysis mincer.

Petty, mean, and puerile, it is an exercise in Schadenfreude; sneer after sneer concluding with a spiteful joke:

Thatcher grew up in a classical English petty-bourgeois family. Her father owned two grocery shops in Grantham. He preached the word of God, was staunchly patriotic, and became the town’s Mayor from 1945-6. His self-confidence derived from selecting food that commanded a good price and turned a good profit. His daughter, Margaret, also formed her intellectual outlook around the petty proprietor’s fetish for the magical qualities of prices. …

Her marriage to Dennis Thatcher in 1951 elevated her into the ranks of the bourgeoisie. He had inherited his wealth and felt that business distracted him from dabbling in amateur military escapades. He was generally seen as a blithering incompetent buffoon to be shunted out of ears reach, in case some bigoted diatribe escaped his lips, but Margaret dearly loved him and treasured the life opportunities his wealth had opened up for her. Dennis funded her career change from studying the chemical composition of ice cream, to studying to become a barrister …

The 1960s were characterized by an entrenched social-democratic consensus whereby social and economic development was widely seen as the product of an alliance between theclasses. Employment was easy to come by and wages rose, and public housing, health care and education expanded rapidly. This all smacked of communism to Margaret Thatcher, who was allowed to bark vitriol against socialism to the gleeful cheers of her bourgeois-aristocratic colleagues in parliament.

The victory of the mineworkers against the Conservative government in two strikes in 1972 and 1974 led to an election, which the then Prime Minister, Edward Heath, claimed would answer the question “who runs Britain?” He lost the election to a minority Labour government and Margaret Thatcher became the Conservative Party leader in 1975.

The shopkeeper inside her, meant she automatically gravitated toward economic theory based on price. Her ideology imagined a world of free and unrestricted competitive pressures where atomized individuals replace organized workers. The pathway to this free market utopia involved selling off state resources and public housing at prices that were absurdly low. This created a significant constituency within the working and middle classes who suddenly acquired money from nothing. In this way the shopkeeper’s delusion, that an economy is simply a nation of buyers and sellers, was materially anchored in the minds of those who suddenly had loads of money. In this way a significant minority acquired a material stake in Thatcher’s “property owning democracy.” Making goods and services was replaced by selling second hand bricks; producing coal, steel, ships, trains and cars was replaced by speculative instruments conjured up by a Thatcherite tribe of arrogant barrow boys who were encouraged to take over the trading floors of the City of London, elbowing aside the “toffs” in bowler hats, and revolutionizing financial markets in a cocaine fueled [?] speculative orgy.

So severe was the economic dislocation and the scars of social conflict that the government was thrown into deep crisis. However, luck was on the side of Mrs. Thatcher, as President General Galtieri of Argentina used their nation’s historical conflict over British occupation of the Malvinas Islands to launch a war to take them by force. Thatcher dispatched the British fleet and reconquered the Islands, whipping up a wave of jingoistic flag-waving. Riding a new tide of popularity, the real war began. Its objective was to smash the central core of trade union strength, the National Union of Mineworkers. Huge reserves of coal were stockpiled, the police were militarized, and war was declared on millions of British workers. Thatcher proclaimed the miners’ union to be agents of the Soviet Union. When she described them as “the enemy within” she had the look of hysteria in her eyes. The strike lasted a year and was defeated. This was a result of Thatcher’s determination and an impotent response by the majority of Labour and Trade Union leaders. The defeat of the miners union led to greater control by capital over labour and a long period of passive industrial relations.

The greatest nonsense is spoken about Thatcher’s significance in the struggle against what she called “the Evil Empire” of the USSR. The role of the U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher was insignificant and peripheral. Even though the Soviet press had given her the name, “the Iron Lady,” of which she was so proud. The collapse of the USSR was a result of internal disintegration and not external pressure. …

May the Iron Lady rust in peace!

China’s prosperity is the result of allowing private enterprise. It makes China a rising world power.

Teaching submission to world government 1

This is from Canada Free Press, by the excellent researcher and writer Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh, who has herself lived under communism:

Liberal education has been very successful in this country because nobody challenged the progressive educators and their agenda. We are waking up to the unraveling of our society caused by this liberal education and wondering, what happened. Could it be too late to reverse the damage?

Conservative news outlets are pointing out the obvious — our children have been indoctrinated into socialism for 33-40 years and this indoctrination is finally bearing fruit. We have bred a nation of young, entitled citizens who do not like to work, do not like to read or study anything too involved or complicated that exceeds Twitter’s 140 words, do not take responsibility for their actions, exhibit righteous indignation if their demands are not met, claim racism and hate speech if others disagree with them, and are afraid of their shadows.

Students no longer explore and discuss the history of America even in the History Department of the local college — it has long been replaced by courses that praise and promote “sexual, racial and ethnic differences”, instead of highlighting our common American heritage, what made America great and an exceptional nation that has contributed to the betterment of mankind. Socialist professors admire, teach, and laud the history of non-western cultures as superior to our own culture.

She cites Bowdoin College, the subject of a recent report (see our post immediately below), as an example of what’s gone wrong in higher education. And she gives examples of courses taught there – to the exclusion of teaching critical thinking skills, and ignoring “scientists, men of letters, philosophers and orators who contributed to western thought and civilization”. Instead, there’s this sort of thing on offer:

Queer Gardens

Beyond Pocahontas: Native American Stereotypes

Sexual Life of Colonialism

Modern Western Prostitutes

But the greater part of her article is devoted to providing information on IB World Schools. We learn the following:

IB stands for International Baccalaureate.

Most parents have no idea what IB is. IB programs are devoted to the “radical transformation of America’s classrooms.”

The rot taught in American schools like Bowdoin is taught world wide in the IB schools, which are here, there, and spreading everywhere. “There are over 2,000 IB World Schools in the US.” Of those,  74 are in Virginia.

An IB World School is a private or public school that has agreed to offer the IB (International Baccalaureate) program run and coordinated by IBO, a non-profit socialist Swiss Foundation in Geneva … in partnership with UNESCO … 

In fact –

Since 1970, IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization) has been an official NGO (non-governmental organization) of UNESCO.

They know they’re doing something sneaky, something most American parents would not like.

As a parent, in order to discover what the secret curriculum is, one has to be approved [by] an IB teacher, with a password that accesses the curriculum.

IB schools are a part of Agenda 21. (To find out more about it, use our search slot).

Dr. Paugh is our main source of information about this UN resolution that aims to preserve and restore the wilderness at the expense of human populations; destroy the suburbs; herd people into urban collectivities with single “living units” allotted to them instead of homes shared with their families; deprive them of private cars; control their heating and cooling and other uses of energy. In  sum, monitor their whole lives and prescribe how they should live them. And worse, though you might think there could be no worse –

An international baccalaureate world school is another arm of U.N. Agenda 21. [It’s aim is the] indoctrination of our children into “global citizenship, social justice, intercultural understanding and respect,” submission to one-world socialist government, using American taxpayer dollars.

She refers to a description of IB education by Justin Pough, who attended an IB school:

No more learning about U.S. Presidenst, good values, no American history … Teachers have to wear the light blue colors of the United Nations. Students are indoctrinated into becoming “citizens of the world” instead of citizens of the country they were born in, preoccupied with “moral, ethical, social, economic, and environmental implications of global production and consumption.”

The student’s version of Agenda 21 is called the Rescue Mission Planet Earth.

The founder of IB, Therese Maurette, describes her educational philosophy that runs against our Founding Fathers’ ideas of what American education should be … The concept of “nationality” must be minimized in order to encourage students to develop a picture of the whole world. “History should not be taught until well into adolescence because, for the younger student, it inevitably consists of a series of stories and myths glorifying violence and misrepresenting events by giving them a nationalistic bias.”

To shape students into pawns of international change, IB programs use “pedagogical methods that are intended to effect the fundamental transformation of America’s classrooms.” Schools that adopt the IB program must also adopt the international moral and ethical values. Whose values are these? They are the diverse values of different cultures as contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948. They are not our American values, they are values that encourage social change in which “the rights of individuals are linked to those of the collectives:”

By “linked to the values of the collective” they mean, of course, “replaced by ”.

The whole of Dr. Paugh’s article is a must-read. 

Here are a few more revolting UN/IB ideas that she gathered from various (named) sources:

There is no right or wrong, only conditioned responses.

The collective good is more important than the individual.

Consensus is more important than principle.

Flexibility is more important than accomplishment.

Nothing is permanent except change.

All ethics are situational; there are no moral absolutes.

There are no perpetrators, only victims. 

“Dialectical thinking” is a required component of IB.

Social justice is taught under the rubric of critical pedagogy. Critical pedagogy is the political arm of liberation theology and cultural Marxism/political correctness. The ultimate goal is to bring about social transformation at the collective level through indoctrination of our students. (This last statement ascribed to President Obama’s terrorist associate, Bill Ayres.)

What this all means is that the Left’s New World Order is being established under our noses.

Which, we wonder, will be the first to win the power to impose its control world-wide – the Left or Islam?

At present they are allies. But that will have to change. They must come to blows with each other eventually. The victory of either would be a calamity.

Will anyone fight for liberty?

Help! 4

Evil speaks, as so often, in the name of good. And as so often, in an op-ed in the New York Times.

Three Cheers for the Nanny State is by Sarah Conly, an assistant professor of philosophy at Bowdoin College who is also the author of a book titled Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism.

In her op-ed she asks:

Why has there been so much fuss about New York City’s attempt to impose a soda ban, or more precisely, a ban on large-size “sugary drinks”? After all, people can still get as much soda as they want. This isn’t Prohibition. It’s just that getting it would take slightly more effort. So, why is this such a big deal?

Which makes us ask: If it’s so trivial why do it at all?

And we know the right answer: In order to exercise power.

These would-be totalitarians start with small things so you’ll get used to the interference in your private life, get used to them imposing their will on you.

Conly says:

Americans, even those who generally support government intervention in our daily lives, have a reflexive response to being told what to do, and it’s not a positive one. It’s this common desire to be left alone that prompted the Mississippi Legislature earlier this month to pass a ban on bans — a law that forbids municipalities to place local restrictions on food or drink.

Mississippi did that? Bravo, Mississippi!

Conly says:

We have a vision of ourselves as free, rational beings who are totally capable of making all the decisions we need to in order to create a good life. Give us complete liberty, and, barring natural disasters, we’ll end up where we want to be. It’s a nice vision, one that makes us feel proud of ourselves. But it’s false. …

A lot of times we have a good idea of where we want to go, but a really terrible idea of how to get there. It’s well established by now that we often don’t think very clearly when it comes to choosing the best means to attain our ends. We make errors. This has been the object of an enormous amount of study over the past few decades, and what has been discovered is that we are all prone to identifiable and predictable miscalculations.

Oh yes. We know about those academic studies. There are millions of them gathering dust. Each study was conducted and written up to prove something –  and lo! managed to prove it.

But did any sane person on earth really need “an enormous amount of study” to “discover” that we often go wrong in trying to achieve something?

Conly says:

Research by psychologists and behavioral economists … identified a number of areas in which we fairly dependably fail. They call such a tendency a “cognitive bias,” and there are many of them — a lot of ways in which our own minds trip us up.

For example, we suffer from an optimism bias, that is we tend to think that however likely a bad thing is to happen to most people in our situation, it’s less likely to happen to us — not for any particular reason, but because we’re irrationally optimistic. Because of our “present bias,” when we need to take a small, easy step to bring about some future good, we fail to do it, not because we’ve decided it’s a bad idea, but because we procrastinate.

Wow! Who’d have thought that people hope for the best? Or that they put off doing things they don’t much want to do? Where would we be without these revelations from “psychologists and behavioral economists”? However did humanity make out before they came along?

We also suffer from a status quo bias, which makes us value what we’ve already got over the alternatives, just because we’ve already got it — which might, of course, make us react badly to new laws, even when they are really an improvement over what we’ve got. …

The crucial point is that in some situations it’s just difficult for us to take in the relevant information and choose accordingly. … [So] we need help.

That help must come, she tells us, from laws, though we’ll be cross about them just because they’re new.

No, we’ll be cross about them because the purpose of law should be to protect freedom, and a law against the sale of large sodas does not protect freedom; it limits it.

Conly is not concerned with freedom. She’s concerned – really truly deeply cares, she’d have you know  – whether the soda is good for you or not.

Is it always a mistake when someone does something imprudent, when, in this case, a person chooses to chug 32 ounces of soda? No. For some people, that’s the right choice. They don’t care that much about their health, or they won’t drink too many big sodas, or they just really love having a lot of soda at once.

But – Conly says  – just because you like it, and may not be harmed by it, or know when to stop indulging yourself with it, doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a law against it, because most people need to be forbidden it by law for their own good. It’s the age-old excuse for tyranny.

She reasons:

Laws have to be sensitive to the needs of the majority. That doesn’t mean laws should trample the rights of the minority, but that public benefit is a legitimate concern, even when that may inconvenience some.

So do these laws mean that some people will be kept from doing what they really want to do? Probably — and yes, in many ways it hurts to be part of a society governed by laws, given that laws aren’t designed for each one of us individually. … Giving up a little liberty is something we agree to when we agree to live in a democratic society that is governed by laws.

We emphatically disagree. We contend that each person’s liberty should be limited by nothing but everyone else’s. That is the individualist’s view.

But Conly is a collectivist. She says:

What people fear is that this is just the beginning: today it’s soda, tomorrow it’s the guy standing behind you making you eat your broccoli, floss your teeth, and watch “PBS NewsHour” every day. What this ignores is that successful paternalistic laws are done on the basis of a cost-benefit analysis: if it’s too painful [to too many people], it’s not a good law.

You “do” a law. You experiment. If people are badly hurt by it, “it’s not a good law”. Which isn’t to say you repeal it.

Then comes her most fatuous assertion. Of what you should and should not be allowed to do, she says:

Making these analyses is something the government has the resources to do. 

What resources? A bevy of bureaucrats?

She says:

In the old days we used to blame people for acting imprudently, and say that since their bad choices were their own fault, they deserved to suffer the consequences. Now we see that these errors aren’t a function of bad character, but of our shared cognitive inheritance.

That is to say, human nature. But though she uses the word “our”, she and her fellow statists do not believe they are like the rest of us. They know that they know, as we cannot know, what our ends ought to be, and how best we can get there. And whether we like it or not, they’ll see that we do.

She says:

The proper reaction is not blame, but an impulse to help one another.

“Helping one another” is the nice lefty way of saying “interfering in other people’s lives”. “I know better than you what’s good for you”, is the fixed belief of Conly and her fellow busybodies. To which impertinence the right and time-honored retort is, “Mind your own business!”

Conly’s college, where she teaches the virtues of totalitarianism, is critically scrutinized by Bruce Bawer in an article at Front Page. He writes:

If you want to see ideological lockstep and rinse-and-repeat brainwashing in their very purest form, it’s best to look to the small, elite liberal-arts colleges – preferably those that are located out in the middle of nowhere or in adorable little college towns where the colleges themselves set the local tone.

Case in point: Bowdoin  founded in 1794 … located in Brunswick, Maine, has just under 1800 students …

All of whom  apparently have a very high opinion of themselves just for having got there. Bruce Bawer quotes (from a recent report) a student saying:

“Our student body represents some of the most intelligent youth of the world. Bowdoin’s worst student is by far and away much more astute than the vast majority of humans.”

Bruce Bawer goes on:

Students are encouraged to see the college itself as … a small-scale model of the better, more progressive world they should strive to help establish after they graduate. …

At Bowdoin, as at other such colleges … identity-studies programs constitute no less than 18 percent of the curriculum. … [And] there’s a proliferation of student clubs based on group identity. Long lost is the idea that it should be an objective, when bringing together kids from a wide variety of backgrounds to be educated, to transcend such categories; on the contrary, the idea is to produce young adults for whom class, race, and gender labels are the very pillars of self-knowledge. …

Women’s studies, black studies, gay studies, transgender studies …

Bowdoin is not concerned with the inculcation of knowledge in its students, but with –

The inculcation of “knowingness” … [These are] ignorant students who have been trained to be smug and self-satisfied, to think that they’ve already got all the answers and that they themselves are the solution to the world’s problems. Why, after all, should they be eager to learn? Academic ideology has already answered all the important questions. Besides, it’s been made clear to them that there’s nothing in particular they need to learn. All of life is an elective. Course content is irrelevant; what matters is that you approach every topic with a reflexive, unquestioning belief in social construction, “social justice,” and “global citizenship.”

They are our betters, who will govern us tomorrow – if we let them.

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