The dramatic tale of a hungry professor 0

Yesterday we posted an article on Cannibalism, in a spirit of disgust.

Today we publish The Last Lecture. It will be listed with other Pages in our margin as being of continuing interest. The Last Lecture is fiction, not unconnected with the subject of yesterday’s post which records real events, and so demonstrates that The Last Lecture, for all its astonishing and disturbing implications, does not diverge too far from reality.

We post it in a spirit of caustic mirth.

It may be found here.

Posted under Humor, satire by Jillian Becker on Thursday, June 20, 2013

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Cannibalism: trendy, cool, noble, halal 1

“I could eat you up” is now less an expression of love than of gluttony.

In the last few years cannibalism has been often enough the subject of new reports to make it unremarkable.

You can watch a YouTube film of a Syrian rebel (one of those the EU and US want to help win control of Syria) cutting open the body of a soldier he has just killed, carving out an organ – he hoped it was the heart but apparently it was part of a lung – and eating it. It was a political gesture as well as an imbibement of protein. It announced to the world, “This is how passionately I hate the enemy of our cause” – that cause being the victory of Sunni Islam over Shia Islam. It’s message is: “We will devour you for believing that Muhammad s successor in the 7th century should have been his son-in-law Ali” –  or something noble and compelling like that.

Another video shows an Egyptian authority on Islam advocating cannibalism. Reporting on this expert opinion, a South African periodical hands on the wisdom:

On Al-Tahrir, Egyptian TV advisor Ahmad Abdo Maher discusses the high-school curriculum issued by the highest religious authority in Egypt, Al-Azhar University, which encouraged students to cannibalize apostates and Muslims who abandon praying. The schoolbook stipulated that the act can be carried out so long as the human flesh is eaten uncooked in respect to the dead body and that the act does not necessitate a governor’s consent or is punishable by law.

Most recently, Daniel Greenfield reports and comments on the story of a Nigerian Muslim cannibal at Front Page:

But at least he was doing it for the kids. His kids.

A self-proclaimed Islamic cleric and native doctor has been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for selling human parts. 60-year-old Gazali Akewadola, was said to have killed innocent people and used their parts to perform rituals.

He also confessed to eating some of the parts while the other parts were used in making charms for his customers with a full live human being costing between N30, 000 and N40, 000.

I am an Islamic teacher and a cleric and I own an Islamic school in Owode, Yewa. I am also married with eight lovely children. I am also a native doctor. I cure people of ailments and help those who want to become rich quick. I use human parts to prepare charms and concoctions for them.”

According to reports, he was asked if he could sell the parts of his children, but he replied: “God forbid! I do ritual because the money I make from sales is used for the well-being of my children. Also, if I had killed my children and sold them, it could have aroused suspicion and my relations might expose me but if the people I use for the ritual are brought from far away, it is safer for me and my business.”

It is cheaper to buy a live human. You get a lot of parts from it and it is more powerful because the efficacy of the charm or concoction you prepared with fresh parts cannot be compared with the ones you prepared with parts you got from the grave.”

“For instance, a live human being will give you blood. There is charm you can prepare with it. The same body will give you hairs from private parts, head and moustache. You can also cut out private parts. Each part of human being is useful. Even the meat and intestine, liver, heart, eyes, lips, tongues can be used for pepper soup.

“If you buy full human being for N30,000 or N40,000 and dismember it, you can end up getting N100,000 or more because you get more than ten parts and can yield good money.”

When asked why he ate human parts, he said, “It tastes so good and better than animal meat especially when taken with hot drink, or wine or beer but the most essence of eating it is to assure those who patronise us see that it is eatable and sweet, and of spiritual and physical benefits. It can cure serious illness and can make one get rich quick.”

The suspect, who was not remorseful for his crime, said his only regret was that he had not become as rich as he wanted to be. “My regret is that I did not become rich even after selling human parts. I even found it difficult to feed my family sometimes,” he said.

So much for the “Get Rich Quick Selling Human Bodies” scheme. If you want to know the official Islamic position on cannibalism 

We allowed the eating of the flesh of dead humans… under necessary conditions. It [dead human flesh] must not be cooked or grilled to avoid Haram [wrongdoing]. …and he can kill a murtadd (apostate) and eat him.”

No word on whether the Nigerian Islamic cannibal grilled before eating. That would be Haram.

Of course we know Islam is barbaric, but when it comes to eating people, well, Europeans do it too – at least in Germany.

A few years ago there was a trial in Germany of a man who answered an ad by a man who wanted to find someone who would eat him. The responder invited the advertiser to come and be cooked and eaten.The consumee arrived at the picturesque half-timbered house on the agreed date full of eager anticipation, had his private parts cut off, watched them being fried, then shared them with his fellow cannibal. They were no doubt well-seasoned with condiments and herbs. The host filmed the cooking and dining. After satisfying his appetite by devouring his own flesh, the guest presented the rest of his body to his host and dinner companion, the chef, who cut it up, stored the parts in the deep freeze, and devoured them with deep pleasure and a sincere sense of gratitude to the donor over the next few months.

This cannibal’s name was Armin Meiwes. He was a computer specialist “described as a polite, helpful, but introverted man”. He confessed to “slaughtering and eating the flesh of a Berlin man, identified as Bernd Juergen Brandes. … According to Meiwes, the two men had met in an Internet chat forum, where the victim had advertised his desire to be eaten.”

“I always wanted someone to be part of me,” Meiwes explained at his trial.

“Several films of the killing” were shown in court.

Meiwas liked to watch.

Meiwes, who described himself as bisexual, increasingly found satisfaction in zombie movies, particularly scenes in which flesh was dismembered. He later became interested in Internet chat rooms that dealt with “death” and “cannibalism”. German police officials say that hundreds of users meet in these sadomasochistic and “torture” forums, but mostly for sexual stimulation and role play.

So Islam keeps up its sacred traditions century after century, and in Germany – plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?

None so blind … 1

This is from American Thinker, by Dennis Hale:

The Congressional delegation investigating Russian intelligence alerts about Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 returned from Moscow this week with a message that completely misses the point.

If we had had the kind of U.S./Russian cooperation a year ago that we have now, the delegation postulate, the Boston Marathon bombings might have been prevented. According to the Boston Globe, Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee that organized the trip, said that “[the bombing] could have been averted [if] both countries were working together on a much higher level.”

This conclusion, however, is wrong. The Russians did warn the FBI about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and their warnings were quite specific. Based on their own intelligence intercepts, the Russian secret service knew that Tsarnaev was communicating with jihadists in Chechnya, had become a follower of “radical Islam,” and might attempt to travel to Russia to join the Chechnyan “resistance” — something he apparently did, or tried to do, one year later.

So the FBI dutifully interviewed Tsarnaev and his family in January of 2011. When they failed to find any evidence that Tsarnaev had committed, or was about to commit, a crime, they closed his file and forgot all about him. They did not share the Russian warnings with anyone in the Cambridge police department (the city where the Tsarnaevs lived) or the Massachusetts State Police, apparently because becoming a “follower of radical Islam” is not illegal and therefore not something the FBI should worry about.

That’s too bad, because nine months after the warnings – on September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks – three men in Tamerlan’s social circle were murdered in the Boston suburb of Waltham under what must have struck local police as highly unusual circumstances. The three – Brendan Mess, Erik Weissman, and Raphael Teken – were found in different parts of their apartment on the morning of September 12, their throats cut so deeply that they had been nearly decapitated. … One local police officer said that it was the bloodiest crime scene he had ever encountered, and that it looked like something “right out of an al-Qaeda training video”. …

If investigators had asked questions about the victims’ associates, they would certainly have turned up the name of Tamerlan Tsarnaev and possibly also Tamerlan’s younger brother Dzhokhar. Tamerlan was a close friend of Brendan Mess. After the Marathon bombings, in fact, Mess’s family told reporters how puzzled they were that Tamerlan had not attended Brendan’s funeral, since they had once been very close. But apparently the police did not discover this in 2011.

However, even if local police had learned of Tamerlan’s association with the Waltham victims, would they have noted the significance of the 9/11 anniversary, the religion of the victims (two of them were Jews), and the Koranic method of execution – “strike [the unbelievers] on their necks” (Koran 8:12), commonly cited by jihadists when beheading infidels? If so, they might have given Tamerlan the kind of scrutiny that would have turned up the same information that had alarmed the Russians in the first place – Tamerlan’s Youtube page, to name one possibility, featuring jihadist preachers from Lebanon and Chechnya.

Would they then have learned that the FBI had also been interested in Tamerlan Tsarnaev, less than a year earlier, based on warnings from Russian intelligence? Wouldn’t it have been helpful if the FBI had alerted local authorities more broadly to keep an eye on the Tsarnaevs? Had local authorities known these things, and if they had been trained to spot the pattern of jihad crimes and jihad incitement, then Tamerlan Tsarnaev could not long have escaped whatever responsibility he might have shared for the killings in Waltham. He would now be in prison, and the victims of the Marathon bombing would be alive and well.

So it would seem that Russian/U.S. cooperation is not what we need more of, if we are to prevent so-called “lone wolf” terrorist attacks. Rather, we need more cooperation between the FBI and local law enforcement. But what we need most is a greatly enhanced program for educating law enforcement about what jihad means, where it comes from, who promotes it, and how to spot it. We would have had such a program long ago were it not for the baleful influence of the government’s “Muslim outreach partners,” who have convinced government officials that there is no connection between Islamic doctrine and acts of terror. The bloody consequences of such deliberate miseducation are more apparent now than ever before.

Until the police know what to look for, they will never be able to find it, and if they don’t know what it looks like, they won’t be able to see it, even when it is right in front of their noses – even when it looks like something straight out of an al-Qaeda training video.

And ditto if they don’t think, instead of hoping that an accumulation of electronically collected data by the NSA will somehow magically suffice to keep Americans safe.

Afterthought: It seems Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife, Katherine Russell, has not yet been charged,  for instance with conspiracy to murder, although she must at the very least have known that her husband was making explosive devices. He apparently did it in a small apartment in which they were living together. If she has not been charged, we wonder why.

The dream of Muslim men 2

Posted under Islam, Muslims by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 17, 2013

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Britons will be slaves 2

The Islamification of Britain proceeds apace. The British government, media, public choose not to notice it. Or not very much. Not as the existential threat it is. Only an occasional lone voice cries out a warning: Look what’s coming, our doom, the obliteration of our culture, the end of our national identity, the cancellation of all we have achieved, our death as a free people.  

Here is one of the lone voices speaking. We quote from the Commentator:

Britain is in denial. There is no real public debate on a historic event that is transforming the country. Mention of it occasionally surfaces in the media, but the mainstream political class never openly discuss it.

What is that historic event? By the year 2050, in a mere 37 years, Britain will be a majority Muslim nation.

This projection is based on reasonably good data. Between 2004 and 2008, the Muslim population of the UK grew at an annual rate of 6.7 percent, making Muslims 4 percent of the population in 2008. Extrapolating from those figures would mean that the Muslim population in 2020 would be 8 percent, 15 percent in 2030, 28 percent in 2040 and finally, in 2050, the Muslim population of the UK would exceed 50 percent of the total population.

Contrast those Muslim birth rates with the non-replacement birth rates of native Europeans, the so called deathbed demography of Europe. For a society to remain the same size, the average female has to have 2.1 children (total fertility rate). For some time now, all European countries, including Britain, have been well below that rate. The exception is Muslim Albania. For native Europeans, it seems, the consumer culture has replaced having children as life’s main goal.

These startling demographic facts have been available for some time . … But on this historic transformation of the country there is silence from the political establishment.

Not everyone agrees with these demographic figures. Population projection, some say, is not an exact science. Perhaps the Muslim birth rate will drop to European levels.

But this seems to be wishful thinking. For years it was believed that Muslims would enter what is known as “demographic transition”, with European Muslim birth rates falling to native European levels. But that demographic transition has not happened. In Britain, for example, the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities continue to have significantly higher birth rates than the national average, even after more than 50 years in the country.

Over the short term (a few generations) demographic forecasting is as scientific as any social science can be. Britain and the rest of Europe are in native population decline and European Muslim birth rates are up. If that trend continues, then the projection of a majority Muslim population in Britain is sound. …

Many [almost all] British people find it hard to believe their country could become majority Muslim. After all, it was never what they wanted so why, in a democracy, should it be happening? …

The fact is that the deathbed demography of native Britons has come up against increasing Muslim birth rates and the result is a classic Malthusian geometric increase in the Muslim population. As Malthus emphasised, populations increase geometrically, not arithmetically. Given two populations, one declining one increasing, within a few generations the geometric increase of one over the other can be substantial.

Why has the Muslim birth rate not fallen to native levels? Just as there may be consumerist-cultural reasons for the low birth rates of native Britons, there may be strong cultural reasons for higher Muslim birth rates. …

Besides which, the Muslim jihad against the non-Muslim world requires high birth rates.

Population projections over the long term can be wrong. But for Britain … whatever way you do the numbers, they all point in one direction: Britain will be a majority Muslim state by the year 2050.

The political and social consequences of all this will be significant.

They will be huge. They will be terrible. The writer goes on to mention one or two, considerably understating them.

Britain’s traditional foreign policy, particularly regarding the US and Israel, would very likely change. In fact the US and Israel are already anticipating the consequences of a majority Muslim Western Europe.

Are they? We’ve seen no sign that they are. But a Muslim-governed Europe, armed with nuclear weapons, will be more than a minor nuisance to America and Israel.

Britain’s social landscape would also be changed. The Adhan, the Muslim call to prayer, would very likely be heard throughout most of Britain. The traditional iconic sights and sounds of the country would also change from church bell-towers to minarets.

Sharia will replace British law. Unless sharia law undergoes revision – which is unlikely – women will be subjugated, homosexuality will be treated as a possibly capital crime, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians (yes, there are even a few of those in Britain) will have to pay a special burdensome tax, polytheists such as Hindus may be confronted with a choice between conversion to Islam or death.

To fill out the picture of how everyday life in Britain could change under sharia law with a little concrete detail: There will be no more beer or wine or whisky. No pubs. No more bacon for breakfast, no more ham sandwiches. No mixed-gender dances or sport. Women will cover their heads in public (if not their whole bodies in a black tent).

There will be no freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly – in short, no freedom.

Very likely all of this would happen gradually but there can be little doubt that it will happen, and it would be perfectly democratic.

Given that such a historic change is taking place, the silence of the political class is curious, to say the least. Britain, until the 1950s, could trace its ethnic and cultural ancestry back thousands of years. In 1903, in Cheddar Gorge Somerset, the remains of a pre-historic man were found. Known as Cheddar Man, DNA tests on this almost 9000 years old skeleton showed that he has living descendents today, still in Somerset.

In fact, genetic studies show that the populations of the British Isles (and Western Europe) have been stable for millennia, giving the lie to the oft quoted liberal comment that “Britain has always been a country of immigrants.” That’s false. Until the mass immigration of the 1950s [of black immigrants from the West Indies], Britain was ethnically homogeneous. …

Waves of conquest, waves of immigration had brought only fellow ethnic Europeans to the British isles. Some additional thousands of  Jews, Chinese, Hindus did not alter the character of the nation. They were assimilated. They enriched the native culture. Europe owes it greatness in part to its eclecticism, its easy assimilation of foreign ideas and customs.

The dawn of cultural doom only came with the mischievous and malevolent decision taken by unnamed bureaucrats wielding irresistible power over elected politicians (as documented hilariously but accurately  in the TV series Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister) to invite millions of unassimilable Muslims into the country. Muslims are not a race but the adherents of a primitive and cruel ideology, an essential part of which is world-conquest. They came at the same time as the British people developed a reluctance to have children.

The long stretch of Britain’s exclusively European identity is now coming to an end, yet the political class refuse publicly to discuss such a culturally transforming event. Why the silence from the politicians? Are they not proud of their achievement?

The answer is that the demographic projections of a majority Muslim Britain show the British political class to have been catastrophically wrong on multiculturalism and immigration, and they are genuinely afraid to admit it. 

So they cannot take action to change it. When and how did the British become so cowardly? What weakened them so? We think it is socialism that has done it; socialism with its debilitating sentimentalities known as “political correctness”. That is the slow poison with which the British people – and other West European nations –  are committing national suicide.

The rising possibility of war between major powers 6

So it’s coming – war? The big one?

As the Syrian war rages on – now a religious battle between Sunnis and Shiites as much as an armed rebellion against Bashar Assad’s tyranny – the Russians have offered troops to replace the withdrawing Austrian contingent of the UN’s “peace keeping” force on the Golan border between Syria and Israel. It looks likely that Fijian troops will be preferred by the UN, but Putin is nevertheless going ahead and preparing a Golan brigade. He is committed to helping the Syrian dictator Bashar Assad by supplying advanced weaponry, and he has warships near the Syrian coast.

At this juncture, Obama has decided that the US must send military aid to the rebels, composed of al-Qaeda affiliated and Muslim Brotherhood Sunnis. Assad himself is an Alawite, but his main support comes from Shia Iran and Iran’s Shia proxy, Hezbollah.

We quote from the (British) Mail Online .

The chilling headlines:

Could Syria ignite World War 3? That’s the terrifying question as the hatred between two Muslim ideologies sucks in the worlds superpowers.

  • Syrian conflict could engulf region in struggle between Sunni and Shia
  • Already claimed 93,000 lives and made 1.6million people refugees
  • UK, France and U.S. taken different side to China and Russia

The article proceeds:

The crisis in Syria may appear to be no more or less than a civil war in a country many people would struggle to place on a map.

But it’s much more than that: it is rapidly becoming a sectarian struggle for power that is bleeding across the Middle East, with the potential to engulf the entire region in a deadly power struggle between two bitterly opposed Muslim ideologies, Sunni and Shia.

Already, the war inside Syria has resulted in 93,000 dead and 1.6 million refugees, with millions more displaced internally. And those figures are escalating rapidly amid reports of appalling atrocities on both sides.

Fearing that Syria faced the kind of protests that had toppled the rulers of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya during the “Arab Spring”, Bashar al-Assad’s security forces used tanks and gunfire to crush the demonstrations. But it only stoked the fires.

The opposition developed into an armed insurgency, and now Syria has been engulfed in a civil war which has degenerated into a vicious sectarian conflict.

On one side are those who follow President Assad, who belongs to the Alawites — a splinter sect from Shia Islam.

On the other are a loose affiliation of insurgents drawn from the majority Sunni population, some of whom have close links to the Sunni jihadists of Al Qaeda.

The level of savagery is appalling. This week, up to 60 Shia Muslims were reported to have been slaughtered in an attack by opposition fighters in the eastern Syrian city of Hatla. …

Syria might fragment into three or four pieces on sectarian lines, with anyone marooned in the wrong enclave liable to face vicious ethnic cleansing.

And because the conflict is driven by religion, it could easily leap Syria’s frontiers to draw in regional powers.

So who is aligned with whom? Broadly speaking, Assad is supported by Iran (the main Shia power in the Middle East) and its militant Lebanese ally, the terrorist group Hezbollah.

The latter is Iran’s main weapon in any fight with Israel.

As a result, Assad is advised (and protected) by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and there are also between 5,000 and 8,000 seasoned Hezbollah fighters inside Syria. …

The forces against Assad are joined by thousands of fighters flooding the country every week from across the region.

The rebels have also benefited from the ferocious will-to-die of an Islamist group called Jabhat al-Nusra, which is allied with Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Many more rebels are Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood persuasion.

They are supported with guns and money from Sunni states such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Such are the complex connections between modern nations, and the globalised nature of international politics, that repercussions could be felt around the world.

What happens in Syria affects Israel, with which it shares a militarised border on the Golan Heights. …

Although President Obama wants to downgrade America’s involvement in the Middle East now the U.S. can rely on reserves of cheap shale oil and gas at home, his own somewhat ostentatious concern for human rights keeps sucking him back in to side with the rebels.

We would correct that to (newly appointed Ambassador to the UN) Samantha Power’s and (newly appointed National Security Adviser) Susan Rice’s concern to be concerned gives Obama the excuse he needs to side with the rebels.

Why do we say “excuse”? In his role as pacifist and demilitarizer he is reluctant to have the US actively involved in another war so soon after the Iraq war ended and the Afghanistan war started winding down. But he is (we are convinced) on the side of the Arabs in their endless hostility to Israel, and he is a consistent supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood (sending, for instance, lavish aid to the MB government in Egypt). We guess he would not be sorry to see a Sunni victory – or an Israeli defeat. Regardless of his own prejudices, however, the US has commitments to NATO.

That [“concern for human rights”] is also broadly the position of Britain and France, whose leaders seem swayed by lurid and unverified social media footage of atrocities.

But while leading NATO nations line up in sympathy with the rebels, on the other side President Assad is being backed by Russia — a long-time friend of Syria — and by China.

Russia and China feel they were tricked by the West over the way the Libyan regime was overthrown with Western aid two years ago, and are determined Assad won’t be ousted and murdered like Gaddafi.

The war in Syria therefore has had a destabilising effect on the entire region, and could exert a terrifying domino effect as states disintegrate.

Whether such a nightmare scenario can be avoided — and global superpowers can be persuaded to keep their powder dry — we must wait to see with baited breath.

Obama, having said that if Assad used chemical weapons he would be crossing a “red line”, and having now acknowledged that sarin gas has been used, announced that the US will provide military aid to the Syrian rebels.

While there’s nothing new about the US aiding the Muslim Brotherhood (lavish aid to Egypt’s MB government is a case in point), it will be a strange development for the US to be allied with al-Qaeda. (How, we wonder will the survivors and bereft families of 9/11 feel about it?)

The most fearsome fact is that the powers are lined up now as the Mail reports: China and Russia on the side of the Shias,  Britain and France and the US – which is to say NATO – on the side of the Sunnis. And the West cannot allow Russia and China to become dominant powers on the edge of the Mediterranean.

The libertarian ideal 2

This is from a fine article by Jonah Goldberg at Townhall:

Definitions vary, but broadly speaking, libertarianism is the idea that people should be as free as possible from state coercion so long as they don’t harm anyone.

Or as we put it in our Articles of ReasonMy liberty should be limited by nothing except everyone else’s liberty.

The job of the state is limited to fighting crime, providing for the common defense, and protecting the rights and contracts of citizens. The individual is sovereign, he is the captain of himself.

It’s true, no ideal libertarian state has ever existed outside a table for one. And no such state will ever exist. But here’s an important caveat: No ideal state of any other kind will be created either. …

Ideals are …  goals, aspirations, abstract straight rules we use as measuring sticks against the crooked timber of humanity.

In the old Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia and today’s North Korea, they tried to move toward the ideal communist system. Combined, they killed about 100 million of their own people. That’s a hefty moral distinction right there: When freedom-lovers move society toward their ideal, mistakes may be made, but people tend to flourish. When the hard left is given free reign, millions are murdered and enslaved. Which ideal would you like to move toward?  …

How statism/collectivism  ever came to be an ideal is puzzling enough, but that there are millions who still want it after those calamitous experiments Jonah Goldberg names, remains to us a mystery beyond all comprehension.

It’s a little bizarre how the left has always conflated statism with modernity and progress. The idea that rulers – be they chieftains, kings, priests, politburos or wonkish bureaucrats – are enlightened or smart enough to tell others how to live is older than the written word. And the idea that someone stronger, with better weapons, has the right to take what is yours predates man’s discovery of fire by millennia. And yet, we’re always told that the latest rationalization for increased state power is the “wave of the future.”

That phrase, “the wave of the future,” became famous thanks to a 1940 essay by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. She argued that the time of liberal democratic capitalism was drawing to a close and the smart money was on statism of one flavor or another – fascism, communism, socialism, etc. What was lost on her, and millions of others, was that this wasn’t progress toward the new, but regression to the past. These “waves of the future” were simply gussied-up tribalisms, anachronisms made gaudy with the trappings of modernity, like a gibbon in a spacesuit. 

The only truly new political idea in the last couple thousand years is this libertarian idea, broadly understood. The revolution wrought by John Locke, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith and the Founding Fathers is the only real revolution going. And it’s still unfolding. …

We would add that this revolution has been advanced in thought further by Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Robert Nozick, and (more popularly) Ayn Rand, to name just some of the later philosophers of individual freedom.

What made the American experiment new were its libertarian innovations, broadly speaking. Moreover, those innovations made us prosper. …

I’m actually not a full-blown libertarian myself, but it’s an ideal I’d like America to move closer to, not further away from as we’ve been doing of late – bizarrely in the name of “progress” of all things.

Same goes for us.

The Power of compassion 2

Great idea! Bring them here to America. Thousands of – mainly Muslim – Arabs from Syria.

That’s the fruit of the long brooding by the Obama administration on What To Do About Syria.

How it came to be born:

First idea. Support the rebels, mostly al-Qaeda affiliates. But with what?  Canned goods or arms?

Second idea: Impose a no-fly zone. But what will happen when the Russian antiaircraft missiles are in place and functioning?

So what then? Send in US troops? Oh dear no. We are demilitarizing pacifists to our core.

But we need to seem to be doing something. What?

How can we “lead” this time “from behind”? Will there be enough shelter for us from those we push on in front? And where shall we lead to?

We haven’t a clue.

We thought we could put off doing anything forever by never  saying we were convinced that chemical weapons were being used. Never admitting that Assad or someone crossed the “red line” we pretended to draw. But we have to admit now that there are chemical weapons being used over there, so WHAT THE HECK ARE WE GOING TO DO?

We are good people. We won’t fight any more wars.

We’re compassionate now, not aggressive. Yes, that’s our foreign policy doctrine.

We no longer project American power, we project Samantha Power.

We’ll call our new foreign policy doctrine the Samantha Power doctrine.

So how can we apply it in the case of Syria, where upwards of 93,000 people have been killed in the fearfully dangerous civil war?

It’s (phew!) fortunately too late to protect the civilian population the way we did in Libya. Or the way we led Britain and France to do it in Libya (from behind).

What then? How apply the Samantha doctrine without actually going to Syria?

Brainwave (probably emanating from the Power source itself):

Help the refugees.

How? Canned goods to the camps in Jordan?

Further brainwave: BRING THEM HERE.

We’ve been trying to encourage Arab immigration into America. We can see how good it has been for Europe. (In forty years it will be a Muslim-majority continent, blessedly governed by sharia law.)

And after all, this is a Muslim country. Muslims have famously made a huge contribution to our success as a nation. Tens of thousands more of them are just what we need. We’ll show them a good time. Take them over the new NSA top secret spying station in Utah. Explain how it works. Give them jobs there. …

Brilliant, brilliant. The Age of Samantha dawns for America.

Our need for idols: observations on Mandela and Gandhi 25

Nelson Mandela is a life-long Communist. He even cobbled together a little book called “How To Be A Good Communist”. He co-founded and directed a terrorist organization, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation). He never stopped admiring tyrannies and red dictatorships.

The Mahatma Gandhi was a rather cruel man. He deliberately kept the fifty or so poor Indian workers who labored on his South African farm – which he called “Tolstoy Farm” – on starvation rations, in pursuit of a theory that the body could learn to survive on virtually no food. He also paid them no wages, so it would not be wrong to call them slaves. He abandoned the wife and child he acquired during his years in South Africa, left them with no means of subsistence when he returned to India. In 1946 he commented on the Holocaust, “The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife.” By his own confession he was a lecher before he conceived the theory that the body could learn to live without sex. Then to prove his ability to resist temptation, he would, as an old man, have nubile young girls sleep beside him without ever taking advantage of them. What the girls felt about the experiment has not been recorded. He was also a poseur. The image he liked to project of a man who needed nothing but a loin-cloth and a spinning wheel was belied by the colossal expense the British Foreign Office was put to in 1931 in order to meet his demand to “live among the poor” in the East End of London. They had to buy houses, repair them, guard them, furnish them comfortably while leaving the Mahatma a bare room in which to meet diplomats and the press. Had he demanded a whole floor of the Ritz Hotel it would have cost his hosts less.

Gandhi is long dead, and now it seems Nelson Mandela is dying. There will be obituaries and eulogies extravagantly praising him – if also some criticism of him for being too soft or too hard, depending on whether it comes from the left or the right. But Mandela, like Gandhi, will be made as immortal as a mortal can be made.

The human race needs its heroic saviors. It needs its Mandela, its Gandhi, as it has needed its Moses, its Jesus Christ, its Muhammad, its Buddha.

Mandela must be the hero-martyr who bought black freedom from white oppression with his own long incarceration; who set an example of forgiveness; who remained peaceable despite intense provocation to resort to violence. He must be a model of patient virtue under racist oppression; the perfect unvengeful victim who rose to be the gentle leader of a new democratic South Africa.

That picture is false, like the one of Gandhi as a good and simple man. And Gandhi no more liberated India from the British Raj with his passive resistance movement than Mandela overthrew apartheid with his revolutionary leadership exercised from a prison cell.

But the truth about Mandela and Gandhi will not matter. It will not make any difference to what they must stand for in order to satisfy a human need. Mandela the Idol is bigger far than the real man, and so is the Idol named Gandhi. In each case the myth has already replaced the man.

Good saviors these will remain in the collective esteem, the personifications of dearly held ideals. As deeply as the ideals are needed, their personifications will be adored and celebrated, and can no more be allowed to have had weaknesses and vices than the ideals themselves can be forsaken. Our idols prove to us that our highest moral aspirations are attainable; that we are beings capable of perfection. It is our vanity that will preserve them.

 

Jillian Becker   June 12, 2013

The greatest scandal of them all 1

David Solway surveys Obama’s abysmal record and the recent scandals that have engrossed those who’ve heard of them. He diagnoses the source of everything that has gone so very wrong for America since Obama came (absurdly!) to lead and injure the most successful nation on earth. It is Obama himself.

Here are some extracts (but read it all):

We have been reading of late of the blizzard of scandals that has buffeted the Obama administration. Every week or so a major storm wracks the political climate in the U.S., so much so that it is hard not to grow somewhat blasé. Whether it’s the odium of the Benghazi betrayal and ensuing cover-up; or the IRS training its sights on conservative and pro-Israeli organizations; or the DOJ seizing the phone records of News sources; or the Attorney General caught lying (or conveniently forgetting) about a subpoena against a FOX News reporter; or NSA snooping on Verizon customers … the time comes when we expect nothing less of a meretricious administration.

The scandals go back years: the Affordable Health Care Act passed in the middle of the night and encrypted in thousands of pages that nobody seems to have read; a multi-billion dollar stimulus project that didn’t stimulate anything; the defrauding of Chrysler’s secured creditors in favor of the UAW when the auto company went bankrupt; the Fast and Furious gun-running plan yet to be clarified by the Attorney General; the loans and grants to crony Green entrepreneurs who regularly fail to meet their goals and end up in default; the numbing disgrace of a Muslim outreach scheme that has seen known terrorists and dubious Islamic groups and individuals welcomed at the White House and operating to influence policy at the highest levels of government. The net result is always the same: a modest degree of public indignation followed by business as usual. …

The real scandal is Barack Obama himself, a man demonstrably unfit to be president of the United States, who makes the hapless Jimmy Carter and the sleazy Bill Clinton look like choir boys. The scandal is that America is being led by a man about whom we know all too little, who has placed his salient records under seal (including his original birth certificate) — a man who … is assiduously liquidating the economy; who is gutting the military while rendering it a politically correct monstrosity; whose foreign policy lies in shambles as he cozies up to dictators and theocrats or sits on the sidelines twiddling his thumbs; and who gives every indication of having managed to evade the responsibilities not only of his position but of genuine adulthood. 

One might be forgiven for thinking of him as a paragon of cluelessness, except for the fact that, like a spoiled child, he is determined to get his way and has mastered the art of persuasion all along the spectrum from the temper tantrum to surreptitious appeal to feigned innocence — whatever works. … The child … is certainly precocious, shows himself adroit at manipulating both his peers and his elders, and has been educated by a battery of mentors whose outlook on the world is indisputably malign — theft masking as “social justice” and “redistribution”, antisemitism, unchecked spending, ends justifying means, the evils of free speech, deception as virtue, self-indulgence rather than duty and obligation. The president has been well schooled in the arts of his masters. … Barack Obama [is] … freighted with a leftwing agenda that has faltered everywhere save in his own sectarian mind.

Manifestly, he is not presidential material, not by any stretch of the most enamored imagination, as the country will belatedly learn to its own prohibitive cost.

America has put a disaster in the White House. … Under Obama’s leadership, the nation is in full retreat on every front, both domestic and foreign. Domestically, the debt and the deficit are rising exponentially; real unemployment remains staggeringly high and remunerative jobs are drying up, except for the burgeoning public sector and government sinecures; fiat money continues to be printed; a proliferating tangle of business regulations is garroting the economy; entitlement spending is creating an underclass of dependents and parasites that weakens the fiber of the nation; confiscatory taxes are shrinking the Middle Class; environmentalism-gone-mad is sapping productivity; and FBI training manuals are being scrubbed of references to the Islamic source of local terrorism and thus increasing the likelihood of jihadist atrocities on American soil.

The international theater is equally menacing. Obama likes to boast that al-Qaeda is on the run. This is true in a way, for al-Qaeda is indeed running — straight toward us. North Korea is exporting its nuclear technology to America’s enemies while America dithers. China is militarizing and expanding its influence in the Pacific. Russia is flexing its geopolitical muscles. Turkey is aiming for a neo-Ottoman Caliphate. The Palestinians are bloodsuckers on American largesse, offering nothing in return but self-righteous intransigence, a false historical narrative and systemic Jew-hatred. Egypt, Libya and Syria are imploding — the first two thanks to American meddling and the last — well, we recall that Hillary Clinton lauded Assad as a “reformer”. Iraq and Afghanistan are going rogue. Terror-sponsoring Iran is on the verge of nuclear capability and has made no secret of its enmity toward the U.S.

Meanwhile Obama does nothing but take vacations, preen on television, switch to campaign mode, target his local adversaries, appoint fools, political dandiprats and ideological doppelgängers to positions of power, and blab about “red lines” to no effect but his own embarrassment. …

We’re not sure that he is embarrassed, though he should be. But we delight in the writing, savor the “political dandiprats and ideological doppelgängers”.

Apart from pursuing a narrow and rigid social(ist) agenda, Obama is in way beyond his depth, especially in the field of foreign relations. Arguably, this may be his intention, to render the United States unrecognizable to itself and ultimately to turn it into an international laughing stock, a waning power no longer to be taken seriously. … But Obama’s glaring mismanagement of America’s interests may also indicate, perhaps no less plausibly, a feckless and myopic understanding of realpolitik and a complete inability to play with the big boys. His political immaturity coupled with his natural cynicism is equaled only by his bloated self-regard, and America’s adversaries have taken definitive advantage of the debilitating flaws of his temperament.

There should be no doubt about this in any rational mind. The various scandals plaguing the current administration are distractions. …  There is a catastrophe afflicting the U.S. and it is summed up and embodied in the person of Barack Obama — his election to the Oval Office, the policies he has subsequently enacted, the vectors of his character on daily display, the progressively devastating consequences of his tenure.

“Let us make no mistake about this,” as the president is fond of saying. The greatest scandal of them all is the present occupant of the White House.

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