What price freedom? 0

 Mona Charen writes:

If Barack Obama is elected president and Democrats control large majorities in the House and Senate, the Obama/Pelosi/Reid triumvirate will move the country decisively in the direction of dying Europe – low productivity, high joblessness, low birth rates, high taxes, and limp foreign policies. The triumvirate will do this at a time when a vibrant America is more necessary than ever – with Iran seeking nuclear weapons, Pakistan teetering, al-Qaida regrouping, China and Russia telegraphing hostility, and Iraq just barely emerging into the sunshine. This election has become about far more than John McCain versus Barack Obama; it has become about whether the United States will remain the champion of freedom – economic and political – or whether we will join the queue of formerly great nations now struggling to pay for all the social welfare "benefits" their aging and lazy populations demand.

We concur.

IS AMERICA ABOUT TO SELL ITS BIRTHRIGHT – FREEDOM – FOR A POTTED MESSAGE – ‘Hope & Change’?

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 31, 2008

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A point of no return 0

 Mark Steyn, fun to read and right as always, comments in part:

McCain vs. Obama is not the choice many of us would have liked in an ideal world. But then it’s not an "ideal world," and the belief that it can be made so is one of the things that separates those who think Obama will "heal the planet" and those of us who support McCainfaute de mieux. I agree with Thomas Sowell that an Obama-Pelosi supermajority will mark what he calls "a point of no return."

It would not be, as some naysayers scoff, "Jimmy Carter’s second term," but something far more transformative. The new president would front the fourth great wave of liberal annexation – the first being FDR’s New Deal, the second LBJ’s Great Society, and the third the incremental but remorseless cultural advance when Reagan conservatives began winning victories at the ballot box and liberals turned their attention to the other levers of the society, from grade school up. The terrorist educator William Ayers, Obama’s patron in Chicago, is an exemplar of that most-recent model: 40 years ago, he was in favor of blowing up public buildings; then he figured out it was easier to get inside and undermine them from within.

All three liberal waves have transformed American expectations of the state. The spirit of the age is: Ask not what your country can do for you, demand it. Why can’t the government sort out my health care? Why can’t they pick up my mortgage?

In his first inaugural address, Calvin Coolidge said: "I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people." That’s true in a more profound sense than he could have foreseen. In Europe, lavish social-democratic government has transformed citizens into eternal wards of the Nanny State: the bureaucracy’s assumption of every adult responsibility has severed Continentals from the most basic survival impulse, to the point where unaffordable entitlements on shriveled birth rates have put a question mark over some of the oldest nation states on Earth. A vote for an Obama-Pelosi-Barney Frank-ACORN supermajority is a vote for a Europeanized domestic policy that is, as the eco-types like to say, "unsustainable."

More to the point, the only reason why Belgium has gotten away this long with being Belgium and Sweden Sweden and Germany Germany is because America’s America. The soft comfortable cocoon in which Western Europe has dozed this past half-century is girded by cold hard American power. What happens when the last serious Western nation votes for the same soothing beguiling siren song as its enervated allies?

"People of the world," Sen. Obama declared sonorously at his self-worship service in Germany, "look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one."

No, sorry. History proved no such thing. In the Cold War, the world did not stand as one. One half of Europe was a prison, and in the other half far too many people – the Barack Obamas of the day – were happy to go along with that division in perpetuity.

And the wall came down not because "the world stood as one," but because a few courageous people stood against the conventional wisdom of the day. Had Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan been like Helmut Schmidt and Francois Mitterrand and Pierre Trudeau and Jimmy Carter, the Soviet empire (notwithstanding its own incompetence) would have survived, and the wall would still be standing. Sen. Obama’s feeble passivity will get you a big round of applause precisely because it’s the easy option: Do nothing but hold hands and sing the easy-listening anthems of one-worldism, and the planet will heal.

To govern is to choose. And sometimes the choices are tough ones. When has Barack Obama chosen to take a stand? When he got along to get along with the Chicago machine? When he sat for 20 years in the pews of an ugly neo-segregationist race-baiting grievance-monger? When he voted to deny the surviving "fetuses" of botched abortions medical treatment? When in his short time in national politics he racked up the most liberal – i.e., the most doctrinaire, the most orthodox, the most reflex – voting record in the Senate? Or when, on those many occasions the questions got complex and required a choice, he dodged it and voted merely "present"?

The world rarely stands as one. You can, as Reagan and Thatcher did, stand up. Or, like Obama voting "present," you can stand down.

Nobody denies that, in promoting himself from "community organizer" to the world’s president-designate in nothing flat, he has shown an amazing and impressively ruthless single-mindedness. But the path of personal glory has been, in terms of policy and philosophy, the path of least resistance.

Peggy Noonan thinks a President Obama will be like the dog who chases the car and finally catches it: Now what? I think Obama will be content to be King Barack the Benign, Spreader of Wealth and Healer of Planets. His rise is, in many ways, testament to the persistence of the monarchical urge even in a two-century old republic. So the "Now what?" questions will be answered by others, beginning with the liberal supermajority in Congress. And as he has done all his life he will take the path of least resistance. An Obama administration will pitch America toward EU domestic policy and U.N. foreign policy.

Thomas Sowell is right: It would be a "point of no return," the most explicit repudiation of the animating principles of America. For a vigilant republic of limited government and self-reliant citizens, it would be a Declaration of Dependence.

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, October 25, 2008

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Leading us to shipwreck 0

It seems likely that the man who wins the presidential race gets the booby-prize. The new president’s task would daunt Hercules.

The difficulty of guiding and protecting America, leading the West, and keeping guard over the whole seething world at this point in human affairs should be too formidable for any man or woman of normal intelligence to think of tackling it.

Either both candidates have a measure of self-confidence in their capabilities amounting to almost lunatic self-delusion, or both are astonishingly blind to what they’d be undertaking.

America is in the grip of an economic crisis that no man and his dogs can save it from. Only time and free economic activity can eventually restore confidence and prosperity. But both candidates propose regulation: one of them full-blown socialism. Their remedies can only make the crisis worse. The winner will be blamed and damned for that, but even if he should decide not to regulate, blame and cursing is what he’ll get.

The world is threatened by the dark regressive force of militant Islam; by proliferating nuclear arms in the hands of evil men; by an aggressive Russia and the rising power of Communist China; and by the slow but steady pre-emptive capitulation of an ignominious Western Europe to all these threats. One candidate seems not to grasp the reality of the dangers, and might even have sympathy with the ideologies behind them. Neither candidate could bring himself to warn Islam, or the evil despots, or Vladimir Putin, or the Chinese potentates, that America is willing to use its military might to force them to change their ways. Without that threat and a manifest resolution to carry it out, nothing will stop them.

While we fall ever deeper into debt with China; while Russian warships cruise the Caribbean and Russian arms and technology strengthen our enemies in South America and the Middle East; while every day Islam advances further until it can overwhelm us; our Don Quixote in the White House will go to war against the weather. Some will praise him for that, no doubt, until real disaster ruins him and them.

In the light of all this, competing for the presidency looks very like competing for the captaincy of the Titanic.

If one of the candidates should suddenly see clearly what he will be confronted by if he wins, he might do everything he can to hand the victory and the burden to the other. Perhaps John McCain is doing just that. It’s the only plausible explanation for his failure to use the potent ammunition he’s got against Barack Obama, to defeat him in the contest for the dreadful job of leading us to shipwreck.

Jillian Becker

October 2008

Posted under Articles, Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, October 4, 2008

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Islam’s conquest of Europe 1

 Geert Wilders, the hero from the Netherlands who made the film Fitna and  refuses to be intimidated by jihadis, speaks in New York:

All throughout Europe a new reality is rising: entire Muslim neighbourhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are even seen. And if they are, they might regret it. This goes for the police as well. It’s the world of head scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby strollers and a group of children. Their husbands, or slaveholders if you prefer, walk three steps ahead. With mosques on many street corner. The shops have signs you and I cannot read. You will be hard-pressed to find any economic activity.These are Muslim ghettos controlled by religious fanatics. These are Muslim neighbourhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe. These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly larger portions of Europe, street by street, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, city by city. 

There are now thousands of mosques throughout Europe. With larger congregations than there are in churches. And in every European city there are plans to build super-mosques that will dwarf every church in the region. Clearly, the signal is: we rule. 

Many European cities are already one-quarter Muslim: just take Amsterdam, Marseille and Malmo in Sweden. In many cities the majority of the under-18 population is Muslim. Paris is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighbourhoods. Mohammed is the most popular name among boys in many cities. In some elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned, because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an insult to Muslims. Many state schools in Belgium and Denmark only serve halal food to all pupils.  In once-tolerant Amsterdam gays are beaten up almost exclusively by Muslims. Non-Muslim women routinely hear “whore, whore”. Satellite dishes are not pointed to local TV stations, but to stations in the country of origin.  In France school teachers are advised to avoid authors deemed offensive to Muslims, including Voltaire and Diderot; the same is increasingly true of Darwin. The history of the Holocaust can in many cases no longer be taught because of Muslim sensitivity.  In England sharia courts are now officially part of the British legal system. Many neighbourhoods in France are no-go areas for women without head scarves.  Last week a man almost died after being beaten up by Muslims in Brussels, because he was drinking during the Ramadan. Jews are fleeing France in record numbers, on the run for the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War II. French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and Netanya, Israel. I could go on forever with stories like this. Stories about Islamization…

 The war against Israel is not a war against Israel. It is a war against the West. It is jihad. Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If there would have been no Israel, Islamic imperialism would have found other venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Thanks to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware of the dangers looming.

 Many in Europe argue in favor of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of our Muslim minorities. But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not bring any solace to the West. It would not mean our Muslim minorities would all of a sudden change their behavior, and accept our values. On the contrary, the end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam. They would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West is weak, and doomed. The end of Israel would not mean the end of our problems with Islam, but only the beginning. It would mean the start of the final battle for world domination. If they can get Israel, they can get everything. Therefore, it is not that the West has a stake in Israel. It is Israel.

It is very difficult to be an optimist in the face of the growing Islamization of Europe. All the tides are against us. On all fronts we are losing. Demographically the momentum is with Islam. Muslim immigration is even a source of pride within ruling liberal parties. Academia, the arts, the media, trade unions, the churches, the business world, the entire political establishment have all converted to the suicidal theory of multiculturalism. So-called journalists volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as a ‘right-wing extremists’ or ‘racists’. The entire establishment has sided with our enemy. Leftists, liberals and Christian-Democrats are now all in bed with Islam…

America may hold fast to the dream that, thanks to its location, it is safe from jihad and sharia. But seven years ago to the day, there was still smoke rising from ground zero, following the attacks that forever shattered that dream. Yet there is a danger even greater danger than terrorist attacks, the scenario of America as the last man standing. The lights may go out in Europe faster than you can imagine. An Islamic Europe means a Europe without freedom and democracy, an economic wasteland, an intellectual nightmare, and a loss of military might for America – as its allies will turn into enemies, enemies with atomic bombs. With an Islamic Europe, it would be up to America alone to preserve the heritage of Rome, Athens and Jerusalem.

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, September 29, 2008

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A second fall of civilization? 4

A disaster far more devastating even than universal economic collapse is underway, and our governments, our pundits, our professoriat, the most powerful of our movers-and-shakers, are averting their eyes from it, pretending it is not happening.

Europe is dying. Unless it is prevented by some as yet unproposed and almost unimaginable means, its greatness is coming to an end. The shadow of Islam, an ideology out of the Dark Ages, is advancing over it day-by-day, mile-by-mile, state-by-state. The European nations are dwindling and Islamic peoples are replacing them.  Perhaps because the disaster is too dreadful to contemplate,  we distract ourselves with imaginary urgencies like climate-change, racism, feminism, gay marriage, and, with the loudest hullabaloo, the zealous promotion of the very cause that is destroying us: ‘multiculturalism’, the pretence or fatal illusion that there are other civilizations not just equal to but worthier than our own, and that to them we must give way.

What is threatening is nothing less than the Second Fall of Civilization.  European governments are doing nothing to stop it happening.  In various ways they are expediting it: admitting millions of Muslims as immigrants; permitting the establishment of sharia courts, sharia-compliant finance, Saudi-supported madrassas that teach the fundamentalist Wahhabi creed, and the building of thousands of mosques; bestowing tax-payers’ on Muslim groups without control over how it is used; all-too-easily accommodating Muslim demands for footbaths or prayer-rooms (even in Buckingham Palace); knowingly sheltering terrorist leaders and supporting them and their families; policing those who expose Muslim sedition rather than the seditious themselves; laying down Newspeak rules for official commentators so that Islam cannot be associated with the terrorism that Muslims carry out – and so on. The list could be very much longer.

In the late eighteenth century Edward Gibbon wrote, in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: ‘The system of arts, of laws, of manners … distinguish, above the rest of mankind, the Europeans and their colonies. The savage nations of the globe are the common enemies of civilized society; and we may inquire with anxious curiosity, whether Europe be still threatened with a repetition of those calamities which formerly oppressed the arms and institutions of Rome.’ 

Rome fell. It was arguably the greatest disaster in history. Darkness descended over Europe for a thousand years. Like a mansion decayed, deserted by its owners, half buried by an encroaching wildness, it sheltered precariously under its broken roof tribes of lawless and illiterate barbarians restrained only by the terrible would-be-totalitarian power of the Catholic Church. 

But the essence of Rome never died. Light broke again, eventually. Europe rediscovered its Roman heritage. Our culture is fundamentally Roman – or to be more precise, Greco-Roman.

The silver age of Rome (no golden age ever existed) was the Republic.  The republican idea – surely one of the greatest ideas that humankind has ever conceived – arose in ancient Greece: the idea that people of different origins and customs could live together, pursue their chosen trades and occupations, bring knowledge and information, inventions and techniques from many sources, contribute in individual ways to the general prosperity, act and express themselves freely, provided only that they accept the rule of the same law; and the law was to be made by the people themselves. It was the innovation of popular self-government, revolutionary and unique.

The citizens of the Greek city-states realized that they could dispense with the autocratic authority of a king, a chief, a headman. They alone in all the world broke the old universal pattern of human organization – adherence of person to family, of family to tribe, of the tribe being rooted in a piece of earth, its cohesion forcefully maintained by the arbitrary rule of an hereditary chief. To this day the old tribal pattern prevails in Africa and the Middle East. It continues among native peoples of all continents, even where European colonists have established themselves as permanent populations. In Europe itself there are traces and remnants of tribalism, persistent in atavistic sentiment, and lately in active political movements for reversion (for example, among Celts in Britain, Basques in Spain, the Flemish in Belgium.) Such political movements are pathetically nugatory in the dying days of the continent.  

The Renaissance was the re-birth of Greco-Roman civilization.  Again, as in Rome and classical Greece, thinkers began to speculate freely, in defiance of the Universal Church. Science and philosophy could flourish there again, and flourish they did. Exploration and discovery opened new worlds. Europe rapidly became the most fertile and powerful civilization of all time. In the most potent and productive states, kings weakened into figureheads; the people ruled.

From Europe and its erstwhile colonies, the science, the technology, the inventions that the world desires, have flowed. The inventions themselves are copied by far distant nations, which grow wealthy on their production and sale. But few of those countries copy the condition of freedom-under-the-law, and the institutions that preserve it, which allow and therefore foster innovation and experiment, those magnificently daring adventures into the new, with all its risks and rewards. So what will the world do if the source dries up?

Now ‘those calamities’ which threatened Rome are again threatening Europe, as Gibbon feared they might. It is not a clash of civilizations, but of civilization with barbarism. If Europe will not raise a finger to save itself, will America be willing once again to save Europe? What could it do? And if it can do nothing, is there any attempt by Americans to prepare for the time when they’ll no longer have any European allies?

The answer may depend on what leadership comes to power in the United States in the near future.  One candidate for the presidency obviously does not recognize the approaching catastrophe, and seems even to have some sympathy with Islam. The other may see and hear it, but will he act against it?  

Whether the darkness descends slowly through change in the demography of Europe, or is hastened through aggression by a nuclear armed Iran, it will be deep and persistent, unless the American Republic resists it. This time Europe will not be lawless. Worse, it will be under a system of law that, far from protecting freedom, ensures oppression. Sharia, the law of Islam, fixed since the Dark Ages and unchangeable, will hold the people   in subjection. Less escapable and even more cruel than the mediaeval Christian Church; utterly opposed to Justice as it is conceived in the post-Enlightenment West; contemptuous of women, forbidding homosexuality, caring nothing for ‘the environment’, unfavorable to figurative art and music; resistant as iron to innovation, is the law of Islam. It proceeds, Muslims believe, from an authority higher than any king or tyrant, and more absolute: their God. To him all must submit absolutely. ‘Islam’, remember, means ‘submission’.  

Western civilization has at present the political, economic, military, and intellectual resources to prevent a second fall. What is missing as yet is the will. To gain it, we must first take pride in our achievements; recognize, believe in, and have the courage to proclaim the superiority of our customs and ideals over the customs and ideology of our enemy. 

The US presidential election of 2008 may be decisive as to whether our civilization resists and survives, or submits and falls. 

Jillian Becker

September 2008

 

Posted under Articles by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 24, 2008

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Is Europe waking up to the Islamic threat in its midst? 0

 At least some Germans are:

In the case of the controversy over the mosque planned for Cologne’s Ehrenfeld neighborhood, the right-wing Pro protesters have indeed been pushed into the margins. Their complaints have been drowned out by more high-profile statements coming from prominent leftists and liberals including German Jewish journalist Ralph Giordano, women’s rights activist Alice Schwarzer and investigative reporter Günter Wallraff, who have all spoken out against the mosque. Representatives of Germany’s large churches have increasingly added their voices to the criticism as well. The "dishonest dialogue" with Islam described in SPIEGEL’s pages in December 2001 – in which church representatives simply ignored scandalous and unbearable aspects like persecution of Christians, discrimination against women, toleration of terror and "honor" killings for the sake of harmony – is now a thing of the past.

In place of the "fairy tale that we’re all ‘children of Abraham’," in the words of Leggewie, the churches are now making an effort not to entangle themselves in finding contrived common ground with Islam. Instead they are trying to find areas in which they differ – and this applies particularly to the construction of mosques.

 

Read the whole report here.

 

 

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Thursday, July 17, 2008

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Europe’s fear of Islam 0

 More about the persecution of Geert Wilders by Islam here.

A Jordan court issues a summons to try him for blasphemy. 

‘But what is most disturbing is that an Islamic country would dare subpoena citizens of another state for an action not committed within its borders but in a land where no laws were broken. Besides being meant as a weapon of intimidation, this tactic also represents a frightening extension of Islamic law into the heart of western countries. But perhaps most ominously, this incredibly brazen measure shows that even a small Islamic country like Jordan has no fear of Europe. And, indeed, no retaliatory response met the Jordanian court’s action against European citizens.’

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, July 3, 2008

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Our culture IS better 0

 So says the Dutch member of parliament Geert Wilders, one of the lonely voices raised for freedom in Europe, while himself a hunted man.

Read the interview with him here.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, July 3, 2008

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Eurocrats enraged by a democratic vote 0

 Ireland voted no to giving the unelected bureaucrats who govern Europe still more power. The bureaucrats are furious and unlikely to take no for an answer.

Read here how ‘anti-Americanism and naive pacifism’  are turning Europe into ‘one big soup, ready to be consumed by immigrating Islamic hordes’.   

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, June 16, 2008

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Polish now a euphemism for Muslim 0

In the UK it seems that the English flag – the cross of St George – might offend Poles, according to the police. This is most unlikely. So why must it not be flown?

Because what they really fear is that it  might offend Muslims. But apparently they dare not use the word Muslim even when shielding Muslims from possible offense. 

The dread of Muslims taking offense has Europe quaking? If so, Islam is already victorious there.  

Read about it here.

Posted under Muslims by Jillian Becker on Monday, May 26, 2008

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