Articles

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Good Riddance to Letterman

David Letterman’s departure isn’t the end of an era. The era of late night talk shows ended a while back.

In Johnny Carson’s final week in the nineties, he played to an audience of twenty million. Lately, Letterman has been lucky to get 2 million. His final shows have played to around 5 million viewers.

 Late night talk shows still exist, but their intended audience mainly watches viral clips from them the next day. The average age of Letterman’s audience is 54. CBS hopes that the equally smarmy Stephen Colbert will be able to bring his younger audience demo with him, but even Jimmy Fallon couldn’t bring down the average age demo all that much. Colbert will shave a few years off and then spend his time getting old and stale. Even before then, the networks will collapse and take his new job with it.

The Late Show isn’t a beloved American institution. It was created by Letterman’s inflated sense of entitlement. It failed in its purpose, as Letterman lost to Leno, and it won’t outlive Letterman by long.

The tributes to Letterman carry heavy doses of media self-importance and self-pity. And these days the two are one and the same. The media isn’t really nostalgic for Letterman’s smarmy laugh; it’s mourning the loss of a time when limited options maintained captive audiences for every fellow media dork awarded a big three network microphone and its incredible power of nationwide prime time airtime.

It’s a power that doesn’t seem all that impressive now when worldwide audiences are a click away.

That’s why the controversies over Brian Williams or George Stephanopoulos are tempests in a broken teapot. The days when a Walter Cronkite could embody the news are gone. The days when a David Letterman sneer could drive public opinion have gone with it. In his last years, Letterman was trying and failing to compete, not with Jay Leno, but with a world of YouTube base jumping and cat video clips.

Younger hosts are slobbering over Letterman to be able to pretend that they too are a direct link to Dick Cavett or Johnny Carson, instead of glorified Buzzfeed employees whose real job is producing 2-minute clips viral enough that next morning mobile users will wait through a 30-second ad to watch them.

Like the leftovers of the media, Letterman’s job had become a comfortable sinecure. He said all the right things about how awful Republicans were, even if no one was paying attention, and in return his colleagues in the media avoided asking too many uncomfortable questions about his sexual harassment, the resulting manufactured blackmail incident and the toxic environment behind the curtain.

It’s this same culture of complicity that allowed Brian Williams to get away with telling so many crazy lies for so long or allowed George Stephanopoulos to play journalist. The mafia has nothing on the media when it comes to keeping quiet about the sins of progressive colleagues. He may have been a sleazeball who had issues with women, but like the BBC’s Jimmy Savile, he was their sleazeball.

When Letterman compared Sarah Palin to a "slutty flight attendant" or joked about her 14-year-old daughter being “knocked up”, that was the host that female employees had complained about being applauded for his behavior by a progressive audience and its media gatekeepers. It was okay because the target was a right-wing foe. But to Letterman, it was just okay. Period.

Dave’s media pals forgave his many sins. The biggest of these may have been that he wasn’t funny. No matter how much the media tried to prop him up as the thinking man’s late show host, audiences knew better. A decade in, Letterman had fallen into the bad habit of many successful comedians of beating a routine into the ground. But his awkward fumbling comedy had never been funny to begin with.

Beating it into the ground only made it worse.

Letterman survived his lean years by fawning over Democrats. He could be counted on to pitch softball questions to Hillary Clinton or ridicule every objection to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Now he is being replaced by Stephen Colbert who embodies Letterman’s sole virtue of mocking Republicans. Colbert exists entirely in the negative space occupied by Letterman’s humorless sneering.

Comedy has become politically tribal. The only safe subjects for humor are jokes at the comedian’s own expense and the ridicule of outgroups in order to reinforce the prejudices of the ingroup community. The showy insecurity or awkwardness of progressive comedians like Jon Stewart and Letterman serves as cover for the degraded state of their comedy which consists of pointing and laughing at the other tribe.

Letterman had anticipated the progressive direction of comedy. He had been ahead of his time in realizing that the only truly safe jokes in a politically correct media environment are aimed at Republicans. He had understood that arch knowingness counted for more than sharp comedic timing or a quick wit because it would seem like intelligence and even sincerity to duller audience members.

He knew that the media would not care if he was funny, only that he carried forward its agenda. If he didn’t, it would call him a sellout and a hack. If he did, it would pretend to laugh at all his jokes.

Most of all he realized that politically correct comedy needs an edgy façade to mask its cowardice.

Progressive comedy is above all else lazy and Letterman was the laziest man in comedy. He had more staffers than Eisenhower all to deploy the thousandth itineration of the same joke. He used his power to fill the time slots after him with hosts who couldn’t possibly compete with him to avoid being Conaned.

He was not a liberal by conviction, but out of laziness. When challenged by guests like Bill O’Reilly, he quickly folded. His politics were not thought out, they were unthinking. For all his pretense of eccentricity, he was a conformist who understood that if he played the game, he would get paid. His comic personality, the folksy skepticism and detached disdain served up in measured doses to viewers, was calculated to cover up this essential attribute that defined his enormously lucrative career.

Letterman is a professional sycophant who limos off into the sunset to the strains of the sycophantic braying of a dying industry. As audiences dwindle, the media has become its own audience, mourning the passing of its glorious past by taking hits of nostalgia from its heady days of power and privilege.

The mournful tributes piling up in his wake aren’t about him. Network television is dying. Letterman was one of its last national figures. If you think mainstream media outlets are carrying on over his exit, wait until network television dies its inevitable demographic death.

Then the media will really have something to cry about.

Friday, May 22, 2015

De-Islamization is the Only Way to Fight ISIS

Obama can’t defeat ISIS with soft power, though ISIS could beat him with soft power assuming its Caliph ever decided to agree to sit down at a table with John Kerry without beheading him. Iran has picked up billions in sanctions relief and the right to take over Yemen and raid ships in international waters in the Persian Gulf just for agreeing to listen to Kerry talk for an hour.

And that might be a fair exchange.

As bad as having your capital or ship seized by Iran is, listening to John Kerry talk is even worse.

If ISIS were to agree to a deal, it could pick up Baghdad and Damascus just in exchange for showing up. All it would have to do is find a Jihadi who hasn’t chopped off any heads on camera to present as a moderate. The administration and its media operatives would accuse anyone who disagreed of aiding the ISIS hardliners at the expense of the ISIS moderates who also represent the hardliners.

If Obama did that, he would at least lose in a way that he understands; instead of in a way he doesn’t.

So far ISIS has preferred the classical approach of killing everything in its path. The approach, deemed insufficiently nuanced by masters of subtlety like Obama and Kerry, has worked surprisingly well. Their response, which is big on the Bush arsenal of drone strikes, Special Forces raids and selective air strikes, hasn’t. But Bush was fighting terrorist groups, not unrecognized states capable of taking on armies.

It’s hard to destroy something if you don’t know what it is. And it’s hard to know what a thing is if you won’t even call it by its name or name its ideology.

The left loves root causes, but the root cause of ISIS isn’t poverty, unemployment or a lack of democracy.

It’s Islam.

The Islamic State isn’t unnatural. Its strength comes from being an organic part of the region, the religion and its culture. Its Arab enemies have performed so poorly fighting it because their institutions, their governments and their armies are unstable imitations of Western entities.

The United States can’t make the Iraqi army work because Iraq isn’t America. The assumptions about meritocracy, loyalty to comrades and initiative that make our military work are foreign in Iraq and Afghanistan where the fundamental unit is not the nation, but the tribe, clan and group.

Iraq and Syria aren’t countries; they’re collections of quarreling tribes that were forced into an arrangement that included the forms of Western government without any of the substance. When the Europeans left, kingdoms quickly became military juntas. Now the juntas are fighting for survival against Islamic insurgencies that are striving to return the region to what it was in the days of Mohammed.

ISIS is the ultimate decolonization effort. It’s what the left claims that it wants. But real decolonization means stripping away everything the Europeans brought, including constitutions, labor unions and elections. The cities that ISIS controls have been truly decolonized. There is no music, there are no rights, slavery is back and every decision is made by a cleric with a militia or a militia leader with a cleric.

That’s Mohammed. It’s the Koran. It’s Islam.

ISIS, or something very much like it, was always waiting to reemerge out of the chaos. Before ISIS, there were the Wahhabi armies of the Ikhwan which did most of the same things as ISIS. The British bombed them to pieces in the 1920s and the remainder became the Saudi Arabian National Guard. The insistence on democratic institutions weakened the military juntas holding back Islamist insurgencies. Islamists took power across the region. Where they couldn’t win elections, they went to war. But whether they won on the battlefield or the ballot box, violence and instability followed them.

The fundamental mistake of the Arab Spring was the failure to understand that Islamist democracy is still a road leading to the Caliphate. Turkey’s Erdogan, the Islamist whose rule was used to prove that Islamist democracy can work, now openly promotes the reestablishment of the Ottoman Empire. Or as Mullah Krekar of Ansar Al-Islam put it, “The resistance is not only a reaction to the American invasion; it is part of the continuous Islamic struggle since the collapse of the Caliphate. All Islamic struggles since then are part of one organized efforts to bring back the Caliphate.” A decade later, the Norwegian Jihadist leader has proven to be more accurate than his Western hosts.

ISIS is not a reaction. It’s the underlying pathology in the Muslim world. Everything planted on top of that, from democracy to dictatorships, from smartphones to soft drinks, suppresses the disease. But the disease is always there. The left insists that Western colonialism is the problem. But the true regional alternative to Western colonialism is slavery, genocide and the tyranny of Jihadist bandit armies.

Our policy for fighting ISIS is colonialism by another name. We are trying to reform Iraqi institutions in line with our values and build a viable Iraqi military along the lines of our own military. We’re doing much of what the British were doing, but without their financial interests or imperial ambitions.

And all of this is reluctantly overseen by Barack Obama; the progressive campaigner against colonialism.

To deal with a problem, we must be honest about what it is and what we are doing about it. If we lie to ourselves, we cannot and will not succeed. After the failure of democracy and political Islam, Obama has been forced to return to what works. Islamization has failed and so we are back to trying Westernization. The missing element is admitting that Islamization has failed because Islam was the problem all along. The West is the solution.

But institutional Westernization that that never goes beyond a few government offices and military officers won’t work. Neither will the attempt to artificially inject a few big ideas such as democracy into an undemocratic tribal culture. The only alternative to depending on military juntas is transforming the people. Sunni Gulf Arabs responded to their military and economic dependence on the West with a largely successful campaign to Islamize the West. The West won a culture war with the USSR. It is capable of winning one with Saudi Arabia. It has even unintentionally won a culture war with Iran.

ISIS is not a military force. It is a cultural one. Much of its success has come from its cultural appeal.

As long as the Middle East is defined in terms of Islam, some variation of the Islamic State or the Muslim Brotherhood bent on recreating the Caliphate will continue reemerging. We can accept that and give up, but the growing number of Muslim migrants and settlers mean that it will emerge in our country as well.

We have a choice between Islamization and de-Islamization.

After defeating Saddam, we pursued the de-Baathization of Iraq. If we are going to intervene in the Muslim world, it should not be to reward one Islamist group, whether it’s Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood, at the expense of another. Instead we must carve out secular spaces by making it clear that our support is conditional on civil rights for Christians, non-believers and other non-Muslims.

Our most potent weapon isn’t the jet, it’s our culture. We disrupt Islamists with our culture even when we aren’t trying. Imagine what we could accomplish if we really tried.

But first we must abandon the idea that we need to take sides in Islamic civil wars. Any intervention we undertake should be conditioned on a reciprocal degree of de-Islamization from those governments that we are protecting. Instead of pursuing democracy, we should strengthen non-Islamic and counter-Islamic forces in the Muslim world.

We can’t beat ISIS with Islam and we can’t fight for freedom while endorsing constitutions that make Sharia law into the law of the land in places like Iraq and Libya.

We don’t only need to defeat ISIS. We must defeat the culture that makes ISIS inevitable.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Whatever Happened to John Kerry

John Kerry returns from his latest Russian visit bearing two baskets of potatoes and a t-shirt.

The t-shirt, given to him by Foreign Minister Lavrov, might as well say, “I wasted my time in Russia and all I got was this shirt.”

It’s a diplomatic success only in relation to Kerry’s previous humiliations such as the time that Russia’s adeptly slimy foreign minister kept him waiting for a week before returning his call while the State Department spokeswoman announced to the world that Kerry was “ready to talk whenever Foreign Minister Lavrov can find the time.”

The Putin regime enjoys humiliating the United States, but even it seems to have tired of degrading Kerry who ruins their fun by failing to realize what is going on. Instead Kerry has become a nonentity; a forgotten messenger boy. It’s a fitting purgatory for the formerly tireless leftist activist in the Senate.

It wasn’t all that long ago that John Kerry was being touted as the last best hope for diplomacy. No one could quite admit that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama had made a complete mess, but the sighs of relief when John Kerry got the job instead of Obama’s dishonest crony Susan Rice spoke volumes.

American diplomacy had never before hit the low point that it had under Obama and Clinton. Liberals with an interest in foreign policy had expected professionalism; instead the two politicians used it as their private piggy bank. Obama handed off ambassadorships to key countries to big donors while Hillary spent more time seeing to the interests of Clinton Foundation donors than to our national interests.

Obama had campaigned as an internationalist who would put aside the provincialism of the Bush years to build meaningful multilateral relationships based on his experience with other countries and cultures. But once in office, he treated visits to other countries like domestic campaign trips to obscure states.

Foreign leaders soon found out that an Obama visit was usually a cross between a photo op using their historical landmarks as background and a vacation. While his gaffes and embarrassing behaviors got the most attention, the underlying problem was that he didn’t understand what his job was. His routine of self-important speeches and announcements of billion dollar programs that would never materialize was built for his endless domestic campaign and its lapdog media. And it didn’t play well internationally.

Obama refused to understand how international relationships work. His grand plans for an end to nuclear weapons, wars and industry were big ticket progressive items with no relevance to events in the real world. Two out of three of them quickly ended up being scrapped. His undermining of American allies in the Middle East with the Arab Spring poisoned diplomatic relations in the region. His weak and erratic response to Russian aggression discredited his administration in Eastern Europe.

As it turned out, Obama did not have a foreign policy, he had a domestic policy. His failure to work together with Republicans at home was more than equaled by his failure to work with allies abroad. At home or abroad, he came with a pre-approved progressive program that ignored emerging crises and which he refused to budge from until a crisis became severe enough to threaten his popularity.

An experienced White House staff might have eased the problem, but Obama was surrounded by fellow amateurs and egomaniacs putting the progressive agenda ahead of pragmatic diplomacy. And his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had little real experience. In the past, she had told a number of lies to compensate for that by manufacturing imaginary achievements.

Hillary claimed that she had “helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland" and negotiated open borders for Kosovo refugees. In the real world, her practical experience was extremely light, but heavy on theory. Hillary Clinton was anxious to present herself as extremely knowledge about foreign affairs, but she preferred to avoid actually putting theory into practice because it might interfere with her future political campaign.

To the misfortune of America and the world, both the White House and the State Department were led by politicians with little understanding of foreign affairs who wanted photo ops for their domestic political campaigns more than they wanted to actually put in the work to get things done. John Kerry was supposed to change all that. An unlikely repeat presidential candidate, Kerry was not holding down the job as a platform for seeking higher office. Instead the career activist would finally have a direct line for putting his feverish foreign policy obsessions into practice.

And Kerry did not disappoint, immediately diving into deep waters, aggressively trying to revive the corpse of the dead peace process between Israel and the terrorists, circling frantically around Syria and even chasing after Russia. It was a striking contrast with Hillary’s empty tours or Obama’s vacation diplomacy. There was finally a Secretary of State willing to take on the big issues.

Kerry cheerleaders had forgotten that while he genuinely did care about foreign affairs, unlike Hillary, his diplomatic adventures had been that of a professional patsy for assorted totalitarian states. It took the rise of a genuinely delusional Democrat like Obama to make Kerry seem like the voice of reason.

Obama was oblivious to the way things were done. Kerry was just oblivious. He understood the forms of diplomacy, but was as inept at assessing the sincerity of the other side as a sucker at a used car lot. When it came to Syria, no one could forget his pandering to Assad, and his confused statements made an already incoherent administration policy seem like it was coming apart at its contradictory seams.

And Kerry couldn’t keep his big mouth shut. Before long the real job of the State Department spokespeople became explaining what Kerry had really meant. Kerry’s infamous ‘for and against’ gaffe had helped take down his presidential bid, but miscommunications in diplomacy are far more damaging. Most governments read comments at a more subtle and convoluted level than the United States does. Kerry’s statements, misstatements and corrections were interpreted as double-dealing by America.

Kerry’s sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood alienated Egypt. His sympathy for Assad then alienated the Muslim Brotherhood. Iran became his only option because he had alienated everyone else.

Obama let him have his way on Israeli and even lent some of his personal prestige with a visit, but Kerry botched the negotiations by letting the terrorists walk all over him and then insisting that Israel do the same. Then he made the mess into an even bigger disaster by blaming Israel for the failed talks.

That incident reinforced Netanyahu’s conviction that Obama could not be trusted. Netanyahu had gone out on a limb for Kerry by making unpopular concessions while receiving nothing in return. And after all that, Kerry had turned around and stabbed him in the back. Not only had Kerry precluded further Israeli participation, but his promises on Iran were viewed as worthless in Jerusalem.

Obama stopped paying whatever little attention he had to Kerry. And Kerry became the man who totes potatoes back from Russia while imagining that he is changing the world. A clown in a diplomatic circus he is too oblivious to see.

The agenda isn’t set by Kerry. It isn’t even set by Obama. It’s set by anyone and everyone else.

Iran has gotten its way on the nuclear program. The Saudis have turned up their noses at Obama’s summit. Israel has led a loud protest campaign against the nuclear deal. The Saudis still insist on bombing Yemen. Iran insists on raising tensions with its expansionism around the region. The United States is unable to do anything about this because, aside from everything else, it no longer has any relationships abroad or credible voices to carry its message.

Kerry finally had the power to make the changes that he always wanted and proved once and for all that he is not a brilliant diplomat or a deep thinker, but a miserable failure.

And American diplomacy has failed with him.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Liberating Our Jerusalem

When Jordan's Arab Legion seized half of Jerusalem, ethnically cleansed its Jewish population and annexed the city-- the only entity to recognize the annexation was the United Kingdom which had provided the officers and the training that made the conquest possible. Officers like Colonel Bill Newman, Major Geoffrey Lockett and Major Bob Slade, under Glubb Pasha, better known as General John Bagot Glubb, whose son later converted to Islam, invaded Jerusalem and used the Muslim forces under their command to make the partition and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem possible.

Since then, the annexation and ethnic cleansing has become an international mandate. It would be absolutely inconceivable for the international community to denounce an ethnically cleansed group which survived attempted genocide for moving back into a city where they had lived. It is, however, standard policy at the State Department and the Foreign Office to denounce Jews living in those parts of Jerusalem that had been ethnically cleansed by Muslims, as "settlers" living in "settlements," and describe them as an "obstruction to peace." Peace being the state of affairs that sets in when an ethnic cleansing goes unchallenged.

Describing Jewish homes in Jerusalem, one of the world's oldest cities, a city that all three religions in the region associate with Jews and Jewish history, as "settlements" is a triumph of distorted language that Orwell would have to tip his hat to. How does one have "settlements" in a city older than London or Washington D.C.? To understand that, you would have to ask London and Washington D.C., where the diplomats insist that one more round of Israeli compromises will bring peace to the region.

They say that there are three religions in Jerusalem, but there are actually four. The fourth religion is the true Religion of Peace, the one that demands constant blood sacrifices to make peace possible, that insists that there will be peace when the Jews have been expelled from Judea and Samaria, driven out of their homes in Jerusalem, and made into wanderers and beggars once again. Oddly enough, this religion's name isn't even Islam-- it's diplomacy.

Diplomacy says that the 1948 borders set by Arab countries invading Israel should be the final borders and that, when Israel reunified a sundered city in 1967, it was an act of aggression, while, when seven Arab armies invaded Israel in 1948, it was a legitimate way to set boundaries. When Jordan ethnically cleansed East Jerusalem, it set a standard that Israelis are obligated to follow to this day by staying out of East Jerusalem.  

Vice President Biden was so upset that the Jerusalem municipality had partially approved some buildings in the city during his visit that he threw a legendary hissy fit. Hillary Clinton stopped by MSNBC to tell Andrea Mitchell that, "It was insulting. And it was insulting not just to the Vice President who didn't deserve that." David Axelrod browsed through his thesaurus and emerged on the morning shows calling it an "affront" and an "insult." Two for the price of one.

Editorials in newspapers denounced the Israeli government for this grave insult to the Obama Administration."Israel's Provocation", the Chicago Tribune shrieked in bold type, describing it as a "diplomatic bomb" that went off in Biden's face. The Atlantic, eager to get in on the action metaphors, described Israel slapping Biden in the face. A horde of other columnists jumped in to depict the Israelis kicking and bashing the poor Vice-President, while holding his head in the toilet.

Whether Joe Biden was the victim of the Jews or the Jews were the victims of Joe Biden is all a matter of perspective. The Hitler Administration was quite upset to find that Jewish athletes would be competing in the 1936 Munich Olympics. When you ethnically cleanse people, they are supposed to stay ethnically cleansed. It's in poor taste for them to show up and win gold medals at the Olympics or rebuild their demolished synagogues. It's insulting to the ethnic cleansers and their accomplices.

That sounds like a harsh accusation, but it's completely and undeniably true.

When Muslims move into a Jewish town, poor Joe doesn't come crying that he's been bombed with a diplomatic affront and slapped with a Menorah. When Muslim countries fund Muslim housing in Israel, there are no angry statements from Clinton and no thesaurus bashing from David Axelrod. Muslim housing in Jerusalem or anywhere in Israel is not a problem. Only Jewish housing is. The issue is not Israel. If it were, then Arabs with Israeli citizenship would get Biden to howl as loudly. It's only the Jews who are the problem.

The entire Peace Process is really a prolonged solution to the latest phase of the Jewish Problem. The problem, as stated by so many diplomats, is that there are Jews living in places that Muslims want. There were Jews living in Gaza before 1948, but they were driven out, they came back, and then they were driven out again by their own government in compliance with international demands. Now only Hamas lives in Gaza and it's as peaceful and pleasant without the Jews as Nazi Germany.

But there are still Jews in the West Bank and they have to be gotten rid of. Once enough Jews have been expelled, there will be peace. That's not a paragraph from Mein Kampf, it's not some lunatic sermon from Palestinian Authority television-- it is the consensus of the international community. This consensus states that the only reason there still isn't peace is because enough Jews haven't been expelled from their homes. The ethnic cleansing for peace hasn't gone far enough.

There will be peace when all the Jews are gone. That much is certainly undeniable. Just look at Gaza or Egypt or Iraq or Afghanistan, which has a grand total of two Jews, both of them in their seventies. Or Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Syria where peace reigns now that the Jews are gone. Some might say that violence seems to increase proportionally with the number of Muslims, but we all know that would be a racist thing to say. On the other hand suggesting that violence increases with the number of Jews living on land that Muslims want, that's just diplomacy. A common sense fact that everyone who is anyone in foreign policy knows to be true.

How will we know when the Muslims have gotten all the land that they want? When the violence stops. Everyone knows that agreements mean nothing. No matter how many pieces of paper are signed, the bombs and rockets still keep bursting; real ones that kill people, not fake ones that upset Vice Presidents. The only way to reach an agreement is by groping blindly in the dark, handing over parcel after parcel of land, until the explosions stop or the Muslims fulfill their original goal of pushing the Jews into the sea.

That's the wonderful thing about diplomacy if you're a diplomat and the terrible thing about it if you are anyone else without a secure way out of the country when diplomacy fails. And diplomacy in the region always fails. Camp David and every single agreement Israel has signed with Muslim countries aren't worth the paper they're written on. The only peace treaty that counts is the one made by tanks and rifles. It's the one made by Israeli planes in Egyptian skies and Israeli soldiers walking the border. It's the one made by Jewish farmers and ranchers, tending their sheep and their fields, with rifles strung over their backs. The only peace that's worth anything is the peace of the soldiers and settlers.

In 1966, Jerusalem was a city sundered in two, divided by barbed wire and the bullets of Muslim snipers. Diplomacy did not reunite it. Israel pursued diplomacy nearly to its bitter end until it understood that it had no choice at all but to fight. Israel did not swoop into the fight, its leaders did their best to avoid the conflict, asking the international community to intervene and stop Egypt from going to war. Read back the headlines for the last five years on Israel and Iran, and you will get a sense of the courage and determination of the Israeli leaders of the day.

When Israel went to war, its leaders did not want to liberate Jerusalem, they wanted Jordan to stay out of the war. Even when Jordan entered the war, they did not want to liberate the city. Divine Providence and Muslim hostility forced them to liberate Jerusalem and forced them to keep it. Now some of them would like to give it back, another sacrifice to the bloody deity of diplomacy whose altar flows with blood and burnt sacrifices.

As we remember Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, it is important to remember that the city is united and free because diplomacy failed. The greatest triumph of the modern state happened only because diplomacy proved hopeless and useless in deterring Muslim genocidal ambitions. Had Israel succumbed to international pressure and had Nasser been as subtle as Sadat, then the Six-Day War would have looked like the Yom Kippur War fought with 1948 borders-- and Israel very likely would not exist today.

Even as Jews remember the great triumph of Jerusalem Day, the ethnic cleansers and their accomplices are busy searching for ways to drive Jews out of Jerusalem, out of towns, villages and cities. This isn't about the Arab residents of Jerusalem, who have repeatedly asserted that they want to remain part of Israel. It's not about peace, which did not come from any previous round of concessions, and will not come from this one either. It's about solving the Jewish problem.

As long as Jews allow themselves to be defined as the problem, there will be plenty of those offering solutions. And the solutions invariably involve doing something about the Jews. It only stands to reason that if Jews are the problem, then moving them or getting rid of them is the solution. The bloody god of diplomacy always assumes that they are the problem. There is less friction in defining Jews as the problem, than in defining Muslims as the problem. The numbers alone mean that is so.

Jerusalem Day is a reminder of what the real problem is and what the real solution is. Muslim occupation of Israel is the problem. The Islamization of Jerusalem is the problem. Muslim violence in support of the Muslim occupation of Israel and of everywhere else is the problem. Israel is the solution. Only when we liberate ourselves from the lies, when we stop believing that we are the problem and recognize that we are the solution. Only then will we be free of the Joe Bidens and the Peter Beinarts, the Jimmy Carters and Barack Obamas, the Gilad Atzmons and Jeremy Ben Amis. Only then will the liberation that began in 1967 be complete.

Only then will we have liberated our Jerusalem. The Jerusalem of the soul. It is incumbent on all of us to liberate that little Jerusalem within. The holy city that lives in all of us. To clean the dross off its golden gates, wash the filth from its stones and expel the invaders gnawing away at our hearts until we look proudly upon a shining city. Then to help others liberate their own Jerusalems. Only then will we truly be free.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Schrödinger's Jihad

The great paradox of the War on Terror is that we are fighting an enemy that doesn’t exist. We are told incessantly that there is no such thing as a Muslim terrorist.

There may be a tiny minority of violent extremists, but they are only a tiny minority of no importance whatsoever. And yet we’ve been at war with this same infinitesimally tiny minority for decades.

This tiny minority has killed thousands of Americans. It has the support of entire governments in tiny countries like Pakistan (182 million), Iran (77 million) and Syria (22 million). We are told that this tiny minority is no way representative of the world’s billion Muslims, and yet it’s hard to find a Muslim country that doesn’t support or harbor a terrorist group.

We were told that the problems was their governments, but the Arab Spring showed us that democratic elections lead to governments that are even more supportive of tiny minority of extremists who are somehow taking over entire countries.

Everything we’ve been told is obviously a lie. And the best evidence comes from the liars themselves.

The media is howling that a bunch of cartoonists in Texas were irresponsible for sketching Islam’s dead warlord because they should have known that Muslim terrorists would come to kill them for it. But if the media is right and Islam is a religion of peace, then why should they have anticipated a terrorist attack?

And if Islam isn’t a religion of peace, then the media has been irresponsibly lying to us and the cartoonists have been risking their lives to warn us of that lie.

The talking heads on the television insist that the cartoon contest was irresponsible because there were bound to be “some crazies” who would “take the bait”. But if Islam is no more violent than any other religion, shouldn’t it be just as statistically likely that some Christian or Jewish crazies would attack one of the art exhibits, plays or musicals ridiculing and blaspheming against their religions?

Weren’t museums and galleries exhibiting “works of art” like Piss Christ or Shekhina provoking and baiting those Jewish and Christian crazies? And since there are more Christians than Muslims in America, isn’t it statistically far more likely that there should have been far more Christian terror attacks targeting blasphemous exhibits?

We can only conclude that there is a much higher proportion of “crazies” among Muslims than among Christians. How much higher? 78 percent of Americans identify as Christians. 0.6 percent claim to be Muslims. Only 0.3 percent appear to be Sunnis, who are responsible for ISIS and Al Qaeda attacks.

There is indeed a tiny minority of extremists in America. It’s known as Islam.

What keeps the lie alive is another paradox. Call it Schrödinger's Jihad. The more famous Schrödinger's Cat is a paradox in which a cat in a sealed box with poison that has a 50 percent chance of being released is in an indeterminate state. It is neither dead nor alive until someone opens the box.

In Schrödinger's Jihad, the Muslim terrorist is in an indeterminate state until some Western observer opens the box, collapses his wave function and radicalizes him. The two Muslim Jihadists were in an indeterminate state until Pamela Geller and Bosch Fawstin and the other “provocateurs” suddenly turned them into terrorists in a matter of days or weeks. It didn’t matter that Elton Simpson, one of the Garland terrorists, had already been dragged into court for trying to link up with Jihadists in Africa.

Every Muslim is and isn’t a terrorist. He is both a peaceful spiritual person who is eager to embrace our way of life and a violent killer who can be set off by the slightest offense. Like the cat in the box that is neither dead nor alive, he is both violent and peaceful, moderate and extremist, a solid citizen and a terrorist. He does not choose which of these to be or to become; we decide what he will be.

The Jihadist paradox is that the Muslim terrorist is always defined by what we do, not by what he does.

Islamic terrorism does not exist independently of the Western observer. It is not a Jihad with deep historical and theological roots within Islam, but a reaction to our interactions with Muslims.

Obama insists that talking about Islamic terrorism ‘summons’ them into being. By admitting the existence of Islamic terrorists, we ‘radicalize’ Muslims. Even the words ‘Islamic terrorism’ creates Islamic terrorists who otherwise wouldn’t exist.

The real threat is not from the terrorists, it’s from the truth.

When we tell the truth, people die. The truth turns Muslims into terrorists while the lies soothe them back into non-existence. Underneath all the academic terminology is the dream logic of wishful thinking. If we believe that Islam is a religion of peace, it will be a peaceful religion, and if we accept the reality that it’s violent, then it will become violent. Islam does not define itself. We define it however we want. Our entire counterterrorism policy is based around the perverse ostrich belief that Islamic terrorism is a problem that we create by recognizing its existence. If we ignore it, it will go away.

The lies about Islam are sustained by a deep conviction among liberals that the “Other” minorities are not real people with real beliefs and cultures, but victims in a game of power played out in the West. Islamic terrorism, like gay marriage or Global Warming, is just another step in the progressive pilgrim’s progress. It’s a problem that we caused and need to atone for in our cosmic karmic journey.

Westerners are privileged observers who have power while those minorities they observe do not. The duel between the Western left and right is taking place outside the box to determine what will be in the box once it’s forced open, while the oppressed minorities are in a state of indeterminacy in the box.

The Schrödinger's Jihad paradox has many other adjoining boxes. Some are filled with dictators and criminals. If the progressive observer can open the box and find the root cause, out comes a good person; if the right opens the box, then out will march the terrorists, drug dealers and warlords.

The other side of the rhetoric about oppression and colonization, of punching up and punching down is the conviction that those at the bottom do not have free will or agency. If the mugger chooses to mug, rather than being driven to it by poverty, if Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union gleefully chose conquest instead of being forced to it by Western imperialism, and if the Muslim terrorist is not a helpless victim, but an abuser, then the moral imperative of the left’s worldview collapses in a heap.

If Muslims are real people who are at least as capable of imperialism, racism, slavery and destroying the planet as any Westerner, and who have been doing all of these things a lot longer, then leftists would have to accept that they are tearing down the most progressive civilization on the planet on behalf of ridiculously reactionary civilizations. Not only would they no longer be the privileged observers in control of the future, but they would have to see themselves as destroyers of what is left of the future.

The left refuses to blame Islam or Muslims because that would mean admitting that they are people.

Schrödinger's Jihad is a child’s toy box for overgrown children who view Muslims as social justice dolls and terrorist action figures instead of people as flawed and complicated as they are. The left refuses to take Islamic theology seriously because it is incapable of understanding different points of view.

It approaches Islam as a race, rather than a religion, because it refuses to delve into what its beliefs are. Instead it chooses to see Muslims as blank slates to be filled with its ideology, as indeterminate patterns that can be reshaped into whatever they want them to be. It does not want to know what it says in the Koran, because that ruins its wonderful fantasy of Muslims as an oppressed race, rather than a creed.

Lies that are based on what we want to be true are the hardest to disprove. A lie that is tied into identity cannot be touched without destroying the entire identity of an individual or a movement.

The lies about Islam run into the heart of what the left is. To the left, everything is indeterminate and everything can be reshaped. Existence flows from power and power is pitted against progress. By destroying that which exists, they can bring their dreams to life. The dream is stronger than reality.

The left doesn’t really believe that Muslim terrorists exist except when we bring them to life. The real animating force behind Al Qaeda was George W. Bush or Dick Cheney. The true power behind ISIS is Pamela Geller or the Pentagon. The Westerner opens the box and the Muslim terrorist comes out. When Western civilization as we know it is destroyed, then the left believes Muslim terrorism will end. Kill the observer and the cat never existed. Destroy the dreamer and the nightmare dies with him.

The truth is more dangerous than the terrorists. Terrorists can kill the body, but truth can kill the dream.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

It Takes a Good Guy with a Gun to Defend Freedom of Speech

When two terrorists in body armor and carrying assault rifles came for a roomful of cartoonists and fans of freedom of speech in Texas, the media took the side of the terrorists.

CAIR, a Muslim Brotherhood front group with ties to terrorists, spun the attack by claiming that the contest had been intended to “bait” the terrorists. The media quickly picked up the “bait” meme.

The New York Times, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Dallas Morning News, CNN and even FOX News all accused the cartoonists of “baiting” the poor Muslim terrorists into attacking them. The actual attempt at mass slaughter was dismissed as the terrorists “taking the bait” from the cartoonists who had been fiendishly plotting to be mass slaughtered by them for the publicity.

The Washington Post not only stated that the contest was “bait”, but its headline huffed, “Event organizer offers no apology after thwarted attack in Texas.” And why won’t the 9/11 dead apologize?

Journalists often tell us that a free press is the best defense for a free society. Every major newspaper and news network once again proved them wrong. The best defense for freedom of speech came not from the journalists or the civil rights groups, from the speechmakers or the activists. It came from an off-duty traffic cop working security outside the event targeted by Muslim terrorists. His partner, an older guard, didn’t even have a gun, and took a bullet to the leg.

He could have pulled back and let the terrorists have a clear path. No doubt he had a family and plenty of reasons to live. Like so much of the media, he could have disguised this cowardice by blaming the cartoonists for bringing the attack on themselves. Instead he held the line. The traffic cop with a pistol took on two terrorists in body armor, armed with assault rifles and extra ammo. And when it was over, two Muslim terrorists were dead and freedom of speech was alive.

"He had two people shooting at him, plus he's trying to take out two targets. And if he had to make headshots," Mark Sligar, a firearms instructor, said, "That's awesome shooting. And look at the people's lives he saved, just because he was able to take care of that."

Like Kevin Vickers, the retired 58-year-old Sergeant-at-Arms, who armed with a 9mm handgun stopped Muslim terrorist Zehaf-Bibeau from carrying out a massacre of Canadian parliamentarians, the unnamed older police officer did more to protect freedom than all the self-styled defenders of freedom ever have.

And he did it with the tool that many of those defenders of freedom want to outlaw; a gun.

The left promises us collective security through civil rights while taking away our freedom. Their idea of collective security is disarming the citizenry, then disarming the police and then appeasing the killers. There will be more murders than ever, but at least those carrying them out will be representatives of oppressed groups, such as inner city drug dealers and ISIS terrorists, ‘punching up’ at the privileged.

We’ve already seen how worthless collective security is. In Baltimore, the Democratic mayor turned over the city to rioters and looters. Every Democrat who was at all involved in fighting crime, from Bill Clinton on down, is frantically apologizing to the social justice mobs for daring to protect Americans. The media is busy explaining why the looters were right and the lootees were in the wrong.

After the Texas shootings, the media popped up to blame the attacks, not on the attackers, but on those who came under attack. CAIR’s “bait” meme, adopted by the media, reverses responsibility. It contends that anyone shot at by a Muslim terrorist has to prove that he didn’t intend to provoke the terrorists.

Despite the impeccable left-wing credentials of Charlie Hebdo, the PEN gala came under fire from authors denouncing the French cartoonists for provoking their disenfranchised and oppressed minority ISIS killers. And when the ISIS killers came for the Hebdo cartoonists, unarmed police officers ran for it.

A wounded French cop raised his hands and begged for his life, before the terrorist finished him off with a shot to the head. It’s not the first time that a disarmed West has been helpless in the face of Muslim terrorism.

During the Munich Olympics, German police provided security by handing out candy and flowers. An informant had passed along word that an attack was being planned, but nothing was done. The resulting massacre of Israeli athletes by Muslim terrorists was partially covered up by the German government which released three of the captured terrorists a month later and whose foreign minister met with the planners of the massacre to “rebuild trust”.

Just like Argentina and Iran, after the bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, a dirty deal was struck behind the scenes and the terrorists got what they wanted.

When Israel independently targeted the terrorists, the German ambassador to Lebanon blasted Israel for killing the most "rational and responsible" members of the PLO.

The Israelis had killed the terrorists, he accused, because they did not want peace.

But a bunch of good guys with guns had settled the issue of whether Israeli athletes should be able to compete in the Olympics even though the UN Security Council passed a resolution condemning the Israeli “act of aggression” and the “loss of human life”; particularly that of terrorist boss Abu Jihad.

The Israelis, not the Muslim terrorists or the collaborationist German government, were the villains for forcing the terrorists to do what they did. If only Israel had surrendered to the PLO, the attacks would not have happened. Once Israel did surrender in the 90s and the attacks escalated, then it was Israel’s fault for not surrendering enough. It’s never the fault of the terrorists or their collaborators.

The accusations are all familiar. Bosch Fawstin, Charb, Pamela Geller, Theo van Gogh, Mark Basseley Youssef, Salman Rushdie, Molly Norris and a hundred others are at fault for provoking the terrorists.

There are lectures on “responsible speech”. The targets are accused of “hiding” behind freedom of speech and of deliberately planning to be killed for the publicity.

During WW2, Gandhi urged the Jews and the British to surrender to the Nazis.

“This manslaughter must be stopped. You are losing; if you persist, it will only result in greater bloodshed. Hitler is not a bad man. If you call it off today, he will follow suit,” he whined to the Brits.

"I want you to fight Nazis without arms or... with non-violent arms. I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity,” he suggested in another missive.

He also had some advice for the Jews. “If only the Jews of Germany had the good sense to offer their throats willingly to the Nazi butchers' knives,” he mused.

That is where the insane mantra of non-violence and appeasement, the exploration of root causes and winning hearts finally leads, to mass graves and victorious mass murderers.

And everyone who refuses to take their suicidal advice is blamed for provoking the killers.

We can either live in a paranoid politically correct world frantically trying not to offend the Hitlers
and Mohammeds, and blaming their victims when they kill, or we can be free men and women who have chosen to take the power to defend our rights into our own hands. While a thousand organizations use the Holocaust as a platform for speeches about tolerance, Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors is conducting firearms training. While Big Media attacks a free press in the name of the free press, a small group gathered in Garland and an off-duty cop helped keep it free.

The unnamed traffic cop who stood up to two offended killers did not follow Gandhi’s advice; he refused to lay down his arms or try to fight them with non-violent arms. His heroism reminds us that freedom is not defended with empty idealism easily perverted into appeasement of evil, but with the force of arms.

Gandhi and his Western disciples were wrong. The soldiers who fought Hitler did far more to save humanity than Gandhi ever did. A single traffic cop with a gun has had more of a positive impact on freedom of speech in this country than all the journalists of the free press fighting against freedom.

It takes a good guy with a gun to defend freedom of speech.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

The Fire Burns

The circle of men whirls around the fire, hand in hand, hand catching hand, drawing in newcomers into the ring that races around and around in the growing darkness. A melody thumps through the speakers teetering unevenly with the bass, the sound is both old and new, a mix of the past and the present, like the participants in the dance, the traditional garments mixing with jeans and t-shirts until it is all a blur.

It is Lag BaOmer, an obscure holiday to most, even to those who come to the fires. The remnants of the Jewish Revolt against the might of the Roman Empire are remembered as days of deprivation in memory of the thousands of students dying in the war, until the thirty-third day of the Biblical Omer, part of the way between Passover and Shavuot, the day when Jerusalem was liberated.

Deprived of music for weeks, it rolls back in waves through speakers, from horns blown by children and a makeshift drum echoing an ancient celebration when men danced around fires and shot arrows into the air. The fires and bows have remained a part of Lag BaOmer, even when hardly anyone remembers the true reason for them.

The new Yom Yerushalayim, the day of the liberation of the city, is coming up soon,  but the old Yom Yerushalaim, came thousands of years ago and ten days before it on the calendar. Time is a wheel, and, like a circle, everything comes around again. Hands pulling on hands, years pulling on years, on and on like the orbits of planets and stars. The Divine Hand of G-d pulls us along, and we pull each other in the dance of life.

The circle speeds up, men racing faster and faster, the children left behind, as the flames sputter and night falls. The rebellion, although bravely fought, failed, and Jerusalem fell again, and then Betar. The joy of the celebration turned to ashes, but, even in the shadow of the empire, their spirit endured. The stories were changed a little, the rebellion encoded into a story of Rabbi Akiva, the pivotal scholarly figure in the war, and of his students who perished because they had not been able to get along with one another. The failure of unity had been the underlying reason for the Roman conquest and the Jewish defeats. It is the ancient lesson still unlearned that the circle of the dance teaches us.

Lag BaOmer is not the first Jewish story of physically and spiritual heroism to be encoded for fear of the enemy. There is much that we know, without knowing what it truly means, messages from the past, that exist only as echoes reminding us of our purpose. Few of those in the circle passing around the flame know what they are truly commemorating and yet the act is its own commemoration. Thousands of years later the echo of a fierce joy, the pride of a people emerging out of a momentary darkness in a burst of wild energy, is still here. Though the details are forgotten, the joy endures, the song is sung and the fire still burns.

In the darkness, there is nothing but the fire and the dark shapes racing around it, leaping with the guttering flames. A teenager pours oil on the flames and they rise higher and higher. A new song begins but they are all the same song. Even the new songs are old. The music changes, but the words remain the same. Arms rise and fall, feet kick and the participants run around the fire only to end up right back where they began.

Codemaking is a dangerous business, for the keys to the code can be forgotten. In Spain and in the American Southwest there are men and women who keep odd rituals, but who no longer remember that the reason they keep them is because they are descended from Jewish Conversos. They have lost the most important part of the code, the part that explains everything. The men dancing around the fire have not lost that. They may not remember the liberation of Jerusalem, but their feet remember it, their arms remember it, their hearts remember it and most of all they remember who they are. They retain the key to the entire code. They remember that they are Jews.

It all began with fire. Avraham was cast into the fire and emerged alive from the flames. Then Chananya, Mishael and Azariah. And then millions more turning to ash in the ovens only to rise again in a new generation. "Is not this man a brand plucked out of the fire," G-d asks Satan in the vision of the Prophet Zechariah. "But who may abide the day of his coming?" the Prophet Malachi says."And who shall stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire."

A piece of heavy wood chars, bright sparks rising into the night air. It is cool outside the ring of fire, but here it is painfully hot, the air thick with heat. The children gaze wonderingly at the sparks, flying up like tiny stars, their eyes recording the memory with a purer fidelity than any of the cameras outside the circle. Their minds will record the memory of the light, the feel of it on their skin and the awe of seeing something new for the first time. They will remember the circle and the fire.

The story of Moloch is the tale of men who worshiped the fire with the bodies of their children. But the children who race around the margins of this fire are the survivors of the servants of Moloch who tried to thrust their grandfathers and great-grandfathers into the flames. They will grow running around the flames from those who wish to thrust them into the fire, to burn away all that they are. Some will die, killed by Muslim terrorists or by other modern day servants of Moloch, but others will survive, and one day their children will race around the flames, defying the worshipers of fire, the worshipers of death, to do their worst to them.

The fire blazes up, tongues of flame darting toward us like the tongues of lions. This is the race we run around the flames that always burn, whether we see them or not. Year after year, generation after generation, and century after century, the fire burns, but we go on and no matter how many of us burn, we continue running the race with the flames, outpacing it, outlasting it and outliving it. No matter how many of us die, we still live.

A Talmudic recollection bemoans the Zoroastrian persecutions of the Jews. The notion today is as quaint as Assyrian chariots and Roman legions. The day will come when the Islamic persecutions are as obscure and laughable. When all the desert sands have covered over Mecca and the might and power of Islam are one with Assyria and Rome, with ancient pagan religions that have come and gone, blazing brightly like the flames, only to go out into the darkness, the dance will continue.

The men slow their steps, an ancient movement that the first wave of settlers to the Holy Land instinctively recreated. Dancing is a key that unlocks secret knowledge, that opens up buried memories, that turns the wheel of time back until it all becomes a circle that comes alive when it is closed. Despite the tremendous variations in customs and appearances, they have all unlocked the code of the circle, the hand to hand connection, the knowledge that whatever else we must go on. That the Jewish people must live.

The Bar Kochba revolt was not the last time that Jews fought to liberate their land. It was not the last time that the gates of Jerusalem were thrown open to a Jewish army. The liberation of Jerusalem in 1967 was the fulfillment of a struggle that had been going on for nearly two thousand years, as empires and caliphates had claimed the land, planted their spears and rifles over its barren hills, and enforced their laws upon it. And if Jerusalem falls again, if Masada falls again, if we fall into the fire, then we will rise out of it again, less in number, less in memory, but still a circle.

Fresh from battle, the soldiers danced around the flames. They had defeated the legions of Rome, without any special training and with poor equipment, they had beaten the greatest army in the world. They had survived the flames and in an explosion of joy, they raced around the celebratory fires, tasting the momentary immortality of battle. Their names are forgotten, lost to memory. Lag BaOmer is associated now with two of Rome's scholarly opponents, Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who passed on the teachings and traditions that kept the circle intact even in the fire.

Wars are won and lost all the time. No victory, however significant, endures forever. There is no immortality in the victories of the flesh, only in the triumphs of the spirit. For all our losses, this circle is a victory, an ancient celebration of a spiritual triumph kept secret in the face of the enemy. The circle of clasped hands reminds us that against the dead hand of history, we have a Living Hand that guides us even in our darkest hours, in the smoke and flame, in the ash and fire.

"Know that your descendants will be strangers in a land not their own," G-d tells Avraham, as the sun goes down, and amid a thick darkness, a smoking furnace and a flaming torches passes between the parted pieces of the covenant. There is smoke and fire, a thick darkness, but as each hand in the circle clasps another, the pieces are joined together into one. The unity will not last. But it is a reminder of who we can be and who we should be when we join together. A reminder of the covenant with G-d and with one another.

The dance is difficult, not because it is hard to learn or do, but because it is tiring. Some fall out of the circle, but others join in. It is a mistake to dwell too much on how many come and how many go. To count the losses, while overlooking the gains. We were never meant to be a numerous people, to swell to an empire, rotten with corruption, choking on its own grossness, until it dies. It is easier to win the race with the flames when you are small and light on your feet. Some tire of the race and leave, and fall into the flames or the darkness and are gone. But we go on. We always go on.





Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Cartoonists are Controversial and Murderers are Moderate

Controversial, intolerant and provocative. Mainstream media outlets broke out these three words to describe the “Draw the Prophet” contest, the American Freedom Defense Initiative and Pamela Geller.

While the police were still checking cars for explosives and attendees waited to be released, CNN called AFDI, rather than the terrorists who attacked a cartoon contest, “intolerant.” Time dubbed the group “controversial”. The Washington Post called the contest, “provocative.”

Many media outlets relied on the expert opinion of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a multi-million dollar mail order scam disguised as a civil rights group, which had listed AFDI as a hate group. Also listed as hate groups were a number of single author blogs, including mine, a brand of gun oil and a bar sign.

The bar sign, which hangs outside a bar seven miles outside Pittsburgh, appears to be made out of metal and plastic. It is reportedly unaware that it is a hate group and has made no plans to take over America.

The SPLC’s inability to conduct even the most elementary fact checking did not stop news networks from inviting its talking head on to suggest that AFDI got “the response that they — in a sense — they are seeking.” Neither CNN nor MSNBC were impolitic enough to mention that no AFDI supporter had used its materials to plan a killing spree, while at least one of SPLC’s supporters had done just that.

But being “controversial” and “provocative” has nothing to do with who is doing the shooting. It’s a media signal that the target shouldn’t be sympathized with. The Family Research Council, which was shot up by a killer using the SPLC’s hate map, is invariably dubbed “intolerant”. The SPLC, which targeted it, is however a “respected civil rights group” which provides maps to respected civil rights gunmen.

A contest in which Bosch Fawstin, an ex-Muslim, drew a cartoon of a genocidal warlord is “controversial” and “provocative”, while the MSA, which has invited Sheikh Khalid Yasin, who has inspired a number of terrorists, including apparently one of the Mohammed contest attackers, is a legitimate organization that is only criticized by controversial, intolerant and provocative Islamophobes.

Khalid Yasin has held such controversial and provocative views as claiming that the US created AIDS, that gays should be stoned to death and that women should be beaten. But the mosques and MSAs that he has appeared at have not been described as controversial, intolerant and provocative for inviting him.

Elton Simpson, the first gunman, attended the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. The mosque was listed as being controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood’s North American Islamic Trust front group.

The Muslim Brotherhood holds such controversial and provocative views as “waging Jihad” against American infidels, “raising a Jihadi generation that pursues death” and “destroying the Western civilization from within”. Despite these extremely provocative and intolerant views, the Muslim Brotherhood is usually described by the media as a “moderate” group.

The Brotherhood’s American arm believes in launching a “Grand Jihad” to Islamize America. Its final phase calls for “Seizing power to establish their Islamic Nation” in the United State.

Some might say this is a slightly more controversial activity than drawing cartoons of a dead warlord.

The Islamic Community Center of Phoenix featured an appearance by Lauren Booth, a convert to Islam employed by Iran, who has been photographed with the leader of Hamas, and holds such controversial and provocative views, as the Boston Marathon bombing being faked and attacks on Jews being justified as “a frustrated backlash.”

Some might say Booth’s views are controversial, provocative and intolerant. And that the gunman’s mosque was intolerant for inviting her. But don’t expect the media to call out terrorist intolerance.

Booth came as part of a fundraising effort for the Muslim Legal Fund of America, which funded the defense for Islamic Jihad boss Sami al-Arian and aided some of the terrorists involved in the provocative and controversial Fort Dix terror plot to “kill as many soldiers as possible”. If the two Mohammed cartoon gunmen had survived, the Muslim Legal Fund of America might be having Lauren Booth spout Jewish conspiracies to fundraise on their behalf.

But if you believe the media, cartoonists are more controversial than killers. A former Muslim sketching a cartoon of Mohammed is bigoted, but justifying attacks on Jews is moderate. Plotting to overthrow the United States and replace it with an Islamic theocracy is right up the alley of your local civil rights group, but a cartoon contest threatens the nation and all of creation by bringing down the wrath of men who spent their time at moderate and Muslim organizations which only occasionally support terrorism.

Cartoons can be provocative, but the only people inspired to kill over them, are killers. No one took a shot at Gary “Punching Up” Trudeau, despite decades of mocking conservatives. None of the assorted arts projects that involve defiling and mocking the sacred symbols of Christianity and Judaism resulted in gunmen in body armor trying to storm a cartoon competition. And yet it keeps happening with Islam.

Satire exposes sociopaths and sociopathic ideologies. And it’s the very attack on the “controversial” and “provocative” contest that shows why exposing them is so important.

Elton Simpson had already been on the radar of the FBI. He should have been in jail, but Judge Mary H. Murguia, a Clinton appointee who has been bandied about as a possible Obama Supreme Court nominee, chose to believe a claim by his public defender that when he was taped talking about Jihad, it might have meant “an internal struggle to maintain faith”, instead of killing non-Muslims.

Simpson had said that Allah loves those who fight non-Muslims, that Jihadists go to paradise and stated, “I’m tellin’ you man. We gonna make it to the battlefield… it’s time to roll.”

But that was just too ambiguous for Judge Murguia, who wrote, “It is true that the Defendant had expressed sympathy and admiration for individuals who “fight” non-Muslims as well as his belief in the establishment of Shariah law, all over the world including in Somalia. What precisely was meant by “fighting” whenever he discussed it, however, was not clear.”

“Neither was what the Defendant meant when he stated he wanted to get to the ‘battlefield’ in Somalia,” she added.

If nothing else, events like these help clarify the question of just what “fighting” non-Muslims involves, and whether it’s an internal struggle to maintain faith or an external struggle waged with assault rifles.

Satire helps expose the idiocy and absurdity of our betters, whether it’s Gary Trudeau or Judge Murguia. Every act of Islamic terror discredits them and their dishonest worldview even further. And they know it.

We cannot fight Islamic terrorism until we deal with it and we cannot deal with it as long as we are burdened by a political establishment that frantically censors any mention of its existence or its agenda.

The two gunmen did not attack the cartoon event simply because they were offended, but because they believed that their religion gave them a mandate to impose Islamic law on Americans. Until we deal with this supremacist reality, any effort to fight Islamic terrorists will be futile and will ultimately fail.

The Mohammed cartoons are so vital because they expose the theocracy at the heart of Islamic terrorism. When Muslim terrorists attack cartoonists, they’re not fighting our foreign policy; they are killing and dying to impose the foreign policy of the Muslim Brotherhood and its numerous daughter groups, such as Al Qaeda, Hamas and ISIS, on us.

The controversial and provocative cartoonists go into battle with pencils in their hands. The terrorists come with body armor and assault rifles. This clash is what real political dissent looks like.

The cartoonists believe in the controversial, intolerant and provocative idea that America should not be a theocracy. But the only people who should be provoked by that provocative idea are the Jihadists who want to impose a theocracy on America and the useful idiots lying and denying on their behalf.

Monday, May 04, 2015

The Truth About Baltimore

The real victim in Baltimore is not Freddie Gray, a repeat loser who eventually died as he had lived, being arrested by the police. The real victims are not the thugs smashing and looting stores. It isn’t the young black men disproportionately stopped by the racist majority black police force in Baltimore under a racist black police commissioner for doing nothing wrong except the usual drug and weapons charges.

It’s not even the “majority of law-abiding Baltimore families” referenced by politicians.

85% of Baltimore voters came out for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who gave the muggers and looters “space to destroy”, and then apologized for calling them thugs, defending them instead as “misguided young people” who “need support”.

Rawlings-Blake was a former City Council speaker who got a promotion when Sheila Dixon, the first black female mayor of Baltimore, was convicted of stealing gift cards intended for the poor. During her time in the City Council, Dixon had become notorious for waving her shoe at white colleagues and shouting, “You’ve been running things for the last 20 years. Now the shoe is on the other foot!”

It was indeed. At least some of the stolen gift cards were used to buy clothes. And the shoe is still on the other foot. Just ask the criminals who smashed and grabbed while the police did nothing.

Dixon had won 87% of the vote. And she wants to get back into politics. After the riots, she popped up to complain that white people were going about with business as usual while black anger grew.

"We have some major inequities in the city," she said. "We have to put more focus in those areas."

There are probably no inequities in Baltimore that can’t be solved by giving Dixon some more gift cards intended for the poor.

What is the difference between Sheila Dixon stealing gift cards to buy an Xbox and thugs smashing up stores to grab saxophones, candy and liquor? Baltimore’s former mayor had climbed high enough to be able to steal without breaking the glass.

While Dixon and Rawlings-Blake didn’t do much for the inner city youth whose plight we never stop hearing about, they did dismantle the tougher policing put in place by Martin O’Malley. Now Baltimore has become one of the few cities whose murder rate keeps rising.

Today it has the fifth highest murder rate in the country. And since Dixon and Rawlings-Blake, the city also has 20,000 fewer people. Baltimore has been bleeding population almost as badly as Detroit. The city has gone from having 900,000 residents in the 70s to the low 600,000s today.

Dixon and Rawlings-Blake made Baltimore a haven for criminals. They switched out crimefighting for community policing. Now we have to listen to sanctimonious speeches about how we need to make Baltimore even more criminal friendly as if the city were a police state, instead of a thug playground whose mayor calls muggers and looters “misguided young people” and gives them space to destroy.

Baltimore does not have a policing crisis. It has a crisis of criminals. And those criminals aren’t just the ones who smash stores. They also run the city.

When asked about Baltimore, Obama mentioned that, “There's some bad politicians who are corrupt.” He ought to know. Sheila Dixon was an early endorser and a Valerie Jarrett pal. Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is the secretary of the Democratic National Committee. At Obama’s second inauguration, she said, “My hope is that we can carry forward the momentum of the Obama administration and that we can continue to grow the Democratic Party.”

But Rawlings-Blake can’t even grow Baltimore. The only momentum that Obama’s administration is carrying forward is that of the racist mobs who voted for it.

There are real victims in Baltimore. They are the hundreds of thousands of people who have been forced out by riots, crime and misery. You can see some of the real victims still hanging on, trying to run stores on thin margins, sweeping up broken glass and talking about how they called the police and no one answered.

They, and not Freddie Gray and his fellow criminals, are the real victims.

They’re not just the victims of the thugs threatening their lives and destroying their livelihood. They’re also the victims of wealthy and powerful politicians like Sheila Dixon, Rawlings-Blake and Barack Obama.

The tattered remnants of Baltimore’s middle class are trying to hang on despite a national consensus by Democrats and even some Republicans that instead of fighting crime, we ought to be going easier on criminals, that instead of prisons we need more social workers, and that the real victims are not bleeding baseball fans or hospitalized cops, but mobs of thugs who wanted to act out a movie they saw.

The last thing that Baltimore, or any other place on earth, needs is more community policing, sentencing reform and political pandering to violent mobs. But pro-criminal politicians like Obama want to make Baltimore worse while turning the rest of the country into Baltimore. What would that look like?

If the country had Baltimore’s murder rate, around 120,000 Americans would be murdered every year. Not to mention 2.3 million assaults, 1.8 million robberies and 160,000 rapes by “misguided youth”.

And we can have that country. All we have to do is listen to the voices clamoring for criminal justice reform and America can look like Rawlings-Blake’s “space to destroy” Baltimore.

All we have to do is ignore the fact that the real victims in Baltimore are not the thugs in the streets, they are the people being assaulted by them.

The worst of the Baltimore violence didn’t begin with Freddie Gray’s death. It began with a meme about “The Purge”, a reference to an Anti-American movie which depicts a society where crime has been temporarily legalized, “allowing citizens to roam the streets and vent their rage for a 12-hour stretch, to rob, rape and kill with impunity.”

That should sound familiar. It’s what happened in Baltimore with Rawlings-Blake’s “space to
destroy”. It’s what happened in Ferguson. It’s what has been happening around the country as Obama and his associates have targeted police departments on behalf of criminals.

The Obama Purge legalizes crime. It legalizes theft, vandalism and assault. Baltimore, like Ferguson, shows us what that looks like. The solution to crime isn’t less law enforcement, it’s more law enforcement. You don’t make society better by empathizing with criminals. All you do is create more criminals and more crime.

You fill morgues, hospitals and cemeteries. You create a nation under siege by violent criminals. The Democrats and Republicans championing “criminal justice reform” have chosen to ignore the lessons of the sixties and seventies. They have decided that sympathizing with criminals will fix everything. Meanwhile the real victims, the people who work hard, especially the working poor, are disdained because they aren’t rioting in the streets.

The muggers and looters, the thugs and criminals, are not disenfranchised or forgotten, no matter how often the media tells you that. We see their smirks and hear their voices all the time. It’s their victims who are brushed aside and forgotten. We are told to sympathize with criminals and forget their victims.

A moral society doesn’t sympathize with criminals. It sympathizes with their victims. It doesn’t license criminality because it cares about the people who suffer when criminals run wild.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Savages With Cell Phones

Race riots usually begin with criminality and end with criminality. They're protests by criminals on behalf of a dead criminal.

The stores with smashed windows aren't the means to express outrage, but the end. The purpose of criminality is criminality. The police exist so that stores can remain unrobbed and random pedestrians can remain unbeaten. The protests express opposition to that policy by robbing stores and assaulting random white people.

The police were never the problem. The looters and rioters were.

The counterculture has not changed dramatically since the 70's, but it has tossed aside any appearance of idealism. The new counterculture draws in two groups, disaffected upper middle class white youth and lower class black youth. Their goals are purely materialistic, looted iPods and government subsidies for housing, education and anything else they can think of.

Divestment is the common denominator. Neither the white leftist nor the lower-class black rioter is invested in his society. The white rioter is a globalist, the black rioter is an outsider. Neither are invested in the city and country they are busy trashing.

These are the children of the welfare state with little in common except a rejection of the commercial way of life. Neither the entitled white university brat or the posturing ghetto teenager has any interest in working. The businesses they smash are an alien thing to them. Small businessmen do not go about smashing stores. The people who do think of commodities as something they trick or intimidate others into giving to them. And that covers everyone from municipal unions to thugs driving around BMW's.

This lawless materialism is the essence of the welfare state. "Loot as much as you can, or someone else will." If you don't grab government benefits or sneakers in store windows, someone else will. The rich are grabbing, the pols are grabbing-- time to queue up and loot your share. Communism made this way of thinking so commonplace that all of Russia became one black market. And we are not far behind.

What kind of people behave this way? Those who have come to think of wealth as an infinite pile from which everyone grabs as much as they can. This is where the ethos of the socialist left and hip-hop comes together. Obama gleefully spending millions on himself and trillions on national giveaways for his donors and supporters is the most obnoxious fusion of this phenomenon.

The angry rioter is a sacred figure in the progressive pantheon of social justice. The shirtless men in bandanas carting away cell phones are so outraged by injustice that they are willing to take to the streets and do what progressive hipsters taking social justice selfies of themselves in souvenir t-shirts plastered with the face of the latest victim of “white supremacism” can only dream about.

The race riot isn’t a bubbling stew of outrage out of which wounded souls emerge to cry out for justice. It’s a complicated criminal conspiracy in which the perpetrators rarely suffer any consequences.

The rioters aren’t outraged, they’re usually bored young men, frustrated and lacking in empathy. Many of them have gang ties or a criminal record stretching back to kindergarten.

They’re the same people who commit crimes in any other non-outraged context.

The rest are there to get some attention while providing them with protective coloration. 9 out of 10 people screaming frenziedly while holding up “Black Lives Matter” signs would eagerly scream and hold up “Justin Bieber 4 President” or “Baltimore Loves the KKK” signs if it got them positive attention and a shot at being on television.

Technological savvy melded with barbaric behavior, the 21st century mobile devotee turned raider is a wake up call in more ways than one. These are not mere race riots, they are the self-organization of the end of our civilization.

The classic raid has come to the cities of West, its hallmarks are not frustration but careful planning, followed by a violent rush. They are the reemergence of an old way of life that most people think died with the Vikings.

The law banished the raider back into the dim pages of history,  but law depended on a civilization which is now collapsing. Police officers need the support of the public to hold the line. And the left has now openly reverted to its pro-criminal advocacy while elements of the right, particularly those funded by the Koch Brothers, advocate for criminals.

The traditional raider saw himself as part of an outside group. The modern raider has global identities that are at odds with the country he lives in. When he joins a raiding party, it is as a member of one of those groups looting a society whose welfare is of no interest to him.

The left's motives for rebelling are different than those of minority looters. But the end result is similar enough. A disregard for the civilization becomes a disregard for its laws. And that leaves self-interest as the only hedge against anarchy. But what interest do people who do not work for a living have in preserving the businesses of others? None at all. As far as they are concerned, smash a store, it will collect the insurance, and reopen, or another will open up in its place. And even if it doesn't, then so what? It's not "our businesses" anyway. 

The commercial tribalism of the rapper who conflates casual violence and criminality with honor follows a pattern of glorifying crime that predates and postdates race, its ubiquity dating back centuries, from the highwayman to the 1920's bank robber, and is almost as socially disruptive and even more contagious.

The narrative is the same. Its idealism and honor covers up the blatant materialism and greed that its lawbreaking enables. And the message is also the same. Civilization's end.

The return of the raider as an instant message enabled gang is a phenomenon at odds with progress. It is a warning that darker times are returning, that while everyone may pack phones that have more processing power in one inch than a room of computers did 30 years ago, the march of progress is moving backward.

But the real purpose of a riot isn’t to benefit the rioters. It’s to benefit those who incite the riot. The rioters and looters react in response to riot-friendly conditions created from above. If you build the political infrastructure for a riot, the rioters and looters will come.

The #BlackLivesMatter riots are the product of a new generation of Sharptons, ambitious activists feeding hate, of the New Black Panther Party’s obsession with becoming relevant, of the ragged hipster ends of Occupy Wall Street drifting from occupation to occupation, of Muslim agents dreaming of turning African-Americans into a fifth column and of Obama’s clumsy efforts to keep on playing community organizer by feeding racial grievances and then pretending to rise above them.

Those who gain from unleashing chaos and violence are not the powerless, but the powerful. Sharpton rose to his important role as Obama’s liaison on a trail of bodies. Someone operating here hopes to be the next Sharpton. Meanwhile Obama is playing a perverse fusion of Sharpton and MLK, amping up a bad situation and then telling blacks and whites that they need to rise above it.

As always, the ringleader tries to keep his hands clean while convincing the establishment that he can turn the violence on or off any time he wants to.

Obama exploits the riots he cultivated for his own political ends. The looter at the top is not through looting yet.