Articles

Friday, June 24, 2016

Games Overgrown Political Children Play

We don't have an adult political system. What we do have is a political system in which childish tactics are used to play childish games with adult consequences. As described by Dr. Berne in Games People Play, "games" are dysfunctional strategies that can be used by adults to elicit childish or parental responses. Childish strategies shift responsibility to the "parent" while still claiming power. An adult who acts like a child gets to control what happens without being responsible for it.

(This article uses a very loose adaptation of Berne's Games People Play as a model.)

When the left shifted from a worker's movement to a youth movement because dissatisfaction was more likely to be found in the children of the middle and upper classes than among workers, protest strategies often became childish. The classic protesters were self-consciously juvenile outraging sensibilities so to force their establishment opponents to play the role of the sanctimonious parent while they reveled in being the liberated children. "Outrage" is a game that children learn to play at an early age. Some adults never stop playing it, at parties or at family reunions.

The modern campus crybully movement doesn't seek to outrage sensibilities by being provocative. Instead it's playing an even more immature childish game. The Yale protest over "offensive" Halloween costumes was the perfect example as a student screamed, "It is your job to create a place of comfort and home for the students who live in Silliman." This is the "Bad Parent" game.

Protesters, whether on campus or at #BlackLivesMatter events scream about their pain and how neglected they are. They claim to be traumatized, exhausted, in fear of their lives and unable to go about their daily business because the adults aren't taking good care of them. They're bad parents.

The classic protesters were playing children outraging parental sensibilities. The modern protesters claim to be abused children who need safe spaces and protection from bullying. They demand the right to be children while everyone must adopt the role of parents and coddle them. Tears, outbursts and tantrums glorified as "die ins" in which everyone lies on the floor reinforce their childish case.

The "Crybully" is a perfect example of adults using childish behavior to achieve their demands while forcing their opponents into a parental mode. The protesters openly disavow responsibility for their own behavior and demand that administrators, authorities and society stop being bad parents.

"Bad Parent" is a further regression to childhood than "Outrage". Its origins go back directly to the coddled baby. Crybullies achieve their political goals using a childish strategies in which they use power while claiming to be powerless and demand that those who have power do what they want.

There are two ways to counter this protest style. The adult approach is to insist that the protesters are adults and must be responsible. Rather than falling into the parental style which reproves and plays into the psychodrama, the adult style is to reject the entire dynamic and hold them responsible.

The more familiar way is to meet them on a childish level by taunting and ridiculing their childishness. This can be emotionally satisfying. But it plays into the psychodrama, riling up the crybullies to further cries that they are being picked on. The authorities are pressured to stop being "bad parents" and protect them. Enough taunting may lead the crybullies to overplay their hand, but it is at least as likely to lead to crackdowns on free speech. This already occurred on Twitter.

But protests are increasingly juvenile in nature. Occupy Wall Street consisted of a bunch of grad students from wealthy families camping out in a New York City park usually used by secretaries and construction workers on their lunch break, fouling it, issuing incoherent demands, conducting hand signal sessions and generally tiring out even the patience of their biggest supporters.

Political candidates also devolve into childish games.




Bernie Sanders - Don't Wanna Go To School

Bernie is the candidate with the most juvenile appeal for obvious reasons. The game he's been playing is "Don't Wanna Go To School".

"Don't Wanna Go To School" is a familiar game for most parents.

Billy: I don't wanna go to school

Mom: All children have to go to school

Billy: Nobody should have to go to school

And so a protest movement is born. The individual grievance becomes a collective grievance. "Nobody should have to go to school" morphs into "Nobody should have to pay for college" and "Nobody should have to pay for health care". And "Nothing bad should ever happen".

There's nothing resembling a sensible and coherent plan for working any of this out. But the negative assertion is inherently popular and liberating. It also forces critics into unpopular "sensible" adult and parental roles. It forces them to be the ones telling the child about the real world.

Mom: But if you don't go to school, how will you get a job and make money?

Billy: Everyone should get money for free.

Mom: But if everyone gets free money, it'll be worthless.

Billy: There should be a law that stores have to give you stuff anyway

Bernie's strategy is forcing Hillary Clinton to play "Mom" and explain why this won't work. And nothing is quite as alienating to younger Bernie voters than listening to her "But if you don't go to school" speech.

Bernie Sanders may be old, but he's been playing "Don't Wanna Go To School" all his life.

Sanders took his first bride to live in a maple sugar shack with a dirt floor, and she soon left him. Penniless, he went on unemployment. Then he had a child out of wedlock. Desperate, he tried carpentry but could barely sink a nail.

He lived on unemployment and then his political campaign became unlimited unemployment.

Bernie Sanders encourages his supporters to maintain a juvenile role. But Bernie playing the child role forces Hillary Clinton into the parent role. And then she becomes the "Bad Mom" who won't let everyone have candy. That makes her even more unlikable.

Hillary Clinton's base becomes older voters and black voters who appreciate the need for a strong maternal role. While younger voters are drawn to Bernie's "Don't Wanna Go to School" campaign.



Hillary Clinton - I Don't Want to be Responsible Anymore

Bill Clinton was always playing the "You Caught Me" game. This is a common juvenile game in which the child breaks something intending to get caught. After initial recriminations, the child charms his way out of the offense and has love showered on him. This is more common when the parent feels guilty or neglectful because of a family situation. Likely the case for Bill Clinton.

Bill went on playing "You Caught Me" throughout his White House years and both of Hillary's campaigns. In the game, he makes a mess that everyone around him has to clean up.

"You Caught Me" is not really self-sabotage though it looks that way. It's a straight refusal to adopt adult responsibility because of learned rewards for childish behavior. Bill Clinton's messes don't hurt him. They create more work for those around him while making him the center of attention.

Hillary Clinton however engages in actual self-sabotage by telling ridiculous lies that are certain to be exposed, e.g. under fire in Bosnia, negotiated peace in Northern Ireland. This game is an even more familiar one. It's "I Don't Want to be Responsible Anymore".

"I Don't Want to be Responsible Anymore" is played by powerful people, overachievers who are not receiving emotional rewards for their efforts. The senior male politician who stupidly commits adultery and the executive who blatantly embezzles to gamble are examples of this behavior. They are driven to achieve, but their achievements don't make them happy, so they undermine their own achievements with childish behavior to revert back to a happier and less dutiful time.

Hillary Clinton is driven to achieve power in a democratic system, but she dislikes people. While her husband genuinely liked campaigning, she hates it. Her attempts to pretend that she likes to meet people make her seem artificial and phony. Bill Clinton found emotional rewards in politics. If Hillary Clinton finds them anywhere, it's in the actual use of power. But she never truly had that.

"I Don't Want to be Responsible Anymore" is also often played by the spouses of irresponsible men. It's a game for dutiful people who are not truly responsible, who are stuck doing what they don't like to do, and sabotage themselves to find a way out. Their sabotage is a cry for help. A part of them that they won't admit to hates their life and is looking for an exit.

A Senator begins a wildly inappropriate affair that he knows will come out. A bank executive plays online poker and has to steal from the bank to keep going. A Secretary of State sets up a private email server in the clumsiest way possible continuing a long career of clumsy unnecessary scandals. They know that they will get caught. And they don't even have a plausible excuse to offer when they do.

What they are really saying is, "I don't want to be in the Senate", "I don't want to go to work here every day" and "I don't really want to run for President."

Friday, June 17, 2016

Islamophobia Kills

The deadliest mass shooting in American history happened because of Islamophobia.

Islamophobia killed 49 people in Orlando. It didn’t kill 49 Muslims. Instead it allowed Omar Mateen,  a Muslim terrorist, to kill 49 people in the name of his Islamic ideology and the Islamic State.

Omar, like so many other Muslim killers, could have been stopped. He talked about killing people when he worked at G4S Security, a Federal contractor that provided services to the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department. But, according to one of the co-workers he stalked, a former police officer, his employers refused to do anything about it because he was a Muslim.

The FBI conducted an investigation of Omar Mateen. They put him on a watch list and sent informants. They interviewed him and concluded that his claims of Al Qaeda ties and terrorist threats were reactions to “being marginalized because of his Muslim faith.” Omar told the agents that he said those things because “his co-workers were discriminating against him and teasing him because he was Muslim.”

And they believed him.

Poor Omar wasn’t a potential terrorist. He was just a victim of Islamophobia.

Omar got away with homophobic comments that would have gotten Americans fired because he was Muslim. He weathered an “extensive” FBI investigation because he was Muslim.

Anyone who says that there is no such thing as Muslim Privilege ought to look at Omar Mateen.

There is a direct line between Omar’s Muslim privilege and the Pulse massacre. Omar Mateen’s Muslim privilege protected him from consequences. While the media studiously paints the image of a beleaguered population of American Muslims suffering the stigma of constant suspicion, Omar’s Muslim background actually served as a shield and excused behavior that would have been unacceptable for anyone else. Omar Mateen’s Muslim privilege shielded him until he was actually murdering non-Muslims.

And Omar’s case is not unique. The Fort Hood killer, Nidal Hasan, handed out business cards announcing that he was a Jihadist. He delivered a presentation justifying suicide bombings, but no action was taken. Like Omar, the FBI was aware of Hasan. It knew that he was talking to Al Qaeda bigwig Anwar Al-Awlaki, yet nothing was done. Instead of worrying about his future victims, the FBI was concerned that investigating him and interviewing him would “harm Hasan’s career”.

One of his classmates later said that the military authorities, “Don't want to say anything because it would be considered questioning somebody's religious belief, or they're afraid of an equal opportunity lawsuit.”

Would the FBI have been as sensitive if Nidal Hasan had been named Frank Wright? No more than Omar Mateen would have kept his security job if his name had been Joe Johnson.

It’s an increasingly familiar story.

The neighbors of San Bernardino killers Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik noticed that something strange was going on, but they were afraid of profiling Muslims. If they had done the right thing, the 14 victims of the two Muslim killers would still be alive. If the FBI had done the right thing with Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood victims would still be alive and whole. If the FBI had done the right thing with Omar Mateen, his 49 victims would still be alive and those he wounded would still be whole.

We have some basic choices to make. We can empathize with Muslims or with their victims.

We cannot however do both.

After 9/11, Muslims somehow became the biggest victim group in America. And even if you contend that most Muslims are not responsible for the actions of Islamic fundamentalist groups, even if you believe that most Muslims are being wrongly blamed for the actions of a smaller group of radicals, the pernicious myth of Muslim victimhood has become a distorting force that protects terrorists.

Muslim victimhood has elevated Islamist groups such as CAIR to the front row of political discourse alongside legitimate civil rights organizations, despite their terror links and history of obstructing law enforcement efforts to fight Islamic terrorism, while mainstreaming their Islamist agendas.

Muslim victimhood has silenced the victims of Muslim terrorism. Every Muslim terror attack is swiftly diverted to the inevitable “backlash” narrative in which the media turns away from the bodies in the latest terror attack to bring us the stories of the real Muslim victims who fear being blamed for it.

This obscene act of media distraction silences the victims of Muslim terrorism and rewards the enablers and accomplices of Muslim terrorism instead. It is every bit as terrible as claiming that the real victims of a serial killer are his family members who are being blamed for not turning him in, instead of the people he killed and the loved ones they left behind.

Muslim victimhood protects Muslim terrorists like Omar Mateen. It shields them from scrutiny. It invents excuses for them. While Omar made his preparations, while the FBI investigation of him was botched, the media leaped nimbly from a thousand petty claims of Muslim victimhood. And the worst of them may have been Tahera Ahmad, a Muslim woman who claimed she was discriminated against when a flight attendant poured her soda in a cup instead of being given a can. This insane nonsense received days of media coverage. That’s more airtime than any American victim of Islamic terrorism has received.

The media will wait as short a period as it can and turn away from Orlando to some manufactured viral media claim of Muslim discrimination that will be unbearably petty. Meanwhile the next Omar Mateen will be plotting his next act of terror. It’s time to tell the truth.

Islamic terrorism is caused by Muslim privilege. These acts of violence are motivated by racism and supremacism in Islam. Allahu Akbar, the Islamic battle cry often associated with acts of terror and ethnic cleansing since its origin in Mohammed’s persecution of the Jews, is a statement of Muslim superiority to non-Muslims.

Muslim terrorism is not the groan of an oppressed minority. Its roots run back to racist and supremacist Islamic societies in Saudi Arabia and Egypt where non-Muslims have few if any civil rights. Muslims are a global majority. Islamic terrorism is their way of imposing their religious system on everyone.

Standing in solidarity with Muslims after Orlando makes as much sense as standing in solidarity with Klansmen after the Charleston massacre. No one should be standing in solidarity with hate groups.

Omar wasn’t radicalized by the “internet”. He got his ideas from Islamic clerics who got their ideas from Islam. He was “radicalized” by the holiest texts of Islam. Just like every other Muslim terrorist. His actions weren’t “senseless” or “nihilistic”, he was acting out the Muslim privilege of a bigoted ideology.

Even in this country, the majority of hate crimes are not directed at Muslims. Instead Muslims have disproportionately contributed to persecuting various minority groups. Orlando is only the latest example of this trend. In Europe, Jews are fleeing Sweden and France because of Muslim persecution. In Germany, gay refugees have to be housed separately from Muslim migrants. So do Christian refugees. This isn’t the behavior of victims. These are the actions of oppressors.

Muslims are not part of the coalition of the oppressed, but of the oppressors. The sooner we recognize that, the sooner we can deal stop Islamic terrorism and protect the victims of Muslim terrorists.

Muslim privilege killed 49 people in Orlando. How many people will it kill next week or next month? How many will it kill in the next decade or the next century?

The Muslim genocide of non-Muslims is already happening in Syria and Iraq. Islam has a long genocidal history. And if we continue to confuse the oppressors and the oppressed, the next genocide we fail to stop may be our own.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Islam's Violence is Rooted in Instability

Islamic violence is nearly impossible to deny. But why is Islam violent? The usual answer is to point to Koranic verses calling for the conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims. That certainly covers the theological basis for Islamic violence. But it fails to explain why Muslims continue to practice it. Even against each other. Violence has become the defining form of Islamic exceptionalism.

Optimists speak of reforming Islam. But such reforms had over a thousand years in which to take place.

Islam is an ideology. Its violence is a strategy. That strategy fit the needs of Mohammed. Mohammed chose to use force to spread his ideology. He needed to recruit fighters so he preached the inferiority of non-Muslims, the obligation for Muslims to conquer non-Muslims and the right of his fighters to seize the property and wives of non-Muslims as incentive for them to join his fight. Furthermore he even promised them that if they should fall in battle, they would receive loot and women in paradise.

The strategy was barbarous, but quite effective. Mohammed had created a new super-tribe in a tribal society. The tribe of Islam united different groups in a mission of conquest. The Islamic religion allowed the varying clans to be more effective and ambitious than their victims. Within a surprisingly short amount of time the chain of conquests made Islam into a world religion. The most effective Islamic conquerors could not only claim vast territories, carving up civilization into fiefdoms, but they could prepare their sons and grandsons to continue the chain of conquests.

Islam made the standard tactics of tribal warfare far more effective. Its alliance was harder to fragment and its fighters were not afraid of death. But at the same time Islam remained fundamentally tribal. It made tribal banditry more effective, but didn’t change the civilization. It codified the tribal suspicion of outsiders and women into a religious doctrine. That still drives Islamic violence against non-Muslims and women today.

And yet Islam could have reformed. All it had to do was choose a different civilizational strategy.

The current clash of civilizations is between cooperative societies and hierarchal tribal societies. Western countries are cooperative societies. They succeed by bringing together a variety of peoples into cooperative organizations. These organizations negotiate and exchange everything from goods to mutual defense. Primitive versions of such organizations existed in Mohammed’s time. They have also existed within Islamic societies, but they have been inhibited by the tribal instability of Islamic civilizations. Cooperative societies emphasize internal conscience over external posturing. Religion is a matter of personal morality, rather than collective conquest. Economic resources are developed by harnessing new ideas and techniques to provide wider benefits to the society.

Islamic tribal societies are governed by extended family groups and other hierarchies that, like Islam, serve a similar role. While such societies can be locally stable, albeit backward, expanding them is difficult because their only point of unity comes through conflict with outsiders. Without external conflicts with non-Muslims, tribal societies degenerate into internal tribal conflicts.

That is what happened in Iraq and Syria, not to mention Yemen and Libya. Most Muslim countries are delicately balanced on the edge of a precipice and they can be very easily tipped into horrifying violence between different groups if their fragile internal order breaks down and there are no outside enemies.

The Muslim expansion became unsustainable once the external spread of conquest limited the access of Muslim armies to non-Muslim victims. Islamic unity did not survive Mohammed for very long. Stability came through feudal societies which were slow, backward and unwieldy, but prevented conflict.

Ultimately the only stable Muslim society is a slave state. Modern dictatorships, which strive to imitate modern countries by building up professional elites of doctors, engineers, lawyers and generals, are eventually undone by them. It’s the genuinely backward kingdoms that rely on oil wealth and slave labor which best weathered the changes of the past generations and maintained their ruling privileges.

And here we come to the fundamental crisis of Islamic violence.

Islamic civilization is fundamentally unstable and unsustainable. Contact with the modern world destabilized it setting off a series of chain reactions. Islamic civilization, particularly in the Middle East, could not make the transition to modernity. Those countries that had oil could buy their way out of the problem with generous subsidies at home while purchasing influence abroad. The Saudis made their own people rich while controlling the West. They financed wars without needing generals by funding terrorists. They kept a tribal society going by hiring foreign professionals to do most of the technical work.

Most Muslim countries however couldn’t buy that type of immunity from modernity. And even the Saudis had only bought a temporary immunity that is running down along with oil prices. The most Islamic societies had followed the old Mohammedan practice of exhausting the land. But where were they going to move on to?

The mass migration to Europe is part of the answer. While Europeans are shocked at the sight of millions of people just picking up and walking away, the Middle East still has deep nomadic roots. Most Muslim countries are political and historical fictions. Family groups matter far more than national identities.

Outside Israel, agriculture in the Middle East is sparse. The strong attachment to the land that is found among Israelis or Europeans is absent. Feudalism associates working the land with inferiority and feudalism is a more recent memory among Muslims than among most Europeans. Success means expanding into someone else’s land and living off the spoils rather than staying and working your own.

Western cooperative societies eagerly welcome Muslim migrants because they expect them to cooperate and contribute. But that is not happening. Muslim societies are hierarchal, not cooperative. The new arrivals expect to fit into a hierarchy. If they don’t encounter a strict hierarchy, they seek to “conquer” by establishing their hierarchy with the supremacism of the Koran as their guide.

Western societies seek to settle permanently. They plan for the long term. Nomadic tribals burn through resources, viewing cities and institutions as assets to strip, raid and dispose of, before moving on. The Islamic migration is not a new phenomenon and Europe is not meant to be its stopping point.

This is a variation of Mohammed’s old strategy. While some Islamic groups, such as ISIS and Al Qaeda, stay behind to battle for the dying lands of the Middle East to establish their own perfect society, large numbers of Muslims are choosing to move on to fresher pastures. This cycle will only repeat itself.

This strategy is why Islam continues to be violent. It’s why exporting democracy is useless.

Democracy works in cooperative societies. It can only work within tribal societies as a democracy of groups. And it requires that these groups prefer cooperation to conflict as a civilizational strategy.

Islam favors conflict over cooperation. In the absence of outside enemies, its doctrine allows its quarreling groups to name each other as infidels, heretics and enemies. To reform Islam, Muslims would have to make the civilizational transition to a cooperative strategy. They would have to fundamentally change their values, their priorities and how their societies function.

And there is no sign of that happening.

Islamic civilization becomes unstable once it expands beyond its tribal limits. Its only coping strategy for that instability is violence, whether directed externally at non-Muslims or internally at other Muslims. Its economic development tools are limited and make supporting a modern society very difficult because they emphasize maintaining internal hierarchal stability over innovation and progress.

Islam is violent because it’s unstable. Its only tool is violence. Its societies exhaust their limited resources and then invade their neighbors. They repeat the same strategy until they are stopped. Then the exhausted Islamic civilization becomes a staid slave society that is stable, but backward. If that society is disturbed, then the egg cracks and the whole horrible process of war, invasion and exhaustion begins again. That is what we are experiencing right now. And there is no easy answer to this problem.

We can inhibit the expansion of Islamic migration. Or it will wash over our societies and destroy them

Sunday, June 05, 2016

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 inconceivable for the international community to denounce an ethnically cleansed group which survived attempted genocide for moving back into its own city. 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.

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 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 permanent 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. To violate that ethnic cleansing endangers peace.

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. 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 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, June 01, 2016

The Friend and the Foe

On Memorial Day, the flowers bloom. A dozen towns in a dozen states all claim that it began there when after the long weary struggle of the Civil War, the mothers and sisters of the lost and the fallen brought fresh cut flowers to bring a touch of life to the dead men entombed in the cold, gray stone.

"From the silence of sorrowful hours, The desolate mourners go, Lovingly laden with flowers, Alike for the friend and the foe,” reads the famous Francis Miles Finch poem which helped popularize the practice.

Today the wars are no longer fraternal. The First World War is the last war that had anything brotherly in it. It was a war where soldiers from both sides could observe a Christmas truce and hurl nothing deadlier than snowballs at each other. The end of that terrible war on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" became Armistice Day and then, when the “war to end all wars” did not end them, but instead gave way to wars fought against terrible evils, Nazism, Communism, Islam, it became Veteran’s Day to remember those who would go on sacrificing in this eternal struggle against evil.

But while wars are no longer fraternal, the flowers are laid now on the graves of foes, not friends.

The men and women who die fighting for the cause of freedom are not accorded a fraction of the tender affection from the press that it lavishes on a single imprisoned Al Qaeda terrorist. We live today in an America in which the butchers of the Jihad in Guantanamo Bay receive better medical care than veterans waiting endlessly at the VA. While Obama cut off hot meals for Marines in Afghanistan, Islamic terrorists in Guantanamo Bay were enjoying lemon baked fish, honey glazed chicken, lyonaise rice, tandouri chicken breast, okra, hummus, dates, honey and seasoned lentils.

While veterans died at the VA, the men they had fought and helped capture were gifted with a $750,000 soccer field. This treatment is an obscene echo of the days of segregation when German POWs were allowed to sit inside at eateries while the African-American soldiers who guarded them had to wait outside. This segregation no longer occurs by race, but by patriotism and creed.

Obama denies that Islamic terrorism exists and suppresses any training materials about the role of Islam in Islamic terrorism while his administration warns of domestic terror threats from veterans. Muslim migrants from Syria receive lavish social benefits while health care for veterans is slashed. The Muslim migrants, many of whom support Islamic terrorists, benefit from job programs while veterans head for the unemployment line. This hatefully discriminatory attitude has become pervasive on the left.

Hollywood bends over backward to avoid accurately portraying Muslim terrorists, but depicts returning veterans as unstable killers and ticking time bombs. The media gushes over each petty Islamophobia grievance, like Tahera Ahmad, who claimed that she didn’t receive a Diet Coke can on a plane only because she was Muslim, while sweeping the sweeping the thousand veterans who died because of the VA scandal under the progressive prayer rug. A Muslim Diet Coke matters more than a thousand dead veterans.

When Secretary of Defense Ash Carter was slow to release Islamic Jihadists from Guantanamo Bay, Obama summoned him and personally chewed him out over the delays for his beloved terrorists. His predecessor, Secretary of Defense Hagel, said, “I’d get the hell beat out of me all the time on this at the White House.”

Does anyone imagine that Obama summoned the VA secretary to yell at him over the treatment of veterans? Instead he initially backed former VA Secretary Shinseki. And it’s doubtful that current VA Secretary Bob McDonald will be getting personally yelled at by Obama for comparing wait lines at the VA to Disneyland.

33% of veterans who have served since September 11 suffer from a disability. Their unemployment rates are higher and both poverty rates and food stamp use continue to rise. Behind these tragic facts is the tragic truth that we have forgotten how to honor our veterans. Worse still, the country’s leaders go out of their way to actively diminish the respect due to their courage and sacrifices.

On his visit to Vietnam, Obama referenced veterans only to praise John Kerry while insisting that “the courage to make peace” is more important than the courage “to fight”. The old-fashioned kind of veteran who fought in Vietnam, who earned his Purple Heart honestly and came home wounded in body and spirit, who is not interested in pretending that the Communist death squads he fought deserve his tribute is, according to Obama, lacking in courage. True courage is appeasement while the courage that stopped Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan is truly something closer to cowardice.

In his apology speech at Hiroshima, Obama cynically equated American and Japanese soldiers, as he had both sides in Vietnam, dismissing World War II as being fought out of a “base instinct for domination or conquest”. This is how the left sees war and soldiers. There are no good wars. Therefore the only good veterans are the ones who transcend it by recognizing that they made a mistake by fighting. That war is a misunderstanding to be resolved by the truly courageous diplomacy of men like John Kerry.

Is it any wonder that an administration which views the military as an evil to be abolished, which sees the war against Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany not as proof of our moral convictions, but as an outgrowth of our ancestors “having learned to make blades from flint and spears from wood, used these tools not just for hunting, but against their own kind”, has such contempt and hostility for veterans?

And is it any wonder that this contempt trickles through the institutions of the left, from entertainment to academia, and that in the shadow of these institutions, the honor due to the men who fought for our freedom, those still living and the dead, from the birth of our nation to its present crisis, is lacking?

Is it any wonder that veterans go hungry while lavish feasts are thrown in the institutions of government? Once we remembered that our freedoms come from the willingness to fight for them. Not with campus activism or empty words, but on the battlefield against those totalitarian enemies, whether they wear the death’s head, the red star or the crescent, which come to deprive us of them.

But our enemies today are as likely to come from within as without. We are in the midst of a quiet civil war and our veterans have become its first casualties. The heroes of today’s ruling class are racist rabble-rousers who tear down the flag for which so many of our soldiers died and replace it with their own militant banners of identity politics. The privileged leftist activists who once chanted "Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh, the NLF is gonna win", who even attempted to murder soldiers to aid the enemy, are in charge of the country, while Vietnam veterans sleep on the streets and groan in prisons.

Obama’s disrespect for veterans and the military is only a symptom of a deeper rot. Once again a civil war is underway between those of us who love this Union and those who seek to divide it. It is a conflict fought with words and laws, rather than bullets, but it has its casualties who are all around us. It is not only the veterans who have died at the VA who are its victims, but those who have long slept under green grass and gray stone, whose graves wait to be decorated, whose courage waits to be remembered and whose cause waits to be fought once again.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Obama's Ho Chi Minh Trail

On his visit to meet with Communist leaders in Vietnam, Obama criticized the United States for having, “too much money in our politics, and rising economic inequality, racial bias in our criminal justice system.” He praised Ho Chi Minh’s evocation of the “American Declaration of Independence” and claimed that we had “shared ideals” with the murderous Communist dictator.

Shortly after the “evocation” that Obama praised, his beloved Ho was hard at work purging the opposition, political and religious. When Obama references these “shared ideals”, does he perhaps mean Ho’s declaration, “All who do not follow the line laid down by me will be broken.”

Perhaps he means the euphemistically named “land reform” which may have killed up to a million people. Like Stalin and Mao, Ho Chi Minh seized land and executed property owners as “enemies of the state”. The original plan had been to murder one in a thousand. But the relatively modest plan for mass murder was swiftly exceeded by the enthusiastic Communist death squads.

Obama has consistently called for wealth redistribution. This is what it really looks like. It’s men being hung from trees or lying in dirt dying of malaria. It’s death squads coming in the night. It’s a declaration that you are to be executed because you are the wrong class in a class war. It’s a man condemned to hard labor in a New Economic Zone and a family starving to death because the regime has commanded that they must be made an example of to other peasants.

What’s wrong with a little wealth redistribution anyway?

As Obama said, on his visit to the brutal Communist dictatorship in Cuba, “So often in the past there’s been a sharp division between left and right, between capitalist and communist or socialist... And especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate, right? Oh, you know, you’re a capitalist Yankee dog, and oh, you know, you’re some crazy communist that’s going to take away everybody’s property... you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory — you should just decide what works.”

Does Vietnam’s Communist dictatorship work? Obama seems to think that it does, talking up the, “skyscrapers and high-rises of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and new shopping malls and urban centers. We see it in the satellites Vietnam puts into space”. What’s a million dead when you’ve got satellites in space? What does it matter if you don’t have freedom of speech when there are skyscrapers in Ho Chi Minh City?

Unlike Pol Pot, whose genocidal crimes leftist activists like Noam Chomsky tried and failed to cover up, the Communist butchery in Vietnam that took place even long before the Vietnam War has largely been erased from common history. The victims of Ho Chi Minh and his successors have become non-persons not just in Vietnam, but in Washington D.C. Instead Obama associates one of history’s bloodiest Communist butchers with Thomas Jefferson.

What of the Declaration of Independence was there in Ho’s concentration camps? The brutal Communist regime whose ideals Obama praises, sent political dissidents to camps. Are those the ideals he shares with Uncle Ho?

Obama praises the “Vietnamese constitution, which states that ‘citizens have the right to freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and have the right of access to information, the right to assembly, the right to association, and the right to demonstrate.’ That’s in the Vietnamese constitution.”

The Soviet constitution had the same empty guarantees. The Nhan Van-Giai Pham intellectuals who were purged can testify that these words were as meaningless as those of the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence which Obama had quoted earlier. More relevantly the fourth article of the Vietnamese Constitution states that the “The Communist Party of Vietnam... the faithful representative of the interests of the working class, laborers and the whole nation, acting upon the Marxist-Leninist doctrine and Ho Chi Minh's thought, is the leading force of the State and society.” That means there’s no freedom of speech, press, assembly or anything else except within the confines of Marxist-Leninist doctrine and Uncle Ho’s cunning distortions that fooled almost as many American leftists as Uncle Joe’s plans for Eastern Europe fooled Western European leftists.

Obama equates a Communist dictatorship to America in an ugly display of moral equivalence. “This is an issue about all of us, each country, trying to consistently apply these principles.” Vietnam locked up political bloggers for “abusing their freedom” just this March. According to Obama, America has “too much money in politics”. Vietnam doesn’t have that problem. It only has one party. The Communist Party.

Vietnam only has one party because its Communist leaders banned, purged and criminalized the opposition. But Obama doesn’t think that Communism is a particularly bad thing.

In his speech, he dismissed the Vietnam War as being caused by “fears of Communism” that overcame our “shared ideals”. Why were we afraid of Communism? It might have had to do something with the mass murder of 94 million people by Communist regimes. It might have a few things to do with concentration camps, bans of political parties and the imprisonment and execution of those practicing freedom of speech, assembly and the press.

Our “fears of Communism” were as real and valid as our “fears of Nazism”. It is only the fellow travelers of the left who deny this undeniable fact.

After one bout of mass murder, Ho Chi Minh dismissed his crimes with the words, “One cannot waken the dead.” Obama clearly agrees. The dead, American and Vietnamese, must be written off as part of an unfortunate conflict. We must forget why they died and embrace their killers.

Obama marked the lives lost on “both sides” as if the Communist terror squads butchering Vietnamese farmers or massacring Catholics were somehow morally the equal of American soldiers dying to stop them. Lives were also lost on both sides when America fought the Nazis. Reagan was rightly criticized for that sort of moral equivalence when he equated Nazi soldiers at Bitburg and concentration camp victims. And yet the liberals who protested that equivalence have nothing but applause when Obama equates murdered American soldiers and butchered Vietnamese families with their Communist killers.

When Viet Cong terrorists threw grenades into markets, are we supposed to mourn the children who were torn apart by shrapnel and the grenade throwers as morally equivalent? If we equate “the names of 58,315 Americans who gave their lives in the conflict” with the evil they were fighting, then we render their sacrifice worthless.

Their deaths become a meaningless mistake in an unnecessary war caused by our failure to understand our “shared ideals” with Ho Chi Minh and our irrational fear of Communist concentration camps.

That is Obama’s real message. We should have adapted some aspects of Communism and learned from our shared values. We should have closed our eyes to Ho Chi Minh’s atrocities as a matter of having to break human eggs to make Socialist omelets while celebrating him as another Thomas Jefferson.

That is the way the left saw it. That is still the way it sees it.

Obama’s trip to Vietnam is not a mere strategic journey, but yet another opportunity for him to remind us that the left has not repented or recanted of its solidarity and support for Communist terror whether in Cuba, in Vietnam or anywhere else. It still sees every Communist dictator as a role model worth emulating and every Communist mass grave as the price that must be paid for a better world.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Palestine Hoax

150 years ago, Mark Twain visited Muslim-occupied Israel and wrote of “unpeopled deserts” and “mounds of barrenness”, of “forlorn” and “untenanted” cities.

Palestine is “desolate”, he concluded. “One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings.” The same is true of the Palestinian Museum which opened with much fanfare and one slight problem. While admission is free, there’s nothing inside for any of the visitors to see except the bare walls.

The Palestinian Museum had been in the works since 1998, but has no exhibits. The museum cost $24 million. All it has to show for it are a few low sloping sandy buildings indistinguishable from the dirt and a “garden” of scraggly bushes and shrubs. The Palestinian Museum is open, but there’s nothing inside.

It’s hard to think of a better metaphor for Palestine than a bunch of empty buildings designed by Irish and Chinese architects whose non-existent exhibits were the brainchild of its former Armenian-American director. It’s as Palestinian as bagels and cream cheese. Or skiing, hot cocoa and fjords.

Over the Palestinian Museum flies the proud flag of Palestine, which was originally the flag of the Iraqi-Jordanian Federation before the PLO “borrowed” it, and visitors might be greeted by the Palestinian anthem composed by Greek Communist Mikis Theodorakis. If it sounds anything like the soundtrack from Zorba the Greek, that’s because they both share the same composer.

All of Palestine is so authentically Palestinian that it might as well be made in China. At least that’s where the stained Keffiyahs worn by the stone throwers hurling rocks at passing Jewish families while posing heroically for Norwegian, Canadian and Chilean photojournalists are made.

Palestine is an empty building with nothing in it. It’s a political Potemkin village. There’s a flag, an anthem, a museum and all the trappings of a country. But if you look closer, there’s nothing inside.

The Palestinian Museum’s chairman, Omar al-Qattan, who was born in Beirut and lives in the UK, said that the “Palestinians” needed positive energy so badly that opening an empty museum made sense.

Just think how much positive energy can come from realizing that you have no culture, heritage or history to put in your museum. But actually the Palestinian Museum had to open in time for the Nakba. The Nakba is the annual commemoration of the failed invasion of Israel by foreign Muslim armies. The invasion by Egyptian, Iraqi, Syrian and Jordanian forces began on May 15. Egypt’s General Muhammad Haidar declared that the invading Muslim forces would be occupying Tel Aviv in two weeks.

Egyptian forces hit the village of Kfar Darom which had a few hundred residents and a few dozen militia members. They hit it with tanks, armored vehicles, infantry battalions, artillery and bombers. The invading colonial Muslim forces lost two soldiers for every single Jewish militia defender. Instead of taking Tel Aviv in two weeks, they were stuck laying siege to a tiny village for two months. That’s the Nakba. And you can see why the Muslim settlers in Israel have an annual day of mourning over the miserable defeat of their invading armies at the hands of the indigenous Jewish population.

Like its museum, all of Palestine is one long endless fraud. The opening of the Palestinian Museum will be attended by President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. Abbas was elected to a four-year term in 2005. It’s been a while since his term expired. The Palestinian Authority is just the PLO in drag. It claims authority over some territories that it doesn’t administer and has no control over.

But the empty Palestinian Museum isn’t about to let setbacks like a complete lack of things to put inside its bare walls get it down. Instead it’s doing what the PLO has always done in troubled times.

It’s invading Beirut.

Even though the Palestinian Museum has nothing to display, it’s opening a satellite museum in Beirut. If this “Palestinian” invasion goes anything like the last one, the satellite Palestinian Museum will be murdering Christians inside of a week. Beyond Beirut, the Palestinian Museum plans satellite museums in San Diego, London, Dubai and Gaza. In the Islamic fashion, the lack of an inner soul is compensated for with external expansionism.

Meanwhile the empty Palestinian Museum had found a prestigious new director, Mahmoud Hawari, a scholar whom it described as “the lead curator at the British Museum”. Hawari though isn’t a curator of anything. He’s a visiting academic. The foundation behind the Palestinian Museum blamed its new director for misleading them with a bad curriculum vitae. But it has yet to change its website. But Palestine has always been based on lies. Why should the Palestinian Museum break that tradition?

Hawari will have to decide what, if anything, to put in the Palestinian Museum. The chairman however thinks that it should celebrate Islamic terrorism and discuss who was living in Israel first. These two topics are the beginning and end of any Palestinian identity. And both of them involve hating Jews.

Eliminate Jews, as the Muslim and non-Muslim champions of the Palestinian hoax have attempted to do, and there is no Palestine left. Palestine is a parasitic political entity that derives its wealth, its water and its electricity from Israel. It also gets its history, its culture and its entire reason for existing from Israel.

The Muslim settlers claim that King David was a Muslim, that Jesus was a Palestinian and that the Star of David, which long predated Islam, is an Islamic symbol. The only Palestinian culture is appropriation.

Palestine can no more exist without Israel than a Plasmodium malariae or an HIV virus can exist outside a warm body. Despite all the whining about an independent state, the only purpose for a Palestinian state that the PLO, Hamas or anyone else has been able to conceive of is attacking Israel.

Palestinian identity has no meaning or context without hating Jews.

The Palestinian Museum is as empty as the souls of a populace that has wholly given itself over to a cult of death. Nothing can be put in there except hatred of Jews.

The echoing emptiness of the Palestinian Museum has been blamed, with utter predictability, on the Jews. The Palestinian Museum had not wanted to taint its walls with the works of the filthy Jews. And so its overseers had to import from outside Israel since the only thing “Palestine” manufactures is death.

The Jews had made it difficult to bring in authentically Palestinian, German lighting fixtures and Australian fire exit signs. But when the lighting fixtures and fire exit signs were finally put up, there was still nothing to put in the museum. And that too was the fault of the Jews.

Omar Al Qattan complains that Israel makes it difficult to import exhibition objects. But you would think that a museum a few miles outside the capital of the Palestinian Authority could find something “Palestinian” to exhibit in what it claims is its historic land. And yet the bare walls testify that it couldn’t.

There is no Palestinian culture. There is no Palestinian history. Instead there’s an empty museum built by an Irish architecture firm. Even the “Palestinian” garden is the work of a Jordanian landscaper.

Palestine is a Potemkin village. It has plenty of Muslim settlers squatting on the sites of historical Jewish towns and villages, but it is as desolate as it was when Mark Twain visited it. Its culture is an empty building. There are plenty of bodies, but there is no soul. Palestine has no past and no future.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Only Islam Can Save Us From Islam

In the Washington Post, Petraeus complained about the “inflammatory political discourse that has become far too common both at home and abroad against Muslims and Islam”. The former general warned that restricting Muslim immigration would “undermine our ability to defeat Islamist extremists by alienating and undermining the allies whose help we most need to win this fight: namely, Muslims.”

At Rutgers, Obama claimed that restricting Muslim immigration “would alienate the very communities at home and abroad who are our most important partners in the fight against violent extremism.”

If we alienate Muslims, who is going to help us fight Muslim terrorism?

You can see why Obama doesn’t mention Islamic terrorism in any way, shape or form. Once you drop the “I” word, then the argument is that you need Islam to fight Islam. And Muslims to fight Muslims.

This is bad enough in the Muslim world where we are told that we have to ally with the “moderate” Muslim governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to fight the Muslim terrorists whom they sponsor.

Petraeus has troublingly close ties to the Saudis. He defended their oil dumping program, praised the role of Islamic law in fighting Islamic terrorism and endorsed their Syria plans. While defending the Saudis as allies, he blamed Israel for America’s problems with the Muslim world. The narrative he was using there was the traditional Saudi one in which Israel, not Islam, is the source of the friction.

He defended Pakistan as an ally and claimed to believe the Pakistani excuses that they did not know Osama bin Laden was living right in their military center and that they really wanted to fight the Taliban.

Obama’s “partners” against “violent extremism” have included Muslim Brotherhood terror supporters at home and abroad. He backed Al Qaeda’s LIFG in Libya, Iran’s Shiite terror militias in Iraq, Al Qaeda allies in Syria and those are just a few of the worst examples of his partners against extremism.

Petraeus and Obama view terrorists and state sponsors of terror as important allies. Their policies have led to multiple terrorist attacks against Americans. And they still insist that we need Islamic terrorists as allies to protect us from Islamic terrorists. We need moderate theocrats to protect us from extremist theocrats. We need the Saudis and Pakistanis to save us from the terrorists whom they arm and fund.

But it’s Muslim immigration where their argument really shines.

The United States faces a terror threat because a certain percentage of the Muslim population will kill Americans. Every increase in the Muslim population also increases the number of potential terrorists. Muslim immigration increases the terrorism risk to Americans every single year.

These are undeniable facts.

When you’re in a hole, stop digging. Muslim populations are a hole. Immigration is the shovel. Dig deep enough and you’re six feet under.

Even if the mainstream narrative about a moderate majority and extremist minority were true, how could the cost of Islamic terrorism justify the expansion of even moderate Muslim communities?

9/11 cost us $3.3 trillion, over 10,000 dead, a national loss of privacy and traumas inflicted on millions. What could any number of moderate Muslims possibly contribute to outweigh all that? If it were a debt, it would take a thousand years to even begin balancing out those scales. And instead of trying to make amends, Muslim groups like CAIR and ISNA have waged a relentless campaign to undermine national security and defame Americans. They have refused to cooperate with law enforcement, defended terrorists and denounced America. These are our “moderate” partners.

But the Obama/Petraeus narrative about needing partners in Muslim communities in America implicitly concedes that Muslim communities at home, like the Saudis and Pakistanis abroad, create environments in which Islamic terrorists can safely operate. They admit the existence of Islamic no-go zones where the FBI and local law enforcement are ineffective so that we have to treat parts of Michigan or New Jersey like Pakistan or Iraq, trying to work with untrustworthy allies to gain intelligence on enemy territory.

We have to work with CAIR or ISNA, the way we do with the Saudis or Pakistanis, even though they’re untrustworthy, because they’re all we have in parts of America that have become enemy territory.

This argument is terrible enough in the Middle East. But it’s horrifying in the Midwest.

It’s bad enough that we sign off on “partners” who finance terrorists and then pretend to fight them in Syria or Afghanistan, do we really want to be doing this in Illinois or California?

The real problem, as Obama and Petraeus indirectly concede, is that Muslim communities create an ideal environment for Muslim terrorists. The last thing that we should be doing is building them up.

Even if Muslim communities were an asset, the Obama/Petraeus narrative is that they benefit us by helping us deal with the problems that they cause. The obvious question would be to wonder why we need them in the first place to help us cope with a problem that wouldn’t exist without them.

Obama insists that we need Muslim immigration so that Muslims will help us fight Muslim terror. But if we didn’t have Muslim immigration, we wouldn’t need Muslims to help us fight Muslim terrorism.

Muslim immigration isn’t a solution. It’s a problem posing as a solution. And we are told that we need to make the problem bigger in order to solve it. Muslim immigration has yet to reduce terrorism in any country. The increase in Muslim populations has not made Europe any safer. On the contrary, it has increased the risk of terrorism. The same is also true in Africa, Asia and across the Middle East.

The plan to reduce the risk of terrorism by increasing the Muslim population has failed around the world. Nor has it ever worked in the United States. What are the odds that it suddenly will now?

Building a counterterrorism strategy around creating more terrorism is not a strategy, it’s a suicide mission. Using Muslim immigration to fix a terrorism problem caused by Muslim immigration is like drilling a hole in a boat and then trying to plug it with water. Europe is sinking and if we don’t stop importing hundreds of thousands of Muslims, we’ll be facing the same problems that Europe does.

“It is precisely because the danger of Islamist extremism is so great that politicians here and abroad who toy with anti-Muslim bigotry must consider the effects of their rhetoric,” Petraeus insists.

It’s a compelling argument, but not in the way that he thinks it is. If Muslims can’t handle the full spectrum of argument, debate and namecalling that is a part of life in a free country without turning homicidal, then something has to go. According to Petraeus, it’s freedom of speech. According to others, it’s Muslim migration. Americans will have to decide whether they would rather have freedom of speech or Muslim immigration. Because even the advocates for Muslim migration are increasingly willing to admit that we can’t have both. The choice is ours.

Either we can hope that Islam will save us from Islam. And that Muslims will protect us from other Muslims. Or we can try to protect ourselves and save our lives and our freedoms from Islam.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Trouble With Facebook

Despite the denials, the stories about Facebook’s bias are real. But the bias isn’t there because of the company’s new technology. Facebook is biased because of its reliance on the biased old media.

Facebook’s trending topics wasn’t the automatic system that the company wanted people to think it was. Instead it hired young journalists with new media experience to “curate” its news feed. And plenty of them proved to be biased against conservative news and sources. Meanwhile someone at the top of Facebook’s dysfunctional culture wanted to play up Syria and the Black Lives Matter hate group.

Mark Zuckerberg’s fundamental mistake was recreating the biases and agendas of the old media in a service whose whole reason for existing was to allow users to create their own experience. The big difference between social and search is that social media is supposed to let you be the curator.

But, like Facebook’s trending topics, social curation was another scam. Facebook users don’t really define what they see. It’s defined for them by the company’s agendas. This includes the purely financial. It would be foolish to think that the fortunes that Buzzfeed spends on Facebook advertising don’t impact the placement of its stories by Facebook’s mysterious algorithm. And there is the more complex intersection of politics and branding in an age when business relevance means social relevance.

Twitter piggybacked on the Arab Spring to seem relevant. Facebook has used Black Lives Matter. Social media needs to be associated with political movements to seem more important than it is. Zuckerberg doesn’t want to head up a shinier version of MySpace that was originally set up to rate the attractiveness of Harvard girls. Being socially relevant is better for business. Especially when the business is vapid at its core.

Social media needs social relevance to disguise the narcissism at the center of its appeal.

Finally, a company worth hundreds of billions of dollars is not about to let users define their own experience even if that’s what they signed up to do. Facebook does not empower users. It seeks to shape and control their experience for its own power and profit. Facebook’s news feed is just as curated as its trending topics. The news feed depends more on algorithms, but those are still shaped by agendas even if they aren’t as simple as overworked left-wing journalism majors spitefully purging stories about IRS corruption from the trending topics on the right.

The entire purpose of the feed, the firehose of content blasting across your Facebook page, was to create a common experience with individualistic touches that the company could control. Facebook was moving from the personal to the impersonal. The social media company was trying to become more like the media that it had replaced. Its current publishing alliance with the New York Times shows just how mainstream it is trying to become.

Zuckerberg’s dirty little secret is that he’s not a visionary. His vision for Facebook is a platform for old media. His endgame is a bunch of stories and videos from all mainstream media companies. But the only reason for those companies to set up shop on Facebook is access to its huge user base. And that base has to be tricked into believing that the mainstream media content it’s seeing in its feed is there by choice.

Facebook’s trending topics is a window into its future. It’s a biased future that recreates the same biases and agendas of the news media. Because that’s what Facebook is meant to become.

The company is much more interested in media than in people. The more Mark Zuckerberg tries to be progressive, the more he misunderstands the critiques of his lack of empathy. And so Facebook’s evolution leverages its user base while trying to turn them into passive consumers of corporate content.

Meanwhile the New York Times and other media companies roll out native advertising with fake news stories that promote real products and which exist only to trick people into clicking on them. The biggest business on Facebook is high end spam overseen by major journalists and famous brand names.

All of this is alienating Facebook users. Active usage is falling sharply. Fewer users are sharing personal content. Personal update sharing fell 15 percent this year and 21 percent for the years before. But that’s what Zuckerberg wants. Facebook is becoming less of a personal site and more of a political one. Instead of millions of people trading baby announcements and family reunion photos, it’s evolving into a collective stream of ads and news stories that is indistinguishable from the mainstream media.

Facebook is not driven by user curated content or by an impersonal collection of algorithms. Like CNN or the New York Times, its agenda emerges from the political views and economic needs of its leadership. Its algorithms are not impersonal data driven metrics, but as human curated as its trending topics. The personal views of Facebook users are becoming as relevant as the comment page under a CNN story.

What Facebook wants you to believe is that it is researching how to cater to your tastes and interests, but what it’s really doing is figuring out how to convince you to click where it wants you to. It has morphed from a social media company to a media company. The social part is increasingly a scam.

Even if Mark Zuckerberg did not set out to discriminate against conservatives, the transformation from social media to mainstream media baked in the bias as a structural flaw. In an ecosystem dominated by mainstream media and its ad labs, conservative news will automatically be relegated to a dusty corner for the same reasons that trending topics curated by journalists would purge conservative news stories.

The internet counters institutional bias with open access. Facebook is institutionalizing all the existing biases in the media industries that it wants to absorb. It can’t become less open without becoming more biased. The less control users have over content, the more their experience is dictated by big picture corporate agendas and the low level content screeners who decide whether your post is offensive.

Facebook isn’t a social experience anymore. It’s a massive content machine that agrees to occasionally let you show off your baby shower pictures underneath fake viral content from its media partners. Its leadership, its employees, contractors and its media partners don’t like conservatives. And it shows.

Facebook doesn’t want to know what you think. It wants to tell you what to think. And it wants to do it while pretending that it was your idea all along.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Our Racist Trees

Mickey Fearn, the National Park Service Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance, made headlines when he claimed that black people don’t visit national parks because they associate them with slaves being lynched by their masters.

Yellowstone, the first national park, was created in 1872 in Wyoming. Slavery was over by then and no one had ever been lynching slaves around Old Faithful anyway. But false claims die very hard.

Now Alcee Hastings, an impeached judge, and a coalition of minority groups is demanding increased “inclusiveness” at national parks. High on their list is the claim that, “African-Americans have felt unwelcome and even fearful in federal parklands during our nation’s history because of the horrors of lynching.” What do national parks have to do with lynchings? Many national parks have trees. People were hung from trees. It’s guilt by arboreal association.

The origin of the bizarre racist lynching theory of national parks appears to be Carolyn Finney. Finney was an actress noted for, apparently, little more than an appearance in The Nutt House. Then she became a cause célèbre for race activists when she was denied tenure by Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management because her work didn’t meet academic standards.

Her supporters blamed racism, rather than her academic shortcomings, and protested vocally.

These days she’s a diversity advisor to the U.S. National Parks Advisory Board. What wasn’t good enough for UC Berkeley is good enough for national parks. She is also the author of Black Faces, White Spaces. In it she claims that “oppression and violence against black people in forests and other green spaces can translate into contemporary understandings that constrain African-American environmental understandings.”

Finney cites the work of Joy DeGruy Leary who invented a Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome that she claims black people suffer from. Affected by PTSS, black people experience “fear and mistrust of forests and other green spaces.” According to Finney, the tree is a racist symbol to black people.

“Black people also wanted to go out in the woods and eat apples from the trees,” Finney explains.” But black people were lynched on the trees. The tree became a big symbol.” Black people are triggered by trees and suffer Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome flashbacks. You can’t expect them to go to on a hike.

What shall we do about the racist trees? Finney is front and center at the new “inclusion” initiative, “You’re sitting here making up a rule and assuming that everybody is going to feel comfortable to come to the woods and go on a hike,” she whined. “Maybe they’re not interested in doing that, that’s not how they like to come to the woods.”

In addition to complaining about the racist trees, the inclusion initiative also claimed that national parks alienate Latinos because of the “color of the uniforms that rangers wear.”

What’s wrong with the color of park ranger uniforms? According to the Hispanic Access Foundation, they look too much like the border patrol. Even though the uniforms are actually completely different. But much like the lack of lynchings at Yellowstone National Park, the truth doesn’t matter here.

None of this is really about the nonsensical pseudoscientific ravings you just read. National parks don’t care what race you are. Trees are as blind to color as they are to everything else. Forests don’t need to be made more inclusive. This campaign is led by people who hate and reject natural spaces.

Finney claims that Theodore Roosevelt’s vision of preserving beautiful natural landscapes was rooted in “privilege”. Or as Fearn put it, “Preserving wild places is a white concept, going back to Rome.”

Influential figures in the National Park Service reject the fundamental idea of preserving natural beauty. They view a forest as a “white concept” full of scary racist trees. Or at least that’s what they claim.

That is what this is really about. The Obama era has rotted the Federal government with radical figures who are at war with fundamental American concepts and values. They intend to use their power to destroy those concepts and values. This is another example of that same ugly phenomenon.

Alcee Hastings complains of a “green ceiling” for hiring minorities. Aside from the usual diversity hiring push and buying from minority businesses in the “inclusiveness” proposals, not to mention nonsense about racist trees and scary uniforms, is a move to divert the focus to urban development. Then there’s the flow of money to “community organizations” to engage “culturally diverse communities”.

All that is code for robbing parks and moving the money into the same network of corrupt organizations that already swallows all the money that the Federal government can throw at its local projects. This isn’t inclusiveness. It’s blackmail. Advertise in our publications. Give us grants. Or your trees are racist.

For all the safe space rhetoric, the arguments ultimately come down to money. It’s not about racist tree symbolism or uniform colors. It’s about creating positions for people like Carolyn Finney or Mickey Fearn so they can lecture us on how parks are privilege and nature is racist. It’s about finding yet another unlikely target for baseless claims of racism to be milked for money, grants, ads and contracts.

The Obama era has seen the “Sharptoning” of America as the same ugly shakedown scams that were being practiced in New York or Chicago were suddenly national policy. This is the Sharptoning of the National Park Service. It’s happening in every agency and arm of government. We just don’t notice it.

The accusations are absurd. And yet the payoffs keep coming. And there’s little doubt that this latest “inclusiveness” initiative will also pay off. Our parks will suffer. Our slimiest politicians will prosper.

Finney says that national parks should represent where we want to go collectively as a people. But the beauty of a walk through the woods is that you don’t have to “collectively” go anywhere. A hike is not a national mission. It’s a place for individuality. And the left never fails to remind us how it loathes the individual and worships the collective impulse of totalitarian movements. This is paired with a hatred for beauty.

Forests and lakes are not about where we want to go collectively. They are where we once were. They represent spaces of imagination and reflection that have nothing in common with Finney’s compulsion. They don’t have to represent Finney’s demands for “demographic and ethnic diversity”. They allow us a freedom from the confining urban spaces of leftist identity politics that deny our humanity. They show us that life is pure and simple in ways that defy the convoluted nonsense of political correctness.

It’s not hard to see why the left, despite its hollow environmental posturing, hates them.