|London may be burning but the Halal at Subway is still made fresh (via 'niall from london')|
The economy is in the doldrums. The Republican field is still open. Obama is milking the death of the SEALS for everything he can, and it's another bright and sunny day in Malaisetown.
The last of the magic is gone. If liberals hoped for a savior, what they got was a celebrity with a law degree and an outsized ego, who excels at looking out for his own interests, but can't even meet the most minimal standards of competence.
There are striking similarities between the administrations of Obama and Schwarzenegger. Egotists who rose to power on their celebrity clout, rammed through their agenda, when that agenda was countered fell back on a torrent of personal appearances, and then finally dissolved into a puddle on the floor.
Thin-skinned, dependent on a media bubble, unable to relate to people and incapable of understanding how to deal with setbacks. The difference is that Schwarzenegger was a movie star turned politician. That's an excuse.
Obama has no excuses. He's a failed human being and a media puppet who's been conning people for so long that he can't operate any other way.
But in a little reported side story, the White House has unveiled a bold new counter-terrorism strategy. And by "bold", I mean "whimpering", for "new" substitute "really old" and by counter-terrorism I mean CAIR.
The Obama Administration has a new strategy for combating Islamic terrorism. The document that lays out its new strategy avoids using “Terrorism” in its title, instead substituting “Violent Extremism”. Jihad is not mentioned anywhere. Even “Muslim” is used as little as possible.
The document warns repeatedly that associating Islam with terrorism leads to terrorism. WWII had “Loose Lips, Sink Ships”, and we have, “Loose Stereotypes Fly Planes into Buildings.”
The new strategy isn't counter-terrorism, it's the same old Community Policing garbage that has dragged down the War on Terror into appeasement and Muslim outreach-- in triplicate.
Empowering Local Partners is a transparent defense of CAIR and other Muslim organizations accused of radical activities. But rather than countering the charges raised against them, it pretends those charges have never been made, and urges law enforcement to continue partnering with Muslim groups.
And who is the White House's man to draft a big picture counter-terrorism strategy?
After September 11, Wiktorowicz co-wrote an article for the Saudi funded Middle East Policy Council Journal, which made a point of distinguishing between Al-Qaeda and more mainstream organizations such as Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Wiktorowicz also distinguished between violent and non-violent Salafis.
Read the rest in my Front Page Magazine article: Defeating Islamic Terrorism Through Appeasement: Obama's CAIR Friendly Counterterrorism Strategy
This is NPR and CNN's alternative to "Islamophobes" like Emerson, Spencer, Bat Yeor, Bostom, etc. If the left were a bit smarter, it would find terrorism experts without these kinds of black marks, but this is a media operation where Michael Scheuer gets airtime.
This is how the left keeps marginalizing itself on the debate.
THE LATE GREAT DEBATE
The 2010 field is shaping up surprisingly well for an election battle against an incumbent, but maybe that's because the GOP threw the 2008 election. And belatedly decided to give the 2012 election a real go.
I find myself liking most of the candidates, as people and as professionals, but electability and public presence are still major problems.
The debate seemed like a competition for third place, behind Romney, who hasn't been challenged, and Perry, who wears a glowing mantle ahead of the full rough and tumble play of the race. And that's also a shame.
I find myself regretting that Santorum is going to be left behind because he lacks the polish and appearance. Or that Pawlenty keeps being judged on whether he can fight, when it's clearly not in his temperament. Or that Gingrich's anger is a disqualifier in an age where candidates are supposed to keep their smiles on in public. Or that how Bachmann looks on a magazine cover matters more than her ideas.
The debates mostly make things worse. Candidates being asked whether they wear boxers or briefs would be a conventional question at this point. Policy debates are harder to find in the debates so far, than personal trivia, showboating and questions intended to provoke an angry response.
This is all part of the ritual of politics now, and the ritual seems pointless. Romney still holds a lead not because he's the better candidate, but the more plausible one. Perry will shake that, so will Palin, but the eventual outcome is still likely the same.
A candidate isn't just a man or woman, but an investment. And you invest in a sure thing. That's why Romney is where he is. And the nature of that investment speaks to everything that's wrong with the system. This is about the special interests and the people with the money getting what they want. And what they want is government money.
If Perry can prove that he's a Tea Party friendly alternative version of Romney, then the money will line up behind him. But it's still an investment, and the really big investors, the lobbies and the incs expect something back.
LONG TRIP TO SCOTUS
Obamacare is making its long slow voyage north to the Supreme Court. The latest decision is another blow to the Mandate, the most dubious part of the legislation, and the one that seems likely to be its undoing.
The Commerce Clause hubris can't survive serious scrutiny. And this out even a Clinton appointee joined in a majority decision that pointed out that Congress can't require people to buy a service just because they happen to live and breathe within the territory of the United States.
Distinguishing between privately buying health care on an as need basis and participating in a health insurance program is a blow to the chief argument in favor of the mandate.
The dissent on the decision came from Judge Marcus, a Republican Clinton appointee, whom liberal activists feared would join Judge Dubina. Instead Marcus weaseled out and Judge Hull, a Clinton nominee, joined the majority.
The decision speaks with a ruthless clarity to the core issues of the case;
"What Congress cannot do under the Commerce Clause is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die,"
And there you have it. The clarity of the language is a breath of fresh air to anyone who has been forced to listen to hours of the media and politicians try to blot out this simple fact.
It's hysterically hypocritical that a party which shrieks about corporate power, is actually still defending their right to force everyone to buy a product from a corporation as a penalty for the crime of not being dead.
Bottom of line, this is a victory for the rule of law. And decisions like these will make it easier for the Supreme Court to do the right thing.
FOXMAN GETS INTO THE ISLAMOPHOBIA BUSINESS
I'd like to see what kind of donations the ADL has been getting in the last few months. Or maybe Foxman belatedly found the Islamophobia bandwagon, but here he is again crying that we must shout down the Sharia myth makers.
This op-ed is just as clunky as the last, and just as stupid.
The threat of the infiltration of Sharia, or Islamic law, into the American court system is one of the more pernicious conspiracy theories to gain traction in our country in recent years... All of this anti-Sharia activity has come despite the complete absence of evidence of the unconstitutional application of foreign or religious law in our judicial system.
So does Foxman think that legalizing rape because it's common Islamic practice does not present a threat? Because that one happened already. But surely let a thousand women be raped, rather than that a breath of Islamophobia should cross our lips.
In fact, these legislative efforts are the proverbial solution in search of a problem. The separation of church and state embodied in U.S. and state constitutions prohibits our courts from applying or considering religious law in any way that would constitute government advancement of or entanglement with religious law.
Interesting. Then why do the ACLU and a dozen other separation of church and state groups keep filing lawsuits about that all the time. And why doesn't Foxman tell them to go home, because it's already covered by the Constitution?
Foxman is as clueless about the Constitution as he is about Sharia.
While Sharia law can address many daily public and private concerns, it is nonetheless subject to radical interpretation by individuals or groups who subscribe to a more puritanical form of Islamic jurisprudence. Some individuals try to interpret Sharia law for their own radical agendas.
Look you smirking buffoon. Is the kingdom of Saudi Arabia an individual or a group? What about Iran and Pakistan? Or Malaysia, Indonesia and Egypt?
You can pull this tiny minority of extremists crap when talking about terrorism, but not about Islamic laws which discriminate against women worldwide.
Give the professional apologists credit, they can at least make an argument. But Foxman writes like a halfwit on his day off. It's painfully obvious that he isn't trying, and I have my doubts that he even wrote it. So why bother?
Stephen M. Walt, co-author of the modern version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, popped up to denounce Islamophobia and explain why being cited by Osama bin Laden, is completely different than Robert Spencer being mentioned by Breivik.
As you'd expect, some of their defenders have pointed out that the late Osama bin Laden also cited some writers favorably, including Noam Chomsky, Michael Scheuer, and yours truly... This line of defense is pretty silly because it completely ignores conventional notions of causality. Osama bin Laden began his terrorist career over a decade before the authors he cited had even started the books to which he subsequently referred. He didn't need to read Chomsky, Perkins, Scheuer, or me in order to develop his violently fundamentalist outlook
Nor did the authors on Islam that Breivik cited have anything to do with his own fundamentalist plan for a totalitarian state with one religion and mass executions of political enemies.
Bin Laden did not cite Chomsky, Scheuer and Walt because they shaped his thinking, but to use them as propaganda aimed at a Western audience to justify his campaign against the West. Breivik cited the people he did for the same reason. As propaganda aimed at justifying his larger dream of power.
Bin Laden was not interested in American politics except as a means of recruiting useful idiots. Walt flatters himself if he thinks Bin Laden even read him, rather than read a list that one of his associates assembled for him.
Breivik similarly wanted to recruit Templar Knights for reasons that had little to do with Islam (at one point, he considers with with Muslims to carry out WMD attacks against the West) but for his own power fantasies.
The difference between Bin Laden and Breivik, and Walt, Chomsky and the Counterjihadists is very simple.
Bin Laden was recommending Anti-American books in a war with America. Breivik was conducting a war against the dominant political authorities, who were not Muslims, while recommending writers critical of Islam.
The difference is the same as the difference between the Nazis distributing anti-semitic literature or dabbling in Celtic nationalism. There was a synergy between killing Jews and distributing anti-semitic literature (of which Walt's magnum opus is a fine example), but none between Nazism and Celtic nationalism.
The Nazis, like Breivik, were exploring a tangential area to recruit useful idiots in the UK. But like Bin Laden, when they distributed anti-semitic literature, it was with the aim of hurting their targets.
BAD FOR THE JEWS
The National Jewish Democratic Council has issued a press release blasting Perry for his association with religious extremists who are hostile to Jews.
You know who that reminds me of?
The Reverend Jeremiah Wright and the Reverend Al Sharpton, Obama's current BFF and MSNBC talking head.
The NJDC could have gotten away with this in the Clinton era, but Obama has spent a little too much time hanging out with radical reverends who hate Jews.
Speaking of which Ari Goldman emerges as one of the Jews in the New York Times basement who is now speaking out against the Times' coverage of the Crown Heights Pogrom.
Over the next three days, working 12 hours shifts and only going home to sleep, I saw and heard many terrible things. I saw police cars set on fire, stores being looted and people bloodied by Billy clubs, rocks and bottles. One woman told me that she barricaded herself into her apartment and put the mattresses on the windows so her children would not be hurt by flying glass.
This was the explosion set off by MSNBC's newest star-- and the black leader Obama is closest to. So spare us the press releases about Rick Perry. Find me Perry hanging out with a religious leader who got Jews killed.. and then we'll talk.
In all my reporting during the riots I never saw — or heard of — any violence by Jews against blacks. But the Times was dedicated to this version of events: blacks and Jews clashing amid racial tensions. To show Jewish culpability in the riots, the paper even ran a picture — laughable even at the time — of a chasidic man brandishing an open umbrella before a police officer in riot gear. The caption read: “A police officer scuffling with a Hasidic man yesterday on President Street.”
I was outraged but I held my tongue. I was a loyal Times employee and deferred to my editors. I figured that other reporters on the streets were witnessing parts of the story I was not seeing.
But then I reached my breaking point. On Aug. 21, as I stood in a group of chasidic men in front of the Lubavitch headquarters, a group of demonstrators were coming down Eastern Parkway. “Heil Hitler,” they chanted. “Death to the Jews.”
Police in riot gear stood nearby but did nothing.
The other person who spoke the truth was the brilliant former executive editor of the Times, A.M. Rosenthal, who by 1991 had become a columnist for the paper. Rosenthal was one of the first journalists at the Times to call the riots what they were. “Pogrom in Brooklyn,” was the headline of his column on Sept. 3, 1991, just two weeks after the riots ended.
“The press,” Rosenthal wrote, “treats it all as some kind of cultural clash between a poverty-ridden people fed up with life and a powerful, prosperous and unfortunately peculiar bunch of stuck-up neighbors — very sad of course, but certainly understandable. No — it is an anti-Semitic pogrom and the words should not be left unsaid.”
It pains me to recall that not many people at the Times took Rosenthal seriously at the time. He had gone from being the editor of a great “liberal” newspaper to being a “conservative” columnist who seemed to return to the same issues over and over again: the security of Israel, anti-Semitism, the persecution of Christians in China and the war on drugs.
But of course they go unsaid. And they're still unsaid. Now Al Sharpton is on MSNBC and has his own chair at the White House.
I was in the city and I remember liberal Jews selling out their Brooklyn cousins quite well. And they have done the same thing over and over again. Now they expect Jews to get worked up over Rick Perry, but they have nothing to say about Obama, Wright and Sharpton.
Back in 2008, before the election, I predicted how Jewish regret would manifest itself over Obama-- just as it had over Dinkins. And I did it using New York Times articles, including Rosenthal's pieces that showed the changing mindset.
New York Jews who vote against David Dinkins just because they do not like Jesse Jackson are doing a disservice not only to the candidate but to the city, Jews, blacks, Israel - yes, and maybe to Jesse Jackson, too.
'Yes,'' he said. ''On the record. Crazy - and unfair. David has denounced Farrakhan and is a friend of Israel - unfair.''
I am hardly unaware of Jewish sensitivities about Israel. But to vote against Mr. Dinkins because of Mr. Jackson's attitude strikes me as wrong. Before he became a candidate, Mr. Dinkins distanced himself from those things most Jews find objectionable about Mr. Jackson.
That was Rosenthal then. The similarity to Obama and Jeremiah Wright remains striking. And this was Rosenthal in 1993 after the riots and the denial.
Let's all put Crown Heights behind us -- certainly, but not now, not yet...
The Mayor allowed one group of citizens to be persecuted, openly and violently, by another group of citizens without providing the victims with the protection of the law...
In four days in 1991... In their own neighborhood, they were set upon, beaten, reviled, one of them murdered -- while the police, knowing and seeing, failed to protect them...
Why does Gov. Mario Cuomo say we should be grateful to the Mayor for all the riots that did not happen? Surely he jests; St. John's turns out great lawyers, but lesser comedians.
For the Obama administration, the pogrom was in Israel, not in Brooklyn, but it amounted to the same thing. A wake up call for those Jewish liberals who still possessed decency and reason. While those who did not ran back into the house to do their master's bidding.
Rosenthal wrote of these Jews;
I do not understand why some Jews do not understand what is in the hearts of the Hasidim, or are silent. They would not tolerate, for a moment, police or mayoral failure against riots in their own neighborhoods. 911 would damn well work. There would be no sympathetic clucks for "root cause" rationalizations.
Are the Hasidim a little too Jewish for them? Maybe they think only a certain kind of Jew gets beaten up. Sweethearts, by you, you are Park Avenue, by your wife you are Park Avenue, but by an anti-Semite you are a Hasid.
Cornel West need not worry about all the Jewish men that Obama surrounds himself with. They might think they're K Street, but to him they're all Netanyahu.
The NJDC pathetically bleating about Rick Perry, while the black version of David Duke sashays in and out of the White House will fool the usual idiots who treat the New York Times as gospel. It won't fool those who have street smarts and learned to read between the lines.
Let's go back on more time to the 2004 ascension of Barack Hussein Obama... on the 9th of Av.
That wasn't just the Obama convention-- certainly Jewish Democrats could not have known back then that a monster was being created. But this was also the convention that Al Sharpton spoke at. And the same Jewish figures who were quick to condemn Buchanan's appearance in 1992, had nothing to say about it.
Instead they mourned on the floor.
Perhaps only actor Ben Affleck caused more stares on the floor of the Democratic Convention Monday night than the gathering of roughly 25 Jews, sitting on the floor, chanting the Book of Lamentations at the start of Tisha B'Av.
The day of mourning, commemorating the destruction of the Temple, coincided with the first night of the convention.
The reading of Lamentations is traditionally done while sitting on the floor, so many in the group sat on the red carpet, much of it covered in debris and popcorn.
"It was a surreal experience to be sitting on the floor of the convention having a solemn service, while behind us was Ben Affleck and [Reverend] Al Sharpton," said Kenneth Baer, "Al Sharpton did not come deliver a meditation on the Book of Lamentations," he added jokingly.
What else is there to say. Sometimes words aren't enough.
BRIEFLY IN THE ROUNDUP
Sarah Honig provides a glossary for the "economic protests" in Israel.
Enjoy Latma videos? Now you can donate to support them.
Obama's Radical Iftar House Party
At the Examiner, Adam Taxin takes issue with Tel Aviv farce over lack of door slammings
The Tea Party of Staten Island is holding a pro-Israel rally
"I think therefore I'm guilty," says Melanie Philips.
Who’s Paying For Turkey’s Ruling Party? Think Putin's Russia.
He who gets the last debate laugh laughs best
Heirloom treasures to beat down ragweed. The breach in the wall.
Does Scandinavian Socialism Work? Nope.
Israel's Worst Case Scenario. Not just an Obama win in 2012. Similarly. The Peace Machine Failed.
Santorum Scores on the Middle East
Meet the differently abled terrorists. Monty Python's black knight is now real and prays in a mosque.