CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS
It's not often that the Democratic Party's working class religious base collides with its progressive radical left base, mainly because the leaders of the first group rarely concede that there is a conflict between the radical left's agenda and their own. The contraception mandate was one of those unique events when the collision happened and the left backed down.
That the collision happened at all is a testament to the arrogance and cluelessness of the Obama elite which operates in its own bubble. Even the input of insiders like Biden who understood exactly what was going to happen did not prevent the ship from sailing. It took some aggressive pushback for the administration to reverse itself, while pretending that there was no reversal, but the real story is how tone deaf the insiders in this administration really are.
The last thing you want to do before a national election is pick a fight with a major section of your own base which is a bit skeptical about you anyway. Giving them a reason to turn on ObamaCare and the administration was the dumbest thing possible. And it happened because the people running things did not understand it would happen. They assumed that they could put on their paternalistic attitude, smile dismissively, spin up some talking points and everyone would go along.
This stupidity is our best hope. If the Republican Party establishment insists on arrogantly making a mess of things, the Obama Administration's arrogance and heavy-handedness exceeds their own and may succeed in the battle of alienation.
ISLAM'S GROUNDHOG DAY
Groundhog Day is the long eternal tragedy of Islam, which always sees its shadow and always ends up with six weeks, six months or six hundred years of more winter. That hopeful time when the bitter cold of winter begins its slow transition into the warmth and renewal of spring never comes for Islam.
In a reversal of the cycle of season, the Arab Spring led to the Islamic Winter, but that is the endless pattern of Islamic attempts at reform and rejuvenation, which rather than finding renewal in their attempts at transformation only go on perpetuating the same cycle of violence, tyranny and oppression.
There is a peculiar tragedy to a religion which cannot escape its own destructive nature, each time it reaches for some form of redemption, its hands come up dripping with blood and it all ends in more bodies and petty tyrannies.
The full article is up at Front Page Magazine
GET YOUR WAR ON
If you tune in to CNN you can see footage of adorable Syrian children, as reported by Anderson Cooper. Because we've got to get our war on in Syria and liberate the Syrian people on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. No adorable Christian children need be shown because we might have to think about what's going to happen to them once the funloving Religion of Peace is in the driver's seat.
Copts in the village of Kobry-el-Sharbat (El-Ameriya), Alexandria, were attacked on January 27 by a mob of 3000 Muslims led by Salafi leaders, who looted and torched homes and shops belonging to Copts.
Three "reconciliation meetings" were held at the El-Ameriya village police headquarters. They were attended by Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood representatives from neighboring villages, as well as church representative. Muslims demanded the eviction of all Coptic inhabitants from the village because "Muslim honour had been damaged."
That's what's going to happen to them. The Obama Administration is bent on this, but they don't particularly want to do the heavy lifting. Which makes it more likely that the Turks, the Saudis and some others will contribute the troops, while the United States acts as the air force for the Muslim Brotherhood one more time.
AKP's sleazy Islamist Foreign Minister is meeting with Clinton to discuss the next "steps" and it's clear that Turkey would like to be at the center of a coalition to take down Assad. The euphemism will be "Friends of Syria", because nothing says friendship like an invasion.
I WAS A MAINSTREAM MEDIA REPORTER BUT I BROKE FREE
Can anyone imagine seeing a headline like, "I was a Sunni Muslim but I broke free" in any mainstream American newspaper today? Nope.
But you can see a headline like "I was a Hasidic Jew - but I broke free" in the Post. Now if we are to have "I was a Jew, but I broke free" articles, then we should at the very least have equal time for, "I was a Muslim but I broke free" articles.
It's not too hard to break out of being a religious Jew. You just stop. Nobody beheads you or kidnaps you and ships you to Pakistan. Breaking out of being a Muslim is a good deal harder as plenty of Ex-Muslims can tell you.
Peculiarly though the media will not pay any attention to Ibn Warraq or to the victims of Muslim honor killings, but street trash like Deborah Feldman looking to find a book deal can always get media coverage.
Deborah Feldman claims that Jews are no better than Muslim "extremists" and while I'm no fan of the community she was a part of, she could leave. She doesn't have to look over her shoulders waiting for a cousin or brother to come up and kill her. The women who actually do have to live like that can't get book deals or the media coverage she laps up.
Jews and Christians who leave their religion bask in the adoring attention of a media which loves to portray those religions in the blackest colors. But when it comes to Islam, the only coverage allowed is the positive kind.
What's really repulsive is that the blurb for Deborah Feldman's book actually dares to compare this Satmar version of Snooki, with about the same IQ, to Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel.
Ali has actually taken risks for what she believed in. Feldman grew up in a broken family and deciding she wanted the party life broke up her marriage. She's more qualified to be on the Jersey Shore than to write a memoir about her "struggle". If you're an Orthodox Jew and you decide not be one anymore, your only challenge is shopping for new clothes. If you're a Muslim and you decide to opt out, then you are endangering your life.
Today Ali needs bodyguards. Feldman needs PR agents. The difference between the two tells you all you need to know about the reality of Islam and the contempt in which Western elites hold traditional religion while embracing Islam.
THE CHUTZPAH OF OMAR THE BOYCOTT MAKER
The classical definition of the Yiddish word Chutzpah is a man on trial for killing his parents who asks for leniency because he is an orphan. Next to that definition is a picture of Omar Barghouti, a Qatari-born Muslim who moved to Israel and enrolled in Tel Aviv University to obtain a Masters Degree in Philosophy while conducting an academic boycott campaign against Israel.
See the full article at Front Page Magazine
There was still some ambiguity after Panetta's statement on the Iran window what the Obama Admin was up to, that ambiguity is all but gone after anonymous "officials" appeared to have hand fed NBC news a story that claims Israel is working with the MEK Iranian group to assassinate Iranian nuclear gurus.
This is straight up sabotage and a warning that the Obama Administration will keep on leaking information to damage any Israeli action against Iran unless Israel falls into line. Considering the operational necessities of launching an attack and the level of US surveillance, O and his cronies can do a lot to inhibit and even cost lives in an attack on Iran.
This should also settle any further rumors that bombing Iran is an election strategy for Obama. That couldn't be further away from the truth.
The Obama Administration's sabotage is all the more obnoxious after it threw a hissy fit because Russia and China wouldn't let it go after Syria. So war with Syria on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood, yes. Allowing Israel to take out Iran's nuclear program, no. Sabotaging Israeli efforts to go it alone, also yes.
Israel had to inform the United States of what it was doing as part of the process of cooperation, though considering the MEK's presence in Iraq, it is extremely doubtful that the United States had no involvement in this, under the previous administration or even the current one.
While there is no independent verification of this story, it is far more plausible than the nonsense peddled by the mainstream media about Mossad agents running around Tehran. I have suggested all along that Israeli and American backed Iranian dissidents were responsible. But it doesn't take much to reach that conclusion.
After the Iranian backed Iraqi PM's MEK massacre and the US withdrawal, the MEK would need backers more urgently. Its position in Iraq is precarious and while its people have refugee status, nobody is going to protect them from Maliki's thugs. The Ashraf\Liberty situation is ugly and the MEK certainly has no sympathy from the Obama Administration. Not unless MEK was willing to hit Syria.
The ideology wouldn't really matter. The region is full of militias willing to ally with anyone on a temporary basis if it gets them money and advances their agenda. That's what keeps Afghanistan and Iraq where it is. And MEK is "unusual" enough that just about anything could be expected. But none of that means it's actually true.
Iran's claim that this is an MEK-Israel plot is convenient, but this is a region where every Muslim state or party accuses its enemies of working with Israel. During the Arab Spring, both governments and rebels accused each other of being pawns of Israel. Iran would like to delegitimize the MEK and justify further crackdowns by Maliki. This is the best way to do it.
The Pre-Tehran arm of the American left has been pushing the same line for a while, tying the MEK to some Republican officials who have at times supported it as a foil against Iran. The NBC article even looks like it was written by ThinkProgress with the same talking points.
It doesn't really matter though who's pulling the trigger. The assassinations are a sideshow that aren't going to stop the nuclear program. Israel is now on its own moving toward a direct strike method, while Obama tries to hold it back.
Defense Minister Barak, formerly a darling of the Clintonites in the Obama Administration, is on the outs after having strongly endorsed a strike. How bad is it? So bad that Administration handlers are now pushing the message that Netanyahu is the reasonable party who needs to keep Barak in hand.
The following excerpt from the New York Times, a reliable administration organ sets the tone
President Obama tried to defuse arguments for military action in a telephone call last month with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, the substance of which was confirmed by an Obama administration official who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to describe the conversation. While the two men have had an often contentious relationship over Middle East diplomacy, American officials emerged from that exchange persuaded that Mr. Netanyahu was willing to give economic sanctions and other steps time to work.
Which is the tune that was played all along. Give us more time till Iran has a nuke.
a senior Obama administration official, expressing frustration that the Israelis are looking at the problem too narrowly, given the many kinds of pressure being placed on Tehran and the increasing evidence that far tougher sanctions are having an effect.
Ah yes too narrowly, instead of taking the "broader view", which all comes out to not enough nuance. Which is a good summary of liberal foreign policy.
Administration officials cite this more complex picture in pressing the Israelis to give the latest sanctions a chance to inflict enough pain on the Iranian leadership to force it back to the negotiating table, or to make the decision that the nuclear program is not worth the cost.
Just like North Korea. And here we go...
Administration officials also noted a distinction in the tone of Mr. Barak and Mr. Netanyahu, who does not publicly favor the phrase “zone of immunity.” This week, an American official noted, Mr. Netanyahu declared that on the topic of Iran, officials should just “shut up.”
“I think that’s good advice,” the American official said.
Yes I'm sure administration officials are big fans of Israel shutting up about Iran, but then shouldn't they be shutting up about Israeli plans for Iran?
The creepy social engineering innovations that you'll see tomorrow are being tested in Europe today. So here's a sample of what you can look forward to.
Mr Halpern is director of Downing Street's behavioural "nudge unit". It advises government on ways to encourage people to change behaviour, without using compulsion. The approach is based on a school of thought that "nudging" people in a certain direction is more productive and cost-effective than trying to change behaviour by banning things or passing regulation.
So where is the UK "nudging" people now?
Mr Halpern said Britain faced a shortage of housing, partly because elderly people remained in family homes after their children left. “A big issue we have is under-occupation of houses,” he said. “We have more TVs than people in the house.”
Officials also denied Mr Halpern was urging elderly people to down size after he told the conference that “we do have enough houses… it is just essentially they are lived in by older people”.
A report last year suggested there were 25 million empty bedrooms in the country. Ministers were urged to draw up proposals to encourage elderly couples to downsize and create more affordable family homes. The Government has recently backed council schemes that help pensioners move into smaller properties and rent out their family homes.
BUT JEWISH REPORTERS CAN BE ANTI-ISRAEL TOO
CNN's Israel bureau is downsizing, reportedly to cope with a reduced budget due to falling advertising revenues.
That doesn't explain why they fired four Israeli Jewish journalists (out of a crew of 8), and retained only Arab journalists. The local chief editor of CNN is now an Arab.
This is blatantly unfair considering how hard Jewish CNN reporters have worked on smearing Israel. This discrimination fails to take into account how hard reporters like Joshua Hammer, Joe Klein and Peter Beinart have worked at proving that they hate Israel more than any Muslim does.
No one denies that Muslims really hate Israel, but I would urge CNN to remember that while hating Israel may be a qualification for working at CNN or in any mainstream media organization
The obsessive compulsive narcissism of Barry
What will European Sharia law look like? You're already seeing it now.
As larger and larger urban areas become Islamized (and it is happening very quickly), shari'a will not need to come in from above, through the traditional processes of legislation. Rather, it will come in from below, from people willing to enforce it and profit from it, and from the fact that the ethnic-European police will not even enter a lot of those neighborhoods.
So we are talking about de-facto City States, not de jure Nation States, going Islamic. That seems like an incontrovertible trend to me, and I would love to see any evidence pointing away from this reality. The nation state as a model will become increasingly unimportant, I project, as Western Civilization continues to decline, and the Islamic cultures overcome the sterile remains of the Englihtenment.
The entire piece is a good assessment of the trajectory of the process. Londonistan made real.
How big is that jobs deficit anyway?
According to the US Debt Clock Time Machine, in the period from 2000-2004, we gained about 10 million in population and 4 million in the workforce -- that is, for every new person in the population, we gained four tenths of a person in the workforce.
Now here's what worries me. From 2008-2012 we gained 9.5 million in population. Supposing an "average" gain in the workforce of about five tenths or 50%, we should have seen the workforce grow by 4 or 5 million. Right? But instead, the workforce SHRANK by nearly 5 million.
If it should have grown by 5 million and instead shrank by 5 million, aren't we looking at a deficit of 10 MILLION JOBS?
The Arab Spring comes to Sydney.
Showdown in Georgia
It's not easy being a Black Conservative.
It's getting harder to deny anymore...even as my adult, grownup brain wants to disdain the idea—actual evil seems to be afoot in the world, and its guise is becoming ever more clear.
Decoding the code
Islamonausea: It's the new human condition.
The lost art of raking up profits
I decided long ago to end the shameful practice of begging on my property. First, I never allowed my own kids to raise funds this way. Second, every time a tot or teenager arrived on my doorstep, he was given a choice.
My pitch was simple; I'd say, "Look, I don't need or want what you are selling. But I understand that your teacher wants you to raise money for your class project/field trip/whatever, and I'd like to help. There's a rake in my garage, and I'll pay you ten dollars in cash if you work in my yard for one hour. You can give the money to your school, or you can keep it for yourself.
Only one ever took me up on my offer.