YEAH, WELL WE DIDN'T WANT TERRORIST ATTACKS ON SEPTEMBER 11
9/11 accused don’t want hearings during Ramadan (Boston Herald)
THE BARACK THAT DIDN'T BARK
The only truly interesting thing about the dueling Romney-Biden NAACP appearances is the man who was absent from the show. Obama.
As with Sherlock Holmes' dog that didn't bark, the interesting thing about this is the case of the Barack that didn't show up to bark, deliver a few jokes, remind everyone that he is the epitome of the NAACP's accomplishments-- including white people who might be considering casting their vote somewhere else.
The contrast between the response to his speech and Romney's, would easily be spun into a victory. He would score a win, the way he scores all his wins, by just showing up.
So why not do it?
There are two plausible theories.
1. Obama is lazy.
Black voters are going to vote for him anyway. Why waste time going over to read some remarks from the teleprompter about the civil rights struggle, read in his most serious voice, when he can just send Biden.
Sure it's disrespectful, a slap in the face. Obama can show up to speak to Latino and Jewish groups and outside a small garage somewhere. But those votes are actually in play. Black votes aren't. And in return for having his back, Obama repaid them with a slap across the face.
Some at the NAACP are probably fuming, but what are they going to do about it? Vote Romney?
2. Obama doesn't want to be associated with a prominent black group right now
This one only works if the Obama campaign has been drinking its own Kool-Aid and actually believes that its terrible rating among blue-collar whites is due to racism. Most of us assume that Obama and his people are cynically using claims of racism to deflect criticism-- but what if they actually believe it?
Sure it makes no sense. Obama won more blue-collar whites than his white Democratic predecessor did. If racism was the issue, it would have been the issue in 2008.
But liberals do drink their own Kool-Aid. The racism argument is cynical, but that doesn't mean that the people making it don't believe in it... at least to some degree.
Could Obama have really avoided appearing before the NAACP in order to pander to perceived racism? Now that would be truly cynical.
...but there's a similar pattern of Obama ignoring black news outlets.
BLACK ON JEWISH VIOLENCE
On a late June Friday evening, Marc Heinberg, a 61-year old man, was walking home from synagogue along Gravesend Neck Road; Neck Road to the locals. Neck Road is classic Brooklyn; a scattering of modest brick houses along a tree-lined street, but a short walk down “The Neck” takes you to Nostrand Avenue and from there to the Sheepshead-Nostrand housing projects where crime is common and life is cheap.
Sheepshead-Nostrand, where drug deals go down, shots are fired and gruesome murders are a local tradition, and the tree-lined portion of “The Neck” where Marc Heinberg was walking home, are two worlds apart. They are also less than a dozen blocks apart.
As Marc Heinberg walked home from his prayers, the hymns welcoming the Sabbath, the Day of Rest, still humming in his ears, he heard someone yell out, “Dirty Jew”. On the old farm road, half-a-dozen African-American teenagers surrounded him, screaming racial slurs and pummeling him with their fists. The two worlds had collided, as they so often did, leaving pain and violence in their wake.
...that's an excerpt from my Front Page Magazine article Black on Jewish Violence
ON THE RADIO
I did two interviews last week. One for Brian Wilson and the Afternoon Drive and the Lisa Richards Show, which you can listen to at the link. Thank you to them for having me on.
RELIGION OF APARTHEID TOILETS
Muslim cop won't share toilet, blames religion
A Muslim police officer in Johannesburg says his religion does not allow him to share a toilet with black colleagues
Islamophobia vs Toiletphobia. This sounds like a job for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
GOOD NEWS FROM LIBYA
If you pay attention to the media, then you know that the official narrative is that Libya disproves Egypt and Tunisia, where a "liberal party" beat the Muslim Brotherhood. But is that the truth...
Describing a coalition of that size and scope as liberal is journalistic malpractice. It also isn’t remotely true.
The first of the founding principles of the draft charter of the National Forces Alliance is that “Islam is the religion of society and authority and Islamic Sharia is the major source of legislation.” The thirty-first principle calls for supporting the Palestinian cause “by all means” and rejects any dealings with the “Zionist entity.” The phrase “by all means” implicitly continues Libya’s policy of supporting terrorism.
The draft charter makes no mention of the bloc being “pro-Western,” as media reports describe it. It does however emphasize that Libya is part of the Arab and Muslim world. There appears to be no recognition given to Africans or non-Muslims in the document, who have been the victims of some of the worst of the violence. The charter of the so-called “liberal parties” is a pure document of Islamic and Arab supremacism.
That's from my article An Election Farce in Libya. Also not being discussed is the Islamization of Misrata and the growing civil war in Libya.
THE LAST ISRAELIS
Doomsday scenarios are out of fashion. It's hard for most of us to look at The Last Beach or Crimson Tide now as anything but intellectual exercises. But Noah Beck has written The Last Israelis, the story of an Israeli submarine crew that is forced to come face to face with the ultimate question.
The Last Israelis is about the moral and geopolitical debates of Iran's nuclear crisis boiled down and contained with the confines of a single submarine armed with nuclear weapons and sent on an unknown mission. Its crew represent Israel and its debates are the internal debates tearing up the country.
Kill or be killed, is not a formula that is easy to accept in the age of easy convenience where the old hungers seem as if they have been banished and all arguments can be settled by commissions. And yet The Last Israelis raises the question whether or not that might be the dominant paradigm of this and every age.
What are the survival and moral risks of unilateral disarmament and when does the cost of seeking peace at any cost become too great?
Those are some of the questions raised in Beck's book, The Last Israelis. You can find out more about the book at Beck's website or listen to an interview with him conducted by our very own Adam Taxin.
HERE'S A HEADLINE
Mitt Romney: ‘We expected’ boos at NAACP
... then to ask the obvious question, why go?
There's nothing wrong with making a play for black votes, but why do it in a forum like the NAACP which has no overlap with any element of Romney's agenda? The smart thing to do would have been to go to a black chamber of commerce forum. All that coming to the NAACP does is boost the standing of an organization that acts as an adjunct of the Democratic Party.
And if Romney's people expected boos, they should have also been smart enough to know that would be the lead story. If they weren't smart enough to know that, they need to learn better and fast. If they did know both of those things, then what was the benefit going to be here?
The only conceivable benefit is to showcase Romney as a different kind of Republican. Better known as the Bush 2000 strategy. And that strategy is completely undone when the focus is on the boos.
In an interview with the Fox Business Network, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney said he wasn’t surprised by the negative response he received from the NAACP today. “I think we expected that,” he said. But, he added, I spoke with a number of African-American leaders after the event and they said, you know, ‘A lot of folks do not want to say they will not vote for President Obama but they are disappointed in his lack of policies to improve the schools.’”
... well that's a win.
... AND THEN OFF TO ISRAEL
So Romney will head out to a fundraiser in Jerusalem, even as Ari Fleischer and the RJC crew have still been unable to even say that he will recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Yishai Fleischer asks if Romney will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and other issues that are important to Israelis. Ari Fleischer says that we should like 80-85% of Romney's policies and that Romney will talk to Israelis. He said that Bush found that the Israelis had other priorities aside from moving the capital to Jerusalem. Bush eased off on the promise to start the move as a result.
Which 80 and 85 percent are those?
And yes there are other priorities, but recognizing a nation's capital as its capital is just common decency.
Jerusalem is good enough for Romney to hit up donors there, but not good enough to recognize as a capital. On top of that he may meet up with Abbas while there.
Romney is coming here in a couple of weeks and that shows his commitment to Israel. That's an expression of priority. He's coming here - not Mexico or Canada.
I guess there aren't any fundraisers in Mexico or Canada. But Romney will recognize Ottawa as the capital of Canada and Mexico City as the capital of Mexico. And visiting Mexico and Canada would make much more sense.
Frankly I disapprove of foreign fundraisers for political candidates. If you're running for office, you should raise money in your own country, not in foreign countries, even if you're raising money from American citizens abroad.
But in this case Romney is raising money from eternal optimists. To be fair, Romney's position on Israel, as written on his site, does display a good understanding of the problem on the Obama's Failure section. Mitt's Plan is more vanilla, but really the only plan needed is "Leave Israel Alone."
DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY, RELIGION, TIME-SPACE CONTINUUM
The head of the religion department at Luther College in Iowa recently argued that Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity, was in fact, a Muslim.
“‘Was Jesus a Muslim?" asks Prof. Robert F. Shedinger in the beginning of a book he published this year entitled Was Jesus a Muslim?
...at least he's not a history professor, since he's not familiar with the concept of history, or of one thing happening after the other. It's good that he's also not a physics professor, since he doesn't seem to be up on the laws of the universe.
Jesus could no more have been a Muslim than he could have been a Mets fan or a reader of Professor Shedinger's book, because you cannot be or do a thing which does not yet exist.
Other possible Shedinger book titles. "Was Buddha a Mormon?" and "Was Thomas Edison a Star Trek fan?"
Shedinger also argued that Islam is a better fit for Jesus since it is not a religion but a “social justice movement.”
"I had to rethink what Islam is… I came to the conclusion that it was a social justice movement and I think that’s who Jesus was in the first century so I conclude Jesus is more like a Muslim," he said.
Islam not being a religion is news to about 1 billion people. All of them Muslims. It does however accord with a thesis in some counterjihad circles that Islam should be considered a political, rather than religious movement. Those people just got supporting ammo from a liberal religion professor. European governments who might want to take action against Islam can now quote Shendinger too.
But Shedingbat clearly fell for a line of Islamic taquiya and then embraced it by showing that he likes Islam because it's not a religion... suggesting that Luther College's professor of religion actually hates religion.
A spokesman for Luther College, a small liberal arts school affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, told Campus Reform on Wednesday that the administration stands fully behind Shedinger’s scholarship.
I bet they would stand just as much behind his work if Shedinger had concluded that Islam wasn't a religion, but an excuse for a 7th century warlord to do some raping and looting.
But good news if you want to bring Shedingbat over to speak at your local Islamic center... he does that sort of thing.
IPHONES AND DAGGERS
It’s true we are seeing technological progress, and the guy who murders his sister probably also has an iPhone, but to murder his sister he uses his grandfather’s dagger from a hundred years ago.
...from a paywalled article at Haaretz
THE DEATH OF COOL
Cool comes from a random sense of motion whirled within a certain spirit of place. As Kerouac wrote, "Man, you gotta go." Once you kill that spirit with predictable motion, you don't have cool but kabuki. And moving in that dead dance you don't find hipsters, but cold corpses twitching in a jerking dance of post-mortum effects.
...from American Digest
The left feeds off cool. It uses that energy for revolution. But once the revolution becomes organized, there's no more room for the Bohemian, for the wild disruptive energy in an organized dogma-ridden sphere.
The patrons, marketers, creators, promoters, czars and commissars of cool may not care for someone else's system, but they have a system that they have in mind. And that system will be as cool as Socialist Realism and as hip as a Red Army parade.
Cool has been harvested and walled up by the left leaving many political taboos, but few social taboos. Breaking the political taboos is uncool, but breaking the social ones no longer matters. And without bars, there's no freedom.
Cool begins as anarchy, but becomes a system. It requires indoctrination. Think about Ted Joans' "The Sermon".
You want to learn to swing? And you want to be able to dig and take in everything... Now dig me pretty babies, I'd like first of all for you to get rid of that umbilical cord that your dragass prejudiced parents have around your neck... So if your neighborhood ain't hip...SPLIT, leave it, leave it for swinging surroundings...
If you want to be a beautiful non-square angel, SLEEP with everybody!
If you want to be a swinger, drink and get high but be cool about it
If you want to be popular with real hipsters, DON"T TALK SO MUCH and please don't ever ARGUE!
If you wish to be a sweet child of godlike intelligence, DIG JAZZ support its musicians, go to all the jazz concerts
If you want to be hip my cute young lovely hens then--you must own a copy of Howl-- you must have a copy of Jack (on the road) Kerouac on your shelf and know thouself by reading Norman Mailer's "White Negro" You should read all the French Dada and Surrealist literature and dig Whitman and Poe and all the great classics so that you too will be in the know-- you should dig Mad comics and read the Village Voice so that you will be "au courant"
Not all the "hip" and "dig" in the world can disguise a list of rules. Once something is a sermon, it's no longer cool. A set of rules on how to be cool are self-nullifying. But once enough people strike out for a new world, they have to make rules... as Occupy Wall Street rediscovered. And the rules will benefit the rulemakers-- as in Joans' Sermon.
Question authority, but first raise your hand. And don't question the things you aren't supposed to question, like taxes, global warming, political polarity. Because those questions are already settled. Question the values of your parents, but not those of the sermon-givers.
Obama is cool. If you argue with him, then you aren't. College is cool and so is student debt.
Rebellion is cool, but only when properly directed. Rebelling against a compulsory volunteerism program isn't cool. Rebelling when you're told you have to buy health insurance isn't cool either.
The studios that distribute movies where kids break the rules and defy the adult world, hunt down other kids who break the rules by pirating their movies. Because it's cool to be a rebel, just not to the detriment of the merchants of cool.
If you want to be popular with real hipsters, don't talk or argue. Listen to the right music, read the right things and have the right opinions. And what's cool about that?
AND A NEW VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY IS BORN
“People intoxicated by power toppled a prime minister,” former minister Haim Ramon told Israel Radio. “American right-wing Jews who filed countless complaints against Olmert have to be investigated. They saw Olmert as the man who could deliver an agreement with the Palestinians. Consider what Olmert could have done had he remained prime minister for two more years instead of Netanyahu.”
Olmert himself told CNN’s Christian Amanpour when he came to New York for The Jerusalem Post Conference in April that he had been the victim of a right-wing conspiracy involving American millionaires.
...clearly Olmert's criminality was the work of right-wing American millionaires who are known to have a vast amount of influence on the left-wing Israeli justice system.
This same vast right-wing conspiracy probably arranged for Haim Ramon to be investigated on sexual assault charges.
Nor was Olmert given a blank check, he was just cleared of some of the more serious charges.
HMM I DON'T KNOW...
Study: Muslim extremists not looking for world domination (CNN)
Muslim pleads in plot to blow up Pentagon (WND)
SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS THAT DON'T EXIST
So we have a terrible economy, massive debt and a new program for fighting wars using drones, rather than troops. Clearly what we need is a new draft.
That's what the New York Times and Thomas R. Ricks think.
The first question is why do we need a draft?
Unlike Europeans, Americans still seem determined to maintain a serious military force, so we need to think about how to pay for it and staff it by creating a draft that is better and more equitable than the Vietnam-era conscription system.
Yes, but why do we need a better and more equitable draft than Vietnam? Why do we need a draft at all.
Volunteer armies are better and more professional than draft armies.
A revived draft, including both males and females, should include three options for new conscripts coming out of high school. Some could choose 18 months of military service with low pay but excellent post-service benefits, including free college tuition. These conscripts would not be deployed but could perform tasks currently outsourced at great cost to the Pentagon: paperwork, painting barracks, mowing lawns, driving generals around, and generally doing lower-skills tasks so professional soldiers don’t have to.
That "great cost" would clearly be more than balanced by taking hundreds of thousands of teens out of the work force and then paying for their college tuition and health care for life, so that they can do paperwork and paint barracks... even though we can already find volunteers to do this already.
And in a shocking turn of events, those volunteers would actually choose military service as part of their career plan.
Those who don’t want to serve in the army could perform civilian national service for a slightly longer period and equally low pay — teaching in low-income areas, cleaning parks, rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, or aiding the elderly.
So now we're drafting people into a national workforce to clean parks in low income areas? Or we could just use paroled prisoners, long-term welfare cases and bored liberal kids for that.
And libertarians who object to a draft could opt out. Those who declined to help Uncle Sam would in return pledge to ask nothing from him — no Medicare, no subsidized college loans and no mortgage guarantees. Those who want minimal government can have it.
...sounds reasonable. So long as they wouldn't be expected to pay into the system and get tax discounts so they don't have to pay for anybody else's medicare, college loans and mortgages for low income areas.
But that's not what Ricks is offering. He assumes these are freebies that the government gives us but that we don't compensate it for in any way, and if we don't want to mop parks in Harlem, then we're free riders.
With an average cohort of about four million 18-year-olds annually, they say, there is simply no place to put all these people. But the government could use this cheap labor in new ways, doing jobs that governments do in other countries but which have been deemed too expensive in this one, like providing universal free day care or delivering meals to elderly shut-ins.
...or fighting in gladiatorial contests for the amusement of high-ranking government officials and a few prominent journalists.
But this way the government will have millions of low-paid slaves. And all the government has to do is provide them with free health care and free college tuition. It's a real bargain.
A final objection is the price tag; this program would cost billions of dollars. But it also would save billions, especially if implemented broadly and imaginatively.
This box of cereal costs five dollars. But it also saves you five dollars. Not because it costs five dollars but because math is not a real thing.
If you buy this box of cereal for five bucks, you won't have to buy another one for five bucks. Sure this box of cereal will turn out to be a bit more expensive, also stale and a year after its expiration date, but it's more equitable cereal and will remind you of the suffering of others.
One reason our relatively small military is hugely expensive is that all of today’s volunteer soldiers are paid well; they often have spouses and children who require housing and medical care.
Unmarried conscripts don’t need such a safety net.
Our "volunteer soldiers" are paid money that no public sector employee, including the postal service, would touch.
And a bunch of those 18 year old conscripts are still going to be married. Some will even have kids by then.
And much of the labor currently contracted out to the private sector could be performed by 18-year-olds for much less.
The maximum in-state tuition fees on the GI Bill per term top out at 85,000 dollars. How many private sector employees have to be housed, cared for and monitored by the government. And in minor footnote, paying private companies to do things creates jobs, using an army of slaves to do it takes those jobs away.
It would be fairly cheap to house conscript soldiers on closed military bases.
In Venezuela it might be. Here it won't be. Not even under Democratic administrations which treat soldiers like garbage.
Here's the problem with slavery. It's more expensive than you think. Training these conscripts will cost more than it would to pay a private company to do the same work.
The pool of cheap labor available to the federal government would broadly lower its current personnel costs and its pension obligations — especially if the law told federal managers to use the civilian service as much as possible, and wherever plausible.
Imagine if the federal government had a pool of cheap labor, the same kind of cheap labor that is already badly straining military budgets, and imagine if we had laws to tell the military to use the personnel it did not ask for and has no use for.
The government could also make this cheap labor available to states and cities.
Or it could sell them and trade them to other countries. Maybe even breed them.
Imagine how many local parks could be cleaned and how much could be saved if a few hundred New York City school custodians were 19, energetic and making $15,000 plus room and board, instead of 50, tired and making $106,329, the top base salary for the city’s public school custodians, before overtime.
Imagine if we fired school custodians and replaced them with a bunch of 19 year olds, who don't want to be there, don't consider this a real job, have no investment in doing it properly, and are then assigned to clean parks.
School custodians, like most pub sec workers are overpaid, but the idea that an energetic 19 year old is a replacement for an experienced 50 year old school custodian, who actually has a whole lot of skills and more responsibility, and who will use his experience on the job for another decade, is the thinking of a complete idiot.
Incidentally New York City parks are already being cleaned by welfare recipients and corporate volunteers. They are already fairly clean without any help from a slave army.
The savings actually might be a way of bringing around the unions representing federal, state and municipal workers, because they understand that there is a huge budget crunch that is going to hit the federal government in a few years.
Of all the incredibly stupid things that Thomas E. Ricks has written in this editorial, this may be the dumbest of them all.
Do you know what will really thrill unions? Being sidelined by a badly paid slave labor army owned by the federal government. They'll be even more thrilled when they are told that it's happening because of a budget crunch. They may even throw Tom a party to thank him.
HAIR OF THE JIHAD THAT BLEW YOU UP
A prominent section of Kerala’s Sunni Muslims which says it has the holy hair of Prophet Mohammed — and claims to be building India’s biggest mosque to preserve it — has been challenged in court over the authenticity of the relic.
Testing it for red dye might help clear up the question. Mo was a dyer.
At Flopping Aces there's a commentary on my article on the Economics of Planned Global Failure
I completely missed this latest piece of news from the Qatanani front, but luckily Robert Spencer is on the case.
State authorities worked with the New York City Police Department to monitor the Islamic Center of Passaic County, led by Imam Mohammad Qatanani, police documents show. The surveillance included the use of an informant at the mosque and intelligence gathering during a three-day rally for the imam in his fight against deportation.
Because of his strong relationship with law enforcement leaders, Qatanani said, he was taken aback by New Jersey’s involvement.
"It was very upsetting for us, especially when our mosque is maybe the most open mosque for all law enforcement and elected and appointed officials," Qatanani said in an interview.
...it's shocking. Really shocking.
Where does the racist Islamophobic NYPD get the idea that a Hamas member whom the government attempted to deport, should be a target for surveillance.
It's completely unjustifiable treatment of a Religion of Peace. In totally unrelated news...
"The Revived Global Caliphate has set eyes on the West to once and for all rid the world of Christianity and there is nothing you can do about it."
Certainly surveilling their mosques is out of the question.
Feeling hot? The government will spot you a free air conditioner. Just don't count on it working. But that's almost as good as Obama paying your utility bills.
Expecting ancient sea monsters to show up? We've got you covered.
Some people relaxing inside their chalets at Subiyya were frightened by the presence of a person with long hair, as he reportedly emerged from the water naked, murmuring and singing in a language they could not comprehend while dancing, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily.
Out of the belief that the man could be an 'ancient creature', they called the police, as others took pictures of him.
Upon arrival, police arrested and detained the man at the area police station. Preliminary investigation revealed that the man comes from an Asian country. A case has since been registered for thorough investigation.
You have to be pretty xenophobic and backward to assume that an Asian man is really an ancient creature.
Enjoy the weekend. Avoid government air conditioners and ancient sea monsters.