Articles

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Playing for Islam Against Ourselves

WWI was caused less by the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, and more by Germany and Austria Hungary's eagerness in courting the Muslim Ottoman Empire.

Before and during WW2, England and Germany both assiduously courted Muslim support in the Middle East. The Holocaust was one of the byproducts of this rivalry, as Germany courted Muslims by appealing to the genocidal impulses of the Mufti of Jerusalem, while England reneged on its agreements, and shut the door to Jewish refugees trying to reach Israel. The Holocaust would have happened regardless, but the death toll would have been lower without Islamic appeasement.

After the war nothing changed except the names of the players. The competition still went on with America and Russia taking England and Germany's seats at the table. Both sides cultivated patron Muslim countries, spent and lost huge sums of money on them, and then got a knife in the back for it, time and time again.

America made the fanatical House of Saud into its oldest partner in the region. In return the Saudi royal family nationalized American oil companies (for which the US government compensated the companies with taxpayer dollars) and then used that money to fund a global Jihad. 9/11 was only the topper on a poisonous cake that had been baking in the febrile heat of the Saudi desert for a long time, as petrodollars fed fanatical Islamic beliefs that had been growing steadily more arrogant and insane in direct proportion to the amount of wealth flowing in.

The USSR tried to export Communism, but had to settle for backing Egyptian dictator Nasser, despite his casual slaughter of domestic Communists. The heap of corruption in Cairo was considered such a great prize that both the US and the USSR competed feverishly for it. 

America betrayed England and France in 1956 by backing Nasser's seizure of the Suez Canal and forcing their withdrawal through economic blackmail; something that Eisenhower later admitted he deeply regretted. Nevertheless Nasser threw in with the USSR, which was willing to pile on the weapons exports.

After Egypt lost several wars with those same weapons, the United States finally won the bidding war for one slightly used alliance at a cost of only a few billion dollars a year and a blind eye turned to the persecution of Christian Copts.

It's still going on now. The same old courtship that has become the mid-life crisis of the West.

A flattering speech here and there. Loose immigration policies. Turning a blind eye to Saudi Arabia and Qatar's role in terrorism in exchange for more oil deals. The French government shaking its fist at a few rogue imams and then quieting down, hoping that the 5 million Muslims get the message, and keep the car burnings down on weekends. And then France begins promoting a Mediterranean alliance, just as Russia is promoting a Bosporus alliance-- as if Muslims would allow themselves to be ruled by non-Muslims for very long.

The Muslim world has a lot of oil and a lot of people, and Western governments want the former, while keeping the latter peaceable. And so they compete for Islam's favor with each other, with the newly resurgent Russia, which is back to its old ways of shipping weapons by the fleet, China, which is feeling its global oats and poking its head beyond its borders, and with other Western countries competing in the appeasement Olympics for a shot at lucrative oil and weapons deals, for commodities markets and sovereign wealth fund investment opportunities. And not least of all, they compete with other Muslims.

Before WW2 and during the Cold War, European nations competed with each other to win the favor of Muslim rulers, but today the remnants of the civilized world are competing for Muslims, against other Muslims. The big threat today is no longer Western, it's Islamic and while the old competitions were about forming alliances with backward Muslim countries against our enemy of the day; today the enemy of the day is Muslim. That phantom menace we call "Islamic Extremism" if we're feeling politically correct, and "Islam" if we're not.

If the old rivalries at least provided some rational justification for this gamesmanship, today we're holding up a sign reading, "We're nice. Please don't kill us." In theory we're competing to uphold "moderate" Muslim regimes against the Islamists who would otherwise take over by winning over  Muslim rulers and populations. Somehow this evolved into supporting any Islamists willing to run for public office as a hedge against the really bad Islamists who won't even stop shooting long enough to rig an election.

Our foreign policy is a debate between the realists who want appeasement, and the lunatics who think the natural outcome of every revolution is socialism, and even when it isn't (as in the case of Iran) they'll pretend it is anyway to avoid looking as stupid as they should feel. Of course there's always a third option. Stop competing. Stop feeding the sense of entitlement of an ideology that still thinks non-Muslims should always defer to Muslims. Stop bowing and scraping to them. Stop giving them weapons, visas and then wondering what happens when the bombs go off.

Once upon a time we competed against each other, today we're courting one side of the Muslim world's schizophrenic split personality, against the other side. 

We approach the two-headed hound of Islam, and then argue over which head we should pat first, to keep the beast from biting us. It's all one beast. And feeding scraps to one head or the other won't win us anything except more bites. The thing to do is to stop feeding the beast and stop believing there's more than one hound. It's all one animal. And it hates us. And it will go on hating us. And it will go on biting us as long as we let it.

We are no longer bidding for the Muslim world as an ally. We are bidding to prevent it from being our enemy. But the very people we are bidding for, already see us as the enemy. We are not going to change that with free weapons and speeches praising their enlightenment. By competing for their favor, we are only bidding against ourselves, and paying out to our enemies. By competing for their favor, we are only undercutting ourselves.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Obama's Death and Taxes Economy

It's an iron law of nature as certain as the one about an angel getting its wings every time a bell rings or a snowstorm blanketing the area every time Al Gore comes to town to remind the carbon puffing infidels about Global Warming; every time Obama gives a speech; a thousand businesses go out of business.

On July 24th, to celebrate Venezuela's Simon Bolivar Day, Obama delivered yet another economic speech in which he castigated Republicans in Congress for the sequester that he proposed, promised big economic benefits for the entire country from Green Energy and Illegal Immigration and promised to spend every one of his remaining days trying to help working people; at least those days when he isn't on the golf course, on vacation at Martha’s Vineyard or delivering useless speeches.

An Obama speech is a familiar quality that even the scribblers whose limbs once tingled at the touch of the teleprompter have developed a callous contempt for its reflexively dishonest "Let me be clears" and the infinite "I's" that roll off its assembly line speechmakers. 

An economics speech, a creature that Barack Obama has been unleashing from his political zoo on the taxpayers, lawmakers and layabouts since his post-election days in 2008 of pretending to be president complete with an imaginary seal with the motto "Vero Possumus”, (which can be translated very loosely as "God Help Us All"), is an entirely familiar breed.

It's an FDR-on-crack assemblage of crackpot social plans masquerading as economic plans and homey testaments to American exceptionalism wrapped around bankrupt Euro ideas about how to run a country into the ground. And in the year 2013, the whole thing smells like last year's leftovers.

There are the warnings about all the old bridges threatening to fall down and kill the trolls living under them. Despite a second term in office, a stimulus plan, a plan to stimulate the stimulus plan and years of assorted pork, there are apparently now more Damocles bridges in the land than there ever were before. 

In 2009, Obama promised to fix all the crumbling roads and bridges with a $787 billion stimulus plan full of "shovel-ready jobs". Two years later he joked to the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, led by GE CEO Jeff Immelt, whose company is the 15th biggest government contractor, that the shovel-ready jobs were not shovel-ready. It would have been nice to know that before we spent the $787 billion, but maybe that's why all the old bridges keep threatening to fall down.

And then there are the promises that we can fix all our problems with a Green Energy revolution that drives up electricity rates for everyone in order to buy windmills and solar panels from China. The Green Energy revolution has done a lot for Red China's middle class while further eviscerating the standard of living for American middle class families who are just trying to keep the lights on.

Naturally no Obama speech on the economy would be complete without urging us to invest more in education in order to get our hands on tomorrow's jobs. "If you think education is expensive," Obama said, borrowing his line from a bumper sticker, "wait until you see how much ignorance costs in the 21st century."

But we don't have to choose. As Detroit shows us, we can have both. Detroit has 5,000 teachers to 88,000 students. Its biggest challenge has been trying to win back another 5,000 students who escaped to charter schools to justify not laying off all the extra teachers. Its billion dollar school budget is all the more shocking in a city that is deep in debt and suffers from a 47 percent illiteracy rate.

The education system fosters incredibly expensive ignorance. And that ignorance can not only be found in public schools in Detroit's ghettos, but in the Ivy League alma maters of Obama and his financial advisers.

Obama's 6 trillion dollar debt is a testament to the high price of ignorance. As are all of his economic speeches calling for more Green Energy, more education and more taxes to solve all of our ills. In his latest speech, he vowed that making "preschool available to every four year-old in America" would make America competitive in the "ocean of tomorrows" and "a sky of tomorrows".

A thinking man must wonder how this backward, racist, soda-swilling country of ours ever got anything done without shoving every four-year-old in America into a "high quality preschool" presided over by the fired public school teachers of Detroit. Incredibly enough we managed to get to the moon, which was a lot closer to tomorrow than we have ever gotten from an Obama speech.

Is America's competitiveness really impeded by the lack of universal preschools? Or is it something bigger that's in the way? Could we have saved Detroit with more preschools and Green Energy?

About the only thing in Obama's entire 5,000 word speech that was at all interesting was in its opening as he pivoted from discussing the loss of middle class jobs to inveighing against the income inequality of the 1 percent. It was a convenient dodge that his average supporter was incapable of noticing, but it's at the heart of what's wrong with Obama's economic logic.

Income inequality is not at all the same thing as lost jobs. It's not that the two aren't connected. One reason for income inequality is because many wealthier Americans are profiting from offshore labor. The natural internal economic growth that would be happening here has instead been outsourced to China where the middle class is growing at an impressive rate.

Obama's speech however stayed in familiar class warfare territory. Its implication was that if the wealthy were made to pay their fair share, the lost manufacturing jobs would somehow come back. The economic logic of that is absurd. Even if we assume that the wealthy are the villains of the piece, taxing them at Hollandaise rates seems as likely to bring back the jobs as constructing cardboard factories in a cargo cult ceremony to summon the spirits of the lost jobs would.

But Obama, like most of his Socialist brethren, isn't really interested in repairing the broken relationships of the economy. The logic running through his Bolivarian speech is that forcing the rich, or at least those of their class who haven't written their timely checks to Organizing for America, to pay more will allow the government to create more jobs.

The only thing wrong with that notion is that trying to create more jobs through higher taxes is like trying to save the Titanic by drilling more holes in its hull. It doesn't work for the same reason that perpetual motion machines don't work. Any process that promises to create more energy than is put into it is doomed.

But Obama's perpetual motion tax machine isn't even close to being sensible. If other liberals at least made an effort at spray painting the shoebox black and making "vroom, vroom" noises while it spins, there isn't even any serious effort at deception here.

Obama isn't even bothering to promise to create jobs by creating more jobs. Instead all he's offering are the same empty social welfare promises that more social services, more preschools, more free internet, more Green Energy, more ObamaCare, will turn the economy around, while shamelessly claiming that it has already done as much.

There are still the occasional nods to all the nation's broken bridges that are just about to fall down, but mostly it's the same empty Socialism that proposes to tax a country to death because it's right and just to do so.

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes," Benjamin Franklin wrote to a French correspondent around the time that the United States Constitution took effect. Some two centuries later, government has combined death and taxes into one by taxing the economy to death.

Taxing economies to death is one thing that we have in common with the French. President Hollande began his disastrous term in office with a proposed 75% tax rate. The move sent some of the country's most prominent citizens scrambling for the exits, while the newspapers of the left screamed hysterically for their heads like a pack of cut-rate Robespierres.

France's move to tax its economy to death hit a snag when its budget minister, a member of the Socialist Party in good standing, who was supposed to lead the crusade to make the rich pay their fair 75 percent share admitted to hiding some $790,000 in a secret Swiss bank account. Then he was caught having tried to move another $19 million into a Swiss bank around the time that he was appointed Vice-President of the Socialist Group in the French National Assembly. The only thing that would have made the scene more ridiculous is if the group had kept its old name of Socialists, Radicals, Citizens and the Assorted Left.

Shameless hypocrisy and corruption is another thing that we have in common with France. And every other government on earth.

Obama has squandered money like Louis XVI and then pledged to lead a revolution to find where the rest of the money is. Surrounded by some of the most corrupt billionaires in the country, whose think-tanks help write the policy proposals that the teleprompter feeds into his brain, he inveighs against the 1 percent. And he tops it all off by claiming his disasters as successes.

Death and taxes are the only certain thing in America. But not in Detroit, where half the property owners simply chose not to pay them/ In Egypt, much of the country doesn't pay taxes. It is not difficult to imagine an America in which everyone but a handful of corporations no longer pays taxes. This libertarian paradise will be achieved not through reforms, but through social breakdown.

Obama taxes Americans. He taxes their incomes, their lifebloods and their patience. He has put his entire faith in taxes, in grubbing up enough money to serve as collateral for his latest scheme. And the road that his paradise of amnesty for illegal aliens, Green Energy for electric poverty and more government employees to administer the whole mess leads to is Detroit. Or Egypt.

Pick one. It doesn't really matter..

What escapes Obama, even as he delivers another meandering speech, is that he isn't really fooling anyone. At least not in the way he thinks. Not even most of his media allies really believe that any plan he proposes will really work. They evaluate it only based on its conformity to their ideology.

Most polls show that Americans believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction. They don't believe that Obama can or will fix anything. His bleatings about broken bridges, high tech schools and all the other nonsense that he has been relentlessly telepromptering since 2008 falls on deaf ears. What they believe is that he is well-meaning. That is why they voted for him. In the finest traditions of affirmative action, they tried to give him a second chance, not because they believed that he would succeed, but because he seemed like such a nice guy. 

Obama does not occupy the White House because the nation believes in him, but because it believes in itself; in its own decency, its own sense of fair play and its own eagerness to show that it is on the side of the better angels. He has been given a chance to destroy America by an America that believes in being kind to its destroyers.

All Obama has to offer to America is a promise that consolidating government power through wealth redistribution will build the better country that he hasn't managed to build yet. While Americans go on believing in America, Obama believes only in death and taxes.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The End of Shame

Weiner's political career will never end, if only because of how much value he has to offer to the media, standup comedians and bored browsers looking for some news item to wake them up long enough to finish another hour of data entry at their job.

Shame has become a mostly discredited concept. The return of Weiner and Spitzer to public life proves as much. But the Era of Shame ended conclusively with Clinton's impeachment proceedings. The only outcome of those proceedings was to degrade the country while leaving the man at the center of the mess intact.

The New York Times ran a preachy editorial telling “the serially evasive Mr. Weiner" to "take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye". The censure might have more credibility if the New York Times' editorial board hadn't defended the serially evasive Bill Clinton and urged him to stay instead of telling him to take him "marital troubles and personal compulsions" back to Arkansas.

Is the New York Times really any less serially evasive than Weiner? And for that matter, the Gray Lady's David Carr makes Weiner look like a saint. At least Weiner probably didn't get around to domestic abuse, crack or baby stealing.

The difference between Clinton and Weiner being made by the serially evasive New York Times is one of political convenience.

Pushing Weiner out of the race now will help the Democrats secure Gracie Mansion by preventing a candidate with problems from heading up their party's ticket. If Weiner had already won the runoff, then the message would have been that we have to give him another chance. And another one.

In the White House, Bill Clinton had to be defended to the death. If Weiner makes it inside City Hall, he will have the protection of the media mafia which only cares about making sure the players of the left can shoot and score some policy victories for their side.

If John Edwards had become the President of the United States, he would have been defended to the death and any witnesses and accusers against him would have received the Linda Tripp treatment, instead of the slick lawyer being mocked and kicked to the curb once it became clear that his disgrace might damage the progress of the progressive agenda.

“Enough of all the lies and salacious revelations, Weiner is not fit to lead America’s premier city,” the New York Daily News declared. He isn't, of course, but who is?

Weiner's Democratic rivals include Quinn, the lesbian Council Speaker, who doesn't have a single thought in her head that Bloomberg didn't put there, John Liu, who may go to prison for campaign finance fraud, Bill de Blasio, the Che-quoting radical whose black wife claimed to be a lesbian. At this rate New York City may get its second black mayor, Bill Thompson, because he's the only normal one in the race. Too bad he's an empty suit in search of a body to fill it.

New York City has never been the sort of place to be led by worthy men. Mayor Fernando Wood was a gang member who used Tammany Hall to climb into the mayor's office. He was eventually dragged out of there by the National Guard, but not before a police civil war ensued. Mayor Jimmy Walker left his wife to marry a showgirl and fled to Europe to avoid being prosecuted for corruption.

Despite all that, Fernando Wood gave the city Central Park and Jimmy Walker gave it some catchy tunes and a memorable sense of style.

The difference was that Wood and Walker were never within laughing distance of the White House. New York City voters might make it through another election, fighting the gangs in control of the polling places to cast their vote for Walker, after he got done dumping his wife for a showgirl, or Fernando Wood, after he set off a civil war between police forces over the lucrative trash commissioner appointment, but national voters never would. New York was an outlier.

Weiner though isn't an outlier. He's just another egotistical politician with poor impulse control and a political spouse. That makes him no different than Bill Clinton who presided over his wedding vows. The only extraordinary thing about him is the clumsy ways in which he takes self-destructiveness to a sheepish low. But even there he was nearly topped by John Edwards.

The Clinton era established that a president can do what he likes in the White House and our duty is to avoid paying attention to it because it's his private life. At least once we've giggled enough about it and once enough news professionals have spent hours describing each of their sexual escapades to viewers in detail. And then the backlash against poking into his private life will kick in.

That's not a moral standard. It's tabloid morality that knows no sense of right or wrong, only the utility of shock value. And why should it be otherwise?

The family is a broken mess nationwide. Why should it remain intact among the politicians who championed its destruction? A bachelor president would be unthinkable today, and yet the country was a more moral place in 1850 than it is today. And that may be why we need our leaders to act as symbols of normalcy so that we can be fooled into thinking that nothing is wrong.

The New Yorker who voted for Jimmy Walker was almost certainly part of a family unit. The New Yorker who votes for Weiner or Quinn or de Blasio or any other member of the circus, will have more than a little in common with them. New Yorkers may have voted for Jimmy Walker, but they didn't live like him. Today they do live like Weiner, Quinn and the rest of the gang. And yet they expect higher standards from them.

Shame depends on peer pressure. And peer pressure requires standards. When the standards only exist on television, then shame is an illusion, a mask that politicians can take off and put on again. And it's not as if we believe in shame anymore. Not when the media and a legion of gullible idiots celebrated the defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act. And if DOMA's death sparked some fireworks, why should we expect marriage to be sacred?

The social policies of the past few generations calculatedly severed the bonds between parents and children and husbands and wives. Now we have moved on to mainstreaming homosexuality and redefining gender as a mental fiction. Every day brings new stories about "adorable" transgender kids. And if it's not that, then it's a woman marrying a bridge or outrage over a lesbian being persecuted for molesting a 14-year-old girl. We don't have norms anymore. Why should we have shame and why should we expect shame from the most powerful men and women in the country?

Shame has become random. A tabloid game that we play. It's not based on a set of reciprocal values. There's no right or wrong.

Few politicians personify shame as obligatory ritual the way that Elliot Spitzer does, sighing as he dutifully explains that he let everyone down and he's deeply ashamed and now would everyone please give him enough power to grind Wall Street and everyone else he has a grudge against into dust. Pretty please?

Spitzer crowds every show on television to explain how he let everyone down and how he's going to fix that by cracking down on Wall Street. Only a fool would think that Spitzer had reformed and despite his high poll numbers, New Yorkers aren't fools. But they don't like being made fools of. They know that he hasn't changed, but they don't want their noses rubbed in it because it leaves them with the unpleasant choice of admitting that they voted for an amoral man or claiming that they were fooled.

Weiner's comeback fooled no one. But no one wants to look like they were fooled either. That is why he's falling in the polls. And that is also the story of our society which, known to everyone is tumbling into a moral abyss, but which no one wants to admit to knowing because it implies complicity.

It was easier in 1926. No one pretended to think that Mayor Jimmy Walker was a good man. Not even Walker. It was his cheerful amorality that they were attracted to. His contempt for the office he held, for any mores and values, even those of the most elementary competence and professionalism. New Yorkers liked a good joke, especially in those grim days, and Mayor Walker was an excellent joke, a high class bum posing as a politician, making mock of the very profession by occupying it.

Since then society has become more hypocritical even as it has grown more amoral. We want our bums to play the part of decent men. We seriously expect men who dedicate their entire lives to climbing into office so they can hurl down gifts on their supporters not to be as corrupt in their personal lives as they are in their political lives. Unlike Walker's New Yorkers, we pretend to disdain the very thing that we are entertained by.

Anthony Weiner is the perfect embodiment of the modern liberal beta male, who assures his better half of her moral superiority with his sheepish apologies for a pattern of behavior that everyone knows he will repeat. Jimmy Walker lived a broadly unapologetic life of corruption, while Weiner wears his hangdog expression to endless press conferences apologizing for his corruption. And that too is the perverse legacy of liberalism in making even sin into another joyless political ritual.

In a society without moral values, shame is theater. There is no content to it, only a ritual that the shamed must pass through for the entertainment of the masses. The society that the values revolution  made has has no room for moral judgement and yet it needs its entertainments, its circuses and serial humiliations.

These spectacles have no moral meaning. One day Paula Deen is being tarred and feather and another day it's Anthony Weiner and still another day it's a movie star's mental breakdown and then another random person whose exploits are notable and memeworthy enough to keep the data entry operators from clicking over to a Facebook game. There are no more morals, only circuses. There is no more shame, only boredom

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Afternoon Roundup - Muslim Self-Esteem My Destination



MUSLIM SELF-ESTEEM MY DESTINATION

On Frontpage, I wrote a more policy-based follow-up to this week's article The Eagle has Landed.

In 2008, Obama hypocritically blasted the Bush Administration for allowing “a five-year gap after the retirement of the Space Shuttle” during which time “the United States will have to depend on foreign rockets and spacecraft to send Americans to orbit”.

Obama claimed that he wanted to retain a working space shuttle. In office however he scrapped the shuttles leaving the United States wholly dependent on Russian Soyuz rockets. Around the time that Bolden was telling America that we would not go to the moon, his skeleton of a space agency, now concerned with Muslim outreach and Global Warming, was paying the Russian space agency $424 million for six Soyuz seats.

“By buying the services of space transportation, rather than the vehicles themselves, we can continue to ensure rigorous safety standards are met,” Obama said at the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

Quoting him, Neil Armstrong wrote, “It was asserted that by buying taxi service to Low Earth Orbit rather than owning the taxis, “we can continue to ensure rigorous safety standards are met”. The logic of that statement is mystifying.”

It’s even more mystifying considering that the taxis are now unreliable Russian space junk that suffer from reentry “glitches” with American astronauts on board.

It’s not that the money for the space program isn’t there. It’s just going to different places.

During Obama’s first year in office, economic aid to Pakistan nearly tripled to $1.3 billion. While Obama could find no room in his budget request for the Constellation space program, a year after the Bin Laden raid, which caught Pakistan harboring America’s greatest enemy, the 2012 budget requested $3 billion in aid for Pakistan.

Bush cut economic aid to Egypt. Obama increased it. Foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority shot up from $414 million to $980 million in 2009. US contributions to the UN passed $6 billion; a 50 percent increase.

By 2011, total foreign aid spending had increased by 80% from $11.4 billion to $20 billion. In 2010, Neil Armstrong had sent in written testimony to a Congressional hearing stating that budget reductions for the Constellation program totaled $20 billion.

You can read the entire piece at Frontpage. Muslim Self-Esteem or the Stars.



THE IRON LAW OF O

It’s an iron law of nature as certain as the one about an angel getting its wings every time a bell rings or a snowstorm blanketing the area every time Al Gore comes to town to remind the carbon puffing infidels about global warming: every time Obama gives a speech, a thousand businesses go out of business.

On July 24th, Obama delivered yet another economic speech in which he castigated Republicans in Congress for the sequester that he proposed, promised big economic benefits for the entire country from green energy and illegal immigration and promised to spend every one of his remaining days trying to help working people; at least those days when he isn’t on the golf course, on vacation at Martha’s Vineyard or delivering useless speeches.

It’s an FDR-on-crack assemblage of crackpot social plans masquerading as economic plans and homey testaments to American exceptionalism wrapped around bankrupt Euro ideas about how to run a country into the ground. 

Obama’s Death and Taxes Economy




CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR AND HISTORY PROFESSOR

“Finally, we agreed that one of the great sources of strength between our two countries is the Vietnamese American population that is here but obviously has continued strong ties to Vietnam,” Obama said.

Much of America’s Vietnamese population came here as refugees. It’s like claiming that the Cuban community bonds us to Castro.

“At the conclusion of the meeting, President Sang shared with me a copy of a letter sent by Ho Chi Minh to Harry Truman.  And we discussed the fact that Ho Chi Minh was actually inspired by the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and the words of Thomas Jefferson.  Ho Chi Minh talks about his interest in cooperation with the United States.  And President Sang indicated that even if it’s 67 years later, it’s good that we’re still making progress,” Obama said.

The message to Truman came in 1946. By then Ho Chi Mihn had long been a dedicated Communist and Soviet agent. At the time the letter was sent, Ho Chi Mihn was murdering his political opponents while trying to wheedle Truman into helping him out.

Obama: “Ho Chi Mihn was Inspired by the United States Constitution”




RECONQUISTA

 The message here is goodbye British louts, hello Saudi Islamists. I imagine the mandatory bathing suit in Majorca will soon be a Burka.

The Spanish island of Majorca has implemented a ban on drinking alcohol in public and plans to replace its budget hotels with upmarket luxury resorts in a bid to discourage binge-drinking European holidaymakers and replace them with high spending, wealthy tourists from Dubai.

“We want people who spend a lot of money, such as more tourists from China and Dubai. St Tropez, Miami and Las Vegas are the places we’re orienting ourselves towards,” Alvaro Gijón, deputy mayor of the island’s capital Palma de Majorca, added.

Because the one thing Miami and Las Vegas are known for is being alcohol free.

Spanish Island Bans Drinking to Replace Europeans with Muslim Tourists




TRACK RECORD, BROKEN RECORD

During his visit to Israel, Obama declared that “I genuinely believe that you do have a true partner in President Abbas… I believe that. And they have a track record to prove it.”

The track record is certainly there.

Palestinian Media Watch has reported that the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, has honored Palestinian terrorist Ahmad Abu Sukkar, who murdered 15 Israelis and Americans, and wounded 77 others in the Zion Square Refrigerator Bombing on July 4, 1975.

In a eulogy, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stated, “’His pure soul passed on to the kingdom of Heaven during these blessed days in this honored month [Ramadan] after a journey of struggle full of exceptional giving and devoted activity for Palestine.”

Michael Ben-Yitzchak (Isaacs) was an Oxford graduate who was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His wife, Rifka Soifer, was a Brooklynite, who was out shopping with her husband when the bomb went off.

The fridge bomber also killed a number of Muslims.

Nazih Hamad, was 25 when she died, rose early that Friday to buy a wedding dress for her wedding, which was scheduled to take place less than a week later. She was killed with her sister and cousin in the attack

Palestinian President Calls Terrorist Who Murdered American Woman a “Pure Soul”



POLAR BEAR PRIVILEGE CLUB

The latest Big Brothersque announcement from Obama Inc. is that national housing policy is about to be retooled around mandatory diversity. What this will mean is that state housing agencies will have their grants dependent on forcing mandatory diversity on developments, likely through some quota system, even if those developments don’t require federal funding.

That may help keep residents from fleeing to another neighborhood, but can it keep them from moving to another state?

The penalties and intimidation become ridiculous when dealing with states like Alaska or North Dakota. It’s going to get rather hard to spread 20,000 black people across all of Alaska for maximum diversity.  Or the 6,000 black people of North Dakota.

Is Alaska going to have to start recruiting black people from Florida with incentives?

What Happens When Obama’s “Mandatory National Diversity” Hits Alaska?



ASSORTED HEADLINES

Muslim Storeowner Steals $5 Mil Lottery Ticket from Infidel, Gets 25 Years in Jail

Nigerian Vigilantes w/Machetes Pursue Boko Haram Muslim Terrorists

Anthony Weiner Unqualified to be Mayor of New York, Qualified to be President of the United States

Apparently lies about sex and salacious revelations qualify you to be President of the United States. But not for the much more important job of Mayor of New York.

“The serially evasive Mr. Weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye, away from cameras, off the Web and out of the race for mayor of New York City,” the New York Times said.

If only it had said the same thing about President William Jefferson Clinton and his martial troubles and compulsions. Instead it called for Bill to accept censure and stay in office.
Obama: F-16s to Muslim Brotherhood Yes, F-16s to Egyptian Military No

During Kerry’s confirmation hearing, he claimed that Morsi declaring that Egyptians should nurse their children on hatred for the Jews was no reason not to give Morsi a bunch of F-16s.
Are You Ready for the Trayvon Martin Portrait Made of Skittles?

Alice Walker Claims George Zimmerman May be a Reptilian Space Alien





CRAZY LIES AND ASPARAGUS PIES

Every time that Obama claims the economy is back, another company goes out of business. When Obama says that the economy is back, he means that his big money donors are using their share of government pork to send him big checks.

So cue the big speech which is being delivered as behind him, Detroit goes bankrupt. Or fights for the right to go bankrupt.

This is what our modern Lincoln, FDR, Reagan, Aaron Burr and Jimmy Carter wrapped in one man said not too long ago.

Obama’s 2011 speech described a Detroit that can only be described as a myth wrapped in a wish inside a dream.

“This is a city that’s been to heck and back,” Obama said. “And while there are still a lot of challenges here, I see a city that’s coming back.”

Now cue the big speech.

Obama Presides Over Worst Economy Ever, Gives Speech Full of Crazy Lies Promising Pie in the Sky








BIG DREAMERS AND BIG GOALS

Why would the Senate bill allow an alien to have two drunken driving offenses before it becomes an issue for citizenship on the third time caught. It takes only one drunken driving event to bring death or lifetime injuries to a legal American.

But here’s an easy one: Under the Senate bill, why would Border Control/Patrol/Agents/ICE be moved from Homeland Security to the Department of Justice’s Human Rights Division – the same wing of the DOJ who told a judge to shove his guilty judgement against the New Black Panther Party’s voter intimidation in Philadelphia?

Who better to advance the unconstitutional invasion of illegals into the U.S. after the pathway to citizenship makes tens of millions legal, than the Department of Justice. Eric Holder said he wasn’t leaving office because he still has goals to meet. This is a big one.

...from Maggie's Notebook



A GHOST OF GLASS

What we have on our hands is clear, inarguable evidence of partisan-driven bad faith on the part of The New Republic's writers and editors, and probably its super-liberal ideologue owner, too.

The New Republic demonstrated its commitment to dishonesty in its first stealth edit.

Here was their first claim about the 311 call about an unattended 7 year old boy wading out into traffic :

    . . . Zimmerman was an edgy basket case with a gun who had called 911 46 times in 15 months, once to report the suspicious activities of a seven year old black boy.

Emphasis in original. Now, the facts came out, and they were not pretty for TNR:

    [M]ost egregiously, Zimmerman’s call (to the non-emergency police number) regarding a seven-to-nine-year-old black boy was placed because Zimmerman was “concerned for [the] well being” of that child, who was walking unaccompanied on a busy street (see page 37).

At this point TNR knows it has the story wrong -- way wrong -- and we know that because they now endeavor to clean up their article with a stealth edit.

So this:

    . . . Zimmerman was an edgy basket case with a gun who had called 911 46 times in 15 months, once to report the suspicious activities of a seven year old black boy.

Becomes this:

    . . Zimmerman was an edgy basket case with a gun who had called the polics 46 times in 15 months, once to report on a seven year old black boy. 

from Ace of Spades.



THE BOYS OF BENGHAZI

The Battling Boys of Benghazi

We're the Battling Boys of Benghazi,
no fame, no glory, no paparazzi.
Just a fiery death in a blazing hell
defending the country we loved so well.
It wasn't our job, but we answered the call,
fought to the consulate and scaled the wall.
We pulled twenty countrymen from the jaws of fate,
led them to safety and stood at the gate.
Just the two of us, and foes by the score,
but we stood fast to bar the door.
Three calls for reinforcement, but all were denied,
so we fought and we fought and we fought till we died.
We gave our all for our Uncle Sam
but Barack Obama didn't give a damn
just two dead SEALs who carried the load
no thanks to us - we were just "bumps in the road."

From Allen West via Boker Tov Boulder

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Muslims are Not a Minority

The most persistent myth of the Western Dhimmi narrative is that Muslims are a minority and must receive special protection and accommodation. But Muslims are not a minority. There are 1.5 billion Sunni Muslims worldwide, outweighing Catholics as the next largest religious faction at 1.1 billion and Hindus at 1 billion. They are still a minority of the overall population in Western countries, but a demographically trending majority.

In the UK more people attend mosques than the Church of England, that makes Muslims the largest functioning religious group there. Mohammed was the most popular baby name last year, ahead of Jack and Harry. In France, in this generation, more mosques have been built than Catholic churches and in southern France there are already more mosques than churches. Mohammed-Amine is the most popular double name, ahead of Jean-Baptiste, Pierre-Louis, Leo-Paul and Mohammed-Ali.

In Belgium, 50 percent of newborns are Muslim and empty Belgian churches are being turned into mosques. The most popular baby name is Mohammed and of the top 7 baby names, 6 were Muslim. A quarter of Amsterdam, Marseilles and Rotterdam and a fifth of Stockholm is already Muslim. The most popular baby name in Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague is... Mohammed.

Europe's Muslim population doubled in the last generation, and is set to double again. By 2025, (a decade and a half away), a third of all births in the EU will be Muslim. The demographic writing is already on the wall. A third of Muslims in France and Germany are teenagers or younger, as compared to a fifth of the native population. A third of Muslims in the UK and Belgium are under 15 versus a fifth of the native population. Counting all age groups, they're a minority. But in generational demographics, Muslims are swiftly becoming a majority.

Looking at these numbers it is hard to argue that Muslims are a minority. They are not a majority at the moment, but majorities are not just a statistical snapshot, but a cultural and demographic trend. Countries are not defined by the past, or even by the present, but by the future. By the direction in which they are headed. And Europe's future is a Muslim majority. Most European governments have accepted that and are acting on it. There may currently be more warm European bodies than Muslim ones, but the culture is being steered by the assumption of an Islamic future.

America is not nearly as vulnerable to the Muslim demographic bomb, because it is less socialist and more multicultural. It also has no former Muslim colonies, like England or France. Or at least it didn't have any before. But the liberation of Iraq has touched off a swarm of 'refugees' moving to the United States. While some of them are Christian, the majority are Muslim. By law we are obligated to accept 5,000 a year. The 2008 target for Iraqi immigration was 12,000, far more than most of the former Soviet Union combined. Not significant numbers alone, but they are part of a bigger picture.

In 2005, almost 100,000 Muslims became legal residents of the US. In 2009, it was 115,000. And the numbers continue to rise each year. That means that already they make up around 10 percent of immigrants to the US. The number of Egyptian and Syrian immigrants has more than doubled since 9/11. The number of Turkish immigrants has more than tripled. The number of Afghanis has tripled. Somalis have gone up from nearly 3,000 to nearly 14,000 a year. Pakistan hit a high of 21,000 in 2009 and Saudis are up by 50 percent.

Not nation shattering numbers in and of themselves, but let's look at them in relation to birth rates.

The United States birth rate was 13.5. Pakistan's birth rate is 24.1. Egypt's birth rate is 24.6. The Saudi birth rate is 19.3. The Afghani birth rate is 37.3. The Somali birth rate is 42.7. What this means is that we are importing Muslim immigrants with a birth rate that twice or even three times higher than our own.

The United States birth rate is already inflated by its own immigrants, including large numbers of Latinos and the million plus Muslims already in the US, so the baseline numbers are even worse. But these numbers are bad enough, as the social services departments of Amsterdam or Malmo could tell you. We are not importing 115,000 Muslims a year. No, we're importing as many as 2,500 Muslim babies a year into our demographic pool.

Compare that to the 25,000 Korean immigrants in 2009, from a country with an average birth rate of 8.5. Increase Korean immigration fivefold until they outnumber the annual number of Muslim immigrants, and you still aren't even importing a 1,000 babies a year. A thousand Somali immigrants are the demographic equivalent of 5,000 Korean immigrants because the Somali birth rate is 5 times the Korean birth rate. The 25,000 Korean immigrants represent a mere 212 babies a year, but the 14,000 Somalis represent 600 babies a year.

This is how demographic suicide creeps up on nations. And this also is an incomplete picture. The Korean-American intermarriage rate is at over 50 percent. There are no statistics for Somali intermarriage rates in the US, but Muslims do not leave their religion upon marriage. And in Sweden and Norway, Somali intermarriage rates are very low. Which means the Little Mogadishus growing across the United States are not going anywhere. And given time, there will be a Little Mogadishu in your city too.

Despite all this Mohammed won't be the most popular baby name in the United States any time soon. But a Muslim population boom will sneak up on us. It already is. Yet population-wise Muslims are a minority. But are they really?

There are two kinds of minorities. The first kind come from countries where they were a minority or under foreign rule. The Irish, Jews, Tibetans, Armenians and Norwegians are all examples of that. The second kind of minority isn't really a minority at all. This 'minority' immigrates from countries where they are the ruling majority. They are not persecuted and are not escaping anything except living in a failed state.

These "Majority Minorities" are designated as minorities by political correctness, but they don't think of themselves as minorities or act like minorities. They are used to being the dominant culture and when they are hostile, it is not because of a sense of persecution, but xenophobia. While they are labeled minorities-- they actually behave like majorities.

They are acting like the majority culture-- which in their minds they are. 

Muslims are "Majority Minorities", who act with all the entitlements and privileges of a majority. When Somali cabbies refuse to carry airport passengers with duty free liquor or almost half of Muslims in the UK want Sharia law--  they are behaving as if they already are the majority entitled to force their culture, their law and their religion on the minority. And in their eyes, we are the minority, because they have no cultural tradition of how to be minorities.

The Irish, the Jews and African-Americans have a cultural memory of being persecuted that they retain in song and story. But Muslims have rushed to wipe away the shame of briefly living under European colonialism by casting back to the golden age when they were the oppressors, reviving the Caliphate and lashing out violently at even the slightest criticism of their religion.

Muslims in America and Europe are still numerical minorities, but they act like majorities. And they are doing everything they can to become majorities. Treating them like minorities is a mistake, that Europe has already come to regret and that we are only beginning to learn the folly of. Muslims can either be a minority or a majority. If they choose to act like a majority, imposing their culture, religion and worldview on others-- then they should be treated like one.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Idiot's Foreign Policy

Rarely has there been a policy as universally supported in Washington and as universally rejected by Americans of all ages, races, genders, incomes and religions as the proposal to send weapons to the Syrian terrorists.

The average American who has never heard of the Al-Nusra Front, is utterly in the dark about the differences between the various brigades of the Free Syrian Army and hasn't the faintest idea that the entire thing has been a Muslim Brotherhood operation of varying degrees of subtlety from Day 1, still thinks that sending weapons to them is a terrible idea.

Even a public that is weary of war and not at all enthusiastic about jumping into another one would rather invade Syria than arm the Syrian rebels.

At least those are the results of a recent Quinnipiac poll which found that sizable majorities of Republicans, Democrats, men, women, Whites, Blacks and Hispanics (and possibly even the mysteriously reclusive White Hispanics) all opposed the proposal to send arms to the rebels; even without being told that rebel is a polite term for Islamic Jihadist and Islamic Jihadist is a polite term for the guy wearing explosive underwear next to them on their vacation flight.

The college educated and those who made it through the basic twelve, Protestants and Catholics, those making under 50K and those making over 100K, callow 18-year-olds and superannuated seniors, all came together to oppose an insane policy of giving weapons to terrorists who are certain to use them against us.

They came to this novel conclusion without a thorough grounding in foreign policy, without having ever read one of those massive tomes that outgoing secretaries of state throw together to explain their failures, and without even being told anything true and meaningful about the Free Syrian Army. The only analytical tool at their disposal was their common sense.

In a time when the country is sharply divided along class, race, gender and hoodie, this was a refreshing show of unity. The United States of America, in town and city, mariachi band, hip hop concert and hoedown, came together to oppose giving weapons to terrorists.

And no one in Washington D.C. paid attention. Why should they? They already have it all figured out.

The intelligence committees in the Senate and House of Representatives, which had briefly kicked up a fuss over Obama's plan to send guns to terrorists, withdrew their objections after being promised regular updates. If those updates are nearly as interesting as the ones for Fast and Furious, a program which merely put lighter weapons into the hands of Mexican drug lords, they should make for some entertaining reading.

The weapons smuggled into Libya, with the complicity of Uncle Barack, and the ones looted from Gaddafi's ample storehouses, have already shown up in Gaza, led to the Islamist conquest of Mali (requiring French military intervention), and have, naturally, shown up in Syria. a.

Where will the weapons dispensed like candy to the Syrian rebels end up? The real question is where  won't they end up. The Middle East is a giant arms market and the United States is abandoning the policy of plausible deniability that existed during the Libyan War to directly run guns to terrorists.

Considering the havoc that a mere 2,000 Fast and Furious guns caused in Mexico, what exactly will come of shipping anti-tank weapons to the same sort of Islamist militias who launched a full blown assault on the American mission in Benghazi?

In the great polling game of Ask the Audience played on the set of Who Wants to be President, the answer from the gallery has come in loud and clear. But no one on the stage seems to actually care. And it is that lack of concern that is more interesting than the exercise of common sense by the collective polled mind of America.

It is widely accepted wisdom in Washington D.C. that we have to send weapons to the Syrian rebels. How did a notion that is rejected out of hand by the man on the street for reasons of common sense become accepted in Washington D.C. also for reasons of common sense? Is there a different common sense in Washington D.C. than in Peoria, Miami or Fargo? Or is there a lack of common sense?

During the heyday of the Arab Spring when we were all supposed to be impressed by posed photographs of protesters gesticulating against a fiery background in Tahrir Square, it was hard to find anyone with policy influence or experience who would agree that we should just stay out of it. Mubarak staying on was equally a non-starter. They all knew that Mubarak had to go. They all knew that democracy in Egypt was inevitable. And they all knew that it would somehow work out because freedom is stronger than tyranny and talking points are stronger than common sense.

The consensus on Syrian smacks of that same empty conviction that something must be done, that the golden avatar of progress must be served and that we are on the cusp of historic change. "Inaction is not an option," say the advocates of every stupid policy from amnesty for illegal aliens to guns for terrorists.

But considering the outcomes of their proposed policies, inaction doesn't seem so bad.

The net foreign policy outcome of all our interventions in Egypt to make the Egyptians love us is an Egypt that now hates us more than ever. Hating us is the one thing that Egyptians from all walks of life can agree on. It's their national equivalent of shipping guns to Syrian terrorists.

Not only did Obama's Cairo speech, his command that Mubarak depart and his latest attempts at pressing for the restoration of the Muslim Brotherhood to power, not win over anyone, the sum of these interventions have made Egypt more unstable and made us more hated than ever.

The Libyan intervention, begun to protect the Islamist militias of Benghazi, ended with a burning diplomatic compound in Benghazi and Islamist militias gunning down two Navy SEALS while dragging the body of an American ambassador through the streets in between snapping shots of his corpse with their smartphones. (Officially they were rescuing him by taking him to a hospital controlled by the same Islamist militia that was involved in the attack.)

So what's the worst that could happen in Syria?

The most destructive influence on domestic and foreign policy is that sense of inevitability. "Something must be done," are the four words that have undone the reason of even credible conservative politicians. The next six words, "It will happen even without us" are nearly as toxic. These are the words that have convinced countless politicians to sell out on domestic policy in exchange for having some control over the final outcome.

If the entire population of the United States Senate went up to the roof of the Russell Building and jumped off, it would happen because more and more aides would talk up their senators and urge them to go up because if they all jump together, then the dissenting senators will have some control over the process.

That false sense of power and even falser sense of consensus is driving an idiotic policy in Syria.

Officially we are supporting the Syrian rebels because we support democracy, even though the vast majority of the rebels are Islamists and the only democracy they want will disenfranchise Christians, Shiites, women and anyone else left standing after the black flags sweep into Damascus. Morsi also deserves our support because he was democratically elected, even though during his time in office, he tried to amass total power and tortured and beat up his political opponents.

What democracy really means is that Washington D.C. has decided that the Muslim Brotherhood is
inevitable and so we might as well get on their good side by helping them take over a few countries, before it's too late. Never mind that the Muslim Brotherhood doesn't have a good side. Peel back the layers of front organizations and you find yourself looking into the hooded eyes of Yusuf al-Qaradawi who enjoys suicide bombings and long walks on the beach. But no doubt that too is inevitable.

Bobby Knight once said, "If rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it." That advice seems to be defining our foreign policy in Egypt (where rape is an instrument of domestic policy). The inevitability of the Muslim Brotherhood's victory has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since they're bound to win down the road, we should help them win now. And if they start losing, then we have to ship weapons to their militias and maybe declare a No Fly Zone, because while their victory is inevitable, its inevitability must be assured with American weapons against the will of the American people.

Washington D.C. is full of Ivy League grads that have spent a lifetime reading about the Middle East, but lack the most basic sort of common sense. It's not that they can't comprehend the risks, it's that they have been taught to think that either they jump off the Morsi building and land in a Syrian rebel camp or the whole thing will happen without them and they will be left out of the loop.

And what could be worse than that?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

So Long Detroit

A century ago it was the lure of work that drew people from rural areas and far away countries to American cities. The big cities had jobs. Unlike rural areas, they had such high concentrations of them that if you moved there, then you might be able move from job to job without having to turn hobo and travel to find work. The big city offered workers to employers and employment to workers.

That arrangement worked when cities were places where things were made. A century ago the New York City waterfront was crowded with ships bringing in cargoes. During WW2, it was filled with entire fleets that were being constructed there. Today the river traffic consists of tour boats or pleasure craft, supplemented by the occasional EPA ship hunting for pollution in the river.

The waterfront was a hangout for the homeless, the modern hobo who doesn't look for work, in the 80s. It's being transformed into bike lanes and garden spot cafes now. That is the city in miniature. Either it's decrepit or ornamental. It just isn't utilitarian. It's not really good for anything practical anymore. Even assuming that we were going to build some fleets, we wouldn't do it in New York.

So the question isn't why did Detroit go bankrupt. The real question is why wouldn't it. Detroit was once known for making things. Now its most famous remaining industry puts together car parts and while it's more than a lot of cities have, it's not nearly enough to subsidize a large population that doesn't work or pay taxes. A population of hobos who never need to look for work.

The only real things keeping American cities from going bankrupt are inertia and some fancy cultural footwork.

The city has three types of people. Those who work. Those who work for the government. Those who don't work. Those who don't work and those who work for the government are a net loss. They can be used to obtain various funds from the national government, but the funds are never enough to cover their cost.

Some of those who do work are still a net loss, because they use more services than they pay for, others pay more in taxes than they get or cost, but considering the level of expenses required to maintain a city and the small amounts that trickle back to cities from up the government river, it becomes harder and harder for even the middle class to pay its way.

To deal with this dilemma, cities did what so many brands did, they began upselling their lifestyle to attract a younger and wealthier elite that could inject enough money into the system to subsidize all the public housing, public schools and public everything. Some cities succeeded at it, but all they really did was prolong the inevitable. Others failed miserably.

Detroit's reconstruction plan hinges on somehow attracting a chunk of that crowd. It's just not going to happen. Its bankruptcy and proposed reemergence is a corporate strategy. Shake loose some of the pension weight and figure out a way to rebrand Detroit as a place for social media companies to set up shop. And then solicit more investment to really turn things around.

After the long struggle into and out of bankruptcy, Detroit will still be a failed city that has no future because it has no purpose.

Cities once had functional reasons for existing and those functional reasons convinced people to live there. Today they exist because people live there. It's backward and it fails to account for what will happen when the people decide to leave.

The people left Detroit. Not all of them, but much of the productive population packed up and hit the road leaving behind a city of illiterates and the public employees designated to care for them. There were too many public employees, not enough people and very few taxpayers.

Detroit did what most cities do. It did what the country does, it tried to make ends meet by borrowing money even though it had no prospects for paying the money back. And when that failed, it went to bankruptcy court to try and reinvent Detroit as a brand new city that gullible investors will want to lend money to. There's no stage beyond that because the city isn't viable because it has no purpose.

The purpose of a city has become to take care of the people who live there. Living in a city offers the appeal of a larger social safety net. The population that needs the safety net the most also pays the least into it, making the proposition a bad deal.

The social safety net is really there to manage the problems caused by a dysfunctional population. These problems run the gamut from riots to teenage pregnancy and they all cost money. Managing them supposedly costs less money than letting them roar on. But either way, the cost is there.

We have gone from the city as a model of industrial production to the city as a model of industrial social welfare. The former can pay for the latter, but the latter cannot pay for the former. Urban social welfare began with attempts at remedying the plight of the workers. But there are fewer and fewer workers.

Detroit couldn't get its streetlights working, but had a large body of social welfare administrating the entire mess. Any reconstruction plan will run up against the same limits. Detroit will still be the city it was, because it is a territory that has lost its purpose. Its only reasons for being are inertia and guilt.

Twinkies could be turned around by dumping unions and launching a new ad campaign, but cities don't work that. way Even reinvented, Detroit will still be what it was.

Detroit hasn't been a manufacturing city in a while. It's a welfare city. It's there to provide social services to its wards. That makes it no different than so many other cities. Its only degree of difference lies in the proportions of its productive and non-productive populations.

Detroit has too much welfare and not enough work. But since that is its purpose and the purpose of every American city now, there's nothing to complain about. The reformers who rebuilt the city as a utopian space of public housing and public services to elevate the slum dwellers won. And places like Detroit are their victory. They fought the slum and the slum won. The slum became the city.

Any city can become Detroit. All it takes is losing that percent of the population that pays in more than it takes out. Or overspending beyond their ability to cover the losses.

Detroit is the urban endgame. Its Motown cultural capital wasn't enough to keep it going the way that the cultural capital of New York's literary industries or Los Angeles' moviemaking industries have been. But those too will run out. The publishing world is collapsing and the movie industry is becoming a multinational monstrosity. A few dot coms churning out apps and IPOs while working off Chinese manufactured gadgets will not be enough to save the city.

There was a time when GM had 700,000 employees. Facebook has 3,000 employees. Google has 40,000. The 1 percenter twenty-somethings opening campuses with catered Thai food and coolers full of energy drinks are a nice employment appetizer for a city, but with few exceptions, not an industry.

The crisis of the city is that it has become a welfare state, not just in fact, but in orientation. The city exists to take care of people who won't take care of themselves. That makes it something between a homeless shelter and a state institution. And to rephrase Groucho Marx, the city may be a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution? Especially one whose chief appeal is to the people dragging it down, not those lifting it up?

The city's troubles are America's troubles. A thriving economy can support a welfare state, but a welfare state cannot be an economy. A country or a city needs a purpose that goes beyond providing services for populations that are incapable of doing the least smallest thing for themselves. Without that purpose, it is already a failed state.

Detroit exists to provide welfare for much of its population and to provide government jobs for the people taking care of them. And like those populations where generations collect welfare checks, shop with food stamps and aspire to no future other than the perpetuation of this way of life, the city that they live in has no future.

What was good for GM may or may not have been good for America, but what's good for Detroit is the destruction of America.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Eagle has Landed

Forty-four years ago, a nation that we now know was racist, didn't care about the environment and drank too much soda, landed on the moon.

Half-a-billion television viewers watched it happen live. They saw men walk on the surface of another world. They saw that human beings could break free of their world and take a first step into the rest of the universe.

And that was that.

Neil Armstrong died about the time that Obama finished gutting NASA. He lived long enough to write a saddened letter about the decline of American space exploration under Obama that everyone in the media did their best not to pay attention to. The letter was also signed by Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon.

Cernan is 79.  Of the dozen men who walked on the moon, only four are dead, a testament to their quality of their vigor.

No one who was born after 1935 has walked on the moon. That period is swiftly becoming a historical relic. A thing that men did who lived long ago. A great work of other times like the building of dams and fleets, the winning of wars and the expansion of frontiers.

Those are things that the men of back then did. Those are not things that we do anymore.

The youngest man to have walked on the moon, Harrison Schmitt, is 78. He was only 37 when he walked on the moon. Soon he will be one with the last of the Civil War soldiers and the last of the WW1 soldiers and then the last of the WW2 soldiers.

We like to believe that walking on the moon is still something we could do if we really wanted to. But like building all the big things, we just choose not to do it. We have more important things to worry about like social justice and figuring out the implications of the latest 1,000 page bill.

Forget exploring space. We explore the breadth of our own bureaucracy. We are the Schliemanns of Trojan horse government. We are the Neil Armstrongs of government landing on the paper moons of bills and acts by whose pale light we lead our pallid lives.

In those long lost days, we did great things. The bureaucrats took their cut and the contractors chiseled and the lobbyists lobbied and the whole great vulture pack of government swarmed and screeched and still somehow, with a billion monkeys on our back, we moved forward, because we still had great goals. Now our goal is government. There is no longer a moon. Only a paper moon.

The whole mess of bureaucrats, contractors, lobbyists, policy experts, consultants, congressmen, aides, crooks, creeps, thieves and agents is no longer a necessary evil that we put up with in order to accomplish great things. It is the great thing that we accomplish. There are no more moon landings, no more dams or tallest buildings in the world. The massive towering edifice of our own government is now our moon landing, our Hoover Dam, our Empire State Building.

Like so many decrepit civilizations before us, the massive rotting edifice of our government has become our great work. Keeping it going, keeping it from falling apart, wiping its bottom, finding the money to prevent its latest imminent failure, fighting over the last folder while the barbarians shout "Allah Akbar" and put all the paper to the torch because the Koran makes it redundant, that is what we do now.

We no more go a-roving so late into the night. Not when our own night has come. And it is late indeed.

It is not that we have no more Neil Armstrongs or Eugene Cernans or any of the other clean cut men who look back at us from those old photographs, cool and confident, knowing that they are the messengers that a civilization at its golden apex has picked to represent it at its peak moment. It is that we no longer want them.

The nostalgia is there, but it's every bit as transparent as a Mad Men costume party. It's all very well to ape the clothes and the styles, the fonts and the rest of the window dressing, but it's the core spirit that we have no use for.

Apollo 11 is nice and well, but we have other priorities now. We don't focus on actual achievements, but on social remedies, never realizing that our social remedies were achieved as spinoffs of achievements and that social problems can only be solved as part of the upward ascent of a civilization. There's no percentage in thinking that way. Not when there are a lot more jobs for servicing social dysfunction than there are going into space.

The core element of the space program was competence. It's the same competence that allows us to still land jet planes every day, even if the rate of improvement in the technology slowed down long ago, or perform open heart surgery. But the number of professions in which competent counts has been decreasing over the years. And so has competence as a quality.

We have replaced confidence with attitude. And the difference between them is the same as the difference between a civilization and the savages outside. Confidence comes from competence. Attitude comes from rituals of pride uninformed by achievements.

Attitude is what actors, musicians and the endless swathe of reality television cretins project. And as a society, we value attitude more than competence because not everyone can have competence, but everyone can have attitude. Not everyone can walk on the moon, but everyone can work for the government.

We could go to the moon again, but why bother, as NASA's chief, whose mission, as handed down to him by Barack Obama, was not space exploration, but the enhancement of Muslim self-esteem, told critics. And he's right. Why bother? Back then, in those ancient days when men who are now in their eighties flew, we went to the moon as part of a larger plan and statement about our place in the universe.

We were going to go the moon and then to the planets beyond. We could find new frontiers, plant our flags, build colonies, jump from world to world, star to star, and turn our civilization into something more than another archeological dig. Maybe it was all just a crazy dream, but looking at the eyes of the men who did it and who died and die seeing it undone, there is that sense that they believed that it could be done.

Going to the moon was a crazy idea of course. Going beyond it would have been even crazier. Instead we settled down to the important things, like race relations, the importance of listening to music, breaking up the family, importing huge numbers of people with little use for our way of life and all the other stupid suicidal things that dying civilizations do to pass the time.

The eagle landed in a mud puddle in D.C. The last men who walked on the moon will probably be dead within a decade.

We'll tell our kids about it and they'll shake their heads because what's the big deal anyway? Everyone flies around in spaceships in all the movies. Why bother doing it in real life? They don't bother doing anything in real life. And then they'll go off to another class that will teach them how much carbon waste the space program added and how many super-hurricanes it caused and how much better off we are now that we no longer have cars, plastic bags or air conditioning.

We could have gone to the stars, but we took another road instead. Maybe we can still turn back to a time when we could do great things before it's too late.