One of life’s blessings

I glanced out my office window, looked over the hills and the water, and saw glowing in the sky a perfect rainbow.  What a lovely gift.  Since it's been raining ridiculous amounts in my neck of the woods, one hopes that the rainbow is a sign of a remembered promise:

And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying,

And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you;

And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.

And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:

And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.

And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.  (Genesis 9:8-16.)

Landscape with Rainbow, Henley-on-Thames

c. 1690

I see a melting pot, they see a stolen dish

Gail alerted me to the Mexica-Movement's proud photo-montage about the March in L.A. I think it's a great site, since it really gives you an idea about the marchers' goals and belief system. I wonder if, once you get insight into these things, you'll be for or against firmer border controls and enforcement. I know where I stand.

The webpage's photo helps orient you to the principles animating the marchers:

A PHOTO SUMMARY OF
THE GREAT MARCH
March 25, 2006
Los Angeles, California
Occupied Anahuac (Ah-nah-wahc)

I hope you caught that these aren't merely citizens parading through American streets seeking to advance Constitutional rights. Instead, much like abused people everywhere, they're forced to live in occupied territories — in this case "Occupied Anahuac."

The pictures help reinforce this message:

The above picture actually has a great Mexica-Movement caption: "One of the more negative parts of the march was when American flags were passed out to make sure the marchers were looked on as part of "America". (Emphasis mine)" God forbid that people who live in America (whether they came here legally or not) and benefit from American andits healthy economic system should actually look as if they're part of this country. This goes back to my point of a few days ago about the utter irrationality of escaping the economic chaos that is Mexico, and than working hard to turn this country into precisely the same place you left.

But I digress, because the pictures are just as worthy as the words:

You really should check this website out yourself. This movement would be laughable were it not for the fact that, in L.A. alone, 500,000 immigrants to America are deadly serious about reinstating borders that were formally ceded to the U.S. more than a century ago. (And its worth remembering that the Mexicans living in California at the time continued to live here. They simply were overwhelmed by an influx of Anglo-Americans during the Gold Rush, diluting their population density. These protesters, who either came to America themselves, or whose parents came here, are just as much interlopers as the rest of us.

Leadership in action

Patrick alerts me to Ace's take on the new, improved Democratic plan:

An amazing new national security plan has two key provisions:

1) "Responsibly redepolying" US troops from Iraq (i.e., bugging out as soon as we can get the transport ships and planes in);

and

2) "eliminating" Osama bin Ladin.

Eliminating Osama bin Ladin! Why hasn't anyone suggested this before? It's one of those ideas that's so novel and yet compelling you wonder why you never thought of it!

It only gets better from there, but it would be tacky for me steal Ace's thunder, so you're going to have to mosey on over to Ace's yourself to read the whole thing.

The child is the father of the nation

Do you have a strong stomach? If you do not, definitely avoid this website, which collects information and photographs about the atrocities routinely committed against women, children and gays across the Muslim world. Here, you can see what it looks like when a person has been flogged hundreds of times for being gay, or how a little girl's face looks when she is in the process of having her genitals mutilitated. Or perhaps you'd like to see the woman being stoned to death for adultery, or the little boys have their scalps slashed as part of a religious ritual. Given these grotesque punishments and cultural rituals, it's no surprise to see pictures of toddlers in full terrorist regalia, or small boys joyously practicing beheading games.

This website, more than any other thing I've seen since 9/11, makes me doubt that there is any possibility of our living in harmony with Arab cultures. It seems to be, to get back to my alpha-dog idea, that one of these cultures — ours or theirs — has to be in the dominant position, and one in the submissive, and I know where I want to be. The only sad thing is that, to retain our dominant position, we'll have to fight, and fighting inevitably has a certain coarsening, corrosive effect on a democratic culture (and I say that despite being a conservative and a hawk). I only hope that, in the prolonged warfare I see (not just in Iraq but around the world), we somehow manage to win before we become as barbarous as our enemy.

(Thanks, Trace, for the tip.)

African-American political leaders failing African-Americans

I'm generally a Jonah Goldberg fan, but his column today really adds to my respect for the man.  In it, he takes on black leaders in Congress, who pursue far Left policies that are often inconsistent with beliefs held by many black Americans, and that advance social and economic policies that consistently fail black Americans:

There's a lot of Marxist-infused nonsense about how economics are at the root of black America's problems. But this doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Of course poverty makes social pathologies worse, but it's the pathologies that cause poverty in the first place.

Family breakdown in the black community has occurred despite a steady rise in the wages of blacks since World War II, when 80 percent were born to married parents. Racism alone cannot be blamed anymore for causing all black problems. By every measure, racism, particularly official racism, has declined even as these problems have worsened.

Racism is surely still a problem, but it pales in comparison to family breakdown. Nothing perpetuates the cycle of moral and financial poverty more so. If you are raised by two married parents today, black or white, it is unlikely that you will be poor, or, at the very least, poor for long. Blaming slavery and historic white racism for family erosion may be satisfying — and sometimes accurate — but it promises few solutions.

Pat Moynihan predicted all of this chaos more than 40 years ago in his report, "The Negro Family: the Case for National Action," which urged the government to help stop black family breakdown before young men raised without fathers sowed chaos in their own community and the nation. Moynihan was greeted with denial and outrage by black and feminist ideologues, who insisted he was trying to impose white middle-class norms on the benign, even "superior," female-headed black family. The PC mob won, and U.S. social policy was pushed in exactly the wrong direction until the welfare reform of the 1990s.

I'd love to add something witty or thoughtful here, but I can't.  I don't have much factual information at my fingertips on the subject, but Goldberg's column really seems to sum up the problem I seem to see constantly as an outsider looking at the travails of the African-American community in post-Jim Crow America.  You can read the rest of Goldberg's thoughts on the subject here

Toot, toot!

That sound you hear in the title of this post is me blowing my own horn. I've got another article published in American Thinker, which is going to have to take the place of blogging this morning. It's about morality and how we teach it to our children in the modern age.

UPDATE:  To those of you coming over from American Thinker — thank you.  And also a mea culpa for confusing Willoughby, the scoundrel from Sense and Sensibility, with Wickham, the cad in Pride & Prejudice.  My only excuse is the late hour at which I was writing, but that's really not a good enough excuse to justify confusing two of the great heels in English literature.

Teaching immigrants to love America

In a rather stumbling way, I asked why immigrants don't love America, and said that I wished our schools would be required to teach students what's great about America.  Ironically, one day later, the Wall Street Journal published Peggy Noonan's elegant, lyrical reflection on the same point.  She begins by speaking of Medal of Freedom winners, those extraordinary men (and one woman, I think), who without thought were willing to sacrifice themselves to preserve American freedoms.  From there, she transitions to the conundrum of modern American immigrants, who want what we offer but hate what we are:

There are a variety of things driving American anxiety about illegal immigration and we all know them–economic arguments, the danger of porous borders in the age of terrorism, with anyone able to come in.

But there's another thing. And it's not fear about "them." It's anxiety about us.

It's the broad public knowledge, or intuition, in America, that we are not assimilating our immigrants patriotically. And if you don't do that, you'll lose it all.

We used to do it. We loved our country with full-throated love, we had no ambivalence. We had pride and appreciation. We were a free country. We communicated our pride and delight in this in a million ways–in our schools, our movies, our popular songs, our newspapers. It was just there, in the air. Immigrants breathed it in. That's how the last great wave of immigrants, the European wave of 1880-1920, was turned into a great wave of Americans.

We are not assimilating our immigrants patriotically now. We are assimilating them culturally. Within a generation their children speak Valley Girl on cell phones. "So I'm like 'no," and he's all 'yeah,' and I'm like, 'In your dreams.' " Whether their parents are from Trinidad, Bosnia, Lebanon or Chile, their children, once Americans, know the same music, the same references, watch the same shows. And to a degree and in a way it will hold them together. But not forever and not in a crunch.

So far we are assimilating our immigrants economically, too. They come here and work. Good.

But we are not communicating love of country. We are not giving them the great legend of our country. We are losing that great legend.

What is the legend, the myth? That God made this a special place. That they're joining something special. That the streets are paved with more than gold–they're paved with the greatest thoughts man ever had, the greatest decisions he ever made, about how to live. We have free thought, free speech, freedom of worship. Look at the literature of the Republic: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist papers. Look at the great rich history, the courage and sacrifice, the house-raisings, the stubbornness. The Puritans, the Indians, the City on a Hill.

The genius cluster–Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, Madison, Franklin, all the rest–that came along at the exact same moment to lead us. And then Washington, a great man in the greatest way, not in unearned gifts well used (i.e., a high IQ followed by high attainment) but in character, in moral nature effortfully developed. How did that happen? How did we get so lucky? (I once asked a great historian if he had thoughts on this, and he nodded. He said he had come to believe it was "providential.")

We fought a war to free slaves. We sent millions of white men to battle and destroyed a portion of our nation to free millions of black men. What kind of nation does this? We went to Europe, fought, died and won, and then taxed ourselves to save our enemies with the Marshall Plan. What kind of nation does this? Soviet communism stalked the world and we were the ones who steeled ourselves and taxed ourselves to stop it. Again: What kind of nation does this?

Only a very great one. Maybe the greatest of all.

***

Because we do not communicate to our immigrants, legal and illegal, that they have joined something special, some of them, understandably, get the impression they've joined not a great enterprise but a big box store. A big box store on the highway where you can get anything cheap. It's a good place. But it has no legends, no meaning, and it imparts no spirit.

Who is at fault? Those of us who let the myth die, or let it change, or refused to let it be told. The politically correct nitwit teaching the seventh-grade history class who decides the impressionable young minds before him need to be informed, as their first serious history lesson, that the Founders were hypocrites, the Bill of Rights nothing new and imperfect in any case, that the Indians were victims of genocide, that Lincoln was a clinically depressed homosexual who compensated for the storms within by creating storms without . . .

You can turn any history into mud. You can turn great men and women into mud too, if you want to.

What's so sad is that it's no longer fringies dirtying our history.  We've raised a whole generation that has internalized the fringies message and is passing it on to the next generation, both native-born and immigrant. 

Helping a worthy cause

The Western Standard in Canada, as part of its reporting, published copies of the Mohammad cartoons. To my mind, that's good journalism. To the Alberta Human Rights Commission, it's a hate crime, and it initiated a government prosecution against Western Standard. The Western Standard has now put out an SOS for help footing its legal bill against this government prosecution (or, given my distaste for this kind of government witch hunt, "persecution"). If you would like to help out, go here. Here's the Western Standard's statement of its position and its plea for help defraying its costs:

Our magazine has been sued for publishing the Danish cartoons, and I need your help to fight back!

As you know, the Western Standard was the only mainstream media organ in Canada to publish the Danish cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed.

We did so for a simple reason: the cartoons were the central fact in one of the largest news stories of the year, and we're a news magazine. We publish the facts and we let our readers make up their minds.

Advertisers stood with us. Readers loved the fact that we treated them like grown-ups. And we earned the respect of many other journalists in Canada who envied our independence. In fact, according to a COMPAS poll last month, fully 70% of Canada's working journalists supported our decision to publish the cartoons.

But not Syed Soharwardy, a radical Calgary Muslim imam.

He asked the police to arrest me for publishing the cartoons. They calmly explained to him that's not what police in Canada do.

So then he went to a far less liberal institution than the police: the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Unlike the Calgary Police Service, they didn't have the common sense to show him the door.

Earlier this month, I received a copy of Soharwardy's rambling, hand-scrawled complaint. It is truly an embarrassing document. He briefly complains that we published the Danish cartoons. But the bulk of his complaint is that we dared to try to justify it – that we dared to disagree with him.

Think about that: In Soharwardy's view, not only should the Canadian media be banned from publishing the cartoons, but we should be banned from defending our right to publish them. Perhaps the Charter of Rights that guarantees our freedom of the press should be banned, too.

Soharwardy's complaint goes further than just the cartoons. It refers to news articles we published about Hamas, a group labelled a terrorist organization by the Canadian government. By including those other articles, he shows his real agenda: censoring any criticism of Muslim extremists.

Perhaps the most embarrassing thing about Soharwardy's complaint is that he claims our cartoons caused him to receive hate mail. Indeed, his complaint includes copies of a few e-mails from strangers to him. Some of those e-mails even go so far as to call him "humourless" and tell him to "lighten up". Perhaps that's hateful. But all of those e-mails were sent to him before our magazine even published the cartoons. Soharwardy isn't even pretending that this is a legitimate complaint. He's not even trying to hide that this is a nuisance suit.

Soharwardy's complaint should have been thrown out immediately by the Alberta Human Rights Commission, just like the police did. But it wasn't. Which is why I'm writing to you today.

According to our lawyers, we will win this case. It's an infantile complaint, without basis in facts or law. Frankly, it's an embarrassment to the government of Alberta that their tribunal is open to abuse like this.

Our lawyers tell us we're going to win. But not before we have to spend hundreds of hours and up to $75,000 fighting this thing, at our own expense. Soharwardy doesn't have to spend a dime – now that his complaint has been filed, Alberta tax dollars will pay for the prosecution of his complaint. We have to pay for this on our own.

Look, $75,000 isn't going to bankrupt us. But it will sting. We're a small, independent magazine, not a huge company with deep pockets. All of our money is needed to produce the best possible editorial product, not to fight legal battles. This is clearly an abuse of process designed to punish us and deter other media from daring to cross that angry imam in the future.

One of the leaders in Canadian human rights law, Alan Borovoy, was so disturbed by Soharwardy's abuse of the human rights commission that he wrote a public letter about it in the Calgary Herald on March 16th. "During the years when my colleagues and I were labouring to create such commissions, we never imagined that they might ultimately be used against freedom of speech," wrote Borovoy, who is general counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Censorship was "hardly the role we had envisioned for human rights commissions. There should be no question of the right to publish the impugned cartoons," he wrote.

Borovoy went even further – he said that the human rights laws should be changed to avoid this sort of abuse in the future. "It would be best, therefore, to change the provisions of the Human Rights Act to remove any such ambiguities of interpretation," he wrote. That's an amazing statement, coming from one of the fathers of the Canadian human rights movement.

I agree with Borovoy: the law should be changed to stop future abuses. But those changes will come too late for us – we're already under attack. The human rights laws, designed as a shield, are being used against us as a sword.

We will file our legal response to Soharwardy's shakedown this week. And we will fight this battle to the end – not just for our own sake, but to defend freedom of the press for all Canadians.

Do you believe that's important? If so, I'd ask you to help us defray our costs. We're accepting donations through our website. It's fast, easy and secure. Just click on http://www.westernstandard.ca/freedom

You can donate any amount from $10 to $10,000. Please help the Western Standard today – and protect freedom for all Canadians for years to come.

Soylent Green nation

Rumors about organ harvesting surface constantly when it comes to China, and they probably have a good foundation given that, working through China, you can get any organ you need, any time.  Now, Jay Nordlinger comes with a fairly detailed report (with lots of links) that China is using Falun Gong practitioners as their preferred organ providers.  It's a story that deserves reading on its own and in conjunction with the post I did yesterday on the officially sanctioned infant killing spree in Holland. 

The conclusion I draw from both these stories is that the Judeo-Christian doctrine is one of the highest forms of humane thinking.  Neither Communism nor Secular thinking offer something as simple as God's order: "Choose life." 

Some time ago, I wrote a column for American Thinker about how the Democrats are embracing a culture of death in America.  To toot my own horn, it bears re-reading, since I think we stand at the beginning of the slippery slope, and China and Holland remind us of where that slope goes.

Lives that are not worth living

In a recent Weekly Standard article, Wesley Smith takes on the infant euthanasia that is gaining traction in Holland.  His opening paragraphs are models of clear writing:

At last a high government official in Europe got up the nerve to chastise the Dutch government for preparing to legalize infant euthanasia. Italy's Parliamentary Affairs minister, Carlo Giovanardi, said during a radio debate: "Nazi legislation and Hitler's ideas are reemerging in Europe via Dutch euthanasia laws and the debate on how to kill ill children."

Unsurprisingly, the Dutch, ever prickly about international criticism of their peculiar institution, were outraged. Giovanardi's critique cut so deeply that even Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende felt the need to respond, sniffing, "This [Giovanardi's assertion] is scandalous and unacceptable. This is not the way to get along in Europe."

As is often the case in the New Europe, what is said matters more than what is done. Thus, the prime minister of the Netherlands thinks that killing babies because they are born with terminal or seriously disabling conditions is not a scandal, but daring to point out accurately that German doctors did the same during World War II, is.

As he gets deeper into his column, Smith notes that making Nazi comparisons can shut down dialog and allow even those engaged in egregious behavior to deflect criticism.  However, he then goes on to point out the many disturbing parallels between the Nazi program and the Dutch program.  Indeed, it seems as if the only distinct difference between the two is motive:  the Dutch kill from compassionate motives, the Nazis killed to cleanse their society.  But killing is still killing.

The article piqued my interest at two levels.  First, I knew little about the Nazi euthanasia program except for this:  my great uncle on the goyish side of my family, who was bipolar, was one of the first adult victims of this euthanasia.  Second, it occurred to me that perhaps part of the problem with Europe's ability to integrate its Muslim population may be that this isolated new population looks at a Europe that doesn't value itself and, rightly concludes, that Europe is not worthy of being valued.  And since it's not worthy of being valued, it's obviously okay (a) to kill Europeans (they're killing themselves, after all) and (b) to supplant their own, Islamic culture. 

If someone says he’s going to kill you, believe him

Jack, my favorite Retired Preacher, has republished in his blog, with the original publication's permission, a lengthy article about radical Islam's goal of creating a worldwide Caliphate governed by the purest expression of 7th Century Islamic law. Aside from generally being an interesting article, I found especially fascinating the way in which the author juxtaposed, on the one hand, direct quotations from Islamists stating clearly their hatred for America and their desire for a worldwide Caliphate cleansed of Western ideals with, on the other hand, the New York Times' repeated denials that anyone in the Arab world could really want a Caliphate. This pairing made me think of two hoary old expressions, both of which are remarkably apt here: "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt," and (see my post's title) "If someone says he's going to kill you, believe him."

As I noted at Jack's blog, my memory of history (which is pretty damn good) is that Hitler was also remarkably clear about his goals. The elite made excuses for him, rejiggered and reinterpreted his explicit pronouncements, ignored what he said, and allowed him to embark on a war that saw the deaths of more than 20 million people (including the slaughter of 6 million Jews).

As the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland might say (since she was able to find the moral in everything), "The moral of the story is that, jst because a man (or nation) is clearly insane, doesn't mean it doesn't have the ability methodically to carry out the fruits of his (or its) insanity."

Expanding my horizons

I wanted to let you know about a "blog collective"* that I was invited to join.  It's called Webloggin, and it's sort of a clearinghouse for posts that Webloggin community members do on their own blogs.  When I got invited, I checked it out and really jumped at the chance to join.  For one thing, it's a great looking blog, as you will see if you link on over.  It's a clear, uncluttered format, that nevertheless contains a great deal of information.

For another thing, I liked the quality of the posts already highlighted at the site.  They struck me as interesting, a bit provocative, polite (which matters to me), and thoughtful.  You may want to make Webloggin a regular "check it out" site for youself.

*That sounds a bit like "Borg collective," doesn't it?  Maybe I should call it a blog community.