May I introduce you to a website?

I am very fortunate to part of an email list comprised of some cream-of-the-crop conservative bloggers.  Quite often, the material I link to at my blog comes from these email exchanges.  We discuss news, issues of the day, and just, well, stuff.  Often, through this email list, I get introduced to new blogs that I wouldn’t know but for my friends.

One of those blogs, which isn’t exactly new, but is new to me, is Trevor Loudon’s New Zeal.  Trevor describes himself as a “libertarian activism and political researcher,” but I think what he really is is a bloodhound.  He has an extraordinary ability to ferret out publicly available information on the icky little political secrets so many Progressives have lurking in their pasts.

Please note that I emphasize “publicly available.”  Trevor isn’t out there snooping through people’s garbage or spying in their windows, nor is he making stuff up out of whole cloth.  Instead, using the internet, he simply digs in and looks up stuff that’s out there anyway.

I find Trevor’s skills and tenacity admirable, because I usually get overwhelmed by the volume of material any internet search will turn up as to a given person.  Trevor, however, seems to have a real knack for sticking with the search, and winnowing out the important and, as I said, often icky details that emerge.

A case in point is his most recent post about Mike Bayer, a Communist Party USA member who is working on the Bernie Sanders campaign in Vermont.  There is nothing illegal about being a Communist, of course.  I think, however, that it is a spectacular example of ideological confusion, with some of those confused people veering into the “so wrongheaded as to be evil” category — meaning that they’ve abandoned justice, morality, ethics, and plain decency in favor of statist purity.

Also, since a candidate, whether or not he wants to be, is measured by those who admire his politics, it is noteworthy that Bayer gravitated to Sanders.  In Sanders case, of course, this is not merely a case of some nasty little critter crawling into an otherwise wholesome campaign.  Sanders is himself a socialist but, as Trevor says, “Mike Bayer’s closeness to Senator Sanders . . . takes things to a new level.”

Check out New Zeal, and see if you like it.  I bet you’ll visit it more than once.

Over at the Telegraph, exceptionally inept headline writing about Israel

During a moment of procrastination, I checked out the Telegraph, which is the British newspaper least unfriendly to Israel — which isn’t saying much.  Given its lack of the usual British venom, I was therefore a little taken-aback by the ambiguity displayed in its headline about the cruel murder Hamas gleefully committed against four Israelis, two men and two women, one of whom was pregnant (see the right hand column in the screen capture, below):

Jewish settlers attack.”  Doesn’t that make it sound as if the attack was by, rather than upon, the Israelis?  (I won’t even get into the “settler” language, which makes the Jews sound like strangers in their own land.)

The Jerusalem Post, written in Israel, which is not home to the English language, showed a much better understanding of the nuances of that same language, and wrote something that has no troubling ambiguity:

“4 Israelis shot dead by terrorists in West Bank.”  Pretty darn clear (and heartbreaking, too).

I distrust the media enough that it’s hard for me to give writers the benefit of the doubt when something appears that could be merely foolish or that could serve a darker agenda.  The Telegraph is a decent paper, considering that it comes out of a dying socialist nation, but I’m suspicious….

Watcher’s winners for 8/27/10

I’m running a bit behind myself, but it would be too cruel were I to deny you entirely the pleasure of knowing who last week’s winners were at the Watcher’s Council.  As always, the articles’ overall quality was superb, and the winners deserved their high ranking.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

Paying the bills Open Thread

The recession substantially diminished my work load.  It’s a good thing, therefore, when a project comes through my door, even if it takes away from blogging.   I have such a project now, so today starts with an open thread.

I’ll get the thread going by leading you to Maggie’s Farm, where Bruce Kesler describes the powerful effect of his earlier post explaining why he disinherited his alma mater.

The world’s deadliest terror attacks — and their common denominator

Remember that old Sesame Street song, “One of these things is not like the others…“?

That song kept running through my mind as I looked at this photo essay of the 15 deadliest terror attacks in the world.  I leave it to you to consider what distinguishes the majority of these terrorist attacks from that single, different minority attack.  (If you’re at a loss, a hint is the category to which I’ve assigned this post.)

Hat tip:  Lulu

Help Renee Ellmers win

My friend Lorie Byrd is working for the Renee Ellmers campaign in North Carolina against Democratic incumbent Bob Etheridge.  The fact that Lorie works for Ellmers, on its own, is an excellent recommendation. Renee’s stand on the issues, her affect (style matters), and the nature of her opponent also elevate her to the status of “recommended Congressional candidate.”

The last is the easiest.  Etheridge, of course, shot to national prominence, at least amongst conservatives, when he became extremely hostile after being filmed on a cell phone camera.  I have to admit that I would hate to be chased by a cell phone camera, but I’m not a public figure, the questions posed weren’t hostile, and Etheridge’s response was abnormal.  His politics are also too liberal in areas about which I care deeply.  He’s pro-Obama Care (voted for it); pro-stimulus (straight YES votes); pro-gun control; anti-school vouchers; etc.  (By the way, as you can tell from the link, I didn’t get this information from Etheridge’s campaign website, who is wrapped in meaningless waffle language, with almost no specifics as to where he actually stands based upon his own votes.)

Renee’s positions, on the other hand, are pretty straight forward.  Here’s the summary from her website, with more details available should you be interested:

Obamacare – I’m a nurse and my husband is a doctor. There are right ways and wrong ways to improve health care. Obamacare is the wrong way.

Jobs – The President’s spent money like water on ‘Stimulus Plans’ and ‘Bailouts’ and run the deficit up to over a trillion dollars. It hasn’t worked. What does work is tax cuts.

Jobs – Small businesses are trying to survive the recession, plus they’re facing President Obama’s new health care and ‘Cap and Trade’ taxes and they don’t know how those taxes will affect their business. So they have no choice but to be cautious. To create jobs we have to remove the uncertainty facing small businesses – specifically, that means stopping President Obama’s tax increases.

Economy – Cut taxes. Cut government spending. Get government out of the way and let the free enterprise system work.
Taxes – Lower tax rates across the board. And I support tax reform.

Energy – I support off-shore drilling – it could be a boon for North Carolina’s economy. I oppose President Obama’s ‘Cap and Trade’ bill which raises taxes on energy, then uses the tax money to send $300 billion in foreign aid to Third World nations so they can build so-called ‘Green Industries.’

Marriage – I believe marriage is between one man and one woman.

Life – I believe in the sanctity of human life and believe that life begins at conception. I am Pro-Life.

Immigration – Immigration laws should be enforced. And I oppose Amnesty for illegal immigrants. I believe we should strengthen our border enforcement and implement a strong employment verification system so companies can be sure they are hiring legal workers and those that do not face stiff penalties.2nd Amendment – I am a strong supporter of 2nd Amendment rights, having a concealed carry permit myself. The right to bear arms is constitutionally protected, one of the cornerstones of our freedom, and I will fight for that right for others as well as for myself.

Terrorism – My opponent Bob Etheridge voted to close Gitmo. I believe that was a mistake. I also support trying terrorists in military courts – instead of putting them on trial in New York City.

For the most part, I agree with her stands, especially on what are for me the overarching issues of this election:  health care, national security, the economy, and immigration.

Anyway, if you’re interested, Renee is in fund-raising mode right now (it’s “money bomb” time) and all help would be much appreciated.

The insanely stupid charge of fear-mongering

I was watching Jon Stewart’s show from last week (my husband had TiVo’d it), and Jon did an extended segment on Glenn Beck.  It was, as you can imagine, stupid.  After showing Beck saying “Don’t let the government push you around,” he showed clips of Beck himself telling people what to do.  The implication was that Beck was a hypocrite, who wants to control people and who therefore sees the government as a competitor.

I assume that Stewart understands that there is a difference between coercive government power (criminally enforced taxes, anyone?), and a person’s voluntary desire to follow the advice of a private citizen.  I wonder, I really wonder, whether Stewart’s audience gets this, or whether it realizes it’s being played.  Given the disaster that is public education in this country — a disaster getting worse by the minute — you’re probably not erring if you underestimate the average American’s knowledge and analytical abilities.

But that’s not my point.

My point is that Stewart also made fun of Beck for urging people not to be led astray by Progressive fear-mongering, and then showed Beck doing some fear-mongering of his own.  It’s a stupid charge no matter the side of the aisle it comes from.  Of course political ideologies are going to motivate people by carrot (what they can do for you) and stick (the looming disasters the other side is creating).  This means, naturally, that the fears being mongered are going to be quite different, but each side is logically going to be rely on encouraging people to engage in ideological acts that will steer away from any given fear — and you can’t steer clear of a fear that hasn’t been identified.

On the Right, we fear (1) Islamists, (2) Iran, (3) economic collapse, and (4) overreaching government.

On the Left, they fear (a) global warming, (b) Israel, (c) Christians, and (d) conservative women, especially Sarah Palin.

I consider my (Right) fears realistic, (1) because the Islamists have committed deadly attacks against non-Muslims around the world almost 16,000 times since 9/11, and continue to make explicit threats against America and other Western nations; (2) because Iran will be in imminent possession of a nuclear weapon and has stated its willingness to use it against the West, especially Israel; (3) because we are watching the economic collapse happen in real time, and it seems to be tied closely to excessive government spending; and (4) because overreaching government because I believe history has shown repeatedly that the more power a government aggregates itself, the more likely it is to use that power against its own people, at first, perhaps, benignly, but inevitably with a statist cruelty that transcends traditional justice, ethics and morality.

I consider the (Left) fears to be unrealistic, (a) because the global warming science is politically tainted and scientifically flawed when it assigns man a ridiculously large role in a questionable phenomenon; (b) because Israel, despite being a nuclear power, has shown extraordinary restraint against those who wish to destroy her citizens, a fact separate from, or perhaps because of, the fact that she’s the only free, democratic society in the whole Middle East; (c) because Christians haven’t done anything bad to anyone since about the late 17th/early 18th centuries but, instead, have been a consistent force for freedom and mercy; and (d) because I’m a conservative woman, and I think fairly highly of myself, and even more highly of those who have entered the public sphere.

So, my fear-mongering is factually valid; their fear mongering is fantasy and bad history.  But I’m still doing fear-mongering and they’re still doing fear-mongering.  The only question is whether American citizens will do as I do, and look at actual world events, or if they will allow themselves to buy theory over fact.  But that, my friends, is a task left to the marketplace of ideas.  It’s up to us, therefore, to market our fears better, instead of just complaining about the Left’s temerity in marketing theirs!

Zoning, religion, guns and the Bill of Rights

In the debate over the Ground Zero Mosque, the Left’s trump card has been the language in the First Amendment stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”  All of us correctly understand this to mean that government cannot create a state faith, nor can it dictate the religious tenets of an existing faith.  A subset of this, of course, is that government cannot, through indirect laws, make the practice of a given faith so difficult that it is tantamount to a religious proscription.

Shrill voices on the Left are now asserting, however, that the First Amendment must be understood to mean that an ostensibly religious building site cannot be touched by any other laws whatsoever, including zoning laws (which invariably include something about the character of the neighborhood) nor can it be the subject to that other First Amendment right, free speech.

The Left is much less excited about having Constitutional rights trump zoning laws when the subject is guns.  If one operates in a logical world, this is a peculiar Constitutional lapse.

Guns are virtually equal to religion in the Constitutional hierarchy, coming in at Second on the Amendment list:  “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Let me repeat that:  “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  This is very strong language, and arguably much broader in original intent than the First Amendment’s language regarding religion.  The First Amendment merely instructs Congress not to make a law establishing a religion, which we interpret to mean, as well, not to mess with existing faiths.  The Second Amendment, though, rebuffs any attempts whatsoever, whether by Congress or unnamed others (a reasonable inference given the passive voice construction), to mess with the right to bear arms.  It is, as phrased, a sacrosanct right.

Notwithstanding this explicit language, federal and local governments have for decades made laws messing with the right to bear arms.  One of the most significant laws is the way in which we mandate that the government gets to control every legal arms transaction.  Sales have to be in licensed stores, with massive amounts of paperwork, all going into government databases.  I’m not going to argue whether this is an infringement or not, although one could reasonable claim that these are indirect laws making the purchase of guns so difficult as to be tantamount to an arms proscription.  I’ll just note that it happens — and that Leftists are in the vanguard of making it so.

Those on the Left are also perfectly happy dictating the locations for gun shops, with San Francisco offering a perfect illustration.  In that once fair City, a totally legal gun shop, one that’s been in business for 50 years as the same location, is trying to re-open in the Bernal Heights district after a short hiatus.  Even as the local merchants pay lip service to the right to bear arms, they are up in arms (pun intended) that the means for facilitating this Constitutional right could appear in their neighborhood (emphasis mine):

Officially, the organizations are not opposed to people owning guns, Alliance member Jaime Ross told me. They’d just “rather have something the neighborhood could enjoy – a laundry or wine and cheese shop.”

[snip]

[L]local Ingleside police Capt. Louis Cassanego says that as far as he knows, “there’s never been a problem.” The captain is for the permit “so long as certain precautions are taken,” including all legal requirements and then some. But e-mails he’s seeing are running 10-1 against the store’s permit application.

I’m willing to bet, although there is no way that I can prove it, that the same people writing those emails against the store’s permit application are strident in their denunciation of those who contend that the Ground Zero Mosque is inappropriate for the Ground Zero site.  Certainly my assumption would be consistent with the political ideological that animates support for the mosque and disdain for gun rights.

(A nice coda to this story, and one that gives it a lovely San Francisco twist, is the fact that one of the groups most strongly supportive of the store’s reopening is called the “Pink Pistols,” a gay gun rights organization.  An unofficial spokesman for that group explains that, since California has enacted a law prohibiting the sale of ammunition through the mail (yet another indirect law infringing on the right), it’s greener for City residents to be able to walk, bike or bus to the store, than to have to drive to a far away location.)

I finally figured out why the Tea Party is racist *UPDATED*

Aside from the LaRouchites who appear at the Tea Party rallies, complete with their posters showing Obama with a Hitler mustache, I am unaware of any significant racist rhetoric or imagery from the Tea Party.  Certainly the media’s minions, despite their ugly fulminations and accusations about racism, never point to actual evidence of wide-spread or even narrow-spread racist rhetoric and imagery.

Sure, there may be the occasional individual who says things about Obama that are keyed in to his race, not his politics, but you’re going to find that in any large collection of human beings.  Unlike the KKK or the New Black Panthers, to name just two racially charge organizations, the Tea Party’s official platform and rhetoric focus solely on three colorblind things:  small government, fiscal responsibility, and strong national security.

Or are those three things really colorblind?  Answering this question may explain the chasm between the two Americas opens wide.  The Tea Partiers say that they are not racist because:  (a) they do not frame their ideas in terms of race; (b) they do not denigrate any race; and (c) they do not wish any race ill.  As far as they are concerned, that is the end of the story.  The Tea Party is not about race.  It’s about using the Constitution’s emphasis on individual rights to restore America to her pre-Progressive economic and social dominance.

The Left, however, asserts that the third statement (“they do not wish any race ill”) is manifestly untrue, thereby putting the lie to the whole Tea Party claim that race is irrelevant and that they offer something to all Americans.  What bedevils most conservatives is figuring out the logical leap that allows the Left, in the face of all contrary evidence, to claim that the Tea Partiers wish ill upon the blacks, thereby turning the Tea Party into a racist organization.

If you put on your Leftist thinking cap, however, the answer suddenly becomes clear:  The Left firmly believes that blacks can thrive only under tight government control and management.  Any group that is arguing for small government is, ipso facto, trying to harm blacks.

Nor are the Tea Partiers absolved of racial sin for asserting their belief that, just as a rising tide lifts all boats, the thriving economy that will result of small government and fiscal responsibility, will benefit all Americans, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, sexuality or country of national origin.  Because Leftists are incapable of imagining that anything good can come from trimming back government, they know that Tea Partiers are lying.  The Tea Party rhetoric about the Constitution, about individual rights, about personal responsibility, etc., is all an elaborate sham, aimed at hiding the true goal:  defunding government programs for black people.

And that is why, to the Left, and to those blacks who take their cues from the Left, the Tea Party is a racist organization, making it a profound insult for Glenn Beck to sully the Lincoln Memorial with his presence.

UPDATE:  With perfect timing, this comes along to illustrate my point, albeit with a different identity politics victim group:

As Britain prepares for the deepest budget cuts in generations to tackle a crippling mound of public debt, the government is facing a pressing legal question: Is its austerity plan sexist?

[snip]

Women, recent studies here show, are far more dependent on the state than men. Women are thus set to bear a disproportionate amount of the pain, prompting a legal challenge that could scuttle the government’s fiscal crusade and raise fairness questions over deficit-cutting campaigns underway from Greece to Spain, and in the United States when it eventually moves to curb spending.

Presidential Education

We have enjoyed spirited discussions on these pages with Book’s question about universities and the values thereof.

A recurring theme that I hear among Liberals is one of educational snobbery. I heard this with regard to G.W. Bush (despite his Harvard MBA) and now we hear it about Sarah Palin and other conservative candidates that may one day run for President.  Educational credentials will be an issue. Should they?

To lay my own opinions right out on the table, I admire Sarah Palin and do hope she runs – to me, she embodies many of the qualities that I always admired about American women when looking at my country from an overseas (expat) perspective. Those qualities include strength, “can do” practicality and a self-assuredness that looks adversity straight in the face. Plus, she can shoot straight. She was one of Alaska’s all-time most effective governors in just 2-1/2 years. Her autobiography on those years describes someone with exceptional tenacity and people management skills.

Her qualities, however, are the product of her life experiences. The fact that she was expected by her parents to go to university and pay 100% of her expenses and did so at various institutions is a major plus, not a negative. For me, her real life practical accomplishments say far more than her limited educational experience. And, for the sake of Book’s daughter, her (not Alaskan but North Central states) accent is no more a barrier to me than Gov. Christie’s New Jersey accent, JFK’s Boston accent or Bush’s Texan accent…I love accents!). To me, it is practical real-world experience that counts, not formal education. If anything, formal education is a barrier.

So, just how important is education for U.S. presidents? I note that some of our greatest presidents had little or no advanced education. George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Harry S. Truman never went to university. Ronald Reagan got an undergraduate degree in economics from tiny Eureka College in the middle of the corn and soybean fields of Illinois. By contrast, our worst presidents were some of our best educated: Woodrow Wilson (Ph.D. professor), Jimmy Carter (nuclear engineer), Bill Clinton (Rhodes Scholar) and, now, Barack Obama (Ivy League elitist lawyer).

So, how important is formal education to being a good President? What are the Presidential qualities that a university can or cannot impart? How do we best counter these arguments from the Liberal /Left…not for the sake of the Lefties (whose egos remain immune to reason) but for the sake of all others trying to make up their minds on this issue?

Obama to people: “You don’t matter.”

Message from his Highness:

For example, Obama said he did not watch any of Fox News Channel host Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally Saturday on the National Mall.

“It’s not surprising that somebody like a Mr. Beck is able to stir up a certain portion of the country. That’s been true throughout our history,” he said. But “I’m making decisions that are not necessarily good for the nightly news and not good for the next election, but for the next generations.”

Translation:  I can’t be bothered with you little people.  Why don’t you just go and eat some cake.

Obama also stated in the same interview that he “can’t spend all my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead.”  This is true.  Perhaps, though, he could give the American people the gift of actually seeing his original birth certificate, you know, the one issued in 1961.  Just because a government official has seen it, and the basic information on it has been published in certified form, clearly isn’t enough to allay people’s concerns.  And the fact that Obama resolutely refuses to produce the original document, keeping it deeply hidden in Hawaii’s government vaults, is not the best way to address those concerns.

As it is, I have no doubt that he was born in Hawaii.  I suspect only that his parentage isn’t quite as it was presented for public consumption, whether the truth is that he is illegitimate or that Obama Sr. was not, in fact, his actual father, but someone else was.  Regardless of what those truths are, my bet is that the American people can handle them a lot better than the not knowing.

But if you’re the King, clearly it’s your right to insult people, ignore them, deride them, and hide from them.  Gee, but it’s great to be King.

May I suggest this as today’s “Obama video”:

According to Muslims, Obama is probably a Muslim

As y’all know, I think Obama is a man who does not believe in any God (except maybe himself), but who has frequently expressed a feeling of affinity with the Muslim world.  An increasing number of Americans, however, do believe that Obama is a Muslim.

Many reasons are given for this growing belief:  Americans are psychopaths, thunders Rev. Wright; they’re racists, shriek the usual suspects; they’re having troubles labeling his apparent alienation from core American values (as evidenced by his manifest disdain for those bitter Americans who cling to guns and God), and therefore append to him an “other” type religion.

But here’s an easy one:  Obama is a Muslim because Muslim law says he’s a Muslim.

Muslim law is pretty clear:  you can’t leave the faith.  Oh, sure you can try.  But even if you’re not killed, you’re still a Muslim, just a really, really bad Muslim.

It’s sort of the violent Muslim version of the Jewish thing, where Jews say of someone, “Oh, he’s Jewish,” even though the last practicing Jew in his family lineage was his great grandfather, back in Russia.  Nobody says that about Christians.   I’ve never heard, “Well, he’s Baptist,” said of someone whose great grandfather converted 100 years ago.  Sure, if the person is famous enough, that fact might show up in his biography, but it’s not going to be used to tag him with a long-forgotten religious affiliation.

But Jews are different and so are Muslims.  No matter what you believe, if you were born into or raised in the faith, it follows you around.

And here’s the deal with Obama:  He was born into the faith via his father and, for a period of years, he was raised in the faith.  Much as the Left likes to tell us that his school in Indonesia was nondenominational, that’s just part of the story about Obama’s religious upbringing.  While it may not have been a religious school, students were still required to state their religion and take religious instruction.  Obama was therefore enrolled as a Muslim and received instruction in that religion.  In his own words, that experience left him truly loving the sound of the Muslim call to prayer.

Does any of the above make Obama, in his own mind, a Muslim?  Absolutely not.  I have no idea what goes on in his mind, but I believe him when he says he’s not a Muslim. After all, the whole Indonesian experience began and ended when he was a little boy.

(As an aside, regarding Obama’s professions to Christianity, well, on the facts, I’m a bit dubious.  As the saying goes, standing in a garage does not make you a car, and going to church, something he’s rather conspicuously failed to do since becoming President, does not make you a Christian.  There has to be some true commitment to and belief in the faith, and, despite 20 years with Rev. Wright, Obama gives scant evidence that Christianity resonates with him at any level, and that’s true despite the prayers send to his Blackberry.  Obama’s Christianity, though, is between Obama and God — assuming he believes in one other than himself — , and most definitely not between Obama and me.  And it’s not between Obama and you, either.  As Queen Elizabeth I famously said, she had “no desire to make windows into men’s souls.”)

But back to the Muslim thing.  I take Obama at his word that he’s not Muslim.  But, just as a Jew is always a Jew, Muslims understand that a Muslim is always a Muslim.  So Americans are probably wrong in assigning genuine religious fervor to a man whose true loves are Big Government and himself (preferably occupying the same chair), but they are technically right in saying, as I’m sure the world’s imams do, that he’ll be a Muslim in name for the rest of his life.

The playbook marches on *UPDATED*

Mr. Bookworm was very excited because both of his favorite publications just proved that the whole Tea Party is a fraud, funded and masterminded by the Koch brothers.  The most recent The New Yorker has an article saying so, and so does the New York Times.  Oh, my God!  It’s the evil Richard Mellon Scaife scenario all over again!  A few points seem to elude Mr. Bookworm.

1.  So what if the Tea Party is getting funded? If there wasn’t a genuine public feeling, all the funding would fall on its face.  Secretive billionaires can’t get between 500,000 to 1,000,000 so excited that they journey to D.C.  Soros has never managed it (unless you count all the people who turned up at the Obama inauguration as evidence.)

2.  No matter how the screamers try to build up the funding as something evil, it’s still a drop in the bucket compared to the collective money poured into the Dems (who admit their coffers are larger).  It’s also questionable whether it offsets the fact that 88% of the media and approximately 90% of academia contribute, not just money, but their intellectual power (such as it is) and their bully pulpits (which are huge) to the Democrats.

3.  Scaife was right:  Clinton was an incredibly corrupt sex assaulter and manipulator.  Even his followers knew that the sex charges were true, though they kept it secret.  In other words, Scaife’s funding did nothing but expose the truth.

Feel free to add to this list.

UPDATE:  The post title refers to the “coincidence” that the two articles appear at the same time.  This is not because the Left suddenly discovered the Kochs, who presumably have been a burr in their collective butt for a while.  It’s because the day’s menu calls for that item.  That the Left reads from the same menu shows up in other areas as well.  I’d also spotted the “predominantly white” phrase in the articles I read.  Notice that the articles are incapable of saying that blacks were barred, ridiculed, insulted, threatened or otherwise made unwelcome.  Apparently black self-selection is now the Tea Partiers’ fault too.

Sharia and the United States Constitution *UPDATED*

One of the blessings of the Constitution over the years is the way in which people have been able to practice their religion freely, even while living within the Constitution’s parameters.  Nothing in the Constitution runs afoul of Judeo-Christian faiths, Hinduism, Shinto-ism, and other religions that don’t involve animal or human sacrifice.  The Constitution, in other words, meshes nicely with God.

The same cannot be said of Islam.  This is because, as you all know, Islam seamlessly combines religious procedure and doctrine with civil law.  Since all come from God, there is no difference whether you’re talking about the commitment to monotheism, the rules requiring Muslims to fast during Ramadan (a perfectly do-able activity under the Constitution), or the God-ordained rules authorizing all forms of slavery, mandating different civic treatment for non-believers, controlling banking laws and generally dictating the minutiae of both Muslim and non-Muslim life.

Here is just a snippet of Sharia strictures, rules that devout Muslims interpret as being as inextricably intertwined with their faith as Mass is for Catholics, along with just some of the countervailing Constitutional provisions that ought to preempt them:

1- Jihad, defined as “to war against non-Muslims to establish the religion,” is the duty of every Muslim and Muslim head of state (Caliph). Muslim Caliphs who refuse jihad are in violation of Sharia and unfit to rule. [1st Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."]

[snip]

8- A Muslim who leaves Islam must be killed immediately.  [1st Amendment; 5th Amendment: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation;" 8th Amendment: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."]

9- A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of: 1) an apostate 2) an adulterer 3) a highway robber. Vigilante street justice and honor killing is acceptable. [1st Amendment, 5th Amendment; 8th Amendment.]

10- A Muslim will not get the death penalty if he kills a non-Muslim, but will get it for killing a Muslim. [1st Amendment; 14th Amendment: "1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.]

11- Sharia never abolished slavery, sexual slavery and highly regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave. [5th Amendment; 13th Amendment: "1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation;" 14th Amendment.]

12- Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, amputation of limbs, flogging even for crimes of sin such as adultery. [8th Amendment.]

13- Non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims under the law. They must comply to Islamic law if they are to remain safe. They are forbidden to marry Muslim women, publicly display wine or pork, recite their scriptures or openly celebrate their religious holidays or funerals. They are forbidden from building new churches or building them higher than mosques. They may not enter a mosque without permission. A non-Muslim is no longer protected if he leads a Muslim away from Islam. [1st Amendment; 13th Amendment.]

[snip]

16- Banks must be Sharia compliant and interest is not allowed. [1st Amendment.]

[snip]

19- Homosexuality is punishable by death. [1st Amendment; 8th Amendment; 14th Amendment.]

20- There is no age limit for marriage of girls. The marriage contract can take place anytime after birth and can be consummated at age 8 or 9. [Take your pick.]

Read the rest of this long, long list here.  Then try to imagine a world in which Sharia law can coexist with the American Constitution.  I can’t.

What this means is that those who say that sharia and constitutionalism are essentially harmonious — as the Ground Zero Mosque imam repeatedly says when the MSM is listening — are either lying through their teeth or they are practicing an Islam purged of theocratic totalitarianism and have simply forgotten to tell people that they have unilaterally embraced a reformation that purged Islam of its unconstitutional elements.

UPDATE:  Andrew Klavan has been more than usually inspired when it comes to exposing the fallacies and condescension behind the whole Left wing meme that  only irrational people guard against Islam’s encroachment against core American ideas and geographical sites.  I especially like the way he distinguishes between actual religious belief and behaviors that affect other people in a civil society:

A religion is only a system of beliefs, and to say that all beliefs deserve equal respect or acceptance is to say that ideas have no moral weight, a patent absurdity. Because the human soul thirsts so for God, the sacred principle of individual liberty demands that religion be given wide latitude when it comes to internal mind-states, modes of worship, and the description of the metaphysical. But when it comes to the practical affairs of humankind, humankind may judge—and Islam, as the world stands now, has a lot to answer for.

The State cannot dictate my relationship to God, but it can protect my fellow man.

UPDATE II:  And if you haven’t already watched it, please watch Pat Condell on the mosque.

UPDATE III:  And Brutally Honest makes a good point about the muddled thinking you can bet is happening on the Left (something that also falls into the dodo category).

Notice anything funny about the WaPo’s internet coverage today? *UPDATED, often*

[UPDATE III, bumped:  The Weekly Standard says that a religious tone was the underpinning for the whole event (and I'm sure I'll hear about that from Mr. Bookworm).  I will therefore give the Post and Times a full pass for emphasizing religion, although they would have done better to mention the other aspects of the gathering as well.  They both failed, though, to give a reasonable sense of the relative scale of the gathering:  the Times gave it a nothing headline, as if it was an insignificant event; while the Post really willfully implied that Sharpton's gathering was the bigger of the two.]

***

To be honest, there’s nothing funny about the WaPo‘s internet coverage today.  Instead, it’s exactly in keeping with what one would expect.  I haven’t read the underlying articles, but I find the home page screen shot interesting:


The front page coverage does a few Post-esque in trying to spin coverage:  First, it makes the Beck rally sound like a religious revival.  As you know if you’re a regular Post reader, the picture and caption in the upper left corner revolve, with different images and text. When I last checked (and it does change regularly), two of the three on the Beck rally managed to use “God talk.” The one I captured in the screen shot is a perfect example.

Second, the top stories include a couple of really nasty op-ed captions:  “He has decided the best defense [against what?] is to be offensive [apparently with God talk]“; and “The cult of Beck?”

Third, the cover page tries hard to hide the disparities between attendance at Beck’s rally and at the counter-protest Al Sharpton held.  The Beck snippet makes it impossible to tell if the attendance was big or small:  “Glenn Beck, Palin and other tea party members tell supporters not to focus on history that has scarred nation, but on what makes it ‘good.’”  Below this, the phrase “A big draw” is followed by a question mark.

The Sharpton rally, though, had “thousands” attend:  “Thousands participated in a counter-protest to the Glenn Beck rally on the 37th anniversary of MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.”

I’ve been paying attention to the news, and the estimates for the Beck rally were that the crowd was in excess of 100,000 — possibly far in excess.  That would be a hideous number to reveal to those Post readers who merely skim the home page.  How much better to leave the impression that Beck gave a poorly attended, hate-filled religious revival, while Sharpton countered with thousands of people committed to “the Dream.”

As I said, I haven’t yet read the actual articles, and I can guarantee that many others won’t ever.  Their sole takeaway will be this home page that, through omission, obfuscation and genuinely-felt hostile opinion, manages to leave an impression that the big rally was a small revivalist meeting, and that the small rally was a big civil rights gathering.

UPDATE:  I focused this post on the WaPo coverage, because the rally took place on its own doorstep.  The New York Times coverage is equally dismissive and, again, turns the thing into a religious rally as evidence by this home page screen shot:

Incidentally, while the rally was significantly religious in tone, it was not only religious in tone, since it also focused on patriotism, the military, and self-government.  It also seems to have been universal in its religiosity.  That is, from Beck, there was “God talk,” not “Jesus talk.”  Indeed, Beck was careful to embrace all faiths.  Different orators, however, did speak of the Christian faith, probably because they were Christian.

UPDATE II:  Can anyone tell me how much “God talk” there actually was?  The MSM coverage makes it sound like a revival meeting with no other content.  Conservative internet sites haven’t yet pulled together the whole story, but I’m left with the feeling that Beck used the belief in God as a necessary prop for other American virtues, such as self-reliance, small government, high security, etc.

UPDATE IV:  Here’s the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle’s coverage.  Oh, wait.  Here isn’t the SF Chrons’ coverage.  On their online front page, the only references is in the automatically generated AP breaking news corner.  The Chron left the event off its own front page entirely.  (By the way, I know that the following screen shot doesn’t show the whole home page.  The rest of the home page, however, is also without reference to the event.)

Elizabeth Warren’s inchoate thought process

I know that not all (or even many) of her former students agree with me, but I hated Elizabeth Warren’s professorship because I often found her incoherent.  She had problems finishing sentences and wrapping up thoughts, and much of what she said came with built-in internal inconsistencies.  Dissecting her lectures was labor-intensive.

It seems as if nothing has changed, if Alan Reynolds’ analysis of a law review article she wrote is any guide.  If you add condescending and statist to Warren’s sins of incoherence, not to mention erroneous, you end up with a pretty dangerous person to have in charge of our nation’s banking system.

Leftists are dodos

“Dodo” is a rather childish term to describe someone who is stupid.  I don’t mean it quite that way (although, as you’ll see, the end result is the same).  I’m actually thinking of the poor little dodo, a bird long since extinct because, in relevant part, it couldn’t recognize predators:

As with many animals that have evolved in isolation from significant predators, the dodo was entirely fearless of people, and this, in combination with its flightlessness, made it easy prey for humans. However, journals are full of reports regarding the bad taste and tough meat of the dodo, while other local species such as the Red Rail were praised for their taste. When humans first arrived on Mauritius, they also brought with them other animals that had not existed on the island before, including dogs, pigs, cats, rats, and Crab-eating Macaques, which plundered the dodo nests, while humans destroyed the forests where the birds made their homes; the impact these animals—especially the pigs and macaques—had on the dodo population is currently considered to have been more severe than that of hunting.

Leftists have evolved so that they cannot recognize predators either.  They are therefore doomed for extinction.  The only question is whether all Americans will join them as they head down that path, or if the majority of Americans will prove ourselves to be amongst the savvier animals on the political and ideological spectrum.

A snapshot into what interests people

Sadie send me a fascinating little link, one that compares traffic at Jihad Watch (which tracks Jihad), Hot Air (which is a very dynamic conservative political website), and Little Green Footballs (which used to be libertarian, but is now pretty Left, although Charles, to give him full credit, continues to be a staunch foe of Jihad).  I won’t spell out any conclusions.  They’ll hit you right between the eyes without my assistance.

A perfect illustration of how the Left counterattacks

The mosque debate in America has been instructive when it comes to Leftist rhetorical tactics.  Ordinary Americans make an argument — “the mosque is inappropriate on secular sacred ground.”  The Left then responds, not substantively, but with personal attacks — “you’re racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic and stupid.”

If you think this approach to debate is limited to the American Left, think again.  Precisely the same thing is playing out in Germany.  There, Thilo Sarrazin, a German central bank board member and former senior city official in Berlin, has given an interview and published a book, both of which carry the same message:  Germany is being destroyed by its Muslim immigrants, who take a disproportionate amount of welfare relative to their contributions, who do not contribute to the nation’s intellectual life, and who are having children at a much faster rate than the Germans themselves.

The Leftist response has been predictable.  They’ve produced carefully detailed statistics showing the major economic and social contributions that Muslim immigrants are making to Germany society, and proved that the birthrate argument is a fallacy.  In the face of these reasoned arguments, Sarrazin has backed down.  They’ve hurled myriad personal insults at Sarrazin, and threatened his right to free speech:

Sarrazin’s comments have also made waves outside of the SPD. Green Party head Cem Özdemir called Sarrazin a “tribal leader in the mold of bin Laden” in an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE and said that he has done a “disservice to efforts aimed at improving the dramatic social inequalities in our country, and not just among immigrants.” He said he was disappointed because “the ongoing debate over mutual expectations of Germans and immigrants is much more rational than Sarrazin makes it seem.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel is likewise unimpressed. Through her spokesman Steffen Seibert, she said on Wednesday that Sarrazin’s offerings were “extremely injurious, defamatory and very polemical.” She also called them “completely unhelpful” and said that “a different tone is necessary.”

[snip]

Following Sarrazin’s comments last autumn, the SPD began proceedings to kick him out of the party, but the attempt failed in March. He was, however, disciplined by the German Central Bank, which stripped him of his previous responsibility for cash management as a result of the Lettre International interview. It is unclear whether the SPD will make another effort to strike him from the rolls.

No matter in which country you drop a Leftist, he’s still a Leftist, committed to doctrinal purity regardless of objective reality.