The Bookworm Beat 12-10-15 — the “Islamic terrorism” edition *UPDATED*

Woman-writing-300x265A few words about Donald Trump’s campaign success

Donald Trump is the ordinary American’s id. The id, of course, is our most basic intelligence, the one that gives us the atavistic reflexes that recognize danger and act on it to stay alive.

Trump has cut through the political correctness that prevented all politicians, including Republican ones, from speaking the cold, hard truth: Muslims are a problem. While we know that not all Muslims are a problem, until we figure out a way to separate wheat from chaff, we are insane to invite them in without limitations.

If you pay attention to what Trump said, as opposed to what the media says he said, Trump actually made a sensible suggestion, although framed in his typical inflammatory way: America needs to press the pause button on admitting Muslims until we can formulate a policy that’s aimed at separating bad (i.e., jihadist or otherwise fundamentalist Muslims) from good Muslims. Here, in his own words, with my emphasis added:

Donald Trump evoked outrage from across the political spectrum Monday by calling for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S., a proposal that taps into voter anxiety about the recent spate of terrorist attacks yet likely runs afoul of religious freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. “It is obvious to anybody the hatred [among Muslims] is beyond comprehension,” Mr. Trump said. “Where this hatred comes from and why, we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life.” His campaign said he would keep the ban intact “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” including the facts around the two attackers who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., last week. Syed Rizwan Farook, a U.S. citizen, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, a legal immigrant who had a green card, were killed in a shootout with the police after the massacre.

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The Bookworm Beat 12-8-15 — the “fresh off the spindle” edition and open thread

Woman-writing-300x265I did it again — I let my inbox get out of hand, so much so that I woke up this morning to discovery over a thousand unread emails in the email accounts for which I’m responsible. Going through them isn’t my favorite activity (too much guilt about emails I inadvertently ignored and too much stress about decisions I have to make), but I do find lovely links and comments that I view as buried treasure. This round-up, therefore, is a treasure-hunt edition.

Yo, Obama! History hasn’t happened yet.

I great disliked Obama’s oval office address. One of the lines that irritated me most was this one: “My fellow Americans, I am confident we will succeed in this mission because we are on the right side of history.”

History, of course, refers to the past. Obama is using a nonexistent historical reference point to predict the future, and then using this prediction to justify inaction. (This is very similar, of course, to the whole “climate science” joke, which uses falsified historical data and computer programs that cannot factor in all future possibilities to predict the climate future, and then takes this Garbage-In/Garbage-Out data to justify costly action.)

Some months ago, my friend Patrick O’Hannigan sent me a post he’d written about the way in which the Left misuses the concept of history. It seems singularly on point now that the President has used a hypothetical future history to justify his passivity when faced with one of the most consequential, and existential issues of our time:

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Are we witnessing a worldwide “Hijrah” (i.e., jihad by emigration)?

Widows and orphans amongst refugeesI got an interesting email. I cleaned up the formatting, but otherwise replicate it here precisely as I received it:

What is a Hijrah? (Why do I keep hearing “connect the dots”?)

Large scale mass migrations become invasions and this actually appears to be a hijrah as he describes it ………this is NOT going to end well.

It appears the policies of the liberal socialist leaders in Europe and the US do not want to keep these lands from being overrun. Why???

I couldn’t figure out why other Arab countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, etc.) weren’t taking in refugees, so I started digging.

Hijrah is jihad by emigration. It means moving to a new land in order to bring Islam there and is considered in Islam to be a holy and revered action. “And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allah will find on the earth many locations and abundance, and whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him, his reward has already become incumbent upon Allah.” (4:100)

So if a Muslim dies in the process, that’s essentially the same as being a suicide bomber, his reward is automatic. This explains the great eagerness to undertake such a perilous journey.

Muhammad and his followers emigrated from Mecca to Yathrib/Medina in 622 CE. It was there that he became a military leader.

This is where all the commands to commit violence against unbelievers originate from. It’s important to note that the Islamic calendar marks this as the beginning of Islam. This current massive hijrah was announced last January although few paid the announcement much attention.

A supporter (or member) of ISIS uploaded a document in Arabic that urged Muslims to get to Lybia for its proximity to southern Europe and for the important tactical value of its illegal immigration circuits to facilitate infiltration of European cities (“It has a long coast and looks upon the southern Crusader states, which can be reached with ease by even a rudimentary boat”).

In February, transcripts of telephone intercepts published in Italy said ISIS was threatening to send 500,000 migrants as a “psychological weapon” against Europe. The Italian Minister for the Interior, Angelino Alfano, said at the time, “If the militias of the Caliphate advance faster than the decisions of the international community how can we put out the fire in Libya and stem the migration flows?

We are at risk of an exodus without precedent.”

Also in February, the Turkish intelligence service warned police that up to 3,000 trained jihadists were seeking to cross into Turkey from Syria and Iraq and then travel through Bulgaria and Hungary into western Europe.

From Syria, to Hungary, then into the rest of Europe. Sound familiar?

In May, a Libyan government adviser warned that Islamic State operatives were being “smuggled to Europe in migrant boats.”

ISIS is profiting from the human trafficking trade, forcing boat owners to hand over their profits or be killed.

Some ISIS operatives are already sheltered in safe houses in the south of the Europe. Groups of men, 17 to 25, from Palestine and Syria, cross into Bulgaria and from there move into the rest of the EU. A former Al Qaeda double agent told the BBC that he knew of two Egyptian brothers who reached Italy from Libya, accompanied by men who were “deeply religious and fluent in Italian and French.”

Go watch the videos of those “refugees” again. How many of the “refugees” are 17-25 year old men?

If that doesn’t convince you, we already know terrorists are coming through with the waves of refugees: a week ago five men were arrested attempting to cross the Bulgarian-Macedonian border with Islamic State propaganda, specific Jihadists prayers, and decapitation videos on their phones.

They had been posing as refugees. UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage warned: “I fear we face a direct threat to our civilization if we allow large numbers of people from that war torn region into Europe.”

Other Muslim countries are not “taking in” these “refugees” because this is a hijrah into Europe. This is no humanitarian crisis. It is an invasion. Its goal is to transform Europe: overtax its economies, tear down its wealthiest nations, re-draw the demographics and, of course, the culture.

Sources:

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/isis-milita…dviser-1501692

https://www.rt.com/news/233839-isis-…ck-diplomatic/

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/09/ro…ah-into-europe

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/09/is…ng-as-refugees

http://www.independentsentinel.com/i…byan-refugees/

http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/wp…for-the-is.pdf

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti…on-bombed.html

Obama’s speech highlights why it’s hard to have an intelligent political debate with Progressives

Obama oval office address 12-6-15I found myself in conversation today with a Progressive who thought that Obama’s oval office address was just wonderful.

“What did you like about it?” I asked him.

“It was a very mature speech,” the Progressive replied, “and he said what I would have said.”

Of course I asked, “What would you have said that he did say?”

“That we’re doing everything we can against ISIL, but that almost a quarter of the world’s population is Muslim and they’re not all our enemies.”

“That’s it? That’s what you got out of the speech?”

“Yeah, it was really good. I bet you hated it.”

“Well, yes I did hate it.”

And then I was off. I detailed the problems with Obama’s affect — flat in the beginning when he had to concede that this was terrorism (although Obama hastened to add that it wasn’t really Islamic and Neo-Neocon thinks he may not even have said it was terrorism), and hectoring in the end when he scolded Americans about their prejudice, which they’ve never acted upon, and their guns which . . . well, let’s just say that Obama doesn’t want to see another Texas happen:

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[VIDEO] When it comes to Progressives and terrorism, some things never change

This video is from 2007, when George “Islam is a religion of peace” Bush was still President, but it could have been created yesterday, and been just as accurate. Indeed, in light of Obama’s frantic efforts Sunday night to avoid placing the word “Islam” anywhere near the word “terrorism,” the video is probably even more pertinent today than it was then:

Obama’s oval address, sadly, contains no surprises

Obama oval office address 12-6-15One doesn’t have to be psychic to predict what Obama will say. It’s always the same old Leftist pabulum. Although finally forced to acknowledge that the San Bernardino attack was terrorism, he worked desperately hard to stick to that old “lone wolf” narrative. (I won’t repeat my take on the “lone wolf” issue. Instead, if you want, you can read it here.)

While the FBI is “still gathering the facts about what happened” in the attack on a county holiday party at the Inland Regional Center by Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, Obama said that “so far we have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home.”

“But it is clear that the two of them had gone down the dark path of radicalization, embracing a perverted interpretation of Islam that calls for war against America and the West. They had stockpiled assault weapons, ammunition, and pipe bombs,” he said. “So this was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people.”

Please note, too, how Obama worked hard when he discussed San Bernardino to keep the words “Islam” or “Muslim” from appearing anywhere in connection with “terrorist” or “terrorism.” God forbid the two should be conflated. You can see the same pattern when he finally acknowledged other, prior Islamic terrorist acts:

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To the extent that there is increasing anti-Muslim feeling in America, I blame Obama and the Democrats

648x415_syed-farook-tashfeen-malik-deux-tueurs-san-bernardinoAlthough we’re hearing a lot from Muslims claiming to be worried about potential anti-Muslim feeling in America, the reality is that their worries are inchoate fears that aren’t grounded in real life experiences.  Indeed, John Hinderaker points out that despite fourteen years of Muslim-related fears, the vast majority of Americans have managed to restrain their alleged Islamophobia:

The FBI’s latest statistics, for 2014, show a total of 1,140 religion-based hate crimes in the U.S. Only 16% (182) were directed against Muslims, about one for every 44,000 Muslims living in the U.S.

Actually, Muslims are more likely to perpetrate hate crimes than to be victimized by them. In 2014, more than half of the religion-based hate crimes–58%–were directed against Jews, and in many instances were perpetrated by Muslims.

I will admit, though, that if I’m to judge by my own Facebook page, which is knee-deep in Progressives, more and more Americans, however unwillingly, are beginning to connect the dots between Islam and terrorism.  Again, they’re not frothing at the mouth with undifferentiated Muslim hatred. Instead, they’re doing what I usually do, which is to distinguish between radicals and everyone else.  Still, they’re finally figuring out that Islam has a problem.

Meanwhile, our President, his party, and his media (let’s not pretend that Obama doesn’t own the mainstream media) continue to deny a connection between Islam and terrorism.  That may change when Obama speaks tonight, although many suspect that the President will use tonight’s speech not only to downplay the Islamic connection to terrorism, but also to try another gun grab.

If, as I suspect, Obama doesn’t change his tune but, instead, continues to pretend that Islam and terrorism are entirely related, I blame him for any future and actual Islamophobia in this country.  Obama has created a leadership vacuum that the American people, who are rightfully fearful that ISIS is in our borders and gaining new recruits from among Syrian refugees, will fill.  And when the masses fill a vacuum, they often do so in crude, mob-like ways.

Obama would protect American Muslims much better if he’d acknowledge the problem with radical Islam and give Americans a detailed plan for dealing with that problem — one that includes requiring the American Muslim community to work with law enforcement to expose and expel the terrorists among them.  Americans then wouldn’t feel that, if they want to protect their lives and liberty, they’re going to have to take Islam on themselves.

Think of it this way:  Obama is the pilot of the plane called America.  We, the People, are the passengers.  We can’t see the captain, but his periodic announcements tell us that he’s up there in the cockpit.  Suddenly, we become aware of a disturbance on the plane.  We look anxiously at the speakers above our heads, waiting for Captain Obama to tell us what’s wrong and how he’s going to fix it.  Instead, we get either silence or a bizarre rant from the cockpit about the bright sunlight outside the plane.

Now imagine you’re on the plane:  Given that your captain has just shown himself to be either absent or insane in the face of a clear and present danger, are you going to continue to sit peacefully in your seat hoping for the best, or are you going to unbuckle your seat belt, search for anything that can possibly be used as a weapon, and go to face the problem yourself?

Captain Obama is failing in his job.  If the American people step up to do what he won’t, and if he doesn’t like how the American people handle the job, he has only himself to blame.

The Bookworm Beat 12-3-15 — the mini round-up and illustrated edition

Woman-writing-300x265I’ve come across a few fascinating and delightful things and am tossing into this Bookworm Beat both posts and pictures:

A study about Palestinian violence explains the “lone wolf” syndrome

Every time Muslims commit mass murder in America, our elites in the Obama administration and the media (but I repeat myself) tell us that it’s not jihad, it’s just a “lone wolf.” What these great Progressive thinkers mean, of course, is that the acts are not being committed by a member of a formal army, receiving orders from a central command. Their logic is that, if there’s no central command point, there’s no jihad; there are just a few wacky individuals who happened to be in touch with overseas terrorist masterminds, who were recognized by all as a devout Muslim (although this devotion was often of recent vintage), and who somehow managed to throw a few “Allahu Akbars” into the carnage.

Israel, of course, has lately had a plague of “lone wolf” “lone wolf attacks,” often by teens and women, none of whom are taking direct marching orders from command central in either Hamas or the PA. Daniel Polisar did a study about Palestinian violence against Jews and he distilled the results of his long-term study to examine the current “lone wolf,” knife-stabbing.  What Polisar discovered is that these “lone wolves” aren’t really alone at all.  That is, they’re not aberrant outliers.  Instead, they are reflecting the central tenets of their society and acting on the dominant paradigm in their community. In their world, it’s praiseworthy to kill Jews, both because Palestinian society at large says that Jews deserve to die and because the same society says that each Jewish death advances Palestinian social and political goals.

In other words, once a society has embraced a corrupt idea, “command central” is no longer necessary to take practical steps to advance that idea. Instead, each individual appoints himself as a soldier in a very real, albeit unstructured, army.

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The Bookworm Beat 11-29-15 — the “tidy office-tidy mind” edition

Woman-writing-300x265Inspired by Marie Kondo’s advice that true organization begins with throwing out everything that is neither useful nor sentimental, I am continuing to plow through every nook and cranny in my house. This is the first organization system that’s made sense to me, which is why I haven’t already given up and relapsed into my usual vaguely tidy-looking mess. My mind is also a vaguely tidy-looking mess, but  it’s still yielded these interesting links:

Ignore people who tell you Cruz is divisive and uncooperative

According to those rooting for candidates other than Ted Cruz, he’s an arrogant blowhard who won’t play well with others.  In fact, Cruz’s work history proves that the opposite is true:

At the FTC, Cruz’s agenda could have been written by Milton Friedman.

Cruz promoted economic liberty and fought government efforts to rig the marketplace in favor of special interests. Most notably, Cruz launched an initiative to study the government’s role in conspiring with established businesses to suppress e-commerce. This initiative ultimately led the U.S. Supreme Court to open up an entire industry to small e-tailers. Based on his early support of disruptive online companies, Cruz has some grounds to call himself the “Uber of American politics.”

Moreover, and perhaps surprising to some, Cruz sought and secured a broad, bipartisan consensus for his agenda. Almost all of Cruz’s initiatives received unanimous support among both Republicans and Democrats.

Ted Cruz a consensus-builder? He was, at the FTC.

Read the rest here.  Cruz has the chops to make the best kind of President:  True conservative values, love for America, phenomenal intelligence, and the ability to work and play well with others.

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Found it on Facebook : The logical fallacies in a popular Progressive poster

This poster is populating my Facebook feed, courtesy of the many Progressives I number among my real-me friends:

Statistics against ISIS

I find it a rather fascinating poster because of the underlying assumption that the items in the list are comparable in terms of either our ability to challenge these risks, the direction of the trend lines for the risks, or the long-term stability of each risk. Picking my way through the data made me think of another thing that’s making the rounds on my Facebook feed, which is a useful chart putting in one place the most common rhetorical fallacies.

When I look at the risks, my thoughts (aside from wanting to know the source of these statistics) are as follows:

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John Kerry’s reprehensible statements following the Paris massacre were all about Islam denial

John-KerryIn the wake of the Paris massacre, John Kerry went out and made a fool of himself. There’s nothing new there, but I did want to comment on something I did and to explain why I did it — or more accurately, why I didn’t do something that every other commentator did. My point in writing this is to prove that I’m not quite the half-wit people may have assumed I am.

Let me begin with Kerry’s words:

In the last days, obviously, that has been particularly put to the test. There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people. It was to attack everything that we do stand for. That’s not an exaggeration. It was to assault all sense of nationhood and nation-state and rule of law and decency, dignity, and just put fear into the community and say, “Here we are.” And for what? What’s the platform? What’s the grievance? That we’re not who they are? They kill people because of who they are and they kill people because of what they believe. And it’s indiscriminate. They kill Shia. They kill Yezidis. They kill Christians. They kill Druze. They kill Ismaili. They kill anybody who isn’t them and doesn’t pledge to be that. And they carry with them the greatest public display of misogyny that I’ve ever seen, not to mention a false claim regarding Islam. It has nothing to do with Islam; it has everything to do with criminality, with terror, with abuse, with psychopathism – I mean, you name it.

Everybody and his uncle latched onto the first part of that paragraph, in which Kerry seemed to say that satirical journalists and Jews were legitimate terrorist targets. I went in a different direction and focused on the second part where, in keeping with the Democrat-party line, Kerry again denied that massacres — whether ten months ago or a week ago — have anything to do with Islam. It occurred to me later that some readers might have thought I was stupid, careless, or otherwise deficient for not lambasting Kerry for his bizarre statement about legitimate and illegitimate terrorist attacks.

All I can say is that I’m not as stupid as I look. I actually had an analytical framework that I’d completely clicked through by the time I sat down and wrote. I’d processed Kerry’s remarks, and concluded that the most important part was his denial about Islam’s role. Everything else was just Kerry’s generosity in giving us an opportunity to see his obtuse brain working through a problem.

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Stuck on Stupid: Progressive Facebook edition (Part 2)

facebook-thumbs-downIt’s not a very deep dive to plumb the depths of Leftist intellectual positions on most issues, but it’s still a worthwhile exercise to expose the fallacies that they use to try to dominate the debate on pressing issues — with the most pressing issue being whether to admit Syrian refugees.  The easiest place for me to find examples of Leftist thought is my Facebook feed. Because I’ve spent my life in Blue enclaves, almost all of my friends — and they are really nice people in day-to-day interactions — are Progressives.  It gives me pleasure to deconstruct some of their more foolish or vicious posters:

I have to admit that these first two posters are my favorite “stupid Progressive Facebook” posts.  Because Thanksgiving is coming up, both chide anti-refugee conservatives for forgetting that the first Thanksgiving came about because the indigenous people in North America extended a welcoming hand to European immigrants.

Whenever I’ve seen one of these posters pop up on my Facebook feed, I’ve left a polite comment to the effect that we all learned in public school (thanks to Howard Zinn and others) that the Europeans, once having gotten a foothold in North America, promptly turned around and murdered as many Native Americans as possible. If they couldn’t murder them, they dispossessed them of their land and otherwise marginalized them.  There’s certainly a lesson to be learned here but the lesson isn’t to welcome refugees, it’s to cry out “For God’s sake, don’t let them in!”

Indians refusing pilgrims

Pilgrims should be supportive of immigration

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