The Bookworm Beat (10/29/14) — High blood pressure edition (and Open Thread)

Woman writingI went to the doctor yesterday for an ear infection and discovered that I have high blood pressure. The doctor’s not treating the problem yet, in case my blood pressure was spiked from my ear pain. I certainly hope that’s transitory pain is the reason.  In two months, we’ll check again and see whether it’s reverted to normal or is still trying to make me look like one of those cartoon characters with steam coming out its ears. If the latter, I’ll really need to revisit how I handle all the stress in my life.

The chocolate treatment, apparently, is not working. Also unfortunately for me, the stuff about which I blog isn’t the stuff of zen moments. All of you should feel free to send me calming thoughts.

Two amazing Arabs (one Muslim, one Christian) speak about the Arab and the Leftist community’s responsibility for peace with Israel and the world

The first amazing Arab, Aly Salem, wrote an article about the disgraceful way in which American Progressives and other Leftists ignore Islam’s most revolting behaviors:

My own experience as a Muslim in New York bears this out. Socially progressive, self-proclaimed liberals, who would denounce even the slightest injustice committed against women or minorities in America, are appalled when I express a similar criticism about my own community.

Compare the collective response after each harrowing high-school shooting in America. Intellectuals and public figures look for the root cause of the violence and ask: Why? Yet when I ask why after every terrorist attack, the disapproval I get from my non-Muslim peers is visceral: The majority of Muslims are not violent, they insist, the jihadists are a minority who don’t represent Islam, and I am fear-mongering by even wondering aloud.

This is delusional thinking. Even as the world witnesses the barbarity of beheadings, habitual stoning and severe subjugation of women and minorities in the Muslim world, politicians and academics lecture that Islam is a “religion of peace.” Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia routinely beheads women for sorcery and witchcraft.

Salem’s article is behind a Wall Street Journal pay wall, but if you search for it by name on Google, you should be able to get a link that gives you free access.

The second amazing Arab is George Deek, a Christian Israeli-Arab diplomat living in Norway, who gave a speech recently in Oslo. If you don’t want to, or don’t have the time to, spend 30 minutes listening to the speech, you can read the transcript here.

Here’s just a small sample of what Deek has to say:

In the Arab world, the Palestinian refugees – including their children, their grandchildren and even their great-grandchildren – are still not settled, aggressively discriminated against, and in most cases denied citizenship and basic human rights. Why is it, that my relatives in Canada are Canadian citizens, while my relatives in Syria, Lebanon or the gulf countries – who were born there and know no other home – are still considered refugees?

Clearly, the treatment of the Palestinians in the Arab countries is the greatest oppression they experience anywhere. And the collaborators in this crime are no other than the international community and the United Nations. Rather than doing its job and help the refugees build a life, the international community is feeding the narrative of the victimhood.

The Obama administration finally has an enemy it hates more than the Tea Party: Israel

It’s already been a couple of days since Jeffrey Goldberg revealed that the Obama administration, headed by the King of Choom, has taken to calling Bibi Netanyahu, a battle-tested warrior, a “chickensh*t” coward. Nevertheless, I’d like to share with you my favorite post on the subject, from Danielle Pletka, at AEI. She immediately hones in on the disgusting manipulation and lies that characterize the Obama dealings that then led to the vulgar insult:

Lots of twitter today over an important piece by Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic about the crisis in US-Israel relations. Most have focused on the Obama administration “senior official” sourced comment that Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is “chickenshit.” The full quote is worth reading:

“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official said, expanding the definition of what a chickenshit Israeli prime minister looks like. “The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he’s not [Ariel] Sharon, he’s certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He’s got no guts.”

Goldberg has his own take on the accusation, and plants blame for the mutual antipathy squarely on the Israeli side. He’s a thoughtful analyst, and he’s not wrong that the Israelis have been, to put it diplomatically, incautious, in their approach to the Obama team. Nor are critics entirely wrong when they suggest that internal politicking – and not peace process politique – have been behind recent Israeli settlement decisions. But that analysis fails to adequately appreciate the fons et origo of the slow-mo disaster that has been US-Israel relations under Barack Obama, and does readers a disservice by laying out the rather shocking notion that team Obama thinks he has somehow played the Israelis into… allowing Iran to have a nuclear weapon. Here’s “another senior official” with whom Goldberg spoke (speaking of chickenshit; um, what about going on the record?):

“It’s too late for him to do anything. Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late.”

Let’s get this straight: Bibi et al, who have what most would agree is a legitimate and existential fear of an Iranian nuclear weapon, are “good” because they’re, er “chickenshit” about launching a strike on Iran; oh, and Bibi is also labeled a “coward” for having been “chickenshit” in that regard. But he’s “bad” because he won’t cave to a Palestinian Authority and Hamas so riven by terrorism, corruption and incompetence that they won’t “accommodate” with each other.

How can we read this as anything other than an appalling display of hypocrisy, hostility to Israel and warmth toward the very powers that have killed almost as many Americans (Iran, Hamas, et al) as al Qaeda? Did team Obama label Ahmadinejad as “chickenshit”? Have they labeled the Qataris, who arm and fund ISIS at the same time that they buy US weapons as “chickenshit”?

Read the rest here.

What will the upcoming elections mean for Israel?

Richard Baehr examines how the upcoming elections might affect Obama’s relationship with Israel. I think, after reading Baehr’s analysis, that the takeaway message is that, whether Obama keeps his Senate or loses it, he’s going to do his damndest to screw Israel. Tell me if you agree with my assessment.

If you think the government is out to get you, you’re correct

The New York Times turns in a surprisingly good article about the way in which the IRS is simply stealing people’s money, without even a pretense of Due Process. The opening paragraphs set the tone:

For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away — until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her checking account, almost $33,000.

The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report.

“How can this happen?” Ms. Hinders said in a recent interview. “Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done anything wrong with it?”

The federal government does.

Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up.

This is something I’ve known about for some time because, back in the early 2000s, I worked on a case involving federal seizure and forfeiture.  In America’s efforts to stop bad guys, we let the camel’s nose in the tent with this one.  The government camel is now fully in the tent, destroying everything in sight.

I’d like to think that a Republican congress, aided by a Republican president, would rein in this travesty, but I doubt it. Remember — they all get paid out of the same federal pot of money, so they all (judges, congressmen, bureaucrats, executives) have a vested interest in maintaining a system that robs from Americans to give to the government.  Reagan was right in principle, but will prove to have been wrong in practice:

Reagan on we the people

Moonbats try to debate gun rights

I don’t know how he made it happen, but Charles C. W. Cooke (of National Review) was able to get an opinion piece about blacks and gun rights published in The New York Times. It’s very good, of course, although it doesn’t say anything that we pro-Second Amendment people don’t already know — you know, stuff about the way in which the Jim Crow, Democrat-run South tried to keep guns away from blacks so as to terrorize and kill them more easily, and how law-abiding blacks are still sitting ducks for the worst malefactors in society.

It’s a good essay, and one that I highly recommend, but the really fun reading material is what you find at the comments, as the usual NYT cadre of moonbats tries to escape and evade little things like facts and logic. Here are some examples from the 219 comments the Times allowed to stand before closing the comments section. You’ll notice that the ones I culled (which are from the top reader-approved comments) haven’t bothered with any facts at all, but are strong on ad hominem, bootstrapping arguments:

Brian A. Kirkland North Brunswick, NJ 3 days ago
“The poor and the black”, uh huh.

I don’t care how you paint it, this is the most convoluted irrational argument I’ve read in some time. Are you making the case that African-Americans need to arm themselves to take on the racist government? Are you saying that the answer to racist is armed resistance? You might be right, but does someone from National Review really mean that or are you making a Rand Paul gambit, to say anything that will get those, slow witted, African-Americans to go along?

No, son, you’re not going to make the picture of Malcolm, protecting his home after it’d been bombed, an icon for Caucasians. And, though there were armed African-Americans at some of those rallies, most were Caucasians, come to take their country back from the black guy. Let’s not be silly here.

You are not interested in the lives of African-American, except as a voting block to support your obsession with gun culture. We have enough access to guns. If you want a gun for personal protection you can have one.

Lots of African-Americans are like lots of Caucasians; we own guns, like fine wine, speak English well, are like other human beings. This is not news.

By the way, the NAACP is publicly supporting Marissa Alexander. https://donate.naacp.org/page/event/detail/wl3 Like all of your ilk, facts don’t matter much to you, do they?

***

Rima Regas is a trusted commenter Mission Viejo, CA 3 days ago
Where to begin…

I’m glad you support the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, out of some equal rights magnanimity that is uncharacteristic of someone on the right. Using that magnanimity as the vehicle from which to take a swipe at the NAACP, Reverend Sharpton and, Malcolm X, no less, is disingenuous, to be kind.

The problem isn’t that blacks can’t get as many guns as whites. The problem is that an increasing number of white cops feel perfectly comfortable using their guns on black men, when they should be remembering the oath they pledged and refrain from doing harm onto a fellow citizen.

John Crawford III, Mike Brown, Vonderrit Myers, and all of the other young black men who’ve died recently were unarmed young men who died at the hand of an armed policemen who used a supposed fear for their lives as justification to shoot to kill. No gun would have saved these young men.

A country that has as many guns as it has citizens is one that has too many guns.

#BlackLivesMatter is about the cessation of police brutality on young black men. It has no bearing on the gun rights of whites or blacks. Using Jim Crow to advance the right to bear arms is the cynical use of a false equivalency in order to make an unrelated point.

Nice try…

***

agathajrw Minnsota 3 days ago
This is the most sorry excuse for an opinion piece published in the nytimes that I’ve ever read. It is a blatant advertisement for the NRA and the gun industry. To say that those of us who have been life long advocates for gun control were inextricably linked to racism before 1970 is shameful.

***

Jim Phoenix 3 days ago
This is insane. There is an epidemic of gun violence killing young black men, and this guy thinks the black community needs more guns.

***

Ecce Homo Jackson Heights, NY 3 days ago
What magnificent sleight of hand! Mr. Cooke turns the mindless proliferation of high-power weaponry into a conservative bulwark against racism. I can’t help but admire his rhetorical agility.

The fact is that African-Americans are victims of violence, including gun violence, at staggering rates. Ours is a society where homicide is justified by reasonable fear and fear of a Black Man is reasonable, almost per se. Arming African-Americans won’t help. Disarming white Americans will.

politicsbyeccehomo.wordpress.com

You know why we will never change liberal’s minds? Because they have no minds. They exist in a bizarre world of people with empty heads and jerky knees. For more information where I stand on guns, you can go here.

The Obama economy is not happy

Happy days are not here again under Obama. Just as Roosevelt, that Leftist darling, managed to worsen the Depression, Obama, another even more Leftist darling, has managed to turn in the worst non-recession economic performance in at least 100 years. This is what happens when you put a socialist in charge of the economy.

On the lighter side, here’s a nice joke about capitalism.

Barack Obama, in his own words

Ed Lasky has done yeoman’s work pulling together Obama’s own words to paint a picture of a very angry man who lusts after power, hates America and white people, and generally wants to see socialism become the law of the land. Here’s a sample (hyperlinks omitted):

The Constitution is just a piece of parchment to him and he blames it and the Founding Fathers for making the fulfillment of his goal to “fundamentally transform America” harder to achieve.

Obama willfully dismissed ISIS as a threat, demoting them to JayVee status. Obama has dismissed threats from Al Qaeda repeatedly bragging that Al Qaeda was decimated and on the run on the path to defeat and then defeated — a claim Obama has made over 30 times. In the real world, Al Qaeda and its offshoot, the JayVee ISIS, now occupy more territory and has far more wealth and power than it ever had before. It is on the run, alright, towards a city and shopping center near you. But rest assured, Obama tells us, they are defeated and the tide of war is receding. He barely reacts but recreates instead. The world is more tranquil than ever before because of Obama’s leadership. Does it feel that way to most Americans?

There’s a reason Democrats are opposed to voter ID

Yes, this is old news by now, but I can’t resist posting it on my own blog:

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.

[snip]

Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress.

The obligatory video showing the debate audience laughing at Dem candidate who tries to invoke “War on Women” shtick

A study about flu vaccinations for the elderly is a microcosm of the whole climate change so-called “science” debacle

We’ve discussed at length on this blog the fact that climate change is no longer a science but a faith. Why? Because it has become an unfalsifiable, infallible doctrine. No matter how often a hypothesis fails to be borne out by data, the sciences do a quick twist in mid air and, just before hitting ground, announce that the failure, rather than refuting the whole anthropogenic climate change theory, actually proves the theory to be true.  In fact, as often as not, the fact that the theory utterly failed is even better proof that we’re approaching climate Armageddon.  So you see, it’s faith, not science.

Well, that same “faith over science” problem reared its head in the world of vaccination studies and with equally deadly effect:

An important and definitive “mainstream” government study done nearly a decade ago got little attention because the science came down on the wrong side. It found that after decades and billions of dollars spent promoting flu shots for the elderly, the mass vaccination program did not result in saving lives. In fact, the death rate among the elderly increased substantially.

The authors of the study admitted a bias going into the study. Here was the history as described to me: Public health experts long assumed flu shots were effective in the elderly. But, paradoxically, all the studies done failed to demonstrate a benefit. Instead of considering that they, the experts, could be wrong–instead of believing the scientific data–the public health experts assumed the studies were wrong. After all, flu shots have to work, right?

You can read more here about a decidedly unscientific approach to science that has led to innumerable unnecessary deaths amongst the elderly.

The joke that is the Left’s obsession with diversity

A friend of mine has tackled the fatuousness of the Left’s obsession with diversity. Since my friend is extremely intelligent, not to mention a most elegant writer, the Left comes off looking ridiculous.

Good stuff at the Watcher’s Council

I’ve been a bit overwhelmed lately (hence the high blood pressure), so I’ve been remiss in passing on to you a few cool links for the Watcher’s Council.

First, Council members weigh in with their very specific predictions for the upcoming election.

Second, Council members have nominated exceptionally weasel-like people to be the Weasel of the Week.

Third, the Watcher’s Council nominations are in. I’ll link to all of the nominations in a separate post, but you can check them out at the Watcher’s Council site here.

Lovely pictures of classic Hollywood stars and their knitting

In the old days, before blogging became a compulsion, I kept my hands busy with knitting. I have a slightly peculiar technique, because I’m a left-hander taught by right-handers, but I also have, if I do say so myself, a very beautiful stitch. During my knitting heyday, I used to love collecting knitting books, especially books about the history of knitting (with this one being my favorite).

What the old books allude to, but don’t address in detail, is how much knitting took place (maybe still takes place?) on Hollywood sets. If you’d like to know more about that practice, or if you’d just like to look at wonderful pictures of gorgeous Hollywood stars knitting back in the day, check out this post at Seraphic Secret.

XXX If you’re looking for a good deed….

My fellow Watcher’s Council member Greg, who blogs at Rhymes with Right, was deeply moved by the plight of New Beginnings Church in Chicago. After its pastor, Corey Booker, broke ranks and endorsed Republicans, his church was promptly vandalized and robbed. That robbery is a huge setback for the Church’s planned expansion. If you go here, Greg explains how you can help the church out.

Do you sense a little bit of bias in this survey?

On my Facebook page, two of my friends linked to a “survey” that hinted that it was actually created on California Governor Jerry Brown’s behalf so that he can learn Californian’s opinions about what the state should do with regard to climate change. I clicked on over and got this priceless first page:

California League of Conservation Voters push poll

So that’s what it looks like when special interest groups manipulate the people.

The Bookworm Beat (9/29/14) — The unpacked portmanteau edition, and Open Thread

Woman writingI’ve got a lot of open tabs with all sorts of random, but useful and interesting, information. Here goes….

Whither Eric Holder?

The Watcher’s Council has a new forum up, this one examining Eric Holder’s resignation and his future plans. I don’t think I’m giving too much away if I say that none of the forum participants believe Holder retired because he needed a break from the job.

Is it real or is it a satire?

When a friend sent me this link about Obama’s plans regarding ISIL, it took me a few seconds to decide whether it was real or satire. Now it’s your turn to spend a few seconds answering that question for yourself.

Men without women are dangerous

For years I’ve been harping away on what a very wise friend told me, which is that Islam’s fundamental quarrel with the West is about women: Islam wants to control women, and the West refuses to get with the program. Roger Scruton adds another dimension to the problem Islam has with women, which is that the women are being locked away from the young men who need them most. Between the whole burqa/locking up thing, and the polygamy that gives old men lots of young women, while leaving young men with nothing, the Muslim world has produced a huge population of young men with an enormous amount of unresolved sexual tension.  Combine this tension with the promise of its full resolution in the afterlife provided that you first kill non-Muslims, and you’ve created a whole lot of nascent murderers.

Why is this recovery different from all other recoveries?

It’s different because Obama’s crony capitalism has ensured that any benefits derived from the recovery have gone primarily to the rich people encircling his White House throne.

The Leftist dream about Common Core

The Leftists are slowly letting the cat out of the bag. It’s not that they believe that Common Core will educate children better; it’s that they believe that it will educate them equally. A lot of parents, though, are getting very worried that Common Core will leave children all equally uneducated.

By the way, when I watched the video at the link, I thought of this poster that I culled long ago from a Leftist Facebook friend:

Equality and Justice

A wonderful paragraph from Jonah Goldberg’s post about the endless feminist sense of grievance

Goldberg’s whole post is worth reading, insofar as it seeks to explain why American feminists, despite succeeding beyond any woman’s wildest dreams at any previous time in history, still complain bitterly about their victimization. I especially liked the following paragraph, though, about the way in which feminists discount objective facts merely because men state them:

Maybe it’s true that pointing out that women are doing much better today according to myriad measures somehow solidifies my rank in the cult of Priapus, but I’m at a loss to figure out how. And, even if it did, even if pointing out there is no rape epidemic on college campuses earned me an extra round of martinis at the men’s club with Mr. Monopoly and the Koch brothers, I cannot for the life of me see how that makes the facts any less factual. If I slapped my wife’s name on my column instead of my own, would the facts therein suddenly be more true? (“Hey don’t use ‘slap’ and ‘wife’ in the same sentence or they’ll compare you to Ray Rice.” — The Couch)

Note to Jonah: Logic is also part of the male hegemonic structure aimed at excluding women from power.

Matthew Continetti lets loose against journalists for Hillary

Continetti unleashes a wonderful stem-winder against a journalist class that can report no wrong when it comes to Hillary Clinton. This will give you a taste of his tour de force:

I am not entirely without sympathy. Mainstream journalists are under pressures that we are not. They have to pretend for example that David Brock is a serious person. They are implicated in the liberal Democratic project through family or sympathy or ambition. They have to take angry calls from the White House and congressional Democrats and candidates. One of Alana Goodman’s scoops involved a meeting at the D.C. bureau of the New York Times at which Hillary Clinton’s top lieutenants complained about the paper’s coverage of their boss, saying it was too intrusive and critical and that Clinton is not a public figure but an expectant grandmother. Leave Hillary alone, she’s under a lot of stress right now, she still has to wear those glasses at night, we have long memories, all she wants to do is swim, she hasn’t made up her mind about 2016, she’s putting the finishing touches on her book, dinner last Saturday was a lot of fun we should do it again sometime, she’s really a private person and doesn’t like all of this attention, why do you have to be so mean to her, I’m not going to write that recommendation letter for Sidwell Friends, Chelsea’s afraid the bad press may affect the baby, yes I’ll be at Hilary Rosen’s on Friday, we are totally uninteresting and unaffected and blameless and prosaic and apolitical but cross us and we’ll cut your f—ing knees off . . . Could you have been at that meeting and not laughed?

Is it time to dig out the bullets packed in pig grease? (And let’s identify the real Islamophobes.) *UPDATED*

Jihawg AmmoPractically from the moment after September 11, 2001, people started saying that the most effective way to fight Muslims was to lace American ammunition with pork.  Finally, in 2013, an Idaho company came up with pork-laced ammunition for non-military customers:

Jihawg Ammo today announced release of the industry’s first truly defensive ammunition.

Not only does Jihawg guarantee that all of their ammunition meets or exceeds S.A.A.M.I. standards for velocity, penetration, and accuracy, they also coat each projectile with a special ballistic paint infused with pork to make it “Haraam” or unclean to a radical Jihadist.

This makes Jihawg Ammo the only commercially available ammunition with the added deterrent factor of eternal damnation for fundamentalist Islamic Jihadist.

The response was swift: Islamophobia! Ignorant, Islamophobic hicks thought that they could out-think the religion of peace. These bullets were the equivalent of a Muslim-directed genocide. And they were insulting!!

In the remainder of this post, I’ll explain why the military should start using pork-laced weapons (or spread rumors that they’re doing so), as well as explaining why those exposed to pork-laced bullets are the real Islamophobes.

Clearly, the U.S. military will never use pork.

But maybe it should….

At American Thinker, Clarice Feldman directs readers to Louis René Beres’s article for the Gatestone Institute, The Jihadists’ Promise: Power over Death. Boiled down to its essence, the article explains that the Quran holds, and fervent Muslims believe, that this life is but a way-station to the real world, which real world is an afterlife complete with unending, exquisite, and quite carnal, earthly pleasures. In other words, Muslim fanatics don’t have a death cult; they have an (After)Life Cult. Their entire goal is to shuck this mortal coil in such a way as to ensure that they go straight into the arms of those seventy-two virgins (or raisins).

Christians, too, have an afterlife, but (as I understand it), they do not envision it as the carnal pleasures of this life, only on steroids.  It is, instead, a higher form of existence. Moreover, you don’t get there by killing but, instead, by living this life well. Both Christians and Jews (who do not have a specific heaven) believe that, to the extent that God has blessed us with life, we have a moral obligation to cherish and enjoy life as a prerequisite to ascending to a higher level upon our death. The Judeo-Christian culture has, if you will a (This)Life Cult as a necessary prerequisite to an (After)Life Cult.

The net effect of the Muslim (After)Life Cult is that the Islamic fanatics aren’t kidding when they say they don’t fear death. While they might find unpleasant a boring, ignominious death, a death in battle against the infidel is a terminating event that is devoutly to be desired:

The Jihadi terrorist claims to “love death,” but in his or her mind, that “suicide” is anything but final. Ironically, these Islamist terrorists aim to conquer mortality by “killing themselves.” The would-be killer has been promised that death will represent just a trivial and momentary inconvenience, a minor detour on just one more glorious “martyr’s” fiery trajectory toward a life everlasting, in Paradise.

How can one ever hope to counter such a seductive promise? How can any promise compete with the incomparable promise of immortality?

[snip]

A really good strategy needs to begin at the conceptual or psychological level. It is actually the Jihadists’ fear of death that leads them to suicide, always in the hope that any short-term “dying” — the vainglorious fantasy that “martyring” themselves — will enable them to live forever in Paradise, and as beloved heroes on Earth.

While Washington and Jerusalem seek “peace” — an end to bloodshed — as their overriding objective, these faith-driven adversaries appear to see “peace” as merely a pretext. Their real objective is jihadist victory over “unbelievers,” on the blessed road to a global caliphate.

This asymmetric view puts us all at a grievous disadvantage. While our Jihadist foes get ready for Paradise, by the slaughter of “infidels,” our own political leaders seem to remain blithely unaware of — or in denial about — their enemies’ fusion of sacredness with violence.

Beyond explaining all the ways in which traditional warfare has no effect on an enemy whose goal in battle is to die, Beres can do little more than to say that, to win against this latest jihad, we need to change the way Islamists think:

Going forward, our main task should be to systematically undermine these fantasies and doctrinal “underpinnings.” In conjunction with the recommended nuanced persuasions of military firepower, it can be done.

What I’d like to know is how you go about telling the frenzied and growing number of jihadists that they’re all wrong about the after life.  As far as I know, even we, with all our hyper-advanced 21st century ways, don’t have any proof about the after life.  All that we’ve got is our own value system, one that demands decency and respect for life in our mortal form before we can be ensured of some rather inchoate wonderfulness after we die.  Absent proof, changing belief systems is a slow and tedious, or painful and brutal, process.

We’re currently witnessing in America one of the three ways of changing how people think: Over the course of decades, you need to infiltrate all of the media through which people acquire their cultural messages. You slowly flood primary schools, higher education, media, entertainment and, finally, politics. As the late, great Andrew Breitbart understood, in a peaceful takeover pf belief systems, politics is downstream from culture.

The second, less time-consuming, way to change belief systems is through military conquest followed by rebuilding, as we did with Germany and Japan. We’ve already proven that we lack the will for true military conquest.  Moreover, this one gets us back to our original problem, which is that the Islamists truly don’t mind dying.  It’s hard to win when the other side is always willing to die.

That leaves the third third, and swiftest, way you change how people think.  You can call this one the “ISIS way of war”:  Brute force. “Do it our way or we kill you as painfully as possible, and in numbers as great as we can handle.”

Basically, we lack the ability, the time, the will, and the barbarism to change the Islamic mindset any time soon.  The only thing left, then, is to make the Islamist think we are destroying the pathway between death and paradise.  We need to tell the Islamists in no uncertain terms that we will ensure that, should they die in battle with Americans, they will never make it to paradise.

Will we do this? No. Should we do this? Absolutely.

As for those who say it’s disrespectful to Muslims to put a dab of pig fat on a bullet or bomb (or create a rumor that we’re doing so),  I say lets call those critics what they really are:  “Muslim killers.”  After all, if pig-fat rumors or reality cause fanatic Islamists to run from the gun, instead of to the gun, we’re saving Muslim lives, not taking them.  Anyone who wishes to prolong war by giving Muslims what they want — death on the receiving end of a bullet — is the real Islamophobe.

UPDATE:  A WWII cartoon reminds us that, as little as 70 years ago, pork and explosives were one and the same.

When it comes to free speech, Britain has embraced Big Brother

Frankly, whether Scotland goes or Scotland stays, once-Great Britain is dead. It’s death was a slow-mo, stupidity-driven suicide:

Orwell understood:

Orwell on an unfree society's hatred for the truth

Chris Christie — Obama’s ideological heir when it comes to Israel

Chris ChristieWhen Chris Christie burst upon the scene, I admired him for being willing to do what no other American politician would:  tackle the teacher’s union head on.  He was articulate and unafraid.  I still admire him for that.  But as time went by, we learned a bit more about Christie.  It began to seem that his willingness to stand up to the teacher’s union wasn’t necessarily a principled stand, but was a bully’s attack on an entity with which he didn’t wish to share power.  Conservatives were also put off by his open embrace of Barack Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a piece of over-the-top theatrics that exceeded even what a Democrat governor might be expected to do.

And worst of all, from my viewpoint, we learned — over and over and over — that, when push comes to shove, Chris Christie will always side with Islamic and Saudi interests against American interests.  At first, those stories sounded like nasty rumors.  They then piled up enough to present a picture of a man who’s made a decision about which side he prefers in the America v. Islam debate, and it’s not the side I choose.  Should you have any further doubt about that, Daniel Pipes details how Christie has bought the Palestinian “occupation” narrative hook, line, and sinker.

In other words, it looks as if any Christie presidency would be an Obama redux:  bullying, corruption, and antisemitism.  I can do without that, so Chris Christie, the man who once seemed to have so much promise, is hereby knocked off my list of potential presidential candidates.

Quick links, pre-Christmas Eve edition

Victorian posy of pansiesI have a legal memo to write, so of course I had to check out all sorts of stuff on the internet first.  Here’s a quick run-down.

The Left loves to talk about McCarthyism.  The Left also loves to practice McCarthyism.  John O’Sullivan reminds us that GLAAD’s approach to the Robertson clan is a perfect example of the old-fashioned blacklist:  destroying the livelihood of those who hold that wrong belief system.  Whether you’re a baker, or a photographer, or a TV figure, if you don’t support gay marriage, plan to be driven to the poor house.  It was a bad idea in the 1950s, and it’s a bad idea now.

Not only did Glenn Reynolds write his usual great USA Today column (this one about Obama’s bad 2013 and the probability that 2014 will be worse), but he opened with a Soviet-era joke.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that most Soviet-era jokes need few or no changes to work in Obama’s America.

I’ve spoken before at this blog about the execrable Peter Singer, who holds an endowed chair at Princeton, who is the intellectual father of PETA, and who believes parents should have a 30 day window within which to euthanize handicapped newborns.  (Never mind that those handicaps may hide brilliant minds and powerful souls.)  I thought of Singer when I read Matt Walsh’s powerful post about the chasm between those who understand that we must support life and those who embrace death (the deaths of others, of course; never of themselves).

Rand Paul gets an A+++ for his wonderful embrace of Festivus.  If you haven’t read the stream of tweets he sent out, you must.  They’re clever, charming, and very on point.  As a political move, Paul couldn’t have done better.

Yes, Obamacare drives up the cost of health insurance for the middle class.  But if you’re a member of the middle class who’s upset about the costly lies Obama told you (less money! same doctors!), apparently you should quit your whining.  You are merely a sacrifice to the greater good.

Beware that, if the Muslim nations have their way, it will henceforth be illegal to mention Muslims’ propensity for violence or any of the other less savory aspects of their faith. Of course, such a law will simply put a legal gloss on what’s already happening.  After all, hasn’t the administration told us repeatedly that the Fort Hood massacre was “workplace violence,” while the Benghazi massacre was a film review run amok?  No Muslims here.  Just move along.

The headlines proclaim that Obama signed up for Obamacare.  Except that he didn’t — as with everything else about Obamacare, Obama and his team are lying to us again.

Plucked from the Twittter feed

The lede says it all: “90% of Top Newspaper Headlines Censor Islam in Nairobi, Pakistan Attacks : Generic ‘terrorists’ and ‘militants’ appear in nine of 10 headlines.”  Doesn’t anybody read their Harry Potter anymore?  I’m quite sure it was the sensible, intelligent, brave Hermione who said that the refusal to name your enemy leaves you incapable of defending against him (or words to that effect).

Obama promised that, under Obamacare, health insurance premiums would drop by $2,500 for a family of four.  He was off by about $10,000.  In fact, premiums for a middle class family of four will increase by almost $7,500.  I do believe that all of us here saw that coming.  Insurance is no longer a question of statistical risk (i.e., the insurance company assesses the likelihood at any given time that it will have to pay out on a specific policy, and adjusts to price accordingly) but is simply wealth redistribution.  The moment the law mandated that people can wait to get insurance until they’re actually sick, it was all over.  The insurance companies are just conduits now, that funnel money from the middle class to the poor.

Obamacare wasn’t a principled (albeit stupid, communist) committed to improving America’s medical care.  Instead, it was a campaign slogan:

The most important red line of Barack Obama’s presidency was scrawled hastily in January 2007, a few weeks before he even announced he was running for president.

Soon-to-be-candidate Obama, then an Illinois senator, was thinking about turning down an invitation to speak at a big health care conference sponsored by the progressive group Families USA, when two aides, Robert Gibbs and Jon Favreau, hit on an idea that would make him appear more prepared and committed than he actually was at the moment.

Why not just announce his intention to pass universal health care by the end of his first term?

[snip]

“We needed something to say,” recalled one of the advisers involved in the discussion. “I can’t tell you how little thought was given to that thought other than it sounded good. So they just kind of hatched it on their own. It just happened. It wasn’t like a deep strategic conversation.”

And that, my children, is how Obamacare was born.

Glenn Reynolds takes a look at why Obama is pushing something that Americans have hated from the beginning and, now that they’re learning what’s in it, are hating even more.

Please consider this an Open Thread.

Found it on Facebook: Muslim “minority ” views and sexual identity

1.  One of my conservative friends posted this on Facebook:

Minority rights in Muslim countries

2.  And one other great find on Facebook, apropros Bradley Manning’s announcement that, henceforth, he is to be known as a girl named “Chelsea”:  “Breaking news! Due to an administrative error today, Bradley Manning was martyred and Maj Hassan was given gender reassignment surgery.”

As for me, I’m wondering whether the Left might not think it the slightest bit embarrassing that one of their treasured “gender confused” people committed treason against America.  Oh, never mind!  I keep forgetting that, on the Left, treason against America is a good thing.

As for me, I’m not the first and won’t be the last to say that Monty Python got it when it came to gender transformations:

The Mayan Apocalypse and the end of the world . . . as we know it

Mayan Apocalypse

According to the much sneered at, and much feared, Mayan Apocalypse, tomorrow marks the end of the world.  I’m inclined to believe this is true.  I don’t, however, expect the earth to explode into a giant ball of cosmic dust or some plague rivaling the Black Death.  What I do see, however, is change on a massive scale, greater even than that which occurred when the Soviet Union collapsed.

The changes we’ll see began four years ago and will now accelerate.  They relate directly to Barack Obama and the three defining characteristics of his presidency:  fiscal irresponsibility, weak world leadership, and a realignment of American interests in Europe and the Middle East.

Going out of business

On the economic front, what we can expect in the future is continued American decline, with Americans expecting and accepting a constantly lower standard of living.  The Progressives have us on the road to regression:  little houses; little, unsafe cars; empty store fronts; increased homelessness; product shortages; and, of course, the social unrest the inevitably follows upon economic instability or decline.  In other words, the end of the American world as we know it.

Chinese military

Around the world, Russia, although declining in population and plagued internally by corruption and want, will do what it always does when things are bad:  attack.  It will continue to flex its muscles by making mischief.  It doesn’t care if it goes down, provided that America’s might precedes it.

China, for all its woes (unbalanced population growth, corruption, killer pollution, etc.) will continue its quest to be the world military power.  The world should fear this.  America used its dominant military power to spread individual freedom as much as possible; China’s power will be more imperialist in nature.

The EU, which was touted just a decade ago as the wave of the future, will collapse.  European states will begin feuding with each other over resources.  While that might feel like “same old, same old,” since Europeans have feuded for thousands of years, this go round will be different:  each state will have within it a Fifth Column that unites to bring all of Europe down and re-shape it into a new model.

And now, a brief, but important digression:

Karl Marx

One of the things Marx believed was that the great worker’s revolution he foresaw would transcend national borders.  Remember the slogan “Workers of the world, unite”?  Marx was certain that, within the industrialized nations, the workers would abandon national fealty and join with each other against their capitalist overlords.

Had Marx been correct, World War I would have been the worker’s moment.  Even as the great powers declared war against each other, the workers ought to have laid down their arms and embraced each other across the battle field.  This didn’t happen.  German, English, and French workers put nationalism ahead of everything.

The workers’ revolution Marx expected to sweep the industrial world happened instead in backwards, agrarian Russia.  Stalin then had to retrofit the supposedly “inevitable” industrial revolution by starving his independent peasant class to death, but that’s another story….

And now, back to the point of this post:

Muslim women London

While Marx was wrong about the 19th and early-20th century workers’ allegiance to their nation versus their allegiance, he was correct to envision a group that has loyalty to its unique identity separate from the nations in which its members reside.  This group, of course, is Muslims.

Over the past few decades, all of the European nations have invited tens of thousands of Muslims into their borders.  These Muslims have refused to integrate, living, instead, in segregated enclaves that have often become laws unto themselves.  Within these enclosed communities, the Imam’s preach jihad:  the violent overthrow of all world governments, followed by a Sharia world.

When the European pact disintegrates, the powers that be will discover that, even as Germany feuds with France over resources, the Muslims within both those nations form an allegiance that sees them turn against their host countries.  The result will be ugly and there won’t be a strong America to stop it.

Obama's bitch is Egyptian dictator

And then there are Barack Obama’s profound alignment shifts.  Both by inclination and calculation, Obama has decided that the old world order, the one that’s been in place pretty much since the end of WWII, isn’t correct.  America shouldn’t be palling around with Western nations, which he believes are responsible for Third World oppression.  Instead, Obama looks to the Muslim world as the wave of the future.  He cultivates increasingly Islamist Turkey; encourages the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise in Egypt; is assiduously neutral towards Iran, to the point of cooperation with its nuclear aspirations; and has cold-shouldered and isolated westernized, democratic Israel.

This is a volte face of staggering proportions and implications.  America has now become a prop for the worst kind of dictatorships.  Moreover, these are the dictatorships that will fund the Muslim Fifth Column in Europe.  Now that Obama has more flexibility, he will accelerate this trend.

Obama’s desire to nominate Chuck Hagel as the Secretary of Defense, although that seems to have stalled for now, perfectly reflects Obama’s New World Order, one that sees a weak America mistreating Israel and cozying up to Muslim dictatorships.

All of which leads me to say that the Mayan Apocalypse is on our doorstep.  We just didn’t have the wit or foresight to imagine what it would look like.

End of the world

Jonah Goldberg gets to the heart of the matter about Islam and the First Amendment

I wish I’d said it this well:

It’s really quite amazing. In Pakistan, Egypt, and the Palestinian territories, Christians are being harassed, brutalized, and even murdered, often with state support, or at least state indulgence. And let’s not even talk about the warm reception Jews receive in much of the Muslim world.

And yet, it seems you can’t turn on National Public Radio or open a newspaper or a highbrow magazine without finding some oh-so-thoughtful meditation on how anti-Islamic speech should be considered the equivalent of shouting “fire” in a movie theater.

It’s an interesting comparison. First, the prohibition on yelling “fire” in a theater only applies to instances where there is no fire. A person who yells “fire” when there is, in fact, a fire is quite likely a hero. I’m not saying that the people ridiculing Mohammed — be they the makers of the Innocence of Muslims trailer or the editors of a French magazine — have truth on their side. But blasphemy is not a question of scientific fact, merely of opinion. And in America we give a very wide legal berth to the airing of such opinions. Loudly declaring “it is my opinion there is a fire in here” is not analogous to declaring “it is my opinion that Mohammed was a blankety-blank.”

You know why? Because Muslims aren’t fire, they’re people. And fire isn’t a sentient entity, it is a force of nature bereft of choice or cognition of any kind. Just as water seeks its own level, fire burns what it can burn. Muslims have free will. If they choose to riot, that’s not the same thing as igniting a fire.

America’s caste system when it comes to mass murder

The caste system to which I refer in my post title is not the shrieks and threats arising from the media’s trial, judgment, and conviction of George Zimmerman.  Instead, I’m talking about the way in which the media and establishment have different expectations depending whether Muslims are accused of killing non-Muslims, or non-Muslims are accused of killing Muslims.  I didn’t come to this realization myself.  Instead, it was part of an email that has been forwarded several times, to the point at which the original author’s identity has vanished:

After reading the headlines about SSgt Bales, the US soldier who shot up Afghanistan civilians, I couldn’t help noticing an irony. There is all this clamor to try this guy quickly and execute him, never mind his having suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Yet this Major Hasan, who shot up Fort Hood while screaming Allah akbar, still hasn’t stood trial and they are still debating whether he was insane even with the clear evidence regarding his motive: slay as many infidels as possible.

So we have a guy in a war zone who cracks, and he must be executed immediately. But this Muslim psychiatrist who was stateside in a nice safe office all day murders 13 and wounds 29 of our own guys and they try to argue the poor man suffered post-traumatic stress syndrome from listening to real soldiers who had actual battle experience.

Two and a half years later, they still haven’t tried the murderous bastard.