Second Amendment posters always come first in the Bookworm Beat, because without the Second Amendment, the Bill of Rights is a dead letter — and so are we.
Second Amendment posters always come first in the Bookworm Beat, because without the Second Amendment, the Bill of Rights is a dead letter — and so are we.
While we’re paying attention to Russia’s corrupt dance with the Obama administration and the Clintons, don’t forget that Islam is still at war in Europe.
My wanderings across the internet today put two closely related things before my eyes, one of which is a news report and the other an analysis. First, from the Daily Caller, the news:
The number of terrorism-related cases investigated by German authorities have quadrupled over the past year, newspaper Welt am Sonntag revealed Sunday.
Prosecutors have opened more than 900 cases so far this year, compared to 240 throughout 2016. Just 80 cases related to terrorism reached the courts in 2013.
The federal prosecutors office can’t keep up with the increase and nearly 300 cases have been transferred to the state level. Not all cases involve plans to carry out attacks. Migrants from Syran [sic], Iraq and Afghanistan have been tried over alleged membership in terror groups without being suspected of planning attacks on European soil.
Germany’s federal police (BKA) estimates 705 Islamist extremists are willing to carry out terror attacks, up from 600 during an estimate in February. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) recently said around 24,400 Islamists are active in the country but most of them don’t pose an immediate terror threat.
Up until a couple of years ago, most of Germany’s Muslims were fairly well-integrated Turks who hadn’t been too poisoned by Erdogan’s increasing Islamism in the home country. This new batch, though, is something quite different. Germany only needs to look to France to see what happens once Islam really get its teeth into a European country.
A portmanteau post addressing Antifa, Puerto Rico and Mayor Cruz, and the problem of minorities who try to bend society to their will.
The items in this post bear no relationship to each other, unless you want to say that the first demonstrates how to undermine a civilized, pluralist society, while the second shows how a minority within that society is supposed to balance benefits and burdens. Oh, and there’ll be a detour into Puerto Rico. Still, as I have other things to do, this post is a little bit jumbled.
The first thing I want to bring to your attention is Steve Crowder’s video about going undercover with Antifa in Utah. The two take-aways are (1) that Antifa people are weird losers who get excited by violence and bloodshed and (2) that the media does not want to know about Antifa. It doesn’t fit the narrative and the media is about nothing but narrative:
Speaking of narrative, I’m going to slip one more thing in here, which is the media’s burgeoning narrative that the devastation in Puerto Rico is Trump’s fault for failing to react quickly. In fact, there’s every indication that Trump had FEMA and the military ready to roll. The problem seems to be that Puerto Rico, which is Democrat-governed, has no infrastructure. It also kicked the Navy out a couple of decades ago, meaning (a) that there’s no embedded Navy in place to help and (b) that it kissed good-bye the hundreds of millions that the Navy would have contributed to the economy. [Read more…]
It’s been 16 years, but for those of us who remember September 11, 2001, the memories are still raw. Here’s a round-up of interesting and moving articles.
These are articles and videos about September 11, both remembrances and analyses, that caught my eye during my morning reading. Some are old, some are new, and all are good. The links are not in any particular order.
Robert Avrech notes that we have met this enemy before — Islam is Amalek, the slayer of innocents. Whitewashing that doesn’t change the reality; it just destroys our defenses.
Danny Lewin was a technological genius — and also the first victim on September 11 as he sought to prevent the attack.
Gerard Vanderleun republishes the contemporaneous notes he made on and immediately after September 11. They are visceral, compelling reading.
Glenn Reynolds’ remembrance today is a bit of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose affair. The Left seems determined to ensure that we experience a terrorist version of Groundhog Day in perpetuity.
Hurricanes are normal, but Trump Derangement Syndrome obscures that fact. Of course, those subject to TDS are deranged in other ways as well. Just look….
Before I get to the meat of this post — or, because it’s a round-up, the various meats of this post — I want to remind everyone that America has always been subject to ferocious hurricanes. They just seem worse today because we have more population in a hurricane’s path, especially when it’s an Irma-like hurricane, and because we have a 24 hour media that makes everything seem local.
In other ways, though, we’re better off when faced with hurricanes because we can prepare. In 1900, Galveston, Texas, residents did not see their Cat 4 hurricane coming. It killed 6,000 – 12,000 people, making it the deadliest natural disaster in American history. For a list of other major hurricanes in the last 400 years, the bulk of which predate “climate change” and struck out-of-the-blue, go here. You’ll see that America was especially hard hit in the 1700s, long before CO2 was an issue.
Obviously, I don’t mean to downplay our two latest hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, both of which are or will be responsible for staggering property damage and, always, the loss of too many lives. I just want to amp down the usual climate change hysteria that’s accompanying this latest display of Nature’s normal.
And with that, let me turn my attention to all the other interesting things I’ve gathered, many of which reflect poorly on those most deeply lost to TDS.
Hillary admits her incompetence. Hillary has been on the warpath with her new book, blaming everything and everybody for her loss. She’s also admitted that she was incapable of speech on election eve because she was so devastated and that it was male advisers who caused her to react less strongly to both Trump and Bernie than she thinks in retrospect that she ought to have done. (Oh, and Trump “creeped” her out.)
So Hillary has just admitted that she’s incompetent in a crisis and incapable of standing up to men. Most of Hillary’s opponents at home and abroad would have been men, men like Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un, or Bashir al-Assad. Her latest book is just another reminder that we dodged a serious bullet when Trump won.
Europe’s Muslim future. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris, sees which way the wind is blowing and he understands that, not only is Eurabia fast approaching, but that Western Europe leaders are hastening its inevitability:
Europe’s leaders seem to have neither the will nor the means to oppose the incoming waves of millions of Muslim migrants from Africa and the Middle East. They know that terrorists are hiding among the migrants, but still do not vet them. Instead, they resort to subterfuges and lies. They create “deradicalization” programs that do not work: the “radicals,” it seems, do not want to be “deradicalized.”
Europe’s leaders try to define “radicalization” as a symptom of “mental illness”; they consider asking psychiatrists to solve the mess. Then, they talk about creating a “European Islam“, totally different from the Islam elsewhere on Earth. They take on haughty postures to create the illusion of moral superiority, as Ada Colau and Carles Puigdemont did in Barcelona: they say they have high principles; that Barcelona will remain “open” to immigrants. Angela Merkel refuses to face the consequences of her policy to import countless migrants. She chastises countries in Central Europe that refuse to adopt her policies.
European leaders can see that a demographic disaster is taking place. They know that in two or three decades, Europe will be ruled by Islam. They try to anesthetize non-Muslim populations with dreams about an idyllic future that will never exist. They say that Europe will have to learn to live with terrorism, that there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Pat Condell is another prophet who is being ignored:
Meanwhile, Britain prepares its citizens for dhimmitude. Several of my gay Leftist Facebook friends proudly posted a WaPo op-ed announcing that all the grim prophecies preceding legalizing gay marriage failed to come true. It is true that heterosexual marriage is cratering at pretty much the same rate as before, so one can’t say that same-sex marriage killed it. The article also essentially claims that America is better than ever because Christian bakers are being put out of business.
It’s that last point, of course, that’s the giveaway about the real target of gay marriage. Gay marriage, as I’ve said over and over, was never about competing with straight marriage and it was unlikely to affect straight marriage. What it was about was undercutting traditional values, especially if those values came from the church. Kill the traditional church (and the synagogue) and you kill the West. It’s heart goes out of it.
(Before I go further, let me say again, that I have no trouble whatsoever with same-sex civil unions. If states want to legalize same sex partnerships, that’s fine with me. I support people who enter into stable relationships. It’s the way the whole issue was framed as gay “marriage” that disturbs me deeply. Doing that made these unions the basis for a concerted attack against traditional Western values as a whole.)
If you really want to see where gay marriage leads, check out this Australian Spectator article detailing the way in which gay marriage has been used to attack core Western values, not to mention to destroy the integrity of our biological selves. I’ll focus on the gender and children sections, but you should read the whole thing: [Read more…]
The upcoming Winston Churchill biopic reminds us that a nation’s elite tend to have nothing but disdain for an indispensable man — a man such as Trump.
I tend to be leery of biopics because I hate having my history filtered through Hollywood. It always grates on me when I hear a parent explain to a child that this or that movie “is history.” No, it’s not. History is history. All books and movies are merely interpretations and retellings of that history, with some retellings being a whole lot better than others.
Hollywood has always taken liberties with its biopics. There’s the happily married, completely heterosexual Cole Porter in Night and Day (Porter’s homosexuality got better treatment in the otherwise awful De-Lovely); the cutely Irish, completely heterosexual, almost impressively non-Jewish Lorenz Hart in Words and Music (Hart was a brilliant, anguished Jewish homosexual); the charmingly goyish Jerome Kern in Till the Clouds Roll By (Kern was another Jewish kid from New York); and on and on, in an endless parade of movies both old and new in which history takes a backseat to marketability and prejudice.
I tend to know old musicals, but if you’re really interested in the liberties Hollywood takes, I recommend History v. Hollywood, a website that tackles the challenge of separating historic fact from Hollywood fiction. (The Desmond Doss/Hacksaw Ridge post is especially compelling.) Some of the changes make sense, such as time compression or composite characters. After all, a two-hour movie can only touch the high points of a real person’s life or a history event. Other changes, though . . . well, I have a three-letter word for you: JFK.
Knowing Hollywood’s general tendency to bastardize stories, and its modern tendency to go hard-Left in its rewrites, explains why I’m not 100% enthused about the upcoming film Darkest Hour, which is the newest Churchill biopic, due out at Thanksgiving. Gawd alone knows what the movie will do to Churchill’s amazing ascendency in the early months of World War II. Still, the first trailer hints at a movie in which the historic license might be reasonable and the historic facts might be true:
What I find fascinating about the trailer is that it seems to focus so tightly on the elite’s contempt for Churchill. After all, technically speaking, he was one of them — he came from wealth and the uppermost of upper castes in an aristocratic society — yet in practical terms he was not of them at all. He fundamentally offended their values, values that, in the years following WWI, leaned to pure pacifism and a naïve faith in the power of words and sophistication to face down predators.
Is it just me or does that remind you of what’s going on now with Donald Trump? Technically, he should be seen as one of the elite. He came from a monied background that, while not making him a member of America’s self-styled blue bloods, was certainly enough to make him a natural candidate for America’s elite.
But instead of constantly congratulating himself on his sophistication and elegance, Trump instead turned into a scrapper. His wealth wasn’t based on paper exchanges through banking deals or tinkering about with electronics; it was made in the hard-charging world of New York property development.
Moreover, once had made his billions, Trump didn’t endow universities that already have more money than God or subsidize symphonies that can’t make in the free market. Instead, he spent his money on parties, beauty contests, and gilt-furnished penthouses in shockingly excessive buildings.
Trump is a class traitor. No wonder the upper echelons of the American Left, the ones who call the shots with help of all the useful idiots they’ve engineered in America’s colleges and universities, despise him as they do. [Read more…]
Modern Islam uses burqas, niqabs, and hijabs to control women. It wasn’t always this way, as a 1958 speech by Egyptian President Nasser shows.
Throughout the Muslim world — and, increasingly, throughout Europe and America — women are “appearing in public” in hijabs (head scarfs), burqas (full body tents), and niqabs (veils covering all but their eyes). I placed the phrase “appearing in public” in scare quotes because the more accurate phrase would be “disappearing from public.”
In many places, it is irrelevant whether women want to hide themselves in this way. Laws and frequently violent social strictures force them to cover themselves. A few examples will suffice:
Here’s just a little sampling of the burqas and niqabs that Islam imposes on women, whether they want to wear them or not: [Read more…]
Following the 9th Circuit’s tyrannical refugees ruling, here is astute visual commentary as well as links to cogent analyses of the decision’s myriad flaws.
In honor of Judge Derrick K. Watson’s 43-page, law free rant against Donald Trump’s perfectly constitutional executive order, today I’m offering you a special illustrated edition devoted to refugees from Muslim lands. Before I get to the posters, though, a few pages about Watson’s verbal vomit.
A federal judge’s responsibility is very simple: apply the law to the undisputed facts. “The law” in this context means the Constitution, statutes, regulations, and the vast body of previously published federal legal opinions. Despite throwing a few case names around, Watson’s opinion boils down to this: I don’t like Trump, I don’t agree with Trump, and even though the executive order is facially unremarkable, I’m not letting him get away with asserting a position that disagrees with mine. In other words, this is the kind of Leftist judicial activism that made me, a lawyer practicing thirty years in the San Francisco Bay Area — i.e., the land of activist judges from the Ninth Circuit on down — conclude that, unless proven otherwise, judges are stupid, arrogant, uninformed Leftist tyrants.
For a more nuanced analysis of Watson’s steaming pile of . . . ahem, I recommend (1) Ben Shapiro’s analysis; (2) David French’s analysis; (3) John Hinderaker’s analysis; (4) Ed Straker’s analysis; (5) Roger Kimball’s analysis; and (6) Mollie Hemingway’s analysis.
Because Judge Watson seems confused about the nature of the refugees President Trump is trying to vet in order to protect Americans, I thought it would be useful to remind us who these refugees are and where they come from:
Sherif Gaber, an Egyptian dissident in hiding, takes a look at Islam’s bloody history of conquest and concludes that ISIS is extremely Islamic.
If you haven’t heard the name Sherif Gaber, allow me to educate you about a brave man who, having had an epiphany about the Islamic world in which he was raised, tries his best, even while living in hiding, to educate the world about Islam’s true face. He does not indict all Muslims, but he understands the truth of the faith in which he was raised and will speak about it.
As best as I can tell, until early 2013, when he finally spoke up while a student at the Suez Canal University in Ismailia, Egypt, Gaber was not trying to change the Muslim world. He shared his ideas on social media, but otherwise did not advertise that he was skeptical about some Islamic doctrine. That changed when the professor in his “science” class announced this bit of “scientific” Islamic wisdom: “Homosexuality is a sin. Gays and lesbians shall be crucified in the middle of the streets, stoned, and burned to death!”
Rather than silently accepting this murderous religious indictment in the context of a science class, Gaber spoke up, suggesting that the science class actually look at homosexuality from a scientific, rather than moralistic, perspective. The professor turned on Gaber, harassing and threatening him for the remainder of the class.
Now that the professor knew that Gaber craved knowledge even if it ran counter to Islamic doctrine, the professor joined with other faculty members to scour Gaber’s social media pages for anything that could be deemed “un-Islamic.” The professor than gave to the public prosecutor the papers he had printed up from Gaber’s Facebook. To add insult to injury, he also gave Gaber an “F” in the class.
In October 2013, the state police raided Gaber’s home and arrested him. Eventually, Gaber was released from prison when he paid the government 7500 Egyptian pounds (about $420), 2500 of which was for the “Contempt of Religion” charge and 5000 was for “spreading immoral values and abnormal thoughts that provoke and disturb the public peace and the national security of Egypt.” This payment did not settle the matter. It was more akin to bail, and the government continued to prosecute its case against Gaber.
Eventually, in February 2015, the Egyptian government sentenced Gaber to a year in jail for his seditious un-Islamic activity. Rather than paying 1,000 Egyptian pounds for the right to an appeal, Gaber went into hiding. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
From his hiding place, the internet is giving Gaber a voice. He’s making videos in which he says all of the things that he could not freely say in Egypt. The ones that interest me most are those aimed directly at moderate Muslims and soft-minded Westerners.
In last week’s L.A. Jewish Journal, editor Rob Eshman celebrated the fact that his wife, Rabbi Naomi Levi, sent out a huge virtue-signal about Muslim immigration: Bring ’em on; I’m not afraid!! After brooding on that bit of suicidal idiocy for a few days, my friend Lulu was moved to write a rebuttal, reminding Eshman, Levi, and any other virtue-signaling Jews (and Christians) out there that we have ample real-time proof the Muslims desperate to get into America are no like any other immigrants America has ever welcomed. I think you’ll find that, as I do, you agree with Lulu:
After the shock of 911, I realize that my response was to do something different than the vast majority of people in my liberal town/state. Instead of reading about how frightened Muslim-Americans felt about the inevitable anti-Muslim backlash (which never happened) from journalists who didn’t seem to know much about Islam, I went straight to the source, or as close to the source as I could as a non Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, or other Muslim majority country language speaker. That is, I went to YouTube and to Memri.org and I listened to what Muslim people tell each other on their own television shows, news shows, and in their newspapers. Memri translates all this without judgment. They just expose the mentality, values and trends of parts of the world we must know more about. Some of the clips are horrifying. Some messages from reform minded people are hopeful. But what is obvious is that the cultures and values are hugely, enormously different than our own.
I saw television clips of preachers giving lessons on the proper techniques of wife beating. I saw discussions and sermons promoting the murder of apostates and infidels (that is, non-Muslims). I saw the basest of anti-Semitism, including blood libels, promulgated. I watched young Palestinian children on kiddie shows being encouraged to become suicide martyrs and murder Jews. I saw the defense of honor killings, female genital mutilation and support for the denial of rights for women as normative and right.
We all know how the Internet works. One link leads to another. I then saw articles about the pedophilia in Afghanistan, the kidnapped young boys forced to dance for men and perform sexually for them. I saw articles about young female children, under the age of ten sometimes, married to grown men or middle aged men who raped them. I read about young wives locked in their homes, so miserable and desperate to end their suffering that they literally set themselves on fire as their only means to escape. Picture after picture reveals the horror. I read about Christians burned, beaten, and stoned to death, their daughters kidnapped and forced to serve as sex slaves. I read about young couples who dared to fall in love dragged out of prison (jailed for being together) and beaten to death by lynch mobs. I read and saw pictures of gays tossed off buildings and hung in public squares. I read about the horrible mistreatment of animals; beasts of burden, dogs, bear baiting.
I would look at these source materials and think, how can America’s journalists not be aware of this? How can they be so naïve? But no one really wanted to look at these readily available films, photos and articles. They were uncomfortable, painful and challenged cherished points of view that all cultures were equally good or bad, we all worship the same God, and other Coke commercial clichés.
So I have watched with horror and dismay as Sweden, perhaps the most self-congratulatory nation on the planet, in a noble experiment and to atone for Swedes’ blond hair and fair complexions, took in an enormous number of people, primarily young men, from these precise cultures . . . expecting what to happen, exactly? Beautiful integration? Sexually outré Swedish metrosexuals sipping coffee with people who viewed them with contempt? No, the Swedes embraced their immigrants with wide open arms and assumed they’d be reciprocated with gratitude and worldwide accolades. Instead, Sweden has become known as the rape capital of Europe. Values collide. Just a few weeks ago, a group of Afghan asylum recipients filmed themselves on Facebook-live gang raping a young Swedish woman. Tack sa mycket, Sverige!
Because the media is working overtime to out-and-out lie, or just subtly misrepresent, Trump’s immigration stay, ordinary people are having to do the media’s job. That’s what my friend John did, and he came up with something simple, straightforward, and singularly illuminating:
The Progressives on my real-me Facebook feed are having a collective mental collapse in response to President Trump’s new immigration order. Typically, their behavior is predicated, not upon actual facts, but upon media propaganda and their own factual and historic ignorance. This post will rebut the worst, most misleading of these arguments, which is the claim Jews and all other decent people must accept unlimited refugees from Muslim countries because Hitler.
My Facebook feed is being inundated with the fallacy holding that, unless we allow unlimited immigration from those seven terrorist-fomenting Muslim countries, we’re no better than America in the late 1930s, when it refused to allow in Jewish refugees, most of whom perished in the Holocaust.
Most especially, because I am a Jew, the Progressives insist I should be on the front-line in the war against the immigration order, screaming “Stop! Don’t take any of these people in the country.” This is a morally evil argument predicated upon ignorance and misrepresentation.
Before I rebut the argument, here’s a sampling of the “reductio ad Hitlerlum” garbage littering my Facebook feed in the wake of Trump’s immigration order. Let’s start with Dr. Seuss, shall we?
Blacks and Muslims should be angry at their criminal cohorts, not at us. In the context of an article about political correctness, Andrew Klavan said something I’ve been struggling to say for some time. He acknowledges that blacks are on the receiving end of much more police activity, something frustrating and insulting to law-abiding blacks, but that’s because the black community’s bad eggs commit a disproportionate amount of American crime. Likewise, because children have big mouths, perfectly nice Muslim kids in school find themselves being called terrorists, reflecting the fact that acts of mass violence all over the world come primarily from their co-religionists. That’s certainly not nice, but Klavan says that law-abiding blacks and Muslims are putting blame in the wrong place:
It seems to me if you are an innocent black person being troubled by the cops, if you are an innocent Muslim under suspicion from your neighbors, the people you should be angry at, the people to blame, are not the people acting on rational suspicion. The people at fault are the bad guys who have drawn that suspicion unfairly onto you.
A black man targeted by the police shouldn’t be angry at the police. He should be angry at the thugs and criminals who look like him and make his race a target. And before Muslims blame non-Muslims for the prejudice against them, maybe they ought to look to — and openly condemn — those Muslims who have given their religion a very bad name indeed.
The problem is prejudice, yes. But it’s the tribal prejudice that says we should blame others before we blame “our own.” “Our own” are the good guys, no matter what race or religion we are.
Someone should read those words out loud at the Republican Party Convention. They’re very important.
I’ll be away all day tomorrow, first doing an activity with the kids, and then listening to this year’s best a cappella groups (although this wonderful group from Israel won’t be there). I therefore hope that this post gives you lots of interesting stuff to read on Saturday.
Pro-Trump? Anti-Trump? Pro-GOP? Anti-GOP? Pro-Conservative? Anti-Conservative? Who the heck knows anymore? Trump’s ascendancy has caused normally staid, solid, and scholarly conservatives to become wildly partisan for or against Trump.
I was listening to someone explain a seizure yesterday, and he described it as all the neurons firing simultaneously and randomly. American conservatives are having a seizure.
Anyway, I thought I’d consolidate in one place some of the differing viewpoints about Trump and about how best to serve America over the long haul. As you know, my hot buttons are the Supreme Court; the Second Amendment; Israel’s security, because it’s the right thing to do and because Israel is the world’s “canary in a coal mine”; and naming and then fighting the evil that is fundamentalist, radical Islam. With those hot buttons front and center, I’ve switched from #NeverTrump, which was my position when the primaries were contested, to #NeverHillary.
My dream candidate is, and has been since 2013, Ted Cruz, but that dream is dashed. Here, in reality-land, I believe that the Republican party is dead whether or not Trump wins, and that conservativism needs to be re-taught to Americans from the ground up, just as they were taught Leftism from the ground up over the past 40 years, with the Leftist takeover of American education, news, and entertainment. If Hillary gets to appoint Supreme Court justices, destroy the Second Amendment, abandon Israel, and take policy advice from the Muslim Brotherhood figures who surround her (and even sleep with her for alleged health reasons) I think America will be too destroyed ever to rebuild.
I’ve assembled here a good collection of pro and con posts about Trump’s candidacy. I have no idea if reading all of them will clarify things for you or further confuse you, but they are all interesting:
A couple of weeks ago, news came out of England that “Muslim staff at a Bradford Council-run care home stopped patients eating pork pies and bacon sandwiches because of their religious beliefs, a report found.” Most of the people denied their pork pies and bacon sandwiches had no recourse: “Wagtail Close has a respite care facility and is home to people living with physical disabilities, sensory loss, brain injury or learning disabilities.” This is not a population with a great deal of market mobility.
I linked to the story on my real-me Facebook page, and one of my gay friends had a predictable response: “This sounds just like public servants who refuse to issue wedding licenses, bakers who won’t bake wedding cakes, photographers who won’t do gay marriages, and venues that won’t rent to gay weddings. And they all do in the name of religion and religious freedom.”
Can you spot what’s wrong with my friend’s argument? I spotted it immediately and have been meaning to write about it for days, although life kept intervening. In the first situation, religious fanatics impose their belief on a helpless population that lacks any ability to avoid the fanaticism. In the second situation, religious fanatics also impose their belief on a helpless population that lacks any ability to avoid the fanaticism.
But . . . you have to have a very careful scorecard to understand that, in the second situation, the religious fanatics aren’t the ones the Leftists would have us believe are trying to impose their doctrine on others.