Why Phil Robertson won’t apologize *UPDATED*

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If Phil Robertson continues his refusal to bow down to the gods of political correctness, Lee Habeeb will have explained why:

It had never happened before. When big, powerful TV executives ask a star to apologize for what they deem inappropriate comments or behavior, the star simply complies. A team of publicists is assembled, the star does the obligatory apology tour for the press and promises never to do or say what he did or said again. Ever.

But the TV gods never met a man like Phil Robertson. Or his family. When they decided to place the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan on a non-suspension suspension for his comments to a GQ magazine writer about homosexuality, the executives at A&E created a problem.

Because this family believes in a bigger God. The same God that roughly 70 percent of Americans believe in. The Robertsons take their faith seriously, and one of the more important elements of that faith involves putting no god before theirs. Not even the suits at the big network.

Read the rest (and all of it is worth reading) here.

I don’t know about you, but I am entranced by the notion of someone who won’t be bullied into apologizing for something he believes.  Social bullying has never appealed to me.  And if you want to see how bad that bullying is, you can see that GLAAD makes old Joe McCarthy look like an amateur.

UPDATEA&E caved.  Let’s hope other conservatives will learn to stick to their guns.

 

The horrible racism and cruelty of political correctness

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) occurs at the intersection of Africa and Islam — meaning brown people and black people.  It involves taking a little girl and cutting off her clitoris and, perhaps, her labia.  In extreme circumstances, it means sewing together the opening to her vagina.  It’s purpose is a simple one:  to destroy sexual pleasure or even the possibility of sex.  If sex is possible, it’s painful.  Of course, for all these little girls, sex will still be an imperative when they are grown (or, in same cases, almost grown) and forced to marry.

Aside from the horrible mutilation, the process itself is medieval too.  It’s done without anesthetics and using the most primitive instruments, including rusty, dull razor blades.  The notion of sanitation is laughable.

There is absolutely nothing good that can be said about FGM.  Unlike circumcision (which I understand many decry), it is not a covenant with God, it does not provide a sanitary function (whether in the Sinai desert or elsewhere), and it does not help prevent sexually transmitted diseases.  It is solely about control and denying women sexual pleasure as one means of that control.

Every right thinking person in the world should be opposed to it.  It is the modern equivalent of the suttee (or sati) that the English Governor-General of India, William Bentinck brought to an end.  That practice, of course, involved a widowed wife crawling onto her dead husband’s funeral pyre to be burned alive along with his corpse.  Bentinck was fully alive to the risks he ran in challenging an established cultural practice.  He understood that he could put British lives at risk, but he determined in 1829 that moral considerations must outweigh pragmatic concerns:

Prudence and self-interest would counsel me to tread in the footsteps of my predecessors [who allowed suttee]. But in a case of such momentous importance to humanity and civilization, that man must be reckless of all his present or future happiness who could listen to the dictates of so wicked and selfish a policy. With the firm undoubting conviction entertained upon this question, I should be guilty of little short of the crime of multiplied murder, if I could hesitate in the performance of this solemn obligation. I have been already stung with this feeling. Every day’s delay adds a victim to the dreadful list, which might perhaps have been prevented by a more early submission of the present question.

Convinced that respect for another’s culture and fear himself and his countrymen must yield to morality, Bentinck outlawed suttee in December 1829.

Reading Bentinck’s writing on the subject, it’s quite obvious that he never said to himself, “Well, it’s their culture and who am I to judge?”  To the extent that he recognized suttee was part of Indian culture, his calculus was “How much damage will it do to the British to squash this cultural excrescence?”

Nowadays, though, political correctness has left people unable to value the best that their culture has to offer.  We no longer say, “I judge them, but pragmatic considerations demand that I ignore them.”  Instead, multiculturalism has led us to the point where we say, “Well, those black and brown people have their own way of doing things, and it’s clearly good for them.  I wouldn’t do it myself, but who am I to demand that those backward folks meet higher standards of morality and human decency.”

I’m  not throwing around hypotheticals when I say that last sentence.  A British-based campaigner against FGM, who was herself subject to the procedure, was left in tears when 19 people in England cheerfully signed a petition encouraging FGM in Britain.  The phony petition argued that, because FGM is part of African culture, it should be respected.  Over the course of thirty minutes, 19 people thought that it was fine to sign on to barbarism if a non-white culture liked it:

A female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigner was left in tears after an experiment intended to assess the impact of political correctness on the fight against cutting saw 19 people sign a fake pro-FGM petition within 30 minutes.

Leyla Hussein, 32, who suffered female genital mutilation as a child, approached shoppers in Northampton with the petition, which argued that as FGM was part of her culture, it should be protected.

During the 30-minute experiment, 19 people signed the petition and just one refused – a result Hussein blamed on the all-pervading culture of political correctness.

[snip]

Speaking to the Evening Standard following the experiment, Hussein, who also appears in upcoming Channel 4 documentary, The Cruel Cut, said: ‘I kept using the words “it’s just mutilation”. They were like “yes, you are right”. How can anyone think this is OK?’

Warning that politically correct attitudes could hamper the fight against FGM, Hussein added: ‘FGM is not culture, it is violence.

‘Stop using the culture word. This is happening to children. We are human beings, we can’t watch children being cut, I don’t care what culture you belong to.’

‘It is incredible that UK citizens would sign a petition supporting child abuse,’ Efua Dorkenoo, Advocacy Director of Equality Now’s FGM Programme, told MailOnline.

People worry that rather than catching bad guys, the Obama administration will use the info it gathers to create bad guys

One of the things that characterizes the rule of law is that it applies equally to all citizens.  The rich man’s son who vandalizes a shop is prosecuted as vigorously as the poor man’s son who does the same.  That the rich man’s son can afford a good lawyer is the random luck of life.  America can provide equality of opportunity, but nothing, not even socialism, can guarantee equality of outcome.  The important thing for purposes of the rule of law is that the law doesn’t give the rich man’s son a pass.

The rule of law also has to be grounded in common sense and reality.  That’s why Anatole France was being nonsensical when he famously said “In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread.” The reality is that a rich man, unless crazy, does none of those things — but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the law is unfair if societal good demands that we value property or try to keep streets safe for all citizens. The law is what it is. In the case of theft, vagrancy, and begging, it isn’t the law that should change but, perhaps, the availability of opportunities and, as needed, charity.

Common sense has long-dictated, at least since 9/11, that the best way to stop terrorism directed at Americans is to keep a close eye on people, especially men, who practice a strict form of Islam and on disaffected young men who take psychotropic drugs.  These two categories of people have been responsible for almost all, or maybe all, of the mass killings against Americans over the last decade and more.

When it comes to the mentally ill, we keep talking about monitoring them, but we don’t do it.  Lack of political will, lack of political and social organization, civil rights issues, and the fact that it’s more fun to rail against guns than against insane people (poor things) means that this won’t change any time soon.

Even worse, our government has made the “politically correct” decision to refuse to monitor with extra focus those young men who embrace radical Islam (e.g., the Tsarnaevs or Nidal Hassan).  It’s not fair, we’re told.  Profiling will make law-abiding Muslims (and the vast majority of Muslims in America are law-abiding) uncomfortable.  It’s racist and mean to assume that, because someone is Arab-looking, and sweating, and smelling of rose water, and murmuring “Allahu Akbar” under his breath to think that he’s up to a bit of no good — never mind that, when the bomb goes off or the plane falls from the sky, any Muslims in the area will be just as dead as their non-Muslim compatriots.

Heck, we’ve allowed minority groups to prey on each other for decades for fear of causing offense.  The number one target of violent, young, black and Hispanic males is . . . violent, young, black and Hispanic males, followed closely by all the hapless black and Hispanic children, old people, mothers, and fathers who have to share communities with these monsters of violence.  Because it looks bad for white police to go after these monsters, their communities must suffer.  The Gods of Political Correctness delight in human sacrifices, and the younger, more innocent, and more tender the better.

Americans therefore fully understand that our government, for “diversity,” or “multicultural,” or “politically correct” reasons (all of those terms speak to the same end), absolutely refuses to look first at the obvious suspects (young, radical Muslim men) before casting its net wide to sweep in people who are trying to avoid capture by looking less obvious.  It’s not likely that the Minnesota granny has a bomb in her brassiere, but it’s possible.  A good national security system doesn’t assume that anyone is innocent, but it does concentrate its resources where they make they most sense.

So here’s the deal with the NSA spying:  We know with some certainty that, for Leftist political reasons, the NSA is not making an effort to scrutinize the population most likely to go all “Allahu Akbar” on us.  Instead, for politically correct reasons, it’s spying on everyone.  In essence, it’s creating a haystack of information, with extra paddings of politically correct, multiculturalist hay wrapped around any spot where a needle might hide.

If politics means that the system won’t look for the obvious bad guys, what is it looking for then?  Well, I suspect that what’s going to happen is that the system will be used to look for easy targets.  Things that are neither criminal nor suspicious, but that pop up nevertheless, will suddenly be scrutinized because they’re there.  It will be the surveillance equivalent of “If the mountain won’t come to Mohamed, then Mohamed must come to the mountain.”  Since the NSA can’t focus its efforts on finding real criminals, it will engage in some flexible thinking and criminalize whatever activity it sees.  And — voila! — it will therefore justify its bureaucratic existence and purpose.  That the country will lose its identity and the people their freedom is a small price to pay for bureaucratic immortality.

Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley — a patriot and soldier who is being destroyed by political correctness (at great cost to America)

A friend sent me an email which reminded me that I have been remiss insofar as I have not posted about Lt. Col Matthew Dooley.  I’m reprinting the email here to make up for that omission:

Lt Col Matthew Dooley

Lt. Col Matthew Dooley, a West Point graduate and highly-decorated combat veteran, was an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College at the National Defense University. He had 19 years of service and experience, and was considered one of the most highly qualified military instructors on Radical Islam & Terrorism.

He taught military students about the situations they would encounter, how to react, about Islamic culture, traditions, and explained the mindset of Islamic extremists. Passing down first hand knowledge and experience, and teaching courses that were suggested (and approved) by the Joint Forces Staff College. The course “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” ,which was suggested and approved by the Joint Forces Staff College, caught the attention of several Islamic Groups, and they wanted to make an example of him.

They collectively wrote a letter expressing their outrage, and the Pro-Islamic Obama Administration was all too happy to assist. The letter was passed to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , Martin Dempsey. Dempsey publicly degraded and reprimanded Dooley, and Dooley received a negative Officer Evaluation Report almost immediately (which he had aced for the past 5 years). He was relieved of teaching duties, and his career has been red-flagged.

“He had a brilliant career ahead of him. Now, he has been flagged.” – Richard Thompson, Thomas More Law Center

“All US military Combatant Commands, Services, the National Guard Bureau, and Joint Chiefs are under Dempsey’s Muslim Brotherhood-dictated order to ensure that henceforth, no US military course will ever again teach truth about Islam that the jihadist enemy finds offensive ,or just too informative.” – Former CIA agent Claire M. Lopez (about Lt. Col Dooley)

The Obama Administration has demonstrated lightning speed to dismiss Military brass that does not conform to its agenda, and not surprisingly, nobody is speaking up for Lt. Col. Dooley.

IT’S A SAD DAY FOR THIS COUNTRY WHEN GOOD LOYAL MEN LIKE THIS GET THROWN UNDER THE BUS BECAUSE NOBODY HAS THE COURAGE TO STAND UP!

Share this if you would. Lets bring some attention to this.

Lt. Col. Dooley is the tip of the iceberg. Soon, as PC continues to pave the way for Sharia law, we will all be Lt. Col. Dooley.

The Boston bombers and political correctness — by guest blogger Lulu

The elephant in the middle of the room that no one seems to want to look at is that there are people in this country, perhaps many people, who have been welcomed into this country, lived here for quite a while, embraced by Americans and treated kindly, who smile at you and seem perfectly normal, and who would happily kill you as an infidel. All of Dzhokhar’s college pals who shared joints, partied together, and played on sports teams together are shocked, and who can blame them, because he seemed so nice and normal and settled. What they don’t understand is that he only seemed nice. For quite awhile, inside he thought they were all infidels worthy of murder for the cause. It could have been all of them in the dorm or a classroom, smiles and pleasantries forgotten. He and his brother chose another more symbolic venue to declare their jihad and hatred of America and infidels, but he would have killed his dormmates, teammates or classmates just as happily.

That’s scary and unsettling. Who wants to think that people who smile and eat lunch with us may be putting on an elaborate act, that behind the smile lies a hatred deep enough to put a bomb next to a defenseless child and kill him, horribly maim dozens of others, then go back to school, refer to himself as a “stress free kind of guy” on twitter, hit the gym, and fool the dupes around him. This is the definition of evil. Evil exists when sane people follow an evil ideology, or when people are sociopathic and warped. Which are the Boston jihadists? They are both. They show a callous indifference to human life and no doubt a triumphal game of returning to the dorm or daily routine, easy as pie, F*&% America and its slutty women and unbelievers.

The Boston politically correct brigade will try to understand them and explain their deeds, as if planting a bomb next to kids in a crowd of people enjoying a race can be explained in any way by anything we did, as if anything—anything—can explain their decision to wage jihad at the Boston Marathon. The media and academia have become accustomed to blaming external factors for everything; school failure, criminal activity, gangs, violence. But other immigrant kids don’t do this. Not every kid who feels alienated does this. Hell, not even every kid who hates America does this. The deeds of Dzhokhar and Tamerlin Tsarnaev reflect their choices and their values. Their playing a “nice guy” role to their American friends and acquaintances reflects choices and values too. They weren’t teased or bullied. You kidding? A Golden Gloves boxer and a wrestling champ? More likely they were welcomed and treated decently by naïve people perhaps, but people far better than they, people that don’t live deceitful, fraudulent lives, plotting murder with a smile on their faces.
The question for us, knowing that there are others like the Boston jihadists living here and smiling at us, is what do we do? How do we stay open as a society and safe? If the majority of decent, law abiding Moslems are appalled by these actions, how do we get them to engage in protest and widespread condemnation of the acts, instead of defensive accusations that they might be picked on? How do we become a society that accepts personal responsibility again? How do we become a people who again can face that true evil exists in the ideology of the brothers and must be fought as hard and devotedly as we fought the true evil that existed in Nazi ideology.

There’s a cuckoo in the nest at the New York Times, speaking slightingly of political correctness

I love Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella.  I grew up watching TV repeats of the 1695 1965 version, own the DVD of the original 1957 version (with Julie Andrews), and can even sort of tolerate Whitney Houston’s 1997 version.  That show had very PC, rainbow-colored casting and — the worst sin — a bland Brandy in the lead role, but it nevertheless respected the source material.

There’s a new Cinderella on Broadway now, and it got a very interesting review from Ben Brantley at the New York Times.  I actually had to read the review twice to make sure I wasn’t imagining it.

Brantley gives the production kudos of visual eye-candy (although it seems somewhat overdone) and speaks approvingly of the performers.  The surprise is that Brantley speaks slightingly of the way in which Douglas Carter Beane, who wrote a new book for the show, and Mark Brokaw, the director, couldn’t resist turning this classic little gem into a politically correct parable:

But a lot has been added and deleted. (Extensive revisions, by the way, have been made in every version of this “Cinderella” that followed its inception.) Some lesser-known songs from the Rodgers & Hammerstein catalog have been jimmied in (including “Now Is the Time,” a rousing call for social change that was cut from “South Pacific”).

There’s been a whole lot of fiddling with the plot too to give it politically progressive substance and those mandatory messages about self-esteem and self-empowerment. The prince’s parents (played by Ginger Rogers and Walter Pidgeon in 1965) have been eliminated, replaced by a devious and manipulative regent figure, Sebastian (the droller-than-droll Peter Bartlett), who tricks the naïve prince, called Topher, into signing bills that repress and rob his people.

So when Cinderella finally gets the chance to talk to her dream date at that immortal ball, instead of whispering sweet nothings, she says, “You need to open your eyes to what’s happening in your kingdom.” (Maybe she should be renamed Che-erella.)

Like the reinvented cartoon fairy-tale heroines of the past several decades, from Disney’s “Little Mermaid” onward, this Cinderella is no passive damsel waiting for a rescuing knight. She takes charge of her destiny, so much so that she doesn’t lose that glass slipper; she hands it to the prince. It’s a conscious choice, see; she controls her narrative. And, by the way, the prince must undergo a similar process of re-education, which will allow him to conquer his self-doubts and introduce democracy to his kingdom.

Brantley acknowledges that this PC update has a bit of a knowing “wink and a nod” quality to it, but acknowledges that many in the audience seemed to miss the knowingly self-referential tone of the PC add-ons.

Cinderella is inherently a retro story, a sort of Patient Griselda for the modern era.  When I was a child, I adored the story, the Disney movie, and, as I said, the TV show but, when I look back at them now, I do wonder if they encouraged in my a passivity that always had me assuming that, if I didn’t like my life, some prince would come and rescue me.  Gail Carson Levine addressed that passive female problem rather nicely in her imaginative Ella Enchanted a delightful book that was turned into the extremely popular movie with Anne Hathaway. (The movie deviates wildly from the book, but I try to view it as a stand-alone product and enjoy the movie on those terms.)

I think we’re all inclined to sit back and enjoy variations on the Cinderella theme, and it’s okay when the new versions remind little girls that they no longer have to sit and wait. Taking a classic musical, however, written by two of Broadway’s greatest geniuses, and tacking on a whole bunch of extraneous PC stuff above and beyond a little Cinderella empowerment seems wrong, though — wrong enough, incidentally, to see a New York Times reviewer sneer at the artistic and entertainment merits of political correctness.

The courage of our convictions — NOT

In one of the comments to my earlier post about Ted Cruz, Mike Devx noted that Cruz is attractive because he has “the courage of his convictions.” That particular phrase tied in with something I’ve been thinking about for the last few days, regarding freedom of speech, or rather the lack thereof, when it comes to Islam and Leftism.

The starting point for my thoughts was this Topher video, in which he focuses on the importance of free speech:

As you can see, Topher structured the video around the argument that so much of what we accept as true today started out as highly unpopular speech that the majority tried to quash through censorship both official and informal.

We tend to think of censorship as something that arises because we fear the power of “the Other’s” ideas.  Certainly that is the animating purpose behind all those hate speech laws throughout Europe, and the hate crime laws in America. Both are predicated upon stamping out the overwhelming temptation of an enemy’s words or acts.

Here’s the thing, though:  If we trusted in ourselves we would not be so afraid of the Other. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case if Islam, which includes as core doctrine the requirement that its practitioners must stamp out any opposing speech, ideas, or religion. A self-confident ideology would not be so paranoid about potential opposition.

The same is true, of course, when it comes to Leftism. Marx didn’t make censorship a core ideological demand, but Leftism invariably leads to censorship.  This is true whether we’re talking about government ukases or about the social strictures of Political Correctness. Leftism knows, because history has shown, that when people start to speak out against Leftism, Leftism falls by the historic wayside.

What’s so deeply depressing in today’s political scene is the fact that conservative politicians are so desperately afraid that their own ideology is too weak to compete.  Rather than taking the Islamic or Leftist tact of imposing censorship on others, they preemptively impose it upon themselves.

America’s conservative politicians have Stockholm Syndrome.  Despite recognizing that the opposing party is their enemy, they have become so cowed that they seem truly to believe that there’s something wrong about equal treatment under the law (as opposed to the affirmative discrimination the Left encourages), about the virtues of self-sufficiency and self-reliance, and about other common conservative and libertarian principles.

In some ways, I know I’ve just stated the obvious — the more you believe in yourself, the less scared you’re going to be of the other guy.  Nevertheless, we need to remind Republican politicians that there is no virtue in preemptive surrender to the other side.  If you’re going to die anyway, at least die fighting, with your own banner bravely flying.

If I were in charge of CPAC, I would ignore the Democrats entirely.  Instead, I would spend the entire time educating conservatives about conservativism.  They need to believe affirmative, rather than passively, that to the extent the American people want freedom, equality under the law, and affluence, conservative ideals are the ones that are going to take them there.

It’s okay to be politically incorrect — if you are Muslim or like Islam

It’s hard to imagine a more politically incorrect belief system than Islam.  The seriously Muslim world stands for women without legal rights or physical freedoms, wife beating, honor killings, child brides, capital punishment for female adultery, and capital punishment for homosexuality.

Hanging gays in Iran

President Barack Obama, however, feels that Turkey’s Erdogan, a hardline Muslim, is his kindred spirit, while Bibi Netanyahu, a man who leads a country that extends full rights to women and gays, is a bad guy.  Obama also believes strongly that the Muslim Brotherhood, which practices and preaches the most extreme form of Islam, is a good peace partner.  Lastly, he wants to reach hands across the water to Iran, which has been in a state of declared war against America (and women and gays and Israel) since 1979.  Oh, and there’s Obama’s hostility to fracking, the only energy extraction process on the horizon that can de-fund the American monies that support the Islamist regimes in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, etc.

In other words, if you’re a Muslim, Obama and his Progressive pals are willing to forgive your sins.

It turns out that this magic sin forgiveness extends to friends of Muslims as well.  Witness Chuck Hagel.

Hagel doesn’t like gays.  He made that very clear during the 1990s, when he had this to say about President Clinton’s gay ambassadorial nominee, James Hormel:

Then-Sen. Chuck Hagel’s remark to the Omaha World-Herald in 1998 that Clinton ambassadorial nominee James Hormel was “openly aggressively gay” was only a part of what Hagel told the paper about his opposition to Hormel’s nomination.

In additional comments that appeared in the same Omaha World-Herald story on July 3, 1998, Hagel said that Hormel’s gay conduct in public goes “beyond common sense” and concluded that a gay performance group of men in drag as nuns was “anti-Catholic” upon seeing a video of Hormel at one of its events.

Hagel told the paper at the time that being gay shouldn’t disqualify a candidate from being an ambassador, but that Hormel’s conduct would diminish his effectiveness.

Hormel “very aggressively told the world of his gayness and the funding and all the things he’s been involved in,” Hagel was quoted as saying. “I think you do go beyond common sense there, and reason and a certain amount of decorum.”

“If you send an ambassador abroad with a cloud of controversy hanging over him,” he said, “then I think it’s unfair to our country, it’s unfair to the host country and it’s unfair to the ambassador because the effectiveness of that individual is going to be seriously curtailed. That’s just a fact of life. And I believe Hormel’s situation is one of those.”

To be fair, Hagel wasn’t arguing that Hormel should be beaten or executed.  Instead, he was saying that his sexual orientation disqualified him from political office, offended decorum, and was anti-Catholic.  Despite the publicity regarding Hagel’s gross political incorrectness, Obama has still selected him as his preferred Secretary of Defense.  Hmmm.

Gay teens hanged in Iran

Before you get excited and think that, to the extent you expressed negative opinions about gays back in the 1990s, you have a free pass, you need to pay attention to what happened to Rev. Louie Giglio, who also expressed dismay about homosexual conduct back in the 1990s:

The minister selected by President Obama to deliver the benediction at his inaugural this month has withdrawn from the program amid a storm of controversy over remarks he made about homosexuality in a sermon in the mid-1990s, according to an inaugural planner.

[snip]

In it, Mr. Giglio called on fellow Christians to fight the “aggressive agenda” of the gay-rights movement, and advocated “the healing power of Jesus” as “the only way out of a homosexual lifestyle” – a comment some gay-rights advocates interpreted as an endorsement of reparative, or so-called gay-to-straight conversion, therapy, as a supposed cure for homosexuality

In other words, like Hagel, Rev. Giglio in the 1990s said that sexual orientation offended decorum.  Also, much like Hagel, Giglio hasn’t said anything about gays for the past 20 years.  It’s dead.  It’s history.  But unlike Hagel, Giglio is a Christian minister and hasn’t given any indication that he thinks Islam is groovy.  Also, unlike Hagel, Giglio got the boot:

An official with Mr. Obama’s Presidential Inaugural Committee said the committee, which operates separately from the White House, vetted Mr. Giglio. People familiar with internal discussions between administration and committee officials said the White House viewed the selection as a problem for Mr. Obama, and told the panel on Wednesday night to quickly fix it. By Thursday morning, Mr. Giglio said he had withdrawn.

“We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this inaugural,” said Addie Whisenant, the spokeswoman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. “Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part for his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world. As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”

Double standard anyone?

The double standard also applies to abortion.  Republicans almost certain lost their opportunity to take control of the Senate because two candidates, Todd Aikin and Richard Mourdoch, made statements about abortion that the media turned into a hysterical war against women.  I know of two people who were leaning to Romney, but switched votes because he belonged to the same party as Aikin and Mourdoch.  Fiscal sanity and national security couldn’t compete with abortion.

Woman beheaded in Iran

Here’s what Richard Mourdock said, which I think is a defensible position, humanely stated:

The only exception I have to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother.  I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.

You may not agree, but it is a valid stance, one that looks at life as a gift independent from the violence that created it.  It is, in other words, a moral position.

Here’s what Todd Aikin said, which has the same moral position buried within it, but that starts from a position of complete and offensive idiocy:

It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors — that’s [pregnancy following a rape] really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But, let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.

Aikin was cast into the wilderness by Left and Right alike for his stupidity.  Mourdock got swept up in the same witch hunt.

Interestingly, Hagel (the one who gets a pass) sounds a lot more like Aikin, who’s an idiot, than Mourdock, who is someone who made a difficult and thoughtful decision about balancing two lives.  Here’s Hagel:

When he announced his candidacy for Senate, Hagel said that he opposed abortion except to protect the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest. Hagel decided he didn’t believe that exclusion for rape were necessary after studying the issue near the end of his campaign.

“I am pro-life with one exception — the life of the mother. I oppose taxpayer funded abortions. We must promote adoption and support the strengthening of American families. I will vote with and support the pro-life movement,” Hagel said in a piece of 1996 campaign literature, according to the Omaha World Herald.

Then Senate-candidate Hagel said that he “tightened” his position on abortion after he said he discovered that abortion in the case of rape and incest are “rare” according to multiple local press reports.

“As I looked at those numbers, if I want to prevent abortions, I don’t think those two exceptions are relevant,” Hagel said, according to the Omaha paper.

To her credit, Rachel Maddow has given Hagel a hard time about both Hagel’s gay and abortion stances. For once, though, the Left doesn’t seem to be paying attention to its media darling.

Public lashing in Iran

If you look hard, you discover that there’s only one thing that distinguishes Hagel from Giglio, Aikin, and Mourdock, all three of whom became roadkill as the Politically Correct train drove by:  he supports Iran and hates Israel.  He supports an ideology that enslaves and kills women, and that makes homosexuality a capital crime.  And the only thing that gives this specific ideology a pass with Hagel, Obama, and the Left, is that this religion is neither Jewish nor Christian.

This is a sad, twisted state of affairs, and one that the American people created with eyes wide shut.  I despair of our country and the world right now.

It’s not smart for the Army to call its own troops stupid — but nobody seems smart in Obama’s America

The rule of war used to be that you hated your enemy. That made it easy to fight your enemy. Then, starting with the first Gulf War, the new rule was that you felt sorry for your enemy. By the Iraq War, the rule had become, you’ve got to like and respect your enemy.

These new rules baffled my father, a WWII vet, who kept saying “You can’t kill an enemy unless you hate him.”  I’m glad that Daddy’s not alive today to see the proposed Army Handbook coming out of the politically correct Obama Pentagon.  The proposed new rule is that, if you serve in America’s military, you must hate yourself because you’re incompetent and ill-informed (the link is behind a paywall; I’ve limited the quotation below to fair use):

The proposed Army handbook suggests that Western ignorance of Afghan culture, not Taliban infiltration, has helped drive the recent spike in deadly attacks by Afghan soldiers against the coalition forces.

“Many of the confrontations occur because of [coalition] ignorance of, or lack of empathy for, Muslim and/or Afghan cultural norms, resulting in a violent reaction from the [Afghan security force] member,” according to the draft handbook prepared by Army researchers.

There you have it: if you get killed in Afghanistan, it’s all your fault.

With that rule in mind, why don’t we just surrender now and save everyone a lot of time and money? I’m sure that the short-term benefits, in the form of national politically-correct self-respect, will more than offset the increase in targeted American killings at home and abroad.

Incidentally, there’s absolutely nothing wrong for an occupying force to deal intelligently with both the active enemy and the more neutral local people. It’s smart to mandate that troops behave in ways that will maximize gaining the local population’s good-will, while minimizing accidentally giving cultural offense.  A sidebar to the WSJ article that quotes the handbook’s specific rules, shows that the Army can be that smart:

Green-on-blue incidents provoke a crisis of confidence and trust among [coalition forces] working with [Afghan troops]. As a means of illuminating this insider threat, those [coalition] personnel working on Security Force Assistance Teams during 2012 that live alongside and mentor [Afghan security forces] have about 200 times the risk of being murdered by an [Afghan security force] member than a U.S. police officer has of being murdered in the line of duty by a perpetrator.

* * *

Preventive tools:

  • Understand that they may have poor conflict resolution skills and that insults cause irrational escalation of force.
  • Do not discuss religion

* * *

Cultural Awareness:

Flashpoints/Grievances Some U.S. Troops Have Reported Regarding Afghanistan National Security Forces:

To better prepare [coalition forces] for the psychologically challenging conditions in Afghanistan, familiarize yourself with the following stressors some U.S. troops have reported concerning [Afghan security forces] behavior during previous deployments. Bear in mind that not all [coalition] troops have reported such experiences or beliefs.

  • Some ANSF are profoundly dishonest and have no personal integrity
  • ANSF do not buy-into war effort; far too many are gutless in combat
  • Incompetent, ignorant and basically stupid

Bottom line: Troops may experience social-cultural shock and/or discomfort when interacting with [Afghan security forces]. Better situational awareness/understanding of Afghan culture will help better prepare [coalition forces] to more effectively partner and to avoid cultural conflict that can lead towards green-on-blue violence.

* * *

Etiquette Violations Best Avoided by [coalition forces] Taboo conversation topics include:

  • Anything related to Islam
  • Mention of any other religion and/or spirituality
  • Debating the war
  • Making derogatory comments about the Taliban
  • Advocating women’s rights and equality
  • Directing any criticism towards Afghans
  • Mentioning homosexuality and homosexual conduct

Bottom line: Try to avoid highly charged and emotional issues.

What’s dumb is a handbook that, at least in its first draft, appears in its introduction (which sets the tone for the rest of the handbook) to blame American troops for problems with Afghanis.  Sad to say, that’s what the introduction to the handbook (if I understand the WSJ article correctly) appears to do:

“Many of the confrontations occur because of [coalition] ignorance of, or lack of empathy for, Muslim and/or Afghan cultural norms, resulting in a violent reaction from the [Afghan security force] member,” according to the draft handbook prepared by Army researchers.

There’s only one way to read that: “You Americans soldiers are crude, rude, vulgar, uninformed ugly Americans. Shape up or die.”

Every parent knows that it’s one thing to demand good, smart behavior from your child because your child is a good and smart person.  It’s another thing entirely to tell your child that he’s a stupid, incompetent failure whose every negative interaction with third parties is his own fault (whether or not that’s true).  The first approach creates responsible people who set high moral and practical standards for themselves.  The second approach creates embittered, insecure people who refuse to examine and improve their own behavior because it’s too painful to do so.  One would think that the high muckety-mucks in the Army would be savvy enough to understand this elemental human psychology.

As BlackFive says, writing from the perspective of someone who knows what it means to be on the front lines:

Cultural sensitivity is one thing.  But.  How any American soldier can avoid criticism (especially witnessing that behavior) of how they treat women and children is beyond me.  This is almost a parallel to how we began fighting communism in central America in the 70s/80s.  Look the other way.  Don’t get involved.  Don’t fight, just advise (and if they don’t listen, no big deal).  It was when we were allowed to make moral and ethical decisions/actions that we succeeded there.  It was when we stopped the avoidance nonsense that changes began to happen.

 

To a hammer, everything is a nail; and to an identity politics fanatic, everything is racism

My father, alev ha-shalom,  had forgotten more about English — his third language — than most people will ever know.  In addition to reading novels and non-fiction for pleasure, he would amuse himself reading dictionaries, grammar books, and stories about the English language.  (In that last genre, my favorite was one called Word Origins and Their Amazing Stories, a book that, sadly, is no longer in print.)

One of my father’s pet peeves, going back to the 1970s, was the way the word niggardly had been banished from most vocabularies, because people assumed that it had the same root as a vulgar and disrespectful word for black people.  In fact, niggardly, which means miserly, or stingy, has an honest Anglo-Saxon etymology:

Origin:
1325–75; Middle English nyggard,  equivalent to nig  niggard (< Scandinavian;  compare dialectal Swedish nygg;  akin to Old English hnēaw  stingy)

This honestly rooted English word even shows up in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales:

We all desiren, if it mighte be,
To han husbandes hardy, wise, and free,
And secret, and no niggard, ne no fool,
Ne him that is aghast of every tool,
Ne none avaunter, by that God above!

Having now proven the word’s bona fides, let me step down from the soap box.  Given the two words’ auditory and spelling similarity, despite one being an Olde English word calling someone stingy, and the other a rude bastardization of a Latin word for the color “black,” I’m more forgiving than my father was when people express discomfort upon hearing the word niggardly.  It just looks and sounds wrong.

The question remains, though, how far a culture should go to challenge honorable traditions that coincidentally run afoul of modern sensitivities.  In Sweden, for example, modern sensibilities are chipping away at the traditional Santa Lucia celebration, which has seen children, since forever, parade around dressed up as stars, gnomes, Santa Lucia, or gingerbread men.  The politically correct brigade is now worried about those gingerbread men.  You and I think of them as tasty, spicy cookies that all sensible people love; the PC crowd knows that they have a darker symbolism (pun intended):

Schoolchildren in Sweden have been banned from dressing up as gingerbread men for a Christmas parade because their teachers fear the costumes could be considered racist.

[snip]

[H]eartbroken 10-year-old Mio Simiv was told he could not wear his gingerbread man costume to the celebration because it might be seen as ‘offensive’.

Angry mum Jenny Simic told local media: ‘I thought he had to have got it wrong so I called the school and they said people might find a brown gingerbread character offensive.

Mrs. Simic also went on to make a larger point, which is that the other costumes, when taken out of context, can be forced into equally ugly interpretations.  You see, those gnome costumes really don’t stand up to close scrutiny ….

‘I said, well then my son won’t participate. He won’t support some Ku Klux Klan procession – because that’s what the little Lucias look like when they all come in with white hoods and white dresses.’

Also, I’ve heard that gnomes are vertically challenged, so it won’t be long before the Little People start voicing their objections.  (I feel I have a say in this one, as I just learned that my statuesque 5 feet tall is a mere two inches above official Little People status.  Funnily enough, I’ve never felt short, and most people who know my are surprised to learn what my actual height is.  As one man told me, to my great delight, “You have the most beautiful posture I’ve ever seen.  You carry yourself like a queen.”  But back to my post….)

The Swedish school tried to backtrack by claiming the absence of gingerbread came down to student allergies, but I’ve yet to hear of someone being allergic to a gingerbread man costume:

In my experience, one of the best ways to get past differences between people is to stop focusing on them so obsessively — or at the very least, to stop focusing on the marginal things that irritate petty people, so that you have energy and credibility to deal with the things that really matter. Aesop knew that crying wolf is counterproductive.  After decades of backing down in the face of the Leftist war cry of “racist,” more and more people are looking in their hearts, recognizing that they’re not racists, and fighting back.  That’s the good thing.  The bad thing is that, in this swirling sea of “racist” caterwauls, the real racists will suddenly find themselves able to blend in with the crowd so that they can spread their poison.

Our diversity minded administration marks the end of the Iraq war in its own peculiar fashion

One of the most iconic British World War I recruiting posters had as its goal shaming slackers into enlisting by reminding them that, at some future time, their children would want to look up to them for their war service:

The Obama administration has just added a whole new twist to the concept of what constitutes memorable, boast-worthy service during war time.  The administration is putting together a special dinner party to mark the war’s end.  Since it obviously can’t invite every one of the men and women who have served over the past nine years, it’s put together a checklist for qualities the putative dinner guests should meet.

Now, if I were putting together this checklist, I might look at such things as bravery in battle, contributions to moral, dedication, etc.  Apparently, though, I’m stuck in the wrong war, in the wrong century.  Blackfive sets me right:

The military was always the place for people to succeed in ways that they may not have had the chance to in civilian society.  Whether grunt, medic or quartermaster, the military was a place where you succeeded based on the merits of your ability, your hard work.

That’s why I get really really pissed at the Obama Administration when I see things like this – this posting at the Daily Beast POLITICO via This Ain’t Hell about the guest list of enlisted military members for a dinner party to mark the end of the Iraq war (OIF):

The list is being assembled by the senior enlisted representative for the five service chiefs, and the goal is a mix that is racially diverse, old and young, gay and straight.

What the hell?!

Hey, congrations Master Chief, you’ve been selected to dine with the President because you’re the oldest Sailor in DC area who served in Iraq?!

Hey, Gunney, because you’re gay and worked at Balad, you get to meet the President?!

(Read the rest here, both ’cause it’s really good and because it suggests a much more appropriate guest list.)

Can you imagine the hysterical laughter and disbelief in the British War Office during WWI if the correct answer to the child’s question (“Daddy, what did you do in the Great War?”) was “I was gay” or “I was the oldest person in my unit” or “I had a Hispanic surname.”  There’s nothing wrong, of course, with being gay or old or Hispanic, but they are not the primary indicia of noble service to ones country — except, of course, in Obamaland.

I’m sorry to say this, but our Commander in Chief is a joke — a very bad joke.  I’m pretty sure, though, that this is one joke that would not make Martin Luther King laugh.  I believe it was he who thought the best criterion for judging a person wasn’t by looking at the color of his skin (or his sexual preferences or his age), but by examining the content of his character.  That sure goes double and triple for those who have served and who, unlike most of us, have been given the rare opportunity to learn about and put to use the best part of their characters.

When a carefully Constitutional military slips into politically correct stupidity

One of the many blessings of our American military is that it’s a Constitutional military that has as its Commander in Chief a civilian elected by the American public.  (Although history has shown, fairly recently in fact, that the American public sometimes elects bad CinCs.)  Because the elected CinC is frequently someone without military experience, a theoretically non-partisan command hierarchy exists to advise him.

For the most part, our military does a decent job of avoiding politics.  I’m not always sure how it manages this.  For example, the current CinC just announced cuts that will reduce our military to 1930s status — and we know how well that went back then.  He did so despite the fact that world events put the lie to his happy peppy statement that the world is entering a time of peace.  Our poor military.  It gets an order from its CinC — “You must shrink” — and then has to figure out how to do that without destroying itself.

So, how does a Constitutional military handle a command from on high that is stupid, unrealistic and dangerous?  I guess it does what our military did:  It follows orders, announcing a plan to shrink, one that serious military analysts find very worrisome.  Even smart militaries have to do stupid because the rules of them game require them to do so.

Sometimes, though, the military manages to engage in unforced errors that are clearly the result of politicization.  This is not party politics, it’s just Beltway, Foggy Bottom stupidity.  After all, if you’re going to hang around the Pentagon for a while, you’re going to be infected by the political pandering that makes Washington what it is — a place and entity that nobody likes or respects.  In this case, the United States Army could not resist affirmative action’s siren song.

You probably recall reading back in September 2009 that the Army (which was now reporting to the Obama White House) appointed the first woman ever as Command Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army’s Drill Sergeant School (DSS).  What made this appointment even more exciting for those in the affirmative action business was the fact that Teresa King wasn’t just female, she was black.  It was a two-fer for political correctness.

If Sergeant Major King had been female, black, battle hardened, and brilliant, everything would have been fine and dandy.  Unfortunately, King seems to have been more decorative than functional as a Sergeant Major:

Reports from MCC’s on the ground correspondents say King’s suspension from duty was prompted by her heavy drinking, sexual relationship with a lower ranking enlisted soldier, and the fact that at least one of the college degree she listed on her resume is from a schools deemed to be diploma mill.

Almeda College where King lists as the school from which she was granted a Master’s degree in business management, has been closed by legal action in both Florida and Idaho because it was declared a fake institution.

Another embarrassing element of King’s persona – which she has built around a “sergeant no slack” façade — is the fact that in spite of her tough talk, she has never been in a combat zone, which makes gaining the respect of her battle-hardened veteran students difficult at best.

Whoops!  One wonders if King willingly went along with the charade that she was competent, or if the heavy drinking is a sign that she was an affirmative action sacrificial lamb who knew she was in over her head.

The problem, of course, is that the decorative Sergeant Major King did not hold a merely decorative position.  Unlike today’s European royals, who are meaningless figureheads, King was appointed to an extremely important institution, ones that trains the Army’s backbone:  the sergeants.  Heck, I’ve watched enough Hollywood movies to know that, without the sergeant drilling, haranguing, fathering (and mothering) the troops, there is no Army (or Marine Corp, or anything else).  For the powers that be at the Pentagon to play silly little political games to curry favor with the Obama administration, with the U.S. Military paying the price, is a shocking example of politics.  Not partisan politics, just stupid politics.

Sergeant Major King has currently been suspended from duty and the Army is doing its best to keep this story off the front page.  Funnily enough, King’s lack of qualifications should help.  If King was actually as good as she should have been, the MSM would have been all over a story “proving” that the Army is a racist, sexist organization that never gave the first black, female Command Sergeant Major a chance.  However, if the charges against King are true — that she was a shabby paper tiger who never should have gotten the job — the MSM will work tightly with the Army to keep this story out of the public eye.  For the Army, the appointment is an embarrassing example of stupid; for the media, it’s a glaring failure in their affirmative action world view.

Newt Gingrich and “the vision thing.”

Back in 1987, when he was campaigning for President, one of George H. W. Bush’s advisers suggested that he back off from spouting minutiae to the electorate and spend some time focusing on the big picture, So that he could better sell himself to Americans.  According to contemporaneous reports, Bush, Sr., was not impressed:

“Oh,” said Bush in clear exasperation, “the vision thing.”

Bush went on to win the 1988 election, despite his failure to articulate a vision for the American people.  He didn’t have to engage in inept abstract fumbling to endear himself to voters.  What he understood, consciously or unconsciously, was that Reagan had articulated “the vision thing” so beautifully that it covered, not only Reagan’s own administration, but Bush’s election efforts as well.

It helped, too, that Reagan passed on to his Vice President a roaring economy and a country that still maintained at least the gloss of an American identity.  Back in those days, even though I was only just out of law school (meaning I’d spent the previous 19 years in academia), I’d never heard of political correctness, community activists, multiculturalism or Howard Zinn.  I called myself a Democrat and had never heard of a Progressive.  Although these ideas were making serious inroads into American education in the 1980s, those of us who cast our votes in 1988 were still relatively untouched by the revamping of America’s self-image.  Nobody needed to tell us who we were, because (probably thanks to Reagan) we already knew.

Things are quite different as we head toward the 2012 election.  America is in a deep economic morass, college students and Communists are rioting in the streets, Europe’s economy is collapsing, China’s economy is shrinking, and the Middle East is a more-seething-than-usual cauldron of antisemitism and anti-Western hatred.  Times such as this would seem to cry out for a strong managerial hand.  It ought to be Mitt Romney’s moment.  After all, he radiates wonkish competence.

And yet Mitt Romney is not the conservative candidate of choice.  Instead, he’s the conservative candidate of “we’ll take him if we can’t find anyone else.”  If you look at the alternatives, the ones who have risen and then fallen, all have one thing in common:  they’ve got “the vision thing.”  Mitt is disciplined, effective, intelligent and decent, but he’s not a visionary — or, if he is, his rhetorical skills are too weak to convey that vision to the American people.

Mitt’s problem is that not all of America’s current wounds can be measured with economic charts and analyses about our friends and enemies abroad.  Both Barack Obama’s presidency and forty years of relentlessly Leftist education and media saturation have severely damaged America’s sense of self.  As a nation, we no longer have a unifying vision.  Our children have been raised to think that we are now and always have been a racist, imperialist, overbearing, heartless, capitalist monster that preys on weak, victim-class individuals and helpless third-world nations.  The fact that readily available facts put the lie to this ideology doesn’t help these children and young adults.  Instead, when the Leftist ideology that dominated their education meets the facts on the ground, that clash creates a paralyzing cognitive dissonance.  The result sees the members of Generation ZZZZZ marching through the streets, grimly clutching their iPhones and computers, whining about student loans incurred at fancy Ivy Leagues, and hysterically protesting against corporations and banks.

America’s impaired sense of self pre-dates Obama’s presidency.  Indeed, it was this pre-existing psychological damage that put Obama on the path to the White House.  He made Americans feel good about themselves, not in traditional terms (individual liberty, melting pot strength, world bastion of freedom, etc.), but in wonderful New Age terms:  we were all going to come together in a giant kumbaya circle, and throw our ill-gotten capitalist gains into a giant, village style collection bin set up in the heart of Washington, D.C..  Then, the Capitol, under Obama’s magical aegis, and with help from a supportive Democrat Congress, would lower the seas, clean the air, cause the lion (and myriad polar bears) to lie down with the lamb, and generally bring about an environmentally perfect socialist utopia.  If you liked fairies and unicorns, Obama was your man.

Back in the 1950s, had a candidate spouted this utopian vision, he would have been laughed off the national stage.  A generation raised on Depression and War was a bit too sophisticated to buy into political fairy tales.  Back then, Americans knew who they were:  tough survivors; a free people who, at the cost much American blood, had brought that freedom overseas; and innovators.  They did not believe in pixie dust.  This latest generation, however, raised on self-loathing, needed a fairy tale, with the kiss of a handsome prince magically making everything better.  To many, Obama was that prince.

The Obama fairy tale, sadly for his followers and sadly for this nation, did not end with the kiss and a formulaic “they lived happily ever after.”  Instead, we’ve had almost three years of utopian reality, which has been remarkably painful.  Obama and his crew have offended our allies, pandered to our enemies, presided over the break-up of a stable (although always ugly) Muslim Middle East, destroyed our gains in Iraq, presided over the longest recession in our history since the Great Depression, increased our debt and deficits to previously unimaginable limits that will burden our children and grandchildren, laid the groundwork for destroying the best medical system in the world (and that’s true despite inequalities in the systems), handed over billions of taxpayer dollars to cronies, killed American citizens with bizarre “crime fighting” plans across our Southern border, increased racial divisiveness to a level not seen since the early 1960s, and generally left Americans prey to a doom and gloom that seemed inconceivable when they elected the magical unicorn man.

What Americans feel now is despair.  Or as Jimmy Carter might have said, malaise.  Democrats are stuck with Obama, but Republicans have the opportunity to select a candidate who will articulate a core American vision.  As our desperate search for the anti-Romney shows, we don’t just want a competent, clean-cut wonk; we want someone who bring to life a unifying vision of this nation, not as some sort of post-American socialist paradise, but as an entirely American bastion of freedom and opportunity.

For all his baggage and, yes, periodic political instability, Newt is that spokesman.  The breadth and depth of his knowledge, his cheery demeanor, his up-beat campaign, his wit and erudition, his scary deep understanding of how Washington works, and, above all, his manifest love for America — all of these things promise voters an alternative vision to Obama’s 2008 “kumbaya world” or his 2011 “everybody is evil and stupid except for me” world.  It helps that Newt’s skeletons, rather than hiding demurely in closets, are out dancing merrily in the streets.  Everything about him will be hashed and re-hashed, but it will all be old news.  To the extent there are “surprises,” they will be mole hills, not mountains.

In this lost and confused time, Americans need a clarion voice.  If Romney is the chosen Republican candidate, I will happily vote for him, as I believe he will be a perfectly decent candidate, able to un-do much of the damage Obama and his cohorts caused at home and abroad.  But Romney is not a clarion voice, and Newt is.  It’s that “vision thing” that explains why I think Newt will win the 2012 Republican nomination — and take the White House too.  America didn’t need it in 1988, but it sure needs it now.

Did PC arise to fill the missing manners gap?

With the publication of Jonathan Alter’s new book on the first year of the Obama administration, a lot of unsavory details are leaking out about No Drama Obama (Mr. Calm and Collected) and his crew.  We already know now that Obama refers to those Americans who oppose him as Tea Baggers, a sexually unsavory term.

Tough guy Rahmbo also has some bizarre sexual obsessions he regularly lets loose at the workplace:

Earlier leaks of the book have included some embarrassing portrayals of White House adviser Rahm Emanuel. New York magazine had some choice bits about Rahm’s anger at Bo, the Obama’s family dog (“I’m going to kill that fucking dog,” and his yelling to a male staffer: “Take your fucking tampon out and tell me what you have to say.”

Many of us should be asking ourselves about the wisdom of vesting such extraordinary power in a man with so much anger and so little self-control.  After all, he has first access to the president’s ear, yet he’s often little more than an Id waiting to explode.  Of course, since the whole Democratic party seems to be operating on the anger principle, perhaps he’s the perfect First Officer for a ship determined to ram (or, should I say, Rahm) itself, and the nation, onto the rocks.

Rahm’s workplace outbursts also raise an interesting question about the level and type of civility necessary for a society to function.  In times past, someone on the receiving end of  Rahm’s execrable behavior might have responded by saying “You, sir, are no gentleman” — and, a long time ago, even someone like Rahm might have been abashed.

If you doubt me, keep in mind that, in Jane Austen’s perennially popular Pride and Prejudice, when Mr. Darcy proposed to Elizabeth Bennett, he was self-righteously angered by the erroneous factual accusations she threw at him, and was more than ready to defend himself.  What stopped him in his tracks, and brought him to his knees, was this statement (emphasis mine):

You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared me the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentleman-like manner.’

In a vanished time and place, Elizabeth made Mr. Darcy see, not that he had offended her, but that he had demeaned himself.

The notion of gentleman and ladies is an antiquated one, but I suspect that it’s much more culturally important than people realize.  I’ve long thought that it’s no coincidence that the whole PC insanity arose at the same time traditional manners declined.  Without agreed-upon manners, the average person lost a behavioral template.

In the old days, certain things just weren’t said in mixed company, or in the workplace, or in public.  With those rules lost, people grasped at anything that would smooth over the anger, roughness and chaos that arose in the vacuum crated when old-fashioned dignity and manners departed the stage.  PC was there to fill the gap.  While the Left created the PC rubric because it required carefully defined victim classes that could eventually override the existing American social and economic structure, most Americans were seeking new rules of civility just so they could get through the day.

Sadly, as Rahm’s lizard brain outbursts perfectly demonstrate, the new rules of civility do not focus on the individual who is speaking or acting.  This is an important nuance.  In the old days, a gentleman or a lady simply didn’t do certain things.  You were defined by your own conduct, conduct that you were expected to observe in every situation. That’s why Mr. Darcy could be so shattered by Elizabeth’s charge against him.  He had thought himself a gentlemen, bound by a code of conduct, and he had let his own pride and prejudices blind him to his own failings.

In our Brave New World, however, every rule is carefully calibrated to respond to the audience or recipient’s sensibilities.  We are defined, not be who we are, but by the person at the receiving end of our conversation.  What this means is that, if the person at the other end isn’t a specially protected class, anything goes.  Good-bye Mr. Darcy, who held high expectations for himself, and hello Rahmbo, who sees himself constrained only by the relative power and victim status of the person to him he speaks.

And we, the American public, end up with a gentlemen-free White House, a place in which both dogs and non-PC subordinates are fair game for a lizard brain executive who has the ear of the man whose hand hovers over myriad nuclear buttons, both real and metaphoric.

(h/t The New Editor and Ed Driscoll)

Sit back and watch as America enters “The Twilight Zone”

In the early television era, one of the most innovative and imaginative shows around was Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone.  Certain episodes were so compelling that they entered the popular imagination, and are familiar to anyone over 30.  One of the most brilliant episodes, shown in 1961, was It’s a Good Life, based upon a Jerome Bixby short story.  I’ll let Rod Serling himself explain the episode’s premise:

‘Tonight’s story on The Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction.

This, as you may recognize, is a map of the United States, and there’s a little town there called Peaksville. On a given morning not too long ago, the rest of the world disappeared and Peaksville was left all alone. Its inhabitants were never sure whether the world was destroyed and only Peaksville left untouched or whether the village had somehow been taken away. They were, on the other hand, sure of one thing: the cause. A monster had arrived in the village. Just by using his mind, he took away the automobiles, the electricity, the machines – because they displeased him – and he moved an entire community back into the dark ages – just by using his mind.

Now I’d like to introduce you to some of the people in Peaksville, Ohio. This is Mr. Fremont. It’s in his farmhouse that the monster resides. This is Mrs. Fremont. And this is Aunt Amy, who probably had more control over the monster in the beginning than almost anyone. But one day she forgot. She began to sing aloud. Now, the monster doesn’t like singing, so his mind snapped at her, turned her into the smiling, vacant thing you’re looking at now. She sings no more. And you’ll note that the people in Peaksville, Ohio, have to smile. They have to think happy thoughts and say happy things because once displeased, the monster can wish them into a cornfield or change them into a grotesque, walking horror. This particular monster can read minds, you see. He knows every thought, he can feel every emotion.

Oh yes, I did forget something, didn’t I? I forgot to introduce you to the monster. This is the monster. His name is Anthony Fremont. He’s six years old, with a cute little-boy face and blue, guileless eyes. But when those eyes look at you, you’d better start thinking happy thoughts, because the mind behind them is absolutely in charge. This is the Twilight Zone.’

The episode walks viewers through the horrors little Anthony inflicts on the town’s residents if they think negative thoughts or engage in behaviors that irk him.  By show’s end, when one of the town’s citizens, having imbibed enough to have some dutch courage, calls Anthony both a monster and a murderer, Anthony turns him into a jack-in-the-box.  Not content with that act of personal destruction, Anthony also causes snow to fall, destroying crops and ensuring the town’s demise.

Even as their destruction stares them in the face, the town’s residents still try to placate the monster in their midst, with the last scripted words spoken being “…but it’s a real good thing you did. A real good thing. And tomorrow….tomorrow’s gonna be a… real good day!”

Rod Serling, of course, provides the perfect coda to Anthony’s reign of terror (emphasis mine):

‘No comment here, no comment at all. We only wanted to introduce you to one of our very special citizens, little Anthony Fremont, age 6, who lives in a village called Peaksville in a place that used to be Ohio. And if by some strange chance you should run across him, you had best think only good thoughts. Anything less than that is handled at your own risk, because if you do meet Anthony you can be sure of one thing: you have entered the Twilight Zone.

The show’s first audience was composed in part of the World War II generation, and entirely of the Cold War generation.  These were people who had seen first hand totalitarian regimes that demanded their citizens’ total obedience.

To enforce that obedience, the spy network for each of these totalitarian governments measured people’s allegiance by closely examining their behavior.  The wrong word, a mis-timed blink or twitch, an unfortunate handshake in the street, and ordinary people would suddenly find themselves in the gulag or the gas chamber.  The regimes surely regretted that they lacked Anthony’s mind reading skills, but with a frightened population, spies in every family, and draconian punishments for even the slightest deviation from total devotion, they were surprisingly effective at creating a Stepford citizenry that, even as the world crumbled, repeated that every government initiative was “a real good thing.”

For decades, Americans assumed that “it can’t happen here.”  American strength and American freedom would inevitably overwhelm any efforts to turn the thought police lose on the American public.  But of course, it has happened here, although not with the bloodshed and torture that characterizes most totalitarian regimes.  Instead, through the medium of political correctness, which preys on Americans’ innate desire to be a good and decent people, we are constantly pushed into “correct” modes of thought.  Deviate from that line of thinking and you will find yourself publicly pilloried as an “-ist” (e.g., racist or sexist), or a “phobe” (e.g., Islamophobe), appellations that have become the ultimate insult that can be visited upon any good American.

Have you given any hint that you think unfettered illegal immigration is deleterious to America’s economy and the security of her citizens?  You’re a racist.

Have you muttered that it’s wrong to destroy collegiate men’s sports programs so that there is numerical parity with women’s sports programs, even though the latter are historically less likely to desire such programs?  You’re a sexist pig.

Have you mentioned that it’s more than coincidence that the common denominator in the vast majority of terrorism attacks around the world is the perpetrator’s devotion to Islam?  You’re a racist Islamophobe.

Did you perhaps contribute a few dollars to the campaign to maintain traditional marriage in America?  You’re a homophobe.

Have you criticized Barack Obama’s policies?  You’re a racist.

Have you criticized Michelle Obama’s arms?  You’re a racist and a sexist.

And so it goes, from matters major to minor:  any deviation from the politically correct norm is subject to withering, soul-destroying insults.  It’s not a physical gulag, but an emotional one.

What’s sad is that, as with Al Gore’s famous boiling frog, we’ve slowly acclimated to this creeping deprivation of the quintessentially American liberty of freedom of speech.  We’ve therefore willingly tried to conform our thoughts to the “right” way of thinking, so that it’s always a “real good day” in America — at least as “good” is defined by the race-obsessed, sex-obsessed, statists among us.

Bad as all this is, I think the worst is yet to come.  Right now, average Americans are censoring their speech, but they’re still thinking the thoughts.  Polls and votes show that people don’t like illegal (as opposed to legal) immigration; that they recognize that Islam is a breeding ground for terrorism (although not all Muslims are terrorists); that traditional marriage is an institution that should be carefully considered before being thoughtlessly overthrown; and that Barack Obama’s policies are disastrous, at home and abroad.  We’re cowed, but our brains our still active.

The New York City bombing attempt may change all that.  Although initial reports were conflicting a couple of things are now perfectly clear about that bombing attempt:  (1) the target was Viacom and (2) the perpetrator was a Muslim (Shahzad Faisal, according to a recent bip on my iPhone).

Viacom, of course, is the parent company of Comedy Central — and Comedy Central is the company that thought better of airing a South Park episode that poked fun at the Islamic obsession, not just with observing its own blackout of Mohamed’s image, but with forcing everyone else in the world to abide by that same religious mandate.  (As an aside, this obsession, while it has a long history in Islam, has never been universally observed.  There are significant numbers of Islam representations of Mohamed.  The current screaming mania is as much a manifestation of jihad as it is of a genuine religious impulse amongst the Islamists.)

So what we have here is a company that self-censored, but still ended up on the receiving end of a bomb.  Viacom’s dhimmi behavior was inadequate to placate the Islamic radicals.  Unlike past totalitarian regimes, which accepted conforming behavior as adequate to deflect the thought police, the new Islamic regime wants to ensure that we don’t even have the thoughts anymore.  Just like little Anthony, Islamists want to make sure that, when it comes to their faith and their prophet, we “had best think only good thoughts.” Entertaining the possibility of any other ideas relative to Islam is likely to be deadly.

In another era, of course, an era that hasn’t been bleached of strength by the PC police, by identity politics, and by increasing statism (and, therefore, decreasing individualism), Americans would have given the Islamists the one-fingered salute they deserve.  Historically, when America, with its size, strength and freedoms, stood up to tyranny, America won.  But we no longer can boast those virtues.

Sure we’re big, but we’re not a strong melting pot.  Instead, we’re a fractious “salad bowl” (the politically correct metaphor for an identity riven nation).

Yes, we’re strong, but we’re weakening all the time, as we give away our energy independence, our economic power, and our weapons.

And lastly, we’re increasingly less free as we willingly hand our lives and our thoughts over to the statists.  As the good people of New Orleans demonstrated in Hurricane Katrina’s wake, when you consign yourself entirely to government care, your ability to care for yourself (and the courage such care requires) rapidly atrophies.

Put simply:  we don’t have the moral or physical strength any more, as a citizenry, to take a stand against threats to our fundamental freedoms.  TV shows will be ever more bland and careful.  Newspapers, echoing the BBC, may well start proactively appending “pbuh” to stories the reference Mohamed.  And ordinary citizens, increasingly cowed by accusations of “isms” (e.g., racism) and phobias (e.g., Islamophobia), will not only keep their mouths shut, but will also keep their thoughts pure.

Welcome to the new American Twilight Zone.

When no one is an enemy, everyone is an enemy

Michael Yon, Joan Rivers and a little boy clutching the Play-Doh his grandparents gave him.  That looks like a peculiarly disparate list of people but, in fact, all three people are bound together by one thing:  the TSA Department of Homeland Security.

As you already know, on Monday, the TSA Customs detained and handcuffed Michael Yon because he refused to tell them his income.  (You can hear a detailed interview here.)  On Sunday, the TSA an airline booted Joan Rivers, famed comedienne and 76 year old grandmother, from a flight to Costa Rica.  And right before Christmas, the TSA, in full Grinch mode, confiscated a little boy’s Play-Doh, even though Play-Doh is not on the ever-lengthening list of forbidden items for flying.

The TSA Homeland Security, in its defense, would say that Yon’s passport, which shows him traveling to the world’s hot spots is suspicious; that Joan Rivers’ has too many names (Joan Rivers and her married name, Joan Rosenberg); and that Play-Doh is virtually indistinguishable from some types of plastic explosives.  (What the TSA no one will ever concede, of course, is that the attack on Yon may well have been a vendetta, triggered by an article Yon wrote describing the way in which Homeland Security forced a friend of his to reveal her email password so that they could read her emails with him.)

There is a peculiar kind of logic to this reasoning:  after all, everything has the potential to be a weapon. That thing over there, on the other side of the room, may look like a chair, but it can also be used to bash people over the head.  The pepper container on the table can, if thrown in someone’s eyes, easily disable them.  Indeed, we already know, from past experience with terrorists, that baby formula can actually be an explosive, underwear can blow up, shoes can detonate planes, and box cutters can cut throats, not just boxes.

The problem then, isn’t to identify the potential weapons, but to identify the potential weapon bearers.  Again, looks can be deceiving.  Everybody has the potential be dangerous.  I may be a 5 ft tall, middle-aged Mom, but I also know some nasty self-defense techniques, and am surprisingly strong.  That pretty blond woman in line at the airport could be a radical intent on destroying anything in her path — and wearing the explosive underwear to prove it.

The fact, though, is that suburban Jewish moms, pretty blonds, aged Jewish comediennes, famed war correspondents, and other people haven’t been wearing exploding shoes and underwear, using their babies as weapons of mass destruction, or cutting people’s throats with box cutters.  Only one demographic has been doing that:  Muslims.

Logic, then, would dictate that Homeland Security would expend its energies most efficiently if it would primarily target Muslims.  It shouldn’t solely target Muslims, of course.  It is always possible that the pretty blond, the suburban homemaker or the Jewish comedienne is a convert to Islam (otherwise, why would she commit mass murder?), and that she and her cohorts are relying on her apparent separation from Islam to make her a one woman weapon of mass destruction.  An efficient anti-terrorist enterprise would therefore profile Muslims on a regular basis , while keeping a weather eye on everyone else.

But as we all know, and have known since George Bush called Islam a religion of peace (or maybe he meant a religion of pieces, usually body parts) we’re not allowed to profile Muslims.  This is an enemy whose name we dare not speak.  Doing so, after all, might hurt someone’s feelings.  What’s so bizarre about all this is that, in the past, when cultures targeted a class within them, they did so based on propaganda and innuendo, not actual fact.  For example, the Nazi war against the Jews was based on a claim that Jews were (a) seeking world domination; (b) raping blond women and (c) eating Christian babies.  The problem for the Nazis, however, was that the only actual evidence of this was . . . non-existent.  Jews were good citizens wherever they lived and many places were miserably poor and completely isolated from the surrounding blond, Christian population.  To sustain their attack against the Jews, the Nazis had to invent facts and evidence like crazy.

The Muslims, however, unlike the Jews (or, indeed, the American blacks so often falsely accused of raping or even looking at white women) are doing something.  They are blowing things up; they are hijacking planes; they are beheading people; they are writing and preaching mass murder.  They are shining huge neon lights on themselves, loudly announcing their intention to destroy, in the most painful way possible, every mother’s son and daughter of us.  And we, in the name of political correctness, aggressively ignore them.  Has there ever before been a society that ignored the clarion call of its enemy the way we do ours?

Obama finally admitted that there was a “screw up” (and isn’t the great orator crude in his speech?), because we didn’t “connect the dots.”  What he implies is that we, as a society, want to connect the dots.  We don’t.  We dare not.  We’re more afraid of offending political sensibilities than we are of planes and buildings being immolated, with hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands, dead.

What happened to Michael Yon, Joan Rivers and one little boy is the inevitable result of our insane policy:  if we concede that there is some type of war going on, but we resolutely refuse to name the enemy, than everyone becomes the enemy.  Every chair and toy is a weapon, and every grandmother an aggressor.  In order to fight a war, you have to have an enemy.  During the Bush years, our enemy was a tactic (terrorism).  That was bad enough, but now things have degraded so much that our enemy is just a result (“violence”).  A culture cannot fight chimeras.  It cannot take a resolute stand against . . . nothing whatsoever but weasel words.

The one thing I can say with absolute certainly is that, if we go on at this rate, we are doomed, for we will implode without our enemy ever having to touch us again.

In England, it’s not how well you educate, it’s how politically correct you are

When parents think about what a school should do for their children, they think in terms of the three “Rs,” plus a lovely layering of science, history, and other subjects that maketh a full (and employable) man.  The politically correct Nanny State, however, cares little for education and a great deal for ideology.  It should therefore come as no surprise to you that the British government, rather than ranking schools based upon how well they educate children is ranking them, instead, on how well they indoctrinate children in politically correct shibboleths, and whether their student composition matches race and color grids that the government promulgates:

Top schools risk being branded inadequate by Government inspectors for failing to promote race relations, gender equality and human rights, it has been disclosed.

They could be plunged into “special measures” by Ofsted under new rules that place equality on a par with exam results and child safety for the first time.

In official guidance, inspectors are told to be aware of “gender imbalances” in upper-ability sets and ensure after-school sport is not dominated by pupils belonging to one ethnic group.

Some local councils are also warning schools to make sure staff and volunteers reflect the ethnic make-up of local communities and feature people with disabilities to provide good role models for pupils.

Look at England closely, my friends. The country that led the way, that provided the seeds for the American genius, is dying before our eyes.  Even worse, our politically correct, liberal, Progressive masters are hastening to drag us down that same path.

Let me say again what you’ll hear me say in post after post after post in 2010:  The November 2010 elections are pretty much our last chance to stop the PC car before it drags the whole nation over the edge of the cliff.  We must start supporting candidates with money now, rather than waiting until the last minute; we must go to rallies and make our presence know; and we have to vote with vigor in the 2010 elections.  Otherwise, no slamming on the brakes is going to help.  We’ll already be airborne and ready to fall.

Are Muslims still testing our air security?

Pierre LeGrand’s Pink Flamingo Bar has a disturbing post.  In it, he reprints part of a message from someone who claims to have been on a recent flight that was disrupted by a large group of obviously Muslim men aggressively flouting airplane safety rules.  As you may recall, in the wake of 9/11, Anne Jacobson wrote repeatedly about incidents such as this, with special emphasis on the airlines’ fear of becoming embroiled in politically correct disputes if they engaged with these men.  One has to wonder whether the Islamists are still trying to figure out whether Americans generally and airlines specifically are willing to have political correctness march them into the grave.

Two must reads *UPDATED*

American Thinker is a site I check regularly, at least twice a day.  It’s not just that the editors are kind enough to publish my work occasionally.  It’s because the articles that appear there routinely range from really good to out-of-the-park stupendous.

Today, there are two that fall in the latter category.  These are the kinds of articles that shouldn’t just be read, but that should be emailed to everyone you know.  Indeed, the one regarding socialism should be required reading in every American classroom.  So, without further ado, please, please, please read and discuss and forward:

What’s Wrong with Socialism, by Joe Herring

and

It Isn’t Political Correctness, It’s Shariah, by Pamela Geller

UPDATE:  Add military analyst Steve Schippert’s All the King’s Horses (about Afghanistan) to the list of things that will widen your horizons today.

Affirmative action and PC ideology smite the military

I remain absolutely convinced that Obama, the boy genius of the left, is a product of affirmative action who is hiding his academic record because it is dismal.  If it weren’t dismal, he’d be showing it off.  Frankly, though, after thirty years of affirmative action, we expected nothing more from our academic institutions.  That’s a shame, too, because it means that, for most Americans, a Harvard degree in the hands of a black or hispanic person is written off as a gift from a beneficent liberal bureaucracy, while a Harvard degree in the hands of a white or asian person means that person is damn smart.   The presumption is that a minority couldn’t have made it on his (or her) own.  Affirmative action, rather than removing hurdles, created an insuperable one, which is the virtually immovable assumption that all minorities are below average, and obtained their degrees with help.

For a long time, it seemed as if the military was the last bastion of quality in America:  a place in which race, color, creed, religion or place of origin were irrelevant.  What mattered in the military, we were told, was ability and commitment.  It was the most successfully integrated institution in America because it was color blind.  Turns out that is a lie.

The whole Hasan debacle revealed the PC horror of the military to a shocked America.  Here was a ticking jihadist time bomb within the heart of our military, and no one did anything for fear of offending PC sensibilities.  Then, in the wake of his massacre, the powers that be in the Obama administration and the military itself rushed out speeches, not to assure Americans that they were keeping us safe from jihadists, but to ensure jihadists that they were going to be kept safe from us.

That is a big, bloody story, but the PC corruption of a formerly egalitarian institution turns out to exist at all levels in the military.  CDR Salamander let the cat out of the bag when he blogged about the way in which the Navy Color Guard put together for the World Series was jiggered and rejiggered so that it would look “good” (read, victim identity appropriate) for television.  I was under the impression that Color Guard status was an assigned position based upon skills.  It turns out, however, that what matters is that the Guard’s appearance appeals to identity politic sensibilities.  I urge you to read Phibian’s original post (linked above), as well as his follow-up to that post.

Academic corruption is bad.  It means that, in the marketplace, I’m going to place substantially less value on a black or hispanic person, than I will on a white person.  If I were lawyer shopping, I’d pick the white Baylor grad over the black Harvard grad.  At least with the former, I actually know what product I’m buying.  With the military, though, because this is all about chain of command without any market freedom, the consequences are much worse than the devaluation of any specific diploma.  Instead, troops in the military stand to die (as they did in Fort Hood), and we Americans stand to lose our freedoms as our military becomes ever less efficient and increasingly in thrall to the destructive forces of Political Correctness.

I’d like to add here that I am not racist, in that I do not believe that any specific race is inherently better or worse than any other race.  Instead, I’m a smart shopper.  If I know that a factory is cheating to turn out a product, I won’t buy from that factor.  And it’s a damn shame that it’s minorities in America who are the ones being cheated.

Islam had everything to do with Fort Hood

Insane people reflect the obsessions of their times.  In the old days, insane people heard messages from the Devil.  In the post-nuclear age, they were in contact with Martians.  And nowadays, if their Muslim, Islam gives the impetus to their urges.  Indeed, Islam is an all-purpose blank check for bad behavior.  As my cousin, the prison chaplain, says:

It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.

Math was never my strong point at school, but I managed to grasp the concept of a Venn Diagram.   The beauty of a Venn Diagram is that it’s a nice visual for the common denominators that may bind together otherwise disparate facts or events.  On the Venn Diagram of massacres on American soil, one of the largest areas of overlap is Islam.  The fact that these attacks aren’t necessarily generated at Al Qaeda headquarters is irrelevant.  Indeed, the absence of Al Qaeda involvement is helpful, because police work probably finds it easier to catch groups than lone individuals.

Nevertheless, the President and the media are very busy assuring ordinary Americans that Islam had absolutely nothing to do with Hasan’s murderous rampage at Fort Hood.  Some examples:

  • President Obama says “don’t jump to conclusions.”  On the one hand, he’s correct.  On the other hand, (a) he didn’t take his own advice when it came to Henry Louis Gates and “stupid cops” (although maybe he learned his lesson then); and (b) it’s very clear that he wants to steer Americans away permanently from even thinking that Islam is connected to death.
  • The BBC says “Shooting Raises Fears For Muslims In US Army.”  Mark Steyn has the perfect riposte to this headline:  it is “the grossest bad taste to default every single time within minutes to the position that what’s of most interest about an actual atrocity with real victims is that it may provoke an entirely hypothetical atrocity with entirely hypothetical victims.”
  • Chris Matthews expresses confusion at the way religion is even mentioned in connection with Hasan’s rampage (and the hell with him invoking Allah’s name at the height of his killing spree).
  • NPR says “the motive behind the shootings was not immediately clear.”
  • The New York Times suggests that this arm chair jockey, who just sat back and listened, snapped from the stress of war.  Yeah.  Right.

Just to offset this type of quisling behavior, let me offer to you a long list of articles that call murder in the name of Allah — whether the killer is alone or in a group, rational or irrational, American or non-American — by its true name:  Jihad.

Mark Steyn:   “What happened to those men and women at Fort Hood had a horrible symbolism: Members of the best trained, best equipped fighting force on the planet gunned down by a guy who said a few goofy things no one took seriously. And that’s the problem: America has the best troops and fiercest firepower, but no strategy for throttling the ideology that drives the enemy — in Afghanistan and in Texas.”

Rusty Shackleford:  “Hasan was a devout Muslim who, prior to his transfer to the Texas base, attended a conservative mosque on a daily basis and was known by associates to occasionally rant about U.S. involvement in the War on Terror. Press accounts also claim that Hasan had at one time been the subject of an FBI investigation because of an internet posting bearing his name which justified suicide bombings.  [Para.] No one should be shocked that Hasan would turn to murder and terror. The only thing shocking about Hasan’s actions is the amount of carnage.”

Jennifer Rubin:  “Listen, ignoring reality and feigning indifference to the views and behavior of Major Hasan is how we wound up with 13 dead and 30 wounded, right? Perhaps we should be candid for once. The American people can figure this one out — and those who continue to play dumb will earn only their contempt.”

Roger Simon:  “The immediate reaction of the mainstream media on learning of the activities of Nidal Malik Hasan was to say that he was crazy. And no doubt that was true. Anyone with a passing knowledge of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM IV), could probably place Major Hasan comfortably in several categories.  [para.] Of course, the same could be said of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Usama bin Laden and various other mass murderers of recent history. Nevertheless, the attempt was to explain away Hasan’s actions as pathological and thus avoid dealing with, or even – to the degree possible – mentioning the ideology to which his neuroses adhere (hint: it begins with an “I”).  [para.] This strategy is a form of what is popularly known as political correctness, which I submit is also a pathology and a quite virulent one – in this case, arguably the cause of death of the thirteen men and women murdered at Fort Hood.”

J.R. Salzman:  “[Y]ou don’t get PTSD from sitting on your ass around Walter Reed. Not only is it not possible to “catch” secondhand PTSD, but it is not that kind of a place. I would know, I was a patient there for nine months. The place is simply not that stressful or chaotic. When I was there my PTSD got better, not worse.”

Leon de Winter:  “There is only one term that adequately describes the massacre at Fort Hood: a terrorist attack. The media tries to avoid this term, but the more that is known about the killer, the more it becomes clear that this premeditated and deadly attack on unarmed soldiers and civilians was driven by his belief that Islam should rule the world.”

Robert Spencer:  “Major Hasan’s motive was perfectly clear — but it was one that the forces of political correctness and the Islamic advocacy groups in the United States have been working for years to obscure. So it is that now that another major jihad terror attack has taken place on American soil, authorities and the mainstream media are at a loss to explain why it happened – and the abundant evidence that it was a jihad attack is ignored.”

Michael Ledeen:   “I’m all for waiting until all the evidence is in from Texas before reaching any conclusions, but that should apply to everyone.  Notably to the FBI, which seems to have developed a conditioned reflex that requires the Bureau to announce, within seconds of any act of murder, ‘there is no evidence of terrorism.’  Which, in this case, is ridiculous, since it was precisely that.  [para] All of which brings us back to one of the nastiest problems we face:  the indoctrination of Americans in this country.  If you look beneath the surface of these plots and murders, you will often find that the actual or would-be killers have attended radical mosques.  They don’t come to jihad by sitting quietly at home and reading the Koran.  They hear sermons, they are guided in the paths of terror, and they choose to become terrorists.  And in this country, those radical sermons and that incitement is traditionally treated as ‘protected speech.’  It’s protected by the First Amendment, and its guarantee of freedom of religion.”

Jamie Glazov:  “The murders by Malik Nadal Hasan at Ft. Hood, TX are not a ‘lone wolf incident’ as being described by most media organizations. Hasan had been taught the ideology that is being advocated by hundreds of Islamic scholars and Imams in the U.S. We as a country can continue to deny there are numerous Islamic leaders and their supporting organizations such as CAIR, ISNA, MSA, and MANA, to name a few, who advocate killing innocent men, women, and children whom they allege ‘oppress Islam.’”

Victor Davis Hanson carefully looks at the number of Islamists who have plotted or carried out attacks against civilians (and Ft. Hood’s soldiers were, within their home base, tantamount to civilians), and politely destroys the argument that it’s just coincidence that so many mass murderers, and attempted mass murderers, in the past decade have been Muslim.

David Horowitz:   “The Ft. Hood killings are the chickens of the left coming home to roost. Already the chief political correspondent of The Nation has decried even mention of the fact that the jihadist killer Hasan is a Palestinian Muslim. According to The Nation this  is ‘Islamophobia.’ This fatuous attempt to protect America’s enemies carries on The Nation’s 60-year tradition as the leading fifth column collaborator with America’s enemies — defender of the Rosenbergs, defender of Hiss, defender of their boss Stalin, defender of Mao, defender of Castro and now defender of Islamic terrorists. But The Nation is only the tip of an iceberg. The fifth column formed out of the unholy alliance between radical Islam and the American left is now entrenched in the White House and throughout our government. And in matters like the Muslim jihadist Major Hasan our military is its captive.”

Phyllis Chesler:  “Sudden Jihad Syndrome, (it’s not all that “sudden” by the way), Personal Jihad Syndrome, call it what you will—these terrible acts should not be psychiatrically diagnosed and excused. In Islamist culture what Major Hasan did is a glorious act, a desired act; it is not the act of someone who is considered psychiatrically deranged. At the risk of being called a racist, allow me to suggest that we must connect the dots before it is too late. Islam now=jihad=hate propaganda=9/11=the tragedy at Ft. Hood.  [Para.]  That means Islam now, and its followers of all colors and ethnicities, is at war with the entire world, is dreaming of a Caliphate to be achieved through violent jihad. I doubt that Major Hasan is a Sufi Muslim.”

Bruce Bawer:  “Could there be a more bitter contrast? At Fort Hood, so many courageous GIs, all of them prepared to risk their lives fighting the Islamic jihadist enemy in defense of our freedom, several of them now dead. And, on our TV screens, so many apparently craven journalists, public officials, psychiatrists, and (alas) even military brass — all but a few of whom seemed unwilling to do anything more than hint obliquely at the truth that obviously lies at the root of this monstrous act.”

John Weidner (who is kind enough to link to me):  “Pacifism, or rather nihilism disguised as fake-pacifism, is one of the sicknesses of our time. No matter how many times it’s proved wrong, a large portion of the populace will continue to believe that looking and being weak will make them safer and will prevent violence and war. But pacifism causes war.  [Para.] Whoever gave the orders that American soldiers should not carry their sidearms or other weapons on our military bases murdered those soldiers who died at Ft Hood. Charlene was an Army brat, and she says that personnel carried their weapons on the base when she was young. Somebody (the phrase “death panel” springs to mind) disarmed the very men and women who are sworn to protect us using violent force when necessary. INSANE! SICK!”

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Army invites Fifth Column into its midst

Do I think all American Muslims are terrorists?  No.  Do I think the American military should bar Muslims?  No.  Do I think the American military should stop actively recruiting them and providing them with radical Imams?  Oh, yes (emphasis mine).

The Fort Hood terrorist is being portrayed as an “anomaly,” an “aberration,” a “lone wolf.” Sadly, he’s just one of many examples of jihadist traitors in the ranks of the military.

Together they form a dangerous Fifth Column, and the Pentagon — thanks to institutionalized political correctness — is doing next to nothing to root them out .

Instead, brass are actively recruiting Muslim soldiers — whose ranks have swelled to more than 15,000 — and catering to their faith by erecting mosques even at Marine headquarters in Quantico, Va.  More, they’re hiring Muslim chaplains endorsed by radical Islamic front groups, who convert and radicalize soldiers.

In the wake of the worst domestic military-base massacre in U.S. history, this is an outrage to say the least. And the PC blinders explain how Fort Hood commanders could have failed so horrifically in protecting their force from the internal threat there.

I’ll add to this IBD editorial the fact that the military and FBI knew that, as a direct result of his faith, Hasan was incredibly hostile to the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq, and that he believed in suicide bombing. And yet they did nothing. It was a matter of balancing the odds. The odds were 100% that whoever acted upon this information about Hasan would find his career destroyed. The odds were something less than 100% that Hasan would actually kill fellow Americans.  If you’re gambling in a climate in which our own president backs an Attorney General who targets those in American law enforcement who went after Islamists, being passive is the better bet.

Political correctness (and the fear that underlies it) run amok

Horrible story of what happens when political correctness and fear of a violent minority group culminate in a school that saw the administration look the other way for fear of offending those violent minority sensibilities.

This, by the way, is how that paralyzing political correctness, a sensiblity that saps courage and morality, begins.

Even the Muslims are mad at Britain’s most recent attack of dhimmitude

We’re getting near the tail-end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that requires dawn to dusk fasting.  Now, I’m a gal who enjoys noshing during the day, so I’m not thrilled about abstaining from food and drink for 10 hours.  I’d be especially unhappy if it was a hot day, ’cause any type of drink would look awfully enticing.  Nevertheless, it is not the end of the world to hold off on eating for a few hours, especially with the promise of a nice meal to come at the end of the day.  Also, assuming I’m a devout Muslim, I’m not fasting as a punishment, but as as a religious obligation.  It is my gift to God and my faith.

The British Home Office, however, was terribly, terribly worried about those Muslims amongst it who might have rumbly tummies and dry mouths.  It therefore sent around a 5 page document informing all the bone-headed ordinary Brits in its employ about all the sensitivity steps they’d need to talk to make their hungry colleagues happy until night fell:

Home Office staff were officially warned not to eat in front of their fasting Muslim colleagues during Ramadan – in case it made them feel hungry.

The advice came in a taxpayer-funded internal document listing do’s and don’ts during the Muslim holy month, which ends this weekend.

[snip]

The Home Office Islamic Network produced the five-page information sheet which says: ‘In practical terms, please be sensitive when eating lunch near a Muslim colleague who is fasting.

This can make an individual feel hungrier and make it more challenging to observe the fast.’

[snip]

It says: ‘The most likely need Muslim staff may present to managers during this period is for flexibility around working hours and break times as those fasting will have a slightly different routine from usual. Managers and Muslim staff should discuss what their needs are and be responsive and sensitive.’

Managers were also told: ‘Muslim staff who are fasting and whose environment allows it may wish to set out for work earlier than usual and finish their working day correspondingly early…in line with flexi-time arrangements.’

[snip]

The spokeswoman added that the Islamic Network was one of a number of staff faith and equality groups within the Home Office and was paid for by the taxpayer.

What’s so incredibly funny about all this is that the British, who have completely accepted that there home culture must always be subordinate to another culture, have not protested.  Instead, the protests came from Muslim groups, who felt as if they’d had a big target painted on them:

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee, which claims to be fighting a ‘political jihad against Islamophobia’, attacked the document.

It said: ‘It is designed to create more hatred in the hearts of non-Muslims.

‘We don’t care how much non-Muslims eat in front of us.

‘It’s never been an issue and never will be and we have never asked for any special treatment or sensitivity from non-Muslims whilst fasting.’

What’s sad is that we no longer live in a society where the bottom line is simply a party of human decency:  If possible, as a good human being and a member of a pluralist society, be nice to people and make reasonable accommodations to their needs — something that should be true irrespective of your or their race, religion, creed, national origin, sex, sexual preferences, etc.