Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Defending Sarah Palin

You're Peggy Noonan and you're jealous. You are a card-carrying member of the intellectual conservative elite, a PBS-anointed expert on family values who worked for both Ronald Reagan and Dan Rather, a talented speechwriter and wordsmith. And you are fuming: Sarah Palin refuses to be yesterday's news. You just can't get her out of your mind.
-- Stuart Schwartz, “Peggy Noonan: Sarah Palin Jealous

I like Sarah Palin.

I’m glad to see someone of the caliber of Norman Podhoretz writing something (“In Defense of Sarah Palin”) in answer to a lot of surprisingly nasty critics on the right.

I don’t necessarily think Palin would make the best president, nor the best candidate for president in a critical election like 2012. I don’t particularly want to see her trading talking points with professional commentators on Fox News. That’s not worth much, anyway.

But anyone who thinks she’s stupid is, well, not too bright. Before the media or pundits knew she was someone they were supposed to hate, she had already run for, and won, three offices in Alaska, without any help from the Republican Party, and against entrenched corruptocrats. All credible reports are that she did a great job as governor. She also appears to be a great mother and wife, measured by objective standards, Bristol’s single motherhood notwithstanding. She’s stayed married, she’s kept her family together. Podhoretz has recognized that some conservatives -- snobs -- dislike Palin because they’re embarrassed at her lack of what passes for class in New York and Washington. I already knew that some conservative brains disliked her for her working-class authenticity, and, as Kathleen Parker put it after the 2008 election, because of her God-crazy “oogedy-boogedy.” (“Giving Up on God”).

Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth -- as long as we're setting ourselves free -- is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.

Sarah Palin [is] part of the problem. . . .Let's do pray that God shows Alaska's governor the door.

Ohmigod! Are the intelligentsia saying that? They always stop talking and sneer impatiently whenever I come by to pick up the empty cabernet glasses, trying to overhear them!

Oh, and then there’s the jealousy of Sarah Palin, (from certain female elites),. Jealousy because she’s attractive and charismatic--and can’t quote a line from Horace! You're Peggy Noonan and you're jealous. So you loosed a multi-column primal scream:

Palin is an idiot who is "out of her depth in a shallow pool", a woman who has no sense of personal limits because she is not even smart enough to realize she is "a ponder-free zone." Whoa-good one! The rhetorical equivalent of the chickenwing camel clutch, where you come up behind and twist her arm behind her back, and then force her face to the mat. Or, in her case, to the snow. That's what they have in Alaska, don't they? You don't know, of course-Martha's Vineyard is about as far north as you venture, and then only to observe humanity-you know, the common folks-from "a little pier" before strolling over for dinner with two of the more brilliant stars in your friends firmament, television personalities Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric.

You're Peggy Noonan and you're jealous. You pal around with Sawyer and Couric, Jane Fonda, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin -- the world is your aging oyster -- and The New York Times (which is sort of iffy on your writing) admires you for the company you keep. The Manhattan and beltway salon denizens love you. Brian Williams even said he'd nominate you for a Pulitzer, calling your writing "sparkling." Yes, THE Brian Williams, He Who Anchors NBC News, who had an audience with President Obama, to whom he bowed when leaving.

During the 2008 election someone, (and I’ve kicked myself for not saving the quotation) wrote that Palin’s affect was similar to that of holy water on vampires: she makes manifest the deep character in people.

But Podhoretz brings it down to snobbery:

Much as I would like to believe that the answer lies in some elevated consideration, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the same species of class bias that Mrs. Palin provokes in her enemies and her admirers is at work among the conservative intellectuals who are so embarrassed by her. When William F. Buckley Jr., then the editor of National Review, famously quipped that he would rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the combined faculties of Harvard and MIT, most conservative intellectuals responded with a gleeful amen. But put to the test by the advent of Sarah Palin, along with the populist upsurge represented by the Tea Party movement, they have demonstrated that they never really meant it.

There are some real snoots on the conservative side. Don’t get me started.

Read what else Podhoretz has to say here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Left's Thought for the Week: Racism!

One thing about Leftist messengers: they get their message from leadership and they stick with it.

Here’s the current message:

Republican/Conservatives/Tea Partiers don’t really care about health care or taxes at all. They only care about race, as in, they want to re-institute Jim Crow and kill Obama.

We noticed last week how the Tea Party rally outside the Capitol was being described as a mob scene of racial, homophobic hate, something on the order of the arrival at school of the Little Rock nine. And even though there had to be scores of news cameras and countless video cameras at the capitol rally as egotistical Congressmen waded through, no one has ever produced the video of Tea Partiers chanting “nigger,” or anybody spitting on anybody.

(Now how far do you think Glenn Beck would get if he didn’t have miles and miles of video and book excerpts to support the claims he makes about Obama’s advisers?)

This morning Frank Rich’s column explains that “The Rage Is Not About Health Care”).

After rehearsing the week’s bullet points of undocumented racist attacks, Rich gets down to business:
The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play.
Admittedly, Frank Rich is an idiot. But he is in the New York Times. And these things work by cumulative volume, not by credibility.

Then on on C-Span radio I heard a re-play of a Saturday broadcast from a Washington, D,C. bookstore, in which an audience questioner, who said he was with Code Pink, gave the kind of rambling speech typical of C-Span broadcasts from liberal bookstores. The man claimed he was present at the Tea Party rally and saw countless instances of Tea Partiers calling Congressional staffers “niggers,” something about which I don't accept at face value. Mr. Code Pink then went on to explain that he doesn’t really believe Republicans really care about lowering taxes or health care at all; all they care about is acting on their racism.

That’s the message, twice in one day, and I’m not even looking for it.

Jesse Jackson to CAIR: ‘Imam WHO?'

Holding a rally at historic New Bethel Baptist Church was supposed to be a “sign” that escalating concerns about Abdullahgate, CAIR-MI’s only current issue still breathing, were rising so fast they were overflowing the banks of Detroit’s Muslim community and flooding through the non-Muslim religious community as well.

It turned out to be a sign that the whole event was just an excuse for a reunion of the old fighters of Detroit’s Black Power movement.

Sunday's CAIR banquet was another sign.

No less serious (!) a character than the Rev. Jesse Jackson showed up at the Michigan Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations banquet at the Hyatt, retained no doubt to lend some much-needed gravitas to CAIR--not that Jesse has much left to lend.

But rather than throw his weight behind CAIR’s attack against the FBI for assassinating Imam Abdullah, Jackson said flat-out during his speech: “We didn't come to town to discuss the man who got killed.” The Detroit Free Press reports that, “Jackson instead encouraged the crowd to fight also for health care, education and job security.”

Whaa-aa-at? It’s almost as if Jackson, in his dotage, just assumes that every group that invites him is just another phony civil-rights/community organization with their hand out for Obama Bread.
“Our quest as Americans is equal protection under the law; you can't just fight for Islamic issues,” Jackson told guests, encouraging them “to focus more on such issues as getting the government to pay for educational programs instead of prison space.”
Dawud Walid can’t have been happy that Jackson was unwilling to use his speech to rally “the community” for Abdullahgate, and CAIR’s other Islamic causes. Jackson wouldn’t even use any of his inspirational rhyming skills, although we’ve heard that Jackson got stuck for a good topical rhyme for “Abdullah”: Hula? Missoula? Ashtabula?

Today’s report is also a sign that Walid may be pivoting away from being the spokesman for All Muslims in Michigan, and trying to find his way into a more promising slot as leader of at least some of the area’s black community. Consider the way Melanie Scott at the Free Press described Sunday’s CAIR banquet: “held one day after leaders in the African-American community held a rally questioning the killing of the Muslim cleric.” African-American leaders? I thought CAIR was running that show because Abdullah was murdered for being Muslim?

Then, on Sunday, Walid used his banquet speech to compare Abdullah’s death with “the death in 1969 of African-American activist Fred Hampton, deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, who was killed by Chicago police and FBI agents as he lay in bed.”

At the risk of being called an unflattering name, I’m not ready to believe that Dearborn’s Muslims were moved very close to tears over how a Chicago Black Panther met his end in 1969. Maybe since one of Jackson’s early acts of self-promotion was eulogizing Hampton, Walid may have thought the name-dropping couldn’t hurt.

For that matter, I doubt CAIR’s immigrant supporters were too awfully sympathetic when Jesse Jackson said Tea Party members were “the same voices that blocked school doors ... in the name of protecting the sanctity of Alabama.”

I mentioned somewhere recently that I thought Walid’s been hoping for a job offer from the Nation of Islam, (“If he starts giving interviews wearing a bow tie, remember you heard it here first”), or some other black organization that can appreciate his rabble-rousing skills. He wants a job with a future.

And CAIR hasn’t got a future.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

From the Stupak Amendment to Stupak Needing Amendment

Mitch Albom, Detroit sports-writer turned clanging cowbell of liberal righteousness, is still on a soap box over Congressman Randy Neugebauer’s outburst at Bart Stupak last week, when he called him a “baby killer,” a piece of ugliness so foul to Albom he only repeats it eight times in his column. (“Stupak feels arrows from his own side”).

Neugebauer apologized immediately for saying it. Like many pro-choice liberals, Albom’s scale of values assigns calling someone a baby killer a much worse ranking than, say, actually being a baby killer.

I’m not saying Stupak is a baby-killer. But Albom defended George Tiller because his murders of the unborn are “governed, sanctioned, and allowed,” (actually, they were not), while criticizing broadcasters like Bill O'Reilly for pointing out that Tiller made his living butchering unborn infants.

Albom’s idea is that, because Stupak’s been reliably, consistently pro-life until last Saturday, pro-lifers have no right to criticize him for utterly flopping last week when the most important pro-life decision of his career was staring him in the face.

This all puzzles Albom. Why, he asks, does Stupak have to suffer these slings and arrows now, when he has “an intractable anti-abortion record”?

No, Mitch. Stupak’s being criticized now because his record ceased to be “intractable” when he allowed himself to be bought off by the President’s meaningless executive order. Now his record has a big, red “TRACTABLE” stamped on it.

But Albom can’t get this at all. He doesn’t understand why you can’t be pro-life, but able to compromise on the issue from time to time. “If we go to your favorite restaurant tonight, why can’t we compromise and go to my favorite restaurant tomorrow night?” Because, is the answer of the pro-life cause, every time we go to your favorite restaurant, we have to pay in dead babies. Albom:

Now, remember. It's not as if Stupak suddenly turned pro-abortion. He is -- and always has been -- adamant on the subject. He was cosponsor of the amendment that insisted no federal money be spent on such procedures.
He was adamant on the subject, Mitch, until he wasn’t. “Yeah, I cheated on you, but only after being faithful for 30 years! Doesn’t that count for anything?”

Stupak’s decision may not mean he suddenly turned pro-abortion. But it does mean that, after a career of pro-life votes, he voted pro-abortion in one of the most significant pro-life battles in 40 years. It was down to him, and he blew it.

And for the Stupak Amendment: the reason Stupak was willing to face a hail of criticism from his Democratic side over that was because he didn’t trust the President that the Senate bill wouldn’t cover abortion.

Stupak always knew that, and he knows it now.

So how does Albom explain pro-life anger against Stupak?

But his crime this past week, in the minds of his pro-life critics, was accepting Obama's executive order to enforce something that already has been enforced for more than 30 years.

How dare Stupak trust the president?

Goddamn right, how dare he trust the President. Being pro-life means guarding the unborn against people like Barack Hussein Obama.

Albom, Barbara Walters-style, wants to know how all this makes Bart feel. Bad, says, Stupak. He doesn’t like the personal attacks:
“Maybe these so-called groups for life are not really standing up for the sanctity of life," Stupak said. "Maybe they're there for political purposes. Maybe they've lost their mission.”
They’ve lost their mission! I hate to see any pro-lifer lost to the cause, but this sounds suspiciously like the way pro-lifers talk when they’re getting ready to take that dive to pro-abortion. First they attack the pro-life cause as too extreme, insulting them as insincere, “so-called groups for life.” Next they wake up and realize abortion is a “personal choice” that obviously should be left up to the mother. Eighty percent of the Democratic pro-abortion caucus came to it by this route.

I hope Stupak doesn’t do that. I hope that, once he gets thrown out of office by voters, that life presents him an opportunity to undo what he just did. This doesn't have to be the end of the story. But the fact that he’s been faithful so long only increases the tragedy of his failure at the critical moment. There’s a lesson in that, and a reminder for a Christian of the warning of St. Paul, to let any man who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall.

These are grave matters. Maybe Neugebauer’s outburst was his way of warning him away from the cliff.

Abdullah Rally: Who's Zoomin' Who?

Well, shut my mouth. Here I am complaining that CAIR-MI’s Dawud Walid can’t back up his claim that concern about the death of radical mosque leader Imam Abdullah is escalating across various faiths, then I see reports this morning about a standing-room only mass rally of religious leaders from across--no, wait, check that.

It wasn’t exactly a mass rally--it was only “about 150 people.” But anyway, the rally was organized by religious leaders from across various faiths and-- no, hold it, wait. Sorry.

No, it says in the newspapers that the rally was co-sponsored by the Detroit branch of the NAACP and the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, (not religious groups), “and other community organizations.

At least we can be certain that among those other community organizations were representatives of Detroit’s non-Muslim religious communities, like B’nai B’rith, FocusHope, or any of the local Baptist associations--

No, man, wrong again. Looks like the only identifiable religious presence were some sisters from the Nation of Islam. Maybe they’re the “[f]riends, family and supporters” of Abdullah the Detroit News reported seeing there.

At least there’s no doubt about the rally symbolizing how Abdullah’s death is of more than just opportunistic interest to the likes of Dawud Walid and a handful of community organizers. Instead of being held at a mosque, the rally took place at Detroit’s historic New Bethel Baptist Church.

Nah. On second look, the organizers themselves explained they only used the church location as “a sign . . .that Abdullah's death was of concern beyond the Muslim community.” Of course, they’d only need to employ a sign because, as far as anyione can tell, there isn’t any wider concern about Abdullah’s death beyond the Muslim community, (if it’s even that important to most Muslims).

New Bethel’s Rev. Robert Smith, for instance, doesn’t seem all that concerned. He’s quoted saying he “welcomed the rally.” Big deal. That sounds to me like he wasn’t an organizer, or even a participant. I’ll bet all he did was unlock the doors and accept the Detroit NAACP’s payment for use of the historic facilities--in cash.

But the New Bethel location does work as a sign of something else. Historic New Bethel is called “Historic New Bethel” for a couple reasons. One is for having been one of the incubators, along with Pan-African Marxist church, the Shrine of the Black Madonna, of Detroit’s Black Power movement of the 1960s--a movement whose influence (“the Black Slate”) is still felt in Detroit’s profoundly race-poisoned politics to this day. The Black Slate rogue’s gallery includes John Conyers, Coleman Young, Barbara Rose Collins, Bernard Kilpatrick and Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick, and their bouncing baby boy, Kwame, among others.

New Bethel was also the scene of a major shootout and police raid involving a violent Malcolm X inspired paramilitary group, the Republic of New Afrika (RNA). That incident began when a policeman, who had not even drawn his weapon, was gunned down without provocation by an RNA shooter.

It was the historic C.L. Franklin, father of the historic Aretha Franklin, who was pastor of the historic New Bethel Baptist at the time. Franklin welcomed the RNA to use his church for a meeting on the night of the shootout, an invitation the RNA accepted, guns and all. After the shootout and its aftermath settled down some, Franklin invited the RNA to come back any time.

Abayomi Azikiwe, who occasionally provides the third tenor with Dawud Walid and Ron Scott as they warble about Abdullahgate, has fond memories of his past connections with the RNA, which he wrote about in 2002.

Azikiwe believes the RNA was “liquidated” by the FBI COINTELPRO, just like Abdullah!

So it was really more a reunion than a rally.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fortunately, This Didn’t Happen During Jihadi Pride Week

In a shocking breakdown of national security in Nancy Pelosi’s home district, San Francisco’s police chief allowed himself to be diverted by concerns about so-called Islamic terrorism, in complete disregard for the more imminent danger of domestic terror attacks launched by Tea Party grandmothers. As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle:
A breakfast to tout the importance of passing an earthquake-safety bond measure on the June ballot wound up sending shock waves through San Francisco's Arab American community after Police Chief George Gascón made controversial remarks about terrorism.

Gascón reportedly said the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. is susceptible not just to an earthquake, but also to members of the city's Middle Eastern community parking a van in front of it and blowing it up. . . .

Despite some reports to the contrary from those in attendance, Gascón on Thursday said he never referred to Middle Easterners or Arab Americans.

He said he instead singled out those from Yemen and Afghanistan as posing potential terrorism risks - especially in an iconic city like San Francisco with large numbers of residents from those countries. He admitted to saying they could park a van in front of the Hall of Justice and blow it up.

"There was no need to single out the two countries, and I recognize that, but it's not because it was not accurate," he said. "The reality is this is the area where we're seeing most of the international terrorism coming from. ... I think certainly in this case, people are reading too much into it."

He gave no specific examples of threats to San Francisco, but did point to the attempted bombing on Christmas Day of a Detroit-bound airplane by a man allegedly trained by an al Qaeda offshoot in Yemen.
(“Police chief's remarks on terrorism anger Arabs”).
Oh, sure, likes that one example proves anything. What about all those Tea Party attacks and . . . . . . . . . .

Gascón didn’t apologize. In response, Ali Altaha, a member of the Arab American Chamber of Commerce who owns a small engineering firm in the city and was at the breakfast at the Ferry Building's MarketBar, said the chief should be fired.”

You’d think a guy from a Chamber of Commerce might try a bit harder to be diplomatic. Anyhow, Gascón’s failure to apologize was partly mitigated. When Mayor Gavin Newsom heard what Gascón said he instantly rolled off his pedicurist’s table to call Alahi, apologizing to him “’on behalf of his administration,’ Altaha said.” (On second thought, what’s wrong with that? Newsom should apologize to all of us for his administration).

Altaha said he recalled Gascón’s comments this way: "He basically said there's a large Arab American community in the Bay Area, a lot of Muslims, and because of terrorism, they need to be very careful."


Every now and then someone unexpected pops up somewhere unexpected and does something, hmm, unexpected. Who would have thought San Francisco would have a police chief with enough sense to figure out that Yemenis and Afghans have contributed a suspicious number of volunteers to the work of blowing up Americans?

Gascón’s point was that the Hall of Justice was vulnerable to terrorist attack, which he thought worth mentioning in a meeting to discuss protecting the building from an earthquake. The Chief evidently approaches potential threats by drawing inferences from patterns, or doing what the 9/11 Commission famously referred to as “connecting the dots.” Gascón wasn’t trying to attack the Middle Eastern community; he was just imagining foreseeable threats to a landmark building.

Unfortunately, the much more common and unsurprising response of law enforcement since 9/11 is the one that makes avoiding anything that hurts Muslim feelings the main priority. When law enforcement does identify dots, first they put them in a lineup, so they can let the local Muslim clerics point out any dot that offends them.

Gascón is probably not long for his job. My impression of San Francisco culture is that its frequent resorts to tolerance as a political weapon results in an environment highly intolerant of Gascón’s kind of free thinking. Maybe Newsom will make amends by installing a parking sign in front of the Hall of Justice: “RESERVED FOR YEMENI VAN DRIVERS ONLY.”

'Cold Case CAIR,' or 'The Malcolm X-Files'

CAIR-MI’s dogged exposure of Abdullahgate continues.

The Dearborn Press & Guide reported Friday that CAIR is conducting “its own investigation into the Oct. 28 shooting death of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah.” (“Islamic groups moving forward on their own probe of FBI incident here”).

We already went over this here at DU. There isn’t much new to say until the Dearborn Police Department finally releases its report. Until then, Dawud Walid has to keep this little fire going with less and less fuel all the time.

The P&G quotes Walid’s latest:
“The community concern (over the imam’s death) is escalating. It’s not decreasing,” reports the Press & Guide. “I don’t just mean the Muslim community. I mean communities of various faiths.”
A striking remark. Especially when no details are reported of who these other faith communities are and how they're expressing their escalating concerns. I haven’t heard anything in the Catholic community, for example, about how area priests are worried now they might be gunned down while engaged in their clerical duties. Like trafficking in stolen goods.

Oh, yeah?, threatens Walid, well, “[u]ntil there is complete transparency regarding the events surrounding Abdullah’s death, community concerns will remain unsatisfied.”

Oh, tell us another one! As if CAIR’s Grievance-Meter™ even has a dial setting for “satisfied.”

And still somehow Walid’s threats don’t seem to be scaring anyone. The FBI, diversity-addled as they are after years of CAIR sensitivity training, hasn’t retreated an inch from its position that task-force agents handled Abdullah by the book.

As for John Conyers’s cameo appearance in support of CAIR’s mission a few weeks ago, no one took that too seriously. Does Walid think Conyers’s is going to go to the wall for a radical Muslim who lost in a shootout with the feds, when he wouldn’t even stand by how own wife as she faced being sentenced to prison just a few doors down from his courthouse office?

Give it a rest, Walid.

Friday, March 26, 2010

'Rage on the Right' versus 'Random Acts of Unkindness'

The bullet that hit U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor's campaign office in downtown Richmond early Tuesday was random, Richmond police spokesman Gene Lepley said this morning.

"It is a stray bullet as part of random gunfire,'' Lepley said. Police said they have no suspects. ("Police say gunfire that hit Cantor's office was random").

Oh, this is great.

A bullet fired at Cantor’s office—because it’s only an attack on a Republican that’s not going to support the Democrats’ current “enraged right-wingers are trying to kill us!” scenario—was just “random.”

Except the Left never really thinks anything is random. Why, they were even able to trace the bullet that killed archabortionist George Tiller all the way back to Fox News, “the so-called pro-life movement,” and Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Just Say 'No' To Questioning Obama

Dearborn’s Neo-Nazi Nativist Hatemongering Society is sponsoring a square dance for singles this Saturday . . .

Newt Gingrich was explaining this morning on Morning in America how the Left has already begun its new campaign to equate opponents of ObamaCare with racism, “rage,” and hatred for the poor. Gingrich says the clever thing about the campaign is that it’s not aimed at marginalizing opposition over health care, which already passed anyhow, but to help them reach their next goal—passing amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Gingrich makes sense. I had already noticed a couple of things that fit into that pattern already this week. One was the phony “civil-rights” walk past tea party demonstrators by arm-in-arm Congressional freedom riders. The entire purpose of this seems now to have been to draw out negative remarks, (which never really happened) or an excuse to claim there were negative remarks, so that the Left could portray opponents as no better than a mob of rabid Klansmen.

On Monday, the Dearborn Press & Guide ran an editorial column by Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, which, according to his bio, monitors “extremist activity across the United States.” (“Radicals vs. reality: Extreme movements flourish in the era of an angry nation”).

The substance it is how the “radical” conservatives, (e.g., Sarah Palin), are stirring up violent revolution among the three strands of the “volatile” right – “hatemongers, nativist extremist groups and so-called ‘Patriot’ organizations.”

Thanks as always, Press & Guide. I’m sure there’s no one in your sales territory who likes Sarah Palin, nor who dislikes the health-care plan; and if there is anyone like that, he’ll be grateful to find out he’s a hatemongering nativist.

Making creative use of the transitive principle, Potok shows how easy it is to prove that Sarah Palin criticizing Obama + Americans angry at the government = The Next Oklahoma City Bombing.

Potok kicks off by pointing out how Palin, “egged on by cheers and interrupted by standing ovations,” said in a speech to the National Tea Party Convention that “America was ready for another revolution.” She was referring, generally, to movements like the tea parties, and, by way of specific example, the recent election of Scott Brown, which she described as “the Massachusetts shout out revolution.” Nothing too bloody about the Massachussetts senatorial election, although DU had heard reports that Olbermann peed blood that night.

But Potok hears in Palin’s “provocative comments” a darker message, one echoing the “pervasive rage” [has this guy ever actually heard a Sarah Palin speech?!] reflected in polls showing large majorities of Americans are angry at the government. This anger, in turn, “hearkens back to the period around the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building,” which, he says, was “the culmination of political anger against the government. . . .”

Ergo, Palin’s speeches will lead to -- a second attack like that on the Murrah Building.

Potok wants to warn you that, “the fury is building again, this time over bailouts of banks and the auto industry, health insurance, the economy, government spending and the country’s changing demographics.” Potok and the Southern Poverty Law Center can keep close tabs on the “pervasive rage on the right” by measuring the dramatic growth of “radical groups,” which they directly equate with hate groups.”

Now, wouldn’t you think that determining what is and isn’t a hate group would require strict criteria? But Mark Krikorian on Monday cited a paper just published by a colleague of his about the SPLC’s efforts to use the rhetoric about “stopping hate” just to stop debate. Jerry Kammer, a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter, wrote that Heidi Beirich, research director of the [SPLC], acknowledged 'we do not have a formal written criteria.' Kammer continued”:

When a radio host asked her in late 2007 how an organization qualifies for the label, Beirich offered this explanation. "You qualify as a hate group if you treat an entire group of people for their internal characteristics, or their inherent characteristics, as less, or you demean them in some way." A definition this flexible and imprecise could summon the SPLC Hate Patrol to the door of nearly any group of football fans, political activists, or Apple computer enthusiasts. It is an invitation to just the sort of mischief that gives the SPLC's designation of FAIR [Federation for American Immigration Reform] the odor of a made-to-order, politically expedient smear. It was delivered in December 2007, the month before La Raza launched its "Stop the Hate" campaign.

When Potok gets around to describing what he has in mind by “hate groups,” he means primarily the “militias and the larger ‘Patriot’ movement.” Watch how he smears a huge section of the country:

[A]nger has fueled a pervasive rage on the right — a rage reflected, as the Southern Poverty Law Center just reported, in the dramatic growth of radical groups. Hate groups last year remained at record levels, despite the collapse of a major neo-Nazi group. Anti-immigrant vigilante groups soared by nearly 80 percent.

Radical group = hate group = neo-Nazi group = anti-immigrant vigilante group = murderer group.

And what’s the fuel for all these radical groups? People who are angry at the government!

How DARE you be angry at the government! This is AMERICA! We don’t DO THAT HERE.

Face it, Dearborn. We know you’re pissed off about what just happened in Washington Sunday. But why do you want to condemn children with cancer to horrible deaths? Why do you want to murder immigrants?


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Roe v Wade Is All the Guidance Pelosi Needs

From NRO’s, “The Corner”:
Notre Dame Still Carrying Water for Pro-Abort Dems [Jack Fowler]

A year after the infamous Obama invite, the Golden Dome continues to tarnish. From
today’s Los Angeles Times:

In the tense hours Sunday leading up to the House vote on a historic healthcare bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took time to call the former president of Notre Dame, Father Theodore Hesburgh.The House Democrats' leader was not seeking spiritual guidance. What she wanted was Hesburgh to help lock up the vote of Rep. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat from South Bend, Ind., who was wavering over the abortion issue.Donnelly ultimately pressed the "yes" button late Sunday night.

To be fair, the report doesn’t say the padre made the call. But the fact that a Dem politico has no qualms calling Hesburgh tasking him with doing something that will surely harm the unborn, it’s all very disturbing.
What this says about Fr. Hesburgh is unclear. But what it say about Pelosi is manifest.

Maybe we all misunderstood her when she said on Meet the Press she was an “ardent” Catholic. I think she must have said “hardened” Catholic.

Monday, March 22, 2010


James Simpson at American Thinker:
Stupak was for the bill all along

There are not enough derogatory adjectives in the dictionary to describe Bart Stupak. This one, lone, "principled" Democrat caved today on the most nonsensical promise of all: that the President could actually write an executive order that trumps legislation. Astonishing! Has he ever read the Constitution? If he and the Democrats believe this will work, then they believe that the President is in fact a despot and can rule by decree. If they don't believe it, well...

But that latter bet is not far off, it turns out. Don't know how we missed it, but
this video from last fall reveals that Stupak was all set to vote for the bill all along, regardless the abortion provision. He played it hard to the end, but it appears now it was all theatrics.

In another interview with Fox's Megyn Kelly around the same time, Stupak was essentially calling the President and Democrat leaders liars. He was bluff and confident, claiming he and his "pro-life" Democrats could kill the bill in November. Kelly expressed surprise that he would challenge the President's words, and pointed out that Stupak was no "blue dog" Democrat, but an Obama supporter, and had a 95 percent liberal rating from Americans for Democratic Action. He responded that he was not a "progressive" or a blue dog, "...I'm just a plain old Democrat doing my job."

That's right he's just like every other Democrat, not a blue dog or a yellow dog, just a plain old dog. And when
Nancy Pelosi says "roll over" he's on the floor with his feet in the air, tongue lolling and tail wagging like a hound. Instapundit just remarked that a grant announced Friday for three airports in Stupak's district was probably just a coincidence... At a mere $729,406, Instapundit is probably right. That looks more like a bone Pelosi threw him. The idiot didn't need a bribe when he has the President's word!

Meanwhile, the Democrats are confident they
will win on a motion to recommit likely forthcoming from Republicans. And why not? The Stupaks of the world have already sold out. There will be no percentage in them voting with Republicans to recommit under any circumstances.

It was difficult to imagine any Democrat holding out against the
thuggish pressure the thugs of today's Democrat Party are willing to use. But I need not have worried. It turns out even the "principled" Democrats have none.

So congratulations. You have your
healthcare wrecking, nation wrecking, healthcare bill, Democrats. Good luck with that. For the rest of us, welcome to Communism 101.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Does Glenn Beck Really Hate Jesus?

This was posted at Time magazine's blog last Sunday by Time writer, Amy Sullivan:
When Glenn Beck told listeners of his radio show on March 2 that they should "run as fast as you can" from any church that preached "social or economic justice" because those were code words for Communism and Nazism, he probably thought he was tweaking a few crunchy religious liberals who didn't listen to the show anyway. Instead he managed to outrage Christians in most mainline Protestant denominations, African-American congregations, Hispanic churches, and Catholics--who first heard the term "social justice" in papal encyclicals and have a little something in their tradition called "Catholic social teaching." (Not to mention the teaching of a certain fellow from Nazareth who was always blathering on about justice...) (“Why Does Glenn Beck Hate Jesus?”).
If I were making Beck’s point I wouldn’t have said “social justice” is a code meaning Communism or Nazism. Those ideologies made use of the “social justice” term, but the relation is indirect. When it comes to churches that preach social justice, I’d say instead that the phrase is a code for humanism, an ideology that’s completely antithetical to Christianity.

I’ve recognized humanism in liberal preaching since I was a teenager. And I run as fast as I can, too. You betcha!

Amy Sullivan’s idea that she can recruit papal encyclicals, Catholic social teaching, and the “fellow from Nazareth who was always blathering on about justice...” to the side fighting for partial-birth abortion, gay marriage, and cloning human embryos for body parts is typical of the reality distortion that comes from a lifetime of social-justice teaching. (Run!)

She’s right that there’s a tradition of Catholic social teaching, but it shouldn’t be confused with current social justice talk. Church teachings about social justice flowered in the late 19th century, but the Church's authentic teachings are rooted in Christian orthodoxy and natural law: two sources hateful to modern liberals. The most important encyclical of the era, Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, utterly condemned socialism and class envy, and insisted on the right of private property, and the individual’s right to be free from the intrusive meddling of the State--including redistribution of his wealth by the government.
“[I]t is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal.”
Nor do I think Sullivan is right about today’s Catholics first hearing the phrase “social justice” in papal encyclicals, as most Catholics wouldn’t willingly read a papal encyclical if it were printed in serial form on the sports page. That’s about the only reading material American Catholics have in common. I think instead that Catholics, regrettably, first heard the term “social justice” from a generation of Vatican II-era priests and sisters who badly misunderstood the Council, and were clueless what the Church meant by social justice. For forty years Catholic schoolkids and parishioners have been inundated with a substitute social gospel that was half Marxism, half encounter-movement mumbo-jumbo, and all humanism.

Not that millions of Catholics weren't inspired by the new teaching, because they were: they were inspired to quit attending Mass, to join evangelical denominations that actually took God seriously, or to discover New Age “spiritualities,” or the opportunities of complete godlessness.

Anyone familiar with this “peace & justice” legacy amongst Catholics would find nothing surprising (nor edfiying) in the moral fiasco of 53% of Catholic Americans voting for a presidential candidate whose support for the unlimited abortion license--the highest violation of the Catholic social justice teaching there is—exceeded 100% on the Planned Parenthood approval scale.

But social justice folks never see the contradiction. In any policy controversy all social-justice Christians love to play Jesus of Nazareth as a trump card, the idea being that because Jesus helped poor people, and they always say they’re helping poor people, they’re entitled to win every trick. Sullivan is no exception. She works Jesus into her attack on Beck (“not to mention…”), by mentioning, without a single relevant detail, “the teaching of a certain fellow from Nazareth who was always blathering on about justice...”

I take the bit about “blathering on” as Sullivan’s attempt at humor, as well as an unconscious admission that social-gospel preachers really do “blather on.” (Last week my wife and I sat through a homily on the Prodigal Son in which Father talked for four minutes about the difficulties of the present financial climate, and the foreclosures, and the people losing their jobs, and the costs of health care, and blah, blah, blah, before finally noting, almost as an afterthought, that the Prodigal Son was impoverished because he himself had squandered his inheritance through wild living.)

If Sullivan is going to accuse Glenn Beck (who calls himself “gospel-believing”) of “hating Jesus” just because he warns listeners against churches that preach social justice, then she owes Beck and her readers something more substantial in defense of social justice than a cheap reference to Christ’s “always blathering on about justice.”

Because I don't think Jesus talked about justice all that much, and when it comes to what theological liberals mean by justice (economic equality, nuclear disarmamant, saving the planet, gender [sic] equality, nanny-state government, national health care, open borders), he didn't talk about it at all. My exhaustive concordance lists not a single reference to the word “justice” in the New Testament. Nor does my reading of the Gospels indicate it was a constant theme, nor even an occasional theme, of Jesus’ teaching.

He talked about personal righteousness to his disciples. But that is not what’s meant by “social justice.” He told soldiers not to steal, tax collectors not to cheat, and he told religious leaders not to be hypocrites. He talked a lot about the need to believe in him, and that he had to die to make it possible for us to be with God. But all that stuff about the kingdom of heaven is, well, other-worldly, when social justice believes that man/woman/transgendered persons really do live by earthly bread alone. Jesus was more focused on mercy than justice, as he knew we needed the first, and we'd never survive being judged by the standard of the second.

As for taking on the power structure, yes, he talked back to Herod and Pilate, but he never acknowledged that they had any power over him, other than that which was granted by heaven. He was always more interested in whether or not they believed in him than where they stood on the redistribution of wealth.

Jesus showed no interest in fighting for oppressed victims of the Roman occupation, even going so far as to recommend that, when compelled by a soldier to carry his pack a mile, you carry it two miles; contrast this with contemporary peace & justice solutions, often more sympathetic with Palestinian freedom-fighting movements that blow up school buses or organize an anti-Roman intifadah. Jesus also was a disappointment as a pacifist. In numerous encounters with Imperialist soldiers he failed to tell them either that war was not the answer or that they had a duty of conscience to refuse to serve in an unjust occupation.

When it came to his treatment of recognized victim groups: well, let’s just look at the record. He told disabled paralytics, Samaritan minorities, even a woman victimized by intolerance of her sexual freedom—that they shouldn’t sin any more—as if their private moral choices even mattered compared with addressing the root causes of their behavior: systemic evils like economic inequities and racism. He often spoke to the poor as if they were morally accountable for doing the right thing regardless of whether society was treating them fairly. Once he even yelled at a crowd of listeners because all they wanted from him was free food.

Then there was that moment (there was no YouTube then) when he referred to a Samaritan, indirectly, as a dog, just because she asked him for help—a remark that violated countless social justice proscriptions: about equality, sexism, multiculturalism, diversity.

Nor was that the only time Jesus made it sound as if God favored his religion over anyone else’s. But don’t we all know that the Deity (as Bill O’Reilly likes to call Him) respects every religion, or lack of religion, equally, as they all lead to Him (or Her) regardless?

Jesus did enjoin his followers obey the Ten Commandments, the foundation of any Biblical conception of justice. He also insisted they love one another, and to practice acts of charity--caring for the least, feeding the hungry, caring for widows. But social justice and charity are not the same thing. Charity is personal. Social justice is predicated on transforming society, by means of government compulsion and interference in every level of human existence, to accomplish complete economic and social equality: that impossible thing, as Leo XIII said in Rerum Novarum, of reducing “civil society to one dead level.”

Sullivan concludes her attack on Beck this way:
The term "Social Gospel" has been considered a dirty phrase by conservatives for a while now. But if that's what Beck meant, he has quickly learned the consequences of sloppy language. And in any event, he has certainly discovered the dangers of publicly practicing theology without a license.
Yeah. Just like that fellow from Nazareth who was always blathering on without a license about his Father’s world....

Let's Leave the 'Divine' Out of This

From today's Detroit Free Press:

Call it divine intervention from a mysterious man of the cloth

U.S. Rep Dale Kildee of Flint made some noise last week when the onetime seminarian and practicing Catholic declared he's satisfied with the abortion provision in the health care reform bill, though he reached that point only after listening to both sides and seeking "counsel from my priest."

What's unclear is who that priest is: The Rev. Frederick Taggart of St. Matthews -- Kildee's home parish in Flint -- says he's not had any conversation with the congressman about it, and, if he had, he'd tell him that he's set against it.

Taggart said he doesn't see much of Kildee, however. The congressman may be attending church mostly in the Washington, D.C., area or some other Michigan church.

Kildee's office declined to give details about who counseled him, calling it a "private conversation" between him and his priest -- whoever that is.

We Catholics have a term for that. It's called politician/enabler confidentiality.

Will That Molehill Become a Mountain If Freep and CAIR Work Together?

The Detroit Free Press, we suspect in the anonymous form of Freep blogger Jeff Gerritt, is continuing to assist CAIR in planting suggestions that Imam Abdullah’s death was the result of FBI wrongdoing. An editorial this past week calls for the Dearborn Police Department to wrap up its investigation into the FBI shooting of Abdullah last October. Writes the Freep:
Community leaders and activists have raised serious questions about whether agents acted improperly, even criminally, in Abdullah's shooting death at a Dearborn warehouse on Oct. 28. Those questions need answers pronto. (“Release investigation report”).
Why do we need the answers “pronto”? Abdullah’s not going anywhere now, even without the handcuffs. We’re in a rush, says the Freep, because while Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad delays releasing the report, “concerns are mounting.” What they don’t mention is that it’s been CAIR and the Freep who’ve been building that pile all along.

It’s true enough the Dearborn Police Department is taking a long time to get this finished. That could be explained by incompetence, political cowardice, by some embarrassing crime-scene screw-up, or any other number of factors that don’t require the conclusion that the whole thing was a police assassination. I still haven’t seen one fact reported, or heard one point of logic, supporting what the Freep calls “serious questions about whether agents acted improperly, even criminally, in Abdullah's shooting death.”

Besides, CAIR was going to take the exact same line on this no matter how quickly the investigation wrapped up. It was the following morning, remember, when the Muslim Brotherhood/CAIR’s Dawud Walid was already telling media that Abdullah was shot merely for having killed the FBI’s dog.

And Surprise!, the Freep’s Jeff Gerritt was repeating this on his Freep blog the next day, with some extra spin that the FBI was lying about what happened: “The account now widely held in the community is that Abdullah was shot repeatedly by agents, after he shot an unleashed police dog, despite official reports that Abdullah fired on agents.”

CAIR, Abayomi Azikiwe, and Ron Scott didn’t need any reports, as they’d already reached their final conclusions. In its publicity for an anti-FBI rally the Friday after the raid, CAIR’s website said the protest was “designed to both condemn the assassination of the Islamic leader as well as demand an independent investigation into his death at the hands of the FBI.”

Who needs autopsy reports and crime-scene photos when you already know it was an assassination of an Islamic leader?

I know I can’t take the Free Press seriously when they pretend they only want to quell “suspicion and fear,” even while they’re working hand-in-glove with CAIR since November spreading suspicion and fear. They write, “The death of Abdullah, who was African American and Muslim, has racial and religious overtones.” Translate that out of journalese, and it says “Abdullah was murdered because of his race and religion.” That kind of language isn’t aimed at Chief Haddad to make him hurry up: it’s aimed at the area’s blacks and Muslims, to make them mad.

I’d like the Dearborn police to wrap this up, too, clear these task force members, and get on with it. But even if that happens, CAIR and the rest of these guys are already committed to the scenario that Abdullah was murdered because he was black and Muslim. That’s got nothing to do with the slowness of these reports CAIR’s not going to drop it no matter what information is released, or what the evidence says. Dawud Walid hasn’t got any other issue right now that guarantees him media attention.

What’s the Freep’s excuse?

Obama's Need to Kick Israel

This editorial in the Detroit News on Sunday provides some needed perspective on the building going on in Jerusalem:

Allowing tensions with Israel to simmer is not in America's best strategic interests

The Obama administration must move to ease tensions with Israel. Allowing relations to fray with our truest ally in the Middle East is not in the best interests of the United States or Israel and presents a threat to the stability of the region.

The White House continues to blow out of proportion what should have been a minor flap that began when an Israeli official announced a construction project in East Jerusalem while Vice President Joe Biden was visiting the country. President Barack Obama, who had demanded a total freeze on building in the disputed territories, took the announcement as "an affront to America" -- the administration's characterization.

Rep. Gary Peters, D-Auburn Hills, in a statement this week, offered the White House advice it should take: "It is now time to move on," Peters said. "Israel is our most trusted ally, Jerusalem is its capital, and the administration's continued focus on the incident and its excessive criticism of Israel over this incident is an unnecessary distraction from more pressing and important issues in the region, such as the potential of a nuclear Iran."

Peters, a first-term congressmen, shows a greater understanding of our strategic interests than does the president, who has mismanaged Middle East policy from the beginning.

As Peters notes, the White House response was excessive. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other officials used words such as "insult," "affront" and "condemn," language usually reserved for hostile nations and never for dealings with our friends.

While the announcement was ham-handed, the reality is that the construction is in an ultra-orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem that will not be returned to the Palestinians under any likely peace scenario.

Obama should have understood that, as he should have known that his call for a total freeze on settlement activity placed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an untenable position with his own people, who overwhelmingly reject a complete halt to settlement building. The White House made a strategic blunder in saddling Netanyahu with conditions he can't meet without undermining his own support, and as a result, his ability to negotiate the difficult concessions necessary to make peace.

A total freeze had never been an expectation of the Palestinians as a precondition to peace talks. But it is now, thanks to Obama's misreading of the political climate. Serious peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are now further away than they were when Obama committed to restart the process last year.

That's not even the biggest downside of this needless feud.

The United States and Israel, as Peters notes, must be in agreement on how to respond to the nuclear threat from Iran. But Israel is not likely to defer to an administration it feels it can't trust in dealing with an existential threat.

Finally, any sense in the region that the U.S. no longer stands solidly with Israel will embolden Arab states such as Syria and Lebanon, which are always looking for opportunities to torment the Jewish state.

Israel is among our best friends, the only nation in the Middle East that shares our democratic values and the one with which our strategic interests are most closely linked.

This spat has simmered too long already. Netanyahu has apologized for the timing of the announcement. It's time to get over the perceived slight and make amends.

You Can't Be Any Poorer than Unborn

“There will be nothing left but a loathsome thing called Social Service.”
--G.K. Chesterton

This business with the liberal Catholic sisters publicly endorsing the Senate health-care bill -- “This is the REAL pro-life stance, and we as Catholics are all for it”-- is almost too personally depressing for me to comment on. But here goes.

Michelle Bachman told Bill Bennett on Thursday she watched Nancy Pelosi working the aisle in the House Wednesday with this letter in her hand, using it to persuade pro-life Congressmen to switch their no votes to yes. In today’s Detroit Free Press it’s reported that U.S. Rep. Dale Kildee, a no-longer pro-life Democrat who became convinced he could switch his “no” to “yes” on Wednesday, “after seeking counsel from my priest.”

That means to me that, if this health-care bill is passed, and taxpayer funding once again resumes for abortions, (which it will), that the actions of these religious will have played a direct role in providing those abortions.

Neil Cavuto conducted an utterly horrible interview Friday with Sr. Simone Campbell, the liberal activist who drafted the letter. In spite of Cavuto’sweak questioning, her viewpoint was clear for me, I guess because her personality exudes that simple and cheerful social-gospel certainty that’s carried her through a long career of political action as a member of a religious order with the highly unfragrant denotation of the Sisters of Social Service.

My impression is that she’s utterly sincere when she says that she doesn’t think the bill will pay for abortions, and that, of course, it will be a boon to Poor People.. “Oh, no,” she says, regretfully, at Cavuto’s mention of consternation amongst the bishops as a result of her views. “Oh--yes,” she says, even more regretfully, at the mention of the name of Father Frank Pavone, pro-life champion who denounces the Senate bill.

Sister Simone is pro-life in that passive, harmless way required of pro-lifers who owe a superior obligation to building the earthly City of God, a town whose street plan has a suspicious similarity to the liberal Democrat Utopia--and where a woman’s right to choose is unhindered.

In her anxiousness to see a national health plan, Sister flies right past all the concerns raised by Stupak, the American bishops, etc., by pleading that “abortion is taken care of” in the Senate bill, when it certainly is not taken care of. Her view on that never engages the considered opinions of others who explain in detail why that’s not true (or at least Cavuto never offered her the chance to engage that). What makes her so confident? “I believe the bill,” says Sister Simone.

Believes the bill? Sister Simone has no right to believe the bill. She has no right to disregard the scores of obstructive actions taken by her co-partisans in the Democratic Congress to make sure that language guaranteeing that “abortion is taken care of” never becomes an explicit prohibition in the bill.

Sister Simone is willing to gamble the lives of the unborn on the long shot that the Obama health care jackpot really will abolish death for anyone ever again from the mysterious but preventable disease of “lack of affordable health care.”

This is a life issue, says Sister, a Gospel issue. “Jesus would do it,” she says. “It’s about Jesus saying, ‘Care for those in need.’”

Is that what Jesus said?

I expect that when Sister Simone Campbell says “I believe the bill,” what she really means is, “I believe Obama.” When the Social Service Deity finally sends His prophet, could he possibly be any more perfect than Barack Hussein Obama?

And when Sister says, “It’s about Jesus saying, ‘Care for those in need,’” it’s really about Sister Simone Campbell, perhaps she needs some religious validation for a lifetime community organizing on behalf a materialist political ideology that’s never had much use for the things of God.

Religious liberals believe they can silence all contradiction by claiming their actions are all based upon Christ’s (The Great Social Worker’) overarching concern for the poor.

But talking about the poor, and those in need, means less than nothing if you are ignoring the poorest and neediest of all: the unborn child who’s mother, regardless if she’s poor or rich, doesn’t want him.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Inspector CAIR Takes the Case

In yesterday's Detroit News:
Detroit -- The local office of a national Muslim civil rights organization said it plans to launch an independent forensic investigation into the shooting death of a Detroit Muslim cleric in October during an FBI raid.

Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, head of Masjid Al-Haqq mosque, was shot to death Oct. 28 during a raid on a Dearborn warehouse by FBI agents. They say they shot the imam because he fired first at an FBI dog. Agents said they were investigating Abdullah and several other men in connection with a stolen goods operation.

An autopsy report released Feb. 2 found Abdullah died from 21 bullet wounds.

Lena Masri, a staff attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations Michigan chapter, said Tuesday she has seen more than 75 autopsy photos and other photos of the dead imam. She said in the photos he is lying face down and is handcuffed.
(“Muslim group plans probe of imam's death”)
I only hope CAIR’s plan doesn’t backfire on them. They’ve somehow managed to get Eric Holder to direct his Justice Department civil rights division to investigate Abdullah’s death.

But in view of Attorney General Holder’s very public endorsement of killing terrorists prior to Mirandizing them, as he told a Congressional committee yesterday he intends to do with bin Laden, it may be tough to get a case against the feds for handcuffing a corpse.

Holder Skelter!

Yesterday Attorney General Eric Holder testified before a Congressional subcommittee that in his opinion Charles Manson and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed deserved comparable treatment in America’s courts. During a House appropriations subcommittee hearing, Holder tried to counter Republican arguments that the administration wanted to stage civilian trials that would give alleged Sept. 11 plotters the same constitutional rights afforded to Americans.
“These defendants charged with murder would be treated just like any other murder defendants,” Holder said with evident exasperation. “The question is: Are they being treated as murderers would be treated? The answer to that question is, yes, they have the same rights that a Charles Manson would have.”

While Holder thought the Manson comparison would make Americans feel more comfortable with the idea of civilian trials for terrorism suspects, disagreed and sensed an opening.

“Osama bin Laden, in your opinion, has the same rights as Charles Manson?” [Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas)] asked.

“In some ways, I think they’re comparable people,” Holder said.
(“Eric Holder: Osama bin Laden won't be brought in alive”).
Debra Burlingame, Liz Cheney’s partner at Keep America Safe, told Politico that KSM’s trial wouldn’t be anything like Manson’s.

“Putting Charlie Manson in a civilian court didn’t endanger any intelligence secrets,” she said. “When he draws analogies like that, that’s when he loses people. It appears as if he doesn’t know we’re at war.” (Liz Cheney group to Eric Holder: 'We're at war').
Even more remarkable was Holder’s triple gainer on Miranda warnings and treating our enemies with unswerving devotion to the rule of law.
As the Examiner’s Byron York recounts, Holder — assuring Congress that he was not “dodging” questions about Miranda warnings for enemy combatants — dodged madly. Cornered, he insisted to Rep. John Culberson (R., Texas) that there was no need to answer the question of whether Osama bin Laden would be Mirandized on capture because . . . he won’t be captured. Holder guaranteed that bin Laden would instead be killed: “We will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden,” Holder said. “He will never appear in an American courtroom.”

Now, it’s certainly possible that bin Laden could be killed, as Zarqawi was killed, by an aerial attack. But major al-Qaeda figures have often been captured: KSM, Hambali, Zubayda, et al. If a combatant is disarmed or surrenders, the laws of war require that the we accept that surrender, that we capture rather than kill. Is Holder — who cavalierly accused the Bush administration of war crimes — now suggesting that we refuse to give quarter when quarter is sought? Is he suggesting that we kill someone who has been rendered defenseless?
(“This Corpse Has the Right to Remain Silent”).

Sunday, March 14, 2010

'Islam Is Islam'

More comments of interest on the question, Is there a moderate Islam?

From Andrew Bostom at The American Thinker:
Turkey's current Prime Minister Erdogan, commenting in August 2007 on the term "moderate Islam" (frequently used in the West to describe his ruling political party, the AKP) stated, "These descriptions are very ugly. It is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that's it." Erdogan's displeasure is ironic, even somewhat humorous, given the contemporary Western apologetic obsession to recast the terms "Islamism" and "Islamist" to exclusively denote radical or immoderate Islam and its adherents. But the irony of Erdogan's ire aside, artificial distinctions between Islamism and Islam, Islamist and Islamic are logically incoherent, obfuscating irrefragable truths about living Islamic dogma and its modern manifestations.
Read the rest at ('Islamism or Islam? Islamist or Islamic?')

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You Can't House Your Children With Nuclear Arms

From the American Thinker:
US fumes over Israeli home building while Iran builds nuke

Mladen Andrijasevic

Latest from the Jerusalem Post:
WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sharply admonished Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the Interior Ministry's approval of new building in East Jerusalem in a phone conversation Friday.

The Obama administration has completely lost it. They are engaged in rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Here we are, months away from Iran acquiring nuclear weapons and potentially starting a nuclear war and what the administration is complaining about is Israel building apartment blocks in Jerusalem which would supposedly jeopardize the peace process.

What peace process?

Oslo I, Oslo II, Taba, Wye, Tenet, Mitchell, Zinni, Sharm El-Sheikh, Roadmap, Annapolis all failed for one and the same reason and it has nothing to do with building in Jerusalem and everything to do with the ideology of jihad. Only yesterday the Palestinians have
dedicated a public square to the memory of a woman who in 1978 helped carry out the deadliest terror attack in Israel's history.

Instead of apartments in Jerusalem what Americans should be concentrating on is what Bernard Lewis, the West's foremost scholar on Islam,
said about the Iranian regime: "In this context, mutual assured destruction, the deterrent that worked so well during the Cold War, would have no meaning. At the end of time, there will be general destruction anyway. What will matter will be the final destination of the dead--hell for the infidels, and heaven for the believers. For people with this mindset, MAD [mutual assured destruction] is not a constraint; it is an inducement."

It is time to explain to the American people that the Obama administration with its appeasement policy towards a nuclear armed fanatical regime is endangering the lives of 7 million Israelis. For heaven's sake Americans, get your priorities straight!

'Don't Ever Change!'

One has to wonder which party is the bully in a little flap over a Mississippi high school canceling its prom rather than hand over its lunch money to the ACLU:
Lesbian teen sues to force school to hold prom

JACKSON, Miss. – An 18-year-old Mississippi lesbian student whose school district canceled her senior prom rather than allow her to escort her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo said she got some unfriendly looks from classmates when she reluctantly returned to campus Thursday.

Constance McMillen said she didn't want to go back the day after the Itawamba County school board's decision, but her father told her she needed to face her classmates, teachers and school officials.

"My daddy told me that I needed to show them that I'm still proud of who I am," McMillen told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "The fact that this will help people later on, that's what's helping me to go on."

The district announced Wednesday it wouldn't host the April 2 prom. The decision came after the American Civil Liberties Union told officials a policy banning same-sex prom dates violated students' rights. The ACLU said the district not letting McMillen wear a tuxedo violated her free expression rights.

McMillen said she felt some hostility toward her on the Itawamba County Agricultural High School campus.

"Somebody said, 'Thanks for ruining my senior year.'" McMillen said.

Not all of Ms. McMillen’s classmates were pleased with her crusade. McKenzie Chaney, 16, said she wasn't planning to attend the prom, but "it's kind of ridiculous that they can't let her wear the tuxedo and it all be over with."
Hah! McKenzie, you sweet naif! How with your few years of life could you have learned that, when it comes to making concessions to gay rights activists, it will never all be over with.

Constance has a pleasant thank-you video posted at the ACLU. I know that Bible-believing straights are incapable of detecting who is or isn’t a genuine homosexual, although I’m still pretty sure I was right about Johnny Weir. Constance just doesn’t strike me as a person who is going to be a lesbian forever, if she even is one now.

High school is nothing if not a laboratory for adolescents to engage in reckless social and moral experimentation where they ignite the poorly-thought out actions that will haunt them to their dying days. And I don’t look down on any high school kid--there’s few enough of them--who’s got the brass to risk unpopularity and ridicule for a principle. So fair play to Constance, as her stunt at least appears to be rooted in principle, even if a misguided, silly one.

In her ACLU thank-you she says “it’s great that there are that many people out there who understand the difference between wrong and right.” But it should be noted that her battle for right over wrong was a demand to wear a tuxedo while escorting her girl date to the prom. Shallow, all things considered, but at her age that can be overlooked. The ACLU knows better, and ought to be ashamed.

Krauthammer Gets It Wrong!

We all have blind spots. That’s the only way I can explain how it came to be that Charles Krauthammer, who is, as Roger L. Simon rightly notes at Pajamas Media, a “man many of us – myself included – regard as the sine qua non of conservative columnists,” could get it so wrong in his comment about Geert Wilders.

Krauthammer had this to say about Wilders earlier this week on the All Stars:
What he says is extreme, radical, and wrong. He basically is arguing that Islam is the same as Islamism. Islamism is an ideology of a small minority which holds that the essence of Islam is jihad, conquest, forcing people into accepting a certain very narrow interpretation [of Islam].

The untruth of that is obvious. If you look at the United States, the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the U.S. are not Islamists. So, it’s simply incorrect. Now, in Europe, there is probably a slightly larger minority but, nonetheless, the overwhelming majority are not.
My immediate reaction to CK was that he was wrong in adopting the distinction between Islam and Islamism, a distinction no one has been able to define. I am with those who believe the essence of Islam is “jihad, conquest, [and] forcing people into accepting a certain very narrow interpretation [of Islam].” I don’t believe that such a thing as moderate Islam exists. Islam exists, and it is not moderate. I do believe that there are many Muslims who practice Islam moderately, but religions shouldn’t be defined by their slackers..

Krauthammer’s belief that “Islamism” is a breakaway ideology held by only a small minority is another strange departure for him from his usual emprical rigor. Even granting him the distinction of Islamism as a mere ideology separate from Islam proper, I have no idea how he can be so certain that those who hold Islamist views are a small minority. How could he know that? Maybe they’re a simple majority, or a large majority, or it’s an even split.

According to a recent worldwide poll, 7% of Muslims believe 9/11 was “completely justified.” That’s still 70 million people. Another poll reports that 51% of Palestinians, 28% of Jordanians, and 24% of Indonesians have confidence in Osama bin Laden’s “leadership.” That result includes this telling detail: “In Pakistan, where many believe bin Laden is now hiding, only 18% express confidence in him, although 35% do not offer an opinion.”

I think that 35% who won't say show up every place.

If by “Islamist,” CK means an active terrorist, it would be obviously true that the majority of Muslims in this country are not Islamists, that is, they’re not terrorists. And if by moderate, he means a Muslim who makes no unmistakeable, outward sign that he supports jihadism, then there are plenty of examples of those.

But sympathy for Islamism--which manifests financial and other kinds of material support for terrorism organizations on the hand, and on the other, passive resistance to America’s efforts to defend against Islamism--are hard to measure.

Take Dearborn. We see vast public support for terrorism in rallies for Hezbollah, and an active underground economy helping to finance Hezbollah’s wars against Lebanon and Israel. We see less support for Palestinian causes and almost no public support for the likes of Imam Abdullah. There are many Muslims who have fought for America in Iraq and Afghanistan. I though I saw something like patriotism, or at least gratitude, the night they hanged Saddam Hussein. But then, some of what we saw in East Dearborn was a clash between Sunni and Shia Iraqis, with Shias triumphant that their persecutor in Iraq, Saddam Hussein, had finally met his bad end. And as for Muslims in the armed forces, prominent Muslim leaders are not bashful about telling soldiers and would-be recruits that America’s efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan are “not our fight.”

There again, with a single rare, recent exception notable as a “man bites dog” event, Dearborn’s Muslims have been universally silent about supporting America’s fight against global jihad. While they’re silence amounts to a lack of support, there has been an unending litany of complaints, charges, and slanders about Islamophobia and backlashes from “community leaders” like CAIR’s Dawud Walid, and ADC’s Imad Hamad. These leaders, and the area’s Muslim clerics, have actively discouraged Muslims from cooperating with the FBI in investigating domestic terrorism.

Top this all off with a media all but paralyzed by political correctness from reporting negative stories about Muslims or Islam, and I don’t know how we can measure what kind of support there is for what people have been calling “Islamism.” If what CK means by a moderate Muslim is still

It may be, as Simon suggests, that Krauthammer fears Wilders is right and is afraid of the thought. Never underestimate the terror of a public figure of being branded as a Nazi by the liberal media--terrible enough even if your name isn’t Krauthammer and you didn’t have a face that came off a beer stein. (Krauthammer is Jewish, by the way).

Wilders is scary to us Yanks because he’s a northern European who’s always being called a member of a “far-right” party and speaks English like a character on Hogan’s Heroes. That doesn’t make him a fascist, and his video, Fitna surely doesn’t make him a fascist.

But Wilders aside, I think Krauthammer’s views on Islam need some serious work.