Tuesday, December 27, 2011

U.S. Attorney Gets Involved in Zoning Decision

Via Pam Geller’s Atlas Shrugs:


The U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit is reviewing a religious discrimination complaint against a community for denying a zoning change request to allow construction of a Muslim school.

The Michigan Islamic Academy wants to build at a 26-acre site in Washtenaw County's Pittsfield Township.

"We are reviewing the matter and whether to proceed with a formal investigation," Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Levy told The Detroit News  for a story Tuesday.

On Oct. 26, the township board rejected the request, following an earlier rejection by the township planning commission. School officials say the 200-student school is too big for its location in nearby Ann Arbor.

Township Supervisor Mandy Grewal said the decision isn't based on religion.

"We are an open, respectful and diverse community here in Pittsfield Township" Grewal said after the October decision. "We have a track record, most recently the planning commission approved a mosque."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the decision violated the First Amendment right of religious freedom, and it asked the Justice Department to investigate.

"We believe this is a blatant violation of the (school's) constitutional right to open the school on their property," said Lena Masri, a lawyer for the group. (“US reviewing anti-Muslim school bias complaint”).

UK Infant Adopted To Save Her Life

From the Daily Mail Online last week is a story of a UK appeals court ordering a one-year-old girl to be adopted to save her from an honor killing: 

A baby girl born out of wedlock must be adopted to save her from the risk of being slaughtered in an ‘honour killing’, a court ruled yesterday.

If the unmarried Muslim woman’s father found out about the child, he would feel such ‘unimaginable shame’ he could unleash a vengeful bloodbath by killing the baby and his whole family, three senior judges agreed.

So they made the extraordinary order to have the one-year-old girl – known as Baby Q – adopted for her own safety.

She will now grow up with adoptive parents and, when she is older, they will explain to her why she could not have been brought up by her biological parents.

It is believed to be the first time an English court has ordered an adoption to prevent a murder.

The baby’s maternal grandmother told police that if her husband ever found out about the little girl, ‘he would consider himself honour-bound to kill the child, the mother, the grandmother herself and the grandmother’s other children’, the court heard.

The identities of all those involved have been kept anonymous to ensure the girl can grow up safe from her apparently murderous grandfather – who still has no idea his daughter was ever pregnant.

Please read the rest of this article here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Blessed Is the True Judge

Christopher Hitchens died on what is being called the last day of the Iraq war. He was a bitter atheist, a ferocious debater, and Hitchensan eloquent spokesman for the American action to depose Saddam Hussein, “a conflict that he brought his unparalleled eloquence to defend because of his hatred of tyranny in all forms.”

I found the atheist Hitchens’s latter-day crusade against all believers gloomy.  And unlike all those better-established conservative writers, the ones I can only envy from here underground, I can’t write of my personal friendship with the man, nor even that I ever met him.

But I am never going to forget the way I saw him describe, on C-SPAN or some such interview program, the way, in the wake of  9/11,  George W. Bush, undertook overthrowing the butcher of Baghdad “with a certain brio.” 

As Rabbi Shmuley Boteach says he prayed upon hearing of Hitchens’s passing, “Blessed is the true Judge.”

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Troy Mayor Publicly Apologizes To Her ‘I Heart New York’ Tote Bag


We’re very sorry to see that Troy Mayor Janice Daniels (whom we incorrectly identified as mayor-elect in our previous post) did not stand her ground.

On Monday she gave her opponents an inch, and all week we’ve had to endure them gobbling up a mile of hypocritical high ground.   As we ought to have learned from the entire Obama term in office, this is what comes from giving in to bullies.

It’s only worse that it’s happening during a week when the governor signed an anti-bullying bill.


I’ll summarize briefly:

On Monday Daniels showed up unexpectedly at a Troy High School protest organized by the school’s Gay Straight Alliance. She attempted to apologize to 30 or 40 protesters. But, according to the kid who organized the protest, “it erupted into people screaming at her and calling her 'bully.' " (“Protesters urge Troy mayor Janice Daniels to quit over gay slur”).

On Monday night the hate-Daniels feast moved to the Troy City Council meeting, where Daniels had to sit through a lot of people (and I’m sure none of them coincidentally included her bitter political enemies) telling her they didn’t like her. When she didn’t resign, talk turned to a boycott of Troy businesses.

Then on Tuesday, proving that the Occupy Wall Streeters’ contempt of  businessmen for lacking all principles was at least  fair when applied to Troy businessmen, Troy Chamber of Commerce president Michele Hodges announced that the Chamber was turning to the “Michigan Round Table for Diversity Inclusion” for suggestions on how to escape the wrath of Big Rainbow.   (“Troy firms seek to avoid a boycott”).  She may as well have announced the Troy C of C had just voted unanimously to add a Lady GaGa wig to the Chamber’s logo.

She noted suggestions could range from a call for anti-discrimination laws in Troy to a request for Daniels' resignation.

"Our goal is to do the healthiest, most solution-oriented thing — whatever that may be."

Neither of the suggestions she mentioned was healthy, in fact they are shockingly stupid.  But I’m sure she was serious when she said she and her members will do anything – even support kicking out the new mayor -- to save their commercial establishments from pink picket lines.

On Thursday the Detroit Free Press let the prime ringleader of the Get Daniels Campaign, Denise Brogan-Kator executive director at Equality Michigan, write their guest editorial on the flap.  (“Troy mayor's choice of words reveals unacceptable prejudice.”)

After identifying herself “[a]s a member of the gay and transgender community,” she says, “I see every day how the use of anti-gay or anti-transgender slurs -- at school, at work, where we shop, or just walking down the street -- inflicts real harm on us.” 

Brogan-Kator knows perfectly well that Daniels’s reference to “queers” took place in none of those settings. Daniels’s Facebook post didn’t go hunting anyone down to hurt them. Brogan-Kator’s constituents had to hunt it down for themselves, and then be offended by what they had already been told they would find.

This is phony.

Brogan-Kator’s no fan of free speech, either. According to her, she can see into every last dark motive of a person using a word she doesn’t like. A slur against homosexuals, she writes, “is the outward proof of one's inner contempt for us, which also expresses itself in actions like bullying, harassment, job discrimination and often violence.”

Or, I say, it could just be a slur. Not every slur equates with violence.  Not every slur even equates with hatred.  If slurs equaled violence, the entire mainstream media and about half the American population would still be serving federal life sentences for all the contempt poured out on George W. Bush.

Nonetheless, Brogan-Kator recognizes no distinction between a word that offends her and an act of violence: “That is why anti-gay slurs must be intolerable in public discourse. It is not simply a matter of respect, which should be sufficient; it is also a matter of safety.”

By Brogan-Kator’s logic, Daniels’s “belief that marriage is between one man and one woman” is just “a familiar and dangerous” excuse for Daniels’s “deep animosity toward the gay community.” (I don’t know what these people imagine a mayor of a town of 80,000 can do to the gay community? – pass an ordinance prohibiting Troy bars from serving Cosmopolitans?)

The real tragedy of all this is that most of the people who turned out to call Mayor Daniels a bigot and demand her resignation after she apologized  were going to do all those things anyway if she hadn’t.  Such is ever the way with bullies. These bullies in particular are never going to accept an apology, because  they’d lose all excuse for blackmailing Troy into adopting laws that the Gay-Rights movement wants.

The truth of it is that Mayor Daniels was at her strongest when her vocabulary, forbidden word and all, was still her own.

Now she’s off balance and we don’t know how things will turn out.


P.S.     To round out the week’s hypocrisy, and to show that not all hard words will be banned in the Diversity Utopia, a couple of reasonably prominent Michiganians have shown their own inner contempt by applying the disgusting phrase “Tea Bagger” to Mayor Daniels, a double-standard repeated and repeated on the Internet.  Timothy R. Fischer, Deputy Policy Director at the Michigan Environmental Council, tweeted this last Saturday: “Troy Mayor, Tea Bagger Janice Daniels, wants to send $8.4 mill federal funds back to Wash, exposes anti-gay feelings.” It was re-tweeted by Hugh McDiarmid, Jr. McDiarmid is Communications Director at the Michigan Environmental Council, and a former Detroit Free Press reporter.  Need we even bother to ask if the Michigan Environmental Council needs to fear any repercussions?  Just kidding. 

And we have to mention a website named “Queerty,” with its tag line: FREE OF AN AGENDA. EXCEPT THE GAY ONE, (one of this week’s “Hot Topics” is “Bullying” ).  Queerty offered a piece Thursday under the headline, “How Should We Punish Janice Daniels, the NYC-Hating, Bigoted Mayor of Troy, MI?

Among the article’s suggestions “from a bunch of Queerty queers” of “the most appropriate punishment for Daniels’ original transgression and her further transgression of not apologizing appropriately?”:

  1. Let’s spam the bitch on Facebook. A campaign to mark her status as “Hate speech” has already succeeded, in a way: it aimed to get the offending Facebook status purged off her page, and it’s not there anymore, though she could have deleted it herself. I personally think flame-trolling her with messages is a little juvenile, but it could show her the sheer volume of people who are offended by her, nationally and internationally. Throw some foreign-language insults in there if you can… she’s probably xenophobic too.

By all means, you segment of America most satisfied your consciences are clean from all acts of hate, who see yourselves as most deserving of your “Mean People Suck” bumper stickers, who look down upon the rest of us with the meanest contempt because we still dare to question whether or not the homosexual lifestyle really is – as we’re told dailycompletely normal, ineffably beautiful, and in many ways, preferable – by all means you ought to take the Queerty queers’ advice and spam the teabagging bitch on Facebook because she referred to homosexuals as “queers.”

Then try not to choke on the irony.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Justice Derailed

holderIt’s been my opinion for some time that Attorney General for the United States Eric Holder, a self-effacing, witty, and pleasant man in person, is the most unfit person to hold the office in modern memory. By way of follow up to our recent unflattering comparison between Holder and former U.S. Michael Mukasey, I’d like to refer you to Ronald Kolb’s thorough examination of Holder’s history as an untruthful, unprincipled man.

This excerpt from American Thinker:

When Attorney General Eric Holder recently testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his role in the Fast and Furious operation, where 2,000 rifles were deliberately "walked" from the United States into Mexico, his answers at times seemed incredible and stretched the limits of believability.

A few months earlier, on May the third, Holder had testified before the House that he had only recently learned of the deadly and disastrous operation.

But a series of memos was uncovered by CBS News last October showing that during 2010, Holder had received at least five different notices concerning Fast and Furious from Michael Walther, the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center. He also received another memo from Assistant Attorney General (and long-time associate) Lanny Breuer.

But at the recent hearing, Holder stated three times that he had learned of Fast and Furious only earlier this year, after the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona. Five times Holder testified that he never saw any of the damning memos.

Senator John Cornyn from Texas queried Holder. "Those are memos with your name on it, addressed to you, referring to the Fast and Furious operation. Are you just saying you didn't read them?"

"I didn't receive them," answered Holder. "They are reviewed by my staff and a determination made as to what ought to be brought to my attention."

Cornyn then asked Holder if he had apologized to Brian Terry's family. The exchange that followed showed a coldness and lack of sensitivity that was truly stunning.

Holder: I have not apologized to them, but I certainly regret what happened.

Cornyn: Have you even talked to them?

Holder: I have not.

But Holder continued. "It is not fair, however, to assume that the mistakes that led to Fast and Furious directly led to the death of Agent Terry."

The day following the hearings, the Terry family responded to Holder with a terse and angry statement. "Mr. Holder needs to own Fast and Furious ... the Attorney General should accept responsibility immediately. It is without question, the right thing to do."

That very same day, in an apparent attempt at damage control, Holder responded with a letter addressed to Terry's parents which he immediately leaked to the press before both parents had the opportunity to read it.

None of these events should be surprising considering Mr. Holder's controversial history.

The two events that Eric Holder is most defined by before becoming attorney general were his key roles while in the Clinton administration in obtaining freedom for members of the Puerto Rican nationalist terrorist group known as the FALN (also known as the Armed Forces of National Liberation). Holder would later follow that by facilitating a pardon for fugitive billionaire Marc Rich.

In looking back at both of those controversies, the similarities to Fast and Furious now seem eerie. Holder had proclaimed sympathy for the FALN victims, but only after the terrorists had been released. He also proclaimed ignorance of both Mr. Rich and the case against him, even though the facts clearly suggest otherwise.

Please read the rest ofThe Ethics of Eric Holder.”

Saturday, December 03, 2011

When It Comes to ABCs of Free Speech, LGBT Group Deserves an F

Homosexuality was once known as The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name.  No longer.

Now homosexuals never shut up about themselves and their predilections, and it’s the rest of us who dare not speak its name – unless you want to be called a lot of names yourself.

Mayor-elect of Troy, Janice Daniels, is getting pounded for a months-old comment on her Facebook page referring to homosexuals as “queers.”

The city's newly elected mayor on Friday said she won't apologize for a Facebook status update she wrote five months ago referring to gay people as "queers," saying she was speaking for herself when she wrote it and she has a First Amendment right to use the language she wants.

On June 25, the same day New York voted to legalize gay marriage, Janice Daniels posted an update on her wall, "I think I'm going to throw away my I Love New York carrying bag now that queers can get married there."

Even though the update was written in June, on Friday more than 205 people shared it on their own Facebook pages, many referring to Daniels as homophobic and bigoted. (“Troy mayor won't apologize for 5-month-old Facebook status”).

From what I’ve been able to gather most of the small brouhaha on Friday seems to be coming from a single source, a homosexual spokesgroup called Equality Michigan:

"We are shocked and appalled and call on the mayor to apologize, and to endorse a nondiscrimination ordinance in her city that protects gay and transgender residents of Troy from the harm that such language breeds," the group wrote on its Facebook wall Friday afternoon.

Good luck with that effort.

Daniels didn’t actually do anything to anyone, nor call for the doing of anything to anyone. What she did was express opposition to homosexual marriage, and use the term “queer” where most Americans, responsive to our decades of operant conditioning, would naturally use the adjective “gay.”

Daniels’s critics, such as the executive director of Equality Michigan Denise Brogan-Kator, aren’t finding it so easy to demonize Daniels for saying “queer” when, as Brogan-Kator had to admit, “many LGBT people do use the word ‘queer’ as ‘a way to reclaim a word that has historically been used to hurt us, by the majority.’”

I’ll say they use the word. In academia the term is quite at home. There’s queer theory,” useful in the study of literature and philosophy for raising “questions about our ‘socially constructed’ categories of sexual identity.” There are also “queer studies,” available in all kinds of university “LGBT/Queer Programs,” both public and private. The Harvard Gazette proudly reported on the dean’s decision to appoint a director “to coordinate resources and develop programming in support of bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and queer (BGLTQ) undergraduates on campus.” Harvard also has a "Queer Resource Center."

The University of Central Arkansas, showing they’re just as smart as Harvard when it comes to stringing letters of the alphabet together, has a resource that “serves the GLBTQQA (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied) community.” We don’t know yet if UCA’s campus speech codes have been used yet to expel any rambunctious students for using the term “questioning” with ill motive towards a member of the GLBTQQA community.

But it’s clear enough that both the Q-word and the Q-letter are completely A-OK when used by the MSWs and PhDs catering to the LGBT, BGLTQ, and GLBTQQA communities in the USA.

In fact, on June 25, the very day of Daniels’s Facebook remark, an article appeared in New York’s Gay City News under the headline, Queers Should Focus on Arab World and Iran, Not Israel.”

Then why is Daniels being called a homophobe, a bigot, and (the worst thing the Detroit Free Press can hurl at her), “a longtime activist in Michigan's tea party movement”? (“Troy mayor on defensive over gay slur”).

Because, as Brogan-Kator explains, when homosexuals use “queer,” they’re “reclaiming” the word “from the majority who have used it, historically . . . to hurt us.” That wasn’t Daniels’s intent, says Brogan-Kator, which apparently is how Brogan-Kator and her self-righteous friends  justify condemning Daniel’s use of the adjective as shocking and appalling.

And how does the LGBT community know what Daniels’s intent was? Well that’s simple: because she opposes same-sex marriage. Do you think any of these people would care if Daniels had written “Yippee! Now queers in New York can get married!”? Because Daniels opposes same-sex marriage she’s automatically defined by the LGBT community as a homophobe, a bigot, and probably a Christian religious nut. Saying “queer” has nothing to do with it. That’s just a handy excuse to go after her.

“Queer” is either a bad word or it isn’t. If the LGBT-BGLTQ-GLBTQQA community takes so much pride in reclaiming the word to define themselves, they have absolutely no business criticizing anyone for using it as a synonym for “homosexual”: that’s all Daniels used it for on her Facebook page.

I hope Daniels doesn’t apologize. She has done nothing to apologize for.

Mukasey on Islamism

If you still think it doesn’t matter which party is in the White House, compare the current Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, with his immediate predecessor, Michael Mukasey.

Mukasey was the third Attorney General under George W. Bush, after John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzalez, and in my view, the best of the three.

The current AG, Eric Holder, has become notorious for his willingness to reduce the Department of Justice to a political tool of the Obama White House. (Jessica Rubin provides an overview of Holder’s generalship in “Holder's Dept. of Retributionat American Thinker.) And when it comes to counter-jihad, Holder’s refusal to even utter the phrase “radical Islam” is emblematic of how, since January 2009, the nation’s counterjihad efforts have had to manage as best they can under a chief law enforcement officer of the United States whose response to the country’s struggle against these enemies is to conduct an ideological boycott.

By way of a refreshing contrast, this September former Attorney General Mukasey gave a clear and wide-ranging speech on “Executive Power in Wartime” at Hillsdale College.

I won’t try to summarize all that Mukasey has to say on the topic, but I am impressed at the way Mukasey pulls no punches in naming the enemy:

What bin Laden stood for was Islamism, which—insofar as it holds the U.S. in a weird combination of awe and contempt—has been incubating for about as long as we have known about the other two “isms” that we successfully conquered in the last century. As a movement distinct from the religion of Islam itself, Islamism traces back to Egypt in the 1920s, when the loosely organized Muslim Brotherhood was established by a man named Hassan al-Banna. Al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood as a reaction to the modernizing influence of Kemal Ataturk, who dismantled the shell of what was left of the Muslim caliphate in Turkey, banned the fez and headscarves, and dragged his country into the 20th century.

Mukasey then offers a concise history of the Muslim Brotherhood, explaining how al-Banna’s principal disciple, educator Sayyid Qutb, while on a visiting fellowship to America, was shocked by the decadence of small-town America, (“the ‘animal-like mixing of the sexes, even in church”), and returned to Egypt and joined the Muslim Brotherhood. Based on what he saw of Americans’ numbness to spiritual values, Qutb decided “that Muslims must regard ‘the white man, whether European or American . . . [as] our first enemy.’” Adherents of Qutb, and his brother, who fled Egypt under Nasser and taught the doctrine in Saudi Arabia, included Ayman al-Zawahiri, Omar Abdel Rahman, “the so-called blind sheikh” (who was tried for his role in the first World Trade Center bombing in Mukasey’s courtroom when he was a U.S. District Judge in New York) -- and a young Osama bin Laden.

Through 2000 the WTC bombing and other Islamist attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and on the USS  Cole, were still being treated as crimes, said Mukasey, “despite the fact that in 1996, and again in 1998, Osama bin Laden declared that he and his cohorts were at war with the United States.”

Then came September 11, and to the call “bring them to justice” was added the call “bring justice to them.” We were told that we were at war more than 50 years after Sayyid Qutb determined that Islamists would have to make war on us, about 15 years after Islamists had made it clear that they were training for war with us, and five years after Osama bin Laden made it official with a declaration of war.

In fighting Islamism, we are handicapped at the strategic level by the refusal of those in authority to acknowledge the goals of our adversaries. Those goals are essentially political, and involve the recreation of an Islamic caliphate and the imposition of Sharia law over as broad a swath of the world as possible. This is a profoundly anti-democratic movement at its core, and it regards the whole idea of man-made law as anathema. Instead, we try to be inoffensive by using a term that originated in the administration in which I served, and we refer to a war on terror or terrorism. People who wish to quibble about what it is we are at war with take the discussion off into absurdity. One such person is the President’s Assistant for National Security, John Brennan, who, before an audience at the Center for Strategic Studies, ridiculed the idea of a war on terrorism or on terror, saying it is impossible to have a war on a means or a state of mind.

This lack of clarity also distorts the view of policy makers about what is happening in the Middle East, and so they daydream about democratic movements when the reality on the ground is more populist than democratic. The principal beneficiary of populism is more likely to be the Muslim Brotherhood than the local spokesman for Facebook. The credo of the Muslim Brotherhood is succinct and chilling: Allah is our goal, the Prophet Muhammad is our leader, the Qu’ran is our constitution, jihad is our way, and death in the way of Allah is our promised end.

Can you imagine that Eric Holder – or any other person likely to be appointed Attorney General in a second Obama administration -- would be remotely capable of this kind of forthrightness when it comes to Islam? Holder is so much a political creature that, over the objections of FBI agents and his own federal prosecutors in Dallas, Texas, Holder’s DOJ blew off an opportunity to prosecute a “substantial” case against Omar Ahmad and CAIR for illegally funneling money to Hamas. According to the Jim Kouri at the Examiner, “given the politicization of the Justice Department under Eric Holder, it certainly appears that Justice officials dropped this case in order to appease radical Islamic groups.” (“Holder allegedly protected Hamas-linked CAIR for political reasons”).

The presidential campaign has left a lot of us uninspired.

Maybe it would help to refocus on the achievable possibility, at a minimum, of a Chief Executive who actually knows there’s a war going on.