Tuesday, March 31, 2009

'Welcome, Polytheists!'

Anyone else having doubting Imam Sayid Hassan al-Qazwini's sincerity when he met with the new head of Detroit's Catholic archdiocese, Archbishop Allen Vigneron at the Islamic Center the other day? Imam Qazwini sounded genuinely excited about the visit--he also sounded as if the Archbishop was the first Christian to ever visit Dearborn:

"We welcome you to Dearborn, the Muslim capital of the West,as I call it," Qazwini said. "God says in the Quran, 'You will certainly find the nearest in friendship to those who say they are Christian.' Jesus and Mohammad are none other than but two channels to God. Let us open our houses of worship to each other." ("Archbishop meets with Muslim leaders at Dearborn mosque").

I'll leave it to better experts on the Koran than me to explain the passage Qazwini has in mind, but I will at least quote it in its context.

Thou wilt surely find the most hostile of men to the believers are the Jews and the idolaters; and thou wilt surely find the nearest of them in love to the believers are those who say 'We are Christians'; that, because some of them are priests and monks, and they wax not proud, and when they hear what has been sent down to the Messenger, thou seest their eyes overflow with tears because of the truth they recognize. They say, 'Our Lord, we believe, so do Thou write us down among the witnesses. Why should we not believe in God and the truth that has come to us, and be eager that our Lord should admit us with the righteous people?' And God rewards them for what they say with gardens underneath which rivers flow, therein dwelling forever; that is the recompense of the good-doers. [5:82-85] >

Sounds nice enough. But the next verse says this: "But those that disbelieve and deny Our revelation shall become the inmates of Hell." Which sounds more like the Islam we have grown to know and love.

And that's how we roll in the Muslim capital of the West.

Monday, March 30, 2009

'Shut Up,' They Explain

As long feared, the United Nations has lent what little remains of its credibility to a “human-rights” resolution demanding that Islam be protected from criticism:

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N.'s top human-rights body approved a proposal backed by Muslims nations Thursday urging the passage of laws around the world protecting religion from criticism.

The proposal by Pakistan had drawn strong criticism from free-speech campaigners and liberal democracies.

A simple majority of 23 members of the 47-nation Human Rights Council voted in favor of the resolution. Eleven mostly Western nations opposed it and 13 countries abstained.

The resolution urges states to provide “protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general.” . . . . The council is dominated by Muslim and African countries. Muslim nations have argued that religions, in particular Islam, must be shielded from criticism in the media and other areas of public life. They cited cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad as an example of unacceptable free speech. (“UN body OKs call to curb religious criticism”).

It’s time people realize that, whether or not every criticism of Islam is always as informed or as fair as it could possibly be, there still can’t be any doubt that as a religious system Islam is opposed to freedom of speech.

How do you have a conversation with that?

From beer n sandwiches blog:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Should Have Sent Nancy Pelosi

When I made reference yesterday to Our Lady of Guadalupe I had no idea that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (revered by Democrats as Our Lady of Roe v. Wade) had only just visited the Catholic Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City on Thursday.

Mexico City, Mexico, Mar 27, 2009 / 04:59 pm (CNA).- During her recent visit to Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unexpected stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and left a bouquet of white flowers “on behalf of the American people,” after asking who painted the famous image.

The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was miraculously imprinted by Mary on the tilma, or cloak, of St. Juan Diego in 1531. The image has numerous unexplainable phenomena, such as the appearance on Mary’s eyes of those present in the room when the tilma was opened and the image’s lack of decay.

Mrs. Clinton was received on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. by the rector of the Basilica, Msgr. Diego Monroy.

Msgr. Monroy took Mrs. Clinton to the famous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which had been previously lowered from its usual altar for the occasion.

After observing it for a while, Mrs. Clinton asked “who painted it?” to which Msgr. Monroy responded “God!” ("Hillary Clinton leaves flowers for Our Lady of Guadalupe, asks ‘Who painted it?’")

Some critics have blasted this as a diplomatic blunder. They say Secretary Clinton's staff should have done a better job prepping her as to the significance of the basilica and its famous image.

I think that's being too hard on Secretary Clinton. It assumes that any of the Catholics in her retinue knew enough about Guadalupe themselves to explain it to her. This seems very unlikely to me, not least because Our Lady is the Patroness of the Unborn, and the pre-eminent religious emblem of the Catholic pro-life movement. Catholic Clintonistas surely would be as unaquainted with Guadalupe as Obama's economists are with Adam Smith.

More likely is that the Catholics on Hillary's staff, whom we can safely presume endorse her moral vision, are of the same "ardent-Catholic," we're-Democrats-first school of catechesis as Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, and Joe Biden. This type of Catholic tends to shun, and has been taught to shun by the example of his parish leaders for forty years, most things miraculous (unless occultic), anything morally absolute, and certainly those unsophisticated religious practices identified with unschooled peasants and unschooled immigrants--practices just like veneration of Guadalupe--practices that might make those hard-to-please east-coast WASPs sneer down at Catholics as dumb hod-carriers and cobblers.

I still don't know what to make of the cosmico/karmic significance of what happened with Hillary next, as reported by CNA:

Leaving the basilica half an hour later, Mrs. Clinton told some of the Mexicans gathered outside to greet her, “you have a marvelous virgin!”

This evening Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to receive the highest award given by Planned Parenthood Federation of America --the Margaret Sanger Award, named for the organization's founder, a noted eugenicist. The award will be presented at a gala event in Houston,Texas.

Coming Out of the Gulag: With a Really Good Tan

There is more good news on the adult stem-cell science front. But don’t sneeze, you may miss it.

Human trials under way at the University of Miami and other hospitals in Europe, Asia and Latin America using immature adult stem cells are showing promise for people with Type 2 diabetes.

In a University of Miami clinical trial published recently in the online journal Cell Transplantation, 25 patients achieved better insulin production, lower blood-sugar levels and reduced need for insulin injections.

In the trial, still in its pilot stage, doctors extracted immature adult stem cells from the patients' own bone marrow, purified and concentrated them, and injected them into arteries near the pancreas. They then put the patients into hyperbaric oxygen chambers like those used for divers with decompression sickness -- also called the bends -- and subjected them to 10 hours of pure oxygen at 2.4 times the atmospheric pressure at ground level.

Researchers said they believe the high-pressure oxygen pulled extra stem cells from the patients' bone marrow, adding to the stem cells injected near the pancreas. They said the immature stem cells developed into pancreatic cells, regenerating the pancreas's ability to produce natural insulin. (“Stem cells offer hope to diabetics”).

I would think a successful experiment regenerating a diabetic’s pancreas would deserve something more than 300 words below-the-fold on 13A. I guess I should be grateful (I am grateful) that editors allow stories like this to see the light of day at all.

Because, as we’ve seen, stories of proven success with adult stem cell research receive little to no coverage. Nothing like the optimistic birdsong journalists break into over the heroic missionaries of embryo-destructive stem-cell research--which has yet to live up to the price we pay for it in both money and, much more important, its destruction of human lives.

This was where we stood last October:

As even the New York Times (no champion of embryos to say the least) said only last year, “For all the hopes invested in it over the last decade, embryonic stem cell research has moved slowly, with no cures or major therapeutic discoveries in sight.”
No matter. On Thursday Laura Berman--the one-woman pep squad for Al Taubman at the Detroit News-- wrote an ode to stem-cell research scientist Dr. Eva Feldman, returning triumphantly to Taubman’s U of M Medical Research Institute from a 6-month exile in--San Diego. ("Stem cell researcher returns"). (God, that must have been awful!). San Diego, Berman writes, “is as good as gulags get.” One would think so.

In case Berman's little gulag joke is too subtle, she means that before last November, when Michigan voters passed Proposition 2, embryonic research’s Enabling Act, our pre-enlightened state was the moral equivalent of Stalin's U.S.S.R., repressing free thought and banishing subversive intellectuals like Dr. Feldman to the frozen wastes, of, in this case, UC--San Diego.

Now I personally can’t remember Solzhenistyn writing about anyone who voluntarily packed up and went to the gulag just because Siberia had a more favorable grant-funding climate for slave laborers. As far as I can see, Dr. Feldman took her research to San Diego because the California government was dumping money into it. (It’s always governments dumping money into this research: private investors don’t seem to think it’s as promising as promised). Regardless, now Feldman is coming back to take advantage of Proposition 2 and promised stimulus funding in Michigan. She is “furiously rewriting grant requests” so she can continue her work as one of Al Taubman’s personal witch doctors.

Taubman is buying a cure for Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Feldman hasn’t cured anything yet, a point that rankles her when it’s mentioned. “It’s frustrating when people say that this research hasn't produced a cure when, until now, I haven't been able to do one experiment in my own Michigan laboratory.” Except no one else has produced a cure, either, even in enlightened and well-funded California, where they’ve got scads of government research bread, fridges full of tiny frozen humans, and dramatically better weather.

But that's not the point, either. The point isn’t that embryo-destructive research hasn’t worked yet and that's why it’s wrong--the point is that it’s wrong because destroying human life arbitrarily is wrong, and this research necessitates destroying human life. The only reason I mention the lack of cures at all is to call attention to the utter disconnect between the consistent poor results of embryonic research on the one hand, and the amount of enthusiasm, money, and public advocacy being thrown at it. (She is “furiously rewriting grant requests”). This is especially illogical when the non-controversial adult stem-cell research has been more successful and has already been recognized (by scientists, no less), as having made the issue of embryonic stem cell research moot.

Personally I believe the advocates for embryo-destructive research want cloning, not cures, and this is the quickest way to get there.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Out of the Bubble and Onto the Hot Plate

I think the media are having some schizoid episodes right now, torn between their need to lionize Obama and their commitment to oppose America’s defensive actions against jihadism.

An example of that is this piece from the AP, in which reporter Ben Feller can barely hide his disappointment that Obama, now that he actually faces some of the same challenges Bush had to meet after 9/11, is manifesting Bush-like views of the situation.

WASHINGTON -- Expanding the war in "the most dangerous place in the world," President Barack Obama launched a fresh effort Friday to defeat al-Qaida terrorists in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, defending his strategy with shades of the dire language of George W. Bush. (“Obama to widen war on al-Qaida”).

Obama is even emulating the Bush rhetorical style, when he says that defeating Al-Qaeda and keeping them out of Pakistan and Afghanistan “is a cause that could not be more just.”

And see if this doesn’t read like media reports about the “endless war” in Iraq from 2004 through 2007, if you merely substitute “Iraqi” for “Afghan”:

His strategy is built on an ambitious goal of boosting the Afghan army from 80,000 to 134,000 troops by 2011 -- and greatly increasing training by U.S. troops accompanying them -- so the Afghan military can defeat Taliban insurgents and take control of the war. That, he said, is “how we will ultimately be able to bring our troops home.”

There is no timetable for withdrawal, and the White House said it had no estimate yet on how many billions of dollars its plan will cost.

No timetable! No exit strategy! No estimate about how much it will cost! And now we realize that “Much like Iraq, the war effort in Afghanistan has been longer and costlier than American leaders expected.”

Feller can’t hide his disappointment. He makes only one lame effort to make Obama’s predicament Bush’s fault, suggesting that Afghanistan is “a war gone awry,” instead of what it actually is, a very difficult war to win, in "the most dangerous place in the world." And he quotes Obama telling the lie that Afghanistan was going without “resources it should have received years ago, ‘denied because of the war in Iraq.’”

But it doesn’t matter. This is Obama’s war now, the one he wanted, The one he said was the only one that mattered, while Iraq was a diversion with “no military solution.”

Well, diversion or not, George Bush won his war in Iraq, and he did it his way. Let’s see Obama do just half as well and not lose this one.

Church-State Alert

For those of you who see yourselves as principled champions of the church/state “wall of separation”--by which I mean you think the Catholic Church should keep quiet about euthanasia and human embryo research, you think evangelical Protestants ought to keep quiet about homosexual “marriage,” and anyone of any faith, or no faith at all, like Nat Hentoff, should shut the hell up about abortion--I wonder if you have the same principled reaction to the church-state partnership formed between U.S. Congress members and liberal churches in the “Family Unity” tour now criss-crossing the country.

According to tour organizers, the tour’s objects include activities frankly religious:

“The Family Unity Campaign will consist of community meetings, prayer vigils and rallies across the country for thousands of U.S. citizens whose families have been separated or risk being torn apart by our nation's current immigration mess.” (If you don’t think a prayer vigil is a religious activity, try suggesting one for your kid's class at your next PTA meeting. If you're really a troublemaker, suggest a prayer vigil for the troops).

Take a look at the Family Unity tour schedule, and you’ll notice the venues all have something in common, namely they’re all in churches, (or Temples, or Iglesias, or Tabernaculos).

The Family Unity circus train just stopped in Detroit (not literally, of course, because there’s no train station in Detroit. Saaaay---maybe that's why Detroit's circuses never seems to leave town?):

More than 1,200 people, including three members of Congress, Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr. and a dozen members of the clergy supported calls for immigration reform Friday, with some saying that escalated enforcement against illegal residents is shattering families and neighborhoods across Metro Detroit. . . .The event, at the Greater Apostolic Faith Temple, is part of a 20-city tour organized by the members of Congress, grassroots organizations and a battery of faith groups to document the harm they say is caused by the failure of immigration reform and the coincident, increased enforcement. (“Conyers rips deportations”).
The talking point verb of choice meant to to accompany the tour is “rip,” as in “rip families apart.”

Speaking for the government side of this church-state partnership were John Conyers, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, and Illinois Congressman, Democrat Luis V. Gutierrez, leader of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Congressman Conyers, continuing his side role as Prosecutor General of the United States swore he would hunt down and punish immigration agents responsible for increased enforcement, and then maybe investigate. The article didn't report whether he swore to do this "As God is my witness."

The Family Unity “Ripapalooza” kicked off notably in San Francisco, where abortion hawk and “ardent Catholic” Nancy Pelosi got lots of attention from her address--preached from the sanctuary of a Catholic Church--in which she denounced the deportation of illegal immigrants as “un-American.”:

She said, "Taking parents from their children ... that's un-American."

Now for those of you who are confused by the things Nancy says, (in spite of that endearing tic of hers of repeating everything . . . of repeating everything), I’ll try to clarify:

While she is defintely denouncing ripping parents from children as un-American, she is definitely not saying that ripping a child from its mother is un-American, because saying that, of course, might chill someone’s right to choose. And it also would contradict Nancy's “ardent” Catholicism. Her ardent Catholicism.

(For those of you on the watch for irony, note in the video over Nancy's shoulder the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe--recognized by Catholics, ardent and otherwise, as Patroness of the Americas, and Protectress of the Unborn, and an object of particular devotion to Latin American Catholics--looking on silently as Nancy chatters out of her depthless ignorance about the dignity and divine spark in “every person. . .every person is worthy of respect.”
Query: Does going after some divinely sparked person with the express purpose of separating said person from her closest “family” member by means of a suction tube, a curette, or George Tiller’s hands, qualify as a “raid”?


Anyway, as I’ve been mentioning a lot lately, while those of us on one side of a great deal of important national controversies are routinely shouted down by the Left as the “Taliban” and “theocrats” for presuming to allow our religious beliefs to inform our political ideas, the fact of Congressmen burning up taxpayer funds playing patty-cake with useful idiot clergy is just fine.

Apparently the distinguishing factor is that, as long as the useful idiots practice “God’s politics”: written by the Lord's finger and delivered as the 2008 Democratic Platform, the wall of separation can be dispensed with.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

FBI Finally Wakes Up and Smells the Coffee About CAIR

We've been talking about this for a while. ("FBI Stops Returning CAIR's Phone Calls. Finally"). But here are some good points from Andrew McCarthy at NRO Online:

CAIR’s Well-Deserved Expulsion

Terrorism is only one expression of jihad — there are others as dangerous.
By Andrew C. McCarthy

A week ago, the FBI officially announced that it has cut ties with the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The self-styled civil-rights organization is characteristically squawking, but the FBI’s move was patently overdue — so much so that we ought to be asking: Why on earth did the FBI have ties with CAIR in the first place?

While we should applaud the government for finally doing the right thing, we also must seize this moment to consider why this action was necessary, and what it says about the threat we are up against.

That threat is not, essentially, about terrorism. Given the life-and-death stakes involved, it is understandable that government is preoccupied by terrorism (or what Obama’s homeland-security secretary, Janet Napolitano, absurdly calls “man-caused disasters”). But jihadist terror is merely the means to a specific end: the installation of sharia, the Islamic legal code, which Muslim fundamentalists regard as the necessary precondition for the achievement of Islam’s universalist ambitions.

Sharia should be of grave concern to us because it is antithetical to the U.S. Constitution and to our way of life. It rejects several core American propositions: that liberty cannot co-exist with an established state religion, that free people have a right to govern themselves irrespective of any religious code’s dictates, that
there should be freedom of conscience (sharia holds that apostasy from Islam is not merely a crime but a capital offense), sexual liberty (homosexuality is also a death-penalty offense), and equal protection under the law (sharia privileges Muslims over non-Muslims and men over women). Sharia, furthermore, is the rationale commonly trotted out by militants to justify the use of force (whether we call it “terrorism” or employ such sophistries as “resistance” or “man-caused disasters”) for resolving policy disputes — under the rationale that policies that do not privilege Islam constitute an attack on Islam and therefore justify jihadist violence.

Incrementally establishing sharia is the central imperative of CAIR and several other organizations to which our government has recklessly been reaching out for years, since long before the 9/11 attacks. In sum, administrations of both parties, and executive branch agencies including the FBI, have taken the position that government’s only legitimate concern is the comparatively tiny cohort of terrorists who construe Islamic scriptures to command mass-murder attacks.

Not only have we averted our eyes from the ideology that motivates jihadism. We have affirmatively anointed as Muslim “moderates” the purveyors of this ideology, who are anything but moderate.

Worse, the effect has been to empower anti-American elements at the expense of authentic Muslim moderates and reformers who crave liberty.

CAIR is an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egyptian organization founded in 1928 that today boasts divisions throughout the world. The Brotherhood has been operating in the United States since the 1960s in a manner fully consistent with its motto: “Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. The Quran is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” Its website makes no bones about the fact that it seeks “the introduction of the Islamic Shariah as the basis for controlling the affairs of state and society.”

Last year, the government won convictions in a terrorism-financing trial that targeted an ostensible Islamic charity, the Holy Land Foundation, along with several of its top operatives. CAIR has complained long and loud because prosecutors identified it as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case. Its argument that this was a smear is specious. The issue is not whether the government named CAIR on a list disseminated pretrial; what’s germane is the basis for that listing. The government richly supported its assertion with evidence, and no citizen or organization has a right to expunge that which is proved in the public’s courts.

At trial, the jury was treated to a 1991 Brotherhood memorandum that described the organization’s “work in America” as “a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers, so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” CAIR has been the linchpin of that strategy.

Some history is in order. In 1987, the Brotherhood had established Hamas (or “the Islamic Resistance Movement,” as it describes itself). As its charter professes, Hamas is one of the wings of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine. Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times. It is characterized by its deep understanding, accurate comprehension and its complete embrace of all Islamic concepts of all aspects of life, culture, creed, politics, economics, education, society, justice and judgment, the spreading of Islam, education, art, information, science of the occult and conversion to Islam.

In a memorandum filed in a Texas federal court, prosecutors further elaborated that, through the early 1990s, “the Muslim Brotherhood was controlled by Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood members, and the leader of the U.S.-Muslim Brotherhood was Mousa Abu Marzook, who in 1989 was selected to be the leader of HAMAS, a position that he held while residing in the United States and controlling the U.S.-Muslim Brotherhood.” To support Hamas, the Brotherhood established a “Palestine Committee” in the United States.

Marzook (deported in 1995, he is currently wanted on a U.S. terrorism indictment in Chicago) led the Palestine Committee. One of its most important members was Omar Ahmad, who became president of the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which Marzook had formed years earlier. In 1993, the Palestine Committee convened a meeting in Philadelphia to plot a strategy for destroying the Oslo Accords’ vision of a two-state solution — Palestine peacefully co-existing with Israel, which Hamas
is pledged to destroy. The meeting was secretly surveilled by the FBI, which caught Ahmad conversing with Nihad Awad, the IAP’s public-relations director, about strategies for deceiving Americans about their true intentions.

Less than a year later, Ahmad and Awad formed CAIR. The Holy Land Foundation, which was ultimately shuttered by the government and finally convicted for providing millions of dollars to Hamas, contributed part of the seed money. To serve as CAIR’s communications director, Ahmad and Awad tapped Ibrahim Hooper, another IAP veteran who has publicly acknowledged that his purpose is to establish sharia as the law of the United States.

Since its founding, several CAIR officials have been convicted or deported for terrorism-related activities and for other criminal offenses. CAIR, meanwhile, has sought to undermine national security — and the FBI specifically — at every turn: frequently mounting public-relations campaigns for indicted terror suspects, vigorously opposing the Patriot Act and the surveillance of suspected al-Qaeda communications, and even distributing a “Muslim community safety kit” that discourages cooperation with the FBI.

Despite that sordid record, government officials regarded CAIR as a representative and leader of American Muslims. Our law-enforcement and national-security agencies consulted with it closely and even permitted it to indoctrinate our agents during compulsory “sensitivity training” lectures. Doing so, they raised its profile, facilitated its radical, anti-American agenda, and dispirited our allies in the Muslim community, many of whom are in the United States precisely because they don’t
want to live in the totalitarian misery the Muslim Brotherhood and its satellites would impose.

The major threat we face today is not what al-Qaeda may do to the grand structures that house our government and our institutions. It is what radical Islam is accomplishing inside those structures. Thankfully, the FBI has shown CAIR the door. But that only begins to address the problem.

— National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and the author of Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad (Encounter Books, 2008).

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Canada Tells Dhimmi Useful Idiot He's Not Welcome

Speaking of Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi’s little snit: (the one about how Senator John Kyl abused America's First Amendment by letting Geert Wilders tell the truth about Islam in Congress), we see where the British Parliament’s most obnoxious member, MP George Galloway, has been denied entry into Canada because of his terrorist sympathies.

OTTAWA -- An outspoken British MP who's opposed to the war in Afghanistan says he intends to take legal action against the federal government over its decision to refuse him entry to Canada.

George Galloway, an MP for the U.K.'s Respect party, says he learned Friday he would not be allowed into this country for a speaking tour that's scheduled to bring him to Toronto and Ottawa later this month.

A former Labour MP, Mr. Galloway is a contentious figure whose public support for Hamas and Hezbollah has led to accusations he is a terrorist sympathizer.
(“British MP denied entry to Canada threatens to sue government”).

Earlier this month, Galloway, a committed enemy of Israel, made a huge public show of handing cash to Hamas in Gaza.

"We are giving you now 100 vehicles and all of their contents, and we make no apology for what I am about to say. We are giving them to the elected
government of Palestine," Galloway said at a press conference in Gaza City.

Galloway said he personally would be donating three cars and 25,000 pounds (35,000 dollars) to Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya as he dared the West to try to prosecute him for aiding what it considers a terror group.

"I say now to the British and European governments, if you want to take me to court I promise you there is no jury in all of Britain who will convict me. They will convict you."

Galloway made the announcement at an outdoor conference in the presence of several senior Hamas officials, and his words were greeted by shouts of "Allahu Akbar!" (God is Great).

We tease Canada, but they're our allies fighting in Afghanistan, and every now and then, just like in Europe now and then, someone stands up and does right.

Detroit's Iron Curtain

Detroit News editorial page editor Nolan Finley sounds off again today in his Sunday column over the self-destructive racism of Detroit’s leaders. (“Hey Martha! Ich bin ein Detroiter!”).

Hard to believe that anyone could steal Monica Conyers' thunder as the separatist provocateur of the Detroit City Council, but danged if Martha Reeves isn't trying.

The councilwoman who in her diva days helped put Motown on the map now wants to narrowly define Detroit's borders and enforce a strict copyright on the word "Detroiter."

Reeves let comedian Jay Leno know that if you aren't south of Eight Mile, you aren't in the D.

This is the third week in a row Finley has used his column to gnaw this bone of Detroit's separatist, segregationist leadership. That kind of focus is unusual, as columnists hate returning to the same topic so soon. And it especially shows guts, because Finley won't stop talking about race from the wrong side of the PC line. This Cobo Hall business must really be getting to him. I appreciate him for writing about it, because it’s been getting to me, too.

Some people are unhappy with Finley because he lets Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, an Iranian agent whose cover is leader of a local mosque, spout off on the News op-ed page. Considering what a poor job U.S. law enforcement does infiltrating mosques so we can find out what goes on in there, I’m personally happy to have an imam of Elahi’s pedigree sounding off in one of our dailies: that way we can read for ourselves how his mind works.

For instance, here’s some vintage Elahi from March 3rd:
U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., with the International Free Press Society and the Center for Security Policy, brought the Dutch politician Geert Wilders to Washington to defame Islam and Muslims by showing his 15-minute anti-Quran film in the U.S. Senate building.

This man was banned from entering England in mid-February because British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Wilders is guilty of "extreme anti-Muslim hate."

Yet Kyl invited Wilders to display his propaganda flick in front of Congress, disrespecting our new administration under the cover of freedom of speech.[!] ("Obama's outreach to Muslims improves U.S. image
But I digress. I only meant to give Finley kudos for dragging into the disinfecting daylight the rotten open secret of Detroit’s racist political leadership--an exposure that is long overdue.

For those of you who wonder why I care about this subject at all, I've discussed in the past, for instance, here and here, why it is I believe
that if we can’t talk about race, we can’t talk about jihad. Not because jihad and race are the same thing, (they are not the same thing!) but because the same self-censoring tricks that were deployed by race hustlers, (and then gay-rights activists) to prevent Americans from being able to speak, or even think critically about racial matters (or homosexuality), have been taken up and perfected by jihadist spokesmen and defenders.
Whether you like Finley or dislike him, his dogged persistence on this subject makes him the equivalent of those West Berliners who started in on the Berlin Wall with sledgehammers.

Imam Elahi Says Obama's Video Greeting Is 'Wise'

Before the Ayatollah had a chance to make his response to it, local Iranian agent Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi said of President Obama’s video greeting to “the Islamic Republic of Iran”: “It is so wise.” (“Muslims heartened by Obama greeting”).

Dawud Walid, head of Michigan CAIR, declared Obama’s greeting “unprecedented.”

And then,

“The past eight years created a huge roadblock,” said Imad Hamad, regional chairman of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

“I see the president on the right track, stepping up with an initiative as the primary way of addressing issues head on.”
I’m sure Gregg Krupa collected these helpful quotations and had them in print before the response of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hit the news, basically shooting Obama down with a firm “not so fast, infidel.”(“Iran's supreme leader dismisses Obama overtures”) :
“Have you released Iranian assets? Have you lifted oppressive sanctions? Have you given up mudslinging and making accusations against the great Iranian nation and its officials? Have you given up your unconditional support for the Zionist regime? Even the language remains unchanged,” Khamenei said.

Khamenei,wearing a black turban and dark robes, said America was hated around the world for its arrogance, as the crowd chanted “Death to America.”
We’ll see how the president addresses the “issues head on” of the Iranian demand for our betrayal of Israel, or our backing down of criticism of Iran’s funding for Hamas and Hezbollah, and exporting terrorism around the globe, and their efforts to get nukes and missiles to launch them on.

It may turn out that the "huge roadblock" of the past eight years was the best thing for the world after all.

UPDATE: Martha Reeves Spotted Outside City Endorsing Suburbanite 'We Are All Detroiters' Claim

Detroit City Councilwoman Martha Reeves
sings the national anthem Friday to start
the 240-hour concert at
AJ's Music Café in Ferndale.
(Ricardo Thomas / The Detroit News)

It’s not as though I expect consistency, logical or otherwise, from elected officials, especially at the municipal level. And that goes quadruple for Detroit City Council members. But I just don’t get how Martha Reeves can expect to have this thing about who is and isn't Detroit both ways.

Only last week she was declaring the stark impossibility that she could go to Auburn Hills to see Jay Leno’s concert for the unemployed: “I live in Detroit,” she explained, and Auburn Hills, you silly, is not Detroit. And residents of any other locality than Detroit, you see, are not “Detroiters.” ("Detroit: It's a Place, Not Just a State of Mind ").

Now she shows up in Ferndale to sing the National Anthem at a concert for “Detroit” auto workers. (" Concert aims to break record, boost support for U.S. auto industry").

As reported, the event was widely attended by non-Detroiters who work for the auto industry, and the performers all seem to be non-“Detroiters” as well, at least, technically. But the organizer, AJ's Music Café owner, AJ O’Neil, seemed unaware of Ms. Reeves’s strict constructionism of the term "Detroit" when he introduced her to his Ferndale audience:
"Detroit is in all of us. We are all Detroiters, and this marathon is for the industry that made Detroit," O'Neil said just before Motown artist and Detroit City Council member Martha Reeves opened the show with "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's Not How You Govern, It's How You Look

You know, when I made a crack the other day about Gov. Jenny Granholm always getting a decent photo even when she’s raising taxes, I didn’t expect I’d be seeing a new example of it so soon. Then I pick up Wednesday's Detroit News:

Gov backs graduated income tax plan

Residents would pay higher rate as income rises; GOP senator says shift would drive out businesses.

Mark Hornbeck / Detroit News Lansing Bureau

LANSING -- A plan to adopt a graduated state income tax in exchange for scrapping an unpopular surcharge on the state's main business tax drew support from Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday.

But the top Republican in the state Senate slammed the idea, saying the plan would drive businesses and people out of the state.

Granholm said there are "preliminary discussions" behind the scenes between administration officials and legislators about adopting such a tax exchange.

"That's certainly something I'd be open to and supportive of," the governor said at a news conference.

The tax swap would require a constitutional amendment that would have to be passed by voters possibly this year or in 2010.

Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, said: "Switching a bad tax for a bad tax is not good policy. It's more of the same, old solutions that just don't work."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What? Like I Look Like a Terrorist.

The following story actually describes two incidents of Congressional members--of either party--who see themselves as more equal than others.

Oregon lawmaker Peter DeFazio meets with TSA after security flap at Portland

Associated Press Writer

Rep. Peter DeFazio met with a top official from the Transportation Security Administration after the Oregon lawmaker complained about being singled out for special security screening at Portland International Airport.

Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, reported that the 12-term Democrat lost his temper and denounced the security as "stupid" on Monday.

DeFazio told The Associated Press on Tuesday he was unhappy about being singled out for security screening, but denied the newspaper's account that he caused a "ruckus" that drew extra security officers.

"I didn't lose my temper. I was not happy and I told them it was a stupid practice," DeFazio said.

He said he had gone through electronic screening upon boarding a flight in Eugene and was pulled out of the line in Portland on his way to make a connecting flight to Washington.

"TSA is off track here and we are going to try to fix the policy," said DeFazio, a longtime member of the House Transportation aviation subcommittee.

DeFazio met Tuesday with Lee Kair, assistant TSA administrator for security operations. A TSA spokeswoman declined immediate comment.

The dispute marks the second time this month a member of Congress has been involved in an airport security incident. TSA officials are reviewing a report that Sen. David Vitter, R-La., set off a security alarm March 5 when he opened a gate door in his rush to catch a flight last week at Washington Dulles International Airport.

In a statement, Vitter said he accidentally went through a wrong door at the gate leading to the plane he was trying to board.


Obama Administration Labels AIG Executives ‘Enemy Combatants’

Far be it from me to suggest that AIG executives who’ve received millions in bonuses need defending.

But there’s something about the united front of Obama and the Congressional Democrats against bonus payments, raises, and profits that strikes me as--to steal a phrase from the now forgotten Israel-Hamas war of a few months back--disproportional. Israel made half this much fuss trying to get their captured soldier back from Hamas and the UN called it genocide.

All I'm saying is a lot of innocent American civilians are going to get clobbered.

"Cramming down"mortgages, calling for vitiation of private contracts, and using the tax code to punish enemies of an outraged populace are really powerful weapons the liberals don't have enough character to lay down after this is over.

Listen to Chuck Schumer:
"My colleagues and I are sending a letter to [AIG CEO Edward] Liddy informing him that he can go right ahead and tell the employees that are scheduled to get bonuses that they should voluntarily return them," Sen. Charles Schumer said on the Senate floor. "Because if they don't, we plan to tax virtually all of [the money] ... so it is returned to its rightful owners, the taxpayers."

Taxation as class warfare. What a great idea! I can’t imagine where something like this would ever be used against me and my interests! How 'bout you?

Then here is President Obama:

"[AIG] is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed," Obama told politicians and reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, where he and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner were unveiling a package to aid the nation's small businesses.

Obama said he will attempt to block bonuses for AIG, payments he described as an "outrage."

. . . .The president said he has asked Geithner to "pursue every single legal avenue to block these bonuses and make the American taxpayers whole."

Obama said he would work with Congress to change the laws so that such a situation cannot happen again.
Then there’s Barney Frank:

“Clearly not enough was done in the beginning to put conditions on A.I.G.,” Mr. Frank said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show. While he said he wanted to review whether A.I.G. was contractually obligated to pay out the bonuses, as it contended, he also questioned whether the recipients of the money should remain employed.

“These people may have a right to their bonuses, they don’t have a right to their jobs forever,” Mr. Frank said, charging that the bonuses amounted to rewards for incompetence. And he added: “These bonuses are going to people who screwed this up enormously.”
When Frank, who, trust me, believes he has a right to his job forever, talks about screw-ups, we'd all better listen, since he practically wrote the book. Between them he and Chris Dodd brought down the American economy.

Now just imagine if Obama brought this kind of rhetoric, focus, and “let’s try anything” determination to his efforts to push back the growing jihadist threats against the United States. Let's say instead of releasing jihadists, negotiating with Iran, and fretting with his Attorney General for hours over Khalid Sheik Mohammed's Fourth Amendment rights, he instead ordered his cabinet and the Joint Chiefs to "pursue every single legal avenue to" protect this country from the our global jihadist enemies.

Yeah, I can’t imagine it either.

Detroit: It's a Place, Not Just a State of Mind

When I look in the mirror
To comb my hair
I can’t see Leno
Smilin’ there
--Detroit City Councilwoman Martha Reeves

From yesterday's Detroit News:

Martha Reeves irked by second Leno show in suburbs

Darren A. Nichols and Catherine Jun / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- City Councilwoman Martha Reeves, who last week thought she sweet-talked Jay Leno into a scheduling a show in Detroit, isn't happy he's arranged a second one in the suburbs.

Speaking shortly after Leno announced a show on April 8 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in addition to one there the night before, Reeves said she still doesn't know why he couldn't play Ford Field or Joe Louis Arena.

Leno announced the free show to lift the spirits of Michigan's unemployed on "The Tonight Show " last week by calling Detroit "one of my favorite places." That's irked Reeves, who points out that the suburbs aren't Detroit.

"Detroit is one of my favorite places, too," Reeves said. "If you're going to be here, I want to see you. And (Leno) is not going to be here. He's going to be in Auburn Hills. If there is a second show in Auburn Hills, it's still not Detroit. I just want it to be in Detroit, if it's in Detroit."

Ms. Reeves explained on local Fox TV that she doesn't have any dispute with Leno, whom she says she's known for years. She appears to be unable to conceive of Detroit as a metropolitan region, as opposed to an enclave existing within the city limits and jealously guarded by the City Council. After Ms. Reeves repeated that anything Leno does for the area helps Detroit, even if he plays the Palace in Auburn Hills, Huel Perkins asked her if she would go to the concert. "No, no, no" she said, as if the question was silly. "I live in Detroit." She actually talked about how she "can't see him in Detroit," as if there's a curfew preventing her from leaving the city.

To this day, (but not for much longer, I'm afraid), the American auto industry is referred to in shorthand as "Detroit," even though there hasn't been an auto plant in Detroit since I can't remember, Ford has always been in Dearborn, Chrysler left Detroit forty years ago, and GM only keeps its headquarters in the city because it gets cheap rent. Detroit has never been just Detroit City. But when Detroit City is your power base, and you're engaged in a running battle with "the suburbs," I guess who is and isn't "Detroit" is an absolute.

It's amost as if her notion of Detroit reaches so high she can't get over it, and so wide, she can't get around it.

Too bad.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cheney Says Country Is Now More Vulnerable

We hear from Dick Cheney again in The Washington Times ("Cheney hits Obama policy on terrorism):

The Obama administration has made the country more vulnerable to a
terrorist attack by changing interrogation and detention policies and combating
terrorism through law enforcement action rather than treating it like a war, former Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday in his first television interview since leaving office.

Citing "enhanced interrogation" techniques, government wiretapping and other Bush initiatives as instrumental in preventing terrorist attacks, Mr. Cheney said that rolling back those programs will undermine U.S. intelligence gathering.

"I think those programs were absolutely essential to the success we enjoyed of being able to collect the intelligence that let us defeat all further attempts to launch attacks against the United States since 9/11," he said in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union."

"President Obama campaigned against it all across the country. And now he is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack," Mr. Cheney said.

Mr. Cheney said the plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba is one of the Obama decisions that reflect a "law enforcement" as opposed to a "wartime" view of terrorism.

"We made a decision after 9/11 that I think was crucial. We said, 'This is a war - it's not a law enforcement problem,' " Mr. Cheney said. "Once you go into a wartime situation and it's a strategic threat, then you use all of your assets to go after the enemy ... you use your intelligence resources, your military resources, your financial resources, everything you can in order to shut down that terrorist threat against you.

When you go back to the law enforcement mode, which is what I sense they're doing, closing Guantanamo and so forth, they are very much giving up that center of attention and focus that's required, and that concept of military threat that's essential if you're going to successfully defend the nation against further attacks," he said.

Read the rest of it here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Monica: 'I'm Not Ready for My Close-Up Now'

“Please don’t take pictures while I’m talking because you give then the ones (with) my mouth open.”
Detroit City Council president to Detroit News photographer Brandy Baker during a post-council media interview session.
The Detroit News, March 14, 2009 10A

I don’t know if there really are more pictures of Monica with her mouth open rather than shut, especially in view of how much time she spends opening it to say, or usually shout, bodacious things.

But her comment does address one of my trivial pet interests in news photography, about how hard photo editors work to select unflattering photos of people they don’t like. Google Images of “Bush smirking” and watch the results just fly off the page.

As a rare exception that proves the rule (Barack will be another, you will see) I believe I’ve referred somewhere to Governor Jennifer Granholm as the world’s longest serving executive to never have an unflattering picture of herself published. This photo on the right is typical of how she's portrayed on any given day, even when she's making the news for raising taxes or telling the people of Michigan that things are going to get much worse before, or if, they ever get better.

Monica Conyers in no Jennifer Granholm, but she's not a bad looking woman, at least when your view of her is not obscured by her fist coming into your face. Anger makes for worse photos. That may explain why she sees so many unplesant photos of herself. That, and maybe because 99% of the photo attention comes when she's just picked another schoolyard fight with someone.

This is only Monica’s recent press biography:

John Conyers’ wife in bar fight

Fri Dec 23, 2005
The wife of Democratic U.S. Rep. John Conyers has been accused of punching a woman in the eye during a bar fight.

A spokesman for Monica Conyers, a city councilwoman-elect, confirmed Friday that she was involved in an altercation. But he said Conyers merely defended herself after being attacked by another woman.

Conyers’ Wife Threatened to Shoot Mayor’s Aide

February 15, 2008

DETROIT — An aide to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick filed a police report Thursday claiming Monica Conyers, the short-tempered City Council president pro tem and wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, threatened to get a gun and shoot him at a city pension board meeting.

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Conyers accused of insults

David Josar / The Detroit News
DETROIT -- Cancer survivor and former state Rep. Mary Waters is calling on City Council President Monica Conyers to apologize for supposedly making light of cancer during a shouting match last week with a colleague.

Councilman Kwame Kenyatta wrote a letter to Conyers last week claiming she insulted him for wearing hearing aids and having cancer during a discussion that spilled into the hallways at City Hall. Kenyatta doesn't have cancer, but deemed her remarks about his hearing and his high school equivalency diploma "despicable."

(The following happened during the National Democratic Convention in Denver in 2008).

Mrs. Conyers in Hotel ‘Disturbance’

August 27, 2008
DETROIT –Police were called to quell a “disturbance” at a Denver hotel between Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers and staff, according to a hotel spokeswoman.

Dana Berry, spokeswoman for Magnolia Hotel, told the Detroit News an officer assigned to the hotel during the Democratic National Convention had to call for additional police assistance around 4 and 5 p.m. after a heated argument erupted between Conyers and staff about a hotel room.

And the one that brought the Detroit area world attention, when she was captured on tape behaving like a bad third-grader disrupting a meeting of the City Council. Think what you want about the pros or cons of the Cobo Hall deal, (or, like most people, don't think about it at all). But if you watch this tape you'll never wonder again why regional leaders will never make a deal with the city that gives city officials like Monica Conyers veto power over progress:

Friday, March 13, 2009

When A=A, You've Solved It

In logic, and I believe algebra, which I had to take over, they call this the principle of identity. A being is what it is. A = A.

A committed jihadist, whatever else he may be, is not a moderate.

Twice in only a few weeks two of America’s bitterest Islamic enemies have rebuffed President Barack Obama’s highly illogical offers to sit down and treat with the "moderate" members of our enemies’ camp.

First there was Obama's offer to make friends with Iran. Ahmadinejad responded with a "not so fast," outlining a few conditions:
Other than "apologizing for the U.S. crimes" against his country "in the past 60 years," Ahmadinejad said the United States should withdraw all its troops from around the world and put them back inside the U.S. borders "to serve their own people."

He insisted the United States should also "stop interfering in other people's affairs," accusing it of having caused wars due to its military presence. He also suggested that advocates of change "must stop supporting the Zionists, outlaws and criminals."
For what it's worth, Democrat "moderates" Jack Murtha, Chas Freeman, and Jimmy Carter all thought these Iranian terms were very balanced and reasonable.

Then President Obama said he would reach out to the Taliban "moderates." That's when the Taliban had to get all Mr. Spock on the President and explain that the word "Taliban" translates into English as "incapable of being moderate":

Taliban say Obama's call on moderates "illogical"
Tue Mar 10,
7:17 am ET

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan's Taliban on Tuesday turned down as illogical U.S. President Barack Obama's bid to reach out to moderate elements of the insurgents, saying the exit of foreign troops was the only solution for ending the war.

Obama, in an interview with the New York Times, expressed an openness to adapting tactics in Afghanistan that had been used in Iraq to reach out to moderate elements there.

"This does not require any response or reaction for this is illogical," Qari Mohammad Yousuf, a purported spokesman for the insurgent group, told Reuters when asked if its top leader Mullah Mohammad Omar would make any comment about Obama's proposal.

"The Taliban are united, have one leader, one aim, one policy...I do not know why they are talking about moderate Taliban and what it means?"

"If it means those who are not fighting and are sitting in their homes, then talking to them is meaningless. This really is surprising the Taliban."

It's not surprising to us. We've been saying this for years. We agree it's illogical. The idea of a moderate Taliban is about as illogical as, well, the idea of a moderate Barack Obama. The idea of negotiating with an opponent whose sine qua non is your subjection or, failing that, your destruction, is not rational.

Mr. President, how about restoring some of that "scientific integrity to government decision making" when it comes to real issues, like defending the nation from her enemies?

Birthday Gifts for the Man Who Plans To Have Everything

Did you know it was Mohammed's birthday? Don't worry if you didn't get him anything. His followers will just take whatever he may want.

From today's Islam in Action:

Hevron: Muslim Worshipers Desecrate Holy Texts

by Maayana Miskin

(IsraelNN.com) Muslims in the city of Hevron were allowed to access the entire Tomb of the Patriarchs (Maarat HaMachpelah)this week in honor of the birthday of Mohammed, whom Muslims revere as a prophet. Worshipers took advantage of the opportunity to desecrate Jewish holy texts, including prayer books and books of Psalms.

The damage was discovered on Monday when Jews were allowed to return to the prayer halls usually set aside for Jewish use. The desecration caused upset and anger among the returning Jewish worshipers.

Jewish community spokesman David Wilder said such damage is unfortunately common. Jews have often returned after Muslims made use of the entire holy place to discover ruined holy books, damaged mezuzah cases and other destruction, he said. Jews try to remove all holy objects from the sanctuary before turning it over to Muslim use, he explained, but books are occasionally accidentally left behind.

The damage is not accidental, however, Wilder clarified. “They know exactly what it is that they are doing,” he said of those who destroy the holy texts.

The IDF is aware of such incidents, he added, as video cameras in the building allow them to see what takes place in the prayer halls. “It's very unfortunate that more care isn't taken to prevent these things from happening,” he said.

Hevron's Jews are now calling on the IDF to refuse the next request for Muslim access to the Jewish prayer halls. If the desecration is not met with punishment, such acts will continue, they say.
Then there is this story from the UK:

Archbishop Nichols defends use of chapel for event marking Mohammed's

Posted By: Damian Thompson at Mar 12, 2009

The Archbishop of Birmingham, Vincent Nichols, has defended the use of a Catholic university college chapel for an event marking the birthday of Mohammed.

Unbelieveable, I know. But here it is:

In a statement issued today, Thursday 12 March,Peter Jennings, Press Secretary to the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham, and the Archdiocese of Birmingham, said: "The chapel at Newman University College, Birmingham, was properly prepared for this event which consisted of two talks and a discussion of an interfaith nature."

Mr Jennings added: "Christian/Muslin dialogue is an important part of the Catholic Church's agenda. College authorities were fully aware of what was taking place."

I'm baffled. Last night I reported on this disturbing event, organised by the college's Islamic Society and sanctioned by its politically correct chaplaincy team. I know that priests in Birmingham archdiocese are outraged by what happened. Archbishop Nichols could so easily have distanced himself from this, but he hasn't. If, against the odds, he is named as the next Archbishop of Westminster, his failure to speak out now will haunt him.

As I noted this morning, Italian journalist Paolo Roderi has named Bishop Bernard Longley, auxiliary in Westminster, as the man chosen by the Pope to succeed +Cormac. But only last night Roderi was claiming that Benedict XVI was leaning towards Vincent Nichols, which implies that the Pope had a last-minute change of heart. If so, can you blame him? This response to an event that has enormously upset devout Catholics is inadequate, and that's putting it politely.


The late Oriana Fallaci described how Muslims were granted permission by the local Diocese to use an historic Catholic Church for one of their religious gathering, and it was discovered afterwards they had "urinated all over the "Gates of Paradise" -- the Baptistery doors of Ghiberti in Florence,” and defecated in the holy water stoups.

The question for me isn’t, Why do Muslims have to be so hateful? It’s, Why do Christians and Jews have to be such saps?

Detroit News Cliff Gliding with the Times and the Globe

Mark Steyn has the nerve to criticize one of our hometown newspapers for failing to report on “the Saudi shill Chas Freeman,” whom the nation only just escaped having confirmed as chairman of the National Intelligence Council. You know what I say to Steyn?

The man makes a good point. . . .:
Don't read all about it! [Mark Steyn]

I'm glad to see the back of the Saudi shill Chas Freeman, but I wonder what Mr. and Mrs. America will make of it tomorrow morning, reading for the very first time how the "Outspoken Former Ambassador" (as the AP's headline has it) was scuttled by a controversy their newspaper saw fit not to utter a word about.

As far as I can tell, the only papers in America to so much as mention the Freeman story were the Wall Street Journal, Investors' Business Daily, the Washington Times, the New York Post, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Augusta Chronicle,and the Press Enterprise of Riverside, California.

But if you rely for your news on the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Detroit News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Miami Herald, or the Minneapolis Star-Tribune — just to name a random selection of American dailies currently sliding off the cliff — the end of the story will be the first time you've heard of it.

The U.S. newspaper has deluded itself that it's been killed by technology. But there are two elements to a newspaper: news and paper. The paper is certainly a problem, but so is the news — or lack of it. If you're interested in news, the somnolent U.S. monodaily is the last place to look for it.

No More 'Enemy Combatants'

This decision by the Department of Justice released today outlining a new standard for terrorist detainees is disappointing:

The definition does not rely on the President’s authority as Commander-in-Chief independent of Congress’s specific authorization. It draws on the international laws of war to inform the statutory authority conferred by Congress. It provides that individuals who supported al Qaeda or the Taliban are detainable only if the support was substantial. And it does not employ the phrase “enemy combatant.”

Aside from the needless announcement (in my opinion, as it has nothing to do with the submission to the court) that the phrase “enemy combatant” is a thing of the past, the new definition is more ominous because it marks a President ceding to the Congress, and to the timorous authorities that codify the international laws of war, the independent authority as Commander-in-Chief to decide what to do with captured fighters that every American president has enjoyed since George Washington.

It isn’t in the nature of executives to surrender constitutional power. No matter how benevolent a game they talk prior to election, every president ends up jealously guarding, and expanding where he can, the prerogatives of the executive branch. There’s nothing wrong with it: it was meant by the Founders to be that way. They understood the president would always test the limits of his power and may need to be checked, and they knew that the legislative branch in wartime would dither as usual, just when quick command decisions are imperative.

Our system of government hates a vacuum just as much as nature does. The authority that Obama is surrendering as Commander-in-Chief will immediately be absorbed and expanded upon, somehow, by Congress--which is now under the control of a majority of people who never took the jihadist war we’re defending against seriously. Now that he’s surrendered it in the first few weeks of his first year in the White House, he will never get it back without a horrendous fight.

What I’ve seen of President Obama doesn’t make me believe he’s any less hungry for power than any other President--far from it. Is it possible that he has just shot off one of his own presidential appendages (I won’t speculate which one) out of sheer ideological obtuseness our being in a desperate global war, and not just a persistent cycle of international crime?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Thank You, Barbara-Rose Collins

“Do you negotiate with someone who thinks you're a monkey?”
--Detroit City Councilwoman Barbara-Rose Collins

When I first watched videotapes of Ms. Collins’s tirade against “European rulers” (or as we descendants of those rascals are known in Detroit, “suburbanites”), and how they traditionally robbed people of color, I felt, to put it mildly, that she was making a poor showing for herself. Cobo firestorm ignites racism charges, promise of court fight

When she sang “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” it only added to the moral chaos of the scene, a scene that was already part of the bigger context of the City Council's childish, obstructionist racial war against white Michigan. For Ms. Collins to sing that hymn in that setting, after saying the things she'd said, could not have made one bit less sense, or been any more out of context, if she’d belted out “The Marsellaise” instead, or started yelling “Allahu Akhbar!” or maybe even, “Remember the Maine!”

I thought the whole scene was incoherent.

But buried in that nonsense was one jewel of sense, one principle that is crystal-clear in its logic, though it took a couple days for me to get it.

I'm talking about when Ms. Collins asked, “how can you negotiate with someone who thinks you’re a monkey?” “Would you,” as Ms. Collins so wisely poses the problem, “negotiate with someone who thinks you're beneath human being. . .? I would be a fool to negotiate."

The answer to her rhetorical question is that, obviously, you wouldn’t negotiate with someone who thinks you’re a monkey, with someone who thinks you're beneath human being. Given those premises, only a fool would negotiate.

Now Ms. Collins was talking about something else, namely a wisecrack a few years back by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson that came across to her as him calling council members “monkeys.” That’s not actually what he said, but given the historical context of how blacks have been insulted in America, she wasn’t so unreasonable to take it that way. (“Controversy over Detroit Zoo closure heats up”).

But regardless of what Ms. Collins thinks L. Brooks Patterson thinks of her, there is a much more concrete situation in which one side in a dispute really does believe, as a matter of religious conviction, that its hated enemies are literally the offspring of apes and pigs.

"[O]n the occasion of the Shi'ite 'Ashoura holiday," Nasrallah Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said he "regretted that the holiday fell 'on the 50th anniversary of the bitter and distressing historical catastrophe of the establishment of the state of the grandsons of apes and pigs – the Zionist Jews – on the land of Palestine and Jerusalem.' He closed his speech with these words: '... We reaffirm the slogan of the struggle against the Great Satan and call, like last year: "Death to America. To the murderers of the prophets, the grandsons of apes and pigs," we say: ... "Death to Israel...'"

Bat Ye'Or writes as follows:

Jihad ideology separates humanity into two hostile blocs: the community of Muslims (Dar ul-Islam), and the infidel non-Muslims (Dar ul-Harb). Allah commands the Muslims to conquer the entire world in order to rule it according to Koranic law. Hence Muslims must wage a perpetual war against those infidels who refuse to submit. This is the motivation for jihad. It is based on the inequality between the community of Allah and the infidels, as was re-emphasized in the Cairo Declaration. The first is a superior group, which must rule the world; the second must submit. The current relevance of this ideology is apparent, and disturbing.

For example, Al-Muhajiroun, an Islamist newspaper in London, published an article on January 27, 2001, which declared:

Upon the establishment of the Islamic State, the whole world will potentially be Dar ul Harb since the foreign policy of the Islamic state is aimed at conquering the world... Once the Islamic State is established anyone in Dar ul Harb will have no sanctity for his life or wealth hence, a Muslim in such circumstances can then go into Dar ul Harb and take the wealth from the people unless there is a treaty with that state. If there is no treaty, individual Muslims can even go to Dar ul Harb and take women to keep as slaves.

Such an attitude assumes that the infidels have no rights and are totally dehumanized. It breeds hatred and contempt and has led to historical negationism, and the destruction of non-Muslim cultures. . . .

With someone with a worldview like that, as Ms. Collins said, "I would be a fool to negotiate."

Then why is the Obama administration encouraging coming to terms with the Taliban, Hamas, Syria, and Iran? The thing is, we're all apes to them.

I'm with Councilwoman Collins on this.

I say all us monkeys better stick together.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Regrets, They'll Have a Few

Pajamas Media has this on the growing list of Obama's disappointed supporters:

They may need a support group before the month is out. They could gather in New York or Washington where many victims reside. The meetings would start: “I’m Maureen [or David]. I’m a duped Barack voter. And I’m mad.”

The ranks indeed are filling with the disaffected and the disappointed — Chris Buckley, Maureen Dowd, David Brooks, David Gergen, and even that gynecological sleuth and blogger Andrew Sullivan. And then there is the very angry Marty Peretz. Their complaints are varied but expressed with equal amounts of remorse and bitterness. They all have been done wrong by Barack.

Read the rest at ‘I’m Maureen Dowd, and I’ve Been Had’.

Detroit's Race Card-in-the-Hole

“Don't you say his name here.”

--City Council President Monica Conyers forbidding a white suitor from uttering the name of Barack Obama in the presence of Detroit's black leaders

Just imagine how ugly Detroit’s race-baiting leadership would come across if President Obama hadn’t birthed us all into a post-racial utopia?

I hate this subject like hell. But I realize that if we can’t talk about race, we can’t talk about jihad. Not because jihad and race are the same thing, (they are not the same thing!) but because the same self-censoring tricks that were deployed by race hustlers, (and then gay-rights activists) to prevent Americans from being able to speak, or even think critically about racial matters (or homosexuality), have been taken up and perfected by jihadist spokesmen and defenders.

Put another way, the nagging inner voice that forbids you from thinking that a black person can be a racist or that homosexuality is not “normal” is the same voice threatening you now that you’d better not dare associating Islam with terrorism.

Last Sunday Detroit News editor Nolan Finley, whose opinions are generally expressed at a moderate temperature and in a calm tone, had the sort of outburst that might have been illustrated in the old cartoons by mercury rising in a big thermometer so fast it breaks the glass as the top and spurts right out.

It captures some of what is going on in this area, and why, so I’m posting it in full.

Elect a crazy council, get crazy results

Nowhere is Michigan's brain drain on greater display than in the Detroit City Council chambers.

My hopes for Detroit's future faded as I watched the tape of last Tuesday's council meeting, the one that considered the Cobo Center expansion deal.

It was a tragic circus, a festival of ignorance that confirmed the No. 1 obstacle to Detroit's progress is the bargain basement leaders that city voters elect. The black nationalism that is now the dominant ideology of the council was on proud display, both at the table and in the audience.

Speakers advocating for the deal were taunted by the crowd and cut short by Council President Monica Conyers, who presided over the hearing like an angry bulldog; whites were advised by the citizens to, "Go home."

Opponents were allowed to rant and ramble on uninterrupted about "those people" who want to steal Detroit's assets and profit from the city's labors.

A pitiful Teamster official who practically crawled to the table on his knees expressing profuse respect for this disrespectful body was battered by both the crowd and the council.

When he dared suggest that an improved Cobo Center would create more good-paying jobs for union workers, Conyers reminded him, "Those workers look like you; they don't look like me."

Desperate, he invoked President Barack Obama's message of unity and was angrily warned, "Don't you say his name here."

Juxtapose the place and the faces and imagine a white Livonia City Council treating a black union representative with such overt racial hostility. The Justice Department would swoop down like a hawk, and the Rev. Al Sharpton would clog Five Mile Road with protesters.

But in Detroit, dealing with the council's bigotry is part of the cost of doing business. As is dealing with its incompetence. (I'll pause here and excuse from that indictment Sheila Cockrel and Brenda Jones, who supported the Cobo deal, as did Kwame Kenyatta, who although he's an avowed nationalist, most often votes in the city's best interests.)

Emmet Moten, the developer who just opened the Fort Shelby Hotel downtown, was at the meeting and found it appalling. Moten went to Lansing in 1983 on behalf of Mayor Coleman Young to successfully lobby for a regional tax to support Cobo.

"And now we're saying, 'We don't want your money,'" Moten says. "If Coleman were alive today, he'd be outraged. It hurts, it really hurts."

Now, Moten says, "we Detroiters gotta be outraged."

Outraged enough to go to the polls in November and elect a brighter, more responsible council. Moten and others I talked with this week are encouraged that mayoral primary voters picked Dave Bing and Ken Cockrel Jr., the two most rational candidates on the ballot.

The test now will be whether it's those primary voters or the angry council crowd who represent the real Detroit.

As Moten notes, "You can't fix this for us. We have to fix it ourselves."

Nobody can help Detroit if voters again elect a City Council composed of separatists, clueless dowagers and the apparently insane.

I could take a couple exceptions to Finley’s account, (he’s far too kind to Coleman Young, who was the Johnny Appleseed that planted this generation of racist politicians), but I’m all on board with Finley for daring to use terms like “bigotry,” “black nationalism,” “separatists,” “clueless,” and “insane.” In this week’s piece he added another, “segregationist.” (“A 22,000-mile view of Detroit's despair”).

These are extremely hard terms, but accurate, and they need to be said. These days, and for a long time now, Detroit's problems with racism have been primarily a majority black problem, not a majority white problem. It isn't the legacy of Jim Crow, or the Ku Klux Klan, or slavery that makes Detroit in 2009 the most segregated city in America: that legacy is thanks to the 40 years of "black consciousness" politics, ordinary Democratic Party corruption, and hireling religious leaders who substitute a gumbo of crackpot race theories, Marxism, and get-rich-quick promises for the gospel.

If black Detroiters want to claim total ownership of Detroit as spoils of the civil-rights "struggle"--want to keep claiming Cobo Hall, and the waterworks, and the DIA, and the Zoo, and saying "that's ours, and that's ours, and that's ours," then they need to take a good, hard look at that old charge about Detroit’s hopeless segregation and admit that, “yeah, that's ours now, too.”

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Wright: 'Barack Ain't Jesus'

"Barack's name ain't Jesus. Barack ain't gonna improve your child's reading score. There are things we've got to do on our own," he said.
--Reverende Jeremiah Wright

Barack ain't gonna improve nobody's grammar, neither.

Arrest Warrant for Sudan's President al-Bashir

From Doug Farah's blog:

Mar 5, 18:25

Why The Al Bashir Arrest Warrant is Important

Beyond the genocide and mass murder that Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has presided over in his 20 years in office, it is important to remember what al-Bashir is: a radical Islamist imposing the type of sharia law and carrying out policies that most Islamists approve of.

While the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir for Darfur (and most of the Muslim world has rallied to his defense, as they have remained silent and unmoved by the genocides his regime has perpetrated), that genocide was only one in a long series of actions taken in the name of Islam that have caused us all great harm.

In a
case I testified in (now under appeal by the government of Sudan), the court in the Eastern District of Virginia accepted that Sudan “provided material support in the form of funding, direction, training and cover to Al-Qaeda, a worldwide terrorist organization whose operatives facilitated the planning and execution of the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole” in October 2000, while in the port of Aden, Yemen.

When he seized power in 1989
he did so as a self-proclaimed Islamist, in the company of Hassan al-Turabi,” who is not only an extremely influential intellectual of the Muslim Brotherhood, but one of Osama bin Laden’s earliest and most ardent backers.

The regime of al-Bashir is not an “ordinary” criminal regime, such as that of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe or Charles Taylor in Liberia. Rather, it is a theologically-motivated regime that provided some of the important theological and financial support for radical Islamist movements around the world.

Al-Bashir and al-Turabi hosted not only al Qaeda, but Hamas, Hezbollah, whose members were able to enter without visas in order to foster revolutionary solidarity and networks.

Sudan, under al Bashir, became an Islamist terrorist Disneyland, where all could mix and mingle. The imposition of sharia law, the war against non-Muslims in the south, and the Darfur genocide, are all follow-ons to those years.

While al-Bahir and al-Turabi parted ways in a power struggle, their political/theological project was one and the same. It is worth recalling all the prestigious meetings, awards and boards that al-Turabi was a part of as he and al-Bashir opened their borders to a host of Islamist terrorist organizations in the 1990s.

(Among the banks al-Turabi helped found, and served on the board for a decade, is
Dar al-Maal al Islami Trust, a premier Muslim banking institution.) According a Jan. 31, 2007 Wall Street Journal piece, which I can’t find online, Overland Capital Group, a subsidiary of DMI, is under Justice Department investigation for possible tax violations. A prosecutor from the Counterterrorism division of DOJ was handling the case, the story said.

The al-Bashir regime facilitated the movement of hundreds of millions of dollars to the Bosnian Muslim movements in the early 1990s through the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), run by Sudanese diplomats in Vienna, Austria.

TWRA, posing as a charity, provided the template for the fraudulent use of charities by al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups around the world.

After 9/11, al-Bashir, sensing the shift in the winds, turned over some old and harmless intelligence on radical Islamists in Sudan and al Qaeda, to the United States. It was just enough to avoid serious sanctions.

Emboldened, the regime then went on to the Darfur atrocities while maintaining a chokehold at home, and reaping billions of dollars in new revenues as the Chinese poured into the Sudanese oil fields.

Al-Bashir represents the end product of what the Muslim Brotherhood proposes combined with what al Qaeda and violent Islamists seek: an Islamist government ruled by sharia law, with no separation at all between church (mosque) and state, and one that is willing to sponsor and facilitator of violent Islamists who carry out terrorist attacks.