Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Quick Gloat on the Iran "Deal"

This humble blog's five or six readers will recall that I labelled the "historic" nuclear deal with Iran as fake (here, here, here, and here, for example) and predicted that Obama would call it a treaty when convenient and a Joint Plan of Action, or something else, when not. I specifically called for somebody to show us the signatures on the "treaty." I strongly suspected there was no signature.

Go ahead, check my comments on this "deal." I'll wait for you right here.

I now refer you to this article  in the Daily Mail which reports that,
The Obama administration has disclosed to Congress that this summer's controversial nuclear arms agreement with Iran was never signed and is not legally binding, according to a new report this week. 
The State Department made the disclosures in a letter to Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo, a Republican, who had written the department to inquire why the agreement as submitted to Congress in July did not bear the signature of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. 
'The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,' Julia Frifield, an assistant secretary for legislative affairs wrote Pompeo last Thursday.

How about that? Who coulda seen that coming? I mean besides this little blog, of course.

Just thought you might want to know . . .

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thoughts On Cultural Appropriation: Eat Tacos or the Terrorists Win!

Lots of threats out there to our beloved Anglosphere and to the Western Civilization it has so ably represented, advanced, and defended for the past many, many, many years. This humble blog has discussed several of those threats, such as Islam's reinvigorated 1400-year war on the West, and has even dealt with the GREATEST THREAT TO HUMANITY Global Cooling Global Warming Global Climate Change  Global Climate Disruption, in mocking terms, of course, but has failed to appreciate fully the next Greatest Threat, Cultural Appropriation! 

Our Canadian friends have led the way in countering this threat by canceling some imperialistic Yoga classes given, for free, at the University of Ottawa. For you see, my benighted six or seven friends,  
[A}s many as 20 million Americans practice yoga every day. Few worry that their downward dogs or warrior poses disrespect other cultures. 
But yoga comes from India, once a British colony. And now, at one Canadian university, a yoga class designed to include disabled students has been canceled after concerns the practice was taken from a culture that “experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy,” according to the group that once sponsored it. <...>
You just gotta understand that,
“Yoga has been under a lot of controversy lately due to how it is being practiced and what practices from what cultures (which are often sacred spiritual practices) they are being taken from . . . Many of these cultures are cultures that have experienced oppression, cultural genocide and diasporas due to colonialism and western supremacy, and we need to be mindful of this and how we express ourselves and while practicing yoga.”
Being a culturally insensitive sort, I thought maybe the classes had been canceled because the wrong sort of people were walking around in yoga pants. But, no, the reasons are much more serious, and woe to he/she/ze who makes mock of them. The brave student federation at UniOtt took to heart the progressive definition of cultural appropriation,
Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else's culture without permission. This can include unauthorized use of another culture's dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc. It's most likely to be harmful when the source community is a minority group that has been oppressed or exploited in other ways or when the object of appropriation is particularly sensitive, e.g. sacred objects. 
In the United States, cultural appropriation almost always involves members of the dominant culture (or those who identify with it) “borrowing” from the cultures of minority groups. African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans and indigenous peoples generally tend to emerge as the groups targeted for cultural appropriation. Black music and dance, Native American fashions, decorations and cultural symbols and Asian martial arts and dress have all fallen prey to cultural appropriation.
They not only took it to heart but, as fierce Social Justice Warriors, struck a mighty blow by preventing handicapped students who benefited from the free classes from continuing their evil theft of Indian culture. The Indian High Commission in Ottawa had no comment, well, except for their June 21 announcement of International Yoga Day, but I am sure some imperialist forced them to do that . . .

Ah, yes, all this at a time when the State Department issues a WORLDWIDE travel advisory to Americans because of the threat from the JV squad, er, I mean,
Extremists [who] have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services. In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali. ISIL/Da’esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.
Yes, my old outfit is issuing a worldwide advisory, just after the President said ISIS was "contained"--I guess he meant to this planet--and never once using the words "Islamist," "Jihadi," much less "Islam" or "Muslim." Just be careful of some vague extremists out there; they might be Mormon missionaries, or truck-driving-Rebel-flag-waving sorts, you just don't know from where that "extremist" threat might come. The State Department, of course, is behind the times and needs to step up its game in confronting the evils of cultural appropriation. No more speaking English at American embassies lest we offend the English people from whom we appropriated that language . . .

"Cultural appropriation" terrorists share some common features with "Global Climate Whatever" terrorists. They ignore the history of mankind. Just as mankind has struggled ceaselessly against the brutalities of Mother Nature--Gaia is a blood thirsty goddess--mankind (oops, can I still use that word?) has advanced by borrowing ideas across cultures, ideas that provide solutions to the common problems faced by people regardless of culture. Who built the very first house? I don't know, but I am grateful to him/her/zat/zim/bim.

Can we assert that cultures influence and get influenced by other cultures? Otherwise, I guess, Africans should not get polio vaccines because those did not originate in their cultures?

This "appropriation" nonsense, of course, is of a piece with just about everything else being done by progressives. The idea is to sow confusion, doubt, self-censorship, and, above all, confusion--did I mention confusion? The poor benighted speaker, writer, thinker is thrown into a tizzy whenever he/she, etc., tries to come up with a thought. The poor unenlightened one must then turn to the progressives for a guide to lay down a path out of the quandary, and avoid giving offense.

I, for one, intend to have tacos for lunch tomorrow. If I don't, then the Social Justice Terrorists have won.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Obama & Kerry: Such a Fine Line Between Stupid & Clever

I was watching (for the 100th time, at least) what I consider one of the two greatest modern Hollywood comedies ever produced, the 1984 "mockumentary" This is Spinal Tap (TISP)--the other being, The ProducersTISP, of course, is a fake documentary about "Britain's loudest band" as they attempt an American come-back years after their expiration date has come and gone. They are not only loud, but possessed of little talent, even less self awareness, and all the while exceptionally self-centered and pompous. While watching this classic, I came to realize that our beloved and beleaguered Republic is now governed by Spinal Tap.

There is a bit of dialogue in the "mockumentary" that is particularly applicable to our current group of "leaders." In a wonderfully inane discussion with band member Nigel Tufnel (played by the great British-American comic, Christopher Guest), band leader, David St. Hubbins (played by the superb American actor, Michael McKean), makes the following stunning observation, "It's such a fine line between stupid, and, uh . . . clever."

I thought of this brilliant observation hearing SecState John "Xmas in Cambodia" Kerry discuss the most recent Paris atrocity and compare it to the Charlie Hebdo massacre of last January. Listen as the clever Kerry finds that fine line mentioned by St. Hubbins and crosses it firmly into the land of stupid,

There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of — not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, OK, they’re really angry because of this and that.

Just cogitate a spell on what the allegedly most important foreign affairs official in the world has said. Let it sink in. Let it take you on a magical mystery tour of the Land of Stupid. 

Let's put it bluntly: Kerry tells us that certain acts of mass terror are not as bad as others if the terrorists have a "legitimacy" or a "rationale" understandable to your average progressive elite moron, one that said moron "could attach to." You find encapsulated here the self-loathing that progressives feel for Western society, a loathing so deep that they could  "attach" themselves to those who would kill us in cold blood as long as the killers had an understandable reason, of course. This is the same sort of "cool detached intellectualist logic" at work, say, as Hitler reoccupied the Rhineland, as Stalin conducted his murderous purges, as Castro and Che ran their firing squads 24/7, as Chavez/Maduro dismantle democracy in Venezuela, or as thugs take over universities in the name of "tolerance" and "black lives" etcetera, etcetera  . . . 

For the progressive, the victims at Charlie Hebdo, of course, had committed the crime of treating Islam to almost the same level of mockery to which they subject Christianity, Judaism, Israel, and conservative politicians. They violated the Molotov-Von Ribbentrop Pact that exists between Islam and progressivism. It was too bad they had to die, but it was understandable. The massacre this month in Paris presents a bit of dilemma to the progressive because as the roster of dead clearly implies, most of those killed were undoubtedly highly tolerant progressives who did not like Bush, Thatcher, NATO, the CIA, or water boarding; they were mostly young people out partying in Paris, one of the  most progressive cities on earth. This was akin to the Boston marathon bombing where, again, the attack took place at one of America's most progressive cities. The progressives, ably represented by Kerry, ex-ally of the Viet Cong, are searching for an explanation as to why their third world brothers would randomly kill throngs of progressives. 

To highlight further the point about crossing that fine line, we have the alleged President of the United States make it all infinitely worse at his November 16 press conference in Anatalya, Turkey

There in Turkey The One made some breathtaking statements,
We'll do what’s required to keep the American people safe. And I think it's entirely appropriate in a democracy to have a serious debate about these issues. If folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan. If they think that somehow their advisors are better than the Chairman of my Joint Chiefs of Staff and the folks who are actually on the ground, I want to meet them. And we can have that debate. But what I'm not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning, or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people, and to protect people in the region who are getting killed, and to protect our allies and people like France. I'm too busy for that.

How about that? Anybody opposed to whatever the hell his strategy is, is just "popping off." He makes it quite clear that he has no interest in "pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning." How about that? Just too busy, doncha know, to pursue "winning."  And he goes on,

There will be setbacks and there will be successes. The terrible events in Paris were a terrible and sickening setback. Even as we grieve with our French friends, however, we can’t lose sight that there has been progress being made.

There you go. Right up there with our dead in Benghazi being a "bump in the road" the atrocity in Paris comprises a setback. He can't even muster some faux outrage, some bluster. He can't bring himself to utter the words "radical Islam." His anger and passion, well, that he saves for discussing Rebel flags, or Republicans. He, otherwise, adopts that condescending, dismissive, cool attitude so beloved in the universities and among the faux intellectuals in the ranks of our progressive overlords, "Oh, those crazy conservatives think you can solve a complex problem by bombing, just like they think you can solve our oil dependency by drilling . . . pass the arugula bowl would you?" 

Unfortunately for Western civilization, the Obama misadministration is not a fictional mockumentary. This is real. The disaster is real. The blood being spilled by Muslim crazies is real. The Islamic world is at war with us as it has been for the past 1400 years. They attack us from the outside and the inside, taking advantage of our open borders, open societies and natural generosity--and our refusal even to identify the enemy.  Meanwhile. our putative leaders are either delusional, stupid, malevolent, treasonous or all of those.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Refugee Policy, or Assisted Suicide?

The political fall-out from the Paris massacre continues.

Here in the USA, we have seen some tentative battle lines drawn as over half of the nation's governors have announced that their states will not accept the so-called refugees from the Middle East. While I welcome this defiance of progressive political correctness, I have no idea whether that is a legally tenable position. Can a state refuse to accept an alien person that the federal government has deemed fit for residence in the USA? We certainly see the progressives arguing that cities and states can refuse to turn over for extradition aliens deemed unfit, but . .  . well, you know how it is with progressives. Yes for me, but not for thee, and they do control the federal bureaucracy and much of the court system. So we'll see what happens as the lawyers bash it out.

The state-by-state strategy, of course, has one big flaw. All you need is for one state, e.g., California, to announce that the "refugees" are welcome, and--presto!--they're in. We have no border controls among the states, so somebody arriving in California, will soon have freedom to move about freely throughout the rest of our beleaguered Republic.

This is clearly an issue for the Congress. That raises other issues, the first being how quickly can Congress move to draft effective legislation to ban the "refugees,"overcome a likely veto, and withstand the mau-mauing from the elite progressive media and the "intellectuals"? The other issue is that we have a lawless president who has shown disregard for Congress and the Constitution and is more than willing to get his way by executive fiat. Is impeachment a realistic option? 'Tis a lovely thought, and if ever a president deserved it, this one does, but I have my doubts that will work.

That said, Congress must act to show that at least one branch of the government still sees America as worth saving.

One more time, let's visit some basic facts. The vast majority of these "Syrian refugees," are neither Syrian nor refugees. We have no realistic way of vetting tens-of-thousands of arrivals--more on that below. We have no vast and accurate data base against which we can compare, names, fingerprints, DNA, stories, etc. We have no idea who these people are, from whence they come, or the intentions they have. Our immigration system is already broken by the crush of years of illegal aliens from elsewhere and the confused and often contradictory policies and legal attitudes we adopt towards them. No way can the immigration lads and lassies handle this new wave. If the "Syrians" come, they stay.

As I have said so many times before, vetting is nonsense.

First, as noted above, we have no way of checking the bona fides of these arrivals. Second, more important, as I have said repeatedly, the most serious issue is not whether this or that "refugee" belongs to ISIS, Boko Haram, Jamiat Islamya, Hamas, Al Shabab, and on and on. It is the Islam he brings with him--and most are men. Setting up tens-of-thousands of Muslims in a tolerant, democratic Western country sows the field for a later harvest of radicalization and terror. We have seen it repeatedly as "home grown" Muslims get "radicalized" in their local mosques and become jihadi crazies. Go to Paris, Brussels, Madrid, Dearborn and see what I mean.

Islam is not a religion like any other. It is a violent, totalitarian, political-social-economic creed which abhors independent thought, sees women as essentially worthless, murders gays without a thought, and sees non-believers as worthy only for conversion, enslavement, or death. There is no tolerance, no peace, no love for the other preached or practiced in Islam. It has had no enlightenment and what reformation it has had has pushed it back ever closer to its 7th century origins in the Arabian peninsula. As I have seen throughout my career abroad, a person born in a Muslim culture has the choice of becoming either a good Muslim or a good person. The two sets do not overlap. Where Islam establishes itself, freedom disappears.

We need a total ban on these Muslim "refugees." We need to treat Islam as we have treated Communism, Fascism, Nazism in the past: a totalitarian threat to our national security. Practitioners of these totalitarian creeds, including Islam, should not get security clearances, certain jobs, and certainly not immigration visas.

This week's horror in Paris is just one more example of what happens when the West does not stand up for itself and its precious values and civilization.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris, the Murderous Cost of Progressive Delusions

As I write this the death toll in the Paris attacks, according to press reports, is well north of 120, and climbing. Those media reports are overwhelmingly reluctant to label the murderers as Muslim. The politicians, including our own President, are equally reluctant to label the murderers as Muslim and, of course, refuse to blame the dictates of Islam for the atrocities we have seen on the streets of Paris these past 24 hours.

I have written so much about this topic that I don't know what more to say.

One more time: the murderers are Muslims acting in accord with the dictates of Islam, the second most lethal creed on the planet. Islam is a belief system that demands total obedience from its followers ("submission"), and has a sneering disregard for the rights and sufferings of non-believers. On second thought, that is a grotesque understatement: I should say, Islam sees nonbelievers as worthy only for conversion, enslavement, or death. It does not matter if a nonbeliever is kind and generous in his or her dealings with the Believers; so long as that person remains a non-believer he or she is worthy only for the treatment I just mentioned. The treatment we saw, yet again, in Paris.

While our "leaders"prattle on about climate change (including from Paris the day of these attacks) and "safe spaces" and taking in "refugees, the practitioners of the Religion of Peace, murder us. As I wrote long ago, we are not at war with Islam but Islam is at war with us. Are we going to get yet another bone-head peace march in response?

I see articles arguing over whether the attack is Al Qaeda or ISIS. Whether this attack is typical of this group or that one. I have said this so many times that I am reluctant to say it again. The issue is not Boko Haram, Hamas, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Jamyat Islamia, or any other terrorist band. The issue is not Islamist "extremism," or a nutty fringe of Islam. The threat we face comes from Islam and the progressive delusions that have allowed Islam to plant itself in our midsts and flourish, grow and operate with near impunity. My friends, as I have written many times (here, for example) progressivism will get you killed. Progressivism, also a totalitarian belief system, is clearly now the deadliest creed on the planet, and has formed a Molotov-Ribbentrop-type pact with Islam. Progressivism, above all, is about denying reality and promoting delusion.

The cost of progressive delusions is seen every day. The people of Paris just paid that cost, yet again, yesterday.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Latest GOP Debate

Sorry for the delay. Had a defective keyboard in in which the letters "e," "i," and "w" would not work. Try writing this blog without "me," "we," and "I." Impossible!

Re the debate: A good one. Lots of substance and, once again, proving that the Fox reporters are far superior to their progressive counterparts at the mainstream media outlets. The questions were good, there was a sense of humor throughout, and the replies were all--almost--pretty good.

I thought all the candidates, with one exception, did well. Let's start with that exception. Governor Kasich blew it. He is a decent politician with a good track record as governor of Ohio and in Congress. He, however, has run a bizarre campaign which I would label as seeking to become the "progressive conscience" of the Republican Party. At this debate, his comments on immigration were, frankly, foolish. He gives rather lachrymose speeches and throws out lines, e.g., "not an adult argument," which will come back to haunt the GOP in the general elections next year. He should run for Democratic nominee and swap with Jim Webb. He doesn't belong on the stage with the other candidates.

The winner? Tough to call, but in my view it was Rubio with Cruz right behind him. I would even accept an argument that Cruz won. Maybe a tie? Both Senators were on fire. I scored it for Rubio because of his foreign policy and defense comments--I am prejudiced that way, you see--and his simple explanation of how raising the minimum wage raises unemployment. Cruz's response on illegal immigration was brilliant, to wit, journalists would write a different story if the illegals had journalism degrees and were driving down the wages of journalists. Either Rubio or Cruz would eat Hillary Clinton alive in any debate setting.

The others? Nobody did badly, although I thought Trump's comment about Fiorina interrupting was childish and unnecessary. Carson's closing statement was excellent: a 30-second piece of prose poetry not commonly heard in political debate. It reaffirmed his standing as a man of integrity, compassion, and patriotism.

Any one of the big four--Trump, Carson, Rubio and Cruz--would be a far preferable alternative to Hillary Clinton or the current calamity in the White House.