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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Feathers

Yes, feathers. Not the figurative kind that fill leftoid heads, but the real kind that cover birds. We are going light today. Our topic is feathers and how they nearly produced a civil war in the Diplomad clan, and how echoes of that strife apparently will reverberate on the 4th of July.

As the six regular readers of this blog are painfully aware, during the Reagan years I served for a time at the UN in New York. We loved New York City, even with all its inconveniences especially with two rambunctious boys. Schooling was a problem as the local PS was, well, pretty bad. When two of the vastly overpaid teachers at the school told us that they would never send their own kids there, we decided to yank our boys out and send them--at considerable cost to the Diplomad bottom line--to private schools. One went to a school run by Irish Catholic nuns, who wanted no parental involvement, "Thank you very much, but we know how to do this." The older son went to one run by strangely liberal, yet oddly conservative Jews who wanted lots of parental involvement in the school as long as the parents did what the school wanted. Hey, it's New York. Live with it.

Well, as it does every year, the Thanksgiving holiday rolled around. You must understand we had spent most of our lives overseas. The boys had been born in Spain, and hardly had been in the US. Educated abroad, they--God help me--had grown to love soccer football soccer with both of them becoming (and remaining to this day) rabid fans of Spain's La Furia Roja. Their grip on Americana was a bit weak. Please remember that as this saga proceeds.

Another piece of background which you will need. My Spanish wife hates, detests, abhors, loathes, etc, feathers and any creature which sports them. She has a special wrath for chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese. She cannot stand the thought of fowl on the meal plate. I have seen her blanche and break out into a cold sweat at fancy diplo dinners when served quail, duck or some other feather-bearing beast. It is not funny; better said, she has no sense of humor about this matter. My efforts to convince her that chicken tastes just like iguana have had no positive effect. Whenever we go to a restaurant, regardless of what she orders, she insists on, ahem, grilling the waiter on whether any foul fowl was involved in the making of her pending meal, "Uh, no ma'am, our salmon is, uh, salmon. It's a fish, not a bird." "Yes, yes, but the rice and the vegetables, were they cooked with chicken?" I am used to it by now.

Thanksgiving Day in New York, 1985. My older son, then about six was in a bad mood. I asked what was wrong, "You have no school today. Mom is making a nice Thanksgiving meal. What's wrong?" He glared at me, "The Pilgrims did not eat paella! They ate turkey!"

Explanation. Given the Diplowife's aversion to feathery creatures, our overseas Thanksgiving Day meals consisted of seafood paella. My wife had, ahem, implied in some way . . . oh, heck, she flat out told the kids that the Pilgrims ate paella with the Indians. Maybe she was thinking about Cortez and Pizarro, I don't know, but anyhow the kids had gotten into their heads that paella was the meal on Thanksgiving. Now in NY, the older boy had been asked the previous day to make a presentation at school on Thanksgiving. He, of course, reported that the English Pilgrims sat down and shared paella with the Native Americans. This caused a bit of a commotion and, I guess, led to some considerable ridicule, or what the politically correct nanny-staters now would label "bullying."

He was furious with us. He was refusing to eat paella and demanded a turkey. Even my wife was shocked into submission by the uncompromising fury coming from the tyke. It was Thanksgiving Day. I had to find a turkey in Manhattan. I dashed out of our building on the upper east side. All of the supermarkets were closed. A turkey! My kingdom for a turkey! I wandered the cold, darkening desolate concrete canyons, my despair growing, and threatening to overwhelm me. I had let down my kids! The wages of sin, the consequences of falsehoods, God give me a sign that You will allow me to redeem myself . . . wait! A deli! Still open but about to close! I ran in! Turkey sandwiches! They must have a turkey somewhere! A bizarre negotiation followed in which I finally convinced the suspicious Pakistani owner of the "Jewish" deli to sell me a whole kosher turkey at the price per pound of the sliced sandwich meat. I paid him a fortune--in cash--for a small bird about the size of a Chihuahua and ran like the Grinch with my turkey under my arm.

My kids had turkey that day, and every other Thanksgiving since then has featured a big bird on the table. My wife refuses to sit anywhere near it, and has her own separate fish-based meal.

This will be an issue on the Fourth of July. The Thanksgiving paella got moved to Independence Day. The kids, now grown, of course, alas, are starting to make noises of impending rebellion against paella and in favor of hot dogs and other beast meat. The Diplowife mistrusts hotdogs, even the kosher all-beef ones, as stealth chicken missiles. She does not want anything with the potential of bearing fowl touching our BBQ grill or being anywhere near anything else that might be cooking. It appears that we might have a split Fourth meal. One side of the family eating chicken wings and hotdogs, and the other with the paella. Now that I think about it, this seems an appropriate metaphor for what is happening to our country.

WLA

Friday, June 28, 2013

Fake History for a Fake President

I notice that there are some press reports questioning the validity of the site chosen by the President to give an anti-slavery speech in Senegal. This is not a new issue. The role of the "Slave House" on Goree Island in Senegal is a source of perennial debate. It seems almost certain that the "Door of No Return" where Obama has several pictures taken was not as advertised. It was not the doorway through which millions of Africans boarded waiting slave ships on their horrid one-way trip to the Americas.

I visited Goree Island in 1987 during the one hundred year celebration of Dakar as a separate city. At the time I was working for Maureen Reagan, and she led the US delegation to the centennial celebrations. It was a fun trip and the Senegalese could not have been more hospitable and kind to the US delegation. Ms. Reagan decided we should visit Goree Island and pay our respects at the Slave House museum. It is a well-kept and interesting place, and highly recommended. She asked a couple of us to do some research on the place for comments she might make. We quickly found, even in pre-internet 1987, that the place was not the transit point for America-bound slaves. By simply standing at the "Door of No Return," one quickly realizes that no ship or boat could pull up anywhere near that door without getting smashed by the waves on the rocks below (you can see those rocks in the Obama pictures).  The slaves were loaded elsewhere on Goree Island and along the coast. At times, however, being a bit PC is the better part of valor when making a speech in a hospitable foreign country, and Maureen decided to go along with the story given by our hosts and not the breathless research done by a couple of her Young Turks.

Mr. Obama, of course, is not a descendent of those miserable slaves, many of whom died horrible deaths in their way across the Middle Passage. His ancestors on both his white mother's side and his Kenyan father's side were apparently slave owners and traders. The great ignored story still remains the complicity of Africans and Arabs in the slave trade.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Britain Surrenders; Invaders Triumphant; Dhimmi Quisling Government in Charge

As many of you likely have heard, our fellow bloggers and human rights activists Pamela Geller (Atlas Shrugs) and Robert Spencer (Jihad Watch) have been banned from the UK for being prematurely anti-totalitarian.

If you go to either of their excellent blogs, you can see the letter each received from the British Home Office stating that they are banned for expressing views that,
- foment or justify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs,
- seek to provoke others to terrorist acts,
- foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts,
- foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.
This menu selection is then followed by the helpful bureaucratic catchall phrase,
The list is indicative and not exhaustive.
In other words, if we think of something else we don't like about you, we can keep you out and not tell you what it is.

This is weird and wonderful stuff especially in light of the BBC interview of Robert Spencer and a local British Imam (here, well worth hearing) in which Spencer shows up the Imam for the ignorant dolt that he is; the Imam fails to refute any of the points made by Spencer about the intolerant nature of modern day Islam. The Imam cannot explain why Spencer and Geller should be banned except that he doesn't agree with them.

Spencer and Geller were to lay a wreath in honor of the British soldier beheaded on the streets of his capital by a couple of jihadis. That is just too controversial for modern Britain.

So now it is official: Britain is dead. Well, at least the Britain I always admired and respected is dead: The Britain where modern freedom and democracy were born and bred; the land of the Magna Carta; the tiny island that conquered much of the world; and the nation whose ideas are now the basis of modern civilization. That Britain has died. It is official.

I guess we are seeing a slow motion replay of 1066. No, that's silly. This is much worse than that: this time the invaders were welcomed with open arms in the guise of socialized medicine, free housing, free schooling, and generous public assistance cheques. To repay their hosts' generosity, the invaders have driven crime rates to record levels and have made parts of the UK unlivable. Now they have conquered the government.

Warning to Brits who might wish to flee to these shores. First our immigration laws won't allow it--you have to sneak across the southern border to be welcomed--and, furthermore, we are on the same path that your once great nation has blazed.

WLA

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Little Rant on Privacy

Just a little rant. Not a big one.

Privacy. Yes. In theory we all want it, and, of course, we don't want the Feds or the cops snooping on our private lives. Understood, well, I think so, maybe not.

The issue of privacy and security of the person from the Leviathan was, of course, a main concern of the drafters of our amazing Constitution. They wanted limits on the power of the state, and saw the inalienable rights of individuals to assembly, free speech, religion, bearing of arms, and due process as ways to limit that power, and give those individuals a level playing field (well, as close as possible) when having to confront the state. The authorities are not allowed supposed to go on fishing expeditions, poring through your private affairs looking for some violation of the law or material for blackmail.

Understood, well, I think it is understood, or I thought so.

Watching my kids and their friends, however, I have to wonder how deep-seated that desire for privacy remains. We are in the world of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Google, YouTube, etc. We are wrapped up in a narcissistic competition to see who can pump out more personal information into the digital world, a world where information remains forever and ever--or, at least, until the advent of a zombie apocalypse in which the walking dead develop a taste for crunchy electronic components.

Just saying: On the basis of purely anecdotal evidence which might be wrong, the "outrage" over the Feds' snooping seems a generational one. Folks my age, not used to the new ethos of "total transparency," seem the ones most upset by the confirmation that the digital age is not a privacy friendly one. I don't find any great outrage on the part of the young; they seem to have realized and embraced that fact long ago.

End of rant.

Back to my oatmeal, ah, cinnamon and apple, yes . . . .

Monday, June 24, 2013

Like A Pet Monkey

It seems that traitor Snowden is on his way to Ecuador via an airport hopscotch through the gulag archipelago of leftist human rights darlings: China, Russia, Cuba, and Venezuela (What, no North Korea? The Dear Leader better not hear of this!) This travel itinerary sort of undercuts the message the dear boy is supposedly trying to send re his deep concern for individual rights and overreaching government.

If he ends up in Ecuador, or for that matter Cuba or Venezuela, he will come to regret it.

At first he will be a gringo celebrity and get wheeled out to this and that leftoid conference to deliver his wisdom. After a bit, however, his hosts will tire of him much as one tires of a cranky pet monkey. He will begin to find that those hosts get less and less hospitable, that his accommodations are not what a "$200,000/year analyst" is used to, and, not too long into his stay, that his phone calls don't get returned and his subsistence checks get more and more erratic. Then one day the government will change, and he will be an embarrassment.

Does the local shelter take pet monkeys? Snowden is about to find out.

He should have realized that traitors can make very nice livings staying in the USA. We need look no further than John Kerry--who is now baying for Snowden's head--and Jane Fonda for proof of that.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Obama's Middle East Policy: Ishtar, The Remake

Now that I am no longer anybody and have lots of time on my hands to contemplate the death of the country I served for 35 years, I began watching--I don't know why--a horrid little "comedy" film from the 1980s by the name of Ishtar. Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman starred in what was a garbled mess directed by Elaine May about some bad singers who get booked into a club in Morocco and then get involved in some painfully unfunny political shenanigans involving an Emir, the CIA, and on and on.  It has been listed as one of the greatest Hollywood box office flops of all time, right in there with Water WorldMars Needs Moms, Cutthroat Island, Sahara, Heaven's Gate, and Pluto Nash.

Assume you are an investor with a few million bucks to put into a project. Elaine May comes to see you. She tells you that she wants to make Ishtar, the Sequel. She pitches it as something new and exciting! It has a whole "new" script that now has the hapless singers going to Tunisia instead of Morocco. You sit with a stupid frozen grin, twirling your cocktail glass, and wait. Nothing more is forthcoming, so you clear your throat and timidly ask The Great Director, "Uh, the first Ishtar was a total flop. It lost a fortune. This script looks exactly the same. What's different?" May, furious, replies, "Tunisia, man, they are going to Tunisia in this one! Not Morocco!" She glares at you, daggers flying from her eyes. Would you give her your money?

It seems the Obamista geniuses who brought us Libya are now hellbent on rebooting their effort in Syria. What possibly could go wrong?

To Be Continued . . .


Friday, June 21, 2013

Dropping Chaff

I have been remiss in writing, and it is not just because of travel and the idiosyncrasies of my somewhat aged IPad. I am feeling overwhelmed by the number and scope of the scandals pouring forth from this most corrupt misadministration. Simply put, just about any one of the scandals now emerging would have brought down a Republican administration. None, however, seems to produce anything more than an occasional scratch or dent in the bumper of the Obamista gangster ride. Our noble leader carries on, uttering his platitudes, bromides, and lies, fearing nothing except maybe the glare of the sun on his teleprompter.

Speaking of the sun, it suddenly dawned on me (Is that a segue or what?) what is happening. There are two basic ways for a politician to avoid the scandal radar ("scandar"). One, the most popular of course, is to try to fly below the scandar, e.g., keep things secret, or fool it in some way by lying, spinning, bobbing and weaving, firing a feckless aide here and there, and, above all, deny, deny, deny, and say things such as, "I don't have time for this nonsense. I must get back to the people's work." What we have in the Obama years, however, is not one or two scandals flying about, but a huge, sun-blocking flock of them! Think back. It is almost impossible to catalog them all: disastrous economy, rising unemployment, Solyndra, the GM and Chrysler bail-out, the covert war against Mexico, the blatant politicization of the Department of Justice, tax cheats nominated to key positions, voter fraud, the use of the IRS to suppress dissent, going after uncooperative journalists, NSA snooping and on and on.

The Obamista strategy? Embrace the scandals. They defeat the scandar with chaff. Ordinary crooks try to hide the target from the scandar, the Obamistas overwhelm the scandar with targets, real and fake. They start with the knowledge that the liberal media/Hollywood/public sector/education industry has no real stomach for going after Obama; that industry, after all, created and pushed him into the White House. In addition, the Obamistas throw out all sorts of chaff consisting of things of no importance. We see now that there is a burning need to reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Huh? How many people have been killed by US nukes in the past, say, fifty years? How does that number stack up next to the body count tallied up by Islam? As the "science" behind global warming crumbles, we suddenly have a burning need to introduce climate change legislation. Unemployment keeps rising, so we now need to "legalize" millions of illegal aliens. You can see more and more chaff being dispensed on an almost daily basis.

The bottom line: these Obamistas will do anything to keep power. Do not think that they plan to give up power once The One leaves the White House. We are seeing the most ambitious and ruthless expansion of the liberal state since the New Deal.

Monday, June 17, 2013

This is What Treason Looks Like

NSA leaker Snowden is creepy and a traitor.

One thing is to be concerned about the scope of NSA programs and their domestic impact, and quite another to reveal US and UK collection efforts overseas. From press reports it seems Snowden has provided the Chinese specific information about US efforts against Chinese targets, has revealed UK collection efforts at international conferences, and discussed details of the US/UK intel sharing arrangement. The British would be right in questioning the "special relationship" that exists between their intel agencies and ours; it seems their info is not safe with us.

These actions by Snowden are outrageous. It all makes one wonder what sort of people we have working in our security agencies and points out again the poverty of our vetting procedures for those employees.

He is a traitor. Heads should roll at NSA, Booz Allen, and anywhere else with responsibility for the vetting of Snowden.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Immigration Debate Misses the Point

I have been trying to follow the immigration debate in Congress and the media, but with little real success. It is almost impossible to figure out what exactly is being proposed, opposed, and modified. The one thing that does come through, however, is the burning desire to reward people who have broken our laws and heavily strained our public assistance budgets. This idiocy must stop. Under the Reagan Administration we went through an almost identical debate which produced the "one-time-only-never-again" amnesty that would solve the illegal alien problem for all time. It failed, otherwise why are we having this debate again?

Amnesty is not the answer. Sappy, historically and economically ignorant speeches by our extraordinarily ignorant President are not what we need. A better border defense is part of the answer but not the whole enchilada of reform that we need. I am very sorry to see Senator Rubio, for whom I have a great deal of respect, getting himself tricked and trapped by the Democrats and politically hurt by his apparently well-intentioned but naive effort at immigration reform.

I do not hear discussion about whether we need none, little, some, or a lot of immigration, and if we do, what type of immigration we should seek. Do we need millions more of semi and unskilled people from Mexico and other poor countries? Absent widespread elimination or reduction in minimum wage, taxation, public assistance, and zoning laws, how will these people contribute to the economic growth of our country? This is not nineteenth century America with small factories and workshops on every street corner, and belching smokestack industries eager for cheap workers. This is the America of EPA regulations, OSHA bureaucrats, job killing minimum wage and health insurance laws, outsourcing, and of a growing ethos that sees single parents living on the public dole as an honorable existence. It is also the America of multiculturalism whereby immigrants are encouraged never to become Americans.

The rubbish being put out by Obama and others on the taxes that these new immigrants will pay is just that, rubbish. They will draw public assistance and not pay taxes. What impact will this continuing flood of poor migrants have on the job and advancement prospects of struggling poor and middle class black, white and brown Americans? I haven't heard much said about that, but I predict it won't be good.

Is our immigration law going to continue based on the idea of family reunification? Will adults be able to petititon for their adult sublings and those siblings' families? Will we continue to ignore promises that the new immigrants will not become a public assistance burden? If so, we are in for an endless cascade of new immigrants petitioning for their relatives and on and on and on. Yes, sure, technically we will have solved the "illegal alien" problem by making them all legal. Is that what is best for our country, I stress for our country not for the Democratic party?

I know, I know. Anybody who says this stuff is instantly accused of being a racist. Rubbish. My parents and my wife were immigrants, and I know a lot of very decent immgrants who have come to the United States. Immigrants built whole industries, e.g., Hollywood, and made invaluable contributions to American arts, sciences, letters, etc. But is that the sort of immigrants we will be getting today? Is America's culture and society not worth defending from the immigrants of the sort who planted the bombs in Boston, who run the violent gangs in Los Angeles, who provide the Democratic party its foot soldiers for its campaigns of electoral fraud?

The country deserves better than what we are getting from our politicians and "leaders."

Monday, June 10, 2013

On the NSA Leaker

Just a quick post while I wait for my ride to the airport.

I have been reading about the fellow, Edward Snowden, who claims to have leaked the NSA's PRISM program to the Guardian.

Sorry, but I don't like him or what he did. The United States has the right to defend itself and people who swear an oath to protect the nation's secrets must honor that oath. I don't like it when senior people, such as Panetta, give out details which should remain secret, and I don't like it when worker bees, such as Snowden and Manning, take it upon themselves to give all sorts of sensitive data to the media or Assange. There are still ways, even under this corrupt thuggish Obama misadministration, to handle matters without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I think the NSA, IRS, DOJ, etc, are out of control. If Snowden saw things that should not be, and he did not trust his agency's IG or other administration offices--understandable--there are Congressmen and staffers with the proper level of clearances to whom he could have turned before dumping everything on a rabidly anti-American newspaper, and then fleeing to China. The manner in which he acted undermines Snowden's credibility, and opens him to charges of treason, Chinese espionage, sabotage, etc. Not the way to go.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Travel

Will be on the road for the next nine or so days. Will have my trusty if clunky IPad with me, so I hope to get in a couple of posts. I want to write something about Rice going to the NSC.

If you want to know where I have gone, call the NSA. I bought my tickets online, they will know . . .

Friday, June 7, 2013

One and Half Cheers for the "New York Times"

Will wonders ever cease? It seems the liberal editorial board over at Pravda West the New York Times has begun ever so slowly to come out of its coma. We see an editorial that is "scathing"--by liberal standards--re the Obama administration's abuse of the Patriot Act,
Within hours of the disclosure that federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.  
Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability. 
The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.
To all of my fellow neanderthal conservatives and libertarians out there in blogoland, please join in welcoming the NYT to the planet earth, and to the reality that is the Chicago way of politics. Please read the entire editorial. Try, however, not to keep asking yourself, "What took the NYT so long?"

The editorial, as "scathing" as it is, still manages to pull its punches. It gives no credit to the warnings over the past several years re violations of basic rights sounded by libertarian/conservatives such as Ron Paul and Bob Barr--neither of whom, frankly, is my cup of tea on many other issues. It, furthermore, does not connect the dots clearly with the administration's other actions--e.g., voter fraud, the political use of public assistance, the political use of the IRS, the political use of the ATF to undermine gun ownership via a secret war in Mexico, the political use of the Benghazi disaster, the promotion of the cult of Obama--and does not, therefore, draw a complete picture of what this administration is about. Any thinking person, however, already knows exactly what this administration is about. We don't need the NYT to tells us that this administration is about power, pure and simple. All of these scandals, as well as the Obamacare train wreck and the relentless assault on the second amendment, are about increasing the power of the liberal state over everything and everyone. 

Having the NSA and other intel agencies go on vast fishing expeditions to collect data on American citizens' phone, email, and other internet usage has little to do with the "war on terror." Hasn't Obama already declared that war over, or nearly so? Read his murky May 23 speech on the subject. Certainly the impression I got was that from now on our effort against terror would be more focussed, more narrow in scope given that we successfully have dismantled much of the AQ infrastructure. So does this new revelation about how the administration actually acts show us an administration that is more focussed? Is collecting information on millions of American citizens Obama's idea of preserving our rights and not allowing vigilance to become a straightjacket on freedom? 

He doesn't give a damn about the war on terror. Look at how he and his Rice puppet blithely lied about events in Benghazi for political gain. This is the Chicago Way of Politics on a scale never before attempted on the American political scene. Have the IRS, the NSA, FBI, CIA, ATF collect information on millions and millions of Americans; the blackmail potential is huge. Imagine all the big and little foibles they are picking up and storing away, ready for leaking or other action as the liberal machine deems fit. 

So now the New York Times thinks the President has lost "credibility." That is like saying that upon deep reflection one now suspects that Hitler might have had a hand in the Reichstag fire; that Stalin played a role in the death of Trotsky; that Charles Manson would not make a good boyfriend for your daughter. The NYT and the rest of the vast media/Hollywood industry have been protectors and enablers of the Obama monster. Now they realize that Moloch has turned his hungry jaws in their direction. He might eat them last, but he will eat them.

Regardless of our beliefs, none of us is safe with this hideous administration in control.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New Jersey's Rino Rhino

Well, it's official.

I give up on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

I hung on to the belief, well-beyond all rational limits, that he was a very clever Republican. That he was a good Republican. I said kind things about his performance at the RNC and thought--along with Ann Coulter, BTW-- that maybe, just maybe he would make a good president.

I belatedly realized towards the end of the last election campaign (here and here, for example) that perhaps my faith in him had been misplaced.

It is now official: I was wrong big time about him. He is just another northeastern machine politician, who admittedly did whoop the teachers' union, out to do whatever is expedient.

His decision not to name a Republican replacement to the late Senator Lautenberg is beyond comprehensible in terms of the good it could have done for the nation in the battle over Obama care, IRS, Benghazi, etc., in the Senate--where every vote counts. He would have given a good Republican a leg up in the 2014 mid-terms and might have sealed a GOP seat for New Jersey.

Instead, he did a McCain, i.e., seek the approval of the liberal establishment, by calling for an expensive special election to fill Lautenberg's seat. Would a Democrat have done that? Doubt it very much.

Did the lap band make him do it?
 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Mishmash of Modern Disasters, or Things I Really, Really Hate!

As the nine regular readers can attest, this blogger has been in a dark and pessimistic mood for several days. That mood continues. To prove it, I list, in no particular order and with no particular rhyme or reason, SOME, only some of the things I consider the modern world's greatest disasters (and I won't even mention Islam . . or I might . . . don't know yet.)

1) The Telephone Answering Machine: This horrid device and its subsequent even more horrid offspring have ruined my life. As a career bureaucrat, for years and years, prior to this devil's device I could pretend not to have received calls or pretend to have made them. With the advent of that machine that evasion became virtually impossible. This invention is one of the greatest contributors to the decline of Western civilization. It has destroyed one of the great and useful white lies, "I tried calling you . . . "

2) Twenty-four Hour News: The arrival of CNN and its imitators helped create the atmosphere of perennial crisis in which we live. These news services run the same story over and over and over all day long, to such an extent that one cannot after a bit tell whether it is a new story or the old "tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury. . ." It has led to a couple of generations of news anchors who have become masters at filling dead air.

3) Universal University Education: How many people really need a university education? Better asked, how many people really need a budget-busting indoctrination "noneducation" which is what most universities now provide? Do we need hundreds, nay, thousands of these institutions producing millions of half-literate and arrogant idiots indoctrinated in the liberal orthodoxy and possessing no discernible skills? You know the answer . . .

4) Tax Withholding: Allowing the government to take its "taste" of our income before we even see it has helped produce the disastrous growth of government and the spiral of ever-increasing taxes. It has produced workers "grateful" every year when they get tax refunds, and made them almost oblivious to tax increases. Imagine how people would react if they had to save up the money and on December 31, write a check to the government for the full amount of taxes owed. The 1773 Boston tea party would be nothing in comparison to what would happen.

5) School Districts: Why should tax paying parents have to send their kids to schools in their "district"? Why not allow free competition so parents can send their kids to good schools, and force the bad ones to shutter or improve?

6) Texting: I remain convinced that horrid devices such as cellphones and "tablets" were designed by opticians and chiropractors. We are developing a generation of children who are going blind, hunchback, and bonkers staring at their hands even at the dinner table, not to mention while driving or even while "talking" with each other. I never see them with books, just IPhones.

7) Global Warming AKA Climate Change: Stop. Please, stop. To those die hard believers in this nonsense it is time to go back to believing in the power of triangles, chariots of the gods, and the peaceful, Gaia-loving essence of native American societies. Or better, just go away. As Einstein has shown us it is never wise to claim that "the science is settled" but it is just about as settled as it can be. The evidence is not there for the belief, and note I use that word deliberately, that human activity causes global warming or the even more vague and dishonest "climate change." Amazing ain't it? Finally, finally, scientists are breaking through the wall of censorship and grant terror to note that, well, ahem, it seems the sun, you know that big yellow hot ball in the sky, might, just might have more to do with changes in climate than does my SUV. This climate nonsense made Al Gore and others very rich; they should now just take their money and go away.

Sigh, there are so many other things out there that make a person sad and depressed. Can't possibly list them all . . . soon I will be back to my old self and ranting about jihadis and liberals . . . give me a day or so . . . where's my oatmeal?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Breaching the Gates of Paris and Memphis: Dhimmis Bow and Scrape as Jihadis Sharpen Knives

Twice, once in 1529 and again in 1683, Christian armies stopped the Ottomans at the Gates of Vienna. In between those dates, in 1571, a multinational Catholic fleet sank the Muslim fleet in the great Battle of Lepanto. Along with the 1492 expulsion from Iberia, and, of course, the even earlier loss at the Battle of Tours in 732, the Muslim world has not forgotten those and the many other defeats since then. Make no mistake. That Muslim world seeks "revenge." The Muslims blame the West for their own failures, and point to their past "greatness" and to alleged past sins of the West as justification to commit atrocities today. Islam's war against the West that began in the seventh century continues--and for the first time since the longest war began, we are losing thanks to self-inflicted wounds.

A little personal anecdote before I get to the gist of today's topic. As mentioned too many times on this humble blog, and as its nine regular readers can attest, I served in Pakistan in the early 1980s. While there my wife was contracted by a local Muslim university to give Spanish classes. They specifically wanted Spain Spanish, and she being specifically from Spain, Spain, my wife was the perfect candidate. They paid her well, usually late, but well. The Diplowife, bored in Islamabad while I singlehandedly was defeating the evil Soviet Empire, "dressed modestly" and went off to instruct her bearded charges. Her thirty or so students were mullahs and aspiring imams. One day, I went to pick her up as she was being stalked by one of the "scholars" (another story, for another day) and happened to ask the head man at the school, "Why the interest in Spanish?" Without hesitation he replied, "We are preparing to take back Andalusia." I advised my wife, who on her mother's side claims descent, as do 25 million other Spaniards, from the great El Cid Campeador, to rethink her choice of occupation. I did not welcome a vengeful visit from a dead El Cid strapped astride his fearsome Babieca. She didn't listen, of course, and consoled herself with lucre, secure in the knowledge that my M-1 and I could deal with any ghostly horseman.

These thoughts come in a jumble as I read about a true horror underway in France where, clearly, the authorities have decided that they do not welcome the spirit of Charles Martel, and insist on exorcising it if it makes itself known. We see them gunning for Marine Le Pen the leader of France's National Front (FN) party who has dared to criticize the presence of so many Muslims in France,
French far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, could face criminal charges for inciting racism . . .  French authorities opened a case against Mrs Le Pen in 2011 after she likened the sight of Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation of France. As a European Parliament member (MEP), she enjoyed immunity from prosecution. However, this protection was removed by a European parliamentary committee in a secret vote this week.
There is so much wrong with this little excerpt from the BBC report, so very much. We see the catch-all "far-right leader" line; the same one used when mentioning the EDL in England or the Tea Party in the US. What is it about her party that makes it "far right"? The BBC, like the rest of the lefty media everywhere in the world, doesn't tell us; it uses the term as a handy epithet to remove sympathy from the person or party under assault. As I did with the EDL, I read what the FN proposes as French domestic and foreign policy, and while as a conservative American I would not necessarily agree with it all, e.g., it advocates fairly robust public assistance for certain sectors, it does not strike me as anything extreme, much less "far right." The FN has a healthy skepticism about the EU; wants to preserve France's sovereignty and culture; has serious questions about France's immigration and public assistance policies; worries about the dramatic rise in crime; and sees Israel as having the sovereign right of self-defense. OK. We see that this leader of a "far right" party is being brought up on charges for comparing crowds of Muslims, most of them foreign, praying in the streets to the presence of foreign Nazi occupation troops. OK. So a "far right" leader doesn't like Nazis . . . I see. Does this mean that the French socialists and the BBC have finally realized that Nazis were leftists? Or is there some doubt about whether the insulted parties are the Nazis or the Muslims? Is Pétain back in charge?

How convenient that the establishment politicians can target and try to neutralize a prominent opposition leader--the FN draws almost 20% of the vote--by using the courts and wrapping themselves in the rainbow flag of multiculturalism. France becomes Venezuela? No dissent allowed to the official line.

Dear friends, before we get too critical and mocking of the French Republic, we see something similar afoot right here in our own beloved and horribly misgoverned American Republic. I am not even talking about the use of the IRS and the DOJ to target conservatives. This is a new affront to our traditions and values. Josh Gerstein of Politico lets us know that in Tennessee we see some spectacular lunacy by the US Attorney for the eastern district of that fine state,
A U.S. attorney in Tennessee is reportedly vowing to use federal civil rights statutes to clamp down on offensive and inflammatory speech about Islam. Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, was quoted by the Tullahoma News this week suggesting that some inflammatory material on Islam might run afoul of federal civil rights laws.
Killian pointed to a recent controversy where a local Tennessee politician posted a photo of a man aiming a shotgun at the camera with the caption "How to wink at a Muslim."
"We need to educate people about Muslims and their civil rights, and as long as we’re here, they’re going to be protected," Killian [said] . . . "If a Muslim had posted ‘How to Wink at a Christian,’ could you imagine what would have happened?" Killian asked, according to the newspaper.

The Department of Justice did not respond Friday to a question about what guidelines it draws concerning offensive speech and Islam, or whether the department believes that civil rights statutes could be used to stifle criticism of Islam.
Think about that for a bit. It is so repellent, it is hard to comment rationally. It would seem, according to this fine, fine "law giver" of the Holder variety, that other folks such as Pamela Geller, Daniel Pipes, and on and on, including this humble blog and its nine readers, could be brought up on charges.  I, furthermore, would note that had "a Muslim posted ‘How to Wink at a Christian’" nothing would have happened: Mr. Killian's office would have done nothing, and had it done something, a legion of lawyers would have defended, pro bono, that Muslim's right to freedom of expression.

In the 1930s, it took people with a clear vision and guts to speak up against the Nazi and Soviet threats to the West. Now, we need people to speak up again for the values of the West; people who understand that in the U.S. our Constitution is not a suicide pact, and that we, the French, the English and the Swedes, for example, have the right to national defense from a murderous totalitarian ideology that passes itself off as just another religion. We are being led by a bunch of cowardly Dhimmis. Do they really believe that nonsense about how tolerant the Muslims once were in Spain and elsewhere towards Christians and Jews? When will our "leaders" realize that we are dealing with an enemy who considers any place where Islam once was or now is, as part of the Muslim world. That, in fact, the entire world belongs to Islam, and those of us who are not Muslim are to be converted, enslaved, or killed.

One of my favorite books, for many reasons, is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus. It is a work of true genius. It is also one of the most famous books that is hardly read; most people rely for their "knowledge" of the story on a stream of horrible Hollywood depictions of this masterpiece. One character in the book always has stayed with me; one who does not get much if any attention in the filmed versions. That is Safie, a woman fleeing the oppression of the Ottoman empire for the relative freedom of Europe at the end of the 18th century, and who seeks refuge with the kindly De Lacey family. Mary Shelley, two hundred years ago, barely out of her teens, recognized that for all its problems, especially for women in that era, western civilization was still better and freer than its Islamic counterpart, yet our political class cannot do the same. It cannot stand up for our values and say "Enough!" In fact, it does something even worse than that failure; when it acts, as we see in France and Tennessee, it  does so against people with the courage to stand up against the totalitarians.

We are going to lose this fight, and it won't be the Muslims who defeat us.