Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Right now the death-toll in the Brussels bombings stands at 30, all mass transit out of the city has been shut down, and the president of France, if you please, has announced: "We are at war." ISIL/Daesh has taken the credit for the attack, and promised more -- and it looks as if the governments of the EU are finally taking the threat seriously.
High time. Jihadists have been responsible for more than 28,000 terrorist attacks, successful and thwarted, worldwide since 9/11. Various government agencies in the US and Europe have tried hard to manipulate the numbers (the FBI, for example, includes property crimes -- such as tree-spiking -- as "terrorism") so as to make terrorism anybody else's fault, but there is no denying that the vast majority of fatal attacks have been performed by Jihadists. And then there's the long list of robberies, assaults and gang-rapes performed by all those poor-poor "Syrian refugees" in Europe, not to mention the subtle and not-so-subtle attempts by well-funded Islamist organizations to push Muslim propaganda -- and blatant antisemitism -- in the schools.
Now, seeing all this, how can anyone say that Islam is not something a sensible person would fear?
Still, "Islamophobia" is the term the Jihadist apologists toss around, equating it "hate crimes", racism, and anything else likely to make Liberal knees jerk -- and never mind the facts. First off, "Islam" is a religion, not a race, and religions are fair game for criticism. For no other religion have governments and academics bent so far over backwards not to be "offensive"; just ask the Pagans -- or the Jews. Even the FBI, which traditionally supports Democrat administrations and (therefore Obama's) policies, admits in its Uniform Crime Reports that the most common victims of religious "hate crimes" are Jewish. Second, if Muslims in the west really feel so "threatened" as we've heard them complain, there's a simple way to avoid being picked on; lose the head-rags. Nothing in the Koran commands women, or men for that matter, to cover their necks and heads. There is a line which commands women (not men) to "veil your bodies for modesty", but "modesty" is a relative term, depending on what the local culture says it is. In the western countries, it's perfectly modest to wear a tank-top, cut-off shorts, and nothing on one's head. Both sexes can wear a ball-cap, a T-shirt, slacks and sneakers and go totally unnoticed. Of course the apologists will whine that Orthodox Jews can get away with wearing their traditional costumes in public, but -- as those FBI records show -- it isn't necessarily safe for them. Besides, Jews are not famous for bombing buildings, train stations, subways, night-clubs and airports full of innocent people, let alone a host of other well-known atrocities; the only common resentment against Jews is that which is carefully nurtured by Jihadist propaganda.
That list of atrocities and terrorist attacks is forcing the tide to turn, regardless of the best efforts of propagandists, governments and academics. The citizens already know, and their governments are finally admitting, that "Islamophobia" is a sensible reaction to reality.
But just what is it that makes Islam such a danger to the world? Yes, its holy-book is full of really vicious commandments and examples, but the assorted gods know, and any Atheist can tell you, that the world's other religions -- especially the monotheistic ones -- have plenty of traditions and holy-books full of vicious exhortations and bloodthirsty history, so why don't they act on them the way Muslims feel obliged to do? Perhaps the answer lies in the religion's relative youth. Islam is 700 years younger than Christianity, and 2000 years younger than Judaism. It never went through 2000 years of being kicked around half the world, always a powerless minority, as Judaism did. It never went through the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the secular revolutions as Christianity and Judaism did. In short, it never learned to criticize its own holy-book, never learned to accept the eternal presence of successful unbelievers, and never got the fundamentalist arrogance largely kicked out of it. A recent UN poll found that 80% of the Muslims on Earth believe in the absolute unquestionable truth of their Koran, believe that Islam really should dominate the world, and want Sharia law made supreme everywhere. Even if most Muslims really don't want to get up and go conquer the neighbors, they form a worldwide support system for those who do.
So, what to do?
First off, the European countries have to admit to their danger and deport those "refugees", if not all the Muslims living in their countries. To where? Well, the most humane solution would be to give each of them a new suit of clean white pilgrim's clothes, about $100 apiece for the necessary bribes, and a one-way ticket to the one place where all good Muslims want to go at least once in their lives: Mecca. Send them off as pilgrims, but take every precaution to keep them from ever coming back. Let them become the Saudis' problem.
In the United States it'll be a little more complicated, but there's legal and historical precedent. First, while it's unconstitutional to bar immigrants because of their religion, no law requires us to allow any immigration at all. We could bar all immigration for a number or years, or for "the duration of the crisis"; this would mean fortifying our borders, patrolling them with drones as well as personnel, hunting up all illegal immigrants and deporting the lot of them. The federal government has deported large numbers of people as "undesirables" before this -- usually for radical politics or union organizing -- and could legally do it again for "giving aid and comfort to the enemy".
What enemy? Well, it's obvious that the US and the western nations will have to formally declare war on the Jihadists as a group, whatever their local designation: ISIL/Daesh, Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, or whatever -- in whatever country they may be found. That by itself would make various whaffling maybe-maybe allies stop straddling the fence pretty damned fast. And yes, we will really have to go after the known Jihadists with hammer and tongs -- and with drones, particularly spy-drones to find enemies who like to hide among human shields of harmless civilians -- and then with precision pin-point bombing, mini-missiles or drone-mounted gunfire. And yes, we will have to hammer them flat. Once a Jihadist has identified himself by his actions, don't leave him alive. Leave none of them alive. This is an absolute war, and we must fight it as hard, fast, and thoroughly as possible.
But what of that 20% of Muslims who aren't Jihadists, want no part of them, and hope to create a modern reformed Islam? What they do in their own countries is their own affair, but those living in the western countries have got to declare themselves, and damned fast, for the world is rapidly drawing lines of division. They've got to announce the new Islamic reform movement as publicly as possible, trumpet from the roof-tops and all over the media their rejection of fundamentalism and bibliolatry: that the Koran is not unquestionable, but a good Muslim's duty is to question and criticize it in the light of modern knowledge. Of course this will win them fatwas galore from the Jihadists, so they must necessarily return the favor -- promise (and be ready to deliver) death to any Jihadist who tries to enforce Jihadism on them. Perhaps they can even give themselves a new name, one that doesn't mean "submission".
And let "Islamophobia" become a badge of honor, as it deserves to be.
--Leslie <;)))>< )O(
Monday, March 14, 2016
As an old labor organizer and Lefty propagandist myself, I can recognize a staged riot when I see one, and that's exactly what I saw at the Trump riot in Chicago a few days ago. I can even guess who staged it.
First off, various anti-Trump forces have been working up to this for several weeks now, sending noisy hecklers into Trump rallies to test the waters, seeing how his staffers and local security handle the attempted disruptions, and hyping the reactions thereof (as "racism", of course) in the media, until they were ready for a big showy blow-up. You could see them doing this, right on TV.
Now hecklers at political rallies are usually given short shrift; I once heard a local independent candidate announce to the crowd "Somebody throw a saddle on that jackass and ride him on out of here", whereupon his rally-security people grabbed the heckler and gave him the bum's rush out the nearest door. It's widely understood that if you want to ask a speaker embarrassing questions, you wait for the question-and-answer period and get in line; you don't jump up in the middle of the speech and start shouting insults (though nowadays exceptions seem to be made for Muslim students attacking Jewish speakers on campus). There's nothing new or illegal or unusual or ray-ray-racist about it.
Ah, but look what emphasis the media has been putting on Trump hecklers getting the bum's rush! As if this had never-never happened before! And look how they've zoomed in on the one case where a strapping young heckler got right in an old Trump supporter's face, and the old man punched him. Ooooh! What shocking and unprecedented vi-o-lence! Apparently they've forgotten about the old Kentucky saying, "As sure as murder on election day in Harlan County". They've forgotten about the 1968 Democratic convention, too, which was also in Chicago. These pious pundits whaffle about election vi-o-lence the way the current campus Politically Correct crowd whine about "microaggression" -- as if they'd never seen real violence or aggression in their lives.
Anyway, at the Chicago rally the hecklers -- oops, "peaceful protesters" -- were out in force, truly amazing numbers of them. In fact, any good investigative reporter could have bothered to find out how many rental busses dropped off lots of passengers carrying picket-signs on the day of, and before, the Trump rally and calculated just how many "protesters" there were -- and how many were brought in from out of town. (Having been to a few big political protests myself, one of them in Chicago, I can tell you that most of the serious protesters are brought in by rented bus and bring their signs with them.) This was definitely orchestrated and the local police were clearly aware of it, because they tried really hard not to let the protesters get into the building where the rally was going to be held.
What's interesting is what happened next. The hecklers started too early; besides attacking obvious Trump supporters, they started yelling at and threatening totally unconnected passers-by. They attacked the line of cops -- who, fortunately, had better sense than to respond by chasing after them. They made a huge, noisy, threatening spectacle of themselves for the media to lap up. The lesson was simple and clear: Trump rallies attract vi-o-lence like this. Yes, the smartest thing Trump and his crew could have done was cancel the rally.
And of course the news shows yesterday and today have been all about Trump being responsible for the vi-o-lence. Uhuh. Trump's "divisive rhetoric" and of course earlier "vi-o-lence" toward the hecklers caused the protesters to rampage around the rally site before he -- or his followers -- even got there. Right. Note that the one word the talking-heads have scrupulously avoided using is "provoked" -- maybe because it might make some people think of the word "provocateur". This whole incident was so obviously staged that one has to wonder if anybody was really taken in by it.
The next question is who staged it. Well, the major actors were pretty clearly Black Lives Matter, as their own slogans proclaimed. Who hired them (knowing BLM, you can be sure that they insisted on being paid)? Obviously somebody wanting to dump Trump -- but this doesn't look like the style of the GOP's old guard. Could it be the Democratic Party in general? After all, Trump is beginning to look like a serious contender in November. Or was it specifically Hillary's backers and campaign managers?
Well, I saw -- and a few news-pundits noticed -- that some of the protesters (primarily the White ones) were carrying professionally-printed "Bernie" signs. Among them was no less than Bill Ayers, whom I know well of old, still playing his old game of egging on other people to commit his violence for him. That's how he tried to get me killed, all those years ago. Alas for Billy-boy, radical students back then were a bit more intelligent and mature back then than they seem to be today; they didn't stampede on anybody's unsupported word. And anyway, Billy is a staunch Obama, and then Hillary, supporter.
Now there hasn't yet been any heckling, let alone vi-o-lence, associated with Bernie Sanders' campaign, nor has he approved of any, nor has Bernie particularly gone after Trump, so why should his apparent supporters show up at a stage-managed anti-Trump riot?
Well, who benefits?
Seeing how surprisingly well Bernie has done in the primaries and the polls, there just might be a chance that he could whisk the nomination out from under Hillary. Linking his name with the anti-Trump protesters, and the vi-o-lence thereof could hopefully kill two birds with one stone. As much as the old guard of the GOP worries about Trump, so does the old guard of the Democrats worry about Bernie. The Republicans discount Bernie because, after all, he's publicly proclaimed himself a "socialist" (though he isn't), and that should automatically make him a pariah, shouldn't it? It's Hillary who has cause to worry about Bernie, as well as Trump.
In any case, this has been the year of the Dark Horse -- the out-of-nowhere candidate who upsets the expected political applecart and wins surprising numbers of voters who are fed up with politics as usual. What I find amusing is that neither party seems to have realized just how fed up those voters are, and that this -- not either Dark Horse candidate -- is the real reason to worry.
Monday, March 7, 2016
Rasty and I have been watching the political pundits on TV and the Internet for the past week, and laughing ourselves silly over the spectacle of the GOP frantically trying to stop its most popular candidate -- and tearing itself apart in the process. Frankly, it couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of hypocrites.
As I've mentioned before, the Republican Party sold its soul for votes back in the 1960s, when the Dixiecrats -- the troglodyte reactionary racists mostly inhabiting the deep South -- finally figured out (a whole century later) that just because Lincoln was a Republican when he freed the slaves, that didn't mean that the Democratic Party would sympathize with slavers. When the Democrats began actively sympathizing with the Civil Rights movement, those reactionaries -- now calling themselves Conservatives -- went looking for a new home. Despite prophetic warnings from Barry Goldwater, a real classic conservative (who could easily have been called a Libertarian if the concept had existed then), the GOP welcomed in the ex-Dixiecrats with open arms, and thus began its long downward spiral. The reactionaries, eventually gaining the name NeoCons, proceeded to take over the GOP and steadily push out the libertarian wing of the party. The GOP's shabby treatment of Ron Paul and his followers in 2012 made libertarians quit the Republican Party in disgust, leaving only Rand Paul as the last of the breed, with the NeoCons in almost complete control.
So down to the present day. Thanks to an encouraging phonecall from Bill Clinton, Donald Trump came galloping into the presidential race, brash and bumptious and beholden to none of the Republican standbys, campaigning on his own money and crowdfunding from the public, and knocking the old GOP order on its ear. Worse, his wide-open style and blatant dislike of certain Republican backers -- Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, the Koch brothers, and the 1% in general -- attracted a lot of the younger Republican voters who were disgruntled with GOP business as usual. He began cutting a swathe through the primary elections that absolutely horrified the old guard -- even though his popularity made him a really serious rival to Hillary Clinton, as none of the other candidates were.
This is why not only the usual Democrat opinion-mongers but Republican ones as well have been attacking Trump and his followers under any excuse whatever. The hyper-left Southern Poverty Law Center has been howling "Racism! Racism!" with all its might, claiming that KKK members like Trump, and plenty of sympathetic parlor-pinks have fallen in line with it. This has encouraged Trump's GOP rivals to make laughable attempts to woo Blacks, Latinos, and even Muslims (perhaps on the CAIR-fully cultivated lefty assumption that "Muslim" is somehow a race). Lefty comedians have made professional hay out of Trump, even unto making a point about his great-grandfather's name being Drumpf. The lefty media have solemnly linked Trump's popularity to "disturbingly widespread right-wing American racism" and the usual NeoCon bigotries.
This is all particularly ironic, since Trump is far less right-wing and racist than his rivals are. Yes, he's bullying, bigoted, and not overly observant of the Constitution -- but he's refreshingly honest about his positions. Cruz, Rubio and Romney are actually far worse in that regard, but they're more covert about their bigotries, not to mention their connections to the same old power-brokers. It doesn't seem to occur to anyone that so many disaffected voters flock to Trump because (and I can't think of a worse indictment of the GOP than this) he's the most honest of the Republican candidates. Besides, he's dared to tackle a subject that nobody else in the race has brought up: the current plague of Political Correctitude -- and he's against it.
If the GOP old guard does manage to defeat Trump at the convention, it will also lose a huge percentage of its voters -- which will definitely make their candidate lose in November. If they have the sense to nominate Trump he'll give Hillary a good run for her money, but the whole squabble will leave the GOP permanently fractured. Indeed, Bill Clinton knew what he was doing when he made that phonecall!
Not that Trump will win, of course. The fix is in, the Democratic National Committee's long-laid plans will pay off, and Hillary will be the next president. The only possible rival she has -- Bernie Sanders, the "socialist" gremlin -- is fighting a good fight with logic and honesty on his side, not to mention his willingness to actually listen to the majority of voters and refusal to back the Democrats' disastrous obsession with gun control (Vermont is second only to Arizona in gun-friendliness, and has an even lower violent-crime rate), but he doesn't have the covert backing of the DNC that Hillary does.
So the best we can hope for is that Hillary will pick Bernie for vice-president, and that the disgusted voters will fill Congress with anything-but-Democrat senators and congresscritters who will slam the brakes on Hillary's tendency to wipe her butt with the Constitution. That isn't so implausible as it seems; there are a lot of voters these days registering as third-party or independent. Here in Arizona, traditionally a Republican state, there are more voters registered as Libertarian or independent than the registered Republicans and Democrats put together. No one in the mainstream media seems to have noticed this trend yet. That's not surprising, seeing that no one except Trump among the Big Two parties seems to have noticed how disgruntled the voters have become with politics-as-usual.
As for me, I intend to keep broadcasting my personal analysis of the whole mess: "A plague on both their houses! Vote Libertarian."
--Leslie <;)))>< )O(