Imam Hussein Does Da’wa: The President’s Baltimore Mosque Visit

04obamawebb-master675-v3The president visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore on February 03, 2016.  A computer crash and a general nausea for things Islamic, particularly in the wake of the Brussels attacks, kept me from finishing.  Still relevant, I think.

I class his speech there as a form of da’wa, the call for non believers to rally to Islam.  In the early days of Mohammad’s religion Muslims called out to their enemies to accept Islam, or submit and accept Islam, and thus avoid attack. In his continuous presentation to the American public of an Islam that does not exist, he is, in my view, preparing the battle space for the Muslims.

The Islamic society of Baltimore, is in fact, a mosque.

Mosques in the US call themselves Islamic societies or centers, because they are aware that a lot of people don’t much like mosques,  as they often have been the sources of quite a bit of deviltry, including this very one.

Mr.Obama’s remarks add one more text to the long line of his laudatory, inaccurate, and frequently mendacious praise songs to Islam, that began with his 2009 Cairo speech and has continued through iftar dinners and prayer breakfasts, to the point where he has, in fawning submission, long since eclipsed George W. Bushes, fatuous, intellectually shallow, and deeply damaging post 9/11 declaration that “Islam is

bush-nihad-awad-muslim-brotherhood

President Bush at the Washington Mosque, 9/17/2001. At his right, Nihad Awad, Director of CAIR(Council on American-Islamic Relations), and Hamas supporter.  The FBI ended its outreach efforts with CAIR due to its ties to Muslim Brotherhood entities.

Peace.”

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, good afternoon.  And, Sabah, thank you for the wonderful introduction and for your example — your devotion to your faith and your education, and your service to others.  You’re an inspiration.  You’re going to be a fantastic doctor.  And I suspect, Sabah, your parents are here because they wanted to see you so — where are Sabah’s parents?  There you go. (Applause.)  Good job, Mom.  She did great, didn’t she?  She was terrific.

You can see Ms. Sabah’s introduction here:.

To everyone here at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, thank you for welcoming me here today.  I want to thank Muslim Americans leaders from across this city and this state, and some who traveled even from out of state to be here.  I want to recognize Congressman John Sarbanes, who is here.  (Applause.)

As well as two other great leaders in Congress — and proud Muslim Americans — Congressman Keith Ellison from the great state of Minnesota — (applause) — and Congressman Andre Carson from the great state of Indiana.  (Applause.)

So, does the President give shout outs to proud Catholic legislators?  This is telling, and shows just how different Islam is from other religions. It claims sovereignty, and increasingly, our leaders accord it such.  As for these two being leaders, let alone  great ones,Muslim or otherwise, there is no evidence for that, and their fame is due entirely to their being Muslim converts.

This mosque, like so many in our country, is an all-American story.  You’ve been part of this city for nearly half a century. You serve thousands of families — some who’ve lived here for decades as well as immigrants from many countries who’ve worked to become proud American citizens.

Now, a lot of Americans have never visited a mosque.  To the folks watching this today who haven’t — think of your own church, or synagogue, or temple, and a mosque like this will be very familiar.  This is where families come to worship and express their love for God and each other.  There’s a school where teachers open young minds.  Kids play baseball and football and basketball — boys and girls — I hear they’re pretty good.  (Laughter.)  Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts meet, recite the Pledge of Allegiance here.

One thing at this mosque would be familiar only to Orthodox Jewish communities: the gender segregation of worshipers.

Muslim women protest gender segregation while President Obama addresses Baltimore mosque. congregation. These women in fact have no support for their position anywhere in Islamic doctrine and practice.

Muslim women protest gender segregation while President Obama addresses Baltimore mosque. congregation. These women in fact have no support for their position anywhere in Islamic doctrine and practice.

With interfaith dialogue, you build bridges of understanding with other faith communities — Christians and Jews.  There’s a health clinic that serves the needy, regardless of their faith.  And members of this community are out in the broader community, working for social justice and urban development.  As voters, you come here to meet candidates.  As one of your members said, “just look at the way we live…we are true Americans.”

“…working for social justice and urban development.”

Well there we go, thanks for joining the progressive coalition.  Social justice?  Whatever it is, it isn’t the justice of the blindfold and equally weighted scales.  Justice modified is not justice at all.  As may be said for Islamic justice.

So the first thing I want to say is two words that Muslim Americans don’t hear often enough — and that is, thank you.  Thank you for serving your community.  Thank you for lifting up the lives of your neighbors, and for helping keep us strong and united as one American family.  We are grateful for that.  (Applause.)

Speak for yourself.  One needs only to look towards Europe to see the social discord that mass Muslim immigration has brought with it.

Now, this brings me to the other reason I wanted to come here today.  I know that in Muslim communities across our country, this is a time of concern and, frankly, a time of some fear.  Like all Americans, you’re worried about the threat of terrorism.  But on top of that, as Muslim Americans, you also have another concern — and that is your entire community so often is targeted or blamed for the violent acts of the very few.

In fact, given the continuous threats, the periodic devastating attacks, Americans, and liberal Western democracies in general, have shown a remarkable forbearance in the face of an aggressive minority, which in earlier times, would have seen the expunged from their national territories. It is fortunate for Muslims that liberal democracies are, well, liberal.

As for the violent acts a a very few, that violence outnumbers the actions of any other religious group, exponentially, and Muslims are a very small group in the United Sates, a fact that those running the numbers and coming up with Islamic and “Right Wing” terror casualties  in equal numbers.  Such analyses also often use post 9/11 as a convenient starting point. Those “few” do not spring from a void, but rather reflect the values of much larger segments of Muslim opinion globally.  They are analogous to Leninists receiving tacit approval from Fabians.

Personally, I’m not much worried about terrorism, but rather the economic and social distortion in responding to the threats, overwhelmingly Islamic, and accommodating the demands of Muslims in a secular society.

Muslims praying at UN, where they have taken over a public room formerly available to all

Muslims praying at UN, where they have taken over a public room formerly available to all

The Muslim American community remains relatively small –several million people in this country.  And as a result, most Americans don’t necessarily know — or at least don’t know that they know — a Muslim personally.  And as a result, many only hear about Muslims and Islam from the news after an act of terrorism, or in distorted media portrayals in TV or film, all of which gives this hugely distorted impression.

I guess the President doesn’t much care for “Homeland,” which in my view goes out of its way to be “nuanced.”

I know lots of Muslims, and over decades I have seen them become more extreme, which is once again borne out by well respected opinion surveys.

ISIS is Islamic, and as do all its allies and fellow travelers acts entirely consistently with Islamic tradition.  One telling example is the burning alive of a caged Jordanian pilot, burning being a historical penalty for apostasy within Islam.

As for conflation, Charleston church shooter

all hallaj

A heretic being executed in Medieval Baghdad.

Dylan Roof posted a picture of himself with a confederate battle flag, and that was the end of that symbol in public discourse, Dukes of Hazard be damned.

 

And of course, recently, we’ve heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim Americans that has no place in our country.

No surprise, then, that threats and harassment of Muslim Americans have surged.

Well no they haven’t.  As always, the Jews are the major target, and Muslims come last.

Here at this mosque, twice last year, threats were made against your children.  Around the country, women wearing the hijab — just like Sabah — have been targeted. We’ve seen children bullied.  We’ve seen mosques vandalized.  Sikh Americans and others who are perceived to be Muslims have been targeted, as well.

OK, this stuff does happen, and so do a great number of fake hate crimes, quickly forgotten.  What is striking is that in the United Sates – a very large, diverse nation – is how few, and usually non lethal, hate crimes are recorded.  And you won’t find a statistic for something for which their is anecdotal evidence – faked anti-Muslim hate crimes.

I just had a chance to meet with some extraordinary Muslim Americans from across the country who are doing all sorts of work.  Some of them are doctors; some of them are community leaders; religious leaders.  All of them were doing extraordinary work not just in the Muslim community but in the American community.  And they’re proud of their work in business and education, and on behalf of social justice and the environment and education.  I should point out they were all much younger than me — (laughter) — which is happening more frequently these days.  And you couldn’t help but be inspired, hearing about the extraordinary work that they’re doing.  But you also could not help but be heartbroken to hear their worries and their anxieties.

Nah, bro.  A lot of the rest of us are tired and annoyed at the endless bleating from so many Muslims, when their religion’s assault on the west has “fundamentally transformed,” that is to say, deformed our institutions, depleted our treasuries, and stifled our civil discourse.

Some of them are parents, and they talked about how their children were asking, are we going to be forced out of the country, or, are we going to be rounded up?  Why do people treat us like that?  Conversations that you shouldn’t have to have with children — not in this country.  Not at this moment.

“Why do people treat us like that?”

Consult your holy book. And the entire corpus or Islamic tradition and jurisprudence, none of which offers anything  that we in the West would want, and much of which we by nature and experience, abhor.

Nothing like trotting out children to make a political point.

And that’s an anxiety echoed in letters I get from Muslim Americans around the country.  I’ve had people write to me and say, I feel like I’m a second-class citizen.  I’ve had mothers write and say, “my heart cries every night,” thinking about how her daughter might be treated at school.  A girl from Ohio, 13 years old, told me, “I’m scared.”  A girl from Texas signed her letter “a confused 14-year-old trying to find her place in the world.”

Sure.

I don’t believe a word of this, especially that last one.  Reminds me of Hillary and the “junior feminist.” Or Chelsea Clinton leaving the Baptist Church at age 6 over its stance on abortion.

These are children just like mine.  And the notion that they would be filled with doubt and questioning their places in this great country of ours at a time when they’ve got enough to worry about — it’s hard being a teenager already — that’s not who we are.

We’re one American family.  And when any part of our family starts to feel separate or second-class or targeted, it tears at the very fabric of our nation.  (Applause.)

“….that’s not who we are.”

FABRICBoy, I’m getting sick of this.  Basically, it’s code for “shut up.”  As for the “very fabric of our nation,” this phrase appears in every speech this man makes about Islam, of which there are a considerable number.

Here, we’re back to the unity candidate of 2008.  Well, a unity that excluded those who cling to their guns and religion and had yet to tell Christians to get off their high horse

It’s a challenge to our values — and that means we have much work to do.  We’ve got to tackle this head on.  We have to be honest and clear about it.   And we have to speak out.  This is a moment when, as Americans, we have to truly listen to each other and learn from each other.  And I believe it has to begin with a common understanding of some basic facts.  And I express these facts, although they’d be obvious to many of the people in this place, because, unfortunately, it’s not facts that are communicated on a regular basis through our media.

“Facts,” repeated three times.

There is little that is factual in what follows.

So let’s start with this “fact:”

For more than a thousand years, people have been drawn to Islam’s message of peace.  And the very word itself, Islam, comes from salam — peace.  The standard greeting is as-salamu alaykum — peace be upon you.  And like so many faiths, Islam is rooted in a commitment to compassion and mercy and justice and charity.  Whoever wants to enter paradise, the Prophet Muhammad taught, “let him treat people the way he would love to be treated.”  (Applause.)  For Christians like myself, I’m assuming that sounds familiar.  (Laughter.)

Sheesh.  The factually challenged President of the Intercontinental Railroad, Austrian language, Maldives instead of Malvinas, 57 states, and so on, does it again.

While the two words in Arabic share a common root, Islam does not mean peace, but rather to submission to the will of God.  This is core to the very idea of Islam, and is in fact, its essence.

This is etymological and theological fact, and is acknowledged universally, by those against, neutral, and for Islam.

The concept of submission in Islamic jurisprudence extends to the non- Islamic world submitting to Islam.  This too is fact.

There is worse to come here.  Obama implies he is quoting an Islamic golden rule, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The alleged quotation is an elided version of the following from a hadith (Sahih Muslim 33:10) entitled the “Book on Government. Chapter: The obligation of fulfilling oaths of allegiance is owed to the first of two Caliphs.”

First, this refers to a very specific time and place, so there is nothing universal about the message.

Next, it applies only to Muslims.

“Whoever wishes to be delivered from the fire and enter the garden should die with faith in Allah and the Last Day and should treat the people as he wishes to be treated by them.”  The “people “here is not all people, but “the people,”  that is, the Muslim community, the ummah.

The next two sentences are:

“He who swears allegiance to a Caliph should give him the pledge of his hand and the sincerity of his heart (i. e. submit to him both outwardly as well as inwardly). He should obey him to the best of his capacity. It another man comes forward (as a claimant to Caliphate), disputing his authority, they (the Muslims) should behead the latter.”

So we have here instructions for political stability within the Islamic state, and that perennial Islamic favorite, beheading.

How can I be sure this is the source of the bogus quotation?

Simple.

As I was certain that no such words are in the Koran( and there aren’t) I simply pasted the quotation along with “hadith” and was immediately taken to a number of Muslim sites that pointed me to this hadith.

The world’s 1.6 billion Muslims are as diverse as humanity itself.  They are Arabs and Africans.  They’re from Latin America to Southeast Asia; Brazilians, Nigerians, Bangladeshis, Indonesians.  They are white and brown and black.  There’s a large African American Muslim community.

Yes, a very problematic one, growing quickly through prison recruitment

That diversity is represented here today.  A 14-year-old boy in Texas who’s Muslim spoke for many when he wrote to me and said, “We just want to live in peace.”

Indeed, Islam is ethnically diverse. At one time, when I understood little, I found this very attractive.  In practice, however, while anyone can join the ummah, Arabs have always been primus inter pares.

Here’s another fact:  Islam has always been part of America. Starting in colonial times, many of the slaves brought here from Africa were Muslim.  And even in their bondage, some kept their faith alive.  A few even won their freedom and became known to many Americans.  And when enshrining the freedom of religion in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, our Founders meant what they said when they said it applied to all religions.

This is a fascinating aspect of the Atlantic slave trade, on which there is growing scholarship.  The research to date, however shows that there is no lineal connection between those early American Muslims and any Muslim community today.  Like the Jews of medieval China, they died out, leaving linguistic and cultural traces, but no surviving communities, even with a distorted form of the religion, as did a sort of Christianity live on in Japan’s “Hidden Christians,” after the persecution, democide, in fact, of the Shogunate.

Back then, Muslims were often called Mahometans.  And Thomas Jefferson explained that the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom he wrote was designed to protect all faiths — and I’m quoting Thomas Jefferson now — “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan.”  (Applause.)

Jefferson and John Adams had their own copies of the Koran. Benjamin Franklin wrote that “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”  (Applause.)  So this is not a new thing.

Religious tolerance is indeed not a new concept in The United States; nor is looking askance at Islam.

Here is John Adams on Islam.

“In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth…

He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE

Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. (Blunt, 1830, 29:269, capitals in orig.).”

And,Title Page

“The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force (Blunt, 29:274Blunt, 29:274).”

There is much more.

Generations of Muslim Americans helped to build our nation. They were part of the flow of immigrants who became farmers and merchants.  They built America’s first mosque, surprisingly enough, in North Dakota.  (Laughter.)  America’s oldest surviving mosque is in Iowa.  The first Islamic center in New York City was built in the 1890s.  Muslim Americans worked on Henry Ford’s assembly line, cranking out cars.

A Muslim American designed the skyscrapers of Chicago.

All of them?  Chicago is known to architecture buffs everywhere as the first home of soaring reinforced concrete buildings. I am suspicious enough of  Mr. Obama’s motives that I don’t wonder that this sentence isn’t designed to give Islam the credit for the work of Louis Sullivan, whose first landmark Chicago building using steel skeletons is still renowned.

The Bangladeshi born Fazlur Rahman Khan was a notable designer of tall buildings in Chicago, in the 60s in and 70s.

What Obama is doing here is something often bruited: a linear narrative of vigorous Muslim participation in American history, equal to that of another but small, but influential minority present since colonial times, the Jews.

It simply isn’t true, and one wonders why so many are so desperate to sell this sketchy and largely unsupported narrative,  Whatever one might have thought of the Viet Nam War, I think Americans are generally pleased with the success of the Vietnamese refugee community, yet there is no effort to find a Viet Namese in the colonial militia, as one sees with Muslims.

Muslim Americans worked on Henry Ford’s assembly line, cranking out cars.

This is true, and no one seems to know why exactly, but the large Muslim community in Michigan does trace its origins back to the time of the Model A. Ford was a vicious –even for his time – Jew hater, so some posit that he thus preferred Muslims. There is no evidence of a causal link. The car maker also didn’t care much for black people, or the Irish.

In any case, while Muslims did work the assembly line, so did immigrants of many other origins.

In 1957, when dedicating the Islamic center in Washington, D.C., President Eisenhower said, “I should like to assure you, my Islamic friends, that under the American Constitution … and in American hearts…this place of worship, is just as welcome…as any other religion.”  (Applause.)

True again. Also at this time, the CIA worked with Muslim brotherhood elements, with Islam seen as an ally against Soviet Communism

And perhaps the most pertinent fact, Muslim Americans enrich our lives today in every way.  They’re our neighbors, the teachers who inspire our children, the doctors who trust us with our health — future doctors like Sabah.  They’re scientists who win Nobel Prizes, young entrepreneurs who are creating new technologies that we use all the time.  They’re the sports heroes we cheer for -— like Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hakeem Olajuwon.  And by the way, when Team USA marches into the next Olympics, one of the Americans waving the red, white and blue — (applause) — will a fencing champion, wearing her hijab, Ibtihaj Muhammad, who is here today.  Stand up.  (Applause.)  I told her to bring home the gold.  (Laughter.)  Not to put any pressure on you.  (Laughter.)

Muslim Nobel Prizes

This one is so easy to shoot down, I wonder why anyone bothers to put it up anymore.

8 Peace prizes.  And we all know what a load of crap that category is.

2 in Literature (both well deserved, in my view)

3 in the sciences, one of whom was Egyptian American, and the only Muslim American to win a Nobel, ever.

So unless, Mr. Obama does not understand the proper use of plurals, I’ll call this debunked.

Sports, whatever.

This is all of a piece in the ceaseless effort to sell  the nobility and accomplishments of Islam, as in 1001 Islamic inventions, debunked here.

Muslim Americans keep us safe.  They’re our police and our firefighters.  They’re in homeland security, in our intelligence community.  They serve honorably in our armed forces — meaning they fight and bleed and die for our freedom.  Some rest in Arlington National Cemetery.  (Applause.)

Yes some do serve honorably and keep us safe.  Others are like Nidal Hassan,   the Fort Hood shooter, and Hasan K. Akbar, who fragged and shot his fellow soldiers in Kuwait, killing two and wounding fourteen.

“Homeland Security.” Indeed, and that should give you pause, as this guy did eventually to DHS, even given our obtuse leaders.

So Muslim Americans are some of the most resilient and patriotic Americans you’ll ever meet.  We’re honored to have some of our proud Muslim American service members here today.  Please stand if you’re here, so we can thank you for your service.  (Applause.)

Again, do we have shout outs for proud Baptist service members?

So part of the reason I want to lay out these facts is because, in the discussions that I was having with these incredibly accomplished young people, they were pointing that so often they felt invisible.  And part of what we have to do is to lift up the contributions of the Muslim American community not when there’s a problem, but all the time.

Let Muslims “lift up the contributions of the Muslim American community” if they so desire.  Not my job.  Note again here the hyphenation of Muslim and American.  One hears of American Catholics, but not  “Catholic-Americans.”

Our television shows should have some Muslim characters that are unrelated to national security — (applause) — because — it’s not that hard to do.  There was a time when there were no black people on television.  And you can tell good stories while still representing the reality of our communities.

OK, whatever. Social justice and diversity propaganda on television these days is so pervasive that a little more wouldn’t be noticed.  I don’t watch this crap anyway. And I predict that Fox will regret greenlighting a pilot for a “Muslim family sitcom.”  It will bomb, just as did “All American Muslim.”

Now, we do have another fact that we have to acknowledge.  Even as the overwhelming majority — and I repeat, the overwhelming majority — of the world’s Muslims embrace Islam as a source of peace, it is undeniable that a small fraction of Muslims propagate a perverted interpretation of Islam.  This is the truth.

How is it that such a wonderful, peaceful religion is so easily misunderstood, misappropriated and distorted?  Again, for anyone familiar with the texts, it isn’t. peaceful in any way that would make sense to a non-Muslim.

Groups like al Qaeda and ISIL, they’re not the first extremists in history to misuse God’s name.  We’ve seen it before, across faiths.

Wink, wink, the Crusades.

But right now, there is a organized extremist element that draws selectively from Islamic texts, twists them in an attempt to justify their killing and their terror.  They combine it with false claims that America and the West are at war with Islam.  And this warped thinking that has found adherents around the world — including, as we saw, tragically, in Boston and Chattanooga and San Bernardino — is real.  It’s there.  And it creates tensions and pressure that disproportionately burden the overwhelming majority of law-abiding Muslim citizens.

 

What about the burdens the rest of us bear, from putting up with the TSA, to paying for the enormous and ever burgeoning costs of the National Security State?

And the question then is, how do we move forward together?  How do we keep our country strong and united?  How do we defend ourselves against organizations that are bent on killing innocents?  And it can’t be the work of any one faith alone.  It can’t be just a burden on the Muslim community — although the Muslim community has to play a role.  We all have responsibilities.  So with the time I have left, I just want to suggest a few principles that I believe can guide us.

Um, no.  I had nothing to do with this, and defending innocents is your job.

First, at a time when others are trying to divide us along lines of religion or sect, we have to reaffirm that most fundamental of truths:  We are all God’s children.  We’re all born equal, with inherent dignity.

Absolutely.  Now get Muslims to acknowledge the same, supporting the assertion with their sacred texts.  They can’t.

And so often, we focus on our outward differences and we forget how much we share.  Christians, Jews, Muslims — we’re all, under our faiths, descendants of Abraham.  So mere tolerance of different religions is not enough.  Our faiths summon us to embrace our common humanity.  “O mankind,” the Koran teaches, we have “made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.” (Applause.)  So all of us have the task of expressing our religious faith in a way that seeks to build bridges rather than to divide.

Fine, have at it.  When will we see mosques hosting Christian services, as ecumenically minded – and deplorably stupid – Christian and Jewish clerics have done? I give Muslims credit for the strength of their convictions.  They see religion as a binary proposition: either all are false, or only one is true. I subscribe to the former, they the latter.

Second, as Americans, we have to stay true to our core values, and that includes freedom of religion for all faiths.  I already mentioned our Founders, like Jefferson, knew that religious liberty is essential not only to protect religion but because religion helps strengthen our nation — if it is free, if it is not an extension of the state.  Part of what’s happened in the Middle East and North Africa and other places where we see sectarian violence is religion being a tool for another agenda — for power, for control.  Freedom of religion helps prevent that, both ways — protects religious faiths, protects the state from  — or those who want to take over the state from using religious animosity as a tool for their own ends.

Well, this is pretty good, but of course Islam is not an extension of the state; in classical practice it is the state.

That doesn’t mean that those of us with religious faith should not be involved.  We have to be active citizenry.  But we have to respect the fact that we have freedom of religion.

Remember, many preachers and pastors foughthe evil of t to abolish slavery.

Rabbis too, although the Wesleyans take pride of place here, but not one imam, mufti or any Islamic cleric, ever.

The Arab slave trade in East Africa was the last to be suppressed by the royal Navy, and vestiges of it survive to this day

People of faith advocated to improve conditions for workers and ban child labor.  Dr. King was joined by people of many faiths, challenging us to live up to our ideals.  And that civil activism, that civic participation that’s the essence of our democracy, it is enhanced by freedom of religion.

Now, we have to acknowledge that there have been times where we have fallen short of our ideals.  By the way, Thomas Jefferson’s opponents tried to stir things up by suggesting he was a Muslim — so I was not the first — (applause.)  No, it’s true, it’s true.  Look it up.  (Laughter.)  I’m in good company. (Laughter.)

Ah, Jefferson. Leftists misuse old Tom just as they do scripture.  I give you the Barbary Wars.

This fun historical snippet can only be described charitably as a stretch.  At best, partly true, sort of.

One Federalist called Jefferson the “great arch priest of Jacobinism and infidelity.” The Connecticut Courant suggested he might be a secret Jew or Muslim. It complained that no one seemed to know “whether Mr. Jefferson believes in the heathen mythology or in the alcoran (Quran); whether he is a Jew or a Christian; whether he believes in one God, or in many; or in none at all.”

But it hasn’t just been attacks of that sort that have been used.  Mormon communities have been attacked throughout our history.  Catholics, including, most prominently, JFK — John F. Kennedy — when he ran for President, was accused of being disloyal.  There was a suggestion that he would be taking orders from the Pope as opposed to upholding his constitutional duties. Anti-Semitism in this country has a sad and long history, and Jews were excluded routinely from colleges and professions and from public office.

Fair enough.

And so if we’re serious about freedom of religion — and I’m speaking now to my fellow Christians who remain the majority in this country — we have to understand an attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths.  (Applause.)  And when any religious group is targeted, we all have a responsibility to speak up.  And we have to reject a politics that seeks to manipulate prejudice or bias, and targets people because of religion.

We’ve got to make sure that hate crimes are punished, and that the civil rights of all Americans are upheld.  (Applause.)  And just as faith leaders, including Muslims, must speak out when Christians are persecuted around the world — (applause) — or when anti-Semitism is on the rise — because the fact is, is that there are Christians who are targeted now in the Middle East, despite having been there for centuries, and there are Jews who’ve lived in places like France for centuries who now feel obliged to leave because they feel themselves under assault –sometimes by Muslims.  We have to be consistent in condemning hateful rhetoric and violence against everyone.  (Applause.)  And that includes against Muslims here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)

So, do I give the President kudos for finally getting around to the purge of Christianity from the place of its origins?

No

Further back, he said that Islam has preached its message of peace for a thousand years.

Yet he credits Middle Eastern Christianity with mere centuries, when in fact it predated Islam there by five centuries.  Now centuries sum up to thousands, so its hard to call this a bold faced lie, but it is clearly designed to place Christianity below Islam in the historical hierarchy.

That the thriving Christian –majority- communities of Late antiquity in the Eastern and Southern Mediterranean littoral have been largely obliterated, and this many centuries ago, a factual history readily available, is not discussed.

So none of us can be silent.  We can’t be bystanders to bigotry.  And together, we’ve got to show that America truly protects all faiths.

Which brings me to my next point:  As we protect our country from terrorism, we should not reinforce the ideas and the rhetoric of the terrorists themselves.  I often hear it said that we need moral clarity in this fight.  And the suggestion is somehow that if I would simply say, these are all Islamic terrorists, then we would actually have solved the problem by now, apparently.  (Laughter.)  Well, I agree, we actually do need moral clarity.  Let’s have some moral clarity.  (Applause.)

Groups like ISIL are desperate for legitimacy.  They try to portray themselves as religious leaders and holy warriors who speak for Islam.  I refuse to give them legitimacy.  We must never give them that legitimacy.  (Applause.)  They’re not defending Islam.  They’re not defending Muslims.  The vast majority of the people they kill are innocent Muslim men, women and children.  (Applause.)

So they kill mostly Muslims, so what?  Internecine warfare is hardly new to Islam.

And, by the way, the notion that America is at war with Islam ignores the fact that the world’s religions are a part of who we are.  We can’t be at war with any other religion because the world’s religions are a part of the very fabric of the United States, our national character.  (Applause.)

“What we are” again.

Islam is no part of me, and as I think I have demonstrated earlier, has not been a significant part of America.  If it wishes to be such, it will have to change its ways.

So the best way for us to fight terrorism is to deny these organizations legitimacy and to show that here in the United States of America, we do not suppress Islam; we celebrate and lift up the success of Muslim Americans.  That’s how we show the lie that they’re trying to propagate.  (Applause.)  We shouldn’t play into terrorist propaganda.  And we can’t suggest that Islam itself is at the root of the problem.  That betrays our values.  It alienates Muslim Americans.  It’s hurtful to those kids who are trying to go to school and are members of the Boy Scouts, and are thinking about joining our military.

I get tired of saying this, but try reading the Koran.  And the ahadith, and the Sira.

That kind of mindset helps our enemies.  It helps our enemies recruit.  It makes us all less safe.  So let’s be clear about that.

They seem to be recruiting just fine without us. It’s always, something: Israel, American bases in Saudi Arabia, the Iraq War. These putative “root causes” come and go, but the violence continues.

Now, finally, just as all Americans have a responsibility to reject discrimination — I’ve said this before — Muslims around the world have a responsibility to reject extremist ideologies that are trying to penetrate within Muslim communities.

(Penetrate is a transitive verb, you twat.  No preposition)

Um, no.  We have no “responsibility” to reject discrimination.  It’s not in the Constitution. We have reached a societal consensus to do so, derived from constitutional principles, but no one is compelled to join.  I wouldn’t expect our media acclaimed “constitutional scholar” President to understand this nuance.

Here at this mosque, and across our country and around the world, Muslim leaders are roundly and repeatedly and consistently condemning terrorism.  And around the globe, Muslims who’ve dared to speak out have often been targeted and even killed.  So those voices are there; we just have to amplify them more.  (Applause.)

Facts not in evidence.  Well, the President s a Chicago lawyer.

And it was interesting, in the discussion I had before I came out, some people said, why is there always a burden on us? When a young man in Charleston shoots African Americans in a church, there’s not an expectation that every white person in America suddenly is explaining that they’re not racist.  They can Everybody is assumed to be horrified by that act.  And I recognize that sometimes that doesn’t feel fair.

This happens because of the incessant dissembling of Muslim “leaders” who point to externalities. “it’s the “while I don’t condone terrorism, we should consider..”  seen so often in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack.

 But part of the answer is to make sure that the Muslim community in all of its variety, in all the good works that it’s doing, in all the talent that’s on display, that it’s out there visible on a consistent basis — not just at a certain moment.  (Applause.)

Actually, I’d prefer that the Muslim community, and every other strident identity group were not visible at all, and we just went about our business as Americans.

But what is also true is, is that there is a battle of hearts and minds that takes place — that is taking place right now, and American Muslims are better positioned than anybody to show that it is possible to be faithful to Islam and to be part of a pluralistic society, and to be on the cutting-edge of science, and to believe in democracy.  (Applause.)

While I’m not hopeful, were Islam to reform, it would be in America.

And so I would urge all of you not to see this as a burden, but as a great opportunity and a great privilege to show who you are.  To use a little Christian expression — let your light shine.  Because when you do you’ll make clear that this is not a clash of civilizations between the West and Islam.  This is a struggle between the peace-loving, overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world and a radical, tiny minority.  And ultimately, I’m confident that the overwhelming majority will win that battle.  (Applause.)  Muslims will decide the future of your faith.  And I’m confident in the direction that it will go.

This is getting rather repetitive.  I could have done this in half the length.

But across the Islamic world, influential voices should consistently speak out with an affirmative vision of their faith. And it’s happening.  These are the voices of Muslim clerics who teach that Islam prohibits terrorism, for the Koran says whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind.  (Applause.)  These are the voices of Muslim scholars, some of whom join us today, who know Islam has a tradition of respect for other faiths; and Muslim teachers who point out that the first word revealed in the Koran — igra — means “read” — to seek knowledge, to question assumptions.  (Applause.)

for the Koran says whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind.

Ah yes, this hoary chestnut.

A direct crib from the Talmud.

Here is the complete verse:

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.

 

And here is the following verse:

Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,

 

“Mischief” here is fitna, which more precisely means discord and disorder such as arises when Islam is challenged or refused.  Thus, the Talmudic injunction against killing is modified, to say the least, in favor of Islam.

Muslim political leaders have to push back on the lie that the West oppresses Muslims, and against conspiracy theories that says America is the cause of every ill in the Middle East.  Now, that doesn’t mean that Muslim Americans aren’t free to criticize American — U.S. foreign policy.  That’s part of being an American.  I promise you, as the President of the United States, I’m mindful that that is a healthy tradition that is alive and well in America.  (Laughter.)  But like leaders everywhere, these leaders have been offering, and need to continue to offer, a positive vision for progress, and that includes political and economic progress.

Try not blaming everything on Israel. I have asked Muslims what would change in the ummah if there never had been an Israel, or were the Jewish state to disappear tomorrow.  Still waiting for an answer.

And we have to acknowledge that much of the violence in places like the Middle East is now turning into fights between sects — Shia, Sunni and others — where differences are often exploited to serve political agendas, as I said earlier.  And this bloodshed is destroying Muslim families and communities, and there has to be global pressure to have the vision and the courage to end this kind of thinking and this approach to organizing political power.

Again, as far as I’m concerned, Sunni vs. Shia is Alien vs. Predator.  Got no dog in this fight.

It’s not historically unique.  It’s happened in every part of the world — from Northern Ireland to Africa, to Asia, to right here in the United States — in the past.  But it is something that we have to fight against.

Northern Ireland, my ass. Neither of the parties was fighting to establish their faith.  Can this Harvard educated President really believe that there has been religious war in the United States?

And we know it’s possible.  Across the history of Islam, different sects traditionally have lived and thrived together peacefully.

Now and then, but it tends to end badly. Ask the Sufi.

And in many parts of the world they do today, including here in the United States.

I’d like to know which parts of the world those are, outside the west.

In the United States, you’re not allowed to beat people up, for religious reasons or any other.

Like people of all religions, Muslims living their faith in a modern, pluralistic world are called upon to uphold human rights, to make sure that everyone has opportunity.  That includes the aspirations of women and youth and all people.  If we expect our own dignity to be respected, so must we respect the dignity of others.  (Applause.)

Hmm, this strikes me as slightly critical.  Even Mr. Obama must be aware of the dismal human rights –not to mention wretched human development indices – of majority Muslim nations.  At this point, I’ll take what I can get.

So let me conclude by saying that as Muslim communities stand up for the future that you believe in, that you exhibit in your daily lives, as you teach your children, America will be your partner.  We will — I will — do everything I can to lift up the multiplicity of Muslim voices that promote pluralism and peace.

We will — I will — do everything I can to lift up the multiplicity of Muslim voices that promote pluralism and peace.

Why is this your  job?  Did you run for Defender of the Faith?

(Applause.)  We will continue to reach out to young Muslims around the world, empowering them with science and technology and entrepreneurship, so they can pursue their God-given potential, and help build up their communities and provide opportunity.  It’s why we will continue to partner with Muslim American communities — not just to help you protect against extremist threats, but to expand health care and education and opportunity — (applause) — because that’s the best way to build strong, resilient communities.

Our values must guide us in this work.  Engagement with Muslim American communities must never be a cover for surveillance.  (Applause.)  We can’t give in to profiling entire groups of people.  There’s no one single profile of terrorists.  We can’t securitize our entire relationship with Muslim Americans.  We can’t deal with you solely through the prism of law enforcement.  We’ve got to build trust and mutual respect.  That’s how we’ll keep our communities strong and our communities united.

Over and over again ,mosques are shown to be harboring subversive individuals with clear designs against the country, but God forbid they should get the same treatment the German American Bund once did.

As I was in discussion with the young people before I came in here, I said this will be a process.  Law enforcement has a tough job.  Some of these groups are specifically trying to target Muslim youth.  We’re going to have to be partners in this process.  There will be times where the relationship is clumsy or mishandled.  But I want you to know that from the President to the FBI Director, to everybody in law enforcement, my directive and their understanding is, is that this is something we have to do together.  And if we don’t do it well, then we’re actually not making ourselves safer; we’re making ourselves less safe.

This goes on for a good while.  I’m about out of gas.  I do find it interesting that, while just now the President seems to be apologizing for “profiling,” in fact the entire security apparatus of the United States has purged any mention of Islam from its threat assessment, doctrine and training.  Take a look at “Countering Violent Extremism.

And here, I want to speak directly to the young people who may be listening.  In our lives, we all have many identities.  We are sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters.  We’re classmates; Cub Scout troop members.  We’re followers of our faith.  We’re citizens of our country.  And today, there are voices in this world, particularly over the Internet, who are constantly claiming that you have to choose between your identities — as a Muslim, for example, or an American.  Do not believe them.  If you’re ever wondering whether you fit in here, let me say it as clearly as I can, as President of the United States:  You fit in here — right here.  (Applause.)  You’re right where you belong.  You’re part of America, too.  (Applause.)  You’re not Muslim or American.  You’re Muslim and American. (Applause.)

Don’t grow cynical.  Don’t respond to ignorance by embracing a world view that suggests you must choose between your faith and your patriotism.  Don’t believe that you have to choose between your best impulses and somehow embrace a world view that pits us against each other — or, even worse, glorifies violence.  Understand your power to bring about change.  Stay engaged in your community.  Help move our country forward — your country forward.  (Applause.)

We are blessed to live in a nation where even if we sometimes stumble, even if we sometimes fall short, we never stop striving for our ideals.  We keep moving closer to that more perfect union.  We’re a country where, if you work hard and if you play by the rules, you can ultimately make it, no matter who you are or how you pray.  It may not always start off even in the race, but here, more than any place else, there’s the opportunity to run that race.

And as we go forward, I want every Muslim American to remember you are not alone.  Your fellow Americans stand with you — just as Sabah described her friends after she decided that she was going to start wearing a hijab.  That’s not unusual.  Because just as so often we only hear about Muslims after a terrorist attack, so often we only hear about Americans’ response to Muslims after a hate crime has happened, we don’t always hear about the extraordinary respect and love and community that so many Americans feel.

I’m thinking about the seven-year-old boy in Texas who emptied his piggy bank to help a mosque that had been vandalized. (Applause.)  Or all the faith communities that rallied around Muslim Americans after the tragedy in Chapel Hill.  The churches and the synagogues standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their local mosques, including the woman carrying a sign saying “We love our Muslim neighbors.”  Think of our men and women in uniform who, when they heard that a little girl was afraid because she’s a Muslim, sent her a message — “I Will Protect You.”  (Applause.)

I want every American to remember how Muslim communities are standing up for others, as well.  Because right now, as we speak, there are Muslims in Kenya who saved Christians from terrorists, and Muslims who just met in Morocco to protect religious minorities, including Christians and Jews.  (Applause.)  The good people of this mosque helped this city move forward after the turmoil of last year.  Muslim Americans across the country helped African American churches rebuild after arson.

Remember the Muslim Americans in Boston who reached out to victims of the Marathon bombing; the Muslim Americans across the country who raised money for the families of San Bernardino; the Muslim Americans in Chattanooga who honored our fallen servicemembers, one of them saying, “in the name of God, the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, God bless our fallen heroes.”  (Applause.)

We are one American family.  We will rise and fall together. It won’t always be easy.  There will be times where our worst impulses are given voice.  But I believe that ultimately, our best voices will win out.  And that gives me confidence and faith in the future.  (Applause.)

After more than 200 years, our blended heritage, the patchwork quilt which is America, that is not a weakness, that is one of our greatest strengths.  It’s what makes us a beacon to the world.  It’s what led that mother who wrote to me — the one who worries about her young daughter — it led her to end her letter with hope, despite her fears.  She said, “I still believe in one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”  (Applause.)

I was about to quit, cut this part and just direct the reader to the text, but low and behold another tell:

…our blended heritage, the patchwork quilt.

A mixed metaphor that works to describe Mr Obama’s view of our country.

Blended heritage – E Pluribus Unum, as we used to be,but now but what really interests him is:

Patchwork quilt – multiculturalism

 May God’s peace be upon you.  May God bless the United States of America.  Thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)

Yeah, you too.   What a slog.

Who do I bother?

Just more of the same: falsehoods, half truths, irrelevancies, interspersed with boilerplate patriotism, all clumsily stitched together (thanks for the quilt image!) in a repetitive, and often seen before narrative that attempts to falsely place a problematic faith alien the American experience at its center.

There are many theories as to why the drive to do this is  so strong among western leaders, but rather than get into the here, I will simply say that the effort is unseemly, and fools less and less of the every day.

A reckoning will come.

 

Let’s Play…Global Strategic Realignment!

 

wargameUnlike the computer simulation in 1983’s “War Games,” this is a board game, a combination of Risk and Monopoly.  In Risk early and bold moves are essential.  A firm grasp of strategy wins every time; the dice won’t bail you out, unless you’re evenly matched.( I’ve lost every game of Risk I’ve ever played, so why should you read this?)The same is somewhat true with Monopoly, but a bad card early on can set you back hopelessly, or derail what looked to be a winning surge.
It’s pretty clear that the U.S. is distracted, or perhaps largely indifferent to what is going on around the globe.  That goes for the current administration; as to the country’s intelligence services, who knows?

pivot

This nifty 33 page Congressional Research Service position page turned out to e a waste of time as President Obama pivoted somewhere else.

Late in 2011, the Administration announced a strategic realignment, or an intensified focus (accounts vary) de-emphasizing the Middle East and looking to the Pacific. With China continuing to make ir-redentist territorial claims, and given the chronic instability in the Middle East, and its lack of economic significance outside the energy sector, this made a good deal of sense, especially with a background of rising gas and oil production in North America, and great potential elsewhere.

Buttressing such a strategic would require a strong naval and air presence in the region, and a commitment to maximize North American energy production. We’ve seen the opposite.  The indefinite Keystone  XL Pipeline delay, slow permitting for exploration on Federal lands, and crippling EPA regulations on the use of coal for power generation, it’s clear the Obama  Administration, at best, simply does not understand correlation, or worse, suffers from crippling cognitive dissonance. In what the New York Post calls “Obama’s Incredible Shrinking Pacific Pivot,” the President instead places his faith in adherence to international norms.

As to U.S. Naval strength. expert debates rage, and are beyond the non-specialist – this one, at least, but one does get the sense the U.S. is still more than capable. However, the administration seems to have given the Navy little attention, other than the installation of gender neutral heads, and arranging for some of  the fleet to be fueled on algae, at substantial cost.

.
Like so many of Mr. Obama’s pivots, from jobs, to immigration, to gay whatever, and back again, the Pacific pivot in the end is reduced to no more than an interpretative dance move depicting a world that exists only in the CIC’s imagination.

Now, let’s game this.

senkaku

Some of the Senkaku Islands, near Taiwan, in the South China Sea. Picturesque, but it’s about oil and gas.

An administration distracted by midterm elections, border chaos, and perhaps new revelations in ongoing scandals, and fresh ones yet to surface, presents an opening to China, who grab the Spratlys, and if they are feeling particularly bold, the Senkakus.  With Japan moving to a more robust defense doctrine, and the weakest U.S. posture since before the Second World War there will never be a better chance.

Japan and China fight a short naval conflict, with both taking losses, but neither fully committing.  War with China is not an option for the Japanese, who retire with honor intact. VietNam and the Philippines  are chased from the Spratlys.

One of the man atolls in he Spratlys.  Claimed by pretty much everyone around the South China Sea, but china is the big dog

One of the many atolls in the Spratlys. Claimed by pretty much everyone around the South China Sea, but china is the big dog

The U.S. tut tuts like a worried grandmother surrounded by squabbling grandchildren, but it is apparent  American security promises are worthless.  India, which has been in a naval race with China, its navy, offers strategic guarantees to Southeast Asian nations, and acquires bases, with a forward position in the Philippines.  Australia, after initial reluctance, realizes it is far from any other allies, and joins India, in combined naval operations, and provides basing rights.

Does China then make its play for Taiwan?  Amphibious invasions are expensive, bloody, and highly risky affairs. Beijing strikes a deal with Taipei for autonomy within the PRC in return for withdrawal of U.S. forces from the island.

Japan builds a nuclear deterrent, and announces its deployment.  Tokyo abrogates the U.S. Japan security treaty and U. S. forces withdraw.

Where is Europe in all this?  Busy dealing with the rising chaos as migrants pour in, spurred by violence and disruption in the Middle East and Africa as world tensions and currency crises buffet already fragile economies. Nationalist governments rise in Britain, and in newer EU members from the former East Bloc.  Germany is happy to be Moscow’s banker as Russia and China form an entente cordiale.  The U.S. fades from the world scene, as two far lesser powers divide most of Eurasia and dominate its maritime periphery.

frigate

Indian Shivalik class Frigate

India waits, and is riven by dissension over the massive cost of its new hemispheric defense posture.

One of the man atolls in he Spratlys.  Claimed by pretty much everyone around the South China Sea, but china is the big dog

One of the many atolls in the Spratlys. Claimed by pretty much everyone around the South China Sea, but China is the big dog

Latin America continues to be Latin America, with weak institutions and unbalanced economies.  In the South, Brazil dominates, while to the North, the United States, Mexico and Central America are joined in a de facto Anschluss driven not by American power, but migration northwards. Canada realizes that its southern neighbor is lost, and plays itself between China and the Anglosphere as best it can.

In my scenario, China is the precipitating actor. One asks immediately, why would they do it? Are some small scraps of territory and national honor worth the enormous risk?  I have no idea what competing factions within the PRC, in both the party and the military, might militate for or against such aggressive action.

In the light of rational thought, it seems insane.  First it requires absolute confidence that the current administration in Washington would not meet its commitments; next, that the Chinese economy could weather the economic disruption sure to follow its action.  And, as Messrs Obama and Kerry indignantly point out, this is the 21st Century, as they protest Putin’s 20th Century moves in the Ukraine.  Meanwhile, ISIS has has gone all 19th Century in setting up their Islamic state,  and different to the Sudan back then, there is no Kitchener to set things right; not even a Gordon, for that matter.

As we approach the centenary of the Guns of August, it is wise to reflect on how often before, leaders have miscalculated, and to recall the catastrophes that followed.

Now, play the game yourself!

Your wild cards are: Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea.

Between Iraq and a Hard Place: In Which I Bail the President Out From His Bad Middle East Optics

ISIS-truck-convoy-Anbar-Province

ISIS column in Anbar Province, Iraq.

After an early enthusiasm for the Viet Nam war, other than Grenada, I have not supported any American intervention overseas in my lifetime. So for once, I find myself in agreement with the 44th president.

Mr. Obama has some bad optics with the ISIS assault in Iraq. Sure, it wasn’t his war, but his Vice President did say this in 2010:

(Iraq )”could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You’re going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You’re going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.”

The rout of the Baghdad government from large parts of the country looks bad, and calling it Bush’s war will resonate with the faithful, but others are a bit jaded with the” Bush did it” excuse six years in.. No matter who may be seen to “own” Iraq politically, the ISIS advances represent at the very least, a massive intelligence failure – or perhaps failure to act on intelligence. Coming so soon after the Crimea takeover, it just looks like crap.

As senator, Obama did not vote for Iraq, and rather than his frequent custom of listing himself “present,” voted against it. Others in his party cannot say the same. Mrs. Clinton was in, and both her husband and his VP, Al Gore, are on record long before the war, pointing to the danger posed by Saddam. Many other Democrats joined in the war vote, including the current Secretary of State, John Kerry.

nissan

Shiite militia parade, Baghdad, June 20, 2014. Despite the Nissan in the lead, from the headlights, it looks like Toyota has the conflict sewed up,truck-wise.

So how can Mr. Obama clear up his Iraq optics?

Embrace the Iraq war, and then kiss it goodbye.

Here, Barrack, let me show you how to do it.

“Good evening.

My fellow Americans, I am asking for your time this evening to speak on the recent and ongoing events in Iraq. This country has cast a long shadow on American politics and foreign policy, across administrations and parties, long before I became President.

Mehdi Army Women loyal to Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr march during a parade in Najaf

These Shia ladies are on our side, sort of.  In Syria and Lebanon, their veiled sisters are on the other side. Got it?  I don’t. Did American really think it could handle this place?  What were we thinking?

It is no secret that I voted against the Iraq War as Senator and ran against it when I first campaigned for the office of President. I promised an end to ur role in the conflict, and I kept that promise. As President I have learned much, and I have come to know this about America’s role in Iraq.

The men and women, in both parties, who voted for, and worked towards the ouster of Saddam, l believe, especially in view of Iraq’s present agony, were wrong.

But they were not, and are not, selfish or evil. There was no war for oil. Those who supported the war policy had two things in mind:

The national security of the United States, and, along with a hatred of Saddam’s tyranny, a sincere wish that Iraq be stable and free, and in time, lead the region out of its sad history of conflict and deprivation.

They should not be vilified for misplaced hope.

I, they, and all Americans honor the courage and sacrifice of the many thousands of our forces who served, died, and were maimed in Iraq. We also recognize the contributions of our civilians there, the diplomats, engineers and technicians, doctors and nurses, educators, and the whole range of specialists who worked to bring Iraq back from ruin.

In 2010, when we finally withdrew our forces it seemed we had succeeded.

That we have not is not the fault of any administration. America expended massive amounts of her treasure and expertise, and above all, the precious lives of our best and brightest young people, to give the Iraqi people a chance at a future of freedom and progress.

We are deeply saddened that ancient hatreds should make this unlikely for the foreseeable future.

But we have done enough, and can do no more. Nor would we if we could.

Self reliance is a core American value. While we cannot instill such a value where it is not, we understand that it must exist for any nation to succeed.

Therefore, while I will take such action as may be necessary to our immediate security needs, and may provide assistance where it can be used efficiently and honestly, the United States under my administration will not intervene in Iraq. Our time in Afghanistan is also coming to an end, and I hope profoundly hope that our friends there will look to Iraq and resolve to do better.

That so grand an undertaking has failed is a tragedy, but I urge you all tonight and in the days to come, to look back upon this chapter in our history as one of many times when America has given much, in return for little.

God Bless America

God bless our veterans

Thank you, and good night.”

 

C’mon, Mr. President. I guarantee you a 5% overnight bounce in the polls.

But for Barrack Obama to make such a statement would require both humility and magnanimity, two qualities in which he is signally lacking.

Not a chance.

 

 

Does One Voice Matter?

It does.

To me.

And that’s enough.

As did many observers,after the 2012 U.S. Presidential election, I felt a sense of great futility.

A president with one of the worst economic records in history, a clearly failing foreign policy, a man of no managerial or administrative skills whatsoever, had been reelected on the basis of “coolness.” Familiarity with rap and basketball, ease in the talk show guest chair and near universal adulation as a great husband and fine father were the qualities judged by a plurality essential to leading to a country of 300 plus million.

Then there was his hapless opponent, and the stumble bum Republican campaign, which, while ably and precisely aided on its disastrous course by Obama For America, would have buried Mr. Romney all on its own. With of course, plenty of assists from a phalanx of media fellatrices.

Another four years of policy based on feelings, which sounds silly and insubstantial, but is all the more dangerous for its inchoate millenarian utopian longings manifested in multiculturalism, politically correct nostrums rooted in Stalinism, all backed by the coercive power of the sate, shown only occasionally with guns, more oftenly cloaked in a phantasmagoria of regulations and impenetrable law. Lawlessness is shrugged off with a giggle or a sneer, as the opposition party has the vapors and clutches its pearls.

Across the conservative threads(libertarians were largely cheering what they see as the coming conflagration, there were repression of weary defeat, and a strange sense of relief: If it’s all over, one no longer needs to care, as often expressed in the comment threads:.

It’s over

Fuck it.

Let it burn.

And my favorite:

Burn it down

Scatter the stones

Salt the earth where it stood.

So I quit blogging, restricting my writing to outraged, or cynical tweets, far easier to do while surfing the net, reading, watching TV or doing all three.

I mean, why bother?

Yet, over these last months things, some small and obscure, some momentous and widely known lead me to believe that it is not all over. The tide of infantile leftism has not washed away everything.

While Europe and the U.S. may be turning on the economic system that made them havens where humanity is safest, richest, healthiest, and happiest, much of the rest of the world – with the exceptions of some foolishly misguided regimes in Lain America, and of course, the Middle East – even large parts of Africa, are emerging from the poverty and oppression that has been the lot of most since humans first formed governments.

Image

I admit to only skimming this 2000 page plus behemoth back in the 70s.

The Malthusian misery that experts saw as Asia’s inescapable fate turned out entirely wrong. Gunnar Myrdal’s Asian Diilemma of burgeoning populations and scarce resources gives way to an Asian dilemma as how best to supply the goods, services and opportunities the continents’ new middle classes demand.

While Mr Obama, fresh off diversionary feints on immigration and gun control, turns to “Climate Change,” that issue has nearly dropped out of public consciousness, as the defects in it proponents” arguments become more and more clear as they themselves cannot explain the failure of their models.

Even as, in the wakes of the Boston bombing, and the Woolich beheading, governments and media rush to assure us that these atrocities have nothing to do with Islam, public disapproval of Islam rises.

Image

Evil White racists just didn’t bring out the fans.

While much of American made television and film is filled with endless anti-male, anti – christian, and, dare I say it anti white –sentiments(See “White House down.” Better yet, don’t) some science fiction seems to feel freer to express sentiments not acceptable in mainstream Hollywood drama or comedy, and go beyond the Left Coast’s pet hates to address issues and ideas of real substance. Resistance to big government and constitutional legitimacy are common themes(More on this topic here).

There is of course schadenfreude in Mr. Obama’s current travails. To those who have shifted their views to give him approval ratings that would have sunk him in the election, it’s” We told you so ” time. The president’s Olympian distance( some call it cluelessness), and the dodge and weave tactics of his operators have held back the deluge so far, and while wouldn’t bet on a “Downfall” scenario, irrelevance, however, is quite possible, and more than enough.

Better yet, while the Presidents approval remains in the mid to high forties, an indicator of the truth in Romney’s 47pct remarks, there is a growing sense that something is amiss. In the “Wizard of Oz it was a diminutive nobody pulling the levers powering the illusion. Now, many have the queasysy feeling that there is no one at all behind the curtain.

Republicans can be counted on to cringe at exactly right moment, and decades of of indoctrination and propaganda from left dominated institutions will not be undone by a scattered and not yet self conscious opposition, but it may be – yes ,I understand my weaselly use of the conditional here – that a second term for Mr. Obama, even with all its costs in money and institutional damage, is what is necessary to once again discredit leftism at a time when growing numbers are not old enough to remember its previous failures.

Stay tuned.

Post Campaign 2012: Settling into the Occupation

A month now after the U.S. election.

Readers of these pages will know that I am no supporter of Mr. Obama, but that I had a foreboding he would win.  Many of my friends were on board with Messers. Carl Rove, Dick Morris, Michael Barone and other pundits, convinced that Romney would win.  After all, no president looking for a second term with the country in similar distress had ever succeeded.

I replied to these pep talks that the country now was not the country then, not even the same country that rejected McCain in 2008.

Paris1941

Paris, 1941. OK, I’m not as despondent as this guy was.

So, I really should not be despondent.  But I am.

In 2008, Mr. Obama promised fundamental transformation, and prior to the vote, one could hope that it had not been yet fully accomplished.  Now it will be completed.

The guns have fallen silent, and the occupiers are marching in.

From the Huffington Post:

“Obama Meets With Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, ‘Influential Progressives'”

White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed the meeting took place. It wasn’t listed on Obama’s schedule.

“This afternoon at the White House, the President met with influential progressives to talk about the importance of preventing a tax increase on middle class families, strengthening our economy and adopting a balanced approach to deficit reduction,” Earnest said in a statement Tuesday.

There it is.( Al Sharpton?  Can you say “Tawana Brawley?”)

vLady

No need to dissemble anymore. Nobody is watching anyway

We have re-elected a President who sees “Progressives” as major players. Of course, he and his staff met with these people earlier in his term, but now there is no reason to dissemble.  The fifth columnists and franc tireurs show themselves.

600px-Bill_Signing-_Manpower_Development_and_Training_Act_of_1962._President_Kennedy,_Secretary_of_Labor_Arthur_Goldberg..._-_NARA_-_194205

George Meany of the AFL-CIO and many others at 1962 signing of Manpower Training Act

trumpka

AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka along with Soros funded Moveon.org head Justin Ruben after meeting the President in the White Hoiuse November 13, 2012. Just in case you had any doubt as to who is in charge.

On November 13,The President met with AFL-CIO leader Trumka and Moveon.org at the White house.  I’m old enough to remember George  Meany, and a time where  unions, having purged the radical leftists among them, were pretty solidly at the center of American politics.  If Trumka ever watched “On the Waterfront,” he was cheering for the bad guys.

The comment boards are full of hopeful writers who put out their point by point programs for retaking Congress, and then the White House. Others rightly point to the institutions, schools and churches,

The Hollywood Left( which is most of them) nver forgae director Eii i Kazan for both tetfying to commmunist influence in tinelstown, an making tis film showing teh leftist thugs among the longshoremene.

The Hollywood Left( which is most of them) never forgave director Elia Kazan for both testifying to communist influence in Tinselstown, and making this film showing the leftist thugs among the longshoremen.

which must be retaken by grassroots action.  The entire culture,online pundit Roger L. Simon says,must be retaken.  He recommends Youtube. Or something.

And then there is the fight between those who want to dump social issues, and those who would rather see the Republic obliterated before one more fetus is aborted.

Not to mention those who recommend investing in “brass and lead” and can’t wait to shoot leftists. Let’s remember the last scene in  1970 movie “Joe” in which hippie hating Peter Boyle ends up wasting his daughter. Or the Spanish Civil War.

And of course, the United States Military, which, PC as it may have become, still can cream pretty much any fighting force on earth..  And then there is DHS, ramping up local law enforcement firepower.

So, all of this is blather, in my view.  A “center right” country could have elected Obama in a fit of inattention, but such a nation could not have reelected him.

Mr. Obama still bridles at being called a socialist, but he need not.  When 23% of Republicans have a favorable view of socialism, “progressives” should lick theirWTF? Just WTF!

                              WTF? Just WTF!

chops.

 

23% of Republicans viewing socialism favorably?

Do they know what socialism is?  Do they know what Republicans are?  Do Republicans know what Republicans are?

And then, there is this ” Americans Aged 18-29 Have A More Favorable Response To Socialism Than To Capitalism.”

Perhaps they will grow out of it, but I wouldn’t bet on it.  I doubt many under 50 would have much idea of the references I’ve used here. There are those things, it seems, that have to be learned through experience rather than study.

Something has changed.  And perhaps the country that those of us who despise this change mourn, never existed.

If it did, it will not return, and what takes it place will be what it will be.

What’s in a Name? In the President’s Case, Quite a Bit, and Quite a Few

( I profoundly hope this will be my last post on President Barack  Obama)

                      D’oh!Bama

Remember BusHitler?  Perhaps you’ve seen Shrillery and Romoney. President Obama has inspired a naming frenzy far beyond the slanging epithets of other campaigns.

In Islamic tradition, Allah has 99 names, or more properly, attributes, such as “Allah the Merciful.”  It occurred to me that President Obama who is something of a demigod himself in some quarters might have at least as many, so I began collecting them some months ago, and the amount rose rapidly.

There are two reasons for this.

First, a large portion of the electorate, and that of core includes me, profoundly disapprove of Mr. Obama, his foundational philosophy, administration, and plans, such as they are, for our future.  This dislike appears across the internet in the nearly endless plays on the President’s name.

The second is linguistic.  Consider the huge number of words beginning with “ob” and the even vaster total starting simply with “o,” and the President is cooked.  That his name begins and ends with a vowel doesn’t help, and even more variants can be added by using words ending in those vowels, as prefixes and suffixes.

Then there is the vocative imperative s in “Oh, bite me!”

The word plays fall into recognizable categories.  Let’s look at a few.

Obamamugabe, Hugobama, Maobama  derive from the President’s  authoritarian leanings.  HoBama sounds like a ghetto epithet, but was a reference to Ho Chi Minh.

Quite a number point to the President’s  Islamophilia . Obama bin Laden is pretty obvious and is a slip of the tongue that even experience newscasters have made. My spell check must know something as it want to change “Obama” to “Osama.”  More and more writers are avoiding this by spelling the dead terrorist’s name “Usama,” which is in fact closer to the actual Arabic.

Buraq Obama is a bit subtler.  The buraq was the flying steed that transported Muhammed to Jerusalem and back one night. Then there is Obamatollah.

Some, such as Obongo( although this first one could be a reference to long time dictator Omar Bongo of Gabon) and Obango might be considered racist.  T’Won(the one) and Teh Won are reminiscent of some of the idiosyncratic spelling in names favored by some African Americans.  Not all of these names are derived directly from the president’s name.

There is “Chocolate Jesus.”  Before calling “racism,” one should consider that this is likely derived from “Chicago Jesus,” coined by David Axelrod. Others of this sort are “Captain Zero” and” “President Downgrade,” commemorating the president’s presiding over the first ever downgrading of U.S. credit.

Others refer to Mr. Obama’s performance in office: Obumble, which also produces the morphological variants Obumbler and Obumbles.

 HomObama? I don’t think so!

There are many more.

In Arthur C. Clarke’s 1953 story “The Nine Billion Names of God”  the universe comes to an end when some Tibetan monks use a super computer to write out all the possible names of God. President Obama is still a long way from nine billion names, but if he’s around for another four years he will easily garner another ninety nine or more.  In that case the stars will not fall from the sky as they did in the story, but the Stars and Stripes may well.

 

Slightly more than 99 names follow:

Obumbles Obumbler
Al-Obama
Bamster
Barack huisinsane Obama
Barpuke Ovomit
Barrack Ebola
BO
Buraq Obama
Captain Zero
Chocolate Jesus
Chicago Jesus
D’One
DuhBama
DumBama
Duoh!Bama
Farouk Obama
HoBama
HugoBama
Insane Hussein
Kim Il Bo
Maobama
Obamugabe
Nobama
NoMoBama
O-hole
O’Bama
O’bomber
Obambi
Obama bin Laden
Obama bin Lyin
Obamaa+
Obamadon’tcare
Obamamismo
Obamamuhammed
Obamanazi
Obamanocchio
ObamaMussolini
Obamanure
ObamatollaH(ps)
Obambabm
Obambi
Obamessiah
Obamoron
Obamugabe
Obamunist
Obango
Obi Wan
Obie
Obimbo
Oblame-o Oblamer
Obleeep
Oblhblah
Oblivious
Oblooper
Obloviator
Oblowme
Oblunderer
Obombya
Obomination
Obominator
Obongo
Obooboo
OBootie(Michjelle)
Obozo
Obumbler
Obumbler
Obumfuk
Obysmal
Odamnbama
Odubya
Odumass
Odumbo
OhbiteMe
OhCrap
OhNO!
OhPoop
OhShit
Olameass
OmarBama
Ososorry
Ovomit
Ozero
Showbama
T’Wan
Teh Won
Zerobama
homobama
Obamamismo
Bamster
Farouk Obama
DaONe
Barpuke Ovomit
OHDAMMMIT
Yo!Bama
hIS onE-nESS
B-hole
HoBama
Occupier inc hief
Obamocuppier
Urkel
Zerobama

Twits at the BBC Provide 21 More Reasons to Vote for Romney/Ryan

22 October 2012 Last updated at 23:21 GMT

BBC poll: Rest of world favours Obama

A Beeb poll conducted in 21 nations around the world shows President Obama the clear favorite. I can just imagine the newsroom folks cackling sententiously as they make American jokes with appallingly bad Texas accents. As an expatriate working among mostly Brits and Aussies I was constantly being condescend to, and was met with utter incredulity when I objected.  As far as I am concerned these 21 nations are 21 more reasons to vote for the Romney –Ryan ticket. Except for perhaps in his own mind, Mr. Obama is not running for President of the world, but maybe he should, as the past four years show him to be singularly unfit for the job of President of the United States.

Among a certain set in the U.S., largely the same demographic that enjoys British period drama series on PBS, this survey will serve as confirmation of their own place among the smug global elect.  After all, the rest of the world agrees with us, so we must be right.  Things are  in my view, unfortunately – changing, but historically the US hasn’t much cared what the rest of the world thought, and this may be the single most important reason why we are still here.

Let’s look at the world that so many in the Obama camp think we should emulate.

First there is Europe.  There has always been a certain summer in Tuscany set that thought the European way far superior to the disordered and rapid pace of American life. While we work long hours, they are sitting in cafes sipping fine coffee and discussing, well,

important stuff.

What one needs to remember is that, despite recent demographic shifts, a majority of

Saint Bartholomew’s Day massacre in Paris on 24 August 1572. 70,000 Hugenot protestants murdered.

Americans are descended from people who thought their lives depended on getting the hell out of Europe.  This was a rather sensible outlook.  Why would thoughtful people with some gumption wish to remain on the continent that gave us Wars of Religion, and wars of succession where armies battled and looted to advance the

The alfresco cafe is now a part of the American scene. The coffee at 7-11 is pretty darn good, too.

hereditary prerogatives of whoever had married whichever princess, somewhere, sometime.

And that was the good stuff, just a warm up for the total wars of ideology.

Well, now in the US we have fine coffee, outdoor cafes and, while we still don’t have long vacations, even in the current downturn, a lot more of us have jobs than do over  on the other side. We are grateful for some of our European heritage.  After all, we gained our independence based on our rights as Englishmen, and our founders were profoundly influenced by the Enlightenment, both French and Scottish.

Thus is it is sad for us to look at Britain, where the same elite that staffs the BBC

In Britain they haven’t quite figured out thoughtcrime, but crimespeak will get you finds and/or jail. The black and white hands would seem to have anticipated the ruling multicutural ideology.

unilaterally decided to overwhelm its native people with an alien and unassimilable horde because, well, because it would be neat to have more “diversity.” This disarmed and helpless populace could do little about it if they wanted to, as under their “unwritten constitution,” which is none at all, they can be taken into custody for such Orwellian offenses as “conspiring to commit a public nuisance” or” damaging community cohesion.”  We are grateful to Mr. Orwell for providing us the language to describe this madness, but wish his countrymen had listened a little more closely. The ruling class has little fear of change as the brutal and demeaning class system remains in lace, destroying the working class’s sense of self worth from the cradle on, and anesthetizing a large part of  it with the dole.

King John signs the Magna Carta 1215. It helps when you write stuff down.

Somehow, after a promising start at Runnymede you never quite found your way.

Then there is France.  Her revolution was  the model for every bloody vanguard of the proletariat uprising since, and the monster this nation laid to rest at Les Invalides gave the world total war.  Still, the wine and cheese are great, and the movies, well, I think a lot of us were faking when we hung out, smoked and drank coffee while discussing the Nouvelle Vague.  We don’t smoke anymore and our wine and cheese have gotten pretty awesome.

From the Time of that latter Louises until now, statism has been your way of life, andt he results have been mixed to say the least. It enabled you to wage war, but not to win.

“Third of May” Francisco Goya. Napoleon’s troops shoot civilians. An archetype for countless atrocities over the next century and a half.

Germany, well while we are grateful for the industriousness of the many Germans whose descendants are still a major segment our population, the less said about you, the better.

         It’s as if Goya were clairvoyant.

Spain has been an indirect, but still major influence on our history because she bequeathed her system to our neighbors. Latin America may prefer Obama, but there is no reason to listen.  A continent yet to pull itself out of the seventeenth century feudal mercantilist economic and social structures bequeathed it by Iberia has nothing to teach us.  One has only to look at the telenovelas so popular around the world, or pictures of the ruling classes, to marvel at the almost uniformly white faces in a continent whose inhabitants are predominantly brown and black.

We’re grateful for the great food, exotic cocktails, and wonderful music, but have no interest in the dizzying and manic array of social organizations you have attempted to solve your problems.  Military dictatorships, collectivism, crypto socialists, fascist populists, race based oligarchies, messianic leaders combinng the qualities of caudillo, cacique and shaman come and go down there, but we are still here.

Asian ladies are a highlight of any trip to the symphony these days.

As for Asia, even better than the fine cuisines you’ve brought our way are the industry and success of your emigrants, who, like the Europeans before them, had to leave their ancient lands so as to thrive. We’ll take your engineers, physicists, classical musicians and entrepreneurs, but you can keep your caste systems and oligarchic collectives.

In Africa, perhaps the affection for Mr. Obama there is based on a sense of him as a native son made good.  He has certainly done nothing else of benefit for that struggling continent. We are happy to welcome arrival such as Alioune Niass, the Senegalese street vendor who helped foil the 2010 Times Square bombing plot, but want no part of the conditions that drove him across the Atlantic.

Arabian American OIl Company’s(ARAMCO) first producing well, Dammam #8, 1938.

Then there is the Middle East.  No one would pay any attention to you were it not for the fortunate placement of hydrocarbons in your region, and you would not have that had not the  British and Americans found it for you.  Please, refrain from boastful myth about inventions you had nothing to do with.  Arabic numerals came from India. What you did do was over a millennium ago, and your real thinkers and doers of that time you imprisoned or killed, as you do today.

So, you see, we don’t care what any of you think about who should lead us.  We take from you what is good, and leave you the rest.  And now, we will ignore your advice, and elect a man who looks to us, not to you.

.

Randy Newman Has No Reason To Live

After all, he’s an old (born 1943) white guy. And these days nobody much gives a shit about white guys, especially if they are old, and don’t work in the Left Coast entertainment industry or are paid up members of the Right Coast chattering classes.. So, in the typical  submissive pose adopted by liberals towards the blinding authenticity of minorities, Mr. Newman has written a song mocking white people.

The song, “I’m Dreaming of a White President” was hailed by NBC Entertaiment :

” Randy Newman has released a swooning, lyrically wicked new cut, “I’m Dreaming,” that finds the songwriter stepping into the shoes of a narrator who’s “dreaming of a white President/ Someone whom we can understand/ Someone who knows where we’re coming from.”

Mr Newman says:

“For me it’s a reaction to the Republican Party, which seems to have drifted farther to the right than a major party has drifted in my lifetime in any direction,” added Newman. “It seems to have become almost a radical party. The hate and . . . I don’t think it’ll last. That kind of thing doesn’t seem to last.”

The Hollywood Reporter and the New Yorker are on board as well, with the latter praising “the heavily ironized refrain:”  “Heavily” is the operative word; leaden, in fact. Liberal wit seems to be based on cliched articles of faith with which they hope to beat their audience into submission.

In the Reporter, Newman says;

“I think there are a lot of people who find it jarring to have a black man in the White House and they want him out,” Newman said in a press release. “They just can’t believe that there’s not a more qualified white man. You won’t get anyone, and I do mean anyone, to admit it.”

What Mr. Newman, and the sorts  who read the Reporter and New Yorker, cannot comprehend is that there are legions who believe there are many more qualified to hold the President’s job, of both genders and any range of colors,

The song writer is  putting over the baseless( and by this time, utterly tedious) but unquestioned trope that anyone opposed to President Obama is a racist, because the President is black. Mocking people for the color of their skin is not of course, hate, when that skin is white.

Newman has written a theme song for what has been an ecstatic festival of white liberals flagellating others for being white and disagreeing with them. He needn’t have made the effort. Simply take his classic “Short People,” which says the little guys have no reason to live, and substitute “white people.”

Geoffrey Dunn  of the Huffington Post described the Tampa GOP Convention as “Snooze Fest–better known as the Gathering of Pasty White People-”  and looked forward in dizzy ancticipation to the opportunity to mock Old White Guy Clint Eastwood, who was once mayor of “the upscale and frighteningly white community of Carmel” (Mr. Dunn lives in Santa Cruz, California, not exactly overrun with brothers, either)

Mr. Eastwood did not disappoint, his Empty Chair routine throwing out red – er, white – meat for Caucasian  paleface haters. Sen Tom Harkin(D) of Iowa said “I got to thinking he is the perfect icon for today’s Republican tea party: an old angry white man spewing incoherent nonsense.”

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews is a dependable source of incoherent nonsense. He describes the GOP message as “a relentless dog whistle” that “treats black voters with disdain and treats white people like well, well-trained canines.” Those opposed to this racist assault should be “be on the alert for the tribal messages, the war drums of racial division” says Mr. Matthews.

Now that reminds me of those old movies where the planter says “The natives are restless tonight,”  a little bit racist, dontcha think?  In any case, Matthews is allowed to say such things without accusations of dog whistling because he’s a white guy who doesn’t like white guys

Joan Walsh of Salon has a nifty little cash cow gonig with her hate on white guys.  During the primaries she described Republican Newt Gingrich as the “Face Of ‘Resentment, Racism And Angry White Male Rage’ and can be found all over the net talking about aggrieved whites and hawking her new book “What’s the Matter with White People: Why We Long for a Golden Age That Never Was” ( I’m not giving this bitch a link to Amazon!)

You get the picture.  Examples of this phnomenon are endless.  I’m not about to go into a Stormfront( no link for them, either) style rant on race traitors.  It’s far simpler than that: These people want to hang ot with the cool kids, and they are not old and white. President Obama is the sine qua non of cool kids these days.

Whites are white; they cannot be non white, but they can apologize for their whiteness and thus hope to earn their way into the charmed inner circle. It’s amusing, at first glance, but deeply disquieting given some thought. Barack Obama was to be the post racial president, and has instead brought race back to the forefront, as a place marker and bargaining chip. Early in the campaign season, I wrote with of tentative optimism about race relations in America, specifically between blacks and whites.  My sanguinity was unfounded. Mr Obama has given us no hope that race can ever be overcome, and has opted against change, instead cleaving to divisive interest group politics, well beyond the simple black-white divide, a 21st century high tech social networked Tammany Hall, with a society fractured along uncounted fault lines of self interest defined by grievance. .

Race politics are here to stay.  There are too many people, with too much invested, for them to vanish.

In fact, racial analysis of society is a growth industry in academia, with courses and departments devoted to exposing “white privilege,” even as America becomes more and more mutiracial. This invidious subversion creates an endless feedback loop as participants embrace their roles of victim and penitent former oppressor.

And it spreads far beyond campuses and think tanks, informing the world views of ordinary people. Recently, I had a Twitter encounter with a young Latina.  She wrote that “White” equalled wealth and privelege.  A few more tweets and she conceded that white did not necessarily equal wealth, but that privilege was given. She had to admit that all white people were not rich,  as her partner was one, as was the father of her child.

This nastiness, wherein  race hustlers push their ideologies, can then divide families.

I know, because this is true for me. One daughter studies public administration and writes her thesis on racial profiling.  She looks mixed – if you now that she is. Yet she has thrown her lot with those who would divide us, and is canny enough to see potential gain in her position.

The other daughter, while pale, does not at all look Caucasian.  She told me not long ago that in a mandatory “diversity training” session, the trainer singled her out, and said “This looks like someone who may have been treated differently bcause she looks different.”

My daughter replied, “Not until now,” and flipped her off when she turned back to the white board.

She is angry about all this and so am I.  First there was sadness, but in the end anger is just. I never enslaved, nor discriminated, nor disparaged anyone because of race.  And this is what I get for my good will. This poison is spread for political and career gain, and those who do so do not think of the social and psychic wreckage they create.

I’m old.

I’m angry.

I’m white.

To paraphrase the great Ring Lardner,

“Fuck you,” he explained.

President Obama No Longer Promising Change, but Asking for Yours

President Obama’s reelection campaign is nothing if not consistently innovative in seeking ways to scoop up the scattered caches of spare cash remaining in his bankrupt country.  First there was the Dinner with Barack lottery, then the Obama Event Registry, and the First Lady’s suggestion that Americans give up pizza nights in support of the POTUS.

Here’s an empty chair for you to set out in your driveway when you give your Yard Sale for Obama

Now we have Yard Sale for Obama.

The Campaign is asking supporters to organize yard sales and donate the proceeds to the President’s reelection effort.

What’s next, national look under the sofa cushions for spare change for Obama day?

Many of the President’s opponents have criticized his disregard for the law as in his executive order allowing children of illegal aliens to apply for scholarships and work.

In the case of the presidential yard sale, the Chief Executive may be violating his administration’s rules. The Federal Government’s recent Resale Round Up initiative is aimed at the resale of dangerous toys.  This may sound like a good idea, but not only shady operators, but everyday Americans selling things they may not know have been recalled are subject to penalty.

As a Mcclatchy News story comments:

“Those who resell recalled children’s products are not only breaking the law, they are putting children’s lives at risk,” said Inez Tenenbaum, the recently confirmed chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The crackdown affects sellers ranging from major thrift-store operators such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army to everyday Americans cleaning out their attics for yard sales, church bazaars or — increasingly — digital hawking on eBay, Craigslist and other Web sites.

Secondhand sellers now must keep abreast of recalls for thousands of products, some of them stretching back more than a decade, to stay within the bounds of the law.

In this instance, the Consumer Product Safety Commission seems determined to protect us from ourselves.  One wonders where “Reuse and Recycle” fits in all this.  Online resale is a boon to anyone wishing to make or save a few bucks, and these days there are more and more Americans in that category.  With eBay, Amazon and other sites, garage sales have gone national, if not global, creating millions of part time merchandisers.

We’ve all seen the stories of authorities busting some kid’s lemonade stand.  Can we now expect to see Feds busting yard sales?.  Perhaps DHS could get in on this, as they have already shown their animus for informal commerce in Baltimore their flea market bust  earlier this year.

What is sauce for the goose is not always sauce for the gander.  The preening gander in the White House is now asking the geese who flock in his wake to pluck themselves.

.

The US Economy 2012: All Hail the Farmers and Workers Soviets

Farmers! Workers! The Party( Which one?  Doesn’t matter.) Fight for You!

 

Earlier in the week, the President reached into his stash and produced $170 million to “help” livestock producers by directing the federal government to step up meat purchases.

The caption for this photo in Businessweek was”Pigs at the Lehmann Brothers Farms LLC in Strawn, Illinois. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg.” But actually, it’s Lehman Brothers with one “N” and it’s not the Wall Street guys. Too bad, I could really have riffed on that.

As a result of the this  year’s drought –and the permanent mandate that 40% of the U.S. corn crop be turned into ethanol – feed prices are rising so that producers are selling animals for slaughter early, thus leading to a glut, and lower costs to consumers.

Can’t have that.

From Bloomberg:

Obama said he also directed the Defense Department to speed up purchases and hold the meat for later use. The buying will help farmers, and the government will get a better price on products than if they were bought later, he said.

So, the government – which uses our money, and the money it borrows on our behalf -, will get a better price, while we pay more.

Nowadays, you aren’t allowed to call stuff like this cheese. “Processed cheese food” is the correct nomenclature. Lasts forever, and rates and roaches won’t touch it.

What rally floored me about this was that the government is still buying food commodities  directly.  I thought the era of government cheese was long since over.   I know people who remember receiving a Velveeta like substance in waxed cardboard boxes( and thus the origin of the urban vernacular term “cheese,’ meaning money, but I had assumed that USG these days put its food requirements out to tender on the open market for ready to use products.

Wrong.

The President went on to say:

“We’ll freeze it for later — but we’ve got a lot of freezers,” Obama told supporters in Council Bluffs as he kicked off a three-day visit to Iowa, a swing state that is also the country’s leading producer of pork, soybeans, corn and ethanol. “That will help ranchers, you know, who are going through tough times right now.”

 

So somewhere, the Government has a whole heap of foodstuffs frozen for whenever or whatever.

Have you heard of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service(AMS)?  I hadn’t.

AMS Commodity Procurement Division purchases a variety of food products in support of the National School Lunch Program and other food assistance programs. These purchases also help to stabilize prices in agricultural commodity markets by balancing supply and demand.

I thought supply and demand balanced themselves.  One requirement for government jobs must be that one not have taken Econ 101, and this applies apparently, not only to the permanent bureaucracy but to the executive and legislative branches as well..  The hoary grail of “price stability” dates back to the New Deal, if not the Wilson war time administration.  Price stability, one could note was a characteristic of the old Soviet Union, where prices remained the same for decades, for phantom goods stocked on empty shelves.

Coming from California, I well remember periodic uproars over the high price of lettuce( we do love our salads) during seasonal price spikes that were entirely predictable. After a lot of hot air in Sacramento, during which debates I found something else for the salad bowl, $1.59 head lettuce sooner or later when down to $.59, two for a buck on coupon days.

FDR’s Agricultural Adjustment Act was not popular. Nor did it make sense: a depression is characterized by a severe drop in output. Mandating an additional reduction leads to…more depression. Nor was destroying food food popular when so many went hungry. In the previous decade, the Bolsheviks had taken a different approach, simply stealing all the food and leaving the farmers to starve. So, I guess we’ve made some progress.

I suppose this is better than buying food and destroying it, as was done in New Deal Days, although the ethanol program comes close, taking food off the market to produce a fuel with less BTU yield than the fossil fuel used to produce it.

This kind of nonsense crosses administrations, party lines and decades.  The best agricultural policy would be none at all.  Ask yourself this: have you ever gone down to the store and found that there wasn’t any food?  Yet governments remain convinced that they can get it right so that in Europe,  once known for mountains of surplus dairy products, Norway can also experience as it did not long ago, a butter shortage.

Old timers in Indonesia where I was raised, and now live, fondly recall when government employees and workers in large firms were paid in a mix of commodities and cash. A barely developed consumer economy, largely lacking infrastructure, and periodic hyper inflation made this a valuable perk.

This former “third world” country(Now classified as lower middle income by the U.N.)has largely abandoned such practices, while we seem to be a heading for a future in which a large part of the population lines up for government cheese.

It gets worse:  When I saw a link on Drudge to a story on Labor Department subsidies  for payrolls in the states, I assumed it meant state and local governments, the destination of a good deal of stimulus funds, but to my amazement when I went back and had a look, I found this:

US Labor Department announces nearly $100 million in grants available for states to implement, improve short-time compensation or ‘work sharing’

In other words, funds will be provided  so that private employers can avoid layoffs. Now, in the US economy, 100 million isn’t a whole lot, and when apportioned among the states the amounts are laughably small, as the Labor Department  graphic shows, indeed so small that one wonders if the administrative cost will exceed the benefit, as is the case for the entire US government anti poverty effort, which if simply divided by the number of poor people, and then disbursed to them, would lift all of them over the poverty line, with a bit  of a surplus to boot.

What isn’t laughable here is the principle:  In a small part, the government is going to be paying the wages of some private sector employees.  Keep going, and, one day, you have state socialism.

So, this is manifest evidence of the Obama administration’s commitment to government management of the economy, right?  Well,  it isn’t.  You will find this odd program as subtitle D in HR3630, best known for its extension of the payroll tax cut, but which contains all kinds of other little goodies like this one.

I don’t know whose idea this was.  Rep Pelosi didn’t care for the bill at all, but she doesn’t mention this part, so perhaps it was a Democrat effort. It really doesn’t matter  It’s a proudly owned GOP bill..  Republicans have quite rightly decried Federal subsidies to state and local government payrolls.  Do similar – albeit, at this stage, far smaller – subsidies to private payrolls have virtues that those advocated by democrats do not?

The only virtue the mainstream Republican party has is that it is not the Democratic party, and that, rather than being a virtue, is just smaller scale vice, and smaller only due to lack of opportunity rather than any overriding principle.

Both parties claim to work for the benefit of the middle class, want to help struggling farmers and workers, but

The old German DDR symbol has grain for agriculture and the traditional hammer of industry, but also a calipers signifying technology. This might be closer to the mark for today’s emerging collective. Perhaps an iPad substituted for the calipers.

reach for power by favoring one group over another as it suits them. Those attracted by these blandishments should remember that that icon of oppression, the hammer and sickle, was first thought to represent the tools of honest labor, but in the end were used to crush  all into a dependent class, and to cut down any who dared to rise.