Posts tagged ‘thugocracy’

Censure the President

Our so-called constitutional conservatives treat the national charter the way a certain kind of Christian treats the Bible: They like to carry around copies of it, to wave it at their rivals, to talk about it, and to treat it as a kind of magic item — but if you should suggest they actually read it or apply it, well, that sounds awfully idealistic.

It is painful, and a little embarrassing, to listen to conservatives try to rationalize President Donald Trump’s plainly illegal attack on the government of murderous Syrian caudillo Bashar al-Assad. Each rationalization is shallower and sillier than the last.

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One of the things that are supposed to distinguish conservatives from progressives — and once did — is an abiding respect for, even a cherishing of, process. Woodrow Wilson and his ilk despised the Constitution, just as our would-be political-speech police despise it today, because it stands in the way of what they believe to be the right thing. And no doubt it sometimes does stand in the way of the right thing — the point of the Constitution is to create a political order with a particular character, not to ensure that we get our preferred outcome in every federal matter. To see conservatives adopt the outcome-above-order attitude in a matter as important as launching a preemptive war in Syria is dispiriting.

Congressional Republicans have two choices: One, they can censure the president and insist that no further action be taken without legal authorization. Two, they can stop calling themselves “constitutional conservatives,” because those who knuckle under now are no such thing.

Censure the President

Ozymandias

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Our Responsibility to Criticize Islam

“If Islam is such a hair-trigger religion that the slightest offense might radicalize adherents, there is something radically wrong with the religion itself.”

Anyone with a thorough understanding of Islamic culture and religion could have predicted that, even without the 2015-16 flood of Muslim migrants, the steady flow of Muslim immigrants over the years would create a combustible situation. The amazing thing is that the consequences of this massive migration were never discussed – except in glowing terms. Just about the only thing allowed to be said about the migrants was that they would solve labor shortages, refill welfare coffers, and bring cultural enrichment to Europe.

That was the official line. Anyone who deviated from it could expect censure, possible job loss, or even a criminal trial. Say something negative about Muslim immigration on your Facebook page and you would be visited by police. Say it in public and you would receive a court summons. It didn’t matter if you were a famous writer (Oriana Fallaci), the President of the Danish Free Press Society (Lars Hedegaard), or a popular member of the Dutch Parliament (Geert Wilders). If you couldn’t say something nice about Islam, then you shouldn’t say anything at all.

Practically no one spoke up about no-go-zones, sharia courts, polygamy, and forced marriages, refusal to integrate, crime waves, and the rape epidemic. Now that many are finally beginning to speak out, it may be too late to avoid capitulation (Sweden’s likely fate) or bloody conflict (more likely in France).

The very argument that criticism of Islam will drive moderates into the radical camp suggests that criticism is needed. If Islam is such a hair-trigger religion that the slightest offense might radicalize adherents, there is something radically wrong with the religion itself. We don’t worry that criticizing Catholicism is going to produce angry Catholic mobs rampaging through the streets. We don’t fear that one wrong word is going to cause a young Southern Baptist to strap on a suicide belt.

Islam invites criticism. Given its bloody past and present, it would be highly irresponsible not to subject it to a searching analysis and critique. Such a critique would not aim at alienating Muslims (although some will inevitably be alienated), but at alerting likely victims of jihad.

One of the basics that non-Muslims need to know is that Islam divides the world in two – the House of Islam, and the House of War (all non-Islamic societies). And every Muslim is expected to do his part to make the House of War submit to the House of Islam. Europeans are now experiencing a “don’t-know-what-hit-me” sense of bewilderment because they never learned this basic fact about Islam.

Our Responsibility to Criticize Islam

Related:

In Israel, Arab communities live in peace with their neighbors, they vote, and Arabs hold high public office. In the West Bank (the historic regions of Judea and Samaria), Jewish communities have to live under constant, armed protection or they face slaughter. Indeed, in the event that a true Palestinian state ever exists, one of its first orders of business will be a spate of ethnic cleansing. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told Egyptian journalists, “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands.” In other words, remove the Jews, or we’ll remove them for you.

Make no mistake, when Palestinians imagine their own state, they don’t imagine a multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracy. Instead, they imagine yet another intolerant, Muslim-dominated ethnic enclave. That’s their vision of “peace.” That’s their vision of statehood. No Jews in Judea. I’m not clear which American “value” dictates that we lift one single finger to facilitate such mindless hate.

Which American Value Dictates That Jews Can’t Live in Judea or Samaria?

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We all stand on the shoulders of giants

Every normal person understands that every one of us stands on the shoulders of giants. Newton, Einstein, Aristotle, the inventors of the danish, and so on. And, though the West gave the East computers and plastic, and the East gave the West gunpowder and silk, undergraduates have given us nothing. But that’s not their fault — they’re young and innocent. They know nothing. You can’t blame an undergraduate for panicking about cultural appropriation any more than you can blame a puppy for chewing up your baseball mitt. That’s why these kids are in school — to learn things.

The spineless, weaselly deans and presidents of America’s universities should try to remember that.

The Liberal Fantasy of Cultural Appropriation, by Josh Gelernter

Moral preening. Ozymandias

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Race-Baiter in Chief, Praetorian Media, and Praetorian Academics

I’d like to hear from some representatives of the Hispanic community. How do they feel about President Obama driving a wedge deeper and deeper between blacks and Hispanics? Is he just arrogant enough to think that the Democrats can count on their votes in 2016, no matter what? Is he right? Why is it okay to make a Hispanic guy an Enemy of the State for defending his own life against an attacker?

And why is it racist to ask these things?

Obama goes full race-baiter

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A Man For All Seasons

If we are to have a nation of laws to guide ourselves, how do we draw these vague, fuzzy lines where the law ceases to apply, where it’s a free for all, where there is no longer a fixed right and wrong and everything becomes a matter of feelings, assumptions and personal perspective? Yankah may be write that race and law cannot be cleanly separated in our collective consciousness, but then we cease to be a nation of laws when we ignore one for the other.

What Would Atticus Have Done?

Reminded me of this scene from A Man For All Seasons – Giving the Devil the Benefit of Law:

Continue reading ‘A Man For All Seasons’ »

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Free Speech and Independence Day

Just as I cannot morally consent to give the government the power to take your freedom of speech or travel or privacy, you cannot consent to give the government the power to take mine. This is the principle of the natural law: We all have areas of human behavior in which each of us is sovereign and for the exercise of which we do not need the government’s permission. Those areas are immune from government interference.

That is at least the theory of the Declaration of Independence, and that is the basis for our 237-year-old American experiment in limited government, and it is the system to which everyone who works for the government today pledges fidelity.
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The litany of the loss of freedom is sad and unconstitutional and irreversible. The government does whatever it can to retain its power, and it continues so long as it can get away with it. It can listen to your phone calls, read your emails, seize your DNA and challenge your silence, all in violation of the Constitution. Bitterly and ironically, the government Jefferson wrought is proving the accuracy of Jefferson’s prediction that in the long march of history, government grows and liberty shrinks. Somewhere Jefferson is weeping.

A Not-So-Happy Fourth of July

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“Is this still America?”

This is not good. This is very bad. Very, very bad.

The IRS under the Obama administration painted targets on the backs of conservatives beginning in 2010, and ousted acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller apologized to the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday. But members on both sides of the aisle were furious, and castigated him for the mismanagement and political gamesmanship the IRS engaged in on his watch.

Texas Republican congressman Kevin Brady had the harshest criticism for Miller.

‘Is this still America?’ he asked him.

‘Is this government so drunk on power that it would turn its full force, its full might, to harass, and intimidate, and threaten an average American who only wants her voice, their voices heard?’

‘The American public deserves better,’ Miller agreed. But both he and J. Russell George, the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration, insisted that no IRS employees engaged in political witch-hunting.

‘Is this still America?’ Congressional hearing turns into IRS smackdown as disgraced former commissioner and Treasury Inspector General face tea-party scandal questions

Very bad. This is thugocracy run amok.

And the IRS is the agency responsible for administering Obamacare penalties? YIKES!

Uh oh: Democrat Baucus warns: More to come out on IRS scandal

The revelations also spurred calls for investigations into the practices of the administration of President Barack Obama and allegations of a potential cover-up operation.

“It’s an abuse of power and it smells of Watergate,” said Bob Quasius, the president of the conservative Latino group Café con Leche, referring to the political scandal that led to the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

“I think it goes to the top levels of his administration,” Quasius added. “If it doesn’t directly connect to him it at least connects to someone close to him.”

Conservative Hispanic Groups Targeted In IRS Scandal

Ozymandias

Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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Hugo Chavez: Thug and Dictator

Hugo se murió

Hugo Chavez is dead. He leaves behind a country ruined by populist policies he referred to as “Socialism of the 21st Century.” Venezuela under 14 years of Chavez’s leadership benefited from about $1 trillion in revenues from the oil bonanza but has little to show for it. Instead, the country has largely followed the path described by economists Rudi Dornbusch and Sebastian Edwards in their 1991 classic, The Macroeconomics of Populism in Latin America.
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Venezuela’s economy, kept afloat by the long commodity boom, has not yet collapsed. But it is headed for crisis.

The Chávez Record

It’s stunning what people will excuse if the right magic words are sprinkled over the repression.
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It’s easy to mock [Hugo] Chavez because of his outspoken anti-American attitudes but you know what? That wasn’t the problem with Chavez. He was a thug and a dictator who, like all such despots, spent most of his time and energy destroying the lives of the people he was supposed to help. That’s his real crime – not taking swipes at George W. Bush or attacking the U.S. during overlong U.N. speeches.

And that’s why it’s pathetic to see fools like {Representative] Jose Serrano [(D-NY)] making excuses for a guy who first and foremost hurt the people he supposedly cared about so goddamn much.

Rep. Jose Serrano on Hugo Chavez: “a leader that understood the needs of the poor.”

Venezuela long ago ceased to be a real democracy: The ruling regime effectively controls the Supreme Court (which in 2004 was expanded and packed with Chávez allies), the National Assembly (which in 2010 granted Chávez the authority to rule by decree for 18 months), and the National Electoral Council (which repeatedly allowed Chávez supporters to violate election laws and rules during the country’s 2012 presidential campaign), not to mention the armed forces and the federal police.

For that matter, Venezuela long ago ceased to be a country with real press freedom or real economic freedom. Besides imposing a series of draconian restrictions on media content, the Chávez government has “blocked critical coverage, closed broadcasters, sued reporters for defamation, excluded those it deems unfriendly from official events, and harassed — with the help of government allies and state-run media — critical journalists,” as the Committee to Protect Journalists detailed in an August 2012 report. It is a regime that seizes not only television and radio stations, but also banks, oil facilities, cement plants, food factories, sugar plantations, and much else.

The Chávez Legacy in Venezuela

Dead at 58, Hugo Chávez leaves behind a country in far worse condition than it was when he became president, its future clouded by rivals for succession in a constitutional crisis of his Bolivarian party’s making and an economy in chaos.

A former paratrooper, Mr. Chávez had a radical vision for “21st Century Socialism,” which was never fully explained. His skillful rhetoric, which filled supporters with utopian dreams, was used to justify the methodical destruction of Venezuela’s democratic institutions and the free market.
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In an energy-rich country that once knew no blackouts, electrical shortages are frequent, the result of Mr. Chávez’s plundering of the country’s public oil company. In a country that once enjoyed a thriving free market, prices are controlled and food items often scarce.
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For Venezuelans, the worst aspect of the Chávez years was the soaring crime rate. Venezuela has become one of the most violent countries in the world, with nearly 20,000 murders recorded in 2011 and a homicide rate that some experts say is four times greater than in the last year before Mr. Chávez took power.

On the international front, Mr. Chávez eagerly accepted Fidel Castro as his mentor, providing Cuba with cut-rate oil and making common cause with Iran and other rogue regimes. His departure leaves the anti-American front leaderless on a hemispheric level and could eventually threaten the subsidy that Cuba relies on to keep its economy barely functioning.

As a result of all this, Venezuela today is a polarized society divided between the intolerant supporters of Mr. Chávez’s Bolivarian Revolution and a democratic opposition that, against all odds, has waged a courageous fight for a democratic alternative

Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and his legacy of plunder

Ozymandias

Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. We also need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT).

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The Sycophantic 4th Estate

The lamestream media is comprised of a bunch of sycophants. And mostly stupid arrogant sycophants to boot.

PES

What Woodward, Fournier and more than a few other Washington journalists ought to regret is the degree to which they have allowed themselves to become personally attached to the presidency of Barack Obama.

Bob Woodward and the lonely lives of White House reporters.

Engaged a relentless battle against time and fatigue, a select group of message scientists assembled by the White House’s Center for Narrative Control say they will take “all steps necessary” to contain a recent outbreak of scrutonium, a deadly poll-eating supervirus that attacks the immuno-hope system, leaving victims vulnerable to material facts.

“Failure is simply not an option,” said an exhausted Mission Chief David Axelrod. “If left unchecked, this virus may actually force us to move back to Chicago.”
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