Monday, July 6, 2015

Thanks For the Heads Up, Barack!

President Obama: 'We Will Never Be At War With Islam'

You may not be at war with Islam, Barry, but significant parts of Islam are at war with you (and us).

Pro-Al Quds Day Writer Highlights, Salutes the Toronto Khomeinists' Zionhass

The Ayatollah aficionado writes:
Ayatollah Khomeini stated, “The issue of al-Quds is not a private or personal issue. It is neither the exclusive problem of one country nor a present-day problem of all Muslims. Rather, it is a phenomenon concerning the monotheists and faithful people of all ages – past, present and future.” 
The attempts by western leaders, in the grip of Zionism and determined to undermine Iran’s popularity among those who oppose Israeli occupation of Palestine, is demonstrated year after year. Living in Canada, I watch how the Zionist organizations, B’nai Brith and the Jewish Defense League, spread their hate speech in the mainstream media, where short shrift is given to the Palestinian cause. Nonetheless, support for the Palestinian cause is strong in Toronto and despite government refusal to issue a permit to organizers (the PanAm Games take precedence), the demonstration will proceed. 
Last year 5,000 demonstrated, faced by threats from 1,000 Zionists, necessitating a heavy police presence. No other cause unites Canadians around international justice like the cause of the Palestinians. Organizer Seyed Rizvi said 70 organizations took part, including the Jewish Neturei Karta and Independent Jewish Voices. “Our supporters are people who feel bad when they see the pictures and images of what is going on in Palestine. We believe the Zionists are not representative of the Jewish religion. We have seven rabbis here in support of us.”
Au contraire, Ayatollah-breath. It is the Neturei Karta and Independent Jewish Voices who don't reflect Judaism. If they did, we'd have a pretty crappy religion.

Revealing Khameini "Tweet" Features Iran's Chief Nuke Negotiator

On June 30, the Grandiose Ayatollah tweeted his confidence in his nuke negotiations team. "I recognize our negotiators as trustworthy, committed, brave and faithful," said His Grandiosity, who included this team photo:
Embedded image permalink     
I don't mean to jump to conclusions, but it appears to me that the Ayatollah's white-coated nuke team is in one of their boss's "peaceful" nuclear facilities. And see the guy in the middle, the one with the glasses and white beard? That benign-looking chap is none other than John Kerry's sparring partner/chief Iranian nuke negotiator Javad Zarif.

If I were Kerry, I think I'd show Zarif the photo and ask him to 'splain exactly where he is, and what he saw there. (First, however, I'd demand to hook him up to a lie detector.)

Bound to Be an "F" Tifecta: Feckless, Fatuous and Futile

Obama to finally outline strategy for defeating Islamic State

Crazy Town

Welcome to the "sanctuary city" of San Francisco (where No One Is Illegal).

Update: In Canada, Toronto and Hamilton are self-declared "sanctuary cities."

Where Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Argument Re the Possiblity of "Reforming" Islam Falls Flat

Abigail R. Esman nails it, I think, with this:
Radical Muslims are hardly going to listen to her. And because of her often harsh rhetoric over the years, Hirsi Ali has alienated herself so greatly from even “moderate” Muslims that few of them are likely to be eager to follow her direction. 
At the same time, there are millions of “moderate” Muslims. There are even atheist Muslims. (Yes, really.) In that sense, the “reformation” already exists. But it will not move everyone, and it is not moving the extremists any more than it moves extreme, fundamentalists Christians who bomb abortion clinics and Orthodox Jews who abuse women. (Not to mention the fact that I find it unlikely that any priest or rabbi would refer to the Bible as “just a book,” let alone an imam speak this of the Quran. But I could be wrong.) 
And it seems to me that it is especially in Islam that such a global reformation is unlikely: the notions of world domination in a Caliphate and of power over women is too seductive, winning over the heart and mind of the common man. The narcissist who sees himself a hero, the sinner yearning for redemption, the youth raised with convictions of right and wrong that differ from our own but are equally as strong – these men will not let go of this Islam. They will fight to preserve and to empower it across the earth. They are the Islamic State.
It strikes me that Hirsi Ali is one of those non-believers/atheists/secularists (Jonathan Kay is another) who, though eminently reasonable and indubitably rational, simply does not "get" religious belief. That limitation can definitely be a handicap when trying to unpack belief and offer remedies for believers.

My Favorite Marcher

There was a march yesterday in Toronto which protested, well, pretty much everything (with the exception, perhaps, of trans-fats and carnivorism). It was called the "March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate," and it attracted a wide array of the pissed off and the disgruntled, including aging activist/Oscar-winning actress Jane Fonda.
 
But Jane's not my favorite protester--no, not by a long shot. That distinction goes to a bloke named Syed Hussan, who earned this blurb in the Sunday Toronto Star's run-down of some notable marchers:
For Syed Hussan, spokesman for No One Is Illegal - a grassroots advocacy group for migrants - climate change is personal. This crisis, he says, is the "newest result of centuries of exploitation of racialized people by colonization and neocolinization." In a way, Hussan believes Sunday's march could determine the future of the movement, "in so far as it must learn, and take direction and inspiration" from indigenous people and racialized migrants who are at the front lines of the crisis.
In a way, that's a small masterpiece of the jargon and bafflegab that fills the brains of such people. In so far as they can be said to have functioning brains, that is.

Update: Here's a bit more about Hussan, from his rabble bio:
Syed Hussan is an organizer and writer in Toronto working with undocumented and migrant people, in defense of Indigenous sovereignty, and against counter intuitive programs like war and capitalism. He enjoys apocalyptic sci-fi novels, low maintenance plants, not knowing how to drive and reading your comments.
Hey, me too! (What are the odds, eh?) Where Syed and I part company is in thinking that capitalism is "counter intuitive." He'd certainly find himself among the like-minded in, say, Greece, though, where such contrariness/counter-intuitiveness has turned the economy into a swamp of entitlement and dysfunction (non-function, really).

Update: How's this for "counter intuitive"--"social justice" is the root of all evil debt?

Time for a Reality Check Re Omar Khadr's Victimhood Status

Squish-brained Canadians turned "boy soldier" Omar Khadr into a hero (embraced by the chattering classes for having being victimized by the U.S. "bullies" down in Gitmo). But a ruling against him in an American court puts him on the hook to the tune of $134.2 million, money that would  compensate the real victims whom the Omar-adorers conveniently chose to overlook--the children left fatherless by the hand grenade Khadr decided to lob at American Army Medic Sgt. Christopher Speers, and  Lane Morris, the U.S. soldier who lost much of his vision because of the same grenade. Of course, the ruling is largely symbolic; Khadr, who just got out of jail, doesn't have the cash (although he is in the process of trying to collect big bucks--$20 million, to be exact--from the Canadian taxpayer to compensate for his pain and suffering). However, as this editorial in the Toronto Sun correctly notes, the judgment does help put things back into the proper perspective, the one that was upended when Omar's Canadian sob sisters turned him (and only him) into the victim:
Unfortunately, some Canadians treat Khadr as a sort of symbol for the oppressed or for human rights. We don't get it. Sure, reasonable people can take issue with Guantanamo Bay and its court system. But Khadr is the wrong symbol! If you're going to pick someone to rally behind, find someone without blood on their hands. 
The U.S. court ruling is a reminder to everyone that no matter what you think about Khadr's experience in the legal system, his victims matter more.
So true, but there's no way the Khadr-lovers, including his besotted attorney who is suffering from a wicked case of Harper Derangement Syndrome, will concur with that one.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Explaining the Tunisia Beach Carnage

Theodore Dalrymple does so here:
Tunisia is largely dependent economically on its tourist industry, which had already been much affected by political upheavals of the Arab Spring and the attack in March on the Bardo Museum that left 22 tourists dead. Arrivals from France, the most important market for Tunisian holidays, were already down 65 percent from the previous year; tourists like sun, sea and sites, but not at the cost of their lives.  
Tourism can survive a dictatorship such as that of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who ruled the country until 2011, but not a democratically elected government that cannot guarantee security. This attack will therefore achieve two goals for the Islamists: it will make the government more repressive, but in all likelihood ineffectually so, thus earning it the hatred and disdain of the populace. And it will cause severe damage to the Tunisian economy, rendering the economically desperate more likely to listen to extremists and believe that Islamism is a solution to their problems. When chaos comes, people prefer anyone or anything that can re-impose order; where there is anarchy, the most ruthless get to rule. And no one can deny the Islamists their ruthlessness. 
Whether or not a connection can be proved between the beheading in France and the attacks on a Shia mosque in Kuwait that were done on the same day as the butchery in Tunisia, few people will resist the idea that they were connected, ideologically if not organizationally, and that such terrorists pose a worldwide threat.
Dalrymple goes on to shoot down the idea, much vaunted by David Cameron and others, that the slaughter had "nothing to do with Islam":
Supposing that, after the attack on the church in South Carolina by Dylann Roof, someone had said, “This had nothing to do with real racism; real racists are peace-loving people who would never dream of such an attack. All they want is a peaceful world in which whites rule and blacks know their place as racial dhimmis.” What would we think of such a person? What would we think of the implication that, even were it not for his racist ideology, Dylann Roof would still have attacked the church and killed nine people? It is indeed the case that most racists do not attack black churches—otherwise, such attacks would be far more numerous than they are. But to say that Dylann Roof was not motivated by his racism would be absurd. 
For sure. But Roof doesn't offer proof of the lie behind multiculturalism, the prevailing social doctrine. So while no one has a hard time condemning white racists and their ideology, the same cannot be said re the jihadis.

God Bless America--and Let Freedom Ring

Say it loud. Say it proud (not the least because it drives the self-righteous America-loathers crazy).

An anecdote for Independence Day: I'm Canadian, but I'm the mom of a son who was born 17 years ago in the USA. He has dual citizenship, but were you to ask him (and you don't even need to ask him, because he won't hesitate to tell you unsolicited) he would say that he's American.

Proudly and unabashedly American.

Last fall, we had parent-teacher interviews at his school. After raving about our son's knowledge and contributions to the class, his American history teacher told us that so strong is our son's identification with the U.S. that he "comes to class draped in the American flag."

We thought it was a metaphor until the teacher explained that (unbeknownst to us) our son had an American flag stored in his locker, and that he wore it--sans irony and with pride--to every American history class.

Would that Americans living in America were as proud of their country, and of their flag, as my son is.

Have a glorious 4th, Americans. And keep your eyes on that grand old flag despite those ingrates and naysayers who would replace your freedom with the sort of authoritarianism your Founding Fathers balked at and gave the boot to.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Shock of the Old

There's a worthwhile essay in Standpoint, the conservative U.K.-based periodical, about the West's implosion, the buttresses having been knocked down over time by nihilists and other "rebels". The piece includes this summary of the decline of Western art, an exemplar of what remains--i.e. nothing much--once all the taboos have been trashed:
For many centuries, the West’s artistic traditions were held among its most precious assets, for they conveyed — by melody and brushstroke — so many things otherwise inexpressible about who we are. But at the beginning of the 20th century, culture suddenly took a different turn: artists, no longer content simply to loosen the ties and top buttons of convention, stripped themselves completely, doused their clothes in petrol, and set them alight.

Swept by the modernism surging through Europe’s veins, they sought to overturn and recreate everything anew. Declaring their own traditions irrelevant, they butchered them. Schoenberg irrevocably scrambled tonality. Duchamp scribbled a moustache on the Mona Lisa.

The great oaks of Western art were burned to the ground. Today, radical artists are left scouring through the embers, still looking for last traces of life. Their primary target is now the taboo — the unspoken memory of a once-communal system of values. Tracey Emin shows us her unmade bed, strewn with used condoms and bloodied underwear. Damien Hirst suggests that the 9/11 hijackers “need congratulating”. Every last inherited standard — every last comfort — must be torn from us once and for all.

But by trying so hard to wipe its own memory, art comes perilously close to losing its sense of self altogether. Once the shocks no longer shock, what does it stand for? A few generations after the narcotic highs of modernism, the art world has left itself largely brain-dead.  
This tragedy acts as a miniature simulation of just how easily — and quickly — cultures can wither away. And it ought to alarm us to see the same pattern emerging right across Western society.
The preening nihilists are now, ipso-facto, the mainstream, while those of us who value Western standards and traditions have become the rebels, the new counter-culture. That idea is captured in this comment by "The Sanity Inspector":
As for art, the pants-droppers who call themselves artists nowadays ought to watch Kenneth Clark's "Civilisation", and then enlist in the military. If they want to shock me, that would do it.
Me too. Barring that, they could "revert" to Islam and run off to join ISIS, an act that never fails to shock. However, that too loses its shock value once you realize that given a choice between brain-dead modernism and the manifold narcotic highs of waging ISIS-style holy war, some of the West's young'uns are bound to choose the latter.