Monday, September 29, 2014

Daniel Greenfield says that murder and mayhem is a built-in feature of Islam:

The real Islam's symbols carry powerful meanings. The beheading is the final and ultimate meaning. By killing non-Muslims in the name of Allah, its followers become Allah, they gain the power of life and death, to kill and enslave, to rob and rape; they become the murderous masters of creation.

When they say that "Allah made me do it" what they really mean is that the part of them that wants to kill, to rob and rape, to burn and kidnap, made them do it. By submitting to Allah, the Muslim becomes Allah. When he kills, it is Allah killing. His religion is reducible to his will to kill. This is ISIS. This is Islam.

It has nothing to do with the imaginary Islam of the liberal. It has everything to do with the real Islam.

Similarly, Ali Sina (a former Muslim) says that Obama doesn't know what he's talking about:
In regards to Mr. Obama's statement that no religion condones killing innocents, we must keep in mind that the definition of innocence in Islam is not exactly the same as non-Muslims understand it. According to Muhammad, everyone is born Muslim. It is that later in life they reject it. Those who are not Muslim are apostate and as such not innocent. The word kafir is erroneously translated as infidel or unbeliever. That is not the correct translation. Kafir sounds like cover, and it has the same meaning. Kafir is one who covers the truth - an unbeliever is ignorant. A kafir is one who knows the truth and yet hides it and denies it out of malice. Those who don't believe in Islam do so because there is sickness in their heart. They are not innocent. So, although it is true that killing the innocent is not condoned by any religion, Islam allows it, by taking innocence out of the innocent.

Jay Nordlinger is spending some time in New Mexico

A man tells me a story: Years ago, he was working at a hotel in Las Vegas (N.M.). The night shift. A couple comes in. The man says, "Which way to the Strip?" "Excuse me?" says the clerk. "Where's the Strip?" repeats the man. It's obvious he means Las Vegas, Nev. The clerk says, "About 600 miles that way. You're in Las Vegas, New Mexico, not Las Vegas, Nevada."

The woman punches her husband - or whoever he is - on the arm and says, "I told you we should have stopped for directions."

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dispatch from the Religion of Peace, Oklahoma edition:

A man who had been fired from a food processing plant in an Oklahoma City suburb beheaded a woman with a knife and was attacking another worker when he was shot and wounded by a company official, police said Friday. [. . .]

While questioning the suspect's co-workers, investigators learned he had recently started trying to convert several employees to Islam, Lewis said. [. . .]

Oklahoma Department of Corrections records show the suspect, whom The Associated Press is not naming because he has not been charged, has multiple religious tattoos, including one in Arabic that means "peace be with you."

Peace be with you, indeed.

Dispatch from the Religion of Peace, Baltimore edition:

Police say three men walking in the 6800 block of Old Pimlico Road were first approached by a vehicle.

The driver yelled "Jews, Jews, Jews" at the victims. Investigators say the suspect then fired some type of BB or air gun in their direction and fled the area.

The victims were not struck and did not suffer any apparent injuries.

The suspect is described as a white male with brown hair and a dark complexion-possibly of Middle Eastern descent.

Rich Lowry on the increasingly ridiculous assertion that Republicans are waging a "war on women":

It's as if the faculty of the women's and gender-studies department at Wellesley runs the Democratic party. The assumption is that women are strong and independent - just don't say the wrong word around them, or they will get the vapors. [. . .]

The Colorado Senate race has been so focused on abortion and contraception, it could be mistaken for a leadership election of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Playing defense, Republican Cory Gardner is one of a handful of GOP candidates who have come out in favor of over-the-counter birth control. It is a testament to the endless malleability of the war on women that this innocuous proposal to provide readier access to birth control is itself taken as a dastardly plot against women.

Bruce Thornton takes down President Obama's speech at the United Nations:

From that preposterous beginning, the speech went downhill. "Islam teaches peace," the President intoned. No, Islam teaches submission. There is no peace for those who refuse to submit, even for Muslims considered heretics by other Muslims, but especially for "polytheists" or "infidels." In their case, Islam teaches jihad against them if they refuse to accept the "call" to convert. Far from being extremists "who have perverted one of the world's great religions," as Obama scolded, the proliferating jihadist outfits that are kidnapping, torturing, raping, beheading, and enslaving people around the globe are acting on the doctrines and past practices of Islam's founding fathers.

Via Instapundit we learn this interesting tidbit about active shooter incidents:

More than two-thirds of the incidents analyzed by the FBI happened at businesses or schools. In many cases, they happened so quickly that the shooting was over before police arrived. Of 64 incidents analyzed, 44 were over in five minutes or less. Of those, 23 ended in two minutes or less.
As As Glenn Reynolds correctly notes, "This is why you need to have armed individuals dispersed throughout the population - the only people in a position to respond quickly enough are the people who are already there."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jay Nordlinger wonders, if we are not "at war" in Syria what we will say to family of a downed pilot.

Yesterday, I was reading about our air strikes. And I thought, "What if we lose a pilot? What if a pilot is killed? Do we go to his mother, or wife, and say, 'Sorry, ma'am: We were doing a little degrading, and he died. We were trying a little kinetic action, and, you know - he bought the farm'?"

If what we are doing is not war, it is certainly war-like.

Kevin Williamson has a very long essay touching on many aspects of society and culture, as well as those who consider it their job to micromanage both. He discusses crime, abortion, family disintegration, and the illusion that these are controllable vectors. In discussing the Democratic party as "an advertising agency for central planning", Williamson makes this observation which I find interesting:

The shallowness of this project is readily apparent when one considers specific cases - e.g., efforts to ban so-called conversion therapy for homosexuals. Some men and women with same-sex attractions are troubled by them and wish to be rid of them, and various techniques and programs have been developed to assist them in that effort. Critics point out that these programs are frequently pseudoscientific, often pure hokum, and show little evidence of leaving patients better off than they were before. This is broadly true. But of course that is not what the fight is about. Alcoholics Anonymous is based on hokum and shows very little evidence of successfully treating people for addiction, but we remand people to its care, sometimes as a matter of law, with very little concern for any of that. Any number of objectively pseudoscientific therapies - acupuncture, chiropractic, herbalism - are eligible for federal subsidies under the so-called Affordable Care Act; despite my best efforts to bring attention to that issue, no one is much interested in that. There is no evidence supporting the efficacy of Head Start, yoga, or the USDA's dietary recommendations, either. But all three are federally blessed and federally subsidized. Yes, that includes the yoga.

But it is a crime in California to offer gay-conversion counseling to people who want it. Apparently, what goes on between consenting adults is the government's business after all.

Interesting the way things the left want to ban are often intellectually indistinguishable from those they demand to subsidize.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

No matter how tolerant and peaceful a leftist may claim to be, eventually the mask slips and the rhetoric always seems to devolve into tyranny and gulags. Witness Robert Kennedy Jr:

The United States government, Kennedy lamented in an interview with Climate Depot, is not permitted by law to “punish” or to imprison those who disagree with him — and this, he proposed, is a problem of existential proportions. Were he to have his way, Kennedy admitted, he would cheer the prosecution of a host of “treasonous” figures — among them a number of unspecified “politicians”; those bêtes noires of the global Left, Kansas’s own Koch Brothers; “the oil industry and the Republican echo chamber”; and, for good measure, anybody else whose estimation of the threat posed by fossil fuels has provoked them into “selling out the public trust.” Those who contend that global warming “does not exist,” Kennedy claimed, are guilty of “a criminal offense — and they ought to be serving time for it.”

Victor Davis Hanson offers a clear-eyed assessment of Islam that our government seems incapable of achieving:

We see this again in the administration’s fashionable collective denial that the Islamic State has anything to do with Islam - as if foreign tourists visited Mecca as freely as they do the Vatican; as if Muslim apostates picked and chose their new religions as easily and safely as do Protestants; as if beheadings and stonings were as frequent in Paris and Houston as they are in Riyadh and Teheran; as if Bibles were brought into Iran and Saudi Arabia as freely as Korans are into America; as if churches sprouted up in Turkey, Iran, and Gaza as do mosques in Britain and Michigan; and as if women and gays were as equal in the Middle East as they are in the West. Islam is not just different from the West, but different in a manner that means its own extreme versions manifest themselves in predictable ways.

Along similar lines, Dennis Prager takes on President Obama's claim that ISIS behavior is "not Islamic."

The fact is that a study of Islamic history could not lead any fair-minded individual to conclude that all these Muslims and Islamic groups are “not Islamic.” Neither Islamic history, which, from its origins, offered vast numbers of people a choice between Islam and death, nor Islam as reflected in its greatest works would lead one to draw that conclusion.

Killing “unbelievers” has been part of — of course, not all of — Islam since its inception. Within ten years of Muhammad’s death, Muslims had conquered and violently converted whole peoples from Iran to Egypt and from Yemen to Syria. Muslims have offered conquered people death or conversion since that time.

Monday, September 22, 2014

What with their head-chopping, plane-crashing, and child-raping (amongts a much longer list of atrocities), adherents of radical Islam can be a scary lot. But the very same fanaticism also leads them to this sort of nonsense, which is closer to hilarious than scary: As Part of Sharia Crackdown in Syria, ISIS Now Covering Up Goat Genitalia

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Here's a George Will review of a Bruce Springsteen concert from 1984. Nobody knew Springsteen's politics at the time. If only that were still true.

Dr. Marc Siegel explains why we shouldn't be losing sleep over Ebola:

Dr. Osterholm must be counting on the fact that the news media have a very short memory when he discusses Ebola in the New York Times in the same way that he once discussed bird flu. He must know that we have all seen enough catastrophe movies such as Contagion and Outbreak to get our collective heart rate and blood pressure up any time we so much as hear the word "mutation." But science fiction is not science, and Ebola Zaire, which was first identified in 1976, has been essentially stable since then, with no sign that it is about to become airborne. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who is considered by many to be the top expert in the country on emerging infections, told me during two interviews last month that he thought it was extremely unlikely that the Ebola virus would mutate into an airborne pathogen.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Important information for all: How to make the best grilled cheese sandwiches.

Jonah Goldberg reflects on words and their meaning:

The disconnect between names and the named becomes most pronounced in totalitarian societies where words become weapons of the State. When language ceases to be a tool for labeling reality and higher truths and becomes one for upholding the agenda of a regime, the society rots and invites revolt. Try as they might, tyrants rarely have much success at persuading miserable people they are happy or hungry people they are full. As a result, regimes feel required to tighten their grip on society even more. Use of the wrong word - or the right word the wrong way - becomes ever more damning evidence of disloyalty or treason. And you know what? The tyrants are right: It is disloyalty and treason to an evil regime to accurately tell the truth.

This is how we can bomb the living daylights out of ISIS and not be at "war." It's just a major counter-terrorism operation, because the left wing is too peaceful to ever go to war. Goldberg points out some of the President's euphemisms:

In his heart the president just doesn't like words like "war" or "win." That's why he "ended" the Iraq War. That's why when asked to explain what "destroy" means he said it meant to reduce to a manageable problem. That's why the administration keeps talking about mitigation. That's why they long ago replaced the "War on Terror" with "overseas contingency operations" and rogue states with "states of concern." Hey, maybe we should just start calling it "the Islamic State of Concern"?

In the wake of the Ray Rice spousal abuse scandal, ESPN (the Entertainment and Sports Program Network) felt the need to lecture us all about men and women. To that end, they aired interviews with female Rice supporters, apparently as a demonstration of the kind of primitive thought processes the brilliant progressives at ESPN think need changing. These women thought Rice needed to be dealt with by the legal system! Can you imagine? This was all fodder for a lecture on raising boys, delivered by lesbian basketball player Kate Fagan:

Ms. Fagan opined that people should stop focusing so much on whether Commissioner Roger Goodell should get fired or how long Rice's suspension should be. That's too "reactive," and Fagan says it's time to be "pro-active."

How? By working to undo our "culture" of "raising men to want to not be like women," a culture that tolerates the teasing of boys who "throw like a girl." The way to do that, she said, was to "hold the NFL's feet to the fire" until the league ponies up "millions of dollars" for a domestic-violence fund. The extorted treasure would then be doled out to grass-roots community organizations, who could then send their trained experts to middle schools, high schools, and colleges. Boys would be instructed that differentiating men from women breeds domestic violence.

As Fagan put it, the goal must be "reprogramming how we raise men." That, she said, is how we're finally going to get - all together now - "change."

Only in the miasma of progressivism is the opinion of a lesbian basketball player taken as gospel on the subject of "raising men." And, unironically, she wants the men to be raised to be more like women. Not much sports or entertainment there!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Howie Carr wonders what happened to the anti-war movement:

It's all very confusing. When George W. Bush considered invading Iraq without a declaration of war, the Democrats wanted to try him for war crimes in The Hague. When Obama does the same thing ... crickets. [. . .]

Whatever happened to Cindy Sheehan? Where is Code Pink? I haven't seen an "EndLESS War" bumper sticker in years, since 2009 to be exact.

The anti-war movement is MIA as this war, er counter-terrorism operation, begins. Back when Bush was waging war, dissent was the highest form of patriotism. Now it's "racism." If you speak truth to power in the Obama era, they call it hate speech. The IRS will audit you.

Some large corporations provide free lunches to their employees. It's a way of attracting good workers, keeping them on campus during lunch hour, and encouraging productive interraction between employees. Deroy Murdock tells us that the IRS wants a piece of the pie.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "IRS auditors are now flagging the issue and demanding back taxes from companies amounting to 30 percent of the meals' fair-market value." So if an employee eats three $25 lunches per week at work, then after 50 weeks, the 30 percent Obama Lunch Tax would cost that worker or his company $1,125 in new taxes.

It would be bad enough to inflict the Obama Lunch Tax prospectively. But applying this as a back tax - likely with penalties and interest - is tyrannical and unconstitutional. America's founding document forbids ex post facto laws. How can businesses operate in fear of new taxes that may erupt, and then be applied retroactively? What's to stop the IRS in 2017 from declaring a photocopying tax and docking companies for employees' personal use of Xerox machines . . . from 2009 through 2016?

What a disgrace! As Murdock goes on to note, President Obama has a tax-free personal chef. And he calls corporations "greedy."
Iraq has been bombed by the last four consecutive U.S. presidents. It's amazing there is anything or anybody left.

Here's evidence that college students have way too much time on their hands. Who has time to worry about this stuff, much less write about it and challenge others to waste their time worrying about?

The editorial board of a college newspaper has declared that bras are racist because they come in colors named "nude," since non-white people's skin isn't that color when they're nude.

"How would it make you feel that the fashion industry and society at large has based its ideal of nude on Caucasian people? That the color of your skin doesn't count as 'nude'?" asks the staff editorial, published by the Oklahoma Daily, the official newspaper of the University of Oklahoma.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Here's and interesting essay describing the world of Competitive Rock Paper Scissors.

The Rock Paper Scissors enthusiast is Jason Simmons, and on the count of four, he makes his fist into the sign for rock. The man in the cowboy hat throws scissors, and Simmons wins. You may believe that Simmons got lucky and that he had an equal chance of winning, tying, or losing. Simmons - who goes by the nickname Master Roshambollah and the honorific the greatest player in Rock Paper Scissors history - does not. That is why he is in a shopping mall with a camera crew, challenging strangers to play a game usually used to decide who rides shotgun, in order to promote the USA Rock Paper Scissors League.
Wow. Check out these photos from the early days of telephony.

With September 11 one day away, Michelle Malkin has a helpful reminder:

Never forget: Eternal Muslim hatred of infidels didn't start with George W. Bush. Or George H. W. Bush. Or Ronald Reagan. Or the creation of Gitmo. Or the birth of Israel. Or the Twin Towers. Or the Khobar Towers. Or Lockerbie. Or the U.S.S. Cole. Or Fort Hood. Or the Beirut Marine-barracks bombings. Or the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Africa, the bombing of U.S. military headquarters in Riyadh, and the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi.

Allah's animals can't stop. They won't stop. Sura 9:5, the verse of the sword, commands them to "slay the idolators wherever you find them, and take them, and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush." No "pagan" throat is safe: American soldiers, worldly journalists, innocent schoolgirls, Jewish teenage boys, and Christian missionaries alike are all targets of Sura 47's call to "smite the necks" of the unbelievers.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Kevin Williamson advocates for abolition of corporate income taxes.

We need a better, simpler, more predictable environment for businesses and investors to operate in - and, as citizens, we should demand that our government not play favorites in the marketplace. Instead, we have a grotesque swamp of legalized corruption that doesn't even do a particularly good job of raising tax revenue. If this is how our so-called leaders are going to treat their corporate tax code, they don't deserve to have one.

Dartmouth University, a prestigious Ivy League institution, assembled a 560 person student group to assemble a list of ideas aimed at reducing "high risk drinking, sexual assault, and exclusivity on campus." Without guessing what "exclusivity" means to an Ivy Leaguer, here's a sampling of some of their deeply unserious ideas for combating high risk drinking, sexual assault, and exclusivity.

  • Incorporate more wood into living spaces.
  • Encourage parties to have kegs.
  • De-stigmatize beer.
  • Create gender neutral places to drink on campus where all students feel comfortable drinking.
  • Let underage kids drink and create specific places where they can drink together.
  • Have the college buy the liquor for fraternity parties.
  • Hire interior designer/psychologists to redesign the dorms.
  • Provide big-screen TVs and ping-pong tables.
  • Provide more bars and bar culture.

    The National Review piece that pointed me to it this is here.

  • Wednesday, September 03, 2014

    While backing out in my 11 year old Jeep Liberty, I waited as a real estate agent passed in a new Corvette. Another agent nearby drives a Mercedes convertible.

    I don't begrudge real estate people their money, the market bears it so it is theirs. My question is this:

    Why does a market that happily provides agents a 3-6% commission for selling a home (again and again) cringe from providing architects the same commission for designing a home from scratch and overseeing its construction (just once)?

    The only answer I have is that the real estate industry has marketed itself far more effectively than the architecture industry. Obviously, the market assigns far more value to facilitating the sale of a house than to actually designing and building one.

    President Obama thinks the brutal, oppressive, head-chopping terrorists of the ISIS can be "managed" with . . . wait for it . . . COMMUNITY ORGANIZING!

    "If we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL's sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities, to the point where it is a manageable problem...what we've got to do is make sure that we are organizing the Arab world, the Middle East, the Muslim world, along with the international community, to isolate this cancer," Obama stated.

    Yeah, that'll fix everything up. Start a few chapters of ACORN in Baghdad and Damascus and PRESTO! No more terrorism. The Arabs just need some "organizing" help from the Americans. Incredibly, he goes on to claim he saw all this coming!

    He further claimed that the US knew that terrorist groups outside of al-Qaeda such as ISIS were a threat, saying "one of the concerns that we have had is the development of terrorist networks and organizations, separate and apart from al-Qaeda ... we've seen ISIS to be the first one that has broken through, but we anticipated this a while back, and it was reflected in my West Point speech."

    Here's the West Point speech. I am not sure how predictive and anticipatory the speech is, since it offers no more than a series of obvious generalities. But, giving the President the benefit of the doubt, If this has been anticipated since May, why do we still have no strategy to deal with it? In fact, though, Obama didn't seem to be anticipating more violence and terrorism, he seemed to be criticizing those who claimed his policies would encourage it.

    In his speech, Obama also said there are those "interventionists from the left and right" who argue that "America's failure to act in the face of Syrian brutality or Russian provocations. invites escalating aggression in the future."

    Here's Krauthammer's reaction to the very same speech Obama claims demonstrates his incredible grasp of world affairs:

    Charles Krauthammer said Wednesday on "Special Report with Bret Baier" that President Obama's attempt to lay out his foreign policy vision during his commencement address at West Point was "literally pointless. It didn't have a point, it was a defensive speech."

    Here are twelve words or phrases that have been deemed sexist by feminist activists. See the article for complete explanations as to why these are sexist. It's worth it just to see the precious and self-absorbed "intellectual" arguments these people advance.

  • "Oh man," as in "Oh man, it's raining."
  • "You guys," as in "You guys want some pizza?"
  • "Men and women"
  • "Ladies and gentlemen"
  • "Aggressive"
  • "Feisty"
  • "Fair-haired boy" and "fair haired girl"
  • "Founding fathers"
  • "Opinionated"
  • "Spirited"
  • "Husband and wife"
  • "Man up"
  • Tuesday, September 02, 2014

    Here's a somewhat frightening article, written by one the sister of one of the NOW founders, detailing the intellectual grounding of the National Organization for Women.

    We gathered at a large table as the chairperson opened the meeting with a back-and-forth recitation, like a Litany, a type of prayer done in Catholic Church. But now it was Marxism, the Church of the Left, mimicking religious practice:

    "Why are we here today?" she asked. "To make revolution," they answered. "What kind of revolution?" she replied. "The Cultural Revolution," they chanted. "And how do we make Cultural Revolution?" she demanded. "By destroying the American family!" they answered. "How do we destroy the family?" she came back. "By destroying the American Patriarch," they cried exuberantly. "And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?" she replied. "By taking away his power!" "How do we do that?" "By destroying monogamy!" they shouted. "How can we destroy monogamy?"

    Their answer left me dumbstruck, breathless, disbelieving my ears. Was I on planet earth? Who were these people?

    "By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution and homosexuality!" they resounded.

    They proceeded with a long discussion on how to advance these goals by establishing The National Organization of Women. It was clear they desired nothing less than the utter deconstruction of Western society. The upshot was that the only way to do this was "to invade every American institution. Every one must be permeated with 'The Revolution'": The media, the educational system, universities, high schools, K-12, school boards, etc.; then, the judiciary, the legislatures, the executive branches and even the library system.