The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Saturday, June 30, 2007
al-AP and al-Reuters FAKE another Iraq "atrocity"
What if--as was the case in Vietnam--we were actually faring better in this war than anyone had an even an inkling of in the US; in fact what if we were actually winning, yet being told everyday we were losing--for no other reason than one party wants to toss the other out of the White House? Would you want participants in such a conspiracy to be running your country?
Welcome to the mainstream media.
Evolution? (Not his "Finest Hour")
Cartoon by Gary Varvel (click to enlarge)
US Raids Sadr City; 26 die in gunbattle with Iranian Shia Teror Network
The US is going to have to be willing to go all the way with the Shiite militias if Iraq is to ever be pacified. And if Iran continues to arm Shiite Militias to destabilize the situation... well, put it this way: sooner or later, to win this War, the US is going to have to take direct action against on Iran. As with most things in life: the way out is through. The US probably would not have to execute an invasion of Iran to change the regime, although at some point the nuke sites would have to be taken out. But an effective land and sea blockade of all ships going into Iran, along with a few surgical strikes of refineries would effectively bring the Iranian econeomy to a complete halt. And this just might be enough for a popular internal uprising--the signs of which are already occurring--to be successful. If the Iranian Army does not have gasoline to operate its planes and vehicles, it would be immobilized. And the people are ripe for change in Iran.
Let us hope the US Commanders continue to have the will to take on the Shia militias and the Iranians--against the will of the Al Malicki government. If so, then I think this thing really does have a chance to work.
UPDATED AND BUMPED: UK Raises Alert to "Attack is Imminent"... Orig Post: Terrorists "from Indian Subcontinent" attempt to bomb Glasgow Airport
UPDATE: Fox is also all over this now, and they are saying that there are Terror warnings all across the UK and also that Airport security is being beefed up here in the US. Terror warnings all across England, armed guards at airports.
So far that is 3 vehicle-borne IEDs in 2 days now. And the Fourth of July holiday here and the anniversary of the 7/7 London bombings there, this could be a bumpy week.
UPDATE: Sky News says this is being treated as a "terrorist attack". "Indian Subcontinent" = Pakistan??
UPDATE: FBI, DHS warn local authorities in US to be on heightened alert for "suspicious vehicles." UK shuts down Blackpool airport. Hospital where terror suspect taken evacuated. Security "re-evaluated" at Wimbledon. London Times story here. Glasgow Evening Times story here. Report on Fox News: one of suspects held Molotov cocktail, screaming the name of Allah.
UPDATE (2:30 CDT) UK Raises its alert level to "Attack is Imminent"
UPDATED (2:33 CDT) ex-NBC anchor Marvin Kalb says on Fox that implication of today's attack illustrates that War on Terror is "Global" and not just restricted to Iraq. "We are dealing with a Wider War with Radical Islam."
Welcome to the Party, Marv.
UPDATED (7:25 CDT) Lots more updates from Allahpundit:
- Third terrorist reportedly died in the Jeep fire
- Two arrests of near Birmingham Northern England of terror suspects, making 4 total in custody now
- Police investigating terror cell in London
- Link made between today's and yesterday's attacks
- Ties to Pakistan being investigated
What if we Were the "Last Best Hope" and Nobody Knew it?
... Our children do worse in American history than they do in reading or math. McCullough testified we were facing the prospect of national amnesia, saying, “Amnesia of society is just as detrimental as amnesia for the individual. We are running a terrible risk. Our very freedom depends on education, and we are failing our children in not providing that education.”Of course, Bennett's own books are the perfect remedy for this problem; but I don't blame Bennett for the self-promotion opportunity; he should be congratulated instead for addressing a real need.
McCullough is right, and it is a double tragedy: a) our children no longer know their country’s history and b) the story they do not know is the greatest political story ever told.
It is not our children’s fault. Our country’s adults are expected to instill a love of country in its children, but the greatness and purpose of that country are mocked by the chattering classes: Newspaper columns and television reports drip with a constant cynicism about America while doubts about her motives on the world stage are the coin of the realm. Too many commentators are too ready to believe the worst about our leaders and our country, and our children’s history books — and even some of the teachers — close off any remaining possibility of helping children learn about their country.
Many of our history books are either too tendentious — disseminating a one-sided, politically correct view of the history of the greatest nation that ever existed; or, worse, they are boring — providing a watered down, anemic version of a people who have fought wars at home and abroad for the purposes of liberty and equality, conquered deadly diseases, and placed men on the moon.
The MSM as today's "Tokyo Rose"
Then the sheep broke out in a tremendous bleating of "Four legs good, two legs bad!" which went on for nearly a quarter of an hour and put an end to any chance of discussion. ...Actually I think Orwell would have been quite proud of (and simultaneously horrified about) how well his work applies to today's sycophants in the media (via Strategy Page):
U.S. troops have been mystified at how differently the war they fight in Iraq is portrayed by the U.S. media back home. Most just shrug it off as "politics," and yet another reason to not trust what the mass media presents as reliable reporting. But recently, the troops have been passing around an interesting discovery. Namely, that the Japanese psychological warfare effort during World War II included radio broadcasts that could be picked up by American troops. Popular music was played, but the commentary (by one of several English speaking Japanese women) always hammered away on the same points;
1 Your President (Franklin D Roosevelt) is lying to you.
2 This war is illegal.
3 You cannot win the war.
The troops are perplexed and somewhat amused that their own media is now sending out this message. Fighting the enemy in Iraq is simple, compared to figuring out what news editors are thinking back home. A few times, the mass media has been bold, or foolish, enough to confront the troops about this divergence of perceptions. The result is usually a surreal exchange, with the troops giving the journalist a "what planet are YOU from" look. Naturally, this sort of thing doesn't get much exposure. When pressed, a journalist or editor will dismiss the opinions of the troops (of all ranks), because they are "too close" to see "the big picture." For the same reason, reporters who send back material agreeing with the troops, find their stuff twisted into an acceptable shape, or not used at all. Historians will have a good time with all this.
Some Inconvenient Truths for Al Gore
Correcting the reams of misinformation and compensating for the hot air that Big Al releases into the atmosphere does not seem to be in Al Gore's nature, but don't be surprised to see him back in the Presidential race soon; if only one of his opponents would confront him with the facts about Gore's false Global Warming claims. Don't hold your breath.
Many of the assertions Gore makes in his movie, ''An Inconvenient Truth,'' have been refuted by science, both before and after he made them. Gore can show sincerity in his plea for scientific honesty by publicly acknowledging where science has rebutted his claims.
For example, Gore claims that Himalayan glaciers are shrinking and global warming is to blame. Yet the September 2006 issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate reported, "Glaciers are growing in the Himalayan Mountains, confounding global warming alarmists who recently claimed the glaciers were shrinking and that global warming was to blame."
Gore claims the snowcap atop Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro is shrinking and that global warming is to blame. Yet according to the November 23, 2003, issue of Nature magazine, "Although it's tempting to blame the ice loss on global warming, researchers think that deforestation of the mountain's foothills is the more likely culprit. Without the forests' humidity, previously moisture-laden winds blew dry. No longer replenished with water, the ice is evaporating in the strong equatorial sunshine."
Gore claims global warming is causing more tornadoes. Yet the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated in February that there has been no scientific link established between global warming and tornadoes.
Gore claims global warming is causing more frequent and severe hurricanes. However, hurricane expert Chris Landsea published a study on May 1 documenting that hurricane activity is no higher now than in decades past. Hurricane expert William Gray reported just a few days earlier, on April 27, that the number of major hurricanes making landfall on the U.S. Atlantic coast has declined in the past 40 years. Hurricane scientists reported in the April 18 Geophysical Research Letters that global warming enhances wind shear, which will prevent a significant increase in future hurricane activity.
Gore claims global warming is causing an expansion of African deserts. However, the Sept. 16, 2002, issue of New Scientist reports, "Africa's deserts are in 'spectacular' retreat . . . making farming viable again in what were some of the most arid parts of Africa."
Gore argues Greenland is in rapid meltdown, and that this threatens to raise sea levels by 20 feet. But according to a 2005 study in the Journal of Glaciology, "the Greenland ice sheet is thinning at the margins and growing inland, with a small overall mass gain." In late 2006, researchers at the Danish Meteorological Institute reported that the past two decades were the coldest for Greenland since the 1910s.
Gore claims the Antarctic ice sheet is melting because of global warming. Yet the Jan. 14, 2002, issue of Nature magazine reported Antarctica as a whole has been dramatically cooling for decades. More recently, scientists reported in the September 2006 issue of the British journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series A: Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, that satellite measurements of the Antarctic ice sheet showed significant growth between 1992 and 2003. And the U.N. Climate Change panel reported in February 2007 that Antarctica is unlikely to lose any ice mass during the remainder of the century.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Return of the Thought Police (aka the "Fairness Doctrine")
"Hate Speech" has a new Home
They reserve terms like "right wing hate" for Limbaugh and Hannity, but all you need to do is to read those comments--or the comments on any given day at the Democratic Underground site--to see that these days, most of the really vitriolic hate comes from the Left.
Another Big Win at the Supreme Court -- and Thomas Shines
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that achieving "diversity" is too weak an argument to justify shuffling kids around on the basis of skin color. Though Chief Justice John Roberts's opinion is couched in language of precedent and respect for existing law, this case is a clean win for individualists -- i.e., for those who oppose racial preferences or racial handicaps. Things might have gone very differently if Justice Sandra Day (prepare for 25 more years of affirmative action) O'Connor were still on the court.
Justice Breyer wrote the dissent and was joined by Justices Souter, Ginsberg and Stevens. Roberts answered the dissent in the majority opinion (a rare thing in Supreme Court opinions) and basically demolished Breyer's arguments. But Justice Thomas's separate concurrence was a tour de force.
CIA sets off Feeding Frenzy from the Left's "Usual Suspects"
Read the whole thing.
You know the story, since it continues to be told non-stop by the media, television, movies, and half the curricula in schools and universities: evil American corporations and their lackeys in the government were (and still are) brutalizing the Third World in order to maximize profits and strengthen their hold on power. This nefarious capitalist plot was sold to the oafish American people under the camouflage of Cold War rhetoric about resisting Communism (now “terrorism”) and protecting American “freedom,” which was in fact an illusion masquerading the uptight, repressed American’s servitude to consumerism and mindless entertainment. A handful of doughty college professors, “activists,” and journalists, however, bravely unmasked this wicked conspiracy, and despite the counter-attack unleashed by corporate government henchmen in the FBI and CIA, eventually exposed the capitalist conspiracy. A neo-imperialist war in Southeast Asia was ended, the crypto-fascist Nixon regime brought down, and limits placed on the CIA, the FBI, and the Pentagon. Pulitzer prizes, tenure, flattering movies, and six-figure book deals followed, not to mention what South Park calls the “huge cloud of smug” polluting the bicoastal liberal enclaves and every university campus.
Indeed, this melodrama continues to provide the template for the way popular culture and the mainstream media interpret the current war against Islamic jihad. From Vietnam and Watergate derive the plot and formulas into which current events are shoe-horned. The harping on pre-war intelligence mistakes and the missing WMD’s, for example, can be traced back to the alleged lies that justified the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. The hysteria over Scooter Libby and the attention lavished on the duplicitous Joe Wilson are incomprehensible without Watergate and its beatified “whistle-blowers.” The sophomoric anti-war movement and its shrill saints like Cindy Sheehan are taken seriously only because of the inflated mythic paradigm of the protests against the Vietnam War.
The problem is, subsequent history has uncovered the facts that expose the hollowness of these myths. The war in Vietnam was started by a communist regime attempting to extend the revolution throughout Southeast Asia. The war was not “lost,” but won and then lost when the U.S. Congress lost its nerve and abandoned South Vietnam to the tender mercies of the communists. Journalists like the recently deceased and lionized David Halberstam were not intrepid truth-seekers exposing the lies of a corrupt government, but opportunists and ideologues driven by their vision of “social justice,” which in the event turned out to be suspiciously similar to the communist version. Watergate was not a triumph of justice but a disastrous inflation of a political misdemeanor, crippling the Nixon administration at a critical moment and emboldening America’s enemies, as subsequent Soviet adventurism throughout the seventies proved. And the anti-war movement was riddled with communist ideologues beholden to Moscow and manipulating the herd of sappy idealists, sophomoric utopians, and other useful idiots.
The net result has been a four-decades-long projection of American weakness and self-loathing that has convinced the jihadists that we believe in nothing other than our own physical pleasure and psychic comfort. Having heard our own elites tell the world for decades that we are corrupt and our freedoms an illusion, why shouldn’t they despise us and find us worthy of contempt? And when our major media, our icons of popular culture, and the Democratic leadership all are competing to declare the war against jihad a corrupt failure, why shouldn’t the jihadists continue to fight on, since they are winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the blue half of the United States? The jihadists are excellent students of history, which has taught them that the road to September 2001 in New York passed through Saigon in 1975, Tehran in 1979, and Beirut in 1983.
It is good to see columns like this, because so long as the Left continues to try and re-write history--past and present--we need to be there to ensure that the facts are front-and-center in the minds of the electorate.
One only needs to carefully watch virtually any TV Crime show to see how pervasive political correctness is in our culture. The mythology of the left is in virtually every script of shows like Boston Legal or Law and Order. Meanwhile, the dumbing down of American "consciousness" continues: it is no accident that the decline in the number of offerings of American Military History coincides with the ascent of 1960's leftists to positions of power in Academia. They don't want you to know the facts, because if you know the truth, then they will not be able to convince you that down is up or left is right. And so it is up to the writers, talk radio, and new media--including columns like this one from Mr. Thornton--to shine the light of day upon the Left's mythology.
Three Islamists from Birmingham sought in London Bomb Plot
The cops have a "crystal clear" picture of the bomber in the car; and they know it definitely was Islamist extremists.
Finally, a Good Day; Now it's time to Get Real
Meanwhile, the Editors of National Review have written a spot-on op-ed about yesterday's result, including this:
For months, the establishment dismissed those of us opposed to amnesty as a tiny minority of the public and the Congress. On Thursday, that “tiny minority” outnumbered the pro-amnesty forces in the Senate, dealing a humiliating and well-deserved defeat to President Bush. The same White House that insisted that there was no realistic alternative to “comprehensive immigration reform” had better recalibrate its realism now. There always were better alternatives, and the president and his party have no way out of the immigration morass he has created unless they pursue them.Read the rest here. As the Editors suggest, there is a way out; but how 'bout we start with baby steps first: prove to the people our leaders really are taking this seriously--something we have not really seen since 1986. (One would have thought that 9/11 just might have moved up protecting our Border a bit on the priority scale, seeing that 4 of the 19 were here illegally; yet the band plays on... )
Nor does the country. The public is rightly dismayed at our incapacity to exercise a key attribute of sovereignty: control of the borders. For decades, our elected officials have passed immigration laws that they lack the political will to enforce. Among the fallacies of “comprehensive reform” was the notion that this situation could be fixed instantaneously. It cannot. But by rejecting a solution that would make the problem worse, we may have taken the first of many steps toward a better immigration system.
Glenn Reynolds offers some very pragmatic suggestions for regaining the trust of the American people:
What's wrong with starting there? Enforce the laws already on the books! Punish loudly and openly employers who traffic largely in illegals. Imprison anyone supplying false documents to illegals. That's a start. If you stop employers from hiring illegals, guess what--the problem will solve itself: because if the money well dries up, there won't have to be mass deportations. Water always flows via the path of least resistance.
(1) Make the process open, transparent, and timely, with hearings, drafts on the Internet, and no last-minute bills that no one has read;
(2) Earn people's trust, don't demand it, and treat enforcement like it matters;
(3) Respect people who follow the law, and make legal immigration easier, cheaper, and simpler, rather than the Kafkaesque nightmare it is now;
(4) Don't feel you have to be "comprehensive" -- address the problems you can deal with first. The trust needed to deal with other problems will come later, after you've shown some success and some good faith.
Meanwhile, for you politicians who are shocked, shocked that the American people actually want you to act responsibly from time to time, here's a clue: if you want our trust, and want your constituents to keep you in office, how about show us you mean it about protecting our border? Enforce the law and lock down the floodgates! That has to be priority one. Because if you can't accomplish that one, anything else is just "pissing in the wind" as we say here in Texas.
Another step needed quickly would be to create foolproof and tamper proof ID cards for citizens and legal immigrants. We must fix the legal immigration system so that people who do belong here can be identified as such.
And finally--when those things have been achieved--then we can look at what to do about those already here--(meaning the ones who didn't go home after the money well dried up...). But in the meantime I would emphasize Glenn's 4th point: don't put the cart before the horse. We are a nation of laws: enforce them.
Al Qaeda suspected in London Car Bomb; UPDATED - Botched Suicide Bomb?
Appeasement of their Muslim population seems to be working out really well for the Brits...
UPDATE: Thanks to Glenn for finding this link; it appears that the nightclub bomb was a botched suicide bombing.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
The Leftist Creed: "Do what I SAY; Not what I DO.."
Cartoon by Eric Allie (click to enlarge)
A big blow to "Utopian" Multi-culturalism
But beginning with the countercultural experiments of the 1960's it became more en vogue (you may substitute "culturally sensitive" and/or "politically correct"...) to de-emphasize what we have in common and emphasize--if not celebrate--our differences. Sounds all well and good, but 40 years later, that emphasis has led to divisiveness, polarization, and conflict where before there was: cooperation, a sense of a common good, and a love of country that is quickly vanishing--all thanks to teachers unions and leftist professors and administrators who slowly have seized the reins of Academia since the 60's.
So when a ground-breaking study of the impacts of this multi-culturalism uber alles mindset was recently published by Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, one can only imagine the seismic shift that the proper use of such information might portend, if acted upon. And I am not talking about racism and xenophobia--although that is a danger we should be mindful of when considering the results of the study.
Rather I am talking about shifting the way American institutions educate and assimilate members of all races back to an emphasis less on our differences and more on our similarities--especially a National Identity. This means stressing what is great and good about our common heritage; it also means teaching Civics, History, and the incredible Story of the United States of America, its founders, and its proud accomplishments over time. A common language (English!) is a great place to start, but we need to do more than that. For example, a mandatory high school curriculum of History, based on Bill Bennet's double volume America: The Last Best Hope would be another excellent step in the right direction.
If ever we can get back to a national mindset where an "appropriate" assimilation once again becomes the norm (e.g. the Irish, Italian, German, and Eastern European migrants to Ellis Island in the 1800's, over time lost the identity of the nations left behind, and assumed a "prouder" identity as an American); if we can get back to that result with new immigrants, then the end result can be a resurgence of this critical national identity--which can only lead to increased cooperation, better relations between citizens, greater trust amongst all ethnic groups, and a greatly enhanced vision of a "common good".
In early America, religion played a large role in this "common identity", and it could once again play a very important role--but in my opinion just crossing an ocean to a new life and a new identity of "American citizen" was an equally powerful--if not more so--force for good. After all, a variety of different religions all assimilated successfully in the 1800's, despite dramatic differences in some of those beliefs. The one common denominator was their life here--not where they came from. So in an increasingly secularized society, this "identity" still ought to be achievable with the right educational emphasis. I am reminded of the old Robin Williams film "Moscow on the Hudson", which clearly captured this mindset. If we can get a majority of the immigrants to the US to the same sense of gratitude and wonder that the immigrant played by Williams achieved in that film, we would be 90% there. But that will require a big shift in how we approach education.
That "team spirit"--which America briefly enjoyed immediately after its singular national focus on winning World War II was achieved--was vastly more desirable than the current situation, especially when you consider where the non-assimilation of immigrants has led today's Europe (i.e. hate, mistrust, crime, terrorism, rioting, and near anarchy)--and also once you understand the implications of Dr. Putnam's findings:
Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone, is very nervous about releasing his new research, and understandably so. His five-year study shows that immigration and ethnic diversity have a devastating short- and medium-term influence on the social capital, fabric of associations, trust, and neighborliness that create and sustain communities. He fears that his work on the surprisingly negative effects of diversity will become part of the immigration debate, even though he finds that in the long run, people do forge new communities and new ties.
Putnam’s study reveals that immigration and diversity not only reduce social capital between ethnic groups, but also within the groups themselves. Trust, even for members of one’s own race, is lower, altruism and community cooperation rarer, friendships fewer. The problem isn’t ethnic conflict or troubled racial relations, but withdrawal and isolation. Putnam writes: “In colloquial language, people living in ethnically diverse settings appear to ‘hunker down’—that is, to pull in like a turtle.”
Putnam’s study does make two positive points: in the long run, increased immigration and diversity are inevitable and desirable, and successful immigrant societies “dampen the negative effects of diversity” by constructing new identities. Social psychologists have long favored the optimistic hypothesis that contact between different ethnic and racial groups increases tolerance and social solidarity. For instance, white soldiers assigned to units with black soldiers after World War II were more relaxed about desegregation of the army than were soldiers in all-white units. But Putnam acknowledges that most empirical studies do not support the “contact hypothesis.” In general, they find that the more people are brought into contact with those of another race or ethnicity, the more they stick to their own, and the less they trust others. Putnam writes: “Across local areas in the United States, Australia, Sweden Canada and Britain, greater ethnic diversity is associated with lower social trust and, at least in some cases, lower investment in public goods.”
Though Putnam is wary of what right-wing politicians might do with his findings, the data might give pause to those on the left, and in the center as well. If he’s right, heavy immigration will inflict social deterioration for decades to come, harming immigrants as well as the native-born. Putnam is hopeful that eventually America will forge a new solidarity based on a “new, broader sense of we.” The problem is how to do that in an era of multiculturalism and disdain for assimilation.
Rick Moran has a really well-written analysis of these findings up today, and it definitely deserves a read.
Supreme Justices matter: Court throws out Race-only Preferences for Schools
XIV: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.To deny the right of ANY citizen--including Anglos or other "non-protected" races--the right to attend a school, based only on their race is a clear violation of our Constitution. It is as simple as that. Finally--thanks to President Bush--we have a court that has overridden the "progressive" views of previous "activist" courts, for whom the law of the land often seems but a mere inconvenience towards their vision of a judicial oligarcy. Today Chief Justice put it best in the majority opinion:
XV: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.It does not take a rocket scientist to understand the truth of this. After 43+ years, the United States is finally on its way to being a truly color-blind society. It's about time.
UPDATED Snakebit Pols reveal their REAL target: Talk Radio
This rankles on many levels, but when you cut through it all it comes down to this: the concept of governing according to the will of the people doesn't seem to fit with these guys; the elites obviously believe that to have things their way, an informed public is a barrier and/or impediment. They may crow like so many primping roosters about "Democracy" and use catchy slogans like "power to the people", yet the end of all their actions is the furthering of the cause of totalitarianism.
By silencing talk radio--thereby leaving the electorate clueless about what is really happening behind the scenes--the "do as I say not as I do" playbook of the Marxist nanny-state is: what the people don't know won't hurt them (the elites). And at the very heart of this world view is the corollary that if we the people aren't aware of their treachery, the repercussions of that treachery won't come back to haunt them. This doesn't exactly sound like the party of "the common man" to me...
For example, it is quite clear that all of the recent hyperbole about the "danger" of talk radio is related to the impact the grassroots have had on this Immigration bill: the real danger here is that the people are becoming educated about the fraud going on under their noses in Congress and the Senate. Twice now (in two days) Harry Reid has paraded to the microphones to blame "talk radio" for his and his fellow Senators' inability to put together a bill that the people want. And--although one expects this sort of thing from the Left--when people like Trent Lott join the chorus of usual suspects on the Democrat side, calling for the regulation of free speech in the guise of "fairness," then we are very close to the precipice my friends.
My suggestion for those who want "fairness" is to insist that it must first start with the public-funded airwaves: how about demanding "equal time" for the likes of Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh on NPR and PBS? When my tax dollars are paying for Limbaugh's views to the extent they are already paying for the views of Bill Moyers and Garrison Keillor--or some anonymous lefty editor of "All Things Considered"-- then I might have some confidence they could be "fair" with other media. But we all know that is a pipe dream. And what of the editorial decisions of TV and Newspapers and Radio as far as which stories get edited in and which stories get left in shreds on the cutting room floor? Admitted leftists routinely make those very decisions for Big Media every single day: who is going to police that?
The very thought of some pencil pushing bureaucrat monitoring content of TV, Radio, the Internet, and other media to ensure "balance"--as opposed to the natural democratic selection of the free marketplace--is enough to make the thought of hell itself palatable. And any representative of the people who advocates wanting to control the information that you can to read, view, or listen to is evil incarnate. What differentiates this behavior from that of Stalin? Or Hitler for that matter; in the 1930's Hitler's SS burned books in an attempt to eradicate ideas that were not compatible with National Socialism. Today the Thought Police of America, led by Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Diane Feinstein--(and now Trent Lott and Lindsey Graham..)--want in effect to do exactly the same thing. Will we be saying "Sieg Heil" to them next?
This column has been edited and changed for the sake of improved readability.
UPDATE: Good news; the House sends a strong message about the "Fairness Doctrine."
UPDATED: DOWN GOES CLOTURE! DOWN GOES CLOTURE!
If I am reading my Allahpundit robotics correctly, Cloture for Amnesty has failed in the Senate! Unless Harry Reid breaks his word (not an unprecedented event) about not bringing the bill back up, this sucker is DEAD.
YOU did this. This is a victory for the blogs and for the citizen taking back ownership of our government. Congratulations and well done!
UPDATE: Fox News has more details plus some video. And don't miss Mr. Roboto over at Hot Air....
UPDATE: Senator Jim DeMint nails it:
“When the U.S. Senate brought the Amnesty bill back up this week, they declared war on the American people. This act created a crisis of confidence in their government. Thankfully, the American people won today,” said Senator DeMint. “This is remarkable because it shows that Americans are engaged and they care deeply about their country. They care enough for their country to get mad and to fight for it, and that’s the most important thing of all. Americans made phone calls and sent letters, and convinced the Senate to stop this bill.”
“The Senate rejected this bill and the heavy-handed tactics used to ram it through. Americans do not want more of the same – amnesty and broken promises on the border. Americans want legislation to be written in public – not in secret – and they want Congress to engage in an open and fair debate.”
“There is a better way forward without this bill. The President has said that the border security measures can be implemented over the next 18 months, and they can be done under current law. Now the Administration needs to prove it and stop holding border security hostage for amnesty.”
“Once we have secured the border and restored trust with the American people, we can begin to take additional steps.”
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Doing Jobs Americans Wouldn't Do
Cartoon by Glenn McCoy (click to enlarge)
Will Republicans turn against Talk Radio and the Internet too?
PREDICTION: Right now it's Democrats pushing a return to the "Fairness Doctrine," but they'll soon be joined by Republicans tired of things like this, and there will be pressure to extend regulation to the Internet. Incumbistan will unite under threat from outside.
Why it is not as bad in Iraq as "they" want you to think
The majority opinion is that the occupation in Iraq has been so bungled that the blowback has ruined American efforts at promoting positive change throughout the Middle East.Read the whole thing. And take heart; don't allow spineless politicians like Lugar, Murtha, Reid, Hagel, and Durbin convince you otherwise.
Perhaps. But for all the justifiable criticism of the Iraqi reconstruction, two truths still remain — the United States is taking an enormous toll on jihadists, and despite the terrible cost in blood and treasure, has not given up on a constitutional government in Iraq.
The Sunni front-line states, who subsidized jihadists and still enjoy our misery in Iraq , , but they are now terrified that these killers, in league with the Iranians, will turn on them. The net result is not just that some Sunnis are helping us in Iraq, but that they are being urged to for the first time by those in the Arab world, who would prefer to see the Iraqi government, rather than the terrorists, succeed. And if Iraq is still a terrible disappointment, Kurdistan is emerging as a success few envisioned, refuting some conventional wisdom about the incompatibility of capitalism and constitutional government with Middle Eastern Islam.
Theocratic Iran is not exactly as “empowered” as is generally alleged, but in the greatest crisis of its miserable existence. As the mullahs up the ante in the region, they could very soon not only lose Iraq, but also their own dictatorship. Trying to oppose the West in Iraq, Lebanon, and the West Bank is taking an enormous financial toll, as is the general isolation from the world community.
With oil prices at an all-time high, Iran can't provide gasoline for its own people, who resent the billions spent instead on Arab terrorists abroad. If oil were to dip from near $70 to $50-55 a barrel, the regime would face abject bankruptcy. For all the criticism of the U.S. position, from the left and right, we have now found the right blend of military determination not to let Teheran go nuclear, combined with economic and political efforts at containment. There is an array of future options — stronger embargoes, blockades, and military strikes on infrastructure — still on the table. The social unrest the mullahs desire in Iraq is starting to spill over the border into their own Iran, and its magnitude and final course are still unpredictable.
UPDATE: Also writing in NRO--which is really on its game today--is Mario Loyola, who also sees light at the end of the tunnel.
UPDATED: Is the fix in? ... It's not over in the Senate yet! These 8 Senators can make the difference
The Senate Tuesday voted to revive its misbegotten immigration bill, with the help of a handful of senators who claim to oppose amnesty but voted to proceed. They are now getting what they voted for, as H. L. Mencken put it, good and hard — with a 370-page “clay pigeon” amendment that is supposed to be digested and voted on by the end of the week. If the bill had been defeated yesterday, it would have been gone for at least two years and probably longer. Instead, it is a little closer to passage. But first it has to overcome another cloture vote scheduled for tomorrow. Again, the bill needs 60 votes to survive.Read the rest here.
It got 64 votes yesterday. If all of the senators who voted against cloture stand firm, then, five senators would have to switch to no to defeat the bill on Thursday. Those votes are available from a bipartisan group of eight senators who have profound doubts about this bill. Our reporting suggests these senators are most likely to be persuaded to vote no on Thursday and derail amnesty. They are Sens. Kit Bond (R., Mo.), Sam Brownback (R., Kan.), Richard Burr (R., N.C.), Norm Coleman (R. Minn), John Ensign (R. Nev.), Ben Nelson (D., Neb.), Mark Pryor (D., Ark.) and Jim Webb (D., Va.).
Senators opposed to amnesty tended to justify their votes for cloture Tuesday by saying that they want one last shot at improving the bill. That sounds reasonable enough. But the entire exercise in the Senate is about passing the core “Grand Bargain” — that is, immediate legal status for illegal aliens in exchange for promises of enforcement later. Any amendment that truly threatens the bargain won’t pass, although the Republican Grand Bargainers are willing to go as far as they dare in putting more enforcement around the edges of the deal. For weeks, they insisted that the bill was tough on enforcement, but suddenly it now needs all sorts of enhancements. It is transparent that their commitment to these enhancements begins and ends with the need to pick off enough Republican votes to get through the next cloture vote.
It has also been reported today that Harry Reid is already working in secret to rewrite the "clay pigeon" Amendments that were made public last night. So if the cloture vote tomorrow succeeds, the Senate could be voting on a set of Amendments that they have kept from the public until the very last minute. Is that your idea of "open government". It is all well and good that Reid, Pelosi and company ran a successful campaign last fall pointing to the so-called "culture of corruption" in the halls of Congress; but if this now-you-see-it-now-you-don't measure succeeds in passing the Senate because of a cabal of Senators who don't want you to know what the real impact of this bill is, this Congress may go down in history as the most corrupt Congress in American history.
Call or write (or both) these 8 Senators and make sure they do the right thing.
UPDATE: Scott Johnson of Power Line wonders if the fix is in:
Like I said: contact those Senators.
Virtually everything important that is happening with respect to the immigration bill seems to be happening under the surface, away from the eyes of prying journalists and concerned citizens. The procedural maneuvering is incomprehensible. The substance of the amendments before the Senate is extraordinarily difficult if not overwhelming given the limited time allowed for their consideration.
I have only my intuition to go on. My intuition tells me that it is impossible to be cynical enough about what is transpiring here, that the second cloture vote is the last chance to kill the bill in the Senate if the fix is not already in, and that the bill's passage is assured in the House if it makes it out of the Senate. If some version of the bill passes in the Senate as a result of the procedural short-cuts that have greased the skids for it, every Republican who lent an assist should be held accountable.
Below John quotes Senator Norm Coleman's explanation of his "yes" vote on cloture yesterday. John describes Senator Coleman as a stand-up guy. Yet Senator Coleman's message is a study in ambiguity. If Senator Coleman's sanctuary city amendment is defeated, will he vote against cloture later this week? He doesn't say. Under what conditions will he vote for the bill? He doesn't say. And given what I believe to be the predictable consequence of any bill that passes under these circumstances -- that the United States will become a sanctuary nation -- Senator Coleman's studied ambiguity is itself a discomfiting revelation.
Steyn on the "New Bipartisanship": The Senate gangs up on the Electorate
Shame on them; and shame on us for letting it happen. It's not too late to stop this thing before it bankrupts us all.
I agree with Stanley. There's something creepy about a political class so determined to impose a vast transformative bill cooked up backstage in metaphorically smoke-filled rooms on a nation that doesn't want it. It's an affront to republican government and quasi-European in its disdain for the citizenry. It's hard to imagine Senator Trenthorn Lotthorn as an EU Commissioner but his position on this immigration bill is basically the same as that of Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg and European "president", on the EU constitution. When asked what difference the referendum result in France would make, "President" Juncker replied:If it’s a Yes, we will say ‘on we go’, and if it’s a No we will say ‘we continue’.Same with the immigration bill. I think I say somewhere in my book that the first line of the European constitution is: "We the people agree to leave it to you the people who know better than the people." That suits the US Senate, too. They'll teach this one as a textbook definition of "bipartisanship": both parties gang up on the electorate.
UPDATED Iran Unrest Keeps Going and Going and Going...
This would seem to be a really good time to blockade the Straits of Hormuz and to take out the Iranian refineries.
UPDATE: Gateway Pundit (as always) has lots more photos and some video of the rioting in Tehran.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Hollywood Chic (Hollywood Sheik?)
Cartoon by Michael Ramirez (click to enlarge)
Another Newspaper Publishes Names of Gun Owners with Carry Licences
Now the criminals also know which residences are NOT licensed: and therefore they know whose home is ripe for burglary--and which ones are more of a risk. Wonderful. Why don't they just publish the architectural layouts of the non-armed homes while they are at it... (not to mention they are also advertising to the more adventurous and well armed criminal where they might go to steal weapons...)
If I were living in one of these cities and I was NOT on the list, I would be suing that newspaper for damages the second my home was burglarized.
(Note to criminals: my home and person ARE protected. My Sig and I are very well acquainted. And if I were you, I wouldn't chance it...)
Meet the New Bill (almost the), Same as the Old Bill
- Scholarships for Children of illegals, funded by you and me
- The "background check" to determine who should be here and who should not is still limited to 24 hours.
- Not much else has changed either.
Also here is the *.pdf version of the package.
Gingrich: The West is Losing World War IV
The Hamas victory in Gaza is a warning that World War IV (as Norman Podhoretz has called it) is going to be long and hard. It is also a warning that the West is currently losing that war.
These defeats are not a function of the courage and will of the American people. In a June poll sponsored by American Solutions, 85 percent of the American people said it was important to defend America and its allies. Only 10 percent were opposed. On an even stronger question, 75 percent said it was important to defeat America's enemies. Only 16 percent disagreed.
So the hard left in America is only 16 percent. It is outnumbered almost 5-1 by those who would defeat our enemies.The source of failure is not to be found in the American people but in the inarticulate and unimaginative leaders all across government who now preside instead of lead.
The tragedy of the current debate in Washington is that while the inarticulateness and the failing performance of the Bush administration have led the American people to desire a new direction, the politics of the left insists that the new direction be less than President Bush. Yet the lessons of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, New Jersey, the JFK plot, the Algerian bombings, the Iranian nuclear program, the conflict in Lebanon and now the defeat in Gaza all point to the need for a war policy that is substantially bigger and more robust than Mr. Bush.
Read the rest here.
How the War is REALLY Going
The Betrayal Continues
Still here is the bottom line: this bill may or may not make it to the President's desk, and the difference in which outcome happens will very likely be up to you. That is not asking much: if the soldiers in the American Revolution had just thrown up their hands and given up over that brutal winter at Valley Forge; if President Lincoln had buckled in early 1864 under the enormous pressure of an unpopular war where the Union was suffering tens of thousands of casualties per month and which the North was losing; if the 101st Airborne had not held out at Bastogne until General Patton arrived--if any of these "against all odds" situations had turned out differently, then we probably not be living in the same prosperous country we live in today.
But you see--they did hold on, even though their cause appeared to be lost. And if they could hold on and perservere; if our fighting men and women, who are trying to kill the mass murderers before they kill us, can face death every single day in a godawful place--then we in our comfortable lives can get damn well get off of our butts and write a few emails and make a few phone calls to save our country.
If you agree that this bill would be a disaster for the United States and for our national security, and if you want the elites in their ivory tower take us and protecting our borders seriously--then you need to be heard. Call your Senator, your Congressman, the RNC, your local party offices, and the NRSC. Do not go gently into that good night, and don't let these cowards sell our country down the river.
Hot Air has a video that suggests how you can make your voice heard.
UPDATED Shamnesty vote today; things are not looking good
You are being betrayed today, my friends. Stabbed in the back. Don't take it lying down.
UPDATE: Jim DeMint (Patriot-SC), speaking yesterday afternoon:
"We do still have a shot to stop it, but it's only going to be if the American people raise the level of their voices in the next 24 hours"Have you called one of the dangling Senators yet? What are you waiting for?
UPDATE: More discouraging news from Hot Air, which post includes a quote from Stanley Kurtz at The Corner--here is Kurtz's take:
Nice sentiments, but it appears we are a long way away from ownership of our own government the way it was taught in civics class. This whole back-room deal in the shadows is a disgrace.
Something about this immigration battle doesn’t sit well. For all the bitterness of our political battles, there’s at least the sense that the government responds to the drift of public opinion. The Republicans in Congress turned into big spenders and the war in Iraq went poorly. As a result the Democrats prospered in 2006, if narrowly. That’s how democracy works. Our politics are often angry and ugly (and that’s a problem), but this is because the public is deeply divided on issues of great importance. Deep down, we understand that our political problems reflect our own divisions.
Somehow this immigration battle feels different. The bill is wildly unpopular, yet it’s close to passing. The contrast with the high-school textbook version of democracy is not only glaring and maddening, it’s downright embarrassing. Usually, even when we’re at each others’ throats, there’s still an underlying pride in the democratic process. This immigration battle strips us of even that pride.
I’m still stuck on the way this bill was going to be pushed through without a public airing of crucial provisions, in the two or three days before Memorial Day recess. But I should be stuck even further back–on the way this bill was cooked up in a backroom deal that bypassed the ordinary process of public hearings. We take them for granted, but those civics textbook fundamentals are there for a reason. We’re going to pay a steep price for setting the fundamentals aside.
Senators who believe that by passing this bill they will at least be getting a divisive issue out of the way are making a serious mistake. This is not 1986. The immigration issue is far more prominent now, and it will only grow in importance. Demographics, and the problems of assimilation in a globalized world of satellite dishes and easy travel will see to that. Look at how votes on the war have come back to haunt Democratic politicians. Votes by legislators of both parties on this bill will be haunting them–and all of us–for years to come.
Supporters of this bill sell it as a compromise that will heal America’s divisions. I fear it’s quite the reverse. This bill is infuriating the public and undermining faith in government itself. You can see it in the polling on confidence in Congress and the President. If this bill passes, it’s going to aggravate and embitter politics for years to come. Passing a measure over such overwhelming opposition is like slapping the public in the face.
You can’t solve an argument by imposing a "compromise" on parties who don’t actually view it as a compromise. You can’t heal social divisions by forcing your version of a "solution" down the public’s throats. Real healing comes only when two sides reach what they themselves consider a valid compromise, or when one side wins the argument by persuading a clear majority of the validity of its case. Democracy does work, but first the Senate has got to give it a try.
Unfortunately, the only way we have to show our disgust is with our letters and calls, our votes, and our pocketbooks. And it isn't only the sitting Senators who are the problem; we need to take control back from the RNC too, because we simply cannot afford not to force the national party to put up viable alternatives when these clowns come up for re-election. Yes the game is to win, and yes I am a "party man" as Mr. Disreali so eloquently put it; but I have reached my fill point with the NRSC: if we keep putting RINO's like Arlen Specter, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham in office, these betrayals will never stop. And we will never have our country back...
It may be that the only way to accomplish this change of attitude--this wake up call that it is OUR country, not theirs--would be to withdraw support for incumbent backstabbers and to hold our nose with a Democrat for six years while waiting for an alternative to the RINO's to surface. But that is a horrible--even potentially catastrophic--solution to the problem; instead we must demand viable alternatives in the Primaries, and we need to let the people of the States--rather than the national party or the President--choose who goes up against the Dems in the fall. We not only need to take our Senate back; we need to take our party back.
If this atrocity of a bill goes through, my advice would be to contact both your national and state Republican party (especially the NRSC), and tell them they are not going to see another DIME of your money--that you henceforth will only support candidates who recognize that they are the servants--not the masters--of the people who put them there. If they can't do that, then we don't want them in office, period.
Monday, June 25, 2007
UPDATED BREAKING: Iranian forces cross border, attack British troops in Iraq
UPDATE: The Sun (U.K.): "Iran bombers attack our boys." At least 2 dead due to Iranian incursion into Iraq, 44 more British deaths tied to Iranian bombs...
It's getting ready to explode, my friends. Which is the worst possible outcome; except of course for all the other available ones... It appears it is finally time to take off the gloves.
UPDATED Mars Attacks
Negative attack ad 1: Muchas Gracias, Senor Graham
Negative attack ad 2: The Love Song of Edward M. Kennedy
Coming soon: McCain-Feingold II--the Democrats attempt to silence the right-leaning blogs.
UPDATE: OK maybe those ads aren't actually funny; but still I personally derive a sort of guilty pleasure out of knowing that people who "get it" are no longer beholden to political campaigns and elite-controlled television for the creation of strong messages that need to be communicated in a free democracy; and that's especially true when the Left is trying to silence the few media voices that the remaining patriots in America do have...
Don't Bet On It
The Scarlet Letter is now Green
Tell it, brother.
But what would be the fun in in minding your own business? The fun is in minding others. What all the earthly paradises promised by social re-engineering projects have in common is not that they are free from unpleasantness and want; Stalin offered a vision of barracks life, cafeteria food and compulsory day-care; modern environmentalists conjure one of five-minute showers, subsistance living and rationed toilet paper. They are bleak, unpleasant places. The attraction of these earthly utopias is not pleasance but freedom from doubt. Entry into a place where all the answers are supplied and there are no more dilemmas. What is required of that Brave New World above all is the final banishment of Hamlet's soliloquy. The attraction of Communism, a world ruled by the Greens or lashed under the chains of Sharia Law is they leave no room for doubt. They offer a place where every aspect of life will be regulated, our carbon footprints measured at intervals, our piety audited periodically and we shall be rid at last of our greatest burden -- freedom and uncertainty.
For that reason people like the "environmentalists" that Tim Blair describes derive satisifaction from forcing people into line. It is the Global Warming line in this instance, but any line would have done. Any port which will shelter them against the storm of doubt. The very same people who were yesterday's Communists are today's environmentalists and tomorrow's Muslim converts. It's really all the same religion to them. Marx was wrong when he said the whole point of history was not to understand but to change it; for the true believer the whole point of history is simply to find a way to end it.
The saddest aspect of these endeavor is that it blinds its adherents to the fecundity of creation; to the newness of each sunset; the uniqueness in its child's smile; to the potential for discovery; to the possibility that the winds of the world change not by our feeble edicts, but because Spirit bloweth. Free and ever-new.
Welcome to your future, Mr. Graham...
PBS Busted asking Producers not to hire Conservatives
These 12 are going to make or break the Betrayal of America
Only 22% of likely voters favor immigration bill
Well, if CNN says so...
Hitchens Skewers Muslim Rage
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Black and Blue
Cartoon by Jerry Holbert (click to enlarge)
The Enemy Among Us
We are in a pay me now or pay me much more later situation.
Barbarians at the Gate
This is not a game for political points; this is for real. The fact that feminists throughout the world are not crying out loudly in horror about the killing going on in the name of Islam tells me that with the large percentage of so-called "feminists", the cause is really not so much about advancing the standing of women; rather it is about forwarding the agenda of World Socialism. Because how any feminist with any modicum of self respect can sit silently and let things like this go on is beyond me.
And as for the media who allows this sort of thing to go on without comment: at the end of World War II many German citizens claimed that they had "no idea" about the holocaust going on in their midst; what's your excuse?
The Brutal Outrage continues in Iran
Is it high time that we take forceful action? Blockade them now.
Question: Will these photos be blared across the front pages of the international media with as much disgust and condemnation as the photos of Abu Ghraib or the manufactured Gitmo Koran-flushing riots?
Answer: Fat chance.
Question: What do leftist apologists for the Iranian regime have to say about the brutal, appalling, and escalating crackdown on human rights? Yeah, you, Rosie.
Question: Will the same moral cowards who sat silently while Mohammad Khatami, former President of Iran, advocated executing gays during a Harvard lecture stand up now against this barbarism?
Answer: Of course not.
"Marriage" and "Natural Family" is now "Hate Speech" in Oakland
Oakland has banned a group of African-American Christian women from accessing a government e-mail and message board system because it considers them bigoted and interested in conducting hate speech. While the same systems regularly carry political statements from gay-rights groups, the city has banned the women because of the loaded language in their communications -- words such as marriage and natural family. George Will explains:Marriage is the foundation of the natural family and sustains family values. That sentence is inflammatory, perhaps even a hate crime.
At least it is in Oakland, Calif. That city's government says those words, italicized here, constitute something akin to hate speech and can be proscribed from the government's open e-mail system and employee bulletin board. ...
Some African American Christian women working for Oakland's government organized the Good News Employee Association (GNEA), which they announced with a flier describing their group as "a forum for people of Faith to express their views on the contemporary issues of the day. With respect for the Natural Family, Marriage and Family Values."
The flier was distributed after other employees' groups, including those advocating gay rights, had advertised their political views and activities on the city's e-mail system and bulletin board. When the GNEA asked for equal opportunity to communicate by that system and that board, it was denied. Furthermore, the flier they posted was taken down and destroyed by city officials, who declared it "homophobic" and disruptive.
The city government said the flier was "determined" to promote harassment based on sexual orientation. The city warned that the flier and communications like it could result in disciplinary action "up to and including termination."
Steyn on what the world has learned from Salman Rushdie...
Mark Steyn finds that all the hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth after Salman Rushdie was knighted last week demonstrates that the world has become even more cowed by and "sensitive" to the "rights" of a murderous cult not to be offended:
... We should have learned something by now. In the Muslim world, artistic criticism can be fatal. In 1992, the poet Sadiq Abd al-Karim Milalla also found that his work was "not particularly well-received": he was beheaded by the Saudis for suggesting Muhammad cooked up the Quran by himself. In 1998, the Algerian singer Lounès Matoub described himself as "ni Arabe ni musulman" (neither Arab nor Muslim) and shortly thereafter found himself neither alive nor well. These are not famous men. They don't stand around on Oscar night, congratulating themselves on their "courage" for speaking out against Bush-Rove fascism. But, if we can't do much about freedom of expression in Iran and Saudi Arabia, we could at least do our bit to stop Saudi-Iranian standards embedding themselves in the West.
So many of our problems with Iran today arise from not doing anything about our problems with Iran yesterday. Men like Ayatollah Khomeini despised pan-Arab nationalists like Nasser who attempted to impose a local variant of Marxism on the Muslim world. Khomeini figured: Why import the false ideologies of a failing civilization? Doesn't it make more sense to export Islamism to the dying West?
And, for a guy dismissed by most of us as crazy, Khomeini made a lot of sense. The Rushdie fatwa established the ground rules: The side that means it gets away with it. Mobs marched through Britain calling for the murder of a British subject – and, as a matter of policy on the grounds of multicultural sensitivity, the British police shrugged and looked the other way.
One reader in England recalled one demonstration at which he asked a constable why the "Muslim community leaders" weren't being arrested for incitement to murder. The officer told him to "f--- off, or I'll arrest you." Genuine "moderate Muslims" were cowed into silence, and pseudo-moderate Muslims triangulated with artful evasiveness. Sir Iqbal Sacranie, who went on to become leader of the most prominent British Muslim lobby group, mused about the Rushdie fatwa: "Death is perhaps too easy."
In 1989 Salman Rushdie went into hiding under the protection of the British police. A decade later he decided he did not wish to live his life like that and emerged from seclusion to live a more or less normal life. He learned the biggest lesson of all – how easy it is to be forced into the shadows. That's what's happening in the free world incrementally every day, with every itsy-bitsy nothing concession to groups who take offense at everything and demand the right to kill you for every offense. Across two decades, what happened to Rushdie has metastasized, in part because of the weak response in those first months. "Death is perhaps too easy"? Maybe. But slow societal suicide is easier still.
Islamists Bomb Spanish "Peacekeepers" in Lebanon
The recent increase in violence by Hezbollah and Al Qaeda in Lebanon--when coupled with Iranian-backed violence in Iraq and Gaza--demonstrates that Iran will go to any lengths to distract the world from taking action against its nuclear program. But only if America lets that happen...