Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Pied Piper of America (From Pajamas Media)

Posted By David Solway On September 23, 2010 @ 12:06 am In Culture, Culture Bytes, Elections 2010, Elections 2012, Health Care, History, Homeland Security, Immigration, Judiciary, Legal, US News, economy | 2 Comments

Everyone knows the old folk tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, made famous by Goethe, the Brothers Grimm, and Robert Browning. The story has its origins in a medieval legend in which a piper dressed in a parti-colored robe mysteriously appears out of nowhere — “there was no guessing his kith and kin,” writes Browning [1] — and offers, for a sum, to rid the town of its plague of rats. Having done so, he returns to collect his payment. When he is refused he mesmerizes the town’s children with his melodies and leads them away, never to be seen again, except for a single lame child who cannot keep up with his fellows.

Setting aside the obvious differences and allowing for parody, there are curious analogies with the career of the current president of the United States. A man of pied heritage and sonorous aptitudes, he appears practically out of nowhere, proceeds to charm the multitudes with his dulcet airs, and promises to heal a country suffering a cultural and political infestation of metaphorical rats: doubt, cynicism, dissatisfaction, weariness, and dissension. Indeed, he vows a “fundamental transformation” of the current state of affairs, and a vast audience, dazzled by his virtuoso flair for deception, cannot resist his appeal. He raises his pipe to his lips (although, be it said, reading the music off a teleprompter) and before one knows it succeeds in enchanting an entire people who follow him like little children to the wondrous destination he has prepared for them.

In an exchange [2] with Chris Matthews on Hardball, former Newsweek editor Evan Thomas certainly saw it that way. Obama “is going to say, now, children, stop fighting and quarreling with each other.” A skeptical Newsbusters blogger, reacting to Thomas and his ilk, comments [3] on Obama’s numberless queue of rapt believers, “They would follow him to hell singing his praises.” They were feeling the love, the allure, the temptation, and had readily succumbed to the piper’s rich chromatics. As Obama said [4] of his Secret Service detail, they “follow me wherever I go.” And follow him they did, to the very edge of the precipice of unsustainable debt, immigration chaos, racial controversy, military fallback, electoral unscrupulousness, American unexceptionalism, juridical nonfeasance, greater insecurity, and growing international derision.

This was not the “fundamental transformation” they had expected. Fortunately, among those who were attracted by the message of change, the honeyed cadences or the charismatic personality of a much-dappled candidate, and had enthusiastically joined his troupe, there were a sufficient number of  “lame” votaries who lagged far enough behind to retain some degree of perspective, hobbling back with the warning that all was not what it seemed. This only confirmed and reinforced the skepticism of the more realistic and conservative observers who found the piper’s canticles rather more cloying than ambrosial and wisely stayed at home. Although many of the original naifs have now bethought themselves, plugging their ears against the president’s siren inducements and returning to where they started from, many are still determined to plunge over the cliff.

The drama that is now being enacted in the U.S. is both portentous and fascinating, as one part of the country fights to regain its soul and retrieve its future and another seems resolved to extinguish them both. It is almost as if America has been “possessed” by the demonic spirit of political correctness, media subversion, and a seditious ruling class that wishes to remake the country into something it was never intended to be. The one remaining hope for the U.S. is that the forthcoming congressional elections can serve as a form of exorcism.

Obama may be an ephebe, an utter novice at the post of command, but it must be admitted that he is a consummate sorcerer who was able to seduce and enchant multitudes, especially the horde of grown-up children so ready and eager to be piped to. Unlike the Pied Piper, however, he did not work alone but arrived on the scene surrounded by a retinue of plutocrats, political mandarins, and clever enablers, and of course by the usual train of cavillers, pettifoggers, sybarites, and janissaries, that is, journalists, feminists, intellectuals and academics. This only facilitated his task which he would not have been capable of accomplishing on his own.

Nonetheless, he had the magic, the gift of bewitchment, and no hesitation in using it. It wasn’t long before he was able to spellbind a vast swarm of believers with the promise of auroral benefictions (if I may coin a term). The tune was irresistible but very few heard the infrasonic lyrics, which actually belied the melody. These poor dupes followed him willingly into the new dawn of mellifluous beginnings, only to find the bright morning of the future suddenly changed into the grim presentiment of the coming debacle. This is what inevitably happens when one invests uncritically in fairy tales and surrenders one’s intelligence and autonomy to the blandishments of a false messiah.

The Pied Piper is still piping away but the tune he is playing is sounding less and less incantatory and his crowd of beguiled adherents is growing thinner by the day. This reversal does not mean that restoration is surely at hand, for who knows what sweet aria he may come up with next and whether a chastened company of electoral moppets may be able to resist once again relapsing into the romantic delusion of sham revelations and mercurial ecstasies. The time for vigilance and a belated maturity has never been more pressing.

Of course, there will be negative consequences attendant on the piper’s embarrassment. The European hoi polloi will grumble that America has disappointed them yet again and reverted to its vulgar, cowboy ideology. The American left will feel betrayed and turn even more vociferously against its own country, as if treason were a sign of ideological purity. Some of these veteran innocents have traveled so far along a trail paved with fool’s gold that they cannot revise their itinerary without sacrificing their dignity or their careers. They have no option but to persist in their folly. Further, the pied piper’s wife will no longer feel proud of the nation she once considered a hotbed of racism before her husband was elected president. But these are drawbacks and forfeitures that will just have to be accepted and lived with.

America wants its kids back, whether they be callow students agitating for the millennium, feminists frozen in their adolescent past, journalists still in mental diapers, social toddlers gorged on entitlement pablum, intellectual tantrum-throwers crying for the teat, and, of course, the squalling pack of baby boomers retiring into their second kindergartens.

The road home will be enormously difficult but the U.S. is now so close to the abyss that there is, quite simply, no choice in the matter. Reality always grates against the saccharine pipe dream. The pied piper must be sent packing and his lulling come-hithers decisively repelled should he ever reappear. Otherwise, a meager destiny awaits a once-great nation and the rats that the piper presumably came to exterminate will, as Browning puts it, bite the babies in their cradles and lick the soup from the cook’s ladles.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Only Part That Mattered In Obama's Telethon (Karl Denninger)


The Market Ticker ® - Commentary on The Capital Markets

Posted 2010-09-20 14:36
by Karl Denninger
in Investing

The Only Part That Mattered In Obama's Telethon


Yes, telethon.

Let me direct you to the only question that had value from an investment perspective:

SANTELLI: Mr. President. If I were to ask an investor would he invest in a company that for every dollar it spent it had to borrow 42 cents, I think that investor would think long and hard. Now if you look at the amount of money the government takes in and the amount of spending, those are pretty much the numbers for our government right now.

Does it bother you that 42 percent of our spending is borrowed even understanding that we have to deficit spend under tough times. How long can the U.S. continue to spend in that fashion without potentially hurting our long time financial health.

OBAMA: Well, it bothers me a lot. It bothered me when I was running for office and it bothered me when I arrived and I had a $1.3 trillion deficit wrapped in a bow and waiting for me in the Oval Office.

So, the answer to Rick's question is we've got to do something about it. And we have to do something about it fairly rapidly. The first thing you do is not dig it deeper. That's why this tax debate is important. We can't give $700 billion away to some of America's wealthiest people. We've got to make sure we're responsible for our budget, that's point #1....

The one thing I have to say to the public is that about 60 percent of our budget is entitlements, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. And a lot of the discretion I have is somewhat limited on these programs.

Now part of the reason health-care reform was so important is because the biggest driver of our long term budget deficits is Medicare. If our economy is growing at 2 or 3 or 4 percent, but health care costs are going up 6, or 7 or 8 percent, than the budget will blow up no matter how many cuts I make in other programs...

Right.  But notice how he sidesteps this and tries to turn it into a growth problem?  It's not.



19.6%: Social Security
16.1%: Unemployment/Welfare
12.8%: Medicare
8.2%: Medicaid/SCHIP

56.7% - right now, here, today.

100% - 42% = 58%, or basically the portion of the budget that encompasses entitlements.

Entitlements consume, for all intents and purposes, every dollar of tax receipts in the here and now.  Not tomorrow, not as growth in medical spending occurs, not in the future.

Right here, right now, today.

Note that we haven't spent one nickel on defense yet.  Nor have we paid the interest on the debt, which is quite mandatory.  Nor have we funded one of our so-called "discretionary" programs, including Homeland Security, Energy, Education, HUD, Department of State, Veterans Affairs, Justice or anything else.

What President Obama told you is that The Federal Government has no plan to deal with this, not now and not in the future.  It cannot even meet its own entitlement spending from the taxes it collects, leaving the entirety of the rest of the government, including national defense, to be put on the credit card.

You were told, today, that our government is insolvent.

Not "might become" insolvent if we don't change our ways.

The United States is insolvent, right here, right now, today, and The President announced it for all who cared to listen worldwide on national television.

President Obama says "we can't afford" that $700 billion.  But that number is over 10 years, as are all numbers proffered by the CBO and other agencies when talking about the budget and debt.  Those numbers are thrown around because they make you think they're big now, which is especially important when a politician wants to lie to you about what they can and will do about deficits tomorrow.

In point of fact it's $70 billion a year, or about $5.8 billion a month.

The Federal Government accumulates, at today's run rates, approximately $4.1 billion in deficits per day

That is, this big fat "$700 billion" amounts to roughly 5% of the deficit, and that is what we would "collect" if taxes go up and people do not shift behavior as a consequence (but they probably will.)

Got it yet?

The "Bush Tax Cuts" are absolutely irrelevant to this discussion.  The problem is not found in taxes and cannot be solved via tax policy.  President Bush, via signing Medicare Part D, dramatically exacerbated this problem, but he was hardly the one who started it.  For that you need to look back to FDR and Eisenhower, along with all the others since including The Right's "standard bearer" Ronald Reagan.

It is mathematically impossible to solve this problem without dramatically cutting back on entitlement spending - by something approximating one third to one half.

That isn't going to happen (voluntarily) either.

So as an investor you are reduced to one - and only one - question:

How long will the "bubble view" of both Treasuries and Equites hold up - that is, for how long will people buy both stocks (at ridiculous bubble-spending levels where the government is providing 12% of GDP's gross amount via deficit borrowing) and bonds (funding said 12% of GDP) before those very same people have sink into their skulls The Admission The President of The United States just made on National Television: WE DO NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO FUND THE GOVERNMENT TODAY AND STRUCTURALLY NEVER WILL, BECAUSE HE DOES NOT HAVE THE DISCRETION TO DECREASE SPENDING IN THE PROGRAMS THAT CONSUME ALL OF PRESENT TAX REVENUES.

That's it folks.  That's the only question to ask as a long-term investor.

For how long does the mass-delusion last?

Nothing else matters, because when (not if) that delusion ends the valuations of both stocks and bonds are going to collapse.

Not "dip", not "recede", not "sell off."


The Curious Logic of Our Governing Elites (American Thinker)


By Randall Hoven

George Orwell said, "There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them." What follows is my beginning of a list of ideas that some very intelligent people seem to believe.

The air should be taxed. More precisely, what every animal on earth exhales and what every plant on earth inhales can and should be taxed.

President Bush was bad for the economy because he spent too much. President Obama is helping the economy by spending a lot.

A jury is better informed if evidence is withheld from it.

The Boy Scouts are wrong for having policies that inhibit pedophilia. The Catholic Church was wrong for not having policies that inhibit pedophilia.

An economy in which government accounts for about 40% of economic activity, which owns a similar percentage of all land, and which enforces a stack of regulations the size of 64 Bibles (or 30 New Deals) is considered a radical laissez-faire free market.

Grabbing a person by his shirt and pulling him toward you is an "enhanced interrogation technique" not in the Army Field Manual. It is therefore "tantamount to torture" and out of bounds for any government agency or contractor to use when asking a terrorist what his plans are. Simply dropping a bomb on him, though, with neither trial nor tribunal, and killing him and anyone near him, including his wife, children, family and friends, is OK.

Stopping Saddam Hussein by force was wrong because he did not have WMD. Using force against the Taliban is OK despite no one even claiming the Taliban has, or ever had, or ever intend to obtain, WMD. It was also OK to use force against the government of Yugoslavia, which had no WMD and had never harmed or threatened anyone outside Yugoslavia.

Using force against Saddam Hussein just because he was a mass murderer was wrong because we cannot be the policeman for the world. This despite two wars that he started, killing about one million people, mostly Muslims; despite hundreds of mass graves containing hundreds of thousand of bodies; despite using chemical weapons on his own people; and despite a record of torture. However, using force, including the bombing of population centers, against the Serbs for killing perhaps 2,000 people -- many in the KLA, a certified terrorist organization -- was OK.

It was wrong to use force against Saddam Hussein because the inspections/sanctions regime was working. However, the inspections/sanctions regime was wrong because it was killing half a million Iraqi children.

It was foolish to let Saddam Hussein go in 1991. It was foolish to go after him in 2003.

It is wrong to use force against any country just because you think it might obtain or develop nuclear weapons; that is preemptive. It is wrong to use force against a country that already has nuclear weapons, since that could start a nuclear war. It is wrong to defend against incoming nuclear bombs because that is seen as provocative against countries that have nuclear bombs. Sanctions are also wrong because they kill children and provoke people (see above). In summary, it is wrong to defend yourself against nuclear weapons or any WMD, at any stage of their development or use, by any means other than politely asking your enemies to "stop that."

It is wrong to ask any person for his papers, even after that person has committed a crime and fits the profile of an illegal immigrant, and even though all non-citizens must carry identification papers per federal law. It is OK to ask every citizen in the U.S. to prove he or she has health insurance.

The federal government can force a state to recognize gay marriages because of the 14th Amendment. The federal government cannot force a state to not recognize gay marriages because of the 10th Amendment. 

Toilet tank capacity is interstate commerce. "Public use" of private property includes handing it over to another private owner. Large seasonal puddles connected to no other bodies of water are "navigable waters" as far as the government and its regulators are concerned.

The phrase "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law" means (a) it is OK to deprive property owners of their property and (b) it is not OK for a state to outlaw depriving life to any baby whose head has not left the birth canal.

The phrase "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" means it's OK to outlaw owning or carrying handguns.

The clause "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" means a public school must prohibit voluntary, student-led prayer at all school events, including football games. But it is OK for government to subsidize "art" such as a crucifix in a pitcher of urine.

The clause that says Congress shall make no law "abridging the freedom of speech" does not include workplace speech that might be considered racially or sexually offensive, commercial speech not approved by a federal regulatory agency, or political speech too close to an election.

A guy who made a $34,000 mistake on his own taxes is the best choice to be in charge of the IRS and the entire federal treasury. The guy with thirteen House ethics charges against him, including misusing federal resources and not paying taxes on his villa in the Dominican Republic, should be in charge of writing the country's tax laws. The guy who told us in 2005 that a housing bubble was nonsense and Fannie Mae was in fine shape should be writing in 2010 the regulations to overhaul all finance conducted in this country.

One way to a colorblind society is to ask for "race" on every official form. Another way is to add points for certain races on civil service exams and to use different cutoffs for different races on things like ACT, SAT, and LSAT scores when deciding whom to accept in educational institutions.

The way to increase jobs is to raise taxes on those who provide them and give money to those who don't have them.

The way to reduce health care costs is to mandate that every person have health insurance and that that insurance cover every possible physical health- and mental health-related cost, including massage therapists, social workers, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, acupuncture, hair prostheses, and about two thousand other insurance mandates levied by government.

It was right to take John McCain to court, through oral arguments and written opinion, to prove that he is "natural born," despite both his parents being U.S. citizens their whole lives and despite being the son and grandson of U.S. Navy admirals. It was wrong, even insane, to think Barack Obama should have to prove his birth status to anyone prior to taking the oath of office as president.

Enough for now. I started this with a quote from Orwell, and that is how I will end it.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

Randall Hoven is the creator of Graph of the Day. He can be contacted at or via his website,

Page Printed from: at September 20, 2010 - 08:13:21 AM CDT

Mollifying Muslims, and Muslifying Mollies ... Mark Steyn

Steyn Online ^ | 20 Sep 2010 | Mark Steyn

Posted on Monday, September 20, 2010 4:39:15 AM by Rummyfan

While I've been talking about free speech in Copenhagen, several free speech issues arose in North America. I was asked about them both at the Sappho Award event and in various interviews, so here's a few thoughts for what they're worth:

Too many people in the free world have internalized Islam’s view of them. A couple of years ago, I visited Guantanamo and subsequently wrote that, if I had to summon up Gitmo in a single image, it would be the brand-new copy of the Koran in each cell: To reassure incoming prisoners that the filthy infidels haven't touched the sacred book with their unclean hands, the Korans are hung from the walls in pristine, sterilized surgical masks. It's one thing for Muslims to regard infidels as unclean, but it's hard to see why it's in the interests of us infidels to string along with it and thereby validate their bigotry. What does that degree of prostration before their prejudices tell them about us? It’s a problem that Muslims think we’re unclean. It’s a far worse problem that we go along with it.

Take this no-name pastor from an obscure church who was threatening to burn the Koran. He didn’t burn any buildings or women and children. He didn’t even burn a book. He hadn’t actually laid a finger on a Koran, and yet the mere suggestion that he might do so prompted the President of the United States to denounce him, and the Secretary of State, and the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, various G7 leaders, and golly, even Angelina Jolie. President Obama has never said a word about honor killings of Muslim women. Secretary Clinton has never said a word about female genital mutilation. General Petraeus has never said a word about the rampant buggery of pre-pubescent boys by Pushtun men in Kandahar. But let an obscure man in Florida so much as raise the possibility that he might disrespect a book – an inanimate object – and the most powerful figures in the western world feel they have to weigh in.

Aside from all that, this obscure church’s website has been shut down, its insurance policy has been canceled, its mortgage has been called in by its bankers. Why? As Diana West wrote, why was it necessary or even seemly to make this pastor a non-person? Another one of Obama's famous "teaching moments"? In this case teaching us that Islamic law now applies to all? Only a couple of weeks ago, the President, at his most condescendingly ineffectual, presumed to lecture his moronic subjects about the First Amendment rights of Imam Rauf. Where's the condescending lecture on Pastor Jones' First Amendment rights?

When someone destroys a bible, US government officials don’t line up to attack him. President Obama bowed lower than a fawning maitre d’ before the King of Saudi Arabia, a man whose regime destroys bibles as a matter of state policy, and a man whose depraved religious police forces schoolgirls fleeing from a burning building back into the flames to die because they’d committed the sin of trying to escape without wearing their head scarves. If you show a representation of Mohammed, European commissioners and foreign ministers line up to denounce you. If you show a representation of Jesus Christ immersed in your own urine, you get a government grant for producing a widely admired work of art. Likewise, if you write a play about Jesus having gay sex with Judas Iscariot.

So just to clarify the ground rules, if you insult Christ, the media report the issue as freedom of expression: A healthy society has to have bold, brave, transgressive artists willing to question and challenge our assumptions, etc. But, if it’s Mohammed, the issue is no longer freedom of expression but the need for "respect" and "sensitivity" toward Islam, and all those bold brave transgressive artists don’t have a thing to say about it.

Maybe Pastor Jones doesn't have any First Amendment rights. Musing on Koran burning, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer argued:

[Oliver Wendell] Holmes said it doesn’t mean you can shout 'fire' in a crowded theater... Why? Because people will be trampled to death. And what is the crowded theater today? What is the being trampled to death?

This is a particularly obtuse remark even by the standards of contemporary American jurists. As I've said before, the fire-in-a-crowded-theatre shtick is the first refuge of the brain-dead. But it's worth noting the repellent modification Justice Breyer makes to Holmes' argument: If someone shouts fire in a gaslit Broadway theatre of 1893, people will panic. By definition, panic is an involuntary reaction. If someone threatens to burn a Koran, belligerent Muslims do not panic - they bully, they intimidate, they threaten, they burn and they kill. Those are conscious acts, at least if you take the view that Muslims are as fully human as the rest of us and therefore responsible for their choices. As my colleague Jonah Goldberg points out, Justice Breyer's remarks seem to assume that Muslims are not fully human.

More importantly, the logic of Breyer's halfwit intervention is to incentivize violence, and undermine law itself. What he seems to be telling the world is that Americans' constitutional rights will bend to intimidation. If Koran-burning rates a First Amendment exemption because Muslims are willing to kill over it, maybe Catholics should threaten to kill over the next gay-Jesus play, and Broadway could have its First Amendment rights reined in. Maybe the next time Janeane Garafolo goes on MSNBC and calls Obama's opponents racists, the Tea Partiers should rampage around town and NBC's free-speech rights would be withdrawn.

Meanwhile, in smaller ways, Islamic intimidation continues. One reason why I am skeptical that the Internet will prove the great beacon of liberty on our darkening planet is because most of the anonymous entities that make it happen are run by people marinated in jelly-spined political correctness. In Canada, an ISP called Bluehost knocked Marginalized Action Dinosaur off the air in response to a complaint by Asad Raza, a laughably litigious doctor in Brampton, Ontario. Had his name been Gordy McHoser, I doubt even the nancy boys at Bluehost would have given him the time of day. A similar fate briefly befell our old pal the Binksmeister at In other words, a website set up to protest Islamic legal jihad was shut down by the same phenomenon. In America, The New York Times has already proposed giving "some government commission" control over Google’s search algorithm; the City of Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted and the Constitution signed, is now so removed from the spirit of the First Amendment that it's demanding bloggers pay a $300 "privilege" license for expressing their opinions online. The statists grow ever more comfortable in discussing openly the government management of your computer. But, even if they don't formally take it over, look at the people who run publishing houses, movie studios, schools and universities, and ask yourself whether you really want to bet the future on the commitment to free speech of those who run ISPs. SteynOnline, for example, is already banned by the Internet gatekeepers from the computers at both Marriott Hotels and Toronto Airport.

But forget about notorious rightwing hatemongers like me. Look at how liberal progressives protect their own. Do you remember a lady called Molly Norris? She's the dopey Seattle cartoonist who cooked up "Everybody Draws Mohammed" Day, and then, when she realized what she'd stumbled into, tried to back out of it. I regard Miss Norris as (to rewrite Stalin) a useless idiot, and she wrote to Mark's Mailbox to object. I stand by what I wrote then, especially the bit about her crappy peace-sign T-shirt. Now The Seattle Weekly informs us:

You may have noticed that Molly Norris' comic is not in the paper this week. That's because there is no more Molly.

On the advice of the FBI, she's been forced to go into hiding. If you want to measure the decline in western civilization's sense of self-preservation, go back to Valentine's Day 1989, get out the Fleet Street reports on the Salman Rushdie fatwa, and read the outrage of his fellow London literati at what was being done to one of the mainstays of the Hampstead dinner-party circuit. Then compare it with the feeble passivity of Molly Norris' own colleagues at an American cartoonist being forced to abandon her life: "There is no more Molly"? That's all the gutless pussies of The Seattle Weekly can say? As James Taranto notes in The Wall Street Journal, even much sought-after Ramadan-banquet constitutional scholar Barack Obama is remarkably silent:

Now Molly Norris, an American citizen, is forced into hiding because she exercised her right to free speech. Will President Obama say a word on her behalf? Does he believe in the First Amendment for anyone other than Muslims?

Who knows? Given his highly selective enthusiasms, you can hardly blame a third of Americans for figuring their president must be Muslim. In a way, that's the least pathetic explanation: The alternative is that he's just a craven squish. Which is an odd considering he is, supposedly, the most powerful man in the world.

Listen to what President Obama, Justice Breyer, General Petraeus, The Seattle Weekly and Bluehost internet services are telling us about where we're headed. As I said in America Alone, multiculturalism seems to operate to the same even-handedness as the old Cold War joke in which the American tells the Soviet guy that "in my country everyone is free to criticize the President", and the Soviet guy replies, "Same here. In my country everyone is free to criticize your President." Under one-way multiculturalism, the Muslim world is free to revere Islam and belittle the west's inheritance, and, likewise, the western world is free to revere Islam and belittle the west’s inheritance. If one has to choose, on balance Islam’s loathing of other cultures seems psychologically less damaging than western liberals' loathing of their own.

It is a basic rule of life that if you reward bad behavior, you get more of it. Every time Muslims either commit violence or threatens it, we reward them by capitulating. Indeed, President Obama, Justice Breyer, General Petraeus, and all the rest are now telling Islam, you don’t have to kill anyone, you don’t even have to threaten to kill anyone. We’ll be your enforcers. We’ll demand that the most footling and insignificant of our own citizens submit to the universal jurisdiction of Islam. So Obama and Breyer are now the “good cop” to the crazies’ "bad cop". Ooh, no, you can’t say anything about Islam, because my friend here gets a little excitable, and you really don’t want to get him worked up. The same people who tell us "Islam is a religion of peace" then turn around and tell us you have to be quiet, you have to shut up because otherwise these guys will go bananas and kill a bunch of people.

While I was in Denmark, one of the usual Islamobozos lit up prematurely in a Copenhagen hotel. Not mine, I'm happy to say. He wound up burning only himself, but his targets were my comrades at the newspaper Jyllands-Posten. I wouldn't want to upset Justice Breyer by yelling "Fire!" over a smoldering jihadist, but one day even these idiots will get lucky. I didn't like the Danish Security Police presence at the Copenhagen conference, and I preferred being footloose and fancy-free when I was prowling the more menacing parts of Rosengard across the water in Malmö the following evening. No one should lose their name, their home, their life, their liberty because ideological thugs are too insecure to take a joke. But Molly Norris is merely the latest squishy liberal to learn that, when the chips are down, your fellow lefties won't be there for you.

ELECTION NOTE I'm looking forward to getting back to the U.S. and weighing in on November's fun and frolics. But a quick word on Christine O'Donnell, the GOP Senate candidate from Delaware whom the politico-media establishment have decided is this season's easiest conservative target. If I understand their current plan to save the Dems, it rests on the proposition that America is about to be delivered into the care of a coven of witches who want to take away your right to masturbate. Two thoughts: First, any young woman (as she then was) willing to go on MTV, before a live audience, and attack masturbation certainly doesn't want for courage. As to her alleged dabbling with "witchcraft", so what? Several readers suggest Ms O'Donnell use Sinatra's "Witchcraft" as her campaign theme song. No, no, no. She should use the theme from "Bewitched": All she had to do was twitch her nose, and Mike Castle vanished. If it's a choice between Elizabeth Montgomery and Democrats cackling as they toss another trillion dollars into their bubbling cauldron, it's no contest.

Always loved the lyric to "Bewitched", which you never hear. If Ms O'Donnell wins, I'll be singing it on election night.

Thank you to everyone at the Danish Free Press Society who helped make my trip to Copenhagen such fun - especially Lars, Eva, Kit and Katrine. You can scroll down for the links to the audio of my acceptance speech plus various interviews. Afterwards, I nipped across the water to enjoy a livelier-than-usual Swedish election campaign, despite the best efforts of the dreary enforcers of its one-party media. As I always tell my Danish pals, Sweden is insane even by Scandinavian standards.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Teen Workplace Disengagement Epidemic (How to commit cultural suicide?)


Pajamas Media ^ | September 15, 2010 | Tom Blumer

Posted on Friday, September 17, 2010 8:03:52 AM by Kaslin

Probably because it came out on the same day as the monthly Employment Situation Report — not to mention that it was also published on the Friday before a holiday weekend – an “Editor’s Desk” item at Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Labor Statistics entitled “Youth employment and unemployment in July 2010″ got very little attention. It deserved plenty.

The report led with this paragraph:

In July, the employment-population ratio for youth — the proportion of the 16- to 24-year-old civilian noninstitutional population that was employed — was 48.9 percent. This was the lowest July rate on record for the series, which began in 1948. (The month of July typically is the summertime peak in youth employment.)

It’s the first time this ratio has come in below 50%. In the late 1980s, it was almost 70%. This column will concentrate on the lower portion (ages 16-19) of the 16-24 age bracket.

One would expect the employment-population ratio for those in the age 16-19 cohort to be lower, and it is; but you might be surprised by how much. The July 2010 ratio for this subgroup (not seasonally adjusted) was 31.3%. That is also a low since records have been kept, and represents the fourth consecutive year with a record-breaking low. In July 2006, the analogous percentage was 44.9%. From 1948 until 2002, it was only rarely below 50%. The ratio (rounded) reached 60% for a couple of years in the late 1970s and late 1980s.

What in the world is going on here?

One obvious current factor is that those teens who are looking for work aren’t finding it thanks to the economy. Not only have millions of jobs disappeared during the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy, but adults (legal citizens and, in many states, illegal immigrants) are also competing for and taking many of the entry-level and even summer jobs that still exist. The July 2010 unemployment rate for teens (again, not seasonally adjusted) was 26.5%, setting a since-1948 July record for the second year in a row, crushing the 24.8% rate in July 2009 (this economy is breaking records all over the place, isn’t it?). Before 2009, no July ever had a teen unemployment rate higher than 22.1%.

Perhaps surprisingly, though, it’s not as much a matter of unemployment as it is of disengagement, as this graphic comparing July 1989, the last near-peak July for the teen employment-population ratio, to July 2010:

The graphic demonstrates that even if the teen unemployment rate were the same as it was in 1989, the employment-population ratio would get back only 5.2 of the 28.3 points by which it has declined in the past two-plus decades. The obvious comparatives that stick out are the increases of over 5.3 million in the number of teens not in the labor force (9.680 million compared to 4.321 million), and the near doubling of their percentage of the teen population (57.4% versus 30.4%). Fairly close to six out of every ten teens weren’t even trying to find work in July.

Perhaps it’s a matter of discouragement, as in wanting to work but not actively looking for it because one “knows” there are no jobs out there. To a degree, yes, but not as much as you might think. I looked at July 2006, when the overall unemployment rate in a strong economy was 5%. With roughly the same population as 2010, there were still almost 7.8 million teens not in the labor force. On a population-adjusted basis, that’s well over 2.5 million higher than 1989.

This means, good economy or bad, millions of teens have consciously chosen not to try to enter the workforce. Why?

Though it’s hard to pin down their relative importance, I believe that at least the following factors are at play:

• More demanding high school activities, including sports and music — These have increasingly encroached on summertime to the point where many teens could only work for a few weeks at most even if they wanted to.

• Overprotective parents who don’t want to expose their little darlings to the harsh, cruel world of work — With many teens, if you don’t push, it won’t happen. In many cases, no one’s pushing.

• Illegal immigration — Why would an employer hire a high school kid with an unproven work ethic when cheap, reliable help is otherwise available? Besides making it harder for teens who are looking for work, other teens don’t bother because they know they won’t get anywhere.

• Minimum-wage laws — These have caused employers to think twice about taking on summertime and inexperienced help. University professors William Even and David McPherson recently contended that federal minimum wage hikes of the past few years have been responsible for 114,000 fewer teen jobs. I think that’s an underestimate, because minimum-wage hikes also influence decisions to even to try to find work. If you think it’s highly unlikely that any employer out there will pay you $7.25 an hour, or if your friends testing the job market aren’t having success, you probably won’t start looking.

• Substantial penalties against working teens in college aid calculations — The higher a college-bound or college-attending teen’s earnings (and assets in their name), the higher a family’s Expected Family Contribution will be. This means, all other things being equal, that less financial aid will be available.

• A plethora of distractions which make it much easier to waste vast amounts of time accomplishing absolutely nothing while still not getting really bored — Video games, fantasy sports leagues, and the like would certainly fit into this category.

• Unpreparedness for work — This has to do with basic literacy, the ability to follow simple instructions, decorum, and attitude, all of which I have recently been told by several different employers continue to deteriorate, even among those who attend supposedly “good” schools.

Whatever the reasons, on balance I don’t see how increased teen disengagement can be viewed as a favorable development.

At the risk of boring readers with a “when I was young” riff, I’ll note that I got my first summer job at age 16 washing dishes for 48 hours a week at the minimum wage of $1.60 an hour. It was rough, to say the least, but I took two very important things away from the experience: a) a healthy respect for those who do such jobs all year long (while not necessarily wanting to engage in such work for the rest of my life), and b) an appreciation of how difficult it is to keep a business operation working.

How, or even when, will disengaged teens, especially those who eventually move directly into so-called “professional” careers out of school, ever learn or appreciate these lessons?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Money of Fools (Thomas Sowell from Jewish World Review)

Jewish World Review Sept. 8, 2010 / 29 Elul, 5770

By Thomas Sowell | Seventeenth century philosopher Thomas Hobbes said that words are wise men's counters, but they are the money of fools.

That is as painfully true today as it was four centuries ago. Using words as vehicles to try to convey your meaning is very different from taking words so literally that the words use you and confuse you.

Take the simple phrase "rent control." If you take these words literally-- as if they were money in the bank-- you get a complete distortion of reality.

New York is the city with the oldest and strongest rent control laws in the nation. San Francisco is second. But if you look at cities with the highest average rents, New York is first and San Francisco is second. Obviously, "rent control" laws do not control rent.

If you check out the facts, instead of relying on words, you will discover that "gun control" laws do not control guns, the government's "stimulus" spending does not stimulate the economy and that many "compassionate" policies inflict cruel results, such as the destruction of the black family.

Do you know how many millions of people died in the war "to make the world safe for democracy"-- a war that led to autocratic dynasties being replaced by totalitarian dictatorships that slaughtered far more of their own people than the dynasties had?


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Warm, fuzzy words and phrases have an enormous advantage in politics. None has had such a long run of political success as "social justice."

The idea cannot be refuted because it has no specific meaning. Fighting it would be like trying to punch the fog. No wonder "social justice" has been such a political success for more than a century-- and counting.

While the term has no defined meaning, it has emotionally powerful connotations. There is a strong sense that it is simply not right-- that it is unjust-- that some people are so much better off than others.

Justification, even as the term is used in printing and carpentry, means aligning one thing with another. But what is the standard to which we think incomes or other benefits should be aligned?

Is the person who has spent years in school goofing off, acting up or fighting-- squandering the tens of thousands of dollars that the taxpayers have spent on his education-- supposed to end up with his income aligned with that of the person who spent those same years studying to acquire knowledge and skills that would later be valuable to himself and to society at large?

Some advocates of "social justice" would argue that what is fundamentally unjust is that one person is born into circumstances that make that person's chances in life radically different from the chances that others have-- through no fault of one and through no merit of the others.

Maybe the person who wasted educational opportunities and developed self-destructive behavior would have turned out differently if born into a different home or a different community.

That would of course be more just. But now we are no longer talking about "social" justice, unless we believe that it is all society's fault that different families and communities have different values and priorities-- and that society can "solve" that "problem."

Nor can poverty or poor education explain such differences. There are individuals who were raised by parents who were both poor and poorly educated, but who pushed their children to get the education that the parents themselves never had. Many individuals and groups would not be where they are today without that.

All kinds of chance encounters-- with particular people, information or circumstances-- have marked turning points in many individual's lives, whether toward fulfillment or ruin.

None of these things is equal or can be made equal. If this is an injustice, it is not a "social" injustice because it is beyond the power of society.

You can talk or act as if society is both omniscient and omnipotent. But, to do so would be to let words become what Thomas Hobbes called them, "the money of fools."

Reaping the Whirlwind (from American Thinker)

September 14, 2010


By Lance Fairchok

"They sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind."
- Hosea 8:7

"Sooner or later in life, we all sit down to a banquet of consequences."
- Robert Louis Stevenson

There is a sense of foreboding rising in this country. It is not the usual pessimism fueled by a sensational press, nor is it surfacing because of the political crisis machine that generates one drama after another by which to manipulate the electorate. It is a feeling of imminent danger fueled by a realization based on evidence so obvious and so startling that the citizenry cannot help but take notice. Our prosperity, our security, and even our safety are fast fading away. Our own president and his party are facilitating our demise.

The signs are everywhere.

Every new piece of backroom congressional legislation chips away at a few more freedoms, undermining our republic by preventing open and honest debate. Behind the scenes, Obama's henchmen wield sledgehammers against free commerce, gun ownership, freedom of speech, and energy. The billions in taxpayer money going to leftist and socialist organizations cement their toxic influence into the very fabric of our government. The corruption and fraud of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are obvious examples, but there are thousands more. Unions, "community organizations," far-left causes, anti-American ideologues, socialist fifth columnists, environmental radicals, open borders fanatics, Mexican irredentist revolutionaries, Islamists, terror-supporters, and professed communists all prosper from Obama's destructive largesse.

The Mexican war with its drug cartels escalates. Brutal massacres and car bombings are killing innocents just miles from our southern states. Surpassing war-torn Iraq, 28,000 have died since 2006. The butchers responsible pass with impunity into our territory. In their own country, they murder police, the press, and innocent citizens. They torture, they behead, they kill the families of their enemies.

Our government stubbornly refuses to stop them and pretends to be working diligently on the problem. It is a lie. They persecute police officers who enforce the law and sue states that attempt to stem the crippling illegal immigrant tide. The jackals that tortured and killed 72 unarmed migrants are already here; the violence we see south of the border will soon follow. Americans will die. Obama does nothing.

Illegal immigrants cost border states billions -- in law enforcement, in social services, in education, and in emergency medical services. Arizona has asked for National Guard troops, the situation has become so untenable. There is little hope the problem will abate. Mexico is so corrupt; any effective countermeasures are undermined before they begin. NARCO dollars buy police, prosecutors, judges, and the army. The poison spreads.

Drug cartels control swaths of U.S. territory. Instead of action, Arizona got signs.

... the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has placed 15 signs along a 60-mile stretch of Interstate 8 that links San Diego with Phoenix and Tucson warning travelers of drug cartels and human trafficking operations.

"DANGER - PUBLIC WARNING, TRAVEL NOT RECOMMENDED," read the signs placed along Interstate 8. "Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals and Smuggling Vehicles Traveling at High Rates of Speed.  Stay Away From Trash, Clothing, Backpacks, and Abandoned Vehicles."

A couple of weeks ago, thirty National Guard troops showed up for border duty; Arizona asked for three thousand. In a move designed to fail, administration talking heads can now claim there is Guard support for border enforcement. It is another trick, another betrayal of a beleaguered state, and normal operations for our anti-American president and his cabal of "progressive" academics.

Obama's exploding national deficits are sucking the lifeblood from our economy. In the name of "social justice," they deconstruct what has taken generations of sacrifice and toil to build. We spend what we do not have like a drunk on a binge. When that horrendous bill is due, our children and grandchildren will pay in a far less significant America than we know today.

Every jobs report is a "surprise" of increasing unemployment, the real level of which is around 22 percent, not the 9.5-percent fiction the Obama administration touts. Great-Depression levels of unemployment do not support the "recovery summer" propaganda. Teen unemployment is at levels above 25 percent as adults take jobs traditionally filled by teens. Americans are not fooled by the government spin; they see the evidence every day.

They see empty stores, shuttered gas stations, small businesses closing shop. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "... 4.3 million businesses with 19 or fewer employees closed during the fourth quarter of 2007 through the fourth quarter of 2008." The numbers are now much higher, though exact numbers have become strangely difficult to find. If bank closures are any indicator, Mom & Pop businesses are in deep trouble. Loans to small businesses have dropped by 40 billion dollars. The lifeblood of American commerce, small business employs half of all workers in the country. They are the source of the innovative energy that once made our economy so exceptional. Once Obama's and the Democrats' new taxes and hidden "fees" kick in after 2011, the problem will explode. Ideology never runs an economy well, but it does blind its true believers to the consequences of their actions.

But it gets much, much worse.

Iran now has a viable nuclear program. With the support of Russia and North Korea, they claim their reactors are for purely peaceful purposes. The Obama administration has tried to convince Israel it will be at least a year until a nuclear weapon can be produced. Obama's Nuclear Proliferation Czar, Gary Samore, tells us, "We think that they have roughly a year dash time" and "[a] year is a very long period of time," kicking the problem down the road -- a road that grows shorter each passing day.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad frequently talks of wiping Israel off the map. He is a fanatic who takes the Quran's injunction to kill Jews very seriously. If we are to believe his own words, he plans to do just that, through Hezbollah, through Syria, and eventually with a nuclear weapon. Whether Israel or the United States will be the first target is a coin toss. We will be attacked. It is just a matter of time.

Page Printed from: at September 14, 2010 - 07:33:09 AM CDT

Monday, September 13, 2010

Why I Post Material Like My 9/11 Screed (Karl Denninger)

The Market Ticker ® - Commentary on The Capital Markets

Posted at: 2010-09-12 15:18 by Genesis
in category Editorial

Why I Post Material Like My 9/11 Screed

Some wonder, given the following warning in the forum's TOS:

Any discussion of 9/11 "Troofer"-related nonsense on Tickerforum will result in an immediate, no-notice and permanent account (and possibly IP-level) ban. There are literally thousands of places on The Internet where you can run this sort of tripe. This is not one of them, and those who refuse to respect this constraint will have their access privileges removed.

This is why:



We live in a serious time folks.  Women like this "teacher", who spends her days filling your kids' minds with garbage, fully believing every bit of the lies that she spat at the Governor, are a direct and present threat to the future of our nation.

So are those who think that our nation's government blew up three buildings in NYC on 9/11, shot down UA 93, or fired a missile into our own Pentagon.

So are those who refuse to pay attention to the historical record on many other accounts, including Islam.  Our own founding fathers wrote on the latter topic, having suffered under piracy on the high seas that resulted in over a million Europeans and Americans being sold into slavery.  Upon trying to "settle" this matter diplomatically and asking by what right these people were being taken....

As Jefferson later reported to Secretary of State John Jay, and to the Congress:

The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

Where - and when - have I heard that sort of sentiment expressed before?  And aren't we dealing with a similar situation with Somali Muslim pirates now?

You never hear the Somali pirates with their proper affiliation inserted, of course.  The media doesn't want to talk about that.  Gee, I wonder why?

Let's be straight-up here folks:

We live in a perilous time, where both governments and others have deceived.  You have been lulled to sleep through the false belief in the God of "profit" that was emitted not from your hands and minds, but rather by the simple passing of "assets" from one person to another at an ever-higher price. 

This was a knowing and willful fraud.  The Boomers exacerbated it and in fact press their case now, as with the teacher in that video clip, believing that they have the right to extort wages that perpetually rise even though they do the same job today they did yesterday.  That is, they produce no more and labor no harder, but are "due" more money - from you, the taxpayer.

They also press the position that they (and everyone else) are "due" free medical care, a free retirement, and the ability to live at a standard much higher than you, simply because they are "government employees."

The blowing of serial bubbles was not an accident.  It was an intentional act created by our government and private actors on Wall Street.  It was intended to lull you to sleep with "free" houses, "free" iPhones, "free" cars and other trappings of prosperity that you did not actually have to work for.

These jackals in fact did nothing other than write a post-dated check against your labor and cash it, "allowing" you to have the money now that you must now earn tomorrow.

This nation sits on the edge of a convulsion not seen in more than 200 years.  The edges of it are apparent now in places like Arizona, southern Texas, Chicago and Detroit, where gangs, whether illegal immigrants or simple roving bands of thugs, terrorize and disrupt, fueled by our own idiocy - a "drug war" that we learned in the early part of the 1900s could not work (during Prohibition.)  Yet we allowed the Harry Anslingers of the world to work us into a frenzy, and then piled on with Nancy Reagan and MADD, all of which did nothing other than provide the fuel for two very-valuable enterprises - the gangs who now murder our children and the prisons that lock people up for consensual adult conduct.

We have spent fifty years deluding ourselves on the international scene to go along with our domestic delusions.  First, we played cop in Korea.  Then, Vietnam.  Then, not content to stop there, when Saddam invaded Kuwait we "ejected" him and then let him get away with it after his entire military force was cornered and on a single road.  We then sat back and let the Muslims try to blow up one of our Destroyers, did nothing, then let them blow up a second one (the USS Cole) and again did nothing.  This of course culminated in the attacks on 9/11.

But did we go to all of the sources of those people and their funding and blast them to Mars?  Why of course not.  Doing that would have caused "economic disruption", since some of those very same people were selling us oil!

Do you get that one folks? 

You bought the training and organization that blew up the towers and the Pentagon with your own ****ing money, and you DEMANDED (and still do!) that we not drill for that same damn oil RIGHT HERE in AMERICA!

Still, we continued to believe, for five more years, even after 3,000 of our nation's men, women and children died, that we could have a "Free Lunch."  We allowed bankers to create hinky derivatives, we allowed cities, towns and states to promise "retirement benefits" that could not possibly be paid, we allowed colleges to rig their pricing by making it unlawful to discharge student loans in bankruptcy.  We allowed our towns and states to rig their budgets with ever-increasing assessments on the "value" of Real Estate, never questioning why it is that you claim to BUY something that you then have to pay a tax on to own every year!

You don't own your house - even if it's allegedly "paid off" - you're renting it from the damn county!

Through all this we spent our political debate on whether we should overturn Roe .v. Wade or whether gays can serve in the military. 

These are worthy debates, but ones that any thinking person cannot even CONSIDER entertaining until we eject the jackals from our financial and government infrastructure, quit making promises we cannot possibly keep, lock up the scammers and take the excess debt - all $25 trillion or so - out of the system.

2008 was a tiny crack in the dam.  A spurt of water.  The economic dislocation you saw was one small part of the $53 trillion on balance sheet debt bubble quivering.

A mere 2% of that debt bubble actually going bad caused all the awful things you saw happen from the beginning of 2007 to the spring of 2009.

The other 98% is still there, and of it half, if not more, stinks like dead fish.

You think this is over?  That things are "stable"? 

We cannot stimulate our way out of this, nor can the government spend its way out.  We are now spending 12% of our GDP in borrowed money each and every year simply to cover up an ongoing, three-year old economic Depression.  A depression that the CBO says will continue next year, as they project deficits equal or worse than we're running this year. 

For how long will we get away with this?

I don't know.

But what I do know is that we won't get away with it indefinitely.

The other $25 trillion of bad debt will pop.

Perhaps half of the outstanding mortgage and HELOC debt, on balance.

Perhaps half of the student loan debt.

Perhaps 20, 30, 40% of the corporate debt.

And God knows how much of the derivatives so-called "notional value" is in fact hedged, and how much is not - despite belief that most of it is.  See, a hedged bet is only good if the guy who you hedged it with can pay!  If he can't, you're naked on the beach with your tiny little pecker that everyone can see when it comes time to settle the checks.

When I started writing The Ticker in April of 2007 I was doing it to provide an alternative point of view, and hopefully some perspective for our leaders in Government to take to heart.  I did not believe I would "reach them" - after all, I'm one guy with a loud mouth and a fair bit of computer and networking skill, and these scams and frauds have been going on for a hell of a long time.

But as a father with a school-age daughter that I do not want to grow up in a decaying society, or worse, one that has gone Mad Max, I had to try.

Today, I'm a bit more-focused and limited in my goals.

We're not going to fix this folks - it's going to blow up.  Neither Republicans or Democrats will do a ******n thing about the scams and frauds.  They've proved it conclusively.  Neither a Republican or Democrat Attorney General has brought one single criminal prosecution against the bankers who created and profited from the scams - not even when there is publicly reported evidence of organized criminal activity in money laundering for criminal drug cartels in Mexico and blatant bribery in county and state financial dealings, along with funneling money to Iran so they can pay "bounties" for our soldier's heads on pikes.

When our so-called "law enforcement" apparatus will sit on their hands while institutions finance literal murder by the Mexican Drug gangs and Iranian bribes to the Taliban, there's no reason for any citizen to expect that the rule of law matters or that any sort of prosecutorial response will ever be forthcoming, no matter how obscene and outrageous the behavior of these "titans of industry" might be, now or in the future.  Forget it.

All I'm trying to do now is chronicle enough, and provide enough information, so that those with their heads on straight have a chance of survival in the years to come.  That begins with my personal family, and it extends to those who wish to listen, investigate on their own, and understand.

If you're one of the nutters who thinks that we're being attacked "because we're war-mongers", or if you think "we deserved it" on 9/11, or if you think "people deserved it" because they drove an SUV, you truly and richly deserve what's coming in this country, and you will not be prepared for it.  Further, I don't have time for it - feel free to debate all the BS issues you think are "so important" wherever you like - so long as it's not on my forum.  Run that crap there, you're gone.

But if you're not one of the nutters then keep reading, keep doing your own due diligence (yes, even against what I have to say - don't take anyone's word for anything, including mine), and get prepared.

This is not going to end well folks.

And that, my friends, is my screed for 9/12, what should truly have been (and could still be) Patriot's Day.

Discussion below (registration required to post)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bonfire of the Insanities. (In response to Gen David Petraeus' denunciation of Florida pastor)

Bonfire of the Insanities. (In response to Gen David Petraeus' denunciation of Florida pastor)
Human Events ^ | 09/09/10 | Ann Coulter

Posted on Thursday, September 09, 2010 2:28:52 AM by American Dream 246

In response to Gen David Petraeus' denunciation of Florida pastor Terry Jones' right to engage in a symbolic protest of the 9/11 attacks by burning copies of the Quran this Sept. 11, President Obama said: "Let me be clear: As a citizen, and as president, I believe that members of the Dove World Outreach Center have the same right to freedom of speech and religion as anyone else in this country."

Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida lauded Obama's remarks, saying America is "a place where you're supposed to be able to practice your religion without the government telling you you can't."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called Obama's words a "clarion defense of the freedom of religion" -- and also claimed that he had recently run into a filthy jihadist who actually supported the Quran-burning!

Keith Olbermann read the poem "First they came ..." on air in defense of the Quran-burners, nearly bringing himself to tears at his own profundity.

No wait, my mistake. This is what liberals said about the ground zero mosque only five minutes ago when they were posing as First Amendment absolutists. Suddenly, they've developed amnesia when it comes to the free-speech right to burn a Quran.

Weirdly, conservatives who opposed building the mosque at ground zero are also against the Quran burning. (Except in my case. It turns out I'm for it, but mostly because burning Qurans will contribute to global warming.)

Liberals couldn't care less about the First Amendment. To the contrary, censoring speech and religion is the left's specialty! (Any religion other than Islam.)

They promote speech codes, hate crimes, free speech zones (known as "America" off college campuses), and go around the country yanking every reference to God from the public square via endless lawsuits by the ACLU.

Whenever you see a liberal choking up over our precious constitutional rights, you can be sure we're talking about the rights of Muslims at ground zero, "God Hates Fags" funeral protesters, strippers, The New York Times publishing classified documents, pornographers, child molesters, murderers, traitors, saboteurs, terrorists, flag-burners (but not Quran-burners!) or women living on National Endowment of the Arts grants by stuffing yams into their orifices on stage.

Speaking of lying dwarfs, last week on "The Daily Show" Bloomberg claimed he was having a hamburger with his "girlfriend" when a man came up to him and said of the ground zero mosque: "I just got back from two tours fighting overseas for America. This is what we were all fighting for. You go and keep at it."

We're fighting for the right of Muslims to build mosques at ground zero? I thought we were trying to keep Muslims AWAY from our skyscrapers. (What an embarrassing misunderstanding.) PLEASE PULL THE TROOPS OUT IMMEDIATELY.

But back to the main issue: Was Bloomberg having a $150 Burger Double Truffle at DB Bistro Moderne or a more sensible $30 burger at the 21 Club when he bumped into his imaginary veteran? With the pint-sized mayor shrieking at the sight of a saltshaker, I assume he wasn't having a Hardee's No. 4 Combo Meal.

Adding an element of realism to his little vignette, Bloomberg said: "I got a hamburger and a pickle and a potato chip or something."

A potato chip? Translation: "I don't know what I was eating, because I'm making this whole story up -- I wouldn't be caught dead eating 'a potato chip' or any other picaresque garnish favored by the peasants." At least Bloomberg didn't claim the man who walked up to him took credit for setting the Times Square bomb because he was a tea partier upset about ObamaCare -- as Sherlock Bloomberg had so presciently speculated at the time.

Gen. Petraeus objected to the Quran-burning protest on the grounds that it could be used by radical jihadists to recruit Muslims to attack Americans.

This is what liberals say whenever we do anything displeasing to the enemy -- invade Iraq, hold captured terrorists in Guantanamo, interrogate captured jihadists or publish Muhammad cartoons. Is there a website somewhere listing everything that encourages terrorist recruiting?

If the general's main objective is to hamper jihadist recruiting, may I respectfully suggest unconditional surrender? Because on his theory, you know what would really kill the terrorists' recruiting ability? If we adopted Sharia law!

But wait -- weren't we assured by Fire Island's head of national security, Andrew Sullivan, that if America elected a "brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy," the terrorists would look like a bunch of lunkheads and be unable to recruit?

It didn't work out that way. There have been more terrorist attacks on U.S. soil by these allegedly calmed Muslims in Obama's first 18 months in office than in the six years under Bush after he invaded Iraq.

Also, as I recall, there was no Guantanamo, no Afghanistan war and no Iraq war on Sept. 10, 2001. And yet, somehow, Osama bin Ladin had no trouble recruiting back then. Can we retire the "it will help them recruit" argument yet?

The reason not to burn Qurans is that it's unkind -- not to jihadists, but to Muslims who mean us no harm. The same goes for building a mosque at ground zero -- in both cases, it's not a question of anyone's "rights," it's just a nasty thing to do.

The Political Violence of the Bible and the Koran

September 09, 2010


By Bill Warner

One of the most frequently used arguments in the defense of Islam is that the Bible is just as violent as the Koran. The logic goes like this. If the Koran is no more violent than the Bible, then why should we worry about Islam? This argument suggests that Islam is the same as Christianity and Judaism. This is false, but the analogy is very popular since it allows someone who knows nothing about the actual doctrine of Islam to talk about it. "See, Islam is like Christianity; Christians are just as violent as Muslims." If this is true, then you don't have to learn anything about the actual Islamic doctrine.

However, this is not a theological argument. It is a political one. This argument is not about what goes on in a house of worship, but what goes on the in the marketplace of ideas.

Now, is the doctrine of Islam more violent than the Koran? There is only one way to prove or disprove the comparison, and that is to measure the differences in violence in the Koran and the Bible.

The first item is to define violence. The only violence that matters to someone outside of Islam, Christianity, or Judaism is what they do to the "other," or political violence. Cain killing Abel is not political violence. Political violence is not killing a lamb for a meal or making an animal sacrifice. Note that regardless of whether a vegan or a PETA member considers both of these actions violent, neither constitutes violence against vegans or PETA members.

The next item is to compare the doctrines both quantitatively and qualitatively. The political violence of the Koran is called "fighting in Allah's cause," or jihad.

We must do more than measure the jihad in the Koran. Islam has three sacred texts: Koran, Sira, and Hadith, or the Islamic Trilogy. The Sira is Mohammed's biography. The Hadith are his traditions -- what he did and said. Sira and Hadith form the Sunna, the perfect pattern of all Islamic behavior.

The Koran is the smallest of the three books, also called the Trilogy. It is only 16% of the Trilogy text[1]. This means that the Sunna is 84% of the word content of Islam's sacred texts. This statistic alone has large implications. Most of the Islamic doctrine is about Mohammed, not Allah. The Koran says 91 different times that Mohammed's is the perfect pattern of life. It is much more important to know Mohammed than the Koran. This is very good news. It is easy to understand a biography about a man. To know Islam, know Mohammed.

It turns out that jihad occurs in large proportion in all three texts. Here is a chart about the results:

It is very significant that the Sira devotes 67% of its text to jihad. Mohammed averaged an event of violence every six weeks for the last nine years of his life. Jihad was what made Mohammed successful. Here is a chart of the growth of Islam.

Basically, when Mohammed was a preacher of religion, Islam grew at the rate of ten new Muslims per year. But when he turned to jihad, Islam grew at an average rate of ten thousand per year. All the details of how to wage jihad are recorded in great detail. The Koran gives the great vision of jihad -- world conquest by the political process. The Sira is a strategic manual, and the Hadith is a tactical manual, of jihad.

Now let's go to the Hebrew Bible. When we count all the political violence, we find that 5.6% of the text is devoted to it. There is no admonition towards political violence in the New Testament.

When we count the magnitude of words devoted to political violence, we have 327,547 words in the Trilogy[2] and 34,039 words in the Hebrew Bible[3]. The Trilogy has 9.6 times as much wordage devoted to political violence as the Hebrew Bible.

The real problem goes far beyond the quantitative measurement of ten times as much violent material; there is also the qualitative measurement. The political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible was for that particular historical time and place. This is the vast difference between Islam and other ideologies. The violence remains a constant threat to all non-Islamic cultures, now and into the future. Islam is not analogous to Christianity and Judaism in any practical way. Beyond the one-god doctrine, Islam is unique unto itself.

Another measurement of the difference between the violence found in the Judeo/Christian texts and that of Islam is found in the use of fear of violence against artists, critics, and intellectuals. What artist, critic, or intellectual ever feels a twinge of fear if condemning anything Christian or Jewish? However, look at the examples of the violent political threats against and/or murders of Salman Rushdie, Theo van Gogh, Pim Fortune, Kurt Westergaard of the Danish Mohammed cartoons, and many others. What artist, critic, or intellectual has not had a twinge of fear about Islam when it comes to free expression? The political difference in the responses to the two different doctrines is enormous. The political fruits from the two trees are as different as night and day.

It is time for so-called intellectuals to get down to the basics of judging Islam by its actual doctrine, not making lame analogies that are sophomoric assertions. Fact-based reasoning should replace fantasies that are based upon political correctness and multiculturalism.

- Bill Warner, Director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam