:: Monday, April 30, 2012 ::
The Devil You Say: 'If I Wanted America to Fail'
Posted by Edward Cline at 7:23 AM
On April 9th, FreeMarketAmerica.org, a project of Americans for Limited Government, released a Doberman of a video that goes straight for the jugular of stealth socialism and totalitarian government, "If I Wanted America to Fail." Little more than four and a half minutes long, it is powerful, it is unique, it is effective. As of this writing, hits are nearing the two million mark on YouTube.
Instead of another audiovisual encomium for free enterprise and freedom, "If" takes the inverse position, and that is the key to its punch. A devilishly handsome fellow stares the viewer in the eye and muses in a conversational tone on all the different ways he could make America fail and fall. It's the eye contact that does the trick. You don't doubt his sincerity. His sincerity is palpable. He's thought it all out, and his means and methods of bringing about failure are too familiar to most Americans. You believe him.
Understanding the narration doesn't require a degree in economics or political science. The content is aimed at the layman and anyone who has experienced first-hand the crushing economic and political consequences of past and current policies. Even though the narration is punctuated with alternating visual connections between the narrator and skylines, flags, faces of Americans, oil rigs, closed businesses, bureaucrats, and so on, the eye contact isn’t lost. In the background, a piano flutters around a somber melody to emphasize certain points, employing the same technique as "Three Things About Islam You Didn’t Know."
"If" is as professionally done as any million dollar, Madison Avenue-produced election campaign ad. The photography, the lighting, and the pacing all work together to produce the maximum potency of the video's message. Champions for freedom will grow red in the face in anger. Statists might even blush in shame and embarrassment – and break eye contact.
Another key to its power is that it doesn't name names, but ideas. It assumes that we all know the names of the individuals responsible for the destructive policies described by the musing narrator. The implied guilty party is President Barack Obama – the narrator serves as his proxy – but the policies the narrator describes are those which the Congress and the White House have been adopting and imposing for at least the past half century. It doesn’t identify Woodrow Wilson, or FDR, or JFK, or any of their successors. That task is left to the viewer, should he choose to investigate the history of the ideas the narrator outlines with such hubristic confidence.
This device, of not naming names, obliges the viewer to face and think about the ideas, rather than specific policies appended to specific individuals. It is, after all, these statist ideas which must be combated, refuted and annulled. "If" renders their practitioners irrelevant by virtue of omission.
The narrated script was written by Ryan Houck. He ought to be awarded something for it. So should the director and the actor/narrator. What follows is that script.
If I wanted America to fail …
To follow, not lead; to suffer, not prosper; to despair, not dream.
I would start with energy.
I’d cut off America’s supply of cheap, abundant energy. I couldn't take it by force. So, I’d make Americans feel guilty for using the energy that heats their homes, fuels their cars, runs their businesses, and powers their economy.
I’d make cheap energy expensive, so that expensive energy would seem cheap.
I would empower unelected bureaucrats to all-but-outlaw America's most abundant sources of energy. And after banning its use in America, I'd make it illegal for American companies to ship it overseas.
If I wanted America to fail …
I’d use our schools to teach one generation of Americans that our factories and our cars will cause a new Ice Age, and I'd muster a straight face so I could teach the next generation that they’re causing Global Warming.
And when it's cold out, I'd call it Climate Change instead.
I’d imply that America's cities and factories could run on wind power and wishes. I'd teach children how to ignore the hypocrisy of condemning logging, mining and farming — while having roofs over their heads, heat in their homes and food on their tables. I would never teach children that the free market is the only force in human history to uplift the poor, establish the middle class and create lasting prosperity.
Instead, I'd demonize prosperity itself, so that they will not miss what they will never have.
If I wanted America to fail …
I would create countless new regulations and seldom cancel old ones. They would be so complicated that only bureaucrats, lawyers and lobbyists could understand them. That way small businesses with big ideas wouldn’t stand a chance – and I would never have to worry about another Thomas Edison, Henry Ford or Steve Jobs.
I would ridicule as "Flat Earthers" those who urge us to lower energy costs by increasing supply. And when the evangelists of commonsense try to remind people about the law of supply and demand, I'd enlist a sympathetic media to drown them out.
If I wanted America to fail …
I would empower unaccountable bureaucracies seated in a distant capitol to bully Americans out of their dreams and their property rights. I'd send federal agents to raid guitar factories for using the wrong kind of wood; I'd force homeowners to tear down the homes they built on their own land.
I'd make it almost impossible for farmers to farm, miners to mine, loggers to log, and builders to build.
And because I don’t believe in free markets, I'd invent false ones. I’d devise fictitious products—like carbon credits—and trade them in imaginary markets. I'd convince people that this would create jobs and be good for the economy.
If I wanted America to fail …
For every concern, I'd invent a crisis; and for every crisis, I'd invent the cause; Like shutting down entire industries and killing tens of thousands of jobs in the name of saving spotted owls. And when everyone learned the stunning irony that the owls were victims of their larger cousins—and not people—it would already be decades too late.
If I wanted America to fail …
I’d make it easier to stop commerce than start it – easier to kill jobs than create them – more fashionable to resent success than to seek it.
When industries seek to create jobs, I'd file lawsuits to stop them. And then I'd make taxpayers pay for my lawyers.
If I wanted America to fail …
I would transform the environmental agenda from a document of conservation to an economic suicide pact. I would concede entire industries to our economic rivals by imposing regulations that cost trillions. I would celebrate those who preach environmental austerity in public while indulging a lavish lifestyle in private.
I'd convince Americans that Europe has it right, and America has it wrong.
If I wanted America to fail …
I would prey on the goodness and decency of ordinary Americans.
I would only need to convince them … that all of this is for the greater good.
If I wanted America to fail, I suppose I wouldn't change a thing.
I suspect that the idea for "If" can be traced to the method and format employed by the late Paul Harvey, a conservative American radio broadcaster. One of his most successful spiels was "If I were the Devil," which he would edit and deliver to fit the outrage of the moment. In it he would describe how he would bring about America’s corruption and downfall – according to conservative values.
"If I Wanted America to Fail," however, and needless to say, goes Harvey one better. It focuses, by implication, on the political and economic ideas and not on concretes, while at the same time stressing those concretes. It is, to say the least, thought-provoking, thought in the sense that it should compel viewers to reflect on the fundamental causes of their current and perilous predicament.
In another sense, it is an encapsulation and worthy twist of John Galt's speech in Ayn Rand’s prophetic novel, Atlas Shrugged.
Every nation struggling under the burden of altruism and collectivism should adopt its own "If I Wanted…." The American version cannot help but wake many, many Americans up to the evil of that devilishly handsome visage describing their doom—and move them to fight back.
3 Comments ::
:: Thursday, April 26, 2012 ::
Islam: A Will-o'-the-Wisp of Political Faith
Posted by Edward Cline at 10:38 AM
Reading Arthur Conan Doyle's novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, one cannot help but marvel at the
thoroughness of Sherlock Holmes's use of reason to piece together disparate
clues and evidence and conclude that the least plausible explanation was the
most obvious, true one. The legendary, spectral hound that haunted the Dartmoor
bogs for two centuries was a piece of unsubstantiated folklore exploited by a
devious criminal whose only purpose was to seize wealth that wasn't his. He
bought a hound, coated it in phosphorous, and launched his nefarious designs.
If his plans worked out, everyone would believe that the heir to the
Baskerville estate was really killed by an elusive, evanescent hound, just as
the heir's uncle apparently was. No one would investigate further. After all,
the locals might be offended.
Holmes shoots it as it attacks another Baskerville heir. The Hound from Hell
was an invention, based on an apocryphal curse. The Hound was a fraud. A hoax.
As insubstantial as marsh gas.
Islam, however, is the very real Hound from Hell now roaming the earth, causing
unimaginable suffering and death in nations where Islam rules, invading Western
countries with hordes of assimilation-hostile faithful imbued with an
implacable enmity for Western values and culture, waging constant violent and
stealth jihad in countries its advocates mean to conquer and bring under
Islamic and Sharia rule. The aspect that makes it frightening is the
phosphorous of moral certainty that it is invincible and ineluctable. But the
bogeyman is a phony. A contrivance. A will-o'-the-wisp designed to frighten men
into submission or silence. Ignis fatuus. Mere methane.
Robert Spencer calls its bluff.
Spencer performs a super detective service for the West in Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry into Islam's Obscure Origins, but to a degree
and extent that would make Holmes green with envy. He examines virtually every
aspect of the composition and history of Islam and its purported founder,
Let us begin with one of his summations:
A careful investigation makes at least one thing clear: The details of Muhammad's
life that have been handed down as canonical – that he unified Arabs by the
force of arms, concluded alliances, married wives, legislated for his
community, and did so much else – are a creation of political ferments dating
from long after the time he is supposed to have lived. Similarly, the records
strongly indicate that the Qur'an did not exist until long after it was
supposed to have been delivered to the prophet of Islam. [pp. 214-215]
The Qur'an, the
Islamic canon alleges, was the eternal "perfect book," coexisting
with Allah, who sent it to earth via the Angel Gabriel to whisper into Mohammad's
ear on Mount Hira, and which he, an illiterate, was able to communicate to the
world in its entirety, unalterable, unchanged, and untouchable.
Well, because he couldn't write, he had secretaries to whom he dictated the Qur'an.
No, wait. Those secretaries began recording the good book after he had died.
As Spencer demonstrates, it did not come into existence until long after
Mohammad's death (presuming he even existed) in 632. (Gabriel was the "Prophet
Whisperer.") The Hadith,
the companion to the Qur'an purportedly a collection of Mohammad's sayings and
doings, did not begin to accumulate until a century after his death. As Spencer
shows, the Hadith became a kind
of cottage industry for caliphs, Islamic clerics, scholars and anonymous
scribes to invent its contents over the centuries for reasons that can partly
be explained, and that partly remain conjectural.
Islam, Mohammad, and even Muslims did not begin to enter anyone's consciousness
until early in the 8th century following Arab conquests of the Mideast and
North Africa. Spencer emphasizes, and demonstrates, that it was Arabs, and not
necessarily Muslims, or Moslems, or Mohammadans who waged jihad on that part of
the Dark Age world. And those Arabs, while they were monotheists, were not
necessarily Muslims. Spencer demonstrates that possibly it was the biblical and
Judaic Abraham who was the "prophet," not the person Mohammad.
Surviving commentaries by chroniclers were ambiguous on the point. Moreover,
that monotheist creed regarded Christians and Jews in a far more tolerant light
of fellowship than would the Islam that finally emerged centuries later. It
would explain many of the contradictory
verses in the Qur'an, especially the earlier, abrogated ones.
Up until the time the Qur'an was being diligently assembled by a succession of
clerics, politicians, and charlatans, no mention is made in the earliest
documents that can be linked to Islam of the Qur'an or to Mohammad. What
chroniclers referred to when writing about those events and those Arabs – which
include fictive battles that Mohammad fought – were Hagarians, Saracens, or
The invaders referred to themselves as Muhajirun, "emigrants" – a
term that would eventually take on a particular significance within Islam but
that at this time preceded any clear mention of Islam as such. Greek-speaking
writers would sometimes term the invaders "Magaritai," which appears
to be derived from Muhajirun. But conspicuously absent from the stock of terms
that invaded and conquered people used to name the conquering Arabians was "Muslims."
"Allah," Spencer points out, was not the exclusive name for God of
Muslims in this period, but a common term shared by Christians and Jews. "Muhammad"
was not necessarily a proper name, but often an honorific title meaning "praised
one," which could be appended to any random "prophet" or
religious preacher. As Spencer shows with meticulous attention to detail, Islam
and the iconic Mohammad were too likely a consequence between feuding tribes, ä
la the Hatfields and McCoys, in the prophet's alleged home base, Mecca, in this
instance, the Quraysh and the Umayyads. Spencer also points to the dubious role
of Mecca itself in the history of Islam, and of the Kaaba, which was originally
a shrine for a host of pagan and polytheistic deities, and not the sole
spiritual property of Islam as is the common belief. It shared the fate of many
churches in lands conquered by the invaders, which were turned into mosques. It
was appropriated by Islam. That is, stolen by conquering Arabs of questionable
The original Qur'an, writes Spencer, had to have been in Syriac, not Arabic, as
the Islamic canon asserts it was. Allah commanded it to appear in Arabic, and
not in any other language. Spencer bursts that balloon, too. And every fifth
verse in the Qur'an is literally incomprehensible, having no intelligible
reference to what precedes or follows it.
Spencer devotes important attention to the likelihood that the Qur'an is
founded on a substratum of early Christian and Judaic texts. The Qur'an
possibly was based on an early Christian lectionary.
My first introduction to Islam was the epic Lawrence of Arabia in 1963. I was
in high school when I first saw it on a big theater screen. From a directorial
and cinematography standpoint, it is still one of my favorite films. Spencer's
book clears up some of the dialogue and scenes in that film. For example, when
Lawrence and his Bedouin army are nearing Damascus, an Arab rider offers
Lawrence a stem of grapes. Lawrence tastes one and grimaces. "They are not
ripe!" laughs the rider.
Spencer discusses the actual meaning of those grapes and their relationship to
the seventy-two renewable virgins promised martyrs in Paradise. Citing the
researches of Christoph Luxenberg, a contemporary investigator of Islam's
origins, he notes:
… [A] closer philological analysis indicates that the Qur'an does not offer
such a…promise. After examining the rasm, the other contexts in which hur
appears in the Qur'an, and the contemporary usage of the word houris, Luxenberg
concludes that the famous passages refer not to virgins but instead to white
raisins, or grapes.
Yes, fruit. Strange as that may seem, given all the attention paid to the Qur'an's
supposed promises of virgins in Paradise, white raisins were a prized delicacy
in that region. As such, Luxenberg suggests, they actually make a more fitting
symbol of the reward of Paradise than the promise of sexual favors from
virgins. Luxenberg shows that the Arabic word for "Paradise" can be
traced to the Syriac word for "garden," which stands to reason, given
the common identification of the garden of Adam and Eve with Paradise.
Luxenberg further demonstrates that metaphorical references to bunches of
grapes are consonant with Christian homiletics expatiating on the refreshments
that greeted the blessed in Heaven. The fact that the Syriac word Ephraem used
for "grapevine" was feminine, Luxenberg explains, "led the
Arabic exegetes of the Koran to this fateful assumption" that the Qur'an
text referred to sexual playthings in Paradise. [p. 169]
Luxenberg is one of the many pioneer investigators and examiners of Islam's
origins to whom Spencer gives ample credit throughout his book. Luxenberg
focused on the philological quirks and inconsistencies found in Islam's holy
book in his 2000 The
Syro-Aramaic Reading of the Koran: A Contribution to the Decoding of the
Language of the Qur'an.
A chief inconsistency of Islam for me is that the Qur'an is claimed to have
been the "perfect book" that coexisted with Allah. Yet, no sooner had
Mohammad died than his successors began to fiddle with its contents to conform
to the expediency of the moment – surely a punishable offence in Islam. When
this is pointed out to the faithful defenders of the Qur'an's inalterability,
the pat answer is that Allah planned it that way, that is, implying that Allah
had the Angel Gabriel whisper an incomplete and imperfect Qur'an into a delirious
Mohammad's ear. So, it's an either/or conundrum for which Islamists have no
credible solution and no rationally comprehensible answer.
The Qur'an especially winds up being a kind of Rube Goldberg-like
literary contraption that contains explanations for every unnecessary and
obvious contradiction, and its defenders hardly blush.
Islam has swindled its faithful,
its communicants, its followers, its believers. All the possible evidence
points to the fact that Islam's substance and veracity comprise a theological
and historical fraud. The walls of Allah's gold mine of salvation and his
blessings were salted with glittering silicate from a shotgun, meant to dazzle
and stun the gullible and irrational into buying into what is, at root and in
purpose, a totalitarian ideology. Unfortunately, about a billion people are
comfortable with being the playthings of that ideology. Which is why Islam is,
root and branch, incompatible with America.
Spencer leaves few rocks unturned in his search for the truth about Islam and
Mohammad. Beneath them he has found either nothing concrete, or another
hand-buzzer of Islamic practical jokers. He posits at the end that Islam was
knocked together as a political faith to anchor the Arab empire in the 8th
century, and then began to acquire its contemporary character as sheer
political circumstances demanded. In this relatively short book, Spencer adds
an invaluable resource to the growing and much needed corpus of literature that
exposes, if not the peril posed by Islam, then its maleficent and felonious
Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry into Islam's Obscure Origins, by Robert Spencer.
254 pages. ISI Books, Wilmington, DE, 2012.
0 Comments ::
:: Saturday, April 21, 2012 ::
A Renewed Assault on Freedom of Speech
Posted by Edward Cline at 6:33 PM
House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi of California and her fellow Democrats wish to “amend” the First Amendment in order to prohibit corporations from saying anything or spending anything during national elections. There is some satisfaction to be had in no longer having to identify her as House Speaker. I never liked seeing her wield that gavel. Someone once remarked that a hammer in hand causes one to search for nails to pound in, and she was always searching for nails. She specialized in coffins.
It may be an act of desperation that moves her and her party to push for an “amendment” of the First Amendment in light of President Barack Obama’s falling poll number -- numbers he seems determined to see fall every time he opens his mouth on any subject – to pull his reelection chances from the jaws of ignominious but well-deserved defeat. Or it may be an expression of defeat but an assurance that the Democrats will stick one more knife into America’s back with such an “amendment,” to better the party’s chances of winning the White House in 2016 by loading the campaign finance dice.
Or it may be to establish a legacy of unprecedented malice and contempt for the country.
Think about it: It costs demagogues and wannabe totalitarians nothing to usurp the Constitution. They are all paid handsomely and enjoy fringe benefits and privileges most Americans could not afford. They are also exempt from having to submit to Obamacare. However, it will cost a concerned electorate time and money to combat and possibly see repealed or declared unconstitutional the blatant and sanctimonious thievery of our liberties and wealth. And that’s only if the courts – especially the Supreme Court – is dealing with a full deck and understands the issues and what’s at stake.
Or it may be an act of over-confidence that Obama will be reelected this November, regardless of his poll numbers, and here’s a sample of what the Democrats plan to foist on the country after all the destructive “hope and change” of the last three and a half years. An amendment to the First Amendment would be no less a guarantee than how the Obamacrats fixed BHO’s nomination and probable election in 2008 in several state caucuses and primaries with voter fraud and cooking the electoral books.
One really can’t decipher what goes on inside the minuscule minds of Democrats, except that it’s bound to be no good. That’s for professional strategy watchers to second-guess.
Sporting what looked like a dry-cleaned Confederate Army officer’s tunic, Pelosi explained why she wants to amend the First Amendment. She and her Democratic colleagues wish to prohibit corporations, regardless of their status as for-profits or non-profits, from having any role in political debate or in endorsing any candidate or idea. The Democrats harbor an unrelenting animosity for the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case of 2010, decided in favor of freedom of speech by the Supreme Court (at least partly; the whole 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act , a.k.a. the McCain–Feingold Act or “BCRA,” ought to have been declared null and void). It weighs in the Democrats’ collective political stomach like a helping of Yorkshire pudding, which often has the consistency of a lump of badly set cement.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing the majority 5-4 opinion, noted several key but not fundamental issues in Citizens United. Among them was that the First Amendment, expressing a broad principle that prohibits the government from discriminating between corporations and the news media, consequently, if only implicitly, prohibits the government from exempting newspapers, books, broadcast advocacy and blog sites from a law that suppresses the speech of individuals or entities not favored by the law. Newspapers, networks, and book and blog writers would have an unfair advantage over gagged corporations. To allow that power, would ultimately lead to the regulation or suppression of speech of the formerly exempted.
Kennedy also wrote that the broad protection of the principle behind the First Amendment applied to all individuals, either as persons or collectively in any association, such as a corporation, and that the government could not discriminate between individuals and associations. The identity of a “speaker” is irrelevant and should not carry an arbitrarily assigned stigma or prejudice against such associations. The fact that a group of individuals expressed a position on a candidate or an issue and happened to be expressing it under the aegis of a corporation, or spent money to express such a position or granted another entity (such as Citizens United) the funds to express that position, is irrelevant. The principle applies to all individuals, singly or in groups.
Corporations, the Court asserted, are groups of individuals, and the agreement of those individuals on specific issues, and the leave they grant to a corporation to speak for them on those issues, should not prejudice such an arrangement. The First Amendment does not allow the government to impinge on the right of those individuals to express themselves in such a manner.
By extension, the Court applied the same arguments to the expenditure of money to speak freely in any manner.
The Court’s finding was a “close analysis” of the issue – what I call “bean counting” – and not explicitly based on the principle of freedom of speech. It did not touch on the role of property as a means to exercise that freedom. Justice Clarence Thomas concurred with the majority opinion but wrote a rebuttal to it, saying that the whole campaign finance law should be stricken down, and not just that part of it that abridged on corporations’ First Amendment rights.
Examine this exchange between Chief Justice John Roberts and the government attorney on the status of corporate money:
In 2009, when the Supreme Court first heard oral arguments in the Citizens Unitedcase, Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart told the court that the administration believed the Constitution allowed the government to ban a corporation from using its general treasury funds to publish a book if the book advocated voting for something.
"Take my hypothetical," Chief Justice John Roberts said to Stewart as he asked him about what kind of books the Obama administration believed it could constitutionally ban, "... This [book] is a discussion of the American political system, and at the end it says: Vote for X."
"Yes," said Deputy Solicitor General Stewart, "our position would be that the corporation would be required to use PAC [political action committee] funds rather than general treasury funds."
Roberts followed up: "And if they didn't, you could ban it?"
"If they didn't, we could prohibit the publication of the book using corporate treasury funds," Stewart answered.
General treasury funds? Political action committee funds? Piggy bank funds? Money market funds? This is an example of bean-counting that eludes the Court, and Chief Justice Roberts did not or was not able to address the issue in terms of fundamentals. It shouldn’t matter where the money comes from. It’s private wealth being expended for private reasons.
Let us now turn to the perspective of that Wise Wasp Lady and former Speaker of the House. At the very beginning, she targets the Court’s 2010 Citizens Unitedfinding.
“We have a clear agenda in this regard: Disclose, reform the system reducing the role of money in campaigns, and amend the Constitution to rid it of this ability for special interests to use secret, unlimited, huge amounts of money flowing to campaigns,” Pelosi said at her Thursday press briefing.
It’s so unfair, isn’t it? All those secret, unlimited, huge amounts of money flowing to campaigns. Which campaigns? Whose campaigns? Doubtless, Republican campaigns. The Democrats never did such a thing, don’t you know? So this proposed abridgement of the First Amendment would not apply to the Democrats. Exempt from that abridgement would be People for the American Way, Media Matters, Common Cause, and any of George Soros’s well-heeled front groups. They’ll find a way around the amended Amendment and keep under wraps and out of sight, but it will be perfectly legal – until someone uncovers its illegality.
“I think one of the presenters [at a Democratic forum on amending the Constitution] yesterday said that the Supreme Court had unleashed a predator that was oozing slime into the political system, and that, indeed, is not an exaggeration,” said Pelosi. “Our Founders had an idea. It was called democracy. It said elections are determined by the people, the voice and the vote of the people, not by the bankrolls of the privileged few. This Supreme Court decision flies in the face of our Founders’ vision and we want to reverse it.”
It is difficult not to laugh at the first sentence. From the very beginning – nay, long before Obama set foot in the White House – the Democratic Party, with Obama as its iconic mover and shaker, has been responsible for a continuing flow of oozing and poisonous slime, such as TARP, Obamacare, the taxpayer-funded but failing “green” companies, the takeover of General Motors to reward and secure the unions, the creation of a kingdom of czardoms, cash-for-clunkers, the subsidy of various “artistic” groups to promote Obama’s agenda, his opposition to making the country oil-independent of parasitical Mideast régimes, Fast & Furious, and an attempted court-packing with two individuals friendly to all manner of collectivized rights, not individual rights. Among his other depredations, too numerous to list here.
Yes, Nancy, the Founders had an idea that escapes you. It wasn’t “democracy” that they slaved to create, but a republican form of government whose Constitution specifically barred Congress and the Executive branch from infringing on individual rights. Built into that Constitution was a mechanism that would protect individuals from the mob rule of democracy. It says: the power of the people stops here. Not that Congress has been listening for the past century.
And, Nancy, you weren’t clear on what exactly you want to reverse: the Founders’ vision, or a Supreme Court decision that denies you the power to put corporations in government-mandated straight-jackets.
Pelosi was joined in her whimsical reflections on the Founders by two other enemies of the First Amendment.
The participants noted that several members in both houses of Congress have offered various versions of an amendment to reverse Citizen United v. FEC and curb unwanted speech by corporations. Rep. Jim McGovern (D.-Mass.) is one of the members sponsoring an amendment. (Italics mine.)
“I've introduced a People's Rights Amendment, which is very simple and straightforward,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D.-Mass.) said at the forum. “It would make clear that all corporate entities, for-profit and non-profit alike, are not people with constitutional rights.
“It treats all corporations, including incorporated unions and nonprofits, in the same way, as artificial creatures of the state that we, the people, govern, not the other way around,” said McGovern.
Mr. McGovern is aptly named. No one ever said that corporations were “people.” And note that he repeats that hoary old communist chestnut, that corporations govern and hold political power, and it oughtn’t to be allowed. Notice also that their speech is “unwanted.” Unwanted by whom? The “people”? Which “people”? Does Mr. McGovern include himself as one of those “people”?
No, corporations are not “creatures of the state.” They are entities formed for the protection of private property. Very likely McGovern would have advocated another old idea, that of granting all corporations “federal charters.” Just as they did in Britain. Remember the East India Company? The royally chartered trading company whose tea was dumped into Boston Harbor? Americans fought a war against Britain for many reasons, and one of them was to get from under the powers and weight of “federally” chartered companies granted monopolies in trade.
Rep. Donna Edwards (D.-Md.) explained the basic principle this move to amend the Constitution is advancing.
Donna Edwards doesn’t seem certain what she is saying. Bluntness is not her style. She dances around the idea that Congress or a delegated committee of empowered interlopers, such as the Federal Election Commission, should regulate speech. Well, what would Congress or the FEC allow a corporation to say? Would it depend on how much money the corporation was willing to spend? Or would it depend on whether or not Congress or the FEC agreed with what the corporation wished to say? This idea is as fuzzy in her head as it is in the other forum heads.
“In Citizens United, what the court said is that Congress has no authority to regulate this kind of political speech,” said Edwards. “And so all of these constitutional amendments go to this question of giving Congress the authority that the Supreme Court, I think wrongly, decided isn't within Congress's constitutional--our constitutional purview.
“And so, you know, the traditional rights of free speech that we have known as citizens would not be disturbed by any of these constitutional amendments,” said Edwards. “But what it would do is it would say, all of the speech in which, whether it's corporations or campaign committees and others engage in, would be able to be fully regulated under the authority of the Congress and--and under our Constitution.”
“I mean, in my view, a corporation is not a person. It is not an individual,” said Edwards. “The rights that it has are those that are granted by the state, granted by the, by the Congress.”
She does repeat a fallacy subscribed to by both Democrats and Republicans: that freedom of speech is “traditional.” No, it isn’t traditional. It isn’t a ritual or practice whose origins are lost in the mists of time, something to be updated or discarded or preserved because it’s old fashioned or because it’s been done over seven score generations. Freedom of speech is integral to the individual in society. If a man must speak out in favor of justice or to defend his life and property, he must be able to speak without hindrance or obstruction, provided it is by means of his property or that of another individual or a corporation.
But the campaign finance law already regulates the property – that is, the money – which is an issue that has not been addressed by the Supreme Court, at least it wasn’t in Citizens United. Pelosi’s forum wishes to close that limited route of expression entirely.
The Founders denied Congress the authority to prohibit speech for any reason. Nevertheless, Pelosi et al. want it for specious reasons, one of them being that Democrats don’t wish to have to compete in the realm of political persuasion.
This is the leitmotif of ambitious, not-yet-ready-for-prime-time tyrants. Nancy Pelosi, of course, would like the amendment to the First Amendment hammered out behind closed doors, and once it’s passed the House and the Senate and is on its way to the Oval Office. Then we can see what’s in it.
Censorship for some, for now. Followed inexorably by censorship for all, forever.
3 Comments ::
:: Thursday, April 19, 2012 ::
Comic Books, Hate Crime, and Kafirphobia
Posted by Edward Cline at 11:27 AM
What follows is a potpourri of comments I left on various sites over the last few days. I have edited and expanded on some of these comments, because links and connections occurred to me long after I hurriedly posted the comments.
I left this comment on a Daniel Pipes article on Islamic comic books as a propaganda tool of Islamists:
I was fortunate enough to have grown up during the “Last Hurrah” of Western culture, spanning the 1950’s and early 1960’s, when Western values of individualism, heroism, independence, and rational moral values were largely shown on television, in movies, and even in comic books. My introduction to many of the classics of Western literature was through comic books (adulterated or abridged as many of the works were). The “Classics Illustrated “series especially sustained me until I moved on to the actual works. In these I was introduced to “The Red Badge of Courage,” “The Time Machine,” “The Man Who Laughs,” “The Three Musketeers,” “Tale of Two Cities” and so many more. On television, I could watch “The Lone Ranger,”“Sergeant Preston of the Yukon,” “Boots and Saddles,” “Superman,” and other series that romanticized Western virtues, values and action. By the time I was a teenager, this phenomenon was beginning to fade from the culture. What sticks in my mind from that period are “The Avengers,” “Secret Agent Man,” and the original “Twilight Zone” and “Outer Limits.”
What was missing from any of these comics or TV programs, however, was the element of indoctrination, overt or subliminal. This is what I observe in children’s programming today. I think that if I were a child today, I would be a revolting creature who would refuse to submit to the government’s mandated indoctrination in the school system, or I would blow up by the time I was thirteen or fourteen. “Self-esteem” nurturing and leftist propagandizing in our schools and the deliberate dumbing down of students are bad enough; now children are being brainwashed to whitewash Islam? “Sesame Street,” a patronizing, “diversity”-heavy, government-subsidized children’s “educational” program, is the gold standard of American indoctrination. I wouldn’t have tolerated it. It has probably by now introduced a Muslim Muppet (who can’t appear in the same installment with Miss Piggy – can you imagine CAIR’s outrage if that happened?).
Hollywood has contributed to the bastardization of comic books, as well, and draws much of its material from the politically correct pop culture it helped to create. That is, it depends on popular cultural figures which it is determined to render politically palatable. I invite anyone to go online and see the trailers for “G.I. Joe,” which is to be released in June.
Those early comic books contributed to my character development. What is being developed in children in today’s comics and cartoon programming? What perverted sense of “tolerance” can be achieved with “The 99”? I shudder to think.
I left this comment on a Jihad Watch article on another French Muslim, this one waving an empty Colt .45 at passengers in the Paris Metro. This person was “inspired” by Mohamed Merah (this is the third varying spelling of “Mohamed” I’ve encountered), the French-Algerian jihadist who murdered a rabbi, three Jewish children, and three French soldiers in Toulouse. Robert Spencer commented on the skittishness of the MSM to lay any blame on Islam.
“It's amazing how often we hear that jihadists and would-be jihadists are unbalanced in some way. It is striking how often their imbalances move them to do exactly the same kinds of things.”
I’ve always contended that Islam is a belief system for the brain-dead or the mentally arrested. It overflows with a zillion unproven assertions that are proof against reason and evidence. All one need do is have faith, to “believe” unconditionally, no questions asked, tolerated or solicited. It isn’t only a Muslim’s body that “submits” to Islam, but his mind. He relinquishes thought in all but the most mundane matters. He becomes one of the herd of unthinking believers. And in that herd will be a minority of believers who wish to assert and prove their “purity,” such as Merah and countless other killers for Allah.
Fundamentally, there is little difference between Islam and, say, the Charles Manson “Family” of followers and killers. Manson was the “Mohammad” of his cult, whose members followed his instructions with unthinking loyalty. Some would claim in answer that Manson was deranged, too, and that his eclectic and warped view of life and the world had little to do with his crimes. However, that view compelled him to instruct his followers to commit horrendous crimes. If he did not take action, of what value was his view? When the crimes were committed, the world would be “made right.” His followers, the ones who actually killed, were moved by the same view, but would never have acted without the “leadership” and guidance of their Mohammad. Without him, they would have floundered in their aimless lives.
For the MSM, dubbing a Merah or the Paris Metro Muslim as “deranged” or “unbalanced” saves it the trouble of condemning Islam for what it is: a death cult for the living dead, a cult that allows the “saints” and wannabe martyrs in the herd to kill for the sake of killing. That is the nature of how Islam warrants massacres and suicide bombings and plane hijackings. It is also behind honor killings, female genital mutilation, acid-throwing, and other crimes of the “religion of peace.” Manson had his “rules” for his followers. Islam has Sharia.
I left this comment on a Sultan Knish article on the symbiosis between Obama and Oprah:
This won’t count for anything, but I nominate Daniel for next year’s Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. What a damning portrait he writes of Obama, a creature who feels a need to be something without actually being anything, a manipulator of contextless ideas and raw emotions and an exploiter of resentments and wishes for the unearned who can’t be anything unless he is seen as master of the universe by all the selfless and rudderless sheep. Without obedience and adulation, he is truly an empty suit –nay, an empty vessel.
Frankly, he’s an amateur in that respect – look at Putin, or Robert Mugabe, or Hitler, or Mao, or Stalin, or the faceless Party tyrants of China. But his professional standing as a wannabe tyrant and half-successful demagogue who keeps reality at bay by commanding the tides and the weather to do his bidding, doesn’t make him any the less dangerous.
No Pulitzer was awarded this year for fiction. It ought to have gone to an anthology of Obama’s speeches.
On Sultan Knish’s article, “We are all George Zimmerman,” about the holistic lynching of George Zimmerman, a “white Hispanic,” who shot a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, I left some brief remarks on the paucity of coverage on the 2007 black-on-white murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in Tennessee. Snopes argues that it didn’t receive the coverage it deserved as a “hate crime” because of all the thousands of other murders in the news, and that it couldn’t be deemed a racially-motivated “hate crime,” even though the victims were white and the four assailants were black.
Only whites can commit “hate crimes.” Politicians and the MSM shy away from accusing blacks of them. This is called progress in race relations. Ask Al Sharpton.
I call the lynching of Zimmerman “holistic” because he merely represents a wish by race hustlers to punish: all whites for alleged oppression. “Whiteness” means a nominally individualistic measure of character, which tribalists like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Reverend Jeremiah Wright oppose, even though I could point to any number of blacks who are paragons of individualism, independence of mind, and intellectual excellence (e.g., Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell), far more so than any member of the DNC. Democrats, after all, historically have had a vested interest in perpetuating the welfare state, even though their policies are designed to make blacks (and whites, and Hispanics, and others) as dependent on their beneficence as actual slaves were dependent on their plantation masters’ good will.
On June 5, 2007, then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama told an audience of over 8,000 at historically black Hampton University in Virginia during a clergyman’s conference that blacks experience "silent riots" within themselves when they encounter discrimination and “racial injustice.”
Silent riots? This implies that “all blacks” – or at least those not of a Republican or conservative suasion and not tar-brushed with the Scarlet Letter of “Uncle Tom” – fantasize about meting “retribution” on whites for crimes committed six or seven generations ago, that is, before any white octogenarian today had read in his pre-teens about lynchings in the South in the early 20th century, and whose ancestors may have had nothing to do with them, or whose grandparents hadn’t even yet migrated to the United States.
One could argue that Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Eric Holder, Louis Farrakhan and other race hustlers are sanctioning fantasies of other blacks of committing “hate crimes.” But, to return the serve to the other side of the net, the whole notion of “hate crimes” presumes that imagining committing a crime is a felony offense, whether or not an individual acts on his fantasies and commits a racially-motivated crime. Meaning that the preachers against “hate crime” are guilty of contemplating the commission a “hate crime,” or at least hoping that others commit one, so the dead horse can be beaten all over again.
Too often now individuals are arrested and charged with actual crimes against other individuals, in addition to “hate crimes” -- white-on-black, black-on-white, white- or black-on-Jews or other targeted ethnic or religious minorities. This is literal “thought crime.” Further, a “hate crime” is treated as a crime against a group, even though in fact the group is not assaulted in any manner. Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida, but blacks all over the country, from New York to Los Angeles and Omaha in between, donned “hoodies” in shared victimization, even though they’d never heard of Martin until the MSM blew up the story and had gone through life with nary a racial slur ever yelled in their direction.
Motives can be used in an argument to establish a reason why a crime was committed, but it is the crime itself – the actionable offense – that is at issue, not the person’s motive, which may or may not be worthy of condemnation. Actions are evidence, but motives are either conjectural, inferred, or deduced, and then established. But they do not exist in reality. They are not weapons or instruments of murder or mayhem. They are what they are: motives.
“Hate crimes” are based also on the notion that “bad thoughts” float in the air and are there for the snatching, or are like over-the-counter drugs that can be purchased and ingested. So the Left and Islam wish to regulate, if not banish, bad thoughts from the cultural pharmacy, or render the air “bad thought-free,” à la smoking bans, for the sake of anyone sensitive to bad thoughts.
Speaking of retribution, Muslims in Europe are still waiting for a “backlash” after the Merah episode. As of this date they are still waiting for it. One can picture them sitting in their kitchens, drumming their fingers on the table in impatient tattoos, listening to the ticking clock, glancing anxiously at an arsenal of Molotov cocktails in the corner, hoping they’ve assembled enough of them. Waiting, hoping, girding their loins to run out and burn more cars and attack more infidels at the first sign of a dirty look from non-Muslims.
Imagine an Islamic version of “High Noon,” and Sherif Faoud Khan glancing up at the clock on the wall, awaiting the arrival of the Islamophobia Gang on the noon train. Only it never shows up. He hoped it would. The suicide vest around his torso was becoming uncomfortable. And then there are those fool citizens of Hadleyville hiding in the church. They abhorred violence. Didn’t want to see their town torn apart by unnecessary strife. They were willing to compromise and grant him “respect.” They hated Islamophobes, too. After all, weren’t they just racists, and bigots, and insufferably intolerant?
Sherif Khan snickers under his breath: You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Guess the Gang isn’t coming.
Comic books, anyone?
Souad Mekhennet, a German journalist of Turkish-Moroccan origin, penned a shiver-me-timbers piece for The New York Times on April 10, “Muslims in France Waiting for the Backlash,” in which she projects the alleged trepidation Muslims in Europe feel in the wake of the Merah killings. She has had a career of white-washing Islam and Muslims and painting them in the glorious Technicolor of victimization and put-upon innocence.
It is terrible what he has done, and there is nothing in Islam that justifies the killing of innocents, especially children,” said Naima, 26, who also spoke on the condition that her full identity be withheld. [I wonder why. Could it be that she fears that a death fatwa would be put on her life by a non-violent Muslim? But, don’t you know, Muslims just want to have fun.]
“But will we Muslims, and especially Muslim women, have to pay the price now?”
Naima cited the debate in France over where Mr. Merah was to be buried — in the end, Algeria refused his body, and he was buried in Toulouse — as evidence of double standards about who is embraced as French and who remains firmly Muslim.
“When someone is like Zidane, a great sportsman, they say he’s French, and when one like Merah, who is a child of this society, runs nuts and kills people, they say he’s not one of us,” she said. Naima’s parents, like Mr. Merah’s, came from Algeria. She grew up in the suburbs of Paris.
Naima and many other Muslims in Europe wonder whether they are caught in a vicious cycle in which increasing xenophobia helps radicalize a generation of Muslims born in France, and they ask whether attacks like Mr. Merah’s will further increase Islamophobia.
So, it’s a cycle? Muslims by invitation move to Europe, establish their own insulated ghettos, refuse to assimilate or adopt Western values, encourage in their children Muslim xenophobia of Western culture, develop Infidelphobia or Kafirphobia, proclaim the superiority of Islam and Muslims over the West and Westerners, prey upon non-Muslims in all sorts of brutal ways, begin shooting Jews and running riot over the pathetic, anemic panaceas of European governments of banning burqas and the like – but it’s a “cycle”?
Whose feet are on the pedals? Whose soles are pressing the pedal to the metal?
The unspoken corollary is that the “cycle” would be broken once “Islamophobia” is outlawed and made punishable, and then the assimilation of Europe – even of the United States – into Islamic culture will proceed peacefully and without violence. No more nasty and vicious incidents of Muslims going “nuts” and embarrassing the faithful and compromising the Islamic communion, even though it could be argued that Islam inculcates a pair of special kinds of mental illness: mentally lethargic submission, and psychosis. Europeans and Americans will be taught to automatically defer to Muslim wishes and demands, in public, in Western courts, on the job, and in private, without protest, and never suspect – there’s that hate crime nexus again, it must be extinguished, but the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Hillary Clinton are working on that – that they are being subjugated, enslaved, and conquered.
Or, if they do suspect it, they won’t resent it and will bend over backwards to accommodate Islam in every way. No more “double standards.” Just one standard. Mohammad’s standard. Allah’s will.
Think again, Miss Mekhennet.
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:: Thursday, April 12, 2012 ::
Posted by Nicholas Provenzo at 12:00 PM
Welcome to the April 12th, 2012 edition of the Objectivist Round-Up.
This week presents insight and analyses written by authors who are
animated by Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand. According to Ayn
My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of
man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of
his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and
reason as his only absolute.
So without any further delay (and in no particular order), here's this week's round-up:
"About the Author," Atlas Shrugged, Appendix.
Diana Hsieh presents Conquer Your Fear posted at NoodleFood, saying, "What happens with a fourth-grader conquers her fear to make her first ski jump? Watch and see!"
Tony White presents Essay 5: Objectivism: What to Read First posted at Peripatetic Thoughts, saying, "A beginning Objectivist's guide of which items from the dauntingly large Ayn Rand Bookstore catalog to read first. Answers such questions as: What are the three most important Objectivist lectures? What are the first fifteen Objectivist works you should read, in exactly what order? What are the four most important chapter is OPAR, and why? What are Ayn Rand's best essays/lectures? Peikoff's? The best lectures by other Objectivists?"
John Drake presents Do we need classroom lectures? posted at Try Reason!, saying, "Let's turn the classroom around. Instead of lectures in class, I propose digitally recording all my lectures and having students listen to them on their own time. Then in class, we can focus on assignments, discussion, and tangible feedback immediately to better facilitate meaningful learning."
Joshua Lipana presents AmeriCorps: Collectivist, Immoral, and Should be Eliminated posted at The Objective Standard Blog.
Darius Cooper presents Is the "individual mandate" really that bad? posted at Practice Good Theory, saying, "The "individual mandate" is just one in a series more in a series of many other government mandates."
Paul Hsieh presents Positive Alternatives to ObamaCare posted at We Stand FIRM, saying, "If ObamaCare is repealed, we need to be ready withsome positive alternatives. Here are a few resources."
Ari Armstrong presents Amazon Considering Renewal of Colorado Associates Program posted at Ari Armstrong's Free Colorado, saying, "A Federal court tossed Colorado's so-called 'Amazon Tax,' a 2010 law that caused the company to cut off its Associates program in the state. Now will it come back?"
Rational Jenn presents Parenting Through a Move posted at Rational Jenn, saying, "We recently moved to a new home. Here is how we are handling some of the move-related parenting challenges."
That concludes this edition of the round-up. Submit your blog article to the next edition of Objectivist round-up using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.
0 Comments ::
:: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 ::
Islam’s Affinity with Force and Fraud
Posted by Edward Cline at 8:50 PM
The Protocols of the Elders of Zion was a literary hoax and forgery of disreputable antecedents. It claimed to be the records of a conference of Jews to mastermind the subjugation of the world. Occasionally, in the mainstream media, one hears the Protocols being pooh-poohed. Infrequently, a scholar of Islam and Judaism will appear as a guest to discuss the fabrication of the Protocols and the horrendous crimes it inspired.
The sordid literary genealogy of the work is a series of mongrel plagiarisms and adaptations, appropriated for political reasons by antisemitic writers and the Tsarist secret police. Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu, an 1864 political satire by French writer Maurice Joly (parts of which were plagiarized from Eugene Sue’s Les Mystères du Peuple (1856), was the chief source the Protocols, and intended to excoriate Napoleon III.
Dialogue and narrative were freely lifted from Joly’s work and only slightly altered to appear in a chapter of Biarritz, an 1868 novel by the antisemitic German novelist Hermann Goedsche. This chapter contained not only plagiarized portions of Joly’s work, but also a scene from Alexander Dumas père’s novel, The Queen’s Necklace (1848, in which none of the conspirators were Jewish). The specific chapter that deals with the conspiracy of Jewish elders, "The Jewish Cemetery in Prague and the Council of Representatives of the Twelve Tribes of Israel,” which also involved Freemasons as co-conspirators, was translated into Russian in 1872 and appeared as a pamphlet.
Philip Graves, a correspondent for the London Times, first exposed the Protocols as a hoax in a series of articles in 1921. Other investigators subsequently built on his work and helped to thoroughly repudiate the Protocols. Herman Bernstein, an American writer, journalist, and diplomat, in the same year published History of a Lie, which also repudiated the Protocols. Nevertheless, Henry Ford underwrote the publication of the Protocols from 1920 to 1922, until ordered to cease by the courts and to publish an apology. Ford saw the Protocols as an alliance between Jews and Bolsheviks. He claimed to have been duped by his underlings.
Still, even before 1921, opposing forces found the Protocols useful as an expression and tool of antisemitism. Monarchists and White Russians before and after the 1905 and 1917 Russian Revolutions cited the work to blame everything on the Jews. In 1903 the Protocols were serialized in a St. Petersburg newspaper, but in 1905 declared a fraud by the Tsar’s chief minister, Pyotr Stolypin.
This was a major indictment of Pyotr Rachkovsky, the former head of the Tsar’s secret police, the Okhrana, and the purported author of the book-length version of the Protocols, called The Jewish Programme to Conquer the World, published in 1903. Radio Islam, however, claims that Sergyei Nilus published the book in 1905, although another site claims they appeared in a chapter of another book written by Nilus, a mystic. The true origins of the book-length version of the Protocols remain as murky and offensive as the bottom of a cesspool.
Yet, even for all the scholarly debunking that occurred beforehand, and whatever their bizarre pedigree, the Protocols remain a force to contend with. Adolf Hitler made the Protocols required reading for all German students. The twenty-four sections of the Protocols served as a justification for the Holocaust. Like the purity of the Aryan race (or of any race, for that matter), the Protocols were fictive in origin and exposed as a collective lie and a heinous defamation. The Protocols plot was the mother of all conspiracy theories, and has had a tenacious longevity. It is the Nosferatu of schizoid politics; demonstrate its bogus origins, drive a stake through its heart with evidence, and it is back haunting the darkness.
Witness the continued belief in anthropological global warming. It has been repudiated and proven to be a fraud manufactured and manipulated by power-lusters determined to reduce man to subsistence level or worse. Yet countless people still believe in it, regardless of the evidence. Laws remain on the books to force men to give up their cars, their food, their “carbon footprints.” Obama has subsidized several solar power companies (which have gone bankrupt despite taxpayer subsidies), he has vetoed new oil pipelines and oil exploration development, and allowed the EPA to condemn coal mining to extinction. All in the name of a fairy tale in which juggled numbers, bewildering graphs, and dramatic but misleading photography substitute for caricatures of bearded Jews rubbing their hands together in avarice.
The Protocols are a kind of Hansel and Gretel fairy tale in which the wicked witch gobbles up the children and cackles in triumph. Yes, a fairy tale. Not a very nice one to read to children.
But it is read to and by countless Muslim children in Gaza, the West Bank, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and anywhere else where Islam reigns.
Islam – not “militant” Islam, not “extremist” Islam – but just plain Islam uses the Protocols as the keystone in its agenda. Just as environmentalists believe in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Al Gore’s hockey sticks and Hollywood-produced slide show.
Why? Because the Protocols fit the racism and bigotry of Islam. Because facts, evidence and reason are the enemies of Islam. Because Islam has an agenda, part of which is to extinguish Jews from existence, in addition to subjugating all non-Muslims to Sharia law in a host of caliphates governed by a global caliphate.
But, except on anti-jihadist websites, one never hears about how real is the Islamic agenda of conquest, or, as a few other articles have called it, The Protocols of the Elders of Islam.
The Orange County Register (California) in May 2009 chastised the Wiesenthal Holocaust center for showing “The Third Jihad,” because that film indicted The Muslim Brotherhood for its violent and stealth jihad to conquer Europe and the United States.
As its name suggests, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance is supposed to promote the kind of cultural dialog that brings people together rather than pushes them apart. So it's more than a little bit odd that the center showed a movie last weekend that has been compared to the gold-standard of anti-Semitic propaganda: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
The latter tome was supposedly written by the Jews who secretly want to take over the world. Actually it's pure fiction, but the book nonetheless helped pave the way for Russian pogroms in the 19th Century and the Nazi-era holocaust. The film in question, "The Third Jihad," was screened at the Museum of Tolerance last Sunday. Like the book before it, the film claims to provide evidence of a global plot of subversion, in this case a plot to subvert America by blood-thirsty terrorists posing as regular-guy American Muslims.
I am betting that Nick Schou, who wrote the article, is not eating crow. After all, if the White House and State Department can conduct behind-closed-doors negotiations and talks with the Brotherhood, there mustn’t be much to the charge that the Brotherhood has an agenda of conquest. Instead, Schou allows a Hamas-connected CAIR spokesman to take the moral high and have the last word.
On May 15, Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Greater Los Angeles Area chapter, sent a letter asking the Simon Wiesenthal Center to call of [sic] its showing of the film. "As an institution that claims as its goal battling hatred and bigotry across the world, I am disappointed to see the Wiesenthal Center engage in promoting hatred and bigotry against another minority--American Muslims," Ayloush wrote….
"Claiming that American Muslims are part of some world-wide conspiracy to take over America is nothing short of concerted hateful fear mongering that intends to build animosity and even eventual violence against Muslims," he argues. "The Holocaust in Europe and the genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda did not happen in a vacuum. They were preceded with such baseless hateful material that dehumanized the intended targeted community and were promoted by many enablers who falsely hid behind the claim of "generating discussion and sharing views."
Nothing in Alyloush’s sanctimonious statement jibes with the stated aims of the Brotherhood, which is conquest of the West, and of the world, by violence and stealth. In February, Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, quoted a Brotherhood spokesman about its relationship with Hamas:
Having swept into majorities in Egypt's parliament, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman is making it clear the group has ambitions far beyond Cairo.
"Concerning the Islamic caliphate, this is our dream, and we hope to achieve it, even after centuries," Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghuzlan told Egypt's Ahram news outlet in an interview Sunday. "It is the right of the Brotherhood that this is one of the pillars of its strategy. We are not concerned about the renaissance of the group only. Rather our first goal is the renaissance of Egypt, then the Arab world and then the Islamic world. This will come gradually."
By the “Islamic world,” Ghuzlan means the whole world. The Koran, after all, states that the “whole world” is Allah’s, and that it must be scoured of “man-made laws.” Such as the American Constitution.
Ghuzlan also affirmed the Brotherhood's relationship to Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist movement which controls Gaza. "Hamas is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine and the last bastion to protect it considering that the group is scattered in about seventy countries. It is part of the Da'wa of the Brotherhood. Between the two is an intellectual and emotional link. Our position on them is like our position on any brothers in the world, particularly Arab countries. We do not interfere in its affairs, and give advice if requested; the Brotherhood in every country respecting and living in accordance with the constitution of this state and its laws."
In December, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh similarly acknowledged the connection. Hamas, he said, is the Brotherhood's "jihadist arm."
Just as CAIR is the Brotherhood’s public relations taqiyya arm, posing also as a champion of the “civil rights” of Muslims.
The Orange County Register, as well as every newspaper and publication in this country, as well as the FBI, the State Department and other authorities charged with protecting this country from attack and invasion, should keep these statements in mind:
“Conquer the world through Halal movement” – In 2010, the mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina Mustafa Ceric, a Muslim Brotherhood leader in Europe, has evoked this project of Islamic conquest in a speech given in Islamabad (Pakistan) at the Global Halal Congress – Reported by the Daily Mail (Islamabad) and archived by GMBDR [The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report].
“We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America!” – Excerpt of a speech given in 1995 by Youssef Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide, at a convention organized by the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA) in Toledo (Ohio) – Archived by Investigative Project
“It should be us, with our understanding of Islam, our principles, colonizing positively the United States of America” – Excerpt of a speech given in July 2011 by Tariq Ramadan in front of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) in Dallas (TX) – Transcript by Point de Bascule.
The “Protocols of the Elders of Islam” are not fictive. Not fantasy. Not a figment of anyone’s imagination. Instead of twenty-four points, the Hamas Charter, for example, has thirty-six. They are there to be read in the charters of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. They are being vigorously pursued and implemented in the Mideast, in Far East Asia, in Europe, in Britain, and in the United States, the denials of the Orange County Register and other dhimmi publications to the contrary notwithstanding. As with the fictive assertions of the imaginary Jews, the very real conspirators of Islam will form alliances with any other collectivist ideology, especially with communism.
Here is an excerpt from Protocol No. 3. Assuming that the reader has read about the Muslim demonstrations in Europe, watched them on TV, and is familiar with the daily depredations and violence of Islamic jihadists, can the reader make any distinction between the libelous hubris of imaginary Jews, and the actual and demonstrable ends and means of Islam?
To-day I may tell you that our goal is now only a few steps off. There remains a small space to cross and the whole long path we have trodden is ready now to close its cycle of the Symbolic Snake, by which we symbolize our people. When this ring closes, all the States of Europe will be locked in its coil as in a powerful vice.
We appear on the scene as alleged saviors of the worker from this oppression when we propose to him to enter the ranks of our fighting forces - Socialists, Anarchists, Communists - to whom we always give support in accordance with an alleged brotherly rule (of the solidarity of all humanity) of our social masonry. The aristocracy, which enjoyed by law the labor of the workers, was interested in seeing that the workers were well fed, healthy, and strong. We are interested in just the opposite - in the diminution, the killing out of the goyim [Hebrew, nation; substitute infidels or the People of the Book, and is there a difference in object?]. By want and the envy and hatred which it engenders we shall move the mobs and with their hands we shall wipe out all those who hinder us on our way.
Or, as Ellsworth Toohey, the arch-villain, remarks to Peter Keating, as he relates the state of the world under totalitarian rule in Ayn Rand’s novel, The Fountainhead: “Am I raving or is this the cold reality of two continents already?”* Make that four continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, and eventually North America. Imagine Toohey in a turban, or sporting a keffiyah and a pair of babouches. He could adapt to Islam, easily. It made no difference to him, either, which totalitarian system prevailed. He could submit to Islam, provided he could also subjugate the independent man and erase him from existence. His ends would comport smoothly with Islam’s – and his means, as well.
Islam’s affinity with force and fraud has no bounds. Its perpetuation and exploitation of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a malicious fabrication founded on the lowest form of unreason, has allowed it to emulate the irrationality it purports to oppose.
*The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1943. P. 694.
6 Comments ::
:: Friday, April 06, 2012 ::
Yes, Nancy, We are Serious
Posted by Edward Cline at 1:06 AM
In October 2009, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, astounded by the apparent irrelevance of a reporter’s question about the constitutionality of Obamacare, spoke the words that ricocheted off the Constitution and then around the world:
CNSNews.com: “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”
Pelosi: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
CNSNews.com: “Yes, yes I am.”
Pelosi then shook her head before taking a question from another reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, then told CNSNews.com that asking the speaker of the House where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandate that individual Americans buy health insurance as not a "serious question."
“You can put this on the record,” said Elshami. “That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.”
She seemed to have been taken by surprise by the question in the chaotic hubbub of the announcement that the Senate might pass its version of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, or the ACA, or Obamacare, or Public Law 111-148). Or at least she was stunned by the idea that anyone would question the government’s “right” to conceive of and pass such a law. No one else was questioning the legality of such a law. All other questions patronized her alleged wisdom about its necessity.
Her flunky press spokesman (with the ironic title of communications director) simply repeated the answer, and shoed the annoying reporter away. But in the previous July, Elshami explained the reason why Rahm Emanuel wouldn’t be accompanying Obama to Russia.
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel met for about a half-hour Tuesday night with House Democrats as lawmakers try to craft legislation to reform the country's health care system.
"The goal is to get a bill done and signed into law," said Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Yes. Send in the thug-in-chief to apply some good-old Chicago-style behind-committee-doors arm twisting. Get that usurpation of individual rights passed with the least fuss and public disclosure. Then, as Pelosi would later say, we can find out what’s in it, as though she were a grandmother teasing children in an orphanage about the contents of a great big, brightly wrapped present deposited in the playroom by a groaning forklift.
In December, the Senate would pass its version by a vote of 60-39. The House would go on pass its version (amended) by a vote of 219-212. Obama would sign it on March 23, 2010, with a drooling press in attendance. Vice President Joe Biden would grace the event by calling it a “f***g big deal.”
Well, when Americans finally got to unwrap the present, they found a double-spaced, 2,700-page monstrosity whose chief attribute is compulsion, or government force, to purchase health insurance so that the government may regulate and ration it. The “individual mandate” would be enforced by the IRS and would result in penalties or even jail for those who refused to bow, Muslim style, to the Mecca of socialism. Non-purchasers of Obamacare via Medicare or other venues would pay what Islam calls jizya – a tax on subjugated infidels or conquered dhimmis.
Recall that pre-advertising segment of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show when Bullwinkle says, “Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!” And he pulls out anything but a rabbit. Nothing but a series of fearsome, roaring animals. To Pelosi, Harry Reid, the White House, and every politician who wrote or contributed to one or more pages of the ACA, the American people are but one big collective Bullwinkle, and the thing they intended for us to pull out of the hat is Jabba the Hutt.
“Are you serious?” And now those words may come back to haunt Pelosi – even should the court merely strike down the individual mandate, if not the whole law.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius also had words of wisdom in relation to the ACA. I’ll bet that no one else knew that youth violence is a “chronic health issue” that can lead to asthma, obesity, or depression for "the youth who are involved.” Sebelius did not make clear whether she was speaking solely about the victims of youth violence or the perpetrators or both.
She will clarify later if she was speaking of the victims of youth violence, or of the youth themselves. Or perhaps she won’t clarify what she meant until the HHS publishes a 1,000+ page report at the end of the year on the relationship between violence and obesity, asthma, depression, and twenty pages of other conditions she didn’t have time to include in her speech, and how this discovery should be incorporated under the aegis of the Affordable Care Act. Only a knuckle-dragging, mentally retarded, “right wing” cynic would claim she was angling for new powers for her department and a justification to include “violence” as a medically treatable social phenomenon.
Call it the “violence panel,” which would have offices right next door to the “death panel,” just down the hall from the “disposable, cost-consuming elderly panel.” This new panel would also have as a neighbor a panel with no placard or number on its door, but rumor has it that it will house the offices of a select group of experts chosen to deal with recalcitrant doctors and patients who have opted out of or resisted the individual mandate.
Pelosi said it was “only fair” that they go to jail.
Violent youth who are obese, have asthma, are depressed and are otherwise deemed ill in the opinion of specially selected social workers with backgrounds in criminology, will be sent to special “health and joy camps” to work out their disabilities under the strict supervision of doctors and other medical personnel drafted into the “ready reserve,” detailed, I think, beginning on page 496 of the ACA, Title V, Section 5210.
Haven’t a number of dystopian novels been written about treating “violence” as a treatable disease or disorder? Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange comes to mind. Also, Huxley’s Brave New World, Levin’s This Perfect Day, and a number of other novels. There was also George Lucas’s first feature film, THX 1138.
I do not digress. Let no one say that Sebelius hasn’t a totalitarian frame of mind. Let no one doubt that Nancy Pelosi is of the same mind.
Fast forward to April, 2012. The Texas Tribune had the simplest breakdown of the sequence of events in the Supreme Court when it heard arguments for and against Obamacare:
Today (March 26): The court will consider whether the fact that a taxation provision in the Affordable Care Act doesn't go into effect until 2014 means the current legal challenge is premature. The justices have allotted 90 minutes for arguments.
Tuesday (March 27): The court will review the individual mandate issue and whether Congress has the authority to enact it. The justices have allotted two hours for arguments.
Wednesday (March 28): The court will review two legal questions. First, justices will consider the National Federation of Independent Business’ question of whether the Affordable Care Act can be enacted without the mandate. The justices have allotted 90 minutes for arguments. Then, they’ll take up the states’ question of whether Congress overextends its authority when it forces states to accept “onerous conditions that it could not impose directly by threatening to withhold all federal funding for noncompliance.” The justices have set aside one hour for this issue.
Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, charged with the task of defending Obamacare, did not do well on the second day. Although those familiar with the Court’s habits caution that the tone and content of questions asked by the Justices should not be construed as premonitory clues to how they will ultimately rule, the questions put to Verrilli were demonstrably harsh, nearly contemptuous, especially Justice Antonin Scalia’s. The Court will deliver its findings in June.
The remarks made by the Justices were a potpourri of positions for and against Obamacare, and especially about the individual mandate. As noted in my previous column, “The Court’s Mock Examination of Obamacare,” the Justices were questioning the beans they found in the government’s bean casserole. Not once did the concept of individual rights occur to them. See Politico’s recap of their questions here.
Then President Obama, obviously disappointed with Verrilli’s poor showing, opined about the Supreme Court, claiming that it dare not go against the wishes of Congress and the American people by declaring the ACA or any part thereof unconstitutional.
Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress. And I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint — that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, this is a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this Court will recognize that and not take that step.
Every time I read that patronizing statement, one made with bared teeth, I’m reminded of Don Corleone’s policy of making his obstructers an “offer they can’t refuse.” It's the same offer he made to Americans.
The ACA was not passed by a “strong majority” either in the Senate or the House. In the House, the vote was 219-212. A “strong majority” would have been 319-112. And whether or not Congress has been “democratically elected” is open to question but is a moot point here, as is the whole question of whether or not a government can void a Constitution that guarantees individual rights over an issue it should have absolutely nothing to say about, such as the freedom to buy health insurance or not. For the moment, we’ll let all that go.
Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times, however, was equally miffed, not with Verrilli’s performance, but with the Court, and especially with Justice Scalia.
Nothing in the Supreme Court arguments in the health care case last week, or in the subsequent commentary, has changed my opinion that this is an easy case. It’s the court that made it look hard.
I don’t mean the torrent of wisecracks at the government lawyers’ expense from Justice Antonin Scalia, who despite his clownish behavior in channeling the Tea Party from the bench is surely smart enough to know the difference between broccoli and health care. Rather, I mean the tough but fair questions from the members of the court who actually seemed to be wrestling with the issues: Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. The Affordable Care Act will be upheld if at least one of these justices is satisfied that the briefs, the arguments, and his own judicial perspective provide sufficient answers to the questions.
Scalia at least implied in his statement that he thought that health care was as much a commodity as broccoli or cell phones, a service or trade the same as the Internet or car repair garages. Greenhouse regards health care or health insurance as a “right.” Scalia was not being “clownish.” He was dead serious.
On Tuesday, April 2nd, Obamacare got another upbraiding by Judge Jerry Smith of the Fifth Circuit Appeals Court in Texas. Speaking for a panel of three judges that was hearing arguments about the status of physician-owned hospitals under Obamacare, he interrupted the government lawyer to ask if the Department of Justice endorsed the right of the Supreme Court to pass judgment on federal law. When Justice Department lawyer Dana Lydia Kaersvang answered in the affirmative, but began to qualify her answer, Smith interrupted her:
Smith: Does the Department of Justice recognize that federal courts have the authority in appropriate circumstances to strike federal statutes because of one or more constitutional infirmities?
Kaersvang: Yes, your honor. Of course, there would need to be a severability analysis, but yes.
Smith: I’m referring to statements by the president in the past few days to the effect…that it is somehow inappropriate for what he termed “unelected” judges to strike acts of Congress that have enjoyed — he was referring, of course, to Obamacare — what he termed broad consensus in majorities in both houses of Congress.
That has troubled a number of people who have read it as somehow a challenge to the federal courts or to their authority or to the appropriateness of the concept of judicial review. And that’s not a small matter. So I want to be sure that you’re telling us that the attorney general and the Department of Justice do recognize the authority of the federal courts through unelected judges to strike acts of Congress or portions thereof in appropriate cases.
Kaersvang: Marbury v. Madison is the law, your honor, but it would not make sense in this circumstance to strike down this statute, because there’s no –
Smith: I would like to have from you by noon on Thursday…a letter stating what is the position of the attorney general and the Department of Justice, in regard to the recent statements by the president, stating specifically and in detail in reference to those statements what the authority is of the federal courts in this regard in terms of judicial review. That letter needs to be at least three pages single spaced, no less, and it needs to be specific. It needs to make specific reference to the president’s statements and again to the position of the attorney general and the Department of Justice.
Attorney General Eric Holder complied with the request on Thursday. Newsmax reported:
The attorney general wrote the letter after appeals court judge Jerry Smith in Texas asked for reassurances that the Justice Department recognizes judicial authority. Smith made the request after President Barack Obama said this week that it would be "unprecedented" for the Supreme Court to overturn a major law passed by Congress like the healthcare overhaul whose constitutionality it is now considering….
"The longstanding, historical position of the United States regarding judicial review of the constitutionality of federal legislation has not changed," Holder wrote.
"The department has not in this litigation, nor in any other litigation of which I am aware, ever asked this or any other court to reconsider or limit long-established precedent concerning judicial review," Holder added. He said "the president's remarks were fully consistent with the principles" the attorney general outlined in the letter.
“At no point has the government suggested that the court would lack authority to review plaintiffs’ constitutional claims if the court were to conclude that jurisdiction exists,” Holder said in the letter drafted to Smith’s specifications. “While duly recognizing the court’s authority to engage in judicial review, the executive branch has often urged courts to respect the legislative judgments of Congress.”
That’s where the issue stands at the moment.
Professor Will Huhn at The Akron Law Café made some interesting observations about the Court and Obama’s verbal scowl. In setting up the argument that Congress has the constitutional power to enact economic legislation, he quoted Justice Kennedy’s query to Solicitor Verrilli:
At oral argument last week in the health care case Justice Kennedy made the following remarkable proposals about the presumption of constitutionality:
Could you help — help me with this. Assume for the moment — you may disagree. Assume for the moment that this is unprecedented, this is a step beyond what our cases have allowed, the affirmative duty to act to go into commerce. If that is so, do you not have a heavy burden of justification?
I understand that we must presume laws are constitutional, but, even so, when you are changing the relation of the individual to the government in this, what we can stipulate is, I think, a unique way, do you not have a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the Constitution?
The answer to both questions is NO. Justice Kennedy's proposed view of the role of the Judicial Branch violates the Separation of Powers.
The Legislative Branch enacts legislation. The Judicial Branch ascertains the meaning of laws and determines whether they are constitutional. In interpreting a statute the courts must defer to the intent of the legislature. The touchstone for statutory interpretation is "the intent of the legislature." Similarly, in assessing the constitutionality of a statute the courts must presume that it is constitutional.
It used to be that the Supreme Court recognized "economic liberty" as a constitutional right, and frequently struck down laws regulating employers and protecting workers under the theory of "economic substantive due process." That is no longer the case.
Huhn then lists a number of cases in which the Court upheld the government’s economic policies. Among them:
[R]egulatory legislation affecting ordinary commercial transactions is not to be pronounced unconstitutional unless in the light of the facts made known or generally assumed it is of such a character as to preclude the assumption that it rests upon some rational basis within the knowledge and experience of the legislators. United States v. Carolene Products, 304 U.S. 144, 152 (1938) (Stone, J.) (upholding federal law against challenge under Due Process Clause).
We have returned to the original constitutional proposition that courts do not substitute their social and economic beliefs for the judgment of legislative bodies, who are elected to pass laws. Ferguson v. Skrupa, 372 U.S. 726, 730 (1963) (Black, J.) (unanimous decision) (upholding state law against challenge under Due Process Clause).
On the contrary, Professor Huhn, a meaningful separation of powers would complement the Separation of Church and State by separating the state from the economy. This would ensure the protection of individual rights not only in the realm of an individual’s beliefs, but in the realm of his material existence. This would establish a principle that would override the “knowledge and experience” of legislators – or their profound lack of same – and reflect the “necessary and proper” convictions of a Court charged with upholding a Constitution formulated to protect individual rights.
Lost in all the back-and-forth about the individual mandate, the lawful intent of Congressional legislation, or the intent or interpretations of the Court or the “social and economic beliefs” of its members, is the whole issue of individual rights. The Court’s position should be: An individual’s life is his own, he owns his own life, he rejects any claim on it by others, and does not make claims on the lives of others for any purpose whatsoever. His life is not the government’s or the majority’s to dispose of at will for any reason, regardless of whether he is in a market or out of it, whether he consumes cell phones or broccoli. Or buys or does not purchase health insurance.
Nancy Pelosi can put this in the record: The unconstitutionality of Obamacare is a very serious matter, indeed. Americans have had a chance to see what’s in it. What those who value their life, liberty, property and pursuit of happiness see is: death.
You can’t get more serious than that.
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