:: Sunday, August 26, 2012 ::
Neil Armstrong: American Pioneer
Posted by Nicholas Provenzo at 10:01 PM
the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with
nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in
common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the
response they received—hatred." –Ayn Rand
If American astronaut Neil Armstrong's first step upon
the face of the lunar surface can be counted alongside the first steps of other
men with unborrowed visions, we can take comfort in knowing that the response
that Armstrong received was not hatred. Indifference, yes, to the larger goal of human
space travel, for once the euphoria from the Apollo 11 moon shot wore, government
funding to the architects of Armstrong's triumph would be reduced to a pale
shadow of its former glory in the name of the supposedly more important
priorities of welfare statism. Nevertheless, the quiet and reserved Armstrong himself would
rightly live out his days as a revered national hero. And with Armstrong's
death this weekend, I happily recall the profound reverence that I felt for the
man and his achievement, especially as a child, where one forms their estimate
of the world.
For me, I remember countless hours as a young boy in the
1970s transfixed by the dog-eared copies of Life Magazine chronicling the exploits
of the Apollo astronauts. "We Reach the Moon" said the cover of one,
as if the achievement of successfully piloting a controlled explosion to the
moon and back was somehow a collective achievement—but therein lays the roots
of the American birthright. As I sat among the pages, I felt with unconscious
confidence that I too could be a Neil Armstrong, pioneering wherever I may wish
to go. Who would say otherwise? Who would have the power to deny me? Why, upon
this Earth—or the Moon—would I ever let them?
It was not lost upon me, even at that young age, that as Armstrong
and other Americans walked upon the moon, no Soviet was able to match the feat,
this despite it being the stern intention of their leaders. I thought to myself then
that perhaps the Soviets were not able to successfully copy the American originals
necessary to complete the task in the face of their oft-repeated habit of expropriating
the work of others for their own ends. But how could they? Stealing, even successfully,
can only take one so far, for even the most cunning blood-sucker remains
dependent upon its victim for any success that it may enjoy. The simple fact was
that the Soviets were not free and we were. In my young estimate, this distinction
made all the difference.
Of course, I now know that the American space program
was not the completely free enterprise that it ought to have been. Yet notice
that while the government's space program languishes in comparison to its
previous splendor, the world nonetheless enjoys a constellation of satellites
that improve our lives on a daily basis. Men do not create under compulsion,
and these satellites are plainly the product of free and uncoerced minds. So
while putting international space stations in orbit or rovers on Mars may continue to be the province of
governments for the near term, the real innovation that I expect we shall
see will be the province of an unfettered enterprise—motivated by profit and
the desire to take a first step towards an unborrowed vision.
I would be remiss not to point out that the freedom
necessary for such future achievement is in question, this being the era of "you
didn't build that." In that light, let us remember the life and achievement
of Neil Armstrong. Tens of thousands built the Apollo rocket. Three men climbed
into it. Two successfully piloted the craft to the surface of the moon. But
only one could take that first brave step upon its surface.
So I say that this first step was a giant step for a man—and a giant leap for mankind. And I think that the
day when new pioneers are able to take their first steps and are met with
nothing less than pure admiration, we will see an even greater leap for mankind. I
thank Neil Armstrong for helping to give me reason to believe that such a day
is in our reach. Today, I look back upon the 43 years of my existence and can say that I feel as
young as I did when as a boy I looked at the pages accounting Neil Armstrong's
adventures with nothing less than marvel and awe.
Thank you, Mr. Armstrong, for the gift of such an inspirational life.
0 Comments ::
:: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 ::
A Four Year Nightmare
Posted by Edward Cline at 11:45 PM
It is difficult to imagine just how low the United States has sunk when one is confronted with the prospect of a Secretary of State employing, with her full knowledge, someone whose ideology calls for the replacement of the Constitution with a barbaric code of law, the suspension of individual rights, and the submission of the country to actual or de facto Islamic rule. This is in addition to its submission to socialist tyranny. One asks oneself: They're allies now, but what will happen if and when one of them wins? Will the winner turn on the other? Too likely. Either Leftists will begin thumbing their noses at Muslims, or Muslims will begin chopping off Leftist noses.
I had a nightmare the other night. My nightmares usually make little sense. They are fueled by too much coffee and other stimulants that put one's autonomous system and subconscious on steroids. Nightmares are vivid, fleeting grab-bags of disparate worries and concerns that migrate to another corner of one's mind and suddenly, from out of nowhere and triggered by some anxiety, collide and merge into bizarre montages of German Expressionist film images and sounds. My own nightmares take the form of newspaper columns, dispassionately narrated by a voice that is a blend of Orson Welles's foreboding cynicism, Jean Shepherd's spritely naturalism, and the funereal voice of Garrison Keillor.
Last month a group of five House representatives, headlined by Michele "gangster government" Bachmann of Minnesota, called for a multi-agency investigation into the backgrounds of numerous Muslims now employed in various capacities in federal agencies and departments. Andrew McCarthy estimates there are thousands. One of those letters went to deputy inspector general of the State Department, and one of the persons named in the letter was Huma Abedin, Secretary Hillary Clinton's deputy chief of staff.
That Hillary Clinton is a welfare statist to the core is not entirely irrelevant to the issue. But her own ambition and hope to change America, thwarted on the domestic scene – President Bill stole all the headlines, and HillaryCare was not to be – conform perfectly with President Barack Obama's ambition and hope to reduce America to being just another bankrupt member of the global village, instead of it being the last best hope of Western civilization.
The latest nightmare entertained me with the idea that Franklin D. Roosevelt's Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, who held that office from 1933 to 1944, was being influenced by a deputy chief of staff by the name of Karl Fynn Abercrombie. The nightmare wasn't that specific. It came and went in a flash, too quickly to contemplate in any detail. But some of the faces were familiar, as well as the style of dress of the 1940's, and I recall peering into a dimly lit House of Representatives. In the dream, investigations were indeed initiated, and Congress and America learned to their collective dismay that Karl Flynn Abercrombie was none other than Karl Kluge, a Nazi spy, and that Hull knew it. As did FDR.
I do not know where the names Karl Flynn Abercrombie and Kluge came from. I cannot account for them, but I distinctly remember them. I knew Hillary's history, and Cordell Hull's, and so that knowledge, together with a lurking, unformed parallel of events in my subconscious, contributed to the nightmare. The last thing I can recall from the nightmare was a New York Times headline: "Kluge Unmasked as German Agent," and the narrator beginning to read the story. But that is when I woke up.
So I have decided to flesh out the nightmare.
The investigation into Karl Kluge, alias Karl Flynn Abercrombie, revealed that he had been Cordell Hull's chief foreign policy advisor since late 1935, when he was suddenly pushed forward by State Department underlings as a candidate to be Hull's advisor when Hull's original aide died in a car accident. His background was checked by the FBI, and a file on him was sent to Hull and to the White House. The FBI had found some highly incriminating information on Kluge – none of which was made public until the scandal broke – but both Hull and FDR considered the man properly and thoroughly vetted to hold such a sensitive office as Hull's primary advisor.
Kluge was indeed an American citizen, having been born in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1910, of parents of German-Swedish origin, who had arrived in the country in the last century. In 1920 they moved to Munich, Germany, after the turmoil there had abated. Both parents were teachers. After a while, the father, Albert Kluge, started a newspaper, Die Trompete von Leutenor, or, The People's Trumpet, while his wife, Silke, acted as editor. The paper promoted the ideas and politics of the National Socialist German Workers Party. It was firebombed twice by Communists, and Albert Kluge was frequently beaten up by them. But the paper survived, thanks to a subsidy from a German pharmaceutical company whose owner was a fervent Nazi.
In 1929 the paper was merged with the official newspaper of the Nazi Party in Berlin, Der Angriff ("The Attack"), founded by Berlin Gauleiter Joseph Goebbels. Albert and Silke were retained to write pro-Nazi articles under a variety of pseudonyms. Young Karl Kluge, freshly graduated from the University of Munich, also worked for the paper as a manager and then as a writer. He was quite brilliant and became a favorite of Goebbels, who taught him how to write stirring speeches. Occasionally he edited some of Goebbels's editorials. He added this paragraph to his employer's report on the Nazi victory in the Reichstag election of September 1930.
Those in the center know our goals: the National Socialist movement has no desire to join the bourgeois party bosses. We have no intention of ducking responsibility. We are not purveyors of pathos, as the newspapers like to say about us. We will accept responsibility only when we can justify it to the people and the nation. We do not think holy what the Republic thinks untouchable. The National Socialist movement wants a transformation of things as they are. We have not come to prop up that which is collapsing, but rather to topple it.
Then it was discovered, during casual conversation, that young Karl was an American citizen. Goebbels conferred with Hitler and other high ranking Nazis. Plans were made for young Karl. He was to be tapped for a very special mission, that of keeping the United States out of a war that was sure to come, and to persuade America to keep its nose out of German affairs.
Karl's last task before he left for America was the preliminary editing of a collection of Goebbels's editorials for a book, Der Angriff-Aufsaetze Aus Der Kampfzeit, or The Attack - Essays for the Struggle Period. The book was subsequently published in 1935 by the Angriff Press, a wholly owned Nazi publishing house. Karl Kluge's name was mentioned on the copyright page. He was quite proud of that. About the same time, Karl's father, Albert, died of a stroke. His mother, Silke, continued on at Der Angriff, and formed Die Deutsche Frauenfront, or the German Women's Front, which campaigned to convince women to become homebodies and baby factories.
In mid-1934 Karl Flynn Abercrombie turned up in America as a German translator for the State Department. During a period of loneliness combined with an excess of schnapps, he met and married an American hootchy kootchy saloon dancer named Alice Winer in 1935, about the time his name was put forward as a candidate to become Cordell Hull's chief of staff.
The incriminating evidence in Karl's FBI file included his and parents' work for Der Angriff. On his application for employment with the State Department, Karl had explained his departure from Nazi Germany by claiming that he had become disenchanted with the Party and feared for his own life because of his jokes about Hitler being Austrian and not a real German, and also about his ridiculous moustache, which he had heard other Party members scoffing was not much of a disguise. He also claimed that violent disagreements with his parents over Nazi ideology had made his life miserable. While the FBI agent in charge of checking on Karl's background commended Karl for his honesty and forthrightness, he nevertheless viewed Karl as a security risk and did not recommend him for promotion to Hull's office, citing the possibility of extortionate pressure being put on him to spy on the Secretary or otherwise act against the interests of the United States.
Kluge also explained that he had adopted the name "Karl Flynn Abercrombie" to avoid any anti-German bias or prejudice in government and outside the venue of the State Department.
In Kluge's file was also the note that on two separate occasions, in late 1934, some months after his arrival in the U.S., he had met in secret, in Buffalo, New York, Fritz Julius Kuhn, a German immigrant member of the pro-Nazi Friends of The New Germany and future Bundesführer of the German American Bund. Creation of Friends of The New Germany had been assisted by the German Consulate in New York. The Nazi Party in Germany later withdrew its endorsement of this organization (its antisemitism and violence against Jewish businesses were considered an embarrassment and counter-productive by the German Nazis), and later sanctioned the formation of the Bund, officially approving Kuhn as its head. The FBI could not say what had transpired between Kuhn and Kluge; Kuhn, a vocal and acerbic member of the Friends, had been under FBI scrutiny for some time.
Neither the Secretary of State nor the White House voiced any reservations about Kluge's record. Hull insisted that Kluge retain the alias of "Karl Flynn Abercrombie."
In 1934, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia of New York claimed that the German Nazis intended to exterminate the Jews. In March 1937, he warned of the perils posed by the Nazi regime. The Nazi government organ, Der Angriff, claimed that he had been bribed by Jewish and Communist agents and was a criminal dupe of the Jews. Secretary of State Hull apologized to the Nazi government for the Mayor having offended it, but said nothing critical about the German Nazis' libelous statements about LaGuardia.
It came to light that Alice Kluge, while her husband was away with the Secretary of State on official business, had been secretly appearing as a striptease artist in disreputable clubs in Washington, Baltimore, and northern Virginia, and forming liaisons with various criminal characters. The discovery caused a small scandal and Kluge's name for the first time was prominently featured in news articles. Kluge and his wife apologized for the indiscretions and promised that their marriage would weather the scandal. Alice Kluge eventually became a shut-in alcoholic.
Members of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), established in 1938, had, among its other concerns, compiled a record of the doings of the Friends of The New Germany and later of the German American Bund. Members of the Committee were not happy with Cordell Hull's conduct of American policy, especially that connected with Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan.
Early in 1941, HUAC sent a report to Congress that hypothesized Kluge's influence on Hull's policies.
It suggested that Hull, and, by implication, the President, was more concerned about establishing friendly trade relations with Japan than he was about Japan's barbaric behavior in Manchuria.
It alleged that Hull had, in 1939, refused entry as tourists into the U.S. and Cuba of some nine hundred European Jewish refugees aboard the SS St. Louis because they did not have return addresses, and that, anyway, it was Cuba's problem, not his Department's. Many of the refugees were welcomed into Britain, but others were forced to return to Europe, where they likely perished in the Holocaust.
It alleged that in 1940 Hull had repeatedly instructed the State Department to delay sending money overseas to help Romanian Jews escape the Nazis.
It alleged that Kruge persuaded Hull to look favorably on the Vichy government of Nazi-occupied France, and to denigrate the forces of the Free French.
It alleged that Kluge had the ear of Hull and that of the White House when, in November 1938, two weeks after Kristallnacht, Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes proposed using the territory of Alaska as a sanctuary for Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and other areas in Europe where the Jews were being subjected to persecution and murder. The president insisted that Jews consist of no more than ten percent of such a resettlement. The proposal died.
The report based its allegations of antisemitism on the part of Kluge by citing portions of The Attack - Essays for the Struggle Period, which Kluge had edited. One editorial, one of several entered into the report, was from a September 1930 issue of Der Angriff:
Who are the Jews? They are an alien race spawned by Satan to corrupt the German people, to lead them astray with their cheap goods and cheap prices. Jews are not the brothers of Germans. Jewish hirelings and Jewish gangs prey on German women and children to sully them with their hands and lusts. Jewish shop owners and Jewish capitalists swindle our people over their filthy counters and in their larcenous banks. But the day is coming when German manhood with take up the scythe and with great sweeping arcs decapitate the heads of the Jews. The German people will not be denied the right of retribution for the suffering they have endured by Jewish hands. The Reichstag election results guarantee us that justice.
The HUAC report recommended that all immigrant Germans now employed in various federal agencies be re-investigated to better determine their loyalty to the United States. It stated that many of these individuals still had family and relatives in countries already conquered by the Nazis, and that these persons could be pressured to act against the country's interests to preserve the well-being of their captive family and relatives. Such an action, read the report, was not intended to impugn the character or question the loyalty of said persons, however, it was wiser to conduct such an investigation and remove said persons from access to sensitive information than it would be to avoid offending their sensibilities.
Kluge's antisemitism and Nazi background were demonstrable. The report recommended that he be relieved of his post forthwith in the State Department.
The HUAC report not quite accused Hull and Roosevelt of antisemitism. A copy of the report was purloined and sent to the White House. Excerpts of it appeared in The New York Times and other pro-Roosevelt newspapers. Prominent senators immediately came to Kluge's defense, calling him a "fine patriot" and a "loyal American of the best kind." Hull and Roosevelt said nothing, but let their allies in Congress and in the press carry on the dispute. The Speaker of the House called Karl Kluge a man of "sterling character" and warned that the report's "accusations bordered on libel and defamation."
The authors replied that it did not accuse anyone of anything, but was intended to call for investigations that would better ensure the country's security.
The representatives were pressured to repudiate the HUAC report. Three of the authors disassociated themselves from it. The issue "went away."
That is my fleshed-out dream. Or nightmare. I could have gone on and related how in 1944 Kluge managed to photograph copies of the plans for D-Day – which Cordell Hull would have been privy to – and give them to a German courier who boarded a Nazi submarine that briefly surfaced off the Outer Banks in North Carolina, plans which allowed the Germans to accelerate the completion of their defenses at Normandy, thus ensuring a disastrous failure on June 6th. But that would have been stretching the story.
There is no stretching this real-life story, no need to dwell on the parallels. I hope the point is made that anyone remotely connected with the Muslim Brotherhood – and that would include any Muslims – through a familial connection or otherwise, should not be employed in any federal agency or department. But, then, most of the people now employed in those agencies and who are not Muslims should also be deemed security risks, beginning with the current Secretary of State.
The issue of Huma Abedin, Clinton's deputy chief of staff and "body woman," likewise "went away." When one scans the State Department's list of high ranking employees, her name is nowhere to be found. Which is a very curious thing, indeed.
Islam is at war with us. It means to conquer us or destroy us. Our leadership is apparently on the side of the enemy. That has been proven over the last four nightmarish years.
3 Comments ::
:: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 ::
Andrew McCarthy and "Patriotic" Muslims
Posted by Edward Cline at 11:34 AM
Earlier this month author and former Federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy gave a terrific, informative, and comprehensive address at The Center for Security Policy at the National Press Club. It was principally an answer and a rebuttal to the criticisms of a group of five House representatives who called for a multi-agency investigation into the backgrounds of numerous Muslims now employed in various capacities in those agencies. One of those letters went to deputy inspector general of the State Department, and one of the persons named in the letter was Huma Abedin, Secretary Hillary Clinton's deputy chief of staff.
McCarthy was the point man in the prosecution of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the "blind sheik," over the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He is a Republican conservative with a libertarian bent who writes for National Review.
Abedin, it seems, has very close family ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist supremacist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the conquest of the United States (if not its destruction, as well). The Mainstream Media and its allies on the Left immediately charged Michele Bachmann, representative from Minnesota, with alleging that Abedin is an operative or spy for the Brotherhood. McCarthy and others have countered with the facts: that Bachmann, based on knowledge that Abedin especially has had family connections with the Brotherhood, suggested that perhaps she had not been as thoroughly vetted as a possible security risk. Bachmann and her colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee were requesting an investigation of the vetting of Abedin and other individuals. And nothing more.
The ensuing attack on Bachmann gave Senator John McCain of Arizona a chance to grandstand in Congress in Abedin's defense. Abedin and McCain, apparently, are friends. However, he committed the same error as the mainstream media made, and interpreted Bachmann's request for an investigation as an allegation of "guilt by association."
McCarthy not only deflated such a charge in his Center for Security Policy speech, but provided ample evidence that the Brotherhood has indeed infiltrated the highest ranks of government for the purpose of influencing American foreign policy. During his speech, he said he could not now say how many Muslims were in positions of influence or even had access to security-sensitive documents.
However, there was a reservation in McCarthy's depiction of the Islamic peril. That reservation compromises and qualifies everything else he had to say. These are the troubling paragraphs. The non-bolded Italics are mine:
Now, let me be clear about what I said and what I didn't say. I said Islamist influences, I did not say Muslims.
I don't know how many Muslims work in the U.S. government, but I feel pretty safe saying there are thousands. As a federal prosecutor on terrorism cases, I had the privilege of working with several of them. These were patriotic American Muslims, and a number of Muslims who may not be Americans but who have embraced America and the West. Without them, we could not have infiltrated jihadist cells in New York and stopped terrorists from killing thousands of people.
Without them, we could not have translated, understood and processed our evidence so it could be presented to a jury as a compelling narrative. Pro-American Muslims serve honorably in government, in our military, in our intelligence services, and in our major institutions.
We are lucky to have them because they have embraced the culture of individual liberty that is the beating heart of Western civilization. They have accepted the premise of our society that everyone has a right to freedom of conscience and equality before the law. They have accepted our foundational principle that free people are at liberty to make law for themselves, irrespective of the rules of any belief system or ideology. They construe Islam's spiritual elements and its laws as a matter of private conscience, not as a mandatory framework for society. (Italics mine.)
Those Muslims are not Islamists.
What is troubling is that this is a common sentiment among virtually all well-read, knowledgeable, and actively out-spoken anti- and counter-jihadist writers and observers. The only Muslims I would completely trust with my life would be apostates: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Walid Shoebat, Wafa Sultan, and a handful of others. These individuals have repudiated Islam in its entirety, discarded it as a moral code, and warned that there can be no such thing as a moderate Islam. They have acknowledged that there is no such thing as a "moderate," peace-loving Muslim, either, that there is no halfway point between obeying Allah's commands and the laws of man-made governments, which Allah decreed, through Mohammad, were an "abomination."
Parenthetically, the concept of a conscience is strictly religious in nature, by which one's explicitly held moral principles are at variance with the more pragmatic or "practical" actions one must take to pursue one's ends. As such a dichotomy, a conscience serves more as a leash rather than as a guide to moral action.
Let us for the moment take McCarthy's statement as true – that these "patriotic" Muslims are not security risks and who sincerely do not wish harm on the United States – and pose some important questions:
Which parts of the Islamic doctrine do "moderate," peace-loving, "patriotic" Muslims reject, or object to, or claim have been misinterpreted by "extremists" and "radicals"? To my knowledge, this question has never been answered, neither by any "moderate" Muslims, nor by any non-Muslims such as Andrew McCarthy or Robert Spencer or Daniel Pipes. It would be interesting to know which parts of that doctrine do not call for death, destruction, enslavement or conquest – that is, the later, abrogating Koranic verses.
And if one could identify those parts, and segregate them from the belligerent, violent parts, could the remainder be justly called "Islamic"? Could a Muslim who adhered to those non-violent parts, and eschewed the violent ones, still be called a "true Muslim"? Would he be any kind of "Muslim"? Would "conservative" or "extremist" Muslims regard him as one, or label him a slacker, or an apostate?
If one has serious reservations about one's beliefs, yet steadfastly holds onto them in the face of the choices of rejecting them, compromising them, or of being consistent with them, is this a matter of faith, or of a congenital psychological or epistemological disorder? If a private conscience is a personal matter, characterized by a belief in an all-knowing, omnipotent deity who commands one to be moral (without any demonstrable, perception-based, reality-grounded proofs), where would one's strongest loyalty lay? With the belief, or with secular law? In a crisis, would a Muslim's personal 'belief system" trump his purported belief in the "foundational principle that free people are at liberty to make law for themselves"?
Islam's basic tenets reject any kind of individualism. Islam is inherently hostile to such concepts of individualism and political liberty. Islamic ideology seeks to extinguish those things. To wit, as cited in the Journal Huma Abedin worked on for twelve years:
The Western habit of reducing religion to the function of a residual force, separating it from the state and relegating it to personal and individual affairs, places a deep gulf between the West and other traditions, especially the Islamic. (p. 6)
The Islamic world sees the West as arrogant, materialistic, repressive, brutal, and decadent with a lack of human moral values. The domains of Islam perceive Western culture as threatening because of its materialism, imperialism and its championing of unfettered individualism at the expense of the common social good. These hallmarks of Western culture are seen as the source of all troubles. (p. 9)
Muslim intellectuals believe that Western modernity is based on a metaphysical foundation of immanence that denies transcendence. Sayyid Husayn Nasr describes, “The embodiment of the Divine Will, as a transcendent reality which is eternal and immutable, as a model by which the perfections and shortcomings of human society and the conduct of the individual are judged….”
Sayyid QuÏb described it [modern Islam] as “a disastrous combination of avid materialism and egoistic individualism.” (p. 9)
The war that has been declared against Western modernity now seeks a new modernity, and, unlike Western modernity, it is not based on a revolution of rising expectations and infinite progress, but, rather, on the idea of a human mind at peace with itself, committed to the sanctity of man and of nature. The search for this new modernity in the Islamic world gives a high priority to the ideal of justice and the balancing of individual human rights with the rights of the human community as a whole. (p. 11)
The most common notion of freedom in the West today is to do, be or say whatever one wishes without intervention. A substantial range of actions by individuals or groups cannot be questioned. But in the Islamic notion of freedom, an individual's or group's freedom is restricted if fellow human beings complain of sentimental or sensual feelings as a result of those actions. (p. 11)
All Italics are mine. Need I point out the inherent hostility of Islam to individualism? Islam requires the unquestioning submission of the individual to Islamic authority.
All non-Islamist or non-supremacist Muslims are faced with such a contradiction and the attending problematic conflict of conscience. If they refuse or are unable to question their faith, what then? If one could demonstrate to them that their faith is incompatible with their purported patriotism and loyalty, what would they do about it? Repudiate Islam, or continue to profess double and irreconcilable commitments?
It is likely that McCarthy's "patriotic" Muslims subscribe to the same subjectivist notion of individualism that the Left does, that all truths are "relative" and that one has a "right" to believe in anything one wishes, especially in the realm of religion, which is somehow sacrosanct and protected from any degree of critical examination (or is likewise exempt from mockery, satire, or parody).
"Radical Islam" is as much a redundancy as is the term "radical Nazism" or "radical Communism." In his books and columns, McCarthy recognizes "extremist" Islam as chiefly an ideology, and not a religion. What, then, is that ideology based on? The Koran. The "Mein Kampf" of Islam, as Dutch politician Geert Wilders characterized it. The testimony, struggle, and Fitna of Mohammad.
Now, Christianity is of such a nature that it could suffer numerous schisms which in the past divided Catholics from Lutherans, Quakers, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Baptists, and other sects, yet all meet the definition of being "Christian." There are fundamental doctrinal differences in these sects, such as a rejection of the Trinity, or of the Eucharist, or of Papal authority, but they are all Christian.
Islam at first glance also features divisions or schisms between the Sunni and Shi'ite sects, between the Wahhabist or Salafist sect (which upholds the literal and puritanical doctrine of the Mohammad's immediate descendents or successors) and the Sunni sect, which disagrees with the Shi'ites only on picayune matters, such as who really succeeded Mohammad.
But whichever brand of Islam one examines, one sees a blueprint for a totalitarian society that commands unquestioning faith in the truth of Allah's injunctions. Based on the Koran, Islam, its internal divisions to the contrary notwithstanding, is a single, unified monotheist creed governed by Sharia law. Some commentators have even claimed that there is such a thing as "secular Islam." This is an oxymoron, a contradictory package deal. No religion can be "secular," that is, on one hand, based on a belief of a commandment-giving deity, but on the other, based on non-deity-derived, man-made law. Either the man-made law is derived from a commanding deity, or it is not.
"Moderate" Muslims and Islamists would be the first to agree. That is their commonality of belief and goal. The more consistent Muslims – the "radicals" and "extremists" – do the dirty work that more fastidious, laid-back, "tolerant" Muslims choose not to. They wage violent war on the West with self-sacrificing suicide bombers and the like, and with cultural and political jihad taken up by CAIR and other Brotherhood-connected "civil rights" organizations.
But because Islam is a "religion," conservatives refuse to condemn it. However, an ideology can also be a religion to its promulgators as well as to its rank-and-file adherents. Our experience with Nazism and Communism should have taught us that lesson. All forms of totalitarianism are primarily faith-based, grounded in a belief in the divinely-inspired infallibility of its iconic leaders. But religion is a multi-faith chapel conservatives refuse to criticize. Therein lies the conservatives' Achilles heel when the subject is Islam.
When push comes to shove in the so-called "war on terror," which side will these "patriotic" Muslims take? The question should be unnecessary. No Muslim should be employed in "government, in our military, in our intelligence services." Not even in local law enforcement. The defense of this country from its dedicated enemies should not be an exercise in "equal opportunity." The exclusion of Muslims from government employment should not be regarded as an act of "discrimination" or "bigotry," but rather as a policy of self-preservation. For all their other ideological faults, neither Woodrow Wilson nor Franklin D. Roosevelt invited "moderate" sympathizers with the Kaiser or Nazism to be on their advisory teams, nor employed them in any government agency during the two wars, nor extended hands of friendship to their waffling, excuse-making, taqiyya-trained apologists.
McCarthy asserts that we would not be able to wage an effective war against Islamic jihad or the "war on terrorism" without the help of Muslims. This is balderdash. As far back as the 19th century, there have been enough credible and clear translations of Islamic texts and documents that we need not employ battalions of Muslims to help us understand them, regardless of any Muslim's purported loyalty to the preservation of this country. All one need do is acknowledge that Islam is root-and-branch a form of totalitarianism, eminently compatible with the Left's secular brand, and treat it as an enemy.
As things stand, we are not waging an effective war against Islam. President Obama's "outreach" to Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood is not the worst development. What is equally perilous is the conservative refusal to examine and excoriate Islam, as well.
The only trustworthy Muslim is an ex-Muslim. And that is something Huma Abedin is not.
4 Comments ::
:: Thursday, August 09, 2012 ::
Regulation of Property Leads to Censorship
Posted by Edward Cline at 7:06 AM
Is there a correlation between the establishment of a welfare state and a trend towards censorship? Do growing restrictions of freedom of speech (e.g., the notion of "hate speech") occur inevitably with the congealing of a welfare state or an increasing regulation and expropriation of property? Must the expropriation of private property (including money) ultimately lead to the expropriation of one's freedom of speech? Can legalized theft of property ultimately lead to the legalized theft of speech? Are statism and censorship distinct, separate phenomena that tend to converge to establish totalitarianism, or are they inherently partners in same means and ends?
In short: Is there a crucial, fundamental connection between property rights and freedom of speech?
In 1962, novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand observed:
The legal hallmark of a dictatorship [is] preventive law—the concept that a man is guilty until he is proved innocent by the permissive rubber stamp of a commissar or a Gauleiter.
Or of a commissioner, director, or "czar."
No, America does not yet have a dictatorship. Rather, it is governed by myriad satrapies of statist agencies, bureaus, and departments controlling or regulating virtually every realm of human action. Today, virtually every statist law on federal and state books falls into the category of "preventive" law – laws that protect "consumers," laws that protect children, laws that protect investors, laws that protect employees, laws that protect patients. For over a century, as the volume of these laws has swollen to hundreds of thousands of pages of legislation, there have been men of the Left and Right who wish to organize them all under one unified régime: A dictatorship.
The McCain-Feingold law (or the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002) that regulates political speech is evidence that, yes, such expropriation or regulation will lead to the regulation or suppression of speech, and ultimately, to across-the-board censorship. Political views expressed by private individuals or organizations through private means (especially in broadcast media) have been barred and later granted limited sanction in court rulings (e.g., Citizens United vs. the FEC). But such suppression is not only blatantly expressed in law, but it also comes in through the back door, as witness the experience of Diana West and the Washington Examiner "spiking" her column. The editor's refusal to run a column by a nationally syndicated writer for unknown, unstated reasons, is not strictly censorship (for the paper is private property), but it does smack of a degree of political correctness that would sanction overt censorship.
The regulation of private property spawned various kinds of mutated offspring. The regulation of political "campaign" speech in which certain entities are prohibited by laws such as the McCain-Feingold law from engaging in "for" or "against" particular candidates or a specific candidate's policies, could be said to be a result of law that regulates advertising.
In the beginning of a slide towards censorship, there may be no speech restrictions on regulated property. The regulation may be intended solely to control product pricing, or sales of certain products to various classes of potential buyers (such as alcohol or cigarettes to "minors"), or places of lawful sale (e.g., of beer in Pennsylvania, and of hard liquor in Virginia).
Mandatory "speech" is another form of censorship or speech regulation, such as on product labels bearing nutritional or compositional information, or restaurant menus that must include calorie information. Cigarette and tobacco packaging must carry warnings about smoking. Medicinal packaging must contain warnings and advisories about dosages. Because of an outrageous settlement from a lawsuit against McDonald's, coffee and other beverage containers served in fast food restaurants carry warnings on the containers that the contents are hot. This is "reverse censorship" because the omission of information has been deemed by a government authority or a court not in the "public interest."
Go to a Wal-Mart and tally up the number of things for sale that carry warning labels. These would include such things as pillows, tools, electrical appliances, toys, and food. While many manufacturers will claim that their warning labels are voluntary for liability reasons, one can be sure that another motive is to preempt government mandatory regulations.
Producers of these products have submitted to regulation as a defensive liability tactic and also to protect themselves from frivolous but expensive lawsuits. Such labels and warnings are ubiquitous in our culture. One wonders why warning labels for books and computer screens have not yet been mandated: "Reading this book or computer screen may lead to impaired vision or blindness."
In 1997, Mary L. Azcuenaga, head of the Federal Trade Commission, was "sorta" for the freedom of speech in advertising, and "sorta" against it:
The Commission has referred to the unfairness doctrine as "the FTC's general law of consumer protection, for which deception is one specific but particularly important application." The concept of unfairness potentially is so expansive that it could include virtually any practice that Commissioners do not like for one reason or another. Because of the potential breadth of unfairness, it is important that the Commission have a well-articulated standard for delineating this authority. Otherwise, the law could result in having the government make choices it thinks are good for consumers, instead of allowing consumers to make decisions for themselves.
The Federal Trade Commission, created in 1914, was another child of President Woodrow Wilson, its statist siblings being the federal income tax and the Federal Reserve Banking System.
Censorship can also take the form of Ad Usum Delphini*, more commonly known as politically correct speech, in which potentially offending terms or phrases are expurgated or substituted with bland or "non-offensive" proxies or euphemisms.
The notions of "hate speech" and "hate crime" are two such offspring of the regulation of political "campaign" speech. One's money – or property – may or may not be used to express one's opinion of a political candidate or his policy, depending on utterly arbitrary rules established by congressmen and at the discretion of policing bureaucrats. Such regulation is the natural result of state regulation of private property (from zoning laws to the composition of your home insulation and electrical wiring). If it was deemed "unfair" or "Illegal" to question a candidate's character and known policies during an election campaign in a privately produced and privately broadcast ad – and depending on the tone of the questioning, it could be deemed "hateful" – it was but a short step to criminalizing "sexist" language, racial epithets, or any other speech considered by the authorities, the courts, and "community standards" as demeaning, discriminatory, defamatory, or just plain "hateful."
Perhaps the most perilous instance of imposing politically correct speech in its own literature is the purging of FBI training documents of all references to Islam and jihad. Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann – famous for her calling the Obama administration's takeover of General Motors "gangster government" – is also a member of the House Intelligence Committee. She reviewed, under close FBI scrutiny, just what had been done. Creeping Sharia wrote:
“This is truly censorship by our government, the government purging itself of documents,” Bachmann said. “We are not only seeing documents purged. We are seeing trainers purged and we are seeing the FBI library purged.”
The FBI began reviewing all of its counter-terror training materials last September in response to media reports describing controversial statements in documents and lectures, allegedly including the assertion that devout Muslims are more likely to become terrorists.
Islamic and Arab-American groups protested and demanded removal of all references they deemed to be anti-Islamic. Within days, the bureau launched a review to ensure all FBI training materials are factual and do not rely on stereotypes.
To lead its review, the bureau created a five-member advisory panel that includes three outside Islamic experts, whose identities the agency will not disclose publicly. After six months, almost 900 pages of documents were removed from the curriculum. Those are the materials members of Congress have been reviewing, but cannot discuss.
How can a devout Muslim not be "stereotyped"? How can a goose-stepping Nazi not be stereotyped? But stereotyping is not the chief fear of "Islamic experts." The stereotypical Muslim is just a straw man. Rather, it is the education of FBI personnel about the true, barbaric, totalitarian nature of Islam that Islamists and their dhimmi defenders wish to truncate. The FBI is charged with "fighting terrorism," but now is forbidden to identify the terrorists.
The regulation of speech, in our republic, at least in the 19th century, could not have been introduced "cold," that is, without precedents being set in courts, abetted by a co-opted and muckraking press and subtly advanced in incremental stages by a government-dominated education system, both institutions working to inculcate in men's minds the concept of regulated speech as a norm.
Principles of property and speech must first be interpreted in a "populist" vein, reinterpreted, suborned, and ultimately discarded. A nation's citizenry must not be spooked or shocked by overt censorship. It must be "conditioned" to accept it in stages. It must be hypnotized, or anesthetized, slowly introduced to friendly gagging so as not to risk untoward opposition. The citizenry must "educated," that is, indoctrinated with cultural relativism, cultural and moral diversity, subjectivism as a rigid "world view," and reduced to submissive, unquestioning, unexceptional individuals who need the tonic of "self-esteem" to become more productive and contributory members of the collective.
All this would be in conjunction with a number of Supreme Court and other judicial decisions that would serve to obfuscate the "social" purpose of private property and freedom of speech, and ultimately abolish them. (e.g., Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. on falsely shouting "fire" in a theater, leaving the government to determine what is a "false" alarm.)
Observers of these phenomena have attributed them to conspiracies, that is, to "master plans" of conquest conceived and carried out by evil geniuses. This is the easiest and least credible explanation of why statism has grown in the U.S. Certainly there are minds in existence that plot against freedom and freedom of speech. George Soros comes to mind. But such "geniuses" are not true geniuses. Theirs is a feral intelligence that can only detect and exploit the perceived faults and weaknesses of their prey. They can only react, not act. This is also the tactic and game plan of the Muslim Brotherhood in its "civilizational jihad".
The agenda of the current administration is copasetic with that of the Muslim Brotherhood, with similarities in means and ends. The Left wishes to impose secular totalitarianism. The Brotherhood and all its organizational offspring in this country wish to impose totalitarian Sharia law, which is more totalitarian than is Communism or Socialism, that is, it prescribes behavior and approved values from head to toe, from morning to night, from diet to sex, from birth to death. Hassidic Jews also live under similar rules, but there is no deadly retaliation against them if they fail to obey such rules, as there is in Islam, nor have Hassidic Jews declared jihad against the Western cultures they live in. Secular totalitarianism wishes to control men's physical existence. Sharia aims to control both his physical and spiritual existence.
And there is this crucial difference between Islam and Hassidic Judaism: The members of the latter wish to remain as insular as possible, while obeying secular law. Islam also encourages an insular policy, but its intolerable nature impels it to suborn and conquer the very secular society in which it may exist.
Evil, however, is inherently impotent. Why? It derives its alleged strength from its enemy's actual and demonstrable weaknesses. Evil is not self-sustainable. Its basic nature is nihilistic; as a parasite, it does not strive to live, per se, but merely to exist effortlessly for as long as its host is able to survive. If a host perishes from having to sustain a parasite, the parasite will perish with it or seek another host.
The teleological means and end of evil is not life, but negation, in other words – death, or non-existence, or existence without cause – which, in stricter terms, means non-existence, because existence without effort or cause is a metaphysical impossibility.
The United States has left itself vulnerable to the inroads and the debilitating and corrupting cancers of statism and Islam. One can trace this vulnerability all the way back to John Marshall era of the Supreme Court. Many of Marshall's decisions began a long succession of Court rulings that were concessions to statist power and controls over freedom of speech. Aristotle was a philosophical cofounder of the United States, but in virtually no time the philosophical termites of statism began eating away at that foundation.
Upon America's declaration of war against Germany in 1917, the Espionage and Seditions Acts of 1917 and 1918 contained provisions for censoring mail, newspapers, pamphlets and public speaking that directly questioned the war effort or that could be interpreted as materially frustrating or obstructing the war effort.
From that era we traversed to the Obama administration and the reign of Cass Sunstein, the "Regulatory Czar," who has announced his resignation from the administration. Among other things, he wished to criminalize politically incorrect speech and thought:
WND first reported in 2008 Sunstein’s proposal that the government ban “conspiracy theorizing,” including by sending agents to infiltrate websites and chat rooms. Among the beliefs Sunstein would ban, is that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.
WND reported that in his 2009 book, “On Rumors,” he argued websites should be obliged to remove “false rumors” while libel laws should be altered to make it easier to sue for spreading such “rumors.” In the book, Sunstein cited as a primary example of “absurd” and “hateful” remarks, reports by “right-wing websites” alleging an association between President Obama and Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers.
Ostensively, Sunstein is leaving because of new "family obligations" and a chance to oversee a new Harvard Law School program. But it is only fair to speculate that he is leaving because it has been decided that he is a reelection liability. Back at Harvard, however, he will be up to his old tricks. The Washington Post reported:
Sunstein will depart by the end of the month, officials said. He is returning to the job he left, a professorship at Harvard Law School. In addition, Sunstein will head a new Harvard program on “behavioral economics and public policy.” Scholars who study Obama say that Sunstein had a major influence on Obama’s view of government — stressing pragmatism over ideology.
Sunstein’s work emphasizes the importance of consensus, social equality and broad political participation in American democracy. These themes are often echoed in Obama’s speeches.
Also, as a member of the Harvard Law Review editorial board in 1989, Obama helped oversee the publication of one of Sunstein’s most important essays. Titled "Interpreting Statutes in the Regulatory State," it argued that regulations are always open to interpretation based on “culture and context.”
One thing the author of the Post got wrong, as did the Obama scholars: Barack Obama is no pragmatist, but is an ideologue down to his golf clubs.
Remember that in totalitarian countries there is no private property through which citizens may protest or criticize government policies. All means of communications are owned or dominated by the state. This includes such countries as the former Soviet Union (and now Putin's fascist Russia, where successful businessmen are jailed and their property expropriated, and where journalists risk death for reporting the truth), Red China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, North Korea, and even Venezuela. In Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, the press was nominally private (as was much private property, including banks), but controlled by the parties in power. Their editors dared not contradict the Party line in the least without risking arrest or a state take-over of the paper, or its simple dissolution.
American institutions are surrendering to de facto censorship with little or no such threat of force or government retaliation. Freedom of speech is intimately tied to the status of property. If a government can license and tax one's soapbox, prescribe what materials it can be made of, what times and where it may be used and when, and what may be said from it, it is only a matter of time before one is compelled to relinquish ownership of it altogether.
*"At the court of the king of France Louis XIV the education of the crown prince (Delphinus) was also pursued by streamlined [i.e., Bowdlerized] versions of classical Latin writers. These versions were written ad usum Delphini, that is, 'for the use of the crown prince,' and they were later adopted as textbooks in French schools."
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