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:: Sunday, September 30, 2012 ::

A World Without Mohammad and Islam 

:: Posted by Edward Cline at 10:52 PM

Daniel Greenfield's "Imagine if Mohammed Had Never Existed" (FrontPage, 29 September) is an invitation to explore some alternative "what might have been" history. It is tempting, for example, to imagine recent history and the state of America had President Barack Obama never existed – if, say, Stanley Ann Dunham had decided to try out for the Dallas Cheerleaders, or pursued a degree in physics, instead of trying to prove her "tolerance" with a sham marriage with a Kenyan Muslim and making whoopee in Hawaii with a black Communist on the FBI's watch list while pursuing degrees in anthropology and micro-financing – and so have never been born and sparing the country of his brand of super-sized community organizing. But, that would be too easy. We should go for the grand vista.

Of course, it would be instructive, if not entertaining, to imagine what the world would have been like had not Karl Marx, or Thomas Jefferson, or Immanuel Kant, or Martin Luther ever existed, or none of the other prominent thinkers and movers. In their absence, however, other ideas would have filled the hypothetical vacuum. What they might have been, it is impossible to project. We can extrapolate ad infinitum, and really add nothing to the argument.

Greenfield's article was prompted by the announcement on YNET News that, in the midst of all the Muslim rioting, flag-burning, embassy- and consulate-storming ostensibly over the trailer for Innocence of Muslims, a bargain-basement-produced film about the scurrilous and controlled-substance-assisted life of Mohammad, several Arab and Muslim outfits are going to produce their own films, about Islam, and especially about Mohammad.

Meanwhile, Egypt's second-largest political movement, the Salafist al-Nur party, said it will produce a movie about the life of Mohammed, titled "what would the world look like without Mohammed."

Or, "What an Allah-less Life." Or, "It's a Sharia Life."

Too obviously, members of the al-Nur Party have been copping a feel of decadent Western culture, admitting that they have been inspired by Frank Capra's hoary old altruist chestnut, It's a Wonderful Life. I can't think of a better film to rip off for Islamic themes and material, not to mention for secular collectivist themes and material. It's all about the Ummah of Bedford Falls exercising its claim on the life of hapless George Bailey, so that he may continue to sacrifice for the sake of the "community." Recall the famous scene on the bridge when he contemplates suicide, and is rescued by the angel Clarence. At one point he wishes that he had never been born. So Clarence shows him what his town would have been like if he hadn’t.

Capra's film depicts a town that has succumbed to the alleged depredations of capitalism, in the form of Mr. Potter, that mean, heartless, conniving, garrulous old banker and nemesis of George Bailey.

Al-Nur's financed filmmakers will have the angel Gabriel to show him the way. But we will not be shown Mohammad. That's against the law. Gabriel will doubtless be shown whispering sweet-nothings into – if we're lucky – an ear, in the dead of night, or amongst the dead by Mohammad's hand. Or as he shivers in a cave. Or perhaps they will adopt the "I am a camera" device, with a visible Gabriel showing an unseen Mohammad the world had he not been born, and we see it through Mohammad's eyes. That device has been used with limited success in other films. But one wonders if there is a prohibition of it in some past version of the Koran. More effort will be put into Gabriel's costume and makeup than into Mohammad's. Not a finger or a sandaled toe of Mohammad can be shown. In fact, the filmmakers needn't cast anyone for the role.

Technically, if the filmmakers begin at the year of Mohammad's birth, 570 A.D., there is really nothing they could show of the world. Mohammad won't be there to see it, unless they adopt the George Bailey-Clarence the Angel device. There's no record that Mohammad ever left the Arabian Peninsula or knew that trees grew in what would in the future become Brooklyn. All we would see is baking desert, a few oases, perhaps a dusty town or two, camel caravans, and men who were old by the age of forty. There's no evidence that he had any knowledge of Rome or even of Constantinople, or of the Atlantic Ocean.

Another task for the producer and director of "The Life of Mohammad" or "The World Without the Prophet" would be to somehow account for the lives of Mohammad's twenty-four predecessors, all revered "prophets" in Islamic lore. To not mention them would be a snub of the gravest import. But, then, Mohammad is regarded as the last in that line of monotheists. His immediate predecessor is Īsá, or Jesus Christ. "Real" revelation began with Mohammad, not with that puffed-up Christian imposter, according to Islamic lore, and not with his predecessors. So, it is okay to burn Bibles that include Christ's name.

So, you can bet on it. Al-Nur's movie about "the prophet" will not be a musical, Muḥammad ibn `Abd Allā, Superstar.

Mohammad is regarded the end-all and be-all of all those prophets. And, for some unfathomable reason, while it is permissible to publish imagined likenesses of Nūḥ, Hūd, Ibrāhīm, Ayyūb, Mūsá, Zakariyyā, Yaḥyá, ‘Īsá, and all the others, it is not permissible under pain of death to portray Mohammad. Go figure. Every one of them preceded Mohammad by centuries and has doppelgangers in Judeo-Christian lore. Every one of them needed barbering, too. But they were first, all the way back to Adam.

By the accepted year of Mohammad's birth, Eastern Emperor Justinian had been dead for five years, and the Roman Empire he had sought to resurrect in the West had fallen apart. There were empires, kingdoms, and dynasties elsewhere in the globe, some reaching the apex of their power, others enfeebled by age and stasis, still others besieged by barbarians. A tenuous commerce existed in a world made desolate by warring tyrants and the conquest by barbarians. In the previous century, the Huns had battled the Vandals and the Visigoths over the scattered carcass of the Roman Empire. Justinian had reclaimed some of it, but it disintegrated almost immediately on his death. In Mohammad's time, Europe was a chaos of rival Germanic and Frankish tribes.

Chronologically, the Dark Ages began with the accession of a Germanic barbarian, Flavius Odoacer, in 476, when he deposed Romulus Augustus, to a literal kingship over Rome and Italy. It is interesting to note here that Odoacer was an Arian Christian. Arianism rejects the Trinity of the mainstream Christianity, that is, it denies the divinity of Christ. So does Islam. Because Islam is very likely a patchwork religion deriving its essential doctrine, texts, and iconography from Christianity, Judaism, and a variety of contemporary pagan religions (see Robert Spencer's Did Mohammad Exist?), one may credibly argue that Islam also borrowed the Arianist view of Christ to better inflate Mohammad's stature of the One and Only True Prophet.

Islam didn't exist at that time, and Arianism was to Christianity what Scientology is to Methodism today. It was known and novel. Why not "borrow" some of its doctrine? Who's going to stop Mohammad?

Whose "prophet"? Allah's. But, then, Mohammad cadged from a pagan religion and adopted its moon god, Allah. It could just as well have been Kilroy. Or Kill Joy. Or Joe Shmoe. Mohammad turned him into a very scary creature.

The world would have looked dark and desolate with or without Mohammad for roughly the next one thousand years. It was truly a world "lit only by fire," and certainly not by the fire of the intellect, not until the 14th century humanist Petrarch first made the distinction between his time and the centuries before him. The Arabian Peninsula – Mohammad's world – would have remained as it actually remained without him, a place of warring tribes of various creeds, devoted to plunder, rapine, slaughter and stagnation. Islam, as a call to conquest, did not begin making inroads in the known world until well into the seventh century, after Mohammad's death in 632. The "Moors" of that time were not necessarily "Muslims," but rather a generic appellation for tribes that lived in North Africa. Shakespeare's Othello, "The Moor of Venice," was certainly not a Muslim.

There really would not have been much difference. Religions of all stripes were the reigning moral codes, even for barbarians. It is hard to imagine what al-Nur's filmmakers will concoct, unless one can project what committed ideologues can create assisted by amphetamines.

Daniel Greenfield unleashed his imagination to project a world without Mohammad. It is a Mideast unrecognizable today. It is a center of learning, technology, civil societies, and genuine human progress and happiness. And not a single mosque, minaret, or mass arse-lifting in submission to a rock in sight. Not a single OPEC sheik, not a single Uzi-bearing terrorist or "freedom fighter" extant, either. But I'm more realistic and argue that not much would have changed at all, had Mohammad not existed. If the Islamic world has anything of value at all, it is by grace of the free West. This includes all their bomb-making materials and rocketry. For 1,400 years, it has preferred stagnation and submission and unfreedom. It is the only way it can rule.

And unless Muslims repudiate their faith, that is all they're going to inherit. All else is fantasy.
 

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:: Thursday, September 27, 2012 ::

The Vilification of Freedom of Speech 

:: Posted by Edward Cline at 6:28 PM


 
Slate joined the tut-tut mob of dhimmified American pundits and commentators by endorsing the abridgement of the First Amendment, at the behest of thin-skinned, super-sensitive Muslims, in its September 25th article, "The Vile Anti-Muslim Video Shows That the U.S. Overvalues Free Speech."

Slate is proof that the Internet isn't wholly a refuge from the Mainstream Media. It has its complement of liberal, leftist and myopic sites that range from banal to bizarre to outlandishly vitriolic. It isn't immediately apparent in the Slate article, written by Editor Eric Posner, that it denigrates not only the First Amendment, but anyone upholding its sanctity, because it took him ten paragraphs of irrelevant commentary to reach the conclusion that the First Amendment is ready for a tweaking and perhaps even a rewrite that would favor Muslims and Islam.

Robert Spencer zeroed in on the key statement in the Slate article in his Jihad Watch article of September 26th, and dismisses it with brevity. He quotes from Slate first:

"That’s because the First Amendment protects verbal attacks on groups as well as speech that causes violence (except direct incitement: the old cry of “Fire!” in a crowded theater). And so combining the liberal view that government should not interfere with political discourse, and the conservative view that government should not interfere with commerce, we end up with the bizarre principle that U.S. foreign policy interests cannot justify any restrictions on speech whatsoever. Instead, only the profit-maximizing interests of a private American corporation can. Try explaining that to the protesters in Cairo or Islamabad." (Bold emphasis is Spencer's)

Spencer: "In other words, surrender before they hit us again."

That's all that need be said.

Spencer handily runs other publication over the coals in his Jihad Watch/Atlas Shrugs article, "The Suicide of the Free Press," on how and why other publications are picketing against the First Amendment. Citing the example of the Los Angeles Times' Op-Ed by Sarah Chayes, a career do-gooder currently with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Spencer asks:

But the larger question is, why is the Los Angeles Times coming down on the side of restrictions on the freedom of speech in the first place? Are they not aware that such restrictions, if implemented, can and probably will be used against them? While the Los Angeles Times editors are no doubt serene in their certainty that they will never print anything that will insult Islam or Muslims, there could all too easily come a time when a governing authority deems something they have published to be “hateful” or even“deliberately tailored to put lives and property at immediate risk,” and – if free speech by then has been restricted – that will be the end of the Times as an outpost of the free press.

Further, there is Posner's "profit-maximizing" qualifier coupled with the "interests of a private American corporation" that reveals Slate's anti-capitalist leanings. We'll leave that alone for the time being, although it would be interesting to know why Posner thought it necessary to say that and not something to the effect, "Only the speech of private individuals can be restricted or interfered with in political discourse," because it boils down to the same thing: restrictions à la carte. And what has "commerce" to do with the issue? I don’t think Posner agrees with Ayn Rand that freedom of speech is dependent on the status of private property. So, one can only scratch one's head in trying to comprehend the legal universe Posner occupies and speaks from.

 President Barack Obama said at the U.N. that "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

Or criticize him? Or resort to Charlie Hebdo level cartoons? Or to awful video trailers whose Muslim funding is just now coming to light? (See Walid Shoebat's revelations here; apparently the "Innocence of Muslims" has a not-so-innocent pedigree.) One might be tempted to say, "Nor should the future belong to those who slander Jesus. Or Ayn Rand. Or any one of H.L. Mencken's dead gods." But that would be conceding the premise that speech about these figures ought to be "restricted."

Sorry, old chap, but the future belongs to me, a slanderer, mocker, blasphemer, and critic of Muslims and Islam and its pedophilic icon, Big Mo. What's the government going to do about it? Ask Huma Abedin to send some ski-masked jihadist thugs to beat me up? Give me the Daniel Pearl treatment? Or perhaps Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will request that a joint DHS/TSA Swat team swoop down on me and take me in for questioning.  

Posner opined that Obama's speech contained "a strong defense of the First Amendment." In fact, it was one of the most tepid but insidious "defenses" of an American freedom on record.  Why? Posner is a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. He ought to have noted the quid pro quo which Obama had no business offering the United Nations, the OIC, the world that doesn’t like our First Amendment, and Muslims: You stop slandering Jesus, we'll stop slandering Mohammad.

That's tantamount to agreeing to give the school yard bully your money and your lunch, and he agrees to stop giving you a black eye and dunking your head in a commode.

Muslims won't stop slandering other creeds' icons – try and stop them– but how does Posner propose to stop the slandering, libeling, or mockery of Mohammad, except by applauding the criminalization of speech at the behest of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the United Nations, Hillary Clinton, and anyone else who doesn’t like the First Amendment?

The criminalization of speech about Islam is a proposed exercise in people management and Platonic guardianship by elitists ensconced in the ivory tower of indemnified statism. It is supposed to combat violence and bridge the gap between Western and Islamic civilizations. But Islam isn't a "civilization"; it is an ideology hell-bent on conquest. But as Daniel Greenfield points out in his essay, "Muslim Multiculturalism and Western Post-Nationalism" notes:

The left's post-national identity is based on a secular political multiculturalism. Islam's post-national identity is based on a religious theocratic multiculturalism. The left has heresies that it prosecutes as hate crimes and Islam has heresies that it prosecutes as blasphemy.

Progressives have been always too stupid to understand that the consequences of their progressivism in undermining the current, more advanced, phase of human society is the restoration of reactionary social and political systems. In Russia, the Bolsheviks toppled an intermediary government and restored a Czar named Stalin and feudalism under the name of collectivism, to the proud cheers of the world's leftists at the progress they were making. In the Arab Spring, they brought back Islamism and they have brought it back in London and Sydney, and Paris and New York as well.

My advice to Eric Posner: Think about what you're asking for. You just might have your way. But, you may regret your not being able to say what you wish to say about anything. Criminalizing speech about Islam doubtless will set a poison pill precedent to criminalize speech about anything the state deems protected, sacrosanct, and not open to discussion.

You may someday need to shout "Fire!" and won’t, because you've surrendered your right to. To you, it won’t seem practical. Or right. You've "progressed" to a more "mature" standard of speech. Besides, it would be against the law. Shouting "Fire!" might provoke someone to throw a Molotov cocktail.
 
You would be hard-pressed to prove to the authorities that it wasn’t your intention to provoke the thrower of the Molotov cocktail. You would protest: That was his action, not yours. You were merely trying to save lives. He was trying to take lives. How awful! Still, your action "triggered" his action.
 
You would be held responsible. The law would say so. Hands behind your back, please. These are plastic cuffs, and won’t hurt a bit.

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:: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 ::

Howls of Anger, Mewlings of Submission 

:: Posted by Edward Cline at 5:07 PM

It's the classic routine of Good Cop, Bad Cop. And Bad Cop. Their names are President Barack Obama, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

There you are, having been brought into the station to be "interviewed" by the thought police for having "offended" Muslims by "defaming," "denigrating," "mocking," "dis-respecting" Islam. They've not arrested you – they want you to understand that, and you're free to go any time you wish, except that the interrogation room door is locked and there are cops in riot gear guarding it outside – they've only manhandled you into the police car and driven you to the station so you can offer your point of view so they can better understand "where you're coming from." They wouldn't have done that if they hadn't received complaints and warnings from the offended parties that you are hovering close to "inciting violence" by bad-mouthing Islam.

The world-weary, jaded-looking guys just want you to admit responsibility for having caused recent riots. They want to go home and get some sleep, even though they have roused you from a deep sleep at 1 a.m. They commiserate with you about exhaustion and working odd hours. Then you can go, once you recant and sign a lengthy letter of apology to the rioters and to the dead and maimed the rioters have caused and to all Muslims for having "insulted" their faith. They want you to distance yourself from other "offenders." They want you to repudiate your convictions. After all, what's a conviction worth. You can't eat one, or deposit it in the bank. What are you, obsessed or something? Get with the program.

The offended parties wish to see justice done. They keep shouting that they "don’t get no respect," except they're not trying to be funny like Rodney Dangerfield and wouldn't emulate him if they could, because Dangerfield was Jewish. They want "respect" and they want restitution. They wish to silence you on the matter of Islam while not restricting your First Amendment rights. You'll be allowed to denigrate Jews and Christians and atheists and Buddhists and other non-believers to your heart's content, as they do. Muslims are a protected "minority" and have been granted dispensation and a variety of legal indulgences. But the offended parties have warned the authorities that they cannot calm their collect for too much longer, as their outrage is real and cannot be contained indefinitely. They might begin to riot and harm the police sent to preserve the peace, and it'll be all your fault.

You are informally accused of being an "extremist," "hate-monger," "racist," and "bigot." But just understand that you're not under arrest, you're only being charged off-the-record, you have every right to be any one or all of those things. Understand that the umbrella term for all those things is "Islamophobia," and that you have the Constituitonal right to be a pariah, which is all you can be by criticizing Islam in any form whatsoever. It's the law, you see. It's your choice, we're not here to force you to do anything you don’t want to do, this is a free country.

Your crime? You might have posted a scurrilous cartoon of Mohammad on the Internet, showing him in a tutu performing an intimate act on a goat. Or you might have depicted Mohammad on his knees, worshipping a statue of the original "Allah," a pagan moon god, with the caption, "I wonder if they'd mind if I stole you."

You might have had the audacity to direct and post on the Internet an awfully amateurish satiric video on the life of Mohammad with phony backdrops and a third-rate cast and dialogue that would make a third-grader blush.

You might have developed an extensive knowledge of Islam and all its key documents and wrote for various Internet publications that these documents call for the enslavement of all non-Muslims if not their conversion to Islam, and if not their enslavement or conversion, then their violent extinction. In other columns, you have underscored the fact that 99% of the murders and bombings and attacks on the West over the last several decades have been committed by Muslims, and posed the question: Is there a coincidence? Does anyone see a "pattern" here?

You might have been satirically poetic and posted a comment similar to: "The handful of wilted daisies and tulips that Muslims claim constitutes irrefutable proof of Islam's desire for peace and tolerance and goodwill is intended to disguise a mound of stinking, putrid mulch garnered from the psychotic mental meanderings of an iconic thug a millennium and a half ago, and treated as the last and only word in nurturing and preserving a society of humble and uncomplaining gimps."

Of course, neither the cartoon, nor the video, nor the scholarly essay, nor the poetic license was ever intended for Muslim eyes, but for the amusement or edification of like-minded individuals who are wondering why darkness is enveloping their world. You can't tell Muslims not to look at any of it – it's a free country, isn't it? – but they do, and are predictably incensed, and warn that if nothing is done about it, they will do something about it.

You are being "interviewed" in order to answer for the flagrant abuse of your First Amendment right to freedom of speech. You are suspected of "falsely shouting 'fire'" across the street from where a real fire was consuming the lives of thousands, none of whom were warned that their theater was about to go up in flames with all the exit doors locked. You were not in that theater; therefore, you had no right to shout "fire!"

After you say nothing in answer to all their beseechments – you know better than to volunteer information to the cops – Good Cop delivers an impassioned speech about Muslims having been persecuted and discriminated against for centuries, and that while their violent reactions to that persecution and discrimination are inexcusable, you've got to understand that their deepest convictions have been questioned and examined and shown to be lacking in any desire for peace, tolerance, and goodwill, except for other Muslims. The Good Cop declaims, with dramatic gesticulations and the appropriate facial expressions:
So let us remember that this is a season of progress. For the first time in decades, Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans voted for new leaders in elections that were credible, competitive and fair.
Your mind utters a silent "Huh?" They elected dictators, and theocratic purists. It was "one man, one vote, once and for all, forever and ever." End of 'democracy.'" Does this guy know what he's talking about?
Let us remember that Muslims have suffered the most at the hands of extremism. On the same day our civilians were killed in Benghazi, a Turkish police officer was murdered in Istanbul only days before his wedding, more than 10 Yemenis were killed in a car bomb in Sana'a, several Afghan children were mourned by their parents just days after they were killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul.
Your mind makes a face. A handful of Muslims murdered by Muslims is supposed to balance the 3,000 murdered on 9/11, as a declaration of war by the states that sponsored the attack, and the uncounted thousands murdered by Muslims over 1,400 years? Give me a break.
The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt. It must be claimed by those in Tahir Square who chanted, ``Muslims, Christians, we are one.'' The future must not belong to those who bully women. It must be shaped by girls who go to school and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons.
You can't remember the first time Good Cop ever said anything before now about the Copts. And all that stuff about Tahir Square? Doesn’t he know that the Muslims are running the Copts out of town? And that Tahir Square is the last place a female Western journalist ought to think of collecting the news, except inside a Bradley Fighting Vehicle?
The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied.
Sorry, old chap, you mentally say to Good Cop, but you can't have it both ways. It isn't going to happen. As a specially protected and patronized and suffering minority – at least in this country – Muslims will damn well say what they wish about anyone else's religious icon, and claim First Amendment rights, too. They are allowed to offend, insult, and denigrate anyone. And if you reply to it, it will be called "hate speech." You see, they don’t spew "hate speech."

Good Cop scrutinizes you for a moment, surprised that you haven’t objected or responded to anything he's said. Ostensively disappointed, he sighs and leaves the room and you are alone with Bad Cop.

Bad Cop circles you like a hungry wolf. He stands behind you for a moment, breathing heavily, to let you wonder what he's going to do next. Then he stands across the table from you and begins pounding it and shaking his fist at you and pacing like a tormented tiger. He kicks the legs of the table so hard that the unused ashtray and can of Coke Good Cop was kind enough to buy for you fall to the floor. He sounds a little like Laurence Olivier in Richard the Third, Act One, Scene One, "rudely stamped" and not "shaped for sportive tricks," but with none of Olivier's sense of timing or elocution. He simply rants on, hoping his raw anger will make you slump in your chair from sheer funk, a sure sign of admitted guilt, or at least of complicity.
"Those Zionists!" he barks, "their days are numbered!"
That statement, you realize, is only tangentially connected to the freedom of speech issue. Then he mentions Salman Rushdie and the fear he was living in as a result of abusing his First Amendment privileges with his blasphemous novel.
"If he is in the U.S., you should not broadcast it for his own safety."
You blink in astonishment. Rushdie was not a U.S. citizen, but a British citizen, and so his freedom of speech was not protected by the First Amendment. But, then, neither is that of other British citizens. Anymore. Bad Cop careens wildly back and forth over other issues. You lose interest. You have not slumped in your chair. This man is either a bad actor, or genuinely crackers.
Iran has been around for the last seven, 10 thousand years. They (the Israelis) have been occupying those territories for the last 60 to 70 years, with the support and force of the Westerners. They have no roots there in history. We do believe that they have found themselves at a dead end and they are seeking new adventures in order to escape this dead end. Iran will not be damaged with foreign bombs.
Bad Cop finally concludes by "hewing himself out with a bloody axe" and stomping out of the room, slamming the door behind him. The door opens again almost immediately and instead of Good Cop, a short, scruffy-looking man in a suit comes in whom you recognize as a convicted felon but who is now the head of an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood working closely with the authorities to preserve the peace. He does not introduce himself, but glares at you and launches into a tirade about "responsible speech."
"We must acknowledge the importance of freedom of expression. We must also recognize that such freedom comes with responsibilities, especially when it comes with serious implications for international peace and stability."
He ends with, "You, infidel, are the primary guarantor of that peace and stability by not offending Islam and taking liberties with your tongue with our honored Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him. If there is chaos and bloodshed and misery, it will happen because you have failed."

You want to respond, but you know that the room is wired for sound. You settle for flicking the fingers of your right hand under your chin in his direction. It's an offensive Italian salute, but you can always say you had to scratch an itch.

By 5 a.m. more attempts by Good Cop, Bad Cop, Scruffy Man, and some pious members of the Interfaith Dialogue Barbershop Quartet have failed to get you to open up and cry your heart out that you didn't mean for any bad things to happen. You are escorted out of the station and given a ride home. You merely nod thanks to the friendly driver in blue. You have said nothing. You have confessed nothing, admitted nothing. You've defeated their system. You may as well have been deaf and dumb.

It's 6 a.m. and you're just in time to watch the morning news. A nicely groomed anchorwoman begins by announcing that a bipartisan House committee will introduce legislation criminalizing not only deprecatory speech about Islam, but also any criticism of White House policies and programs.

"The move is seen as a means to curb reckless, irresponsible speech that contributes to the turmoil that is disturbing national security and delaying economic recovery," says the blonde. "The bill is expected to pass the Senate without much amendment, and be signed by the President."

You shut the TV off and go to your study. You discover that your laptop computer is gone, as well as the external backup drive, all your thumbnail files, and your filing cabinet with your hard-copy research has been rifled and half its contents missing.

A hand-written note is taped to your empty computer desk. It reads: "It's for your own good. BPUH."

It's then that you realize that it's all over but the jail time.

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:: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 ::

To Preserve the Peace, or the State? 

:: Posted by Edward Cline at 5:29 PM

Everything done by the Obama administration since its inauguration in January 2009, every word, every gesture, every silence, every dog-and-pony show, has been to preserve the peace – of the state. In this endeavor, the public peace – or, as our Founders might have called it, the public "general welfare," that is, the non-coercive, civilized trade between civilized men – has been largely secondary in consideration by this administration, and often at mortal odds with its primary task of preserving the state.

The state must not only retain its power over the people, over the economy, over the actions of its citizens, but expand its powers in order to perpetuate its powers. In too many instances, those actions have had a distinctive, signature nihilistic intent.

What is the state? A state is to be distinguished from a nation. A nation is a geographically identified patch of the earth populated by citizens of a particular political suasion and culture. A nation's government may have some control over its citizens' actions. Good fortune would have the state exercise its monopoly on force to retaliate only against those who initiate force against any of its citizens, and against foreign aggressors and aggression.

The stewards of the state, with good fortune, would know that their task was to preserve the public peace in that fashion, and not to preserve the state for the sake of the state alone. They would know that to violate that understanding would be to behave as criminals and foreign aggressors behaved. The stewards would abhor any suggestion that they act otherwise, and oppose with vehemence any proposal that they act contrary to their mandate.

A state acting on the converse premise would take any action necessary to preserve itself and expand its powers. A state exists for its own sake and a state that does so must necessarily act against the "general welfare" or peace of the nation. A state moved by such a premise cannot remain in stasis, that is, as a state arrested at a certain point in growth. It must move and act to justify its existence, to the populace, to itself, even to other states or nations. No state founded on such a premise says to itself or to its citizens: thus far and no farther. For if it did, questions would arise about the powers it has appropriated to itself. Such a policy would serve to undermine its alleged legitimacy.

Hitler did not mean it when he repeated that he had made his last "territorial demand." He was compelled, by the nature of his rule, to invade and seize the lands and resources of Germany's neighbors.

After Mohammad's death in the 7th century, his successors were compelled, by the nature of Islam's ideology, to conquer as much of the Mideast as possible.

The state, however, must advance in an environment of peace, that is, without significant internal opposition, encountering no controversies, no stumbling blocks, no distracting issues. All constitutional, civil, and social roadblocks must be removed. This is what happened in Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Mao's China, Mussolini's Italy, and Chavez's Venezuela. At the same time, it must have an enemy, a nemesis, or something that threatens its existence, a reason to solicit or require the support of the citizens, whose livelihoods or existence are alleged to be in peril were the state jeopardized or attacked.

One key element of statism is to make citizens dependent on the state for their sustenance, and to convince the citizenry that they are the state, and that any proposal to nullify a state's power over them imperils them, as well. After all, they are the state.

It would be annoyingly pedantic, not to say redundant, to itemize every action taken by the Obama administration these last four years. Such a list would go on for pages, perhaps for as many pages as the text of Obamacare. Most significant of late has been the government's official response to the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the military assault on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and assault that resulted in the murder of our Libyan ambassador and three other Americans.

Without going into details about the nature and purpose of those attacks – other observers have exposed the lies and cover-ups of the causes and consequences of those attacks – the violation of the sanctity of embassy and consulate property and of the taking of American lives on the pretext of the denigration of Islam and its icon, Mohammad, serve to rationalize for this administration the further abridgement of the First Amendment of the Constitution. This has been an unarticulated goal of the current administration from day one of its tenure. Less attention has been paid to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's hand-holding with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for the last few years than to Obama's economic policies.

To preserve the state, all significant opposition must be silenced. If the current administration is ideologically pragmatic to enable the advancement of political Islam, it must quash all criticism of Islam, just as it wishes to quash all criticism of its other statist policies. As other observers have pointed out, the new "enemy" of the state is freedom of speech, or the truth, or the facts.

Diana West, in her article "Obama Administration Breaches the First Amendment" (September 17) reported,

The first response actually preceded the mayhem in Cairo when the U.S. Embassy, having suspended regular business in anticipation of the planned movie protest, posted on its website on Sept. 11: "The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims - as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions."

The administration publically disavowed the statement, yet did not repudiate it. This was because the administration endorses the policy of not "hurting" the religious feelings of Muslims, and of not "denigrating" Islam, everywhere, anywhere, and at any time.

But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed the embassy message to "deplore" free speech. Clinton said: "Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind."

This is speaking with a forked tongue. The administration agrees with Muslim Brotherhood, which does not speak with a forked tongue. Its spokesmen are quite forthright:

Reuters reported that Mursi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood," asked the Egyptian embassy in Washington to take legal action in the United States against makers of a film attacking the Muslim Prophet Mohammad, the official state news agency said on Wednesday."

"Mursi had requested the mission take 'all legal measures,' the MENA agency said, without giving further details on what that might involve," Reuters added.

The Wall Street Journal reported, without realizing it, that Obama repeated President George W. Bush's policy on Islam, that the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi were the work of "extremists" and "killers," not the result of a viral ideology:

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

Yes, the violence was "senseless," but "senseless" in the context of it not having been necessary. All the Egyptians and Yemenis and Libyans and Afghanis and Australian Muslims needed to do is put those "Islam Will Dominate" signs and American flags and Zippo lighters away and wait for the administration to implement the United Nations ban on all criticism of Islam and erase the First Amendment. Ambassador Chris Stevens became a "martyr" in the war against freedom of speech. That is all.

The official government line ever since 9/11/2001 has been that Islam is a "religion of peace," no threat to anyone not a Muslim, and that it has been "hijacked" by "extremists," "radicals," "fundamentalists," and "misunderstanders." If Barack Obama is going to blame Bush for anything, it is this fallacious policy of closing one's eyes to the true, totalitarian nature of Islam. He perpetuates it every time he opens his mouth about Islam and the Mideast.

But Obama has a totalitarian, nihilist streak in him as wide as the Mississippi. Some observers had claimed that he is not a Marxist ideologue. Perhaps he isn't. Then all one call him is a Marxist pragmatist, because his domestic policies are colored pink throughout. He won’t nationalize the car industry, but let it limp on with massive bailouts that don’t save the industry. His chairman of the Federal Reserve, Bernard Bernanke, recently announced another "bailout" of the economy which the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department have scarred and slashed with their fiscal policies worse than the Cat Woman's steel claws. The Business Spectator wrote:

As part of the open ended nature of the bond purchases, the Fed has committed to buying $40 billion of mortgage backed securities per month. In a Fed first, and this is the highlight of the Fed statement, “if the outlook for the labor market does not improve substantially, the committee will continue its purchases of agency mortgage backed securities, undertake additional asset purchases and employ its other policy tools as appropriate”.

However, the taking of the lives of public servants is horrendous. The taking of the personal lives daily in Egypt, Iran, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, merits no comment or consideration. Agents of the state were brutally murdered. The state is blind or indifferent to the brutal murders of thousands of people who are not public servants. This slaughter has been going on for the last 1,400 years.

As soon as a totalitarian has consolidated his power and won the approval of the citizenry, freedom of speech is the first casualty. When Hitler ascended the dais of power, all newspapers were gagged and it was made a crime to criticize the state. Any paper not towing the Party line was raided, its presses smashed, its editors and journalists arrested and sent to concentration camps. This has been the drill in every nation that has traded its freedoms for the "security" of the state.

There is Obama's state to preserve, and the Islamic state to spread. Between them, for the moment, there is a symbiosis in ends and means. Daniel Greenfield noted in his brilliant if plaintive column, "The Price of a Koran," that today's policymakers are not the stuff that made the American Revolution possible:

Muslims are equally willing to pay the price in blood for slavery, their own slavery and ours, for a book of slavery, written by an owner and abuser of slaves, who created a religion of slaves, where the optimal position was to stand on as many people as possible while reaching for heaven.

The men who fought to make us free placed value on their lives. The men who fight to enslave us place little value on their own. Whatever material pleasures they enjoy in this life, little girls, hashish and wealth, will be vastly improved upon in the afterlife. And they buy their way into that afterlife by killing us, as they have been doing for over a thousand years.

Each of their murders imposes their religion on us. They impose their notion of what is important and what isn't important. Twenty years ago no one would have cared a fig for a burned Koran or a cartoon of Mo. Today either one earns you an accusation of endangering the lives of American soldiers and inciting violence. Dress up as Zombie Mohammed and Judge Mark Martin will tell you that in a Muslim country you would get the death penalty. That's not the way it works here. Yet.

What difference should it make to Americans that the material pleasures enjoyed by our wannabe censors are free jet planes to fly to Europe and Martha's Vineyard and reelection rallies and interminable rounds of golf and rubbing shoulders and getting "jiggy" with rap artists and singers who can't sing?

A new term is entering the coinage of politically correct speech: "responsible speech." It is employed by the administration and by the Islamic advocates of selective censorship. Cyrus McGoldrick, an official of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said last Sunday on Iranian TV that,

Few protestors likely even saw the video, said McGoldrick, civil rights director for CAIR's New York chapter. "And I don't think it's about the film at all, really, I think that people are tired. People have had enough of what is seen by them, what looks to them like America's war on Islam. And this is one of the symptoms of that."….

Americans enjoy "allegedly a freedom of speech, a freedom of expression –political expression and religious expression," he explained. "And of course, that comes with it some rights, but also, of course, some responsibilities."

Obama's goal is to preserve the peace – of the state. His state, too, needs Lebensraum. It needs the mandate of the citizens in whose name he wishes to expand the powers of the state. It can't expand if citizens are objecting to his endless demands for more space and powers. He must convince the electorate that their peace of mind and sustenance and well-being depend on his actions.

To that end he must silence those who demand in turn to be left alone to pursue their own peace of mind, sustenance, and well-being.

It is hoped that come November, enough Americans will say in the voting booths: thus far, and no farther, and then they'll begin reclaiming America from the state.

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:: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 ::

Come and Get It, Hillary 

:: Posted by Edward Cline at 6:08 PM

It's much like the alignment of the planets to produce some catastrophic force, or the convergence of two storm systems: The U.S. remembers 9/11. On 9/11/2012, Muslim mobs assault the U.S. embassy in Cairo, hauling down the U.S. flag and raising the black flag of jihad. In Benghazi, Libya, hours later, another mob launches a military-style attack on the U.S. consulate, killing the U.S. ambassador and staff members, including two Marines, and burning the place to the ground.

Over what?

A satiric movie about Mohammad and the poisonous fraud of Islam that few Americans even knew about? Or was it about the death by drone of a Libyan Al-Qada leader?

Who knows? Who cares? This is Islam at its best. This is Islam and Muslims shining through. Muslims don’t need an excuse. The Koran tells them so.

Trying to sift through the multifaceted motives for the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi is as pointless as sorting through the ruins of the World Trade Center on 9/11, 2001 searching for the identities of the plane hijackers. Once it was known who supported, funded, recruited, and triggered the attacks, why waste any time trying to identify the expendable "martyrs"?

It was the ideology that launched the attacks, in 2001 and in 2012. It was the ideology that has launched such attacks ever since the plane hijackings of the 1970's. It was behind the Munich massacre and every casualty-strewn bombing and murder spree committed in the name of Islam for the last five decades.

Can anyone with a handful of scruples buy the phony piety and condolences of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton? The New York Times quotes them both:

“These four Americans stood up for freedom and human dignity,” Mr. Obama said in a televised statement from the White House Rose Garden, where he stood with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. “Make no mistake: we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.”

The Washington Post reports:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the attack “in the strongest terms,” adding that while the United States “deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others … there is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.” Wednesday morning, Obama released his own statement condemning “the outrageous attack.”

During the protest in Cairo but hours before the attacks in Libya, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement saying that it condemns “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.” An administration official later told ABC News that “no one in Washington approved that statement before it was released and it doesn’t reflect the views of the U.S. government.” The statement still appears on the embassy website, but not on the homepage. (Italics mine)

Come again? What else has been the U.S. government's view since 2008 but to excoriate and threaten anyone with the courage to brand Islam as a murderous, looting, pedophilic, misogynist, slave-thirsty ideology?

On the other hand, the New York Times mulls over this explanation:

About 24 hours before the consulate attack, however, Al Qaeda posted to militant forums on the Web a video in which its leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, acknowledged the death in an American drone strike in June of his Libyan deputy, Abu Yahya al-Libi, and called on Libyans to avenge the death.

Walid Shoebat, a former Muslim Brotherhood member who knows the Islamic supremacist mind intimately, dismisses the movie as the chief reason for the Cairo attack. He pins the motive to a consolidation of power by Egyptian Salafist activists. Citing communications between the Nour Party and other Party members, he concludes:

It had no reference to the current movie, which means that they simply searched for anything to use as an excuse. They could find nothing major except a satirical video. Of course, you have daily satires in the United States about Muhammad that technically should be considered far worse.

So, the cause was immaterial. This was just Islam doing what it does best: killing and destroying.

The movie, "Innocence of Muslims," was shown once, the Associated Press reports, in Hollywood to a mostly empty theater. It was cited as the reason that Muslims attacked the embassy in Cairo and launched a military type assault on the consulate in Benghazi. Or it might have been about the Danish cartoons.

Still, "Innocence of Muslims" is the kind of film that has not been produced by Hollywood ever since 9/11. Sam Bacile, an Israeli filmmaker, has shown more courage than any multi-millionaire director, producer, or actor. Hollywood has churned out many films judgmental of the U.S. and not of its enemies. Bacile remains undaunted by the outrages committed in Cairo and Benghazi. The Washington Post reported an Associated Press interview of Bacile. However, the Washington Post and the Associated Press took down that full-length article. Most of it can be found here:

The California-based property developer said to be responsible for the film "Innocence of Muslims," Sam Bacile, insists that his 2-hour movie is an accurate portrayal of the life and values of the prophet Muhammad. “Islam is a cancer," Bacile was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

It is obvious to everyone but State Department wonks, The New York Times, and every other venue of the MSM that the twin attacks were intended as a middle finger shoved up the U.S.'s nose. There was nothing spontaneous about either attack. They were planned.

Planned and known to the Islamic supremacist governments of Egypt and Libya, both of which the Obama administration had a direct hand in establishing, in the name of "democracy."

So, who tipped off the savages about a movie no one had even heard of? Is it beyond credibility that members of the Nour Party and their counterparts in Libya were offered the movie as bait? By whom? We've seen the duplicity of the Obama administration at work before.

More importantly than any of these ruminations about how and why the attacks occurred, is how the stress on Bacile's movie comports perfectly with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's hand-holding with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's campaign to globalize the criminalization of any and all forms of criticism of Islam. Many observers, columnists and pundits have been wondering for months just what the Obama administration was planning as a reelection-salvaging event. Most hypothesized that it would a Syrian intervention.

Surprise. It is a doubling down on the "necessity" of censorship to prevent more "violence." Pamela Geller reported in 2011 in American Thinker:

Today the Islamized State Department will be meeting with the Islamic supremacist Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss strategies and develop action plans in which to impose the restriction of free speech (or blasphemy, as truthful speech about Islam is considered in Islamic law) under the Sharia here in America.

Geller quotes Clinton on the occasion of the State Department hosting an OIC conference on how to silence critics of Islam:

"We also understand that, for 235 years, freedom of expression has been a universal right at the core of our democracy. So we are focused on promoting interfaith education and collaboration, enforcing antidiscrimination laws, protecting the rights of all people to worship as they choose, and to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don't feel that they have the support to do what we abhor."

Geller notes:

"Peer pressure and shaming." That is exactly what these useful idiots try to do with anyone and everyone who tells the truth about Islam and jihad: me, Robert Spencer, Wafa Sultan, Nonie Darwish, and more.


The Cairo and Benghazi attacks, pegged to the excuse of the Danish Mohammad cartoons and the Bacile movie, comprise a part of that strategy and action plan. The Eurasia Review reports on a recent meeting of the OIC.

They would also be deliberating on challenges faced by 1.5 billion Muslims; more importantly lack of unity among the Muslim States, Islam phobia campaign and linking terrorism with Islam, disturbances in some Muslim states and other unpalatable problems facing the Muslim ummah (nation) on political, social, economic, educational and development fronts. (Italics mine)

The 57-member Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) headquarters in Jeddah has announced that it will hold the 4th “extraordinary” two-day session of the Islamic Summit Conference in Makkah from August 14 (26th Ramadan) called for by King Abdullah “to examine the situation in many countries of the Islamic world, intensify efforts to confront this situation, address the sources of discord and division therein, reunify the Islamic Ummah and promote Islamic solidarity.”

I would not call Clinton et al. "useful idiots." That is a generous assessment of her character and the willingly dhimmi behavior of the State Department and of the Obama administration. That estimate implies that Clinton especially is utterly clueless about the nature of Islam. She knows. Obama knows. Our greatest "Islamic" enemy is not any Muslim, but our own leaders.

So, I say to Hillary, and Huma Abedin, and General Dempsey, and all the other compromisers and haters of freedom of speech: Bring it on. Come and get it. Just try to muzzle me. You'll have a fight you never counted on, and I won't be alone. I will mock, criticize, and condemn Islam to my heart's content. Just try shutting me up. I'm calling you out.

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:: Thursday, September 06, 2012 ::

Political Money Talks 

:: Posted by Edward Cline at 10:09 PM

In my last column, "The Islamic Vigilantes of Speech," I discussed how Islamic activists oppose freedom of speech which either criticizes Islam by word or image, or which violates Islamic moral dicta, such as the one prohibiting the depiction of uncovered women. But Islamists are not the only ones who wish to stifle freedom of speech. We have our own genuinely home-grown secular censors who subscribe to the same repressive totalitarian ideology, one sans a deity or a prophet.

Ruth Marcus's column on the Opinion Page of the Washington Post on September 4th, "Plan B on Citizens United?" broached a subject that has not seen much press recently. I cannot recall any. That could not be because the Mainstream Media has been preoccupied with the Republican and Democratic conventions. It is likely rather because it is not a subject that the Democrats wish to raise at this point in the Obama administration, with the country being only a month and a fraction away from the probable demise of the Hope and Change era. Unless Washington or Syria or Iran generates powerful aftershocks that disturb the ocean, we have seen the last ripples of the Marxist tsunami of hopelessness and political stasis lap the scattered debris on the shores of this country.

Marcus writes that the Obama administration and its coterie of political jugglers and finaglers have been discussing hush-hush the chance of a Constitutional amendment that would contradict and overturn the Supreme Court's 2010 ruling on Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission (558 U.S. 50 (2010), in which the court found that arbitrarily imposed limits on how much corporations and nonprofit corporations and unions could contribute to political action committees that funded campaign ads were in violation of the First Amendment of protected political speech.

The ruling did not annul the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act or "BCRA"), only that part of it covering indirect contributions. It let stand the ban of direct corporate or union contributions to candidates' campaigns or their political parties. The SCOTUS site for the ruling features this preamble:

Holding: Political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections. While corporations or unions may not give money directly to campaigns, they may seek to persuade the voting public through other means, including ads, especially where these ads were not broadcast.

Marcus quotes Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, and his senior advisor, David Axelrod, on the subject of a constitutional amendment.

Obama advisors have been edging up to this for months. In February, urging donors to open their checkbooks to Obama-supporting super PACs, campaign manager Jim Messina said that “the president favors action — by constitutional amendment, if necessary — to place reasonable limits on all such spending.”

Marcus then cites Axelrod on the quasi-issue:

Senior adviser David Axelrod took it a step further in June. “What the Supreme Court did with the Citizens United ruling, opening the door to this unlimited spending . . . is taking us back to the Gilded Age. We’re back to the robber barons trying to take over the government,” Axelrod said. “I hope that one of the things we can do when we win this election is use whatever tools are available, up to and including a constitutional amendment, to turn this back.”

You must hand it to Axelrod. He never lets go of that Marxist-Leninist patois. Robber barons. The Gilded Age. "Running dog lackeys of capitalism" is always on the tip of his tongue, but he manages to repress the deprecation. But, never mind his mouth. When it comes to political campaign spending, the Democrats have never had any qualms about spending too much. They like being government robber barons, entrenched in their own Gilded Age of tax and spend and regulate. This, neither Axelrod nor his compadres in the White House would ever breathe a suggestion of, and woe to the person who even hints at the hypocrisy.

Marcus continues:

Then came Obama himself. In the midst of the Republican convention, in a question-and-answer session with the Web site Reddit that received more notice for his promise to unveil the White House recipe for honey ale, the president was asked what he thought should be done about the avalanche of unlimited donations.

“Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds-barred flow of seven- and eight-figure checks, most undisclosed, into super PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens,” he wrote….“Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it),” he wrote. “Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight on the super PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.”


A change that would not be "processed" until he had won a second term in the White House. And this is the thrust of Marcus's article: Without those super PACs, the Democrats would need to rely on a zillion two-dollar donations from hoi polloi supporters willing to waste the price of a canister of salt or a stick of butter or half a gallon of gas. The Democrats can't fault the Republicans for exploiting super-PAC loopholes in McCain-Feingold, because the Democrats do it every day, as well. Thus the quietude on the issue this season. It explains why the MSM doesn’t dwell on the issue, either.

Marcus has reservations about a further whittling away of the First Amendment.

As a philosophical matter, I don’t like the notion of tinkering with the Constitution; the fundamental problem is not the First Amendment but an interpretation of it that frustrates any effective rules on campaign spending. As a practical matter, I worry that starting down the long road to a constitutional amendment would detract attention from more achievable options, such as the Disclose Act.

The Disclose Act would require that all campaign donors above an arbitrarily determined amount be publically revealed, and presumably and subsequently pilloried by the Left. The Disclose Act's official site insults one's intelligence right at the very beginning:

Corporations and special interests are trying to buy our elections with secret donations.

We need the DISCLOSE Act to force them to reveal their political spending -- and cut down on the unlimited special-interest influence. Americans deserve to know the funders behind the TV ads flooding our airwaves.

Corporations and special interests bought Obama the election in 2008. Some of these donors were the beneficiaries of TARP and bailouts and "green energy" subsidies. Who are they kidding? Take a look at the list of leftist luminaries who support the Disclose Act, and also at the list of "special interest" PACs and organizations that paid for the site. Very revealing, indeed.

Ruth Marcus was not the only columnist to observe the Three-Card-Monte shell game on the issue of campaign finance. Robert Schlesinger of US News & World Report on May 9th gnawed his own fingernails over the credibility of the Democrats in "Democrats Soft Pedaling Super PAC, Citizens United Opposition":

Democrats may not like Citizens United or "super PACs," but they're not nearly as vocal about it as they used to be. One little noticed piece of evidence that they're soft pedaling the issue can be found (or not) on the Democratic National Committee's website, which has quietly dropped the topics from its list of "Issues" it touts.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the tonal shift comes as Democrats are trying to kick their super PAC efforts into gear.

Schlesinger reported that the drop-down menu that ranted on about campaign finance and the unfairness of Citizens United-sanctioned super PACs under the topic of "Fair Elections" disappeared in July.

When I reached out to DNC Press Secretary Melanie Roussell on why Citizens United/Super PACs are no longer touted issues, she E-mailed back that, "We shuffled things around as part of our site update but it is still on the site: http://democrats.org/issues/fair_elections. We're as committed to fair elections and mitigating the corrosive effects of the Citizen United decision as we've ever been, despite Republicans standing in the way of sensible efforts like the Disclose Act."

Yes, we are still "committed" to "fair elections" but not just this moment, please. We're trying our best to steal this one. When it's all over, then we'll "disclose" the accessories to the felon.

Schlesinger concludes:

Not unreasonably Team Obama decided that rather than unilaterally disarming super PACs, they too needed a super PAC to match the fundraising behemoths that have sprouted up on the GOP side. Enter Priorities USA Action. One supposes that it's kind of hard to rail against super PAC contributors as clamoring special interests who drown out the voices of ordinary Americans and then turn around and ask them for money.

The Hill's Blog Briefing Room on September 2nd featured another luminary with credibility and moussed hair problems, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who defended the use of super PACs just this one time:

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) defended President Obama on Thursday for his decision to support contributions to a top Democratic super-PAC. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said Democrats have to work within the system, blaming Republicans for taking advantage of the rules.

"We cannot unilaterally disarm" in the current campaign climate, she said on CNN. "The Republicans have several million dollars in super-PAC money."

Well, so have the Democrats. This is news? The system is so rotten, we can't help ourselves. They bring knives to the fight. We bring knives. They bring zip guns. We bring zip guns. Or screw drivers. Or .357 pistols with hollow-point ammo magazines. So agrees David Axelrod in the same article:

"This doesn't mean that we believe this is the best way for the system to function," David Axelrod, a top Obama campaign strategist, said Tuesday on MSNBC. "The president's going to continue to fight for ways to reform that system in the future, but that's not going to happen in this campaign, and we have to live in the world as it is, not as we want it to be."

And when it's all over, we'll ban weapons of any kind, especially if they cost a lot of money. In fact, we might ban fights. We'll get a constitutional amendment passed. And the world will be as we want it to be. Quieted down. Obedient. In lock-step on the way to the Marxist City on the Hill.

Which brings us to the idea of a constitutional amendment.

Ruth Marcus may not like the idea of tinkering with the Constitution. But the idea isn't as abhorrent to her as it might be to anyone with more than her ounce of political sense. The Constitution has been tinkered with. It needs a number of amendments, but not one that complements the legislative abridgement of the First Amendment or freedom of speech. Repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment would be good for starters, just as repeal of the Eighteenth was enacted by the states and Congress with the Twenty-First Amendment and helped Americans brace themselves for hard times without being penalized. (That repeal, however, was accompanied by the establishment of the welfare state in 1933, as a kind of trade-off.) Half of the presidential cabinet departments need to be made redundant, or declared unconstitutional. About ninety-nine percent of the legalized locust-infestation of Congressional regulatory legislation should be repealed as unconstitutional, and we would need to go as far back as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, and even back to various earlier banking legislation that gave the U.S. government a monopoly on "legal tender."

An amendment returning the U.S to the gold standard would be welcome, for it would harness the government to a régime of accountable and controllable spending. That is why FDR wanted to abandon the gold standard. A gold standard would have prohibited the establishment of a welfare state. Once it was out of the way, the sky was the limit. Or, rather, the bottomless pit of deficit spending and budgets anchored on social and "reform" programs.

Soon after taking office in March 1933, Roosevelt declared a nationwide bank moratorium in order to prevent a run on the banks by consumers lacking confidence in the economy. He also forbade banks to pay out gold or to export it. According to Keynesian economic theory, one of the best ways to fight off an economic downturn is to inflate the money supply. And increasing the amount of gold held by the Federal Reserve would in turn increase its power to inflate the money supply. Facing similar pressures, Britain had dropped the gold standard in 1931, and Roosevelt had taken note.

Read the rest of the sorry story here. It's quite frank and honest about the reasons FDR and Congress wanted to expropriate private wealth. It was legalized theft from the very beginning.

But the more important reason why a constitutional amendment is a bad idea now, especially one that would automatically taint one's freedom of speech if one's words, images and arguments were paid for by "robber barons," is that our current stock of politicians and their advisors aren't intellectually or morally up to it. Every man Jack of them is a welfare statist of one stripe or another, regardless of the political party. A constitutional amendment is further beyond their ken than that of the authors of the Eighteenth and Twenty-First. An amendment that placed limits on who could pay for political speech and by how much would be just that, and nothing more. One couldn't expect more than that from our "leaders." They all think in terms of their "duty" to manage the country and its electorate.

Couple that absence of intellectual fortitude with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's work with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to ban specifically all criticism of Islam, and the picture becomes clearer of what precisely the Democrats have in mind when it comes to the First Amendment.

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:: Saturday, September 01, 2012 ::

The New Islamic Vigilantes of Speech 

:: Posted by Edward Cline at 8:22 AM

David J. Rusin of the Middle East Forum recently published an article on Islamist Watch about the vandalizing of "anti-Islamic" ads. He reveals just how pervasive the phenomenon is worldwide.

When Cyrus McGoldrick, advocacy director for the New York office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), logged into Facebook on August 12 to hint at his desire to vandalize anti-jihad ads that may soon run on city buses, he did not simply underline CAIR's troubling attitude toward free expression. McGoldrick's words — and the subsequent actions of others — have illuminated an overlooked aspect of the Islamist assault on Western speech: the defacement, if not obliteration, of political and commercial messages.

Of particular interest is the destruction of print or commercial ads of scantily clad women. I find this interesting because of the near psychotic or pathological mindset about women that Islam inculcates in Muslim men.

This phenomenon has been especially prevalent in the UK. A Times of London article revealed in 2005 that Muslims Against Advertising (MAAD) had launched a website with instructions on how to vandalize ads and which ones to select. "There is no longer any need to cringe as you walk past a sleazy poster," the group declared. "We'll improve it." Many answered the call, as ads pitching bras, beauty products, and even television programs were trashed. "Photographs of semi-dressed women are the most frequently targeted, with the offending body parts painted over or ripped off," the Times observed. In a telling example, thugs destroyed images of scantily clad women on an East London billboard promoting the series Desperate Housewives, but fully clothed characters were untouched. Responding to the controversy, leading British Islamist Ahmed Sheikh argued that "freedom of speech should end when you offend others."

Cultural jihad, or the de facto imposition of Sharia law on Western non-Muslims, is insidiously accumulative. In Britain it begins with such things as complaining about images or figures of pigs that Muslims might see in a bank or a shop. They are removed so that Muslims are not offended. Next will come a complaint about halal food not being served in restaurants and schools. Non-Muslims will be served it, as well, with or without their knowledge. Next will be a complaint that one must have some place to pray five times a day, and if an employer does not provide such a space, the street outside will do just as well, and damn the traffic jam caused by hundreds of Muslims mooning non-Muslims as they express their obeisance to a rock thousands of miles away.

Language must also be altered to preempt potential offense. Muslim criminal suspects are called "Asians." Polygamy is taboo among non-Muslims, but Muslim men collecting welfare and enjoying subsidized housing may have several dependent wives and a dozen dependent children. The taxes collected to pay for their special welfare is a form of jizya, or a tax levied on conquered infidels. Muslims may demonstrate en masse, displaying signs that damn freedom of speech, sneer at British culture, warn of violence if non-Muslims resist, and predict the Islamization of Britain, and not be charged with hate speech. Any other group behaving in such an obnoxious manner would see its members hauled into court.

Criticism of Islam is forbidden and regarded as "defamation," "bigotry," or "racism." Muslim activists are aggressive in this respect, going after not only titillating ads but serious discussions of Islam. Rusin writes:

Islamists also have adapted to the information age, recognizing that much of the Western speech they despise now exists online. Al-Azhar University scholars, representatives of the highest religious authority in the Sunni Muslim world, even crafted a fatwa in 2008 that sanctions hacking for the purposes of jihad. Therefore, those who criticize Islam or otherwise offend its followers often find that their freedom of expression is no safer on the internet than it is on a Tower Hamlets billboard.

Arab News sympathetically profiled one such hacker, a Saudi native, in 2011. "An Alkhobar woman studying in the United States is taking credit for destroying 23 Danish websites that denigrated the Prophet Muhammad," the piece begins, relaying material originally published by an Arabic-language source. "Nouf Rashid told the Arabic newspaper she was hacking into Danish websites having references to cartoons of the Prophet along with other sites that had questionable content in her view," including pornographic ones.

The focus here, however, is the pseudo-ironic and psychotic symbiosis between a creed/ideology that finds bare female anatomy offensive, yet is lured to it in spite of the proscriptions against it.

There is a link between such vandalizing and the rape and often disfigurement of non-Muslim women in Europe by Muslims, the "sex slave" rings recently exposed in Britain, and the honor-killings of Muslim-born women and girls who break Islamic rules and "go Western." This has everything to do with the Muslim dictum compelling women to cover themselves up as much as possible in burqas, veils or some other form of self-effacing garb, depending on the Islamic sect.

The phenomenon swings wildly, like bipolar dysfunction, between the vigilante censorship described by Rusin and incidents such as the rape of Lara Logan in Cairo, in which her clothes were ripped from her and even part of her hair torn out during the assault. That was not the only such incident endured by Western women in Cairo, but it is the most notorious. Her attackers wished to extinguish Logan, to wipe her out of existence.

This is the behavior of nihilists.

However, these incidents are all connected to the same criminal psychosis (or pathology) that is part and parcel of strict and even "moderate" Islamic upbringing. It is a concerted ideology that wishes to blank out women's existence, to negate it, to obliterate it. On the surface, this "gendercidal" wish seems based on the Islamic perception of men as uncontrollable demons who lose all reason and restraint at the sight of a bare ankle or arm or coiffed or perfumed hair or inviting lips or seductive eyes. Hide these things, and the libidos of Muslim men will not be triggered to launch criminal assaults.

If they are not hidden, a Muslim man cannot be held responsible for his criminal actions. If a woman is attacked, it is her fault, because her "immodesty" is regarded as the invitation of a whore or prostitute. Unveiled or uncovered women are just "meat" to be consumed by sex-starved Muslim maniacs. They can't help it, and so are forgiven. So goes the anti-reasoning. For an overview of the incidence of rape by Muslims of infidel women, see Jamie Glasov's Front Page article from a year ago in which he discusses the attitude of a Muslim rapist in Australia.

To compound this pathology, a notion has developed within the system of gender apartheid in which Muslims like “MSK” have grown up: the idea that a woman who does not veil herself is somehow responsible for any sexual or physical harm done to her. In the psychopathic mental gymnastics that occur in the perpetrators’ minds, the unveiled woman must be sexually punished for violating the “modesty” code.

Indeed, such assaults are not treated as crimes by Islam. Muslim criminals regularly claim the "right" to "teach" women not to tempt them by raping, humiliating, and even disfiguring them. The alternative for women is to make themselves non-values, to themselves or to anyone else, to erase their own identities, to de-sexualize themselves in public. To become baby-bearing, servile ciphers.

Infidel women who do not cover themselves up are regarded by Muslims as itinerant concubines, as "meat" for consumption. Whether or not they are married or legally underage, is irrelevant. One "reformist" Islamic site, "Light of Life," attempts to explain away this epistemology.

Islam admits that man has the right to possess concubines along with his wife, or wives, to fulfill his sexual needs. Islam presents a number of women that a Muslim man cannot marry, but it excludes "the ones under the control of one's right hand" from this list: "Forbidden to you [in marriage] are your mothers and [own] daughters, your sisters, your aunts paternal and maternal, your brother's daughters, your sister's ... and [already] wedded women, save what your right hands own. So God prescribes for you. Lawful for you, beyond all that, is that you may seek, using your wealth, in wedlock and not in license. Such wives as you enjoy thereby, give them their wages apportionate; it is no fault in you in your agreeing together, after the due apportionate. God is All-knowing, All-wise" (Sura al-Nisa´ 4:23, 24).

The Koran and other Islamic texts caution that it is wrong for Muslim men to have sex with captured enemy married women. This problem was solved by Mohammad and his followers by slaying their husbands. That has been the Islamic way from the beginning. The "Light of Life" site wistfully remarks, wanting his Koranic cake and eat it, too:

The Qur´an itself, however, is in desperate need of reform in this regard owing to the great progress humanity has made in equality between the sexes. This is the problem of the Muslim jurist or thinker today. As a Muslim he thinks that his holy Book was brought down (unzila) from Heaven and is authored by Allah. Therefore he cannot afford to admit any fault or failure in it; he is rather obliged to defend it against what people call "the insult to woman".

But the Koran cannot be edited, abridged, or altered. That is forbidden under pain of death. That is just as bad as burning it, or letting an infidel handle a Koran without gloves. The excision of its texts would be an act of repudiation of Allah's word. And if Allah's words cannot be taken literally, of what use are his words? This question eludes "reformists." "Reformists" go through what Glasov calls "mental gymnastics" in attempts to reconcile the dicta of a primitive creed with the modern world. It cannot be done with any credibility.

The Islamic perception of Muslim men is not that they are demons. In Islamic dogma Muslim men are regarded as "metaphysically" superior to women (and to infidels of either gender of various suasions, with Jews on the lowest rung) simply on Allah's say-so, or for some other invalid, rationalistic reason, and so their "rights" and whims and Islamic-bestowed privileges take precedence over everyone and everything.

One could hypothesize that when Islam was being knocked together as a religion and as an ideology in the 7th and 8th centuries (and Robert Spencer has done us a great service in this respect in his latest book, Did Muhammad Exist?), it borrowed much from the Christian view of women as recounted in the story of Adam and Eve, when Eve offers Adam the "forbidden fruit of knowledge" – and presumably that included carnal knowledge and any and all things in connection with sex. Christianity, however, retained the "anti-sex" mantra and reserved it for both genders.

That mantra lingers on in especially American conservative circles, which largely assert that life begins at conception and that the only purpose of sex is procreation. The recent scandal surrounding Representative Todd Akin's remarks about abortion not being justified by rape underscores that poisonous and immoral idea. So, the misogyny didn't begin with Islam. Islam merely took it to its logical application. The segue was comparatively effortless.

Granting the truth of Robert Spencer's argument, because Judaism and Christianity predate the founding of Islam by centuries, then Christians especially have no one to blame but their doctrinal forefathers for the horrendous and brutal misogyny of Islam. Islam, as Robert Spencer has demonstrated in his book, cadged chiefly from early Christian and Judaic texts. It picked up chiefly the Christian view of women as temptresses from the Bible's account of Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden (the earthly or heavenly version), and Eve inviting Adam to taste the forbidden fruit of knowledge, encouraged by the devil.

One Catholic site has an interesting account of Adam and Eve.

Are we being simply told that his earthly ancestry stretches far back in time, as we read in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, where his line is traced back to 'Adam, the son of God'? (Luke 3:38) But even this is no answer! Who is this Adam? Obviously the reference says that he was the "Son of God", but elsewhere in the Bible this title is only used to refer to Christ and Melchizedek. Clearly then, this phrase does not tell the whole story, but it does indicate that Adam was not a "normal" historical man. Adam was a 'son of God', a spiritual being, not simply a part of God's Physical Creation. To confirm that detail we must read Genesis 5: 1-2 which says: "In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created."

Islam did not burden Muslim men with an Adam and Eve-caused "original sin," as Christianity did. All the blame falls on Eve. And at the same time, Islam would have rejected the hermaphrotic nature of the original Adam, as explained on the same Catholic site.

So, if the early Mohometan crusaders were searching for a rationalistic creed that would be copasetic with their habits of war, raids, conquest, pillaging, raping, enslaving, looting, and slaughtering, the early Christian doctrinal bias against women as the prizes of war and as the inferior sex would fit perfectly into their belligerent agenda. Islamic doctrine alleges that the Koran was dictated verbatim by Allah to Mohammad. Given the patchwork nature of Islam from so many preexisting Christian, Judaic and even pagan creeds (Allah was a pagan moon god, appropriated by Mohammad), that would make Allah the premier plagiarist and Mohammad his culpable dupe and accessory.

Of course, if Allah were all-powerful and responsible for everything that happened, it means that he also created Judaism and Christianity. Then, centuries later, he introduced Islam, and counseled Mohammad and his successors to steal and adapt from preexisting creeds. Yet these unbelieving creeds were evil because they were not the word of Allah. Go figure. Omniscience and omnipotence are wondrous and contradictory things.

It could be taken a step further to link the vandalizing of the AFDI ads, in which Muslim vandals wish to eradicate any knowledge of arguments against Islam. It isn't just a matter of Muslims being "offended" by either the AFDI ads or the commercial ads. Combining the alleged "offending" excuses and the kernel misogynist policy of Islam, this is the behavior of a totalitarian ideology in action, sanctioned by its high-ranking ideologues (either the principals at CAIR or the ISNA or the ICNA et al., or by imams and mullahs) and carried out by rank-and-file "foot soldiers," although it is doubtful that Ibrahim Hooper, Cyrus McGoldrck and their cohorts would deign to personally deface a billboard or bus ad or devote their own energies to sabotaging an anti-jihad website. They merely have to slip their more ardent followers the hint, such as McGoldrick did on his Facebook page, and it will happen.

Frankly speaking, I cut Islam and Muslims no slack; I do not grant them the benefit of the doubt. Islam cannot be "reformed" as many "moderate" Muslims claim it can be so that it would not conflict with American liberties and in particular with freedom of speech. To date, they have not said just how that reconciliation can be accomplished. And I suspect that the ideologues know it can't be "reformed" without killing Islam. It is the ideologues who are more consistent vis-à-vis Islamic ethos and practice. In this respect they have the momentum and the initiative. They want total control over men's minds, and the only way to accomplish that control is to eradicate knowledge that this is what they seek to accomplish. Otherwise, no one with a fillip of self-respect would submit to it.

No bikinis for Muslims. No argumentation or debate or renderings of Mohammad, either. It is only fair. If Muslims must shut down their minds or avert their eyes or blank out existence, then everyone must pull the plug on their vision and their knowledge. To do otherwise would be blasphemy, or discrimination, or victimization of Muslims. Respect Islam and Muslims, and you won’t be hurt or killed or censored. Or your mind and mouth merely gagged or your pen stilled. Or have your face scarred with acid. Or your throat slit.

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