Monday, September 18, 2017

Republican Expatriate Anntoinette Lorrain on French Radio Show: "Trump Did Not Run in Order to Govern as a Moralistic Leader"

Anntoinette Lorrain, vice-president of Republicans in France (RIF), was a guest on 's RFI radio show, debating about American politics and policies in the Donald Trump era (click the link to hear the audio).
Antoinette [sic] Lorrain, vice-présidente de Republicans in France, la représentation en France du parti républicain américain, est l’invitée du matin de RFI. Elle s’exprime sur l’actualité politique américaine au micro d’.

Monday, September 11, 2017

The America-Bashers' Use of Symbolism on September 11

As Le Monde commemorated 911 on the tenth anniversary of the attacks, Plantu was back in his usual style, with a full page inside Le Monde Magazine bringing back 10 years of cartoons that belittle the human toll; or that suggest that Uncle Sam deserved whatever it had coming; or that compare the 2011 attacks of September 11, 2001, to Pinochet's coup d'état in Chile on September 11, 1973.

(This causes him to make —intentionally? — a colossal whopper, saying that 3,000 people died on September 11, 2001, just as 3,000 people died on September 11, 1973; in reality, 3,000 lives were lost during Pinochet's 17 years in power (not one day but close to 6,000 days) — nothing to be proud of, for sure, but facts need to be gotten right and in addition, whatever the toll is, it needs to be compared to those of neighboring régimes, like the 20,000 dead in Fidel Castro's Cuba.)

So No Pasarán is looking back at 10 years' worth of posts (six or seven, really) as well and checking out what it has been saying on the subjects so dear to the hearts of leftists everywhere.

1) Let's first take a look at the "legend", according to which,
in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 the US enjoyed the heartfelt sympathy of the world, only to see this capital of goodwill frittered away by the successive faux pas of an inept and arrogant Bush administration and then definitively exhausted by the launching of an illegitimate war on Iraq in defiance of “world public opinion.”

The Legend of the Squandered Sympathy

(October 10, 2004)
John Rosenthal's Transatlantic Intelligencer article ought to be mandatory reading for anybody studying September 11 and anti-Americanism. In The Legend of the Squandered Sympathy, John Rosenthal notably mentions the cartoon that Plantu saw fit to reproduce on the weekend of the 10th anniversary.
Such was the tenor of Le Monde’s coverage, in effect, just one week after the attacks. The monotonous drone of denunciations continued as the prospect of a military strike against Afghanistan materialized in the weeks ahead, with distraught “New York Jews,” Pashtun warlords and the estranged son of the “O’Dea,” the archetypal all-American family, all chiming in to register their protest and all sounding surprisingly like “third-worldist” Parisian intellectuals – or even indeed like the publisher of Le Monde. (Among other things, the legend of the squandered sympathy occludes the fact that even while a substantial majority of Europeans polled, including in France and Germany, showed spontaneous understanding for American military actions in Afghanistan, large swaths of Europe’s socialist and social-democratic intelligentsia opposed any American military response to the 9/11 attacks whatsoever.) The “boomerang” image went on to become the favored heuristic device of Le Monde and its affiliated publications in their treatment of 9/11. Thus the first issue of the monthly Monde Diplomatique to appear following the events bore the thematic headline “Boomerang Effect” [it also has an article by Maureen Dowd]. In a pictorial variation on the same theme, a special insert in Le Monde itself featured a cartoon depicting a little wind-up Taliban doll, “Made in USA” emblazoned across its back, carrying red, white and blue explosives and circling back toward Uncle Sam.
2) Now let's take a look at the state of democracy and human rights in Chile in 1973 by looking at the (very real) similarities between the overthrow of Manuel Zelaya and that of Salvador Allende

Notice the Similarities with That Other "Coup", the One That Overthrew Leftist Saint© and Martyr™ Salvador Allende?

(July 07, 2009)

In Latin America, José Piñera, armed with evidence including "the momentous Agreement of 23 August 1973 … widely unknown outside Chile", opines that because
President Allende became a tyrant when he broke his solemn oath to respect the Constitution and the Chilean laws [and because] his government [had] fomented the creation of armed militias … the origin of the Pinochet government is that of any revolutionary one, in which only the use of force was left in order to remove a tyrant [and to] "put immediate end" to these constitutional violations . It must be agreed that this was, in fact, an unequivocal call to remove by force the President who had initiated the use of force with the purpose of imposing a communist dictatorship.
…the truth demands recognition that former President Pinochet led a legitimate rebellion against tyranny and that the origin of Chile's civil war --and its victims-- lies with former President Allende and his marxist Socialist party. … The Economist said it clearly at the time: "The temporary death of democracy in Chile will be regrettable, but the blame lies clearly with Dr. Allende and those of his followers who persistently overrode the Constitution" (September 15, 1973).
Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God

Read also about Allende's purported suicide

And check out Romanticists Overlook Allende's Many Faults: Senator Ricardo Núñez Muñoz added in a NYT interview (emphasis mine) that
It’s wrong to say that the CIA, the armed forces, and the bourgeoisie alone brought down the Allende government. It’s obvious we need to admit we made critical economical and political errors that were as decisive if not more decisive
No less a figure than the president of the Partido Socialista, Núñez went on to conclude that
we know another Allende-like experiment would only be a collossal failure.
(Then again, that NYT report was back in 2001…)

3) … isn't it true that one of the most pervasive superstitious beliefs of the ever-so-rational leftists concerns the attacks on September 11?

Isn't One of the Left's Fundamental "Rational" Beliefs About the Events of 9-11 Closely Related to Superstition? 

(Part 3 of Devotees of Science Versus Followers of Religion — Are Only the Latter to Be Taken to Task for Their Alleged Superstitions?, October 25, 2016)

How many times did we hear after 9-11 that this was America's comeuppance, its punishment, notably for what happened in Santiago on September 11, 1973? Ils l'ont bien mérité!

This is what is referred to as poetic justice. But isn't it true that you have to wonder what poetic justice means actually, and not bring it out whenever you feel that argument can serve your designs?

Allow me to give you a personal example of poetic justice. In a plane waiting on the runway one day years ago, I witnessed a passenger who loudly demanded, in no uncertain terms, to be allowed to change seats immediately. The flight attendant was busy for preparing the plane for takeoff, and to wait until the plane was in the air, but the youngish man said he could not stand crying babies, there was one a few seats behind him, and he wanted a change of seats — now. Finally, she gave in and placed him in another seat. What she hadn't realized, as the plane was preparing for takeoff, was that another baby would start crying just then — far louder and far closer to the man than the other toddler had been. And as the flight attendant walked down the aisle, she couldn't help it, she was grinning from ear to ear. As were I and all the passengers who had witnessed the exchange.

This is poetic justice. Poetic justice is not the passenger's sister happening to sit next to a crying baby five months later. Or the passenger's son missing a flight five years later. Nor is it another, totally unrelated in any fashion, passenger from the same city as the arrogant young man, albeit neither family member nor friend or acquaintance, being forced to sit next to a vomiting fatso 20 years after the fact.

For the question needs to be asked, then, who, or what, is/was behind this revenge, this poetic justice?! This is the question you are not supposed to ask! Or even think about!

Was it Osama Ben Laden?  Is there any reason to think the leader of Al Qaeda thought any better of the Chilean unbelievers than of the American unbelievers (whether the Chileans were/are Allende followers or whether they were/are Pinochet supporters or whether they were/are apolotical) and didn't treat them all as the infidel dogs the whole bunch of 'em were/are?

Besides, September 11 holds no meaning for Muslims as not only do they not live under the West's calendar year, they don't even live according to the same type of calendar, the solar year.  They live according to the shorter lunar year — meaning (besides the fact that over the course of several years [both lunar and solar, take your pick], a given month will end up falling during a totally different season), the chances for the equivalent of September 11 for 2001 (1422 for the Muslims) falling on the same day for 1973 (1393 for the Muslims) are extremely low (not 1 in 365 but 1 in 354) and indeed turn out to be, as expected, unfounded. (9-11 in the "year or our Lord" 1973 turns out to be 8-13 in the year of the Prophet 1393 for the Muslims while 9-11 of 2001 turns out to be 6-22 of 1422.)

Who, then, or what, is this entity that wished to punish America for 9-11?

I ask this of people, remember, who scoff at the existence of (a) God and of the Devil.

Is it Mother Nature? Gaia?

Alright, if Gaia and/or Mother Nature is/are so wise: answer me this: Why use Muslims in the four planes?  Why Muslim fundamentalists? Why not Chileans? Or at least Hispanics?

Why wait 28 years?  Why not bring vengeance two years later?  Or 28 minutes later? Or 28 days later?  Or 28 weeks later?  Or 28 months later?  Or 280 years later?

Why punish people in the World Trade Center, the vast majority of who probably knew little to nothing about South American history (recent or old)? 

How about this, Gaia?  Why not punish… (wait for it) General Pinochet?! That same year?  Or, if you insist on punishing Americans, why not punish… Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger?  Or, if you insist on a plane crashing in the Pentagon, why wait for 2001 instead of… 1973 or 1974?

As you can see, to call the 911 attacks the revenge, or the poetic justice, of Gaia or of Mother Nature — or even (why not?) the vengeance of God the Father as described in the Bible — doesn't make much sense when one spends some time thinking about it.

4) Finally, we have this similar post for Plantu:

The America-Bashers' Use of Symbolism on September 11

(September 12, 2005)
When confronted with the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001, it has become a tradition for some to recall another event that occurred on another September 11.

On that date, in 1973, General Pinochet overthrew Chile's President Allende.

This is supposed to make us think. Hard.

The problem with this, of course, is that there have occurred 500 September 11s in the past 500 years (to take the first round number that came to my mind), with varying occurrences on various continents, in various countries, in various regions, in various cities, in various neighborhoods, and in various personal homes around the world, and just about any one of those occurrences could have been picked to make a comparison with (and provide matter for reflection on, and some kind of metaphysical lesson for) September 11, 2001 (or September 11, 1973, for that matter).

As I have written elsewhere,
If looking down their noses, [America-bashers] ask "Do you know what other event occurred on September 11?", answer "Yes, a terrible tragedy." Pause while they nod approvingly, then add "George Washington lost the battle of Brandywine" (in 1777) or even "Brian De Palma was born on that date" (so was Ferdinand Marcos, by the way), although I'm not sure to what extent that counts as a tragedy. If they object that they are referring to something more recent and more tragic than that, agree and say "you must be talking of Hitler ordering reinforcements to Romania" (1940) or "FDR ordering any Axis ships in U.S. waters shot on sight" (1941) or even "wasn't it the first TV broadcast of a Miss America beauty contest?" (1954). How about, "that was the date (in 1962) that the Beatles recorded their first single at EMI Studios (you know, 'Love Love Me Do')".
This symbolism makes as much sense as noting with alarm that our 40th president sported three names with six letters each, supposedly marking the alleged number of the beast.

(If any association with September 11 should be made — with regards to the 2001 attacks, that is, not the 1973 coup — as several readers have pointed out to me, it would perhaps make more sense to call up the 1669 defeat of the Muslim armies besieging Vienna, bringing an end to the Ottoman advance into Europe.)

But what it all boils down to this: for symbolism to have any kind of meaning, it needs to stay close to its subject and, in my opinion, reflect on the better angels of our nature. What it should especially avoid is collective guilt, not least because that collective guilt is necessarily one-sided, i.e., used exclusively against Americans and their allies (or, historically, by any group against any group's alleged enemies).

For instance, it would probably not be too difficult to search through Chilean history and find some kind of tragedy (nation-wide or otherwise) on a September 11 that proved that the 1973 coup d'état was the Chileans' punishment for the earlier disaster (notwithstanding the fact that many believe that Pinochet's coup averted a far worse catastrophe for the country). In another example, which is actually far more coherent than simply noting a similarity of dates, many state that every setback by Bush or by a Bush ally amounts to (well-deserved) punishment for sending troops to Iraq, but because members of the Coalition of the Willing keep winning elections, this symbolism is discretely ignored. (I call this the wait, wait, wait syndrome.)

The use of symbolism says far more about those who wield it than about those the symbolism is meant to describe (and judge).

So, anyway: we know the date that Pinochet grabbed power in 1973.


But what was the date that he relinquished power?

What was the date in 1990 that Pinochet handed power back to a civilian government?

The answer is: March 11.

Now, we all remember what happened in Madrid on March 11, 2004, don't we?

So what is that supposed to mean? What is that supposed to symbolize?

Somehow, we are led to believe, the wholescale murder of 3,000 people in New York and Washington would not, or might not, have occurred had a strongman with no link to (and probably wholly unknown to) the perpetrators not grabbed power on that same date 28 years earlier.

What is the wholescale murder of 191 people in Madrid supposed to mean? That it would not have occurred had that same strongman not handed power back and had he remained in power 14 years earlier?

Your guess is as good as mine…
Le Monde's 911 Commemorations

• Looking Over TV Shows Inspired by 9-11, Le Monde Discovers (Surprise!) "a Culture of Fear"

• Hubert Védrine: Castigating Bush and the Neo-Cons, Former French Foreign Minister Says that the War on Terror Should Have Been Carried Out "With Discretion"

• André Glucksmann: Bin Laden Is Gone, Not The Strategy of Radical Hatred Without Quarter

The French Will Never Forget

The Legend of the Squandered Sympathy

Friday, September 08, 2017

Have the Police Become Nothing But Bureaucrats with Weapons — Cracking Down on Petty Criminals Instead of Preventing Murders, Rapes, and Significant Property Crimes?

Are police necessary?
asks the Underground Reporter (thanks to Bojidar Marinov).
Although this existential question often produces a knee-jerk ‘of course they are, who would protect us?’ a growing call for the abolition of police — and working examples to back it up — deserves more than scornful dismissal, particularly amid epidemic-level violence by agents of the state.

 … David Graeber of the London School of Economics … writes:
“The police spend very little of their time dealing with violent criminals — indeed, police sociologists report that only about 10% of the average police officer’s time is devoted to criminal matters of any kind. Most of the remaining 90% is spent dealing with infractions of various administrative codes and regulations: all those rules about how and where one can eat, drink, smoke, sell, sit, walk, and drive. If two people punch each other, or even draw a knife on each other, police are unlikely to get involved. Drive down the street in a car without license plates, on the other hand, and the authorities will show up instantly, threatening all sorts of dire consequences if you don’t do exactly what they tell you.
“The police, then, are essentially just bureaucrats with weapons. Their main role in society is to bring the threat of physical force — even, death — into situations where it never would have been otherwise invoked, such as the enforcement of civic ordinances about the sale of untaxed cigarettes.”
 … Loosely in line with the law of the instrument, citizens have become opportunities for revenue generation, as police patrol the streets searching for anyone stepping out of line with some misbegotten code. We are little more than adversarial dollar signs to these roving bands of armed enforcers of extraneous laws — targets to be plundered and pillaged, harassed and shaken down, to generate revenue and therefore justify the continuation of Big Government.
In the absence of policing, justice, prison, and criminal code reform, several viable options present themselves for consideration — perhaps most imperatively among them, the complete abolishment of police.
To posit the populace would devolve into chaos and violence without police departments ignores the chaos and violence wrought by police — not to mention the very real historical proof a correctly and fully-functioning society can and will police itself.
First, consider the sizable financial feedback loop perpetuated by an excessively intrusive nanny state and its armed agents of enforcement. Taxpayers shoulder the cost of disproportionately large police forces, which crack down on petty criminals instead of preventing murders, rapes, and significant property crimes. Then taxpayers fund overburdened public defenders and backlogged courts, prisons, probation officers, and legislators in their effort to criminalize yet more ridiculously innocuous behaviors. It’s neverending. It’s unsustainable. And it’s not going to fix itself — not in ways significant enough to warrant further discussion.
 … Abolishing police entirely might reek of radicalism to a nation cowed by constant government fear propaganda … 

 … Police aren’t serving the people who pay their salaries — and are under no obligation to do so — but if they aren’t solving crimes or protecting the citizenry, whose purposes do they serve?

 … Notice none of these arguments for abolishing police criticize officers as individuals — except for an obviously growing number of bad apples, many officers chose policing as an occupation with protecting and serving in mind. But that arguably laudable goal is a vapid remnant of what has become policing for profit at the expense of communities nationwide. …

Sunday, September 03, 2017

"What real democracy involves," according to Reagan: "liberation of the captive people from the thralls of a ruling elite that presumes to know the people's good better than the people"

"We know what real democracy constitutes; we understand its implications. It means the rule of law for the leaders as well as the people. It involves limitations on the power of the state over the people. It means orderly debate and meaningful votes. It means liberation of the captive people from the thralls of a ruling elite that presumes to know the people's good better than the people."
Ronald Reagan,
Remarks on Soviet-United States Relations at the Town

Hall of California Meeting in Los Angeles, August 26, 1987

Saturday, September 02, 2017

The urge to denigrate is an attempt to establish your own superiority by imposing humiliation on someone else—as well as a naked admission that you have no other way to demonstrate your personal merit

On The Tracinski Newsletter, the always accomplished Robert Tracinski has a post about Moral Equivalents. It is his look at the "Antifa" riots in Berkeley, following up on his coverage of the upheaval in his own town of Charlottesville. Also take a look at his take on what happened, President Trump's reaction, and how the event unhinged the left and made the Confederate statue controversy even more nonsensical.
The media spent the last two weeks, after the deadly riot in Charlottesville, denouncing the notion that there were two sides responsible for the violence and specifically praising the far left’s black-clad “Antifa” brawlers as freedom fighters who are saving us from Nazism. Then, on Sunday, Antifa was filmed attacking random people on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, looking and acting exactly like a fascist militia bent on imposing rule by force.

This is a timely warning that the media is using the shock and horror of one evil, a newly brazen white nationalism, to panic us into submission to the horror of another evil.

This media trope was established by criticism of President Trump for condemning violence on “both sides” in Charlottesville. Since anything said by Trump must necessarily be wrong, it therefore became unacceptable for anyone to say that there was violence on both sides in Charlottesville.

But there was violence on both sides. That was clear from videos and photo essays and was described by reporters at the time. That even includes reporters who, in the process of factually describing the violence on both sides, still imposed the narrative that both sides weren’t to blame.

For example, New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg acknowledged the “hatred” with which the black-clad Antifa attacked their opponents, but then the Twitter mob pressured her to recant. In the old days, we used to speculate that reporters and commentators tailored their views based on what they thought would get them invited to DC and New York cocktail parties. Now they tailor their views to avoid the amplified gossip of random people on a social media platform. Decide for yourself which is worse.

But the new edict had been delivered by the vox populi of political Twitter, and everyone fell in line. The left has given up violence, having “cleansed itself through a painful process of introspection,” according to an opinion piece in the Washington Post. And even if they are violent, it’s just not the same thing, because they’re not motivated by “hate” when they club people over the head. They’re violent in a good way, and only against the bad guys. In fact, come to think of it, they’re just like the GIs who stormed Omaha Beach!

No, really, this actually became a meme, the most famous version of which came from The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg.

Funny, I must have missed the part in Saving Private Ryan where Tom Hanks’s character is a radical socialist. Maybe it’s in the director’s cut.

After the media worked so hard to establish this new dogma, Antifa thugs repaid their courtesies by staging what can only be described as a violent takeover of the campus at the University of California at Berkeley. Ostensibly this was in response to a “No to Marxism in America” rally that never even happened. But it didn’t matter whether it happened or not. Antifa used it as an excuse to attack any passersby suspected of being white nationalists or merely conservatives or Trump supporters.

 … Some of us have long warned that college campuses are becoming like one-party dictatorships, intolerant of any opinions or culture opposed by the left. But up to now, this cloying monoculture has largely been accepted and enforced through voluntary means. They chose conformity. Now the universities are becoming literal pockets of totalitarian rule—zones in which those with dissenting political opinions face the prospect of being beaten by an angry mob.

Actually, it’s more anarchic than that. The Antifa mobs weren’t stopping people to interrogate them about their political opinions. In one video a middle-aged man and his college-aged son are being attacked, and he starts by asking, in a bewildered tone, “What are you guys beating us up for?” The only answer he gets is a fist in the face, and that’s the only answer any of us are liable to get when Antifa comes for us.

That’s what gives Antifa the genuine stamp of a totalitarian movement. They have gone from attacking “fascists” to attacking anyone who is not them, anyone who is not a member of the party.
Some in the media are starting to wake up. The same Washington Post that had recently explained to us how nonviolent the left is, suddenly is blaring unambiguous headlines like “Black-Clad Antifa Members Attack Peaceful Right-Wing Demonstrators in Berkeley.”

Vox took a peculiar middle path, declaring that beating up political opponents is bad, but not because it’s repellent in and of itself. It’s bad because it could lead to bad publicity: “such violence can reinforce right-wing views about the left.” Imagine that.

 … [What the antifas' wider program is] is lust for power in its most elemental form: beating self-designated “enemies” as an end in itself, for the thrill of exercising physical power and coercion directly on the body of another person. It is how Orwell described the steady state of the perfect totalitarian system: a boot stamping on a human face, forever.

The conventional liberals have toyed with a similar motive in a much more diluted and genteel form. They have indulged in the ritual of casting everyone who disagrees with them as a racist and fascist in order to establish their own sense of moral authority by comparison. What they haven’t figured out yet is that this seemingly benign thrill of self-congratulation is just a weaker form of the same impulse, a diluted form of the lust for power. It starts with enjoying being part of a social-media mob that gets some guy fired from his job or forces some other guy into a groveling public apology in order to enjoy your own sense of power and authority as the imposer of these humiliations. But if you keep indulging this impulse, it ends with seeking the sense of control over others that comes from smashing your fist into someone’s face.

 … The urge to denigrate people from other racial and ethnic backgrounds is a similar attempt to establish your own superiority by imposing humiliation on someone else—as well as a naked admission that you have no other way to demonstrate your personal merit.
Read the whole thing. And while you're at it, consider subscribing to The Tracinski Newsletter.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Radio Interview: L’été de Trump et la presse désinformatrice

Au sein de Radio Courtoisie, le thème du Libre Journal du Nouveau Monde du 30 août, c'est “L’été de Trump ; La presse désinformatrice”.
Evelyne Joslain, assistée de Stanislas, reçoit Erik Svane, scénariste de bandes-dessinées, journaliste, blogueur et Paul Reen, homme d’affaire. Thèmes : “L’été de Trump ; La presse désinformatrice”.

Blogue cité à l’antenne : No Pasaran

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Is There Anything Trump Can't Do?! An Unbelievable Trip to the DMV

A recurring meme on Instapundit is: IS THERE ANYTHING TRUMP CAN’T DO?

In December, four or five weeks after Donald Trump's election upset, a faithful reader of No Pasarán knew he could no longer put off a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles in the Dallas area to get his driver's license renewed.

Fully expecting something like a 3- to 4-hour stay, he let out a long sigh, set aside half a day to the task, prepared a ton of reading material to bring with him, and, carrying a heavy bag filled with magazines and books (no, not War and Peace), took off with a strong sense of foreboding.

He parked his car, did the sign of the cross, and walked the last few steps to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

When he opened the door, he did a double take: could he have chosen the wrong building? He stepped out again, and checked the address again. Inside, there were no crowds, no chairless people standing around in the aisles, no noise, no nothing — the DMV waiting room was virtually empty.

Almost before he had a chance to sit down, there were only two people in front of him. Not five minutes later, his name, or his number, was called.

Indeed, the time to process the information for the driver's license renewal took longer than the waiting time, and within 10 to 15 minutes, he was exiting the vehicle, on his way to his car.

He was giddy, he testified. Almost teary-eyed.

Wasn't this a sign? Wasn't this a sign that Donald Trump's presidency promised to be a success?

PS: Knowing that nobody would ever believe the tale without evidence, he managed to snap out of his disbelief and snap a photograph of the waiting room…

(We can't promise anything, but if you live in the Dallas area, this DPS office is on Jupiter Road, South of Interstate 635…)

Friday, August 25, 2017

Punching Back Twice As Hard: A Mainstream Christian Ministry Files a Lawsuit Against the SPLC for Calling It a "Hate Group"

A prominent evangelical ministry has filed a federal lawsuit against the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
writes Elizabeth Llorente on Fox News,
saying it defamed the Christian organization as an “active hate group” because it endorses the biblical view of homosexuality.
See also: It Doesn't Matter What Republicans Do or Say;
The Left and the Press Will Call Them Racist Anyway
The clash marks the latest chapter in a growing feud between those who embrace historic monotheistic beliefs, whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim, and progressive activists who have begun targeting mainstream Christian groups that hold traditional beliefs about sex and other issues.

Officials of the D. James Kennedy Ministries, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., accuse the SPLC of deceptive practices, saying that it wrongly asserts that some organizations breed or fuel hate because of their religious positions on such things as same-sex marriage and other social issues.

“It’s completely disingenuous to tag D. James Kennedy Ministries as a hate group alongside the KKK and neo-Nazis,” Kennedy Ministries spokesman John Rabe said to Fox News. “We desire all people, with no exceptions, to receive the love of Christ and his forgiveness and healing. We unequivocally condemn violence, and we hate no one.”

“It’s ridiculous for the SPLC to falsely tag evangelical Christian ministries as ‘hate groups’ simply for upholding the 2,000-year-old Christian consensus on marriage and sexuality,” Rabe said. “It’s nothing more than an attempt to bulldoze over those who disagree with them, and it has a chilling effect on the free exercise of religion in a nation built on that. We decided not to let their falsehoods stand.”

 … SPLC critics say its original mission was a commendable one, setting out in 1971 to fight the Ku Klux Klan. The SPLC went after several Klan leaders, driving them into bankruptcy after court losses.

But increasingly, especially since Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, both liberals and conservatives say that SPLC has grown overzealous – bringing down its huge and very high-profile “hate-group” hammer on not just people and organizations that actually encourage hate and violence against certain groups, but also on those who simply don’t fall in line with liberal positions on hot-button social issues.
As Elizabeth Llorente notes, "Members of other religious groups – including non-Christian groups -- … are also feeling pressure from the SPLC" — as Ben Carson and Ayaan Hirsi Ali can testify, and which Maajid Nawaz in fact did on Real Time with Bill Maher.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Is it not strange that migrants from Syria and Iraq move to places like Germany and Sweden instead of to neighbors like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait?

An interview with Daniel Pipes was republished by the German website Achse des Guten.
Mr. Pipes, You have written that Angela Merkel's decision to open the border to over a million migrants in 2015 "will likely be seen as a turning point in European history." You are a historian, so, what do you mean by this expression?

I expect that when the evolution of European civilization is studied in the future, August 2015 will be seen as a key moment. The decision to allow unlimited immigration into Germany has had profound implications for Europe by raising this issue in a more acute way than ever before, creating divisions both among native Europeans who are for and against large-scale immigration and between native and new Europeans.

 … Why are relations between Europeans and Muslim immigrants so fraught with tension?

They are fraught because Islam is an imperialist faith and many Muslim immigrants want to replace existing European civilization with Islam. Exacerbating matters, Europeans and Muslims are opposites on several key issues: Europeans have a low birthrate, Muslim immigrants have a high one. Europeans have a weak religious identity, Muslims have a strong one. Europeans feel guilty for their historical sins; immigrants have boisterous confidence in the superiority of their civilization.

Many Germans argue that as a rich nation, they morally must open their doors to people in need.

I admire that humanitarian impulse but it is unrealistic. Can Germany take in, say, 2 billion people? If not, how does it morally pick the tiny percentage it does allow in?

What, then, is the answer?

Practically speaking, see the world in terms of cultural and geographic zones: Westerners in need should stay in the West, Middle Easterners should stay in the Middle East, and so forth around the globe. Is it not strange that migrants from Syria and Iraq move to places like Germany and Sweden? They would be better off going to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where the climate, the language, the religion, and the mores are all like their own; plus, these countries are much closer to Syria.

 … Many Muslims of immigrant origins point to discrimination as a factor hindering them from fully integrating into German society.

Yes, discrimination is a problem. I would not want to be named Muhammad and look for a job in Hamburg. But that supports my argument that it is better to be named Muhammad in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. Why push together peoples who, as the last 55 years have shown, cannot live easily together? As Thilo Sarrazin has showed, the experiment of Muslim immigration has failed; continuing it will increase tensions.

 … How do you view Europe's response to Islamism?

Compared to 20 years ago, a great leap in awareness has occurred – but not enough yet to make a difference in policy. Virtually everywhere in Europe, political parties exist that make immigration and Islamism a priority, but almost none of them has been in power because these groups tend to be staffed by amateurs, contain too many extremists, and are ostracized. As a result, they cannot reach 51 percent.

 … Asked in 2015 to address the German fear of Islamization, Chancellor Merkel suggested that instead of fearing Islam, Christian Germans should learn more about their own religious roots and go to church more often. Your response?

Merkel's infuriating reply is typical of the elites in western (not eastern) Europe who remain defiantly unaware of the problems that Muslim immigration creates. The reasons are several-fold: guilty feelings, living in a bubble, looking for votes, political correctness, and fear of being called "Islamophobic."

 … Why guilty feelings?

The cover of Pascal Bruckner's "The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism."

Because, as French novelist and essayist Pascal Bruckner explained in his 2006 book, La tyrannie de la pénitence, many Europeans feel deep personal remorse about the trio of imperialism, fascism, and racism, even when they themselves are not implicated in those evils. For some Europeans, white skin itself signals guilt. Accordingly, they feel compelled to show unlimited tolerance and goodwill to non-Westerners. The fact that non-Western peoples also sin does not register – which implies a certain arrogance, even racism: only white sins count.

This sense of guilt is the more striking considering Europe's great advances. I remember visiting Finland in 1987 and thinking as I walked its streets: "This prosperity, freedom, rule of law, and democracy is what humanity has always worked toward and now it's been achieved." How strange that a Europe which attained such success today drowns in guilt, has too few children, and chooses not to protect itself from a rival civilization. As an historian, I say: Such weakness has no precedent.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

"Is Trump personally racist?" asks the NYT; "The few African-Americans in his inner circle respond with an emphatic No"

After reading an article in the New York Times, Ann Althouse comments that
“It seems apparent that the NYT set out to find out if there’s any evidence that Trump is a racist. Read the article. They found strong evidence that he is absolutely not any sort of a racist. The headline ought to come out and celebrate his excellent record.”
This leads Glenn Reynolds to laconically comment:
Naturally, it doesn’t.

Indeed, YAMICHE ALCINDOR and MAGGIE HABERMAN's entire report, entitled Circling the Square of President Trump’s Relationship With Race, can be summarized in this couple of sentences:
  … more than ever, the question is being asked: Is Mr. Trump personally racist? The few African-Americans in his inner circle respond with an emphatic no.
The New York Times article goes on to give a plethora of details:
 … Kara Young, a model who dated Donald J. Trump for two years before he married another model named Melania Knauss, remembers clearly bringing up her race with the real estate tycoon early in their relationship. As with so many issues, he steered the conversation to celebrity.

“I didn’t hide my race from Donald Trump. He knew,” Ms. Young said in a rare interview. “He would say, ‘You’re like Derek Jeter.’ And I would say, ‘Exactly.’”

“I never heard him say a disparaging comment towards any race of people,” she added.

 … when asked whether she thought Mr. Trump was racist or supported white supremacist ideals, Ms. Young said, “That was not my experience.”
 … Lynne Patton, who heads the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s New York and New Jersey office and is black, said Mr. Trump had a diverse set of people around him that included some close African-American associates, like Mr. Carson and Omarosa Manigault-Newman, a White House aide.

The president “doesn’t see color the way the average person does,” she said. He assesses people based on “their successes and their failures.”

Ms. Pierson [seated, in white, at far right in the photo above] said she was proof that Mr. Trump was not a racist because as soon as he decided to run for president, he hired her as a national spokeswoman for his campaign and encouraged her to speak on multiple television networks.

“A racist does not pick a single black mother to represent his entire freaking presidential campaign,” Ms. Pierson said. “A racist would not endorse Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in the ’80s twice. [At one point, DT gave free office space to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition.] A racist would also not spend his time and his resources to bring African-Americans into Wall Street.”

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Newt Gingrich: History is More Important Than Hysteria

Americans have once again been subjected to a dishonest, one-sided elite media frenzy
writes Newt Gingrich, the author of Understanding Trump, a #1 New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal Best Seller.

See also: It Doesn't Matter What Republicans Do or Say; The Left and the Press Will Call Them Racist Anyway.
In what is becoming an all too common occurrence, the media covers an event, distorts it, and then builds on its own distortion, condemning anyone who refuses to blindly accept their falsehoods.
All of this is done in a tone of hysteria, designed to both distract us from the serious problems the Left can’t solve and to isolate conservatives on emotionally hateful grounds.

Let me be clear: The conflict in Charlottesville last Saturday was terrible. An American was killed in an act of domestic terrorism by a hateful fanatic. Every American should condemn neo-Nazis, the KKK, and racism in all its hateful forms.

However, for leftwing fanatics and the elite media, bringing the country together and refusing to tolerate any group or individual that promotes racism and violence is not enough.

Instead, they believe that we should support eliminating large parts of American history.

If a person defends a historic monument or statue, the Left and the elite media immediately claim it is a sign of racism, anti-Semitism, and any other harsh emotional condemnation they can throw.

Never mind the words of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a Republican who was the first African American woman to serve as Secretary of State and who witnessed the atrocities of racism first-hand when members of the KKK bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, killing one of her close friends and three other young girls.

When asked earlier this year about removing Confederate memorials, Rice said, “When you start wiping out your history, sanitizing your history to make you feel better, it’s a bad thing.”

However, engaging in rational debates about this issue is impossible in this media frenzy because only the Left’s views are tolerated.

Consider Bill Kristol’s vicious attack on Tucker Carlson earlier this week.

During the opening monologue of his Fox News show, Carlson raised concern about discrediting every historical figure who was a slave owner, saying that in doing so, we risk undermining our founding documents. In response, Kristol tweeted, “They started by rationalizing Trump. They ended by rationalizing slavery.” Kristol then went on to infer that Carlson was anti-Semitic.

This is a perfect example of the current hysteria. Carlson was raising a valid question about whether it is reasonable to start whitewashing our history and denigrating every American historical figure who owned slaves. Do Kristol and others in the elite media think that we should tear down the monuments of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom owned slaves?

The surprising thing about Kristol’s unexpected attack on Carlson was that Carlson had worked under Kristol for years at the Weekly Standard. According to Carlson, “I knew him well. He was a genuinely smart guy. He’s a good boss, too. He was humane and fair-minded. He was the kind of person I never would imagine would write something that nasty and dishonest about an enemy much less an old friend. What happened?”

But Kristol’s rash tweetstorm against Carlson is exactly the kind of impulsive reaction the frenzy produces.

However, the media will soon learn that the clear majority of Americans repudiate this kind of hysteria.

A recent poll conducted by NPR, PBS News Hour, and the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion indicated that 62 percent of voters nationally think monuments of Confederate leaders should remain up as historical symbols, while only 28 percent of those polled said they should be removed because they are offensive and 10 percent of people were unsure.

Commenting on the poll in his Lunchtime Politics newsletter, political analyst Ron Faucheux went into further detail on the Marist poll, noting that 44% of Democrats, 86% of Republicans, and 61% of independents say the monuments should remain as historical symbols. By region: 53% in the Northeast, 61% in the Midwest, 66% in the South, and 61% in the West say the statues should remain. Also, 67% of Caucasians, 44% of African Americans, and 65% of Latinos say the statues should remain.

So, in the Left’s and elite media’s view are 44 percent of African Americans secretly racist since they accept the historic role of old statues?

Of course not.

This is just further proof of the dishonest, hysteria-driven smear campaign being run by the Left and the elite media.

But don’t be fooled. The Left is not motivated by their desire to defend morality. Their actions are fueled by their desperation to focus our attention on symbolic emotional fights to detract from their failed policies.

The day after the tragedy in Charlottesville, six people were shot and killed in Chicago and five more have been killed since. In Baltimore, eight people have died of gunshot wounds in the past week. And on Thursday, at least 13 were killed and approximately 120 wounded in an ISIS terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain.

The fanatics of the Left have no answers for these problems.

All they can do is attempt to arouse hysteria by focusing the debate on symbolic issues.

However, if the Left and the media continue their hysteria, fanaticism, and attacks on America, it could pose a serious threat to our nation and our future.

It is time the rest of us defended America as aggressively as the Left attacks it.

Friday, August 18, 2017

It Doesn't Matter What Republicans Do or Say; The Left and the Press Will Call Them Racist Anyway

Twice a day, even a broken clock is right.

Does that mean that when a broken clock constantly crying Racism Racism Racism is, or may have been, correct in Charlottesville, Donald Trump, as well as all other Republicans and conservatives, should praise the clock for being a masterfully constructed piece of machinery and for unfailingly telling the time correctly?

For the past 10 years or so, the members of one of the most decent and civil groups ever formed in America, and indeed in the world, was called every kind of vile name, from dirt-bags to tea baggers, with the most common being despicable racists.

All the members of the Tea Party wanted was less government, less taxes, and less bureaucrats. There was never never any threats or name-calling, never any violence at any of their gatherings, no one was ever attacked, and often they left the place of demonstration cleaner than when they found it.

When I mentioned on a French television show that I sympathized with the Tea Party, the facial reaction of the interviewer was such — Michel Field's face twitched visibly — that you would have thought that I had bragged that I was a proud card-carrying member of the Nazi Party or the Ku Klux Klan.

Do you remember what was the single very best message on a Tea Party sign?
It doesn't matter what this sign says, the press will call it racist anyway
Remember Hillary Clinton railing against the racists, the sexists, the homophobic, the xenophobic, the Islamaphobic, in short the irredeemable, those in the basket of deplorables?

That's not just Hillary Clinton.

It turns out that that is the leftists' default position.

As well as that of the press.

Their default position is to assume everyone is a deplorable, and they have been comparing every GOP politician to Hitler since — well, since the World War II era itself (as Ed Driscoll has discovered).
Related: • The Confederate Flag — Another Brick in the Leftwing Activists' (Self-Serving) Demonization of America and Rewriting of History
American Slavery and Abolitionism in the Context of World History
• What Caused Secession and Ergo the Civil War? Was It Slavery and/or States' Rights? Or Wasn't It Rather Something Else — the Election of a Ghastly Republican to the White House?
Should Trump have denounced the white supremacists in Charlottesville more forcefully or, earlier, by name?

It doesn't matter. He would have been called a racist whatever he said or did not say.

Moreover, isn't the truth that the left did not, does not, want the president of the United States (whatever his party, whatever the color of the skin) to denounce an extremist party?

What it wanted, wants, was a Republican to make amends for an alleged part of the GOP, thereby "acknowledging," in so many words, that the neo-Nazis, KKK members, were not only a main part of their coalition but that they show the true colors of all its members.

This is why you have to ask why Republicans, from Marco Rubio to Mitt Romney, are jumping in in support of leftists against Donald Trump in this matter.

First, whatever Republicans do or say, they will be called racists anyway.

Second, it is all a smokescreen by the drama queens to create melodrama and crises where (usually) none is warranted, focusing the news on the nefarious Republicans while taking it away from the cuddly Democrats (cozy Reset relations with the Kremlin for decades, election tampering, various instances of the DNC's misdeeds and malfeasance, etc etc etc)

Calling their opponents, and members of the population, names is the default position of the Left — wherever on Earth it operates.

The general population is degenerate, vile, and despicable, it must be shamed, it must be humiliated, it must be taught how to think, it must be nannied, it must be controlled. (This is why leftists think it is perfectly OK to lie to the population, whether about the doctor you most assuredly can keep or about the guns they have no intention of grabbing or about the — "flexible" — foreign affairs favoring a Russia or an Iran.)

So it is not inappropriate to remember what caused the whole Charlottesville event to degenerate: police was told to stand down, by the city's (Democratic) mayor — except in one single case. They were told to herd the White Supremacists through the crowd of antifa protesters railing against them, thus creating a melodramatic crisis.

Robert Shibley of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in USA Today:
State, local, and even college campus leadership appear to be telling police to stand by while some degree of unlawful violence takes place right before their eyes. Yet when that violence predictably spirals out of control, the authorities profess their inability to have done anything to stop it. Meanwhile, those inclined to violence are emboldened, secure in the knowledge that the publicity payoff is high and the odds of punishment low.

 … [Like the conspicuous lack of police involvement at the University of California, Berkeley], CNN reported that in Charlottesville, “both sides agree that one group didn't do enough to prevent the violence as the crowds grew and tensions flared: the police.” The organizer of the “Unite the Right” rally complained that “police purposefully created the catastrophe that led to a melee in the streets of Charlottesville,” while a Black Lives Matter leader attending the counter-protest remarked, “It's almost as if they wanted us to fight each other.”

 … There is one group of people who have so far consistently benefitted when political violence has been allowed to take place: the politicians who lead our localities and the de facto politicians who run our campuses. They avoid the political fallout from images of police confronting violent protesters (who may also be their supporters), they get to blame whichever side they like less for causing the violence, and [they] get to pretend to fulfill their responsibility to keep people “safe” by making it harder for controversial viewpoints to be expressed.
Likewise, these crises and the melodramatic fairy tales, such as those about the never-ending dialogue on race, allow the nation-wide Democratic Party to avoid questions regarding far more pressing matters, such as — as seen above — cozy Reset relations with the Kremlin for decades, election tampering, various instances of the DNC's misdeeds and malfeasance, etc etc etc…

What is galling is the hypocrisy. As I have asked before:

What is it about double standards that they do not teach at the Columbia School of Journalism?

When a Bernie Sanders supporter opened fire on Republican congressmen playing baseball, it was perfectly alright for leftist politicians to make general comments about extremist speech on both sides of the aisle.

When a Black Lives Matter supporter opened fire on Dallas policemen, killing five of them, the responsibility was not attributed to a member of the leftist, Democrat-supporting organization (not to mention the entire movement itself), but — in a speech by none other than Barack Obama — to “powerful weapons.”

Scott Greer:
no demands for the Obama administration to condemn these actions — quite unlike how Trump is browbeaten to do so any whiff of extremism from the Right.
Certainly, for eight years, Obama was neither blamed for any violence nor asked to condemn anyone at all — much less apologize to the nation — even when, as commander-in-chief, the man in charge of the military was responsible (the buck stops here?) for sending the armed forces to the defense of civil servants fighting Islamists in a Libyan town for 13 hours without so much as a single combat helicopter or fighting plane taking off to head in their direction.

Speaking of which: and then there is the whole Islamic terrorist attack reports (both in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world) — also known in the press as the "the motives remain mysterious" department — where the final lesson is invariably: "we must not generalize" and "we must not blame Islam for the attacks."

But with Americans, and with people in the West, there we must generalize and there we must assign blame. For the simple reason, that the whole point is to shame the population into continuing our acceptance of our more-compassionate/intelligent/tolerant-than-thou overlords as our/their masters.

Indeed, if anyone is nostalgic for Nazism, writes Roger Simon, it is the Left:
The Antifa movement, in the forefront of that nauseating sympathy for Islamism, is far more prevalent and dangerous in U.S. society than those few pathetic remaining losers in the KKK and similar neo-Nazi groups.  The Antifa thugs are seemingly everywhere, smashing windows and making life Hell for weak-willed university administrators across the country.

Nevertheless, overwhelmed by this nostalgia that is, in truth, a masquerade for fear of a gruesome reality, the almost non-existent neo-Nazis are the boogeymen of the hour in the eyes of our friends on the left.  Again, what a convenience, because dealing with what happened in Barcelona is surpassingly difficult.  It isn't because of neo-Nazis or the KKK that it's been decades since any of us has walked onto an airplane or entered a concert or museum without being examined or x-rayed, that our daily lives have not been the same.  A vicious ideological war is obviously being waged against the West and its liberties with its end nowhere near in sight.  As ISIS wrote of the Spanish terror, "We will recover our land from the invaders." Like the Nazis of old, they mean it.
As it happens, the view that the white supremacists and the antifa thugs are opposing forces may turn out to be fiction. James Robbins points out in USA Today that
During the Weimar Republic period in Germany, Nazis and Communists fought in the streets, yet both regarded the established order as their enemy. Hence the Weimar-era adage that a Nazi was like a beefsteak, brown on the outside and red on the inside.

 …  Today’s right and left wing violent radicals are from the same mold. … Everyone understands that the neo-Nazi and KKK groups are composed of violent extremists. The apparent blind spot is with the anarchist/socialist far left, which is puzzling given recent history.
… The proper response is not to condemn one group of radicals over another but to see all of them as a direct threat to constitutional government. The real contest is between the vast, law-abiding majority of democratic citizens and these small groups of twisted violent losers parading in the streets with weapons, wearing masks, throwing cement-filled soda cans. Take your pick, you can have the extremists or you can have the Constitution, you can’t have both.
The Declination blog puts it in a different matter, assigning blame as to who represents the greater danger:
Donald Trump’s position is that both are hate groups, and both are quick to resort to violence to further their political goals, and that putting them together like that was surely going to stir up violence.

Personally, I think Trump is somewhat understating the case. White supremacists are exceedingly rare, even if they’ve received a shot in the arm from SJWs harping on white people all the time (hint: that tends to manufacture more supremacists, not less). What happened in Virginia may very well represent peak white supremacism, the very most such groups are capable of. Antifa and militant Marxists, meanwhile, enjoy far greater support from media, financiers (oh, the irony), and society-at-large. Antifa dwarfs Klansman and Neo-Nazis. Militant Marxists are, by far, the greater threat currently.

But that being said, Trump did put his finger on the central point: both groups espouse violent ideologies that are incompatible with freedom.

[But it] is easy to denounce white supremacists, who probably represent less than a tenth of a percent of the population.
But it would seem that even that may be misleading as, it turns out, Donald Sensing reminds us (with Adolf Hitler quotes galore), Nazism's roots lie in Marxism:
What we really saw in Charlottesville was two far-left groups having at each other because neither will countenance a competitor.

Yes, some of the demonstrators carried Nazi flags, just as some of the counter-demos carried hammer-and-sickle Soviet flags. In fact, those flags are almost interchangeable. Everyone knows and acknowledges that Soviet Communism was based on Marxism, hence Marxism and its spawn today are "Left," but everyone also apparently thinks that Fascism and Nazism apparently just sprang up out of thin air with no relation to political theories and contexts that came before, and that Fascism and Nazism were and are "Right."

Untrue. Both Fascism and Nazism were founded on Marxist theory and belonged firmly on the Left side of the spectrum, according to their founders.
Read the whole thing™. See also: Fascism then is that system that maintains the facade of private property, but what you end up having is this bizarre marriage of business and state

Kevin Williamson brings it back to the point of view of the Liberals and the Democrats:
The current attack on Confederate monuments is only another front in the Left’s endless kulturkampf. The Left is committed to always being on the offense in the culture wars, and, with Donald Trump and his white-resentment politics installed in the White House and Republicans lined up queasily behind him, the choice of going after Confederate totems is clever. It brings out the kooks and the cranks, and some respectable conservatives feel obliged to defend them. Getting Republicans to relitigate the Civil War is a great victory for the Democrats, who were, after all, on the wrong side of it as a matter of historical fact.

 … We should not, in any case, accept the fiction that what is transpiring at the moment is a moral crusade rather than political opportunism.
 … those monuments … were not always put up for good reasons, but the conquering North indulged Southern jealousy of Southern honor for a pretty good reason: the desire for peace. The Civil War had been brutal, and the South was — this part of the story is not as widely understood as it should be — desperately poor, and remained essentially a Third World country within the United States until the post-war era. No sense poking them for no good reason.
 … National panics over Confederate revanchism, like New York Times crusades against homelessness, tend to coincide with Republican presidencies. That is not coincidence.
The war on statuary serves two purposes: The first is to humiliate Southerners in retribution for their support of Republican politicians and conservative causes, particularly religious and social causes. The second is to help Democrats win elections without white men. … Keeping non-whites in a state of panic and agitation is necessary to Democrats’ political aspirations.
By the way, isn't there one thing that we can thank the Left and the antifa thugs for? For helping to explain why the Founding Fathers insisted on the Second Amendment…

Kevin Williamson, again:
The Democrats’ motives here are tawdry and self-serving, for the most part. As cheap and silly as Southern sentimentality can be, the desire to reduce and humiliate one’s fellow citizens is distasteful. We would all do better to take Abraham Lincoln’s advice: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies.” Friends overlook one another’s little vices.
Update — by Newt Gingrich: History is More Important Than Hysteria