Saturday, May 25, 2013

Civility? Not Applicable for a Conservative — Even When It's at His or Her Funeral

One leftist group, calling itself Good Riddance Maggie Thatcher, said it had sought prior approval for its supporters to turn their backs on the cortege [for the funeral of the Iron Lady], as they did when the gun carriage was nearing St. Paul’s Cathedral, Christopher Wren’s magnificent domed edifice in the heart of London’s financial district
Anybody wondering about whether the invitation to embrace civility, politeness, and the display of decent manners is only a one-sided affair, with the double standards applying to conservatives (international as well as American) alone, need only take a look at John F Burns and Alan Cowell's New York Times report of Maggie's London funeral (slideshow).
At Ludgate Circus, close to St. Paul's, a small group of protesters gathered, some with banners reading, Now Bury Thatcherism." Some jeered and shouted "Good riddance!" 
Just imagine the outrage had conservatives — again, British or other (say, Tea Party members) — done the same at the funeral (!) of some leftist icon.

Margaret Thatcher in Her Own Words

Happily, we learn that
the protesters’ rhythmic shouts of “Waste of money!” and “Rest in shame!” were overpowered in a countering wave of clapping, cheering and chanting of “Maggie! Maggie! Maggie!” by crowds straining for a view on the approaches to the cathedral.
Unfortunately, there is as follows — and the snub (if it can be called that) doesn't only seem to be the fault of American leftists:
One of the few jarring notes at the ceremony came from supporters of Mrs. Thatcher, who called President Obama’s decision not to send any senior members of his administration to attend the funeral a slight, in view of Mrs. Thatcher’s influential role as President Ronald Reagan’s partner in facing down the Soviet Union. The American delegation was led by former Vice President Dick Cheney and two other veterans of Republican administrations, George P. Shultz, 92, and James A. Baker III, 82. 

Funeral organizers said that they had invited all the former American presidents, but that none had accepted. Officials said they had cited a range of reasons, including poor health, in the case of the first President George Bush, and previous engagements, in the case of the second President Bush. Initially, organizers said there was a possibility that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would attend, but she, too, declined, as did Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. 

The absences drew critical comment from across the spectrum of British politics. Gerald Howarth, chairman of a Thatcherite group of Conservatives in Parliament, told The Daily Mail: “The bond forged between the U.K. and the U.S. through Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher was instrumental in ending the cold war and liberating millions of people. That the present administration feels unable to be represented as the world marks the extraordinary contribution Margaret Thatcher made will be a disappointment to those who served with her in that endeavor.” 

Friday, May 24, 2013

“Look at us — we’re Moroccans selling Japanese sushi to the French”

“Look at us — we’re Moroccans selling Japanese sushi to the French,” Mr. Benamer, now married with a child, said on a recent weekend, sitting in his Champs-Élysées restaurant beneath a wall covered with Warhol-style images of a geisha. “If we had allowed ourselves to be stigmatized, France would lose out — on good sushi, yes, but also on the hundreds of jobs we are creating.”
Liz Alderman has a New York Times article on France's banlieues and the efforts, by some, to make a success of their lives (video).
Mourad Benamer remembers the day his parents first visited the sleek new sushi restaurant he had just opened near the Champs-Élysées. Against all odds, Mr. Benamer had broken out of the rough suburb, or banlieue, where he grew up in a family of poor Moroccan immigrants just northeast of Paris, and hit on a formula that would soon turn into a business success beyond his dreams.

“We came from a place where there was injustice and a lack of opportunity,” Mr. Benamer, 36, recalled of his banlieue, Bondy. But there he was in the heart of tourist Paris, on a winter afternoon in 2007, with his mother pointing incredulously to truffle-and-foie-gras maki being rolled out to patrons at Eat Sushi, which since then has expanded into a chain of 38 restaurants across France.

“How did you manage to do all this?” she asked.

His answer was simple: he did it on his own. 

“I was not going to let this feeling that we have no chance keep me closed inside the banlieue,” Mr. Benamer recalled recently. 

 “I was not going to let this feeling that we have no chance keep me closed inside the banlieue,” Mr. Benamer recalled recently.

For decades, the disadvantaged suburbs that ring Paris and other large French cities have been places of privation, plagued by discrimination and poverty. France has long vowed to improve the plight of the banlieue populations, often Muslim and primarily people with Arab or sub-Saharan African family roots in the French colonial past. Despite pledges by Nicolas Sarkozy when he was president to address economic and social inequality after a series of violent riots in 2005 and 2007, though, critics say little has changed. 

That is why a new generation of people like Mr. Benamer are trying to turn the suburbs into incubators for entrepreneurs, who see using their own initiative as the only way up and out of the banlieues, which are home to an estimated 10 percent of France’s 63.7 million people.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Contentions Obama is the Ultimate Ad Hominem President

The Peter Wehner article (thanks to Instapundit) deserves quoting in full.
At a fundraising event earlier this week in New York City, President Obama said this:

What’s blocking us right now is a sort of hyper-partisanship in Washington that I was, frankly, hoping to overcome in 2008. My thinking was when we beat them in 2012 that might break the fever, and it’s not quite broken yet. But I am persistent. And I am staying at it. And I genuinely believe there are Republicans out there who would like to work with us but they’re fearful of their base and they’re concerned about what Rush Limbaugh might say about them…

As a consequence we get the kind of gridlock that makes people cynical about government. My intentions over the next 3 ½ years are to govern. … If there are folks who are more interested in winning elections than they are thinking about the next generation then I want to make sure there are consequences to that.

Mr. Obama’s statement, a variation of what he’s said countless times in the past, is worth examining for what it reveals about him.

1. President Obama is once again engaging in what psychiatrists refer to as projection, in which people lay their worst attributes on others.

In this instance, the most hyper-partisan president in modern times is ascribing that trait to Congressional Republicans. What we’ve learned about Mr. Obama over the years is that he that while he is unusually inept at governing, he’s quite good at campaigning. He certainly enjoys it, having taken the concept of the Permanent Campaign beyond anything we’ve ever seen. It turns out it’s the only thing he does well—no human being in history has raised campaign cash quite like he has—and it’s all he seems interested in doing.

On some deep, subconscious level, though, Mr. Obama seems ashamed of the path he’s chosen. And so the president projects those traits he loathes in himself on to others. To give you a sense of how deep the malady runs, the president does more than merely project; he actually preaches against the very character flaws he himself cannot overcome.

2. The president can hardly go a day without impugning the motivations of his opponents. They never have honest differences with the president. Instead they are suffering from an illness (“fever”), cowardice (afraid of what Rush Limbaugh might say about them), and lack of patriotism (caring about elections rather than future generations). Mr. Obama is the ultimate ad hominem president.

3. The president spoke about cynicism toward government. But if the president is really concerned about this phenomenon, he might look at his own administration, which is dealing with multiplying scandals. I would submit that misleading the country in the aftermath of the deadly siege on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, the IRS’s targeting of political opponents, and seizing the phone records of journalists might well deepen the public’s cynicism toward government. And for the record, trust in the federal government has reached new lows during the Obama years. Might he have some responsibility for that?

4. Mr. Obama professes deep concern “about the next generation.” Those words would be a bit more believable if he were not handing off to the next generation a crushing debt burden that will take generations to undo, if  it is ever undone. No president holds a candle to Mr. Obama when it comes to engaging in generational theft.

5. As for gridlock: This is actually inherent in our system of government. It’s called “checks and balances” and “separation of powers.” The president might want to consult this document for more.
I understand Mr. Obama has complained many times that there are checks on his power, but I prefer the wisdom of James Madison to the ambitions of Barack Obama. And, oh, by the way: greater gridlock in Mr. Obama’s first two years in office would have prevented passage of the Affordable Care Act, which the presidential historian George Edwards has called “perhaps the least popular major domestic policy passed in the last century” and which Democratic Senator Max Baucus has warned is a “huge train wreck coming down.” It turns out that gridlock, if not always ideal, beats passing really bad legislation.

Just over a hundred days into his second term, the president finds himself weak, wounded, and on the defensive. Which means Mr. Obama will need to find new enemies to blame, new people to target, and new divisions to exploit.

This is what Hope and Change looks like five years in.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Reports of Thunderstorms Wreaking Havoc in France Prove That Global Warming Is Real And Must Be… (Hold on a second!)

We finally have it.



Proof of the reality of global warming, and how it is tweaking the weather, as the (Paris-based) International Herald Tribune reports on the Thunderstorms Wreaking Havoc in France along with news of the river "[overflowing] and [doing] great damage" in addition to fitful remembrances of "the persistent rains of last summer" and the generally "continual wet weather which has been experienced in France for some time past."

Finally, we can shut the mouthes of the climate-deniers and set the record… —

Wait… Hold on! What? What?!

The item appeared in the newspaper's 100 Years Ago section?!

It's actually from 1913?!
1913 Thunderstorms Wreak Havoc in France
PARIS — With the persistent rains of last summer still fresh in the memory, some uneasiness has been caused by the continual wet weather which has been experienced in France for some time past. Anxiety is being felt at the various summer resorts lest the holiday season be spoiled this year as completely as it was last year. Those who had intended taking houses at the seaside or elsewhere in the country are hesitating, and the resulting delay is bringing about a state of affairs which augurs ill for the coming season. The Huisne has overflowed and done great damage.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Highly Recommended: The Jihadist Plot — The Untold Story of Al-Qaeda and the Libyan Rebellion

 A remarkable development took place in the midst of the 2011 conflict in Libya: the United States and its allies changed sides in the war on terror. From virtually the very start of the unrest in Libya in mid-February 2011, there were troubling signs that the insurgents, whom the Western media insisted on presenting as peaceful “protestors,” were in fact violent Islamic extremists whose methods bore a clear resemblance to those of al-Qaeda. Indeed, the methods of the rebels—including beheadings and summary group executions by shots to the back of the head—clearly resembled not merely those of al-Qaeda, but of that branch of al-Qaeda that was most notorious for its brutality: namely, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s al-Qaeda in Iraq.

The resemblance, as it turns out, was not accidental. Famous for its religious fanaticism, the eastern Libyan heartland of the Libyan rebellion was in fact well-known in counter-terrorism circles as a hotbed of support for al-Zarqawi’s al-Qaeda in Iraq.

 … The streets of Benghazi were in fact awash with al-Qaeda flags in the days following Libya’s “liberation.”
From John Rosenthal comes The Jihadist Plot (The Untold Story of Al-Qaeda and the Libyan Rebellion),  which tells you everything that you (and that Hillary Clinton) always wanted to know about Benghazi but never thought to ask — and then some.

John Rosenthal has often been the subject of No Pasarán links along the years, most notably, perhaps, the very opening item on his blog, regarding September 11 (the original 2001 attack, that is): The Legend of the Squandered Sympathy.
“How could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction?” Thus Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed what she supposed was the reaction of many Americans to the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi that left American ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead. The questioning and self-doubt showed “just how confounding the world can be,” Clinton observed. But the world is not so confounding when one is correctly informed, and the Benghazi attacks are not so confusing and “senseless” as the Obama administration insists. They are in fact the direct consequence of American policy in supporting the Libyan rebellion against Muammar al-Qaddafi, and they make perfect sense when one knows how thoroughly the rebel forces were affiliated with and inspired by al-Qaeda.

Those same forces proudly fly the al-Qaeda flag to this day. They do so not in secretive “jihadi encampments”—such as those for which drones dispatched by the Obama administration are reportedly searching in Eastern Libya. They do so rather in broad daylight on the main boulevards of Benghazi and other Libyan cities. One does not need drones or sophisticated surveillance technology to find them. Videos of the military parades of the Libyan mujahideen—to use their own preferred terminology—are readily available on local Arabic-language websites and YouTube pages. 
Update: Six months later, the New York Times clings bitterly to the left's Al Qaeda-was-nowhere-to-be-seen picture

We no longer have a society of voters capable of making prudent, wise decisions; Over half our electorate is now composed of narcissists who vote for their own selfish interests

If Skip Coryell is to be believed, Obama Has Won! (Is Civil War Inevitable?)

Gratefully, this was written before Obamagate erupted. Still, he has some chilling observations…
Obama’s primary objective (his mission statement if you will) is “To fundamentally change America.” Many argue that he’s already done that. I would argue that America was already fundamentally changed years before he was voted into office.

Three things paved the way for the Obama Presidency: 1. God was banned from the public arena. …

2. We lost the public school system. Once God left the schools, the liberals took over the education of our young. Right under our noses they captured that generation as well as the next generation (produced by the prior litter via unholy out-of-wedlock sin.) They dumbed us down, churning out millions of low-information voters. And since God wasn’t there to hold us accountable, it was easy for liberal teachers to sell our children a menu of selfish immorality. Kids don’t know any better unless they’re taught at a young age that serving others is better than serving your own vain and selfish appetite. Humans are inherently evil, not inherently good. Without God we have no compass.

3. We lost the media. The media, that stalwart fourth estate, the unofficial branch of government that always kicks in when the politicians lose their way, is no longer with us. Instead, the media is owned by the liberals. I should go farther and say that the media is now simply a soul-less, masturbatory tool of Barack Obama. … Now, the American people are so desensitized to immorality that it no longer matters what the president does. It’s no big deal. Sell machine guns to Mexican drug cartels and cause the death of Border Patrol agents? No problem. Withhold security from the Ambassador to Libya? No worries. He’s toast. And through it all, the media remains complicitly silent.

If politics is a game of Chess, then liberals are Bobby Fischer, and conservatives are The Three Stooges. In a cunning game of patience and forethought, conservatives just can’t compete.

Conservatives have always relied on informed voters with integrity and moral fiber, but they no longer have that advantage. It became clear to me that when Barack Obama won his second term: America was lost. We no longer have a society of voters capable of making prudent, wise decisions. Over half our electorate is now composed of narcissists who vote for their own selfish interests.

So where does that leave us? Is there any hope at all for America? Maybe, but I’m skeptical.