Posts Tagged ‘terrorism’

Is this 1789 ?

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

ruling

In 1789, the French Revolution began. How ?

On May 5, 1789, Louis XVI convened the Estates-General. Almost immediately, it became apparent that this archaic arrangement—the group had last been assembled in 1614—would not sit well with its present members. Although Louis XVI granted the Third Estate greater numerical representation, the Parlement of Paris stepped in and invoked an old rule mandating that each estate receive one vote, regardless of size. As a result, though the Third Estate was vastly larger than the clergy and nobility, each estate had the same representation—one vote. Inevitably, the Third Estate’s vote was overridden by the combined votes of the clergy and nobility.

The essay of Angelo Codevilla in American Spectator in 2014 described a similar phenomenon in 21st century America. American citizens begged for control of illegal immigration and crony capitalism.

As over-leveraged investment houses began to fail in September 2008, the leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties, of major corporations, and opinion leaders stretching from the National Review magazine (and the Wall Street Journal) on the right to the Nation magazine on the left, agreed that spending some $700 billion to buy the investors’ “toxic assets” was the only alternative to the U.S. economy’s “systemic collapse.” In this, President George W. Bush and his would-be Republican successor John McCain agreed with the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama. Many, if not most, people around them also agreed upon the eventual commitment of some 10 trillion nonexistent dollars in ways unprecedented in America. They explained neither the difference between the assets’ nominal and real values, nor precisely why letting the market find the latter would collapse America. The public objected immediately, by margins of three or four to one.

Today, we have a situation in which the Muslim world of the middle east is being overrun by a radical faction of Muslims who call themselves ISIS.

Richard Fernandez, whose writing I read every day, has another good discussion of what is happening and likely to happen in the future.

The anniversary of the U.S. war against the Islamic State passed with little notice. It was August 7 of last year that President Obama authorized the first airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, a campaign he expanded a month later to include targets in Syria. So far this month, the president has delivered remarks on the Voting Rights Act, his deal with Iran, the budget, clean energy, and Hurricane Katrina. ISIS? Not a peep.

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The Dissolution of the Modern World.

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

bernieTrump

Richard Fernandez, as usual, has an excellent post on how the modern society we inhabit is wearing out.

One of the arguments for the impossibility of an event is lack of previous failure. “It never failed before and thus can never fail ever”. The Washington Post’s editorial board invokes a variant of this logic to refute Donald Trump’s border policy, arguing there are so many illegal immigrants it is too expensive to deport them all, leaving no alternative but to accept more.

Naturally, the WaPo is certain they know what could happen.

A useful case study is California, whose economy accounts for about 13 percent of U.S. gross domestic product and whose 2.6 million undocumented workers include almost a tenth of the state’s workforce.

For starters, the state’s farms and orchards, where a third to a half of agricultural workers are undocumented, would be crippled.

The state of California has already devastated the state’s farms and orchards by shutting off irrigation water to save a bait fish in the Sacramento Delta.

The Golden State’s agricultural industry has suffered dramatically under the drought, which cost the industry $1.5 billion in 2014, according to a University of California Davis study. Last year alone, farmers idled more than 400,000 acres of farmland amid abnormally dry conditions, the study added. Farmers primarily rely on the state’s snowpack to irrigate their crops, and it has been reduced to just 8 percent of its historic average.

The drought is one that California sees every decade or so but the state has not added any water conservation systems as its population doubled the past 30 years. Instead the governor is pushing a high speed rail system that goes nowhere important and will cost, in an early and inadequate estimate, $65 billion. How many desalination plants could that build ?

California is in the midst of a crippling four-year-old drought. Yet the state has built almost no major northern or central mountain reservoirs since the New Melones Dam of 1979. That added nearly 3 million acre-feet to the state’s storage reserves – a critical project that was almost canceled by endless environmental lawsuits and protests.

Although California has almost doubled in population since the dam’s construction, the state’s politicians apparently decided that completing more northern and Sierra Nevada water projects was passé. So the parched state now prays for rain and snow rather than building reservoirs to ensure that the next drought won’t shut us down.

The open borders lobby can see no problem in importing 10% of Mexico and the least educated 10% at that. I spent ten years reviewing workers’ compensation claims. About half of those claims were for Hispanics and about half of them were Mexican born and almost certainly illegal. They generally claimed to have completed second grade in Mexico and most were illiterate in Spanish, let alone English.

Social engineers are running this country these days and Fernandez is not impressed.

Social engineers are members of the first school of thought and are typically surprised by unprecedented events viewing them as perverse. For example the Washington Post notes the shock of rising and virulent xenophobia in Germany, something heretofore thought to be extinct since the end of the Second World War. ”Germany unnerved by scores of xenophobic attacks against refugees.” The past should continue indefinitely. Failure can be due only to wreckers.

By contrast, physical engineers — unlike their social counterparts — are not the slightest bit surprised when structures which have stood for a long time suddenly collapse.

He provides the example of the Minneapolis bridge that collapsed a few years ago, “unexpectedly” in spite of years of inspections that ranked it as dangerous.

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Virtue Signaling

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

BLM

This is a new term to me but it makes a lot of sense. It seems to have begun in Britain where it has been explained well.

“The most savage, bilious, self-righteous rants are from people living affluent self-pleasing lives in comfortable homes, doing lucky and rewarding jobs with like-minded friends. What they are doing (I risk losing a friend or two) is “virtue-signalling”: competing to seem compassionate. Few are notably open-handed: St Matthew would need a rewrite of Chapter 19. “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast and give to the poor. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. So he went on Twitter instead and called Michael Gove a ‘vile reptilian evil tory scumbag’, and linked to a cartoon of Iain Duncan Smith stealing a paralysed woman’s wheelchair. And lo, he felt better and went for a £3.50 caramel macchiato with some mates from the BBC”

Beautifully put.

The discussion there is actually hilarious and absolutely true. Will the American left figure out what is going on ?

One of the biggest shocks of this election is the realisation that you can’t get a socialist paradise on Earth by tweeting. Or even by putting up really angry statuses on Facebook. Who knew? Actually, as people who do this kind of thing all follow each other, it seems that many of them still don’t realise. In the echo chambers some of us inhabit online, everyone not only votes Labour but crows about it in 140 characters.

Does Donald Trump know about this ? He seems to live on social media.

Twitter and Facebook function to reinforce, rather than challenge, opposing views. Spats can get nasty, of course – but did anyone who was going to vote Ukip get swayed by Labour because of a bunch of know–alls on Twitter? I plead guilty to this sort of behaviour myself because everyone is a know-it-all on Twitter. Now I watch lefty mates declaring they are going to unfollow anyone remotely conservative, and I am dismayed. If you can’t even have a conversation with someone who votes differently to you, how do you begin to imagine you might bring them back to your way of thinking?

They don’t want to. Posturing is enough. I know people like this. Some are even related to me.

Do Democrats know this ? I doubt it. Watch what happened at the Bernie Sanders rally in Seattle.

At Westlake, Sanders was just starting to address the crowd, thanking Seattle for being “one of the most progressive cities in the United States of America.”

That’s as far as he got before two women walked onstage and grabbed the microphone.

“If you do not listen … your event will be shut down,” one of the protesters told organizers, who offered to let them speak after Sanders. After a back and forth with the screaming protesters, organizers relented and said the demonstrators could go first.

Some in the largely white audience booed and chanted for protesters to let the senator talk. A few yelled for police to make arrests.

But the organizers had no security, at least none they wished to call for help.

At least the UK left is figuring this out. The American left is clueless.

Obama’s legacy.

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif stands on the balcony of Palais Coburg, the venue for nuclear talks, in Vienna

Why is this man laughing ?

A good column today by David Gerlenter makes a strong case that Obama will be remembered for what he is doing with Iran.

Obama will be remembered ultimately for the Iran treaty, as Johnson is remembered for Vietnam. Like Johnson, Obama is wrapped in a warm blanket of advisers who flatter his earnest, high-school views of world politics. Like Johnson, he lives in his own delusional world in which he’s commander-in-chief not merely of the military but of the whole blessed nation. Like Johnson, he has been destroyed by the arrogance of power; and his blindness has endangered America. Unlike Johnson, he was never big enough for the job in the first place.

His comparison with Lyndon Johnson is excellent. I read HR McMaster’s “Dereliction of Duty,” and the resemblance to Obama’s policies is astonishing. I recently read another book that points out the consequences of Obama’s decision to abandon Iraq. It is written by a young British woman named Emma Sky and is called “The Unraveling.”

The future is still to be written but we see a few hints. The Iranians are already celebrating and by “Iranians” I do not mean the oppressed citizens of that sad country. They are passengers on a runaway train driven by lunatics. We have now given those lunatics the keys to the atomic bomb.

The other Obama legacy in the middle east may be his agreement with Turkey to attack the Kurds who are now building a Kurdistan, anathema to Turkey. Of course, the Obama administration denies that it is allowing Turkey to attack the Kurds.

Turkey has finally entered in force into the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State group, but the move also has exposed the contradictions and confusion at the heart of U.S. policy, with the Obama administration struggling Monday to balance its promises to warring allies in the region and to prevent a deeper U.S. ground force engagement in the fight.

As NATO ambassadors prepared to gather Tuesday for only the fifth emergency session in the alliance’s 66-year history to discuss the crisis, the Pentagon denied that it was setting up a no-fly zone over war-torn Syria while the State Department faced sharp questions over the extent to which President Obama was abandoning America’s Kurdish allies in its haste to enlist Ankara in the fight against the Islamic State.

On one hand, U.S. officials praised the expanding Turkish military role against the extremist group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, which is based in neighboring Syria and Iraq. But on the other, they acknowledged how complicated the development is amid concerns that Turkey is using its campaign as a pretext to crush Kurdish militants whom Washington has relied upon as the go-to ground forces in northern Syria and Iraq.

Such concerns were highlighted Monday as reports swirled about Turkish fighter jets targeting not just Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria, but also positions held by the Kurdish Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK — an ultra-leftist, Kurdish nationalist outfit that has waged an insurgency for decades in Turkey and maintains bases in remote parts of northern Iraq.

Obama’s black thumb in foreign policy, in which every initiative results in defeat, is still in evidence. There is another good column today by Leon Wieseltier who is a former editor of The New Republic. He doesn’t like the deal.

Rhodes has, perhaps inadvertently, exposed the president’s premises more clearly than the president likes to do. The rut of history: It is a phrase worth pondering. It expresses a deep scorn for the past, a zeal for newness and rupture, an arrogance about old struggles and old accomplishments, a hastiness with inherited precedents and circumstances, a superstition about the magical powers of the present. It expresses also a generational view of history, which, like the view of history in terms of decades and centuries, is one of the shallowest views of all.

Predictably, the Atlantic readers don’t agree and accuse him, of course, of being an Israel loving Jew.

The annoying thing for me is when certain pro-Israel commentators pretend they know better than the US government, or try to prescribe or influence US foreign policy by labelling the current administrations as “naive.”

Does the fact that every US ally in the Middle East, Arab and Jew, opposes this deal mean anything ? No. Of course not to the brilliant left.

We are alone when the trouble comes.

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

ISIS shooter

The saying is “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

I have a gun in my bedside table but do not carry one when I go out. At one time, about the time of the Rodney King riots, I had to go to LA to give a lecture and I put a gun in my car center console. Right now, I am concerned with whether we will see a terror attack next weekend.

Richard Fernandez has more to say about this today and, as usual, what he says is worthwhile. The photo above is of the ISIS murderer at Tunisia where he killed 37 people, all tourists, and walked along as though he was out for a stroll.

Massacre

The staff of the hotel wash the blood from the site of the massacre.

Why did this happen ? Aside from the foolishness of British tourists going to a country where there was another attack recently. A previous attack killed 19 in March.

One commenter wondered what Someone was doing while this ‘tragedy’ occurred. “How come there was an alarm raised, carrying that machine gun, it was obvious to the onlookers in the picture. Somebody could have prevented another tragedy in the name of this perverse and ancient religion.”

Yes, where was that Someone ?

The West is filled with millions of people like Alex, all of them waiting for Someone.

Alex, a 23-year-old Sunday school teacher and babysitter, was trembling with excitement the day she told her Twitter followers that she had converted to Islam.

For months, she had been growing closer to a new group of friends online — the most attentive she had ever had — who were teaching her what it meant to be a Muslim. Increasingly, they were telling her about the Islamic State and how the group was building a homeland in Syria and Iraq where the holy could live according to God’s law.They are the product of a multi-decade campaign to deliberately empty people of their culture; to actually make them ashamed of it. They were purposely drained of God, country, family like chickens so they could be stuffed with the latest narrative of the progressive meme machine. The Gramscian idea was to produce a blank slate upon which the Marxist narrative could be written.

She is looking for Someone.

Too bad for the Gramscians that the Islamists are beating them to the empty sheets of paper. And they are better at it too.

George Orwell observed the takeover of hardcore Bolshevism by the periphery in the 1930s.

The first thing that must strike any outside observer is that Socialism, in its developed form is a theory confined entirely to the middle classes. The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years’ time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage and been converted to Roman Catholicism; or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting.

This is so typical of the gay marriage crowd who ignore the world while focusing on minutiae.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration ignores ISIS hostages.

The White House did not do enough to rescue the four Americans. During Steve’s imprisonment, it rarely worked with the hostages’ families, kept them in the dark, and was essentially passive, rather than discussing ways to secure their release.During Steve’s imprisonment, it rarely worked with the hostages’ families, kept them in the dark, and was essentially passive, rather than discussing ways to secure their release. And though the White House finally authorized an extraction attempt in late June 2014, it waited far too long to do so.

Whether this is a good idea is another matter but the Administration is doing nothing and worse than nothing,

The FBI was useless. Its tasks were alternately to extract information and to comfort the family. It never shared intelligence. One European hostage, who was incarcerated with the Americans and subsequently released, told me he was shocked that the FBI seemed more interested in gathering evidence to prosecute the hostage-takers than it was in locating the Americans. Our lead agent misled me on several occasions,

Fernandez’ advice is simple.

That Someone’s busy with transfat, transgender and alternative marriage issues. He can’t bother with protecting borders. Just leave your number and the time you called, and he’ll get back to you. The state has finally achieved both universal jurisdiction and total impotence at one and the same moment.

What is to be done? The first task is to start gathering a circle of friends who live within walking distance of your home. Four people — a handyman, a nurse or doctor, an ex-cop or soldier and a strongback for preference — will do. Your second task is to support the causes you care about. Volunteer at your church or club. If you have no club, start one. Donate to your favorite website. If you don’t have a favorite, find one or go online yourself. Buy the book of an author you admire. And switch off the damned telescreen.

I am not into conspiracy theories. I don’t think Obama wants to take our guns away to leave us helpless in the face of terrorists. On the other hand, what would he doing differently if that was what he wanted ?

Iran is over-reaching ? Is Assad about to fall ?

Monday, May 25th, 2015

map1

I have previously postulated that Iran my be getting too stretched.

The Saudis are also in trouble.

Is this good or bad for our interests ?

One might argue that president Obama really played a deep game from his first day in office, perhaps intending all along to single-handedly destroy the Islamic world by withdrawing from the region. But the refutation for this hypothesis surely lies in his single-minded determination to let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon. What sense does it make to trap Iran in a corner then give them a bomb? Especially since the Saudis have made noises about buying their own nuke in turn?

More probably there was no deep calculation behind the events unleashed by administration. They simply blundered into the position they find themselves in now. As Daniel Halper notes, president Obama formally greeted the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia by the wrong name, getting the names of his ancestors wrong too. Hillary couldn’t even remember the name of the US ambassador on the night of the attack on the Benghazi consulate.

Incompetence, rather than deep genius, may be more important in history than we would like to admit.

Obama is a community organizer with all the talent that implies. What is going to happen now?

A more vivid description of BOP (Balance of Power) was provided by Michael Scheuer, former CIA head of the Bin Laden team in an interview with Britain’s Channel 4.

I think we should back away from the whole thing. The thing was ideal when IS was advancing on Baghdad because Sunnis were killing Shias. That’s exactly what we need. We’ve proven that we’re just militarily incompetent or that the military is so shackled by its political leaders, that it can’t defeat these people. But our best hope right now is to get the Sunnis and Shias fighting each other and let them bleed each other white. …

Mr Cameron and Mr Obama and most Western leaders seem to love the idea of us being bled to death by them, rather than the other way round. And we have the problems that have been created by multiculturalism and diversity in our own countries, in Europe more severely than ours but it’s coming our way too.

This is reminiscent of the Iran-Iraq War when Henry Kissinger famously said, “It is too bad both can’t lose.”

Of course, that is 4,000 American lives ago.

What now ? Why in the world is Obama proposing to let the Iranians have nuclear weapons ?

If Assad falls, China and Russia “lose” along with Iran.

The Russians and Chinese clearly understood that if this [Iranian expansion] had happened, the United States would have had an intense interest in undermining the Iranian sphere of influence — and would have had to devote massive resources to doing so. Russia and China benefitted greatly in the post-9/11 world, when the United States was obsessed with the Islamic world and had little interest or resources to devote to China and Russia. With the end of the Afghanistan war looming, this respite seemed likely to end. Underwriting Iranian hegemony over a region that would inevitably draw the United States’ attention was a low-cost, high-return strategy.

The Chinese primarily provided political cover, keeping the Russians from having to operate alone diplomatically. They devoted no resources to the Syrian conflict but did continue to oppose sanctions against Iran and provided trade opportunities for Iran. The Russians made a much larger commitment, providing material and political support to the al Assad regime.

But as Assad began to fold the wily Russians decided to cut their losses, leaving the Iranians holding the bag.

Again, why nuclear weapons ? And, of course, it is our fault Arabs are killing each other.

The Gay Marriage Follies.

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

gay marriage

Today, we learn that Ireland has voted to legalize gay marriage. A Catholic Church spokesman said something very intelligent.

If the measure is passed, Catholic churches will continue to decide for themselves whether to solemnise a marriage.
The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Eamon Martin, has said the church may look at whether it continues to perform the civil side of solemnisation if the change comes in.

I think this is where all this is going. The alternative is to see the Church attacked for the tax exemption, which may happen anyway. Many mainline Protestant churches are seeing membership collapse as the clergy swings far left and gets into the gay lifestyle.

There is also a very good essay at Ace of Spades today.

First, a jeweler in Canada makes rings for a lesbian wedding, then, after the lesbians find out he doesn’t approve for religious reasons, he is attacked.

Nicole White and Pam Renouf were looking for engagement rings a few months ago and eventually landed at Today’s Jewellers in Mount Pearl where the couple said they were given excellent service and great price for their rings.

“They were great to work with. They seemed to have no issues. They knew the two of us were a same-sex couple,” Ms. White told Canada’s CBC news. “I referred some of my friends to them, just because I did get good customer service and they had good prices.”

BUT…

A friend of the couple went in to the store to purchase a ring for his girlfriend and saw a poster that read “The sanctity of marriage is under attack. Let’s keep marriage between a man and a woman,” CBC reported May 16.

The friend took a photo of the poster and sent it to Ms. White, who said she had no idea about the poster until that point.

“It was really upsetting. Really sad, because we already had money down on [the rings], and they’re displaying how much they are against gays, and how they think marriage should be between a man and a woman,” Ms. White said, CBC reported.

Horrors !

They demanded their money back. After much pressure, they got it and the Jeweler paid for his beliefs. So much for “equality.”

Ace goes on…

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Muslim Lives Matter

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

black-lives-matter-1

The current trope on the left is that “Black Lives Matter.”

vietnam

The Democrats have an impressive record of genocide, beginning with the abandonment of South Vietnam. The Vietnam War was begun by Democrats, specifically John F Kennedy, who agreed to the assassination of South Vietnam leader Ngo Dinh Diem, who was killed by Vietnamese generals with Kennedy’s agreement.

Now we are faced with a somewhat similar situation in the Middle East. To quote Richard Fernandez, who I have always found reliable,

The collapse in the Middle East feels like Black April, 1975, the month South Vietnam fell. And it should, because just as the collapse of Saigon did not happen in Black April, but in a political American decision to allow South Vietnam to fall after a “decent interval”, so also is the ongoing collapse rooted, not in the recent tactical mistakes of the White House, but in the grand strategic decision president Obama made when he assumed office.

We are about to witness the total collapse of any American influence in the Middle East.

The reason the press has been trying to corner interviewees into “admitting” that George Bush made an error in toppling Saddam Hussein is the need to reassure themselves that catastrophe in the Middle East isn’t really their fault. The constant need to be told it’s not their doing is a form of denial. The more certain they are of their blunder the more they will need to tell themselves that the sounds they hear aren’t the footfalls of doom.

Because the alternative is to admit the truth and accept that to reverse the tide, 20th century Western liberalism has to die or radically reform itself. None of the people who have built political and establishment media credentials want to hear that, but all the same …

We are on the verge of a massive human catastrophe, one that the world has not seen since the fall of the Soviet Union or, in terms of percentage, since the fall of Rome.

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Moderate Islam shows its hand.

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

This is a college group. Listen to the speaker and ask yourself, “Is this the population we want to increase in this country ?”

Then, of course, we have the professors who defend poor misunderstood Muslims.

Bruce Lawrence is emeritus professor of Islamic studies at Duke University. In 2013 he was reported as saying that Islam “has no connection with terrorism and the propaganda of the forces which are trying to link Islam with terrorism is baseless.” In 2005, he said that Osama bin Laden sounded “like somebody who would be a very high-minded and welcome voice in global politics.”

There you have it ! Who do you believe ? Professor Lawrence or your lying eyes ?

Is Iran entering a Vietnam-style Quagmire ?

Monday, April 27th, 2015

I have previously expressed concerns that Saudi Arabia was in a fight for its life.

The question is whether the Saudis will fall to their own Shiite population and whether the capture of Aden will allow Iran to block Saudi oil shipments.

“Once hailed by President Barack Obama as a model for fighting extremism, the U.S. counterterrorism strategy in Yemen has all but collapsed as the country descends into chaos, according to U.S. and Yemeni officials.”

Now, the Saudis take this war very seriously.

As for Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom is waging the first war in its history. Yet with its small, weak and inexperienced army, it cannot commit ground troops to fight both the Shiite Houthis or the Sunni Jihadists, and is relying mainly on its air power that has, thus far, caused the death of many innocent civilians.

It also is blockading ports to prevent Iranian resupply of Yemeni clients.

The Saudi-led coalition that’s fighting against Shiite rebels in Yemen said it completed a blockade of the country’s ports and is ready to step up airstrikes.
Bombing missions are seeking to stop the Shiite Houthis from moving forces between Yemen’s cities, Ahmed Asseri, a Saudi military officer, told reporters in Riyadh on Monday. Coalition aircraft and warships targeted the rebels as they advanced toward Aden, the southern port that’s the last stronghold of Saudi Arabia’s ally in Yemen, President Abdurabuh Mansur Hadi. Shipping routes to and from the ports are under the coalition’s control, Asseri said.

The Egyptians are planning to help in Yemen. Even though Nasser’s campaign in Yeman was a disaster, that was in 1962 and run by Nasser, an incompetent.

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