Remember kids, when you say someone is “hard-working,” you’re a racist

October 27, 2015

Liberal tolerance racist

For progressive racialists like MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, everything is seen through the lens of victimization and race, while every descriptor is really a code-word for racism.

In today’s example, Harris-Perry was interviewing Latino conservative activist Alfonso Aguilar about Rep. Paul Ryan, who will likely soon be Speaker of the House. When Aguilar described Ryan as “hard-working” (which anyone who’s followed Ryan knows is true), she interrupted him to ramble on about how this was somehow possibly unfair to slaves and working mothers:

Harris-Perry cut in to tell Aguilar that the use of the term “hard worker” was problematic since she had a picture of slaves working in cotton fields on her office wall to remind her of when to really use that term. Her rambling response also included an attack on Republicans for demonizing working mothers.

“I just want to pause on one thing,” she said. “Because I don’t disagree with you that I actually think Mr. Ryan is a great choice for this role, but I want us to be super careful when we use the language ‘hard worker,’ because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like. So, I feel you that he’s a hard worker. I do.

“But in the context of relative privilege, and I just want to point out that when you talk about work-life balance and being a hard worker, the moms who don’t have health care who are working. But, we don’t call them hard workers. We call them failures. We call them people who are sucking off the system.”

She then went on, over Aguilar’s protests, to slag all Republicans as being the demons she was conjuring in her imagination.

This from a woman who once wore tampons as earrings on national television:

Melissa Harris-Perry tampon earrings

Yep. I’m going to take her seriously. You betcha. Gravitas, man.

More seriously, Harris-Perry, far from being an intellectual, is herself intellectually trapped within the racialist framework the Left has built over the last 60 years. She can’t conceive of any other way of seeing the world other than through a lens of victimization and structural racism, so she employs a common weapon of the Left to browbeat and dominate her guest: deconstruction. Aguilar’s words don’t have their common meaning and they don’t mean what he intended they mean: Harris-Perry will instead tell him what they “really mean” –or at least mean to her, relativism making all opinions equal, no matter how asinine– thus implying that he and his fellow Republicans are racists, however unconsciously. Most targets of this, including, I admit, your humble host, will likely be taken aback by such an unfair imputation and stumble through lame denials, instead of cogently counterattacking. Thus the Left time and again wins the cultural battle.

At least in this aspect, they really are hard-working.


(Video) Was slavery the cause of the Civil War?

August 10, 2015

civil war blue grey

That’s always an intriguing question for those interested in the US Civil War and US History in general: why did such a promising young nation tear itself apart in a conflict that cost perhaps more than 800,000 lives? (1) Aside from slavery, proffered explanations include economic and other regional differences between North and South; discriminatory tariffs (from the Southern point of view) and unfair internal improvements; and federal violations of the Constitution against “states’ rights.”

But, to this armchair historian, these and other reasons never felt sufficient to justify the turmoil of the late 1850s and the carnage of 1861-1865. For me, at least, it always comes back to slavery, that “peculiar institution” about which northerners and southerners held increasingly mutually exclusive opinions.

In the video below from Prager University, Colonel Ty Seidule, head of the Department of History at West Point, makes the argument that the war was about slavery, period:

And I agree with him. Col. Seidule refers a couple of times to the secession declarations of the southern states, asserting that each one (2) wrapped its arguments around the core of preserving slavery. And historian William C. Davis in his history of the Confederacy, “Look Away,” marshals strong evidence that the Confederate constitutional convention, held at Montgomery, Alabama, focused on the need to preserve and expand slavery. Finally, there’s this from the famous “Cornerstone Speech” of CSA Vice President Alexander Stephens:

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

Seems pretty clear, no?

Davis and many, many others saw slavery as an existential sine qua non for the new nation. If the United States was conceived in liberty and was unimaginable without it, the Confederate States and Southern society were founded on the bedrock of human bondage — and were equally inconceivable without it. With their very reason for existence threatened, secession and civil war became almost inevitable. Without slavery, there would likely have been no Republican Party committed to abolition, nor any reason to secede on the election of Lincoln.

Anyway, this isn’t meant to bash modern Southerners, and I recognize the sore spot created by the anti-Southern bigotry that grew rife after the massacre in Charleston and the nonsense over the CSA flag. It annoyed me, too.

But I think honesty and a sober assessment of the historical evidence requires a recognition of the truth.

Slavery was at the root of the Civil War.

PS: Sorry there were no posts the last few days. It turned into a busy, busy Friday and weekend.

Footnotes:
(1) Consensus estimates of total casualties hover around 600,000, but recent research indicates the toll of dead and wounded may well have been much higher.
(2) Unless I misheard him, the Colonel is wrong in this assertion. Several of the secession declarations make no mention of slavery — Florida’s, for example. But many do at length, and I think this shows the importance of slavery to the new nation overall.


ISIS: “‘I rejoiced when we had our first sex slave, forced sex ISN’T rape and they should be thankful”

May 22, 2015
Don't these women look happy?

Don’t these women look happy?

(Graphic via Raymond Ibrahim)

I’m at a loss of words to describe the twisted evil that is ISIS. All I can say is “kill them all.”

ISIS has released a chilling document in which it justifies the kidnapping and rape of slave girls – and brands Michelle Obama a prostitute whose ‘price won’t even exceed a third of a dinar’.

These shocking admissions are made by a jihadi bride in the ninth edition of its propaganda magazine Dabiq, in a feature entitled: ‘Slave girls or prostitutes.’

For years Islamic State has been enslaving and sexually abusing the women it captures – particularly from Iraq’s minority Yazidi community – and sending the ‘prettiest virgins’ to depraved auctions, a United Nations envoy claimed this week.

ISIS has not only confirmed this to be true, but the terror group justifies the cruel sex crimes as Sunnah, which roughly translates as ‘a way of life’.

A counter-terrorism expert told MailOnline that this was another example of how ISIS is twisting the holy text to recruit young male fighters – who often can’t get wives in their own countries – by telling them their spoils of war will be women.

That last is simply not true: sexual slavery of infidel women (and the Yazidi women count as infidels) is justified in both the Qur’an and the hadiths (the sayings and deeds of Muhammad). Robert Spencer provides several examples. Here’s one:

The seizure of Infidel girls and their use as sex slaves is sanctioned in the Qur’an. According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (33:50). 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general. The Qur’an says that a man may have sex with his wives and with these slave girls: “The believers must (eventually) win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess, for (in their case) they are free from blame.” (Qur’an 23:1-6)

Be sure to read the rest.

Meanwhile, let me pull from my shelf the “Reliance of the Traveler,” a manual of Islamic law certified by al-Azhar university, one of the chief intellectual authorities of Sunni Islam. Section o9-13 (p.604):

“When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.”

In other words, she is war booty — possessed “by the right hand” (the sword hand)– and is her captor’s to use as he wishes, including sexually. This is from a sharia law manual certified as in accord with Sunni practice and faith in 1991. The unnamed expert may know what  he’s talking about when it comes to counter-terrorism, but he’s ignorant or fooling himself when it comes to Islamic law.

Back to the joy infidel women should feel when subjected to rape — pardon me, “forced sex” — by Muslim men, the woman (sic!) who wrote the Dabiq article goes on:

The hate-filled rant is penned by a suspected jihadi bride named Umm Sumayyah Al-Muhajirah, who called for her ‘sisters’ to emigrate to Syria and become wives to Islamic State extremists in the previous edition of Dabiq.

(…)

And she openly admits that ISIS has plundered villages and kidnapped women, saying: ‘As for the slave-girl that was taken by the swords of men following the cheerful warrior then her enslavement is in opposition to human rights and copulation with her is rape?!

‘What is wrong with you? How do you make such a judgment? What is your religion? What is your law? Rather, tell me who is your lord?’

‘Allah has opened the lands for His awliya [supporter], so they entered and dispersed within the lands, killing the fighters of the kuffar [non-believer], capturing their women, and enslaving their children.’

She angrily adds: ‘I write this while the letters drip of pride… We have indeed raided and captured the kafirah women, and drove them like sheep by the edge of the sword.’

Sumayyah Al-Muhajirah expresses deep disappointment to Islamic State fanatics who refuted the mass kidnappings of Yazidi girls, saying: ‘So the supporters started denying the matter as if the soldiers of the Khilafah [Caliphate] had committed a mistake or evil.’

Emphasis added. She’s partially right. The jihadis of ISIS aren’t misunderstanding Islam, they are not insane, but they are evil. These brave knights of Allah are instead operating under a wholly different paradigm from the post-Enlightenment West, a paradigm under which what they are doing is right and is justified by their holy texts, no “twisting” needed. ISIS is practicing Islam and jihad as Muhammad intended.

I said last night on Twitter that there are some evils in the world that must be fought for their evil, regardless of geopolitics or national interests. This new “Caliphate” is just such an evil.

ISIS needs to be destroyed.

via Jihad Watch

UPDATE: Dear God. Those monsters burned a woman alive because she wouldn’t perform “an extreme sex act.” (h/t Amy Otto)

RELATED: If you want to enjoy (?) a bitter laugh, compare the above to the feminist pearl-clutching about the so-called “rape culture” in the US that my blog-buddy Sister Toldjah rants about in one of her latest posts.


Bookshelf update: Anne Applebaum’s “Gulag”

January 22, 2015

Renaissance scholar astrologer

I’ve updated the “What I’m reading” widget to the right to reflect the latest item on the Public Secrets lectern, Anne Applebaum’s “Gulag: A History.”

 

book cover applebaum gulag

I’ve only just started it, so I can’t comment on my impressions of the writing or the quality of the Kindle formatting, but the topic is compelling: a complete history of the Soviet prison camp and slave labor system from its foundation under Lenin to its final dissolution in the 1980s. Like reading a book on the Holocaust, I suspect this is the kind of history that will have me hating humanity by its end. Gulag is available in both Kindle and softcover formats.

PS: Why, yes. This is a shameless bit of shilling on my part. I like getting the occasional gift certificate that comes from people buying stuff via my link. Wouldn’t you?


John Brown: freedom fighter or rebel?

October 16, 2014

506px-John_brown_abo

Today is the 155th anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. Brown, a fanatical abolitionist, seized the Federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, in the hope of fomenting a slave insurrection. The Marines – lead, ironically, by Army Colonel Robert E. Lee – suppressed the rebellion after three days. Brown and several of his surviving comrades were swiftly tried and hanged. Interestingly, the crime for which Brown was executed was not treason against the United States, but treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia. I wonder how many states still have treason statutes?

I’ve always had mixed feelings about John Brown. On the one hand, he was a fanatic, a rebel against the United States, and an insurrectionist who hoped to spark a slave revolt that surely would have cost thousands of innocent lives. On the other hand, the evil that lead him to his rebellion, the abomination against which he held a fanatical hatred, was slavery. While I can’t approve the means, I can surely sympathize with the motives. Those mixed feelings were felt much more intensely in the 1850s, and John Brown’s raid was the first flaring of the fire that would break out in civil war just two years later.

(Note: this is a republication of a post from 2009 that I thought worth sharing again.)


#Obamacare: VA Democrat calls for making physicians serfs of the State

November 3, 2013
"A Democrat directs his serfs"

“A Democrat directs his serfs”

What was it I was saying yesterday about ownership of one’s own time and labor being essential to a free man or woman? Oh, yeah:

Nothing you pay money for is an inherent, natural right. To declare health care a “right” everyone is entitled to, you have to take from someone else, if need be by force, their property, whether it is their time and labor, or the products they produce. Force them to sell something for less than what it is worth or to provide it “free,” and you are effectively stealing from them, even enslaving them. For the government to demand that taxpayers pay far more than they need to for insurance in order to subsidize your medical procedures is no different than a medieval lord taking a farmer’s grain crop and giving it to his favorites.

And as if to illustrate that last point, along comes Virginia House of Delegates candidate Kathleen Murphy, a Democrat, who advocates making it a law that physicians must accept Medicare and Medicaid patients:

FYI last night at the Great Falls Grange debate, Democrat delegate candidate Kathleen Murphy said that since many doctors are not accepting medicaid and medicare patients, she advocates making it a legal requirement for those people to be accepted.

She did not recognize that the payments are inadequate to cover the doctors’ costs. She also did not recognize there is a shortage of over 45,000 physicians now and that it is forecast to be 90,000 in a few years.

Democrats appear to want to make physicians slaves of the state, but Democrats don’t admit they would just drive more doctors out of practice into retirement and other occupations. The Obamacare law and regulations are causing millions of people to lose their health insurance, drop many doctors and hospitals. The HHS internal forecast is 93 million Americans would lose their health insurance due to the Obamacare law and rules about adequacy of insurance.

It’s like the old joke in which the patient complains to the doctor that “it hurts whenever I do this,” and the doctor replies “then stop doing that!”

Progressives have created a deadly problem through government interference in the economy: their “Affordable Care Act” requires millions of individuals to buy policies and pay inflated prices for coverage they don’t need, in order to cover the costs of, among others, Medicare and Medicaid patients. But, as has been mentioned in several places, far more Medicaid “takers” are signing up than relatively well-off “payers,” threatening the viability of Obamacare, itself.

Compounding this is the doctor shortage “Mason Conservative’s” correspondent mentioned above: not just from doctors leaving the field rather than deal with Obamacare, but fewer and fewer accepting Medicare and Medicaid patients. Already reimbursed at an artificially low rate by the government for their services, many are refusing to take on more such patients –or any at all– as Obamacare signs up thousands more.

A rational person would look at the problem and recognize its causes: top-down government intervention in the healthcare market. That same rational person would then realize that the “hair of the dog” is not the solution; that, in fact, ending the disruptive government intervention is what’s called for.

But, we’re not dealing with rational people. We’re dealing with progressive Democrats, convinced against all evidence that an economy and society managed by technocratic government “experts” is best, let alone possible. It’s their central delusion and it is absolutely crucial to their political belief system.

Hence Ms. Murphy’s suggestion that doctors become servants of the State. It isn’t possible that government created this problem, it’s just some recalcitrant doctors. Or, if government did create a problem, it’s only a “glitch,” to be fixed by more, you guessed it, government intervention, even if that means taking by force of law the time and labor (the property!) of the doctors.

After all, it’s for the public good, and only government knows what’s truly good for the public.

PS: Though it is kind of fitting for the party that defended slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation, no?

RELATED: Legal Insurrection calls it the “revolt of the kulaks.”

UPDATE 12/02/2013: My blog-buddy Sister Toldjah posted an article today with more on Medicaid, Obamacare, and the doctor shortage.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Global warming skeptics support slavery

October 28, 2010

Don’t take my word for it; ask the guy with the PhD. According to Dr. Andrew Hoffman of the University of Michigan, those of us who don’t support the (increasingly shot full of holes) theory of anthropogenic global warming are the moral equivalent of those who defended slavery:

The American public is still mired in doubt about the science and the economics of climate change, he said, but is ready for the kind of social shift that eventually brought success to the abolition movement of the 18th and 19th centuries.

“Just as few people saw a moral problem with slavery in the 18th century, few people in the 21st century see a moral problem with the burning of fossil fuels,” Professor Hoffman said. “Will people in 100 years look at us with the same incomprehension we feel toward 18th-century defenders of slavery?”

So, let’s see. In recent years, those of us who are skeptical of climate change as anything other than a poorly understood series of natural cycles have been called “deniers,” a deliberate comparison to Holocaust denial; we’ve been labeled traitors to the planet; and it’s been suggested we be put on trial. I’m sure I’m forgetting something. Regardless, having resorted all these smear cards, why not deal the “slavery card,” too? It’s an easy way to delegitimize the skeptics, make one feel all warm and superior inside, and keeps Green Statists from having to deal with the actual science.

I could go on a real rant here, but The Washington Examiner’s Mark Hemingway beat me to it. I’ll give him the final word on our Enlightened Moral Superior:

I don’t know what’s more offensive, the idea that skepticism of global warming is a moral injustice on par with slavery, or the fact that those people pushing global warming think of themselves in such incredibly self-righteous terms where they’re the ones saving humanity from itself. If Environmentalists wonder why their credibility is shot, perhaps they should stop with the doomsday propaganda and come up with a better solution to the global warming problem than making my monthly utility bills cost more than the gross national product of Burkina Faso.

My only disagreement is that there is no global warming problem at all. Other than that, spot on.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Sowell: slavery, distorted history, and filtered facts

April 27, 2010

At Real Clear Politics, a curious incident leads Thomas Sowell to think about how the history of slavery is taught, and how its one-sided presentation leads to the wrong lessons:

Just as Europeans enslaved Africans, North Africans enslaved Europeans– more Europeans than there were Africans enslaved in the United States and in the 13 colonies from which it was formed.

The treatment of white galley slaves was even worse than the treatment of black slaves picking cotton. But there are no movies or television dramas about it comparable to “Roots,” and our schools and colleges don’t pound it into the heads of students.

The inhumanity of human beings toward other human beings is not a new story, much less a local story. There is no need to hide it, because there are lessons we can learn from it. But there is also no need to distort it, so that sins of the whole human species around the world are presented as special defects of “our society” or the sins of a particular race.

If American society and Western civilization are different from other societies and civilization, it is that they eventually turned against slavery, and stamped it out, at a time when non-Western societies around the world were still maintaining slavery and resisting Western pressures to end slavery, including in some cases armed resistance.

Only the fact that the West had more firepower than others put an end to slavery in many non-Western societies during the age of Western imperialism. Yet today there are Americans who have gone to Africa to apologize for slavery– on a continent where slavery has still not been completely ended, to this very moment.

Sowell argues that those teaching only one aspect of the story of slavery, how America enslaved Africans, for example, are doing so because they have an agenda: the derogation and slighting of the civilization in which they live. They also miss the real story, that of the dangers inherent in letting one group of people have unconstrained power over another.

And thus they do their students no favors.


Political gum on the governor’s shoe

April 7, 2010

Power Line reports on Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s proclamation in commemoration of Confederate soldiers and the political problems it’s caused him. Issuing such a declaration isn’t something I would have done; good men can fight for bad causes, but I doubt they should be honored for it. That is a matter open to argument, however, and it isn’t the real problem here. What may well land McDonnell in genuine hot water is his failure to include the usual denunciation of slavery:

So far, so good. McDonnell’s two Democratic predecessors refused to issue this proclamation, first given by George Allen when he was governor. But those who fought for the South were mostly honorable (and in many cases even heroic) men, even though they were on the wrong side. They deserve a proclamation.

Unfortunately, McDonnell decided to remove anti-slavery language from the proclamation. George Allen’s original proclamation did not contain such language, but Gov. Jim Gilmore added it. McDonnell explained its omission from his proclamation this way:


  • “There were any number of aspects to that conflict between the states. Obviously, it involved slavery. It involved other issues. But I focused on the ones I thought were most significant for Virginia.”


This attempt to give Virginia a pass on the issue of slavery is historically untenable and, I must add, rather offfensive. It also seems like bad politics.

To put it mildly. The last thing the Republican Party needs as it tries to work its way back to respectability is to minimize the role of slavery and its aftereffects in American History. Does McDonnell really want to feed the historic  lie that the Democratic Party is the only party for Black voters? And what kind of spot does this put Black conservatives in?

I’m not saying McDonnell defends slavery, the Confederacy’s rebellion to preserve slavery, or that he himself is a racist. Not at all, nor in any way by implication. But to downgrade what was the core conflict behind all other conflicts in that war and the political disputes that lead to it is to show a sad ignorance of American History and a consequent bumbling insensitivity toward a significant part of the population.

Let me put it this way: the Confederacy was founded to preserve and expand slavery; all other reasons, including “states’ rights” (what we now call “federalism”), were secondary to that and served as shields in the fight to protect slavery. In using those shields, the Confederacy did everlasting harm to the cause of limited government and federalism by giving statists and progressives a brush with which to paint limited government advocates as closet racists. (Witness the smearing of tea-party supporters and ObamaCare foes that been going on for just the last year. And that’s just one, sad example.)

Yet those ideas have gained renewed respectability and popularity in recent decades, especially since the progressive statists came to power with Obama’s election and started to act like hyperactive children on a sugar high. More and more people are taking to the idea that limited, federalist government, kept as local to the people as practicable, best empowers individuals and preserves their liberty. Rising stars with national exposure like Governor McDonnell should keep that in mind and be careful of what they say, lest they reinvigorate the statists.

LINKS: More at Hot Air and Sister Toldjah.

UPDATE: Governor McDonnell did the right thing later today, amending his proclamation and apologizing.


Religion of Misogyny watch

March 26, 2010

Remember kids, a real Muslim man beats his wife. “Break her head,” Egyptian Cleric Mazen Al-Sarsawi advises us. If a man is soft on his wife and daughters, it must be… SATAN!!

I kid you not:

Here’s the transcript.

Part of me hopes this guy eventually sees the light. The other part hopes he finds himself alone with a group of women, all armed with crowbars.

(via The Jawa Report)


Is Harry Reid a louse or just stupid?

December 8, 2009

I suppose both could be true, given the pettiness and ignorance needed to describe opponents of nationalized medicine as the equivalent of those who opposed civil rights or defended slavery:

Reid Compares Opponents of Health Care Reform to Supporters of Slavery

Reid argued that Republicans are using the same stalling tactics employed in the pre-Civil War era.

“Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, ‘slow down, stop everything, let’s start over.’ If you think you’ve heard these same excuses before, you’re right,” Reid said Monday. “When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said ‘slow down, it’s too early, things aren’t bad enough.'”

He continued: “When women spoke up for the right to speak up, they wanted to vote, some insisted they simply, slow down, there will be a better day to do that, today isn’t quite right.

“When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today.”

That seemed to be a reference to Thurmond’s famous 1957 filibuster — the late senator switched parties several years later.

And if you need to see it to believe it, here’s the video:

Harry needs more than a few lessons in History. For  starters, when Thurmond filibustered the 1957 Civil Rights Act, he was a Democrat. The act itself was proposed by President Eisenhower, a Republican.

But, let’s not stop there. The Democrats have a long and dirty history with civil rights that’s largely been swept under the carpet. Prior to the Civil War, it was the Democrats who defended the institution of slavery and pushed for its expansion. They were so closely tied to slavery that they had effectively married the issue and become almost a Southern regional party. After the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan and other White supremacist groups that attacked Black and other Republican citizens and office-holders was founded by Democrats and, after Reconstruction ended, functioned as the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party to enforce an apartheid regime in the Jim Crow South.

And that’s not all. Democrats fought against all federal anti-lynching legislation for 90 years until 1964. It was a Democratic “progressive” President, Woodrow Wilson, who introduced segregation to the Federal government.  FDR’s New Deal labor policies sent Black unemployment skyrocketing. And it was a Democratic senator, the honorable Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Oh, and he had been a recruiter for the Klan, too.

This is nowhere near the whole story of the Democrats, slavery, and race relations. Bruce Bartlett’s Wrong on Race is a well-written, heavily documented summary. I recommend it for a good eye-opening.

Really, though, Reid’s odious dismissals of legitimate political opposition are only the latest in a long line of attempts by Democrat leaders in recent years to defeat their opponents through smears and waving the bloody shirt, not through the strength of their policy arguments. The late Senator Kennedy infamously slandered Judge Robert Bork from the floor of the Senate upon learning of Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Judge Clarence Thomas was accused of being a base sexual harasser during his SCOTUS confirmation hearings. Senators Kennedy and Durbin compared American troops to Nazis and followers of Saddam Hussein during the abu Ghraib scandal, way out of proportion to what really happened. And this last summer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi compared American citizens exercising their legitimate rights to protest ObamaCare to Nazis.

And now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Republicans (and some fence-sitting Democrats?) who are representing their constituents -exercising legitimate opposition to nationalized health care and making use of all the parliamentary tools available to senators- are comparable to defenders of slavery and the oppression of women.

It just goes to show how bankrupt their arguments are. They can’t win on the merits of cost, economics, or politics – the facts are all against them, as are a majority of the American people. So, instead they hurl rhetorical bombs and hope that cows moderates and conservatives into submission.

How pathetic.

Regarding the question in the subject line, I still haven’t decided if it’s either-or or both, but it looks like Nevadans have realized they’re being represented by a schmuck: polls have the Majority Leader well behind both likely Republican opponents.

Good. Maybe they’ll finally rid the Senate of that smell.

LINKS: More from Legal Insurrection, Hot Air, and Big Government.

UPDATEReid doubles-down on his stupidity. (via Matt Lewis)


Tuesday links fiesta!

October 27, 2009

Today’s a busy day, but I wanted to leave you some links to chew over. Just remember to chew thoroughly before swallowing…  Clown

The Jihadi War

Our enemies assert the absolute moral and spiritual superiority of Islam over the decadent Christianity, Judaism, and the West itself. But did you know that Islam has a 1,300 years-long history of taking and trading in slaves? Jihad Watch has posted a series of videos detailing the Arab Islamic trade in African slaves. (Here are links to part two, part three, part four, and part five.) I don’t know the background of the author or authors, but the videos are interesting. By the way, slavery continues to the present day in Islamic lands.

Here in Los Angeles, an Iranian Muslim woman who converted to Christianity has won her request for asylum, but doesn’t know it because she is on the run from Muslims who would kill her for the crime of leaving Islam – apostasy.

The brave, brave jihadis of al Qaeda have struck again, this time murdering over 160 Iraqis in their quest to restore the Caliphate and return the world to the seventh century.

More information on the officially unexplained FBI raid on a Muslim slaughterhouse in Illinois. Just why did the Bureau need over 100 armed agents, plus snipers and helicopters?

Finally, Ed Morrissey awards the Captain Louis Renault “Shocked, shocked!” award to Western leaders surprised to realize that Iran has been playing them for suckers.

Global Warming

I’ve mentioned several times before the interesting theory of Henrik Svensmark, the Danish scientist who argues that clouds are a regulator of the Earth’s temperature and that cloud formation -and thus the heating and cooling of the planet- is governed in large part by the ability of cosmic rays to reach the Earth. Now Svensmark has published a paper (PDF) that he claims validates his thesis. (via Heliogenic Climate Change)

A warming climate may actually stimulate the growth of the Pacific rain forests.

More Svensmark: the growth of trees may be linked to cosmic rays.

The humble midge provides more evidence of the Medieval Warm Period, when the world was likely warmer than it is now, all without those nasssty greenhouse gases.

Government policies meant to respond to a crisis that doesn’t exist may drive one-in-four Britons into poverty.

Meteorologist Roy Spencer argues that the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory has all the characteristics of urban legend.

Finally, do you really want to save the planet? Then stop eating meat, you selfish carnivore. Just don’t ask the prime proponent to do the same…. (For the record, they’ll take my steak the day they pry it from my cold dead hands.)

Politics

Maybe she’s learning from President Obama? Argentina’s President Kirchner has launched her own war against a free press.

William Jacobson sounds the alarm about the most monumental power-grab you’ve never heard about.  At the risk of repeating myself, there’s a certain book you should read.

Sarah Palin reviews the East Coast political races and reminds us why they’re important. And you might want to have a look at her forthcoming book.

Sister Toldjah rubs her eyes in disbelief as the Associated Press fact-checks the progressives’ smear of the insurance companies.

Power Line looks at the debate over nuclear power and decries reactionary American liberalism.

And, to end it all, California’s Democratic treasurer calls out the Democrat-dominated state legislature for being too far in the pockets of the unions to govern the state effectively. As Ed writes, if the state GOP doesn’t have this clip in a commercial soon, they’re more incompetent than ever suspected.

That’s it for today! Be good, and I’ll see you tomorrow.  Big Grin


Religion of misogyny

October 23, 2009

From YouTube user STOPShariaLAWnow, a video that explores the myths and realities of Islam’s treatment of women:

(via The Jawa Report)


Freedom fighter or rebel?

October 16, 2009

506px-John_brown_abo

Today is the 150th anniversary of John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry. Brown, a fanatical abolitionist, seized the Federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, in the hope of fomenting a slave insurrection. The Marines – lead, ironically, by Army Colonel Robert E. Lee – suppressed the rebellion after three days. Brown and several of his surviving comrades were swiftly tried and hanged. Interestingly, the crime for which Brown was executed was not treason against the United States, but treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia. I wonder how many states still have treason statutes?

I’ve always had mixed feelings about John Brown. On the one hand, he was a fanatic, a rebel against the United States, and an insurrectionist who hoped to spark a slave revolt that surely would have cost thousands of innocent lives. On the other hand, the evil that lead him to his rebellion, the abomination against which he held a fanatical hatred, was slavery. While I can’t approve the means, I can surely sympathize with the motives. Those mixed feelings were felt much more intensely in the 1850s, and John Brown’s raid was the first flaring of the fire that would break out in civil war just two years later.


Religion of misogyny watch

December 26, 2008

Allah forbid that women should be educated. After all, that would be against sharia law! Good thing the mujahideen of Pakistan are willing to kill little girls to prevent that from happening.

I guess that makes the holy warriors of Afghanistan moderates for merely throwing acid in the faces of girls who want to learn to read.

Granted, these are extreme examples, but they highlight the miserable state* of women under Islam. Why any sane non-Muslim woman would want to convert is beyond me.

*(See item nine.)

(hat tip: Infidels are cool)

 


An amazing story

June 16, 2008

Fifty-five years after being kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam and made to raise her captor’s children, Hannah Menashe will be reunited with her family in Israel:

Fifty-five years after she was abducted from her family’s home in Baghdad by her Muslim neighbor and forced to renounce her Judaism, Hannah Menashe managed to flee Iraq and find her way to one of Israel’s European embassies. Her long, exhausting journey is finally coming to an end these days, as she will soon be reunited with he family in Israel, who thought her murdered all these years.

Hannah’s fascinating story begins in the 1950s, when her Baghdad-native family – parents and seven siblings – decided to immigrate to Israel. Hannah, already married to a Jewish Iraqi, was also planning to make aliyah, when fate struck: A Muslim neighbor, who was aware of the family’s plans to immigrate, kidnapped the striking Hannah to keep her by his side. Her siblings only have a vague recollection of that horrible day. They went looking for Hannah, they say, but the earth had swallowed her.

Decades passed, the siblings made aliyah and the family expanded, all the while keeping their bitter secret to themselves. Shortly after arriving in Israel, Hannah’s mother died at 37, her heart broken by losing her child.

Six months ago, out of the blue, the family received a surprising phone call. The woman on the other side of the line was Ravit Topol from the Ministry of Interior, with an extraordinary story she was looking to verify.

It turns out Hannah had been forced to become a Muslim and had raised her neighbor’s children for 50 years. No one in the Baghdad neighborhood knew about her secret or her Jewish roots, and she was afraid her husband would kill her if she tried to contact her siblings.

When her husband died a year ago, the now 76-year-old Hannah escaped Baghdad under the guise of being a war refugee. She was able to reach Europe through an Arab country and decided to locate an Israeli embassy.

“I am Jewish, I want to go to Israel,” she said in fluent Arabic and with great excitement.

Read the whole thing: it’s truly moving. Fortunately, one of her brothers still lives, and so Hannah will have the chance to be reunited with someone who remembers. One can only guess at the conversations they’ll have and the questions that will be asked. And I also wonder what her adjustment to freedom will be like after living most of her life as a slave.

As for her "husband," well, I hope he found himself in a very warm place.

Welcome home, Hannah.

(hat tip: Contentions)

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Burmese junta hits bottom, digs.

October 31, 2007

This is so low and so vile, part of me desperately wants to believe it’s a hoax. But I bet it isn’t: Brokers Supply Child Soldiers to Burma.

Burma’s military government has been forcibly recruiting child soldiers through brokers who buy and sell boys to help the army deal with personnel shortages, which have been exacerbated by desertions and public aversion to its brutality, Human Rights Watch concludes in a detailed report being released today.

Private militias and ethnic insurgent groups in Burma have also been using child soldiers, though in far smaller numbers, according to the New York-based group’s 135-page study, based on an investigation in Burma, China and Thailand.

"The brutality of Burma’s military government goes beyond its violent crackdown on peaceful protesters," said Jo Becker, children’s rights advocate for Human Rights Watch. "Military recruiters are literally buying and selling children to fill the ranks of the Burmese armed forces."

More at Blue Crab Boulevard, which notes the UN’s all too typical reaction: a bold decision to study the issue.