VerMeer's Geographer

VerMeer's Geographer
The Geographer, by Vermeer, c. 1669

21.12.12

The Massacre of the Innocents



By MARK STEYN

Syndicated columnist

"Lullay, Thou little tiny Child
By by, lully, lullay..."
Article Tab: A man kneels in front of a makeshift memorial during a moment of silence at 9:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 21, in Newtown, Conn. The chiming of bells reverberated throughout Newtown, commemorating one week since the crackle of gunfire in a schoolhouse killed 20 children and six adults in a massacre that has shaken the community and the nation.
A man kneels in front of a makeshift memorial during a moment of silence at 9:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 21, in Newtown, Conn. The chiming of bells reverberated throughout Newtown, commemorating one week since the crackle of gunfire in a schoolhouse killed 20 children and six adults in a massacre that has shaken the community and the nation.
ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTO
The 16th-century Coventry Carol, a mother's lament for her lost son, is the only song of the season about the other children of Christmas – the first-born of Bethlehem, slaughtered on Herod's orders after the Magi brought him the not-so-glad tidings that an infant of that city would grow up to be King of the Jews. As Matthew tells it, even in a story of miraculous birth, in the midst of life is death. The Massacre of the Innocents loomed large over the Christian imagination: in Rubens' two renderings, he fills the canvas with spear-wielding killers, wailing mothers and dead babies, a snapshot, one assumes, of the vaster, bloodier body count beyond the frame. Then a century ago the Catholic Encyclopedia started digging into the numbers. The estimated population of Bethlehem at that time was around a thousand, which would put the toll of first-born sons under the age of 2 murdered by King Herod at approximately 20 – or about the same number of dead children as one school shooting on a December morning in Connecticut. "Every man a king," promised Huey Long. And, if it doesn't quite work out like that, well, every man his own Herod.
POLITICAL CARTOONS
Had my child been among the dead of Dec. 14, I don't know that I would ever again trust the contours of the world. The years go by, and you're sitting in a coffee shop with a neighbor, and out of the corner of your eye a guy walks in who looks a little goofy and is maybe muttering to himself: Is he just a harmless oddball – or the prelude to horror? The bedrock of life has been shattered, and ever after you're walking on a wobbling carpet with nothing underneath. For a parent to bury a child offends against the natural order – at least in an age that has conquered childhood mortality. For a parent to bury a child at Christmas taints the day forever, and mocks its meaning.
For those untouched by death this Christmas, someone else's bewildering, shattering turn of fate ought to occasion a little modesty and circumspection. Instead, even by its usual execrable standards, the public discourse post-Newtown has been stupid and contemptible. The Left now seizes on every atrocity as a cudgel to beat whatever happens to be the Right's current hottest brand: Tucson, Arizona, was something to do with Sarah Palin's use of metaphor and other common literary devices – or "toxic rhetoric," as Paul Krugman put it; Aurora, Colorado, was something to do with the Tea Party, according to Brian Ross of ABC News. Since the humiliations of November, the Right no longer has any hot brands, so this time round thebiens pensants have fallen back on "gun culture." Dimwit hacks bandy terms like "assault weapon," "assault rifle," "semi-automatic" and "automatic weapon" in endlessly interchangeable but ever more terrifying accumulations of high-tech state-of-the-art killing power. As the comedian Andy Borowitz tweeted, "When the 2nd Amendment was written the most lethal gun available was the musket."
Actually, the semiautomatic is a 19th century technology, first produced in 1885. That's just under half-a-century after the death of Madison, the Second Amendment's author, and rather nearer to the Founding Fathers' time than our own. And the founders were under fewer illusions about the fragility of society than Hollywood funnymen: on July 25, 1764, four Lenape Indians walked into a one-room schoolhouse in colonial Pennsylvania and killed Enoch Brown and ten of his pupils. One child survived, scalped and demented to the end of his days.
Nor am I persuaded by the Right's emphasis on pre-emptive mental-health care. It's true that, if your first reaction on hearing breaking news of this kind is to assume the perpetrator is a male dweeb in his early twenties with poor socialization skills, you're unlikely to be wrong. But, in a society with ever fewer behavioral norms, who's to say what's odd? On 9/11, the agent at the check-in desk reckoned Mohammed Atta and his chums were a bit strange but banished the thought as shameful and discriminatory. In a politically correct world, vigilance is a fool's errand. The US Airways cabin crew who got the "flying imams" bounced from a Minneapolis plane for flamboyantly, intimidatingly wacky behavior (praying loudly, fanning out to occupy all the exit rows, asking for seatbelt extenders they didn't need) wound up in sensitivity-training hell. If a lesbian thinks dragging your wife around in a head-to-toe body-bag is kinda weird, she's being "Islamophobic." If a Muslim thinks taking breast hormones and amputating your penis is a little off, he's "transphobic." These very terms make the point that, in our society, finding somebody else odd is itself a form of mental illness. In an unmoored age, what's not odd? Once upon a time, TV viewers from distant states descending on a Connecticut town to attend multiple funerals of children they don't know might have struck some of us as, at best, unseemly and, at worst, deeply creepy – a Feast of the Holy Innocents, so to speak.
OK, what about restricting it to wishing murderous ill upon someone? In her own response to the Sandy Hook slaughter, the novelist Joyce Carol Oates tweeted that hopes for gun control would be greatly advanced "if sizable numbers of NRA members become gun-victims." Who's to know when violent fantasies on social media prefigure a loner getting ready to mow down the kindergarten or just a critically acclaimed liberal novelist amusing her friends before the PEN Awards cocktail party? As it is, in American schools, mental-health referral for "oppositional defiance disorder" and the like is a bureaucratic coding racket designed to access federal gravy. Absent widely accepted cultural enforcers, any legislative reforms would quickly decay into just another capricious boondoggle.
It would not be imprudent to expect that an ever-broker America, with more divorce, fewer fathers, the abolition of almost all social restraints and a revoltingly desensitized culture, will produce more young men who fall through the cracks. But, in the face of murder as extraordinarily wicked as that of Newtown, we should know enough to pause before reaching for our usual tired tropes. So I will save my own personal theories, no doubt as ignorant and irrelevant as everybody else's, until after Christmas – except to note that the media's stampede for meaning in massacre this past week overlooks the obvious: that the central meaning of these acts is that they are without meaning. Herod and the Pennsylvania Indians murdered children in pursuit of crude political goals; the infanticidal maniac of Sandy Hook was merely conscripting grade-school extras for a hollow act of public suicide. Like most mass shootings, his was an exercise in hyper-narcissism – 19th century technology in the service of a very contemporary sensibility.
Meanwhile, the atheists have put up a new poster in Times Square: Underneath a picture of Santa, "Keep the Merry"; underneath a picture of Christ, "Dump the Myth." But in our time even Christians have dumped a lot of the myth while keeping the merry: Jesus, lambs, shepherds, yes; the slaughtered innocents of Bethlehem, kind of a downer. If the Christmas story is a myth, it's a perfectly constructed one, rooting the Savior's divinity in the miracle of His birth but unblinkered, in Matthew's account of Herod's response, about man's darker impulses:
"Then woe is me
Poor Child, for Thee
And ever mourn and may
For Thy parting
Nor say nor sing
By by, lully, lullay."

17.11.12


Why the GOP won’t challenge vote fraud

Friends and Patriots,
It’s major duct tape time ’cause you’ll need it to keep your head from exploding.
Are you ready for this?
Here we go….
There is now compelling and undeniable evidence that MAJOR vote fraud had been perpetrated in the November 2012 Election. See FOTM’s posts chronicling the extensive pervasive fraud by going to our “2012 Election” page below our FOTM masthead, and click on those post links colored neon green.
But our screaming and hollering are to no avail. No one is listening to us. Not even the Republican Party.
Here’s why….

The Republican Party made an agreement 30 years ago with the Democrat Party NOT to ensure voting integrity and NOT to pursue suspected vote fraud.

Yes. You read it correctly.
In fact, legally the GOP cannot ensure voting integrity, nor can it prevent vote fraud.
Here’s the astounding reason, which is kept from the American people.
PolitiJim writes for Gulag Bound, November 13, 2012, that during the weekly True the Vote webcast, Catherine Engelbrecht related a meeting she had withReince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), asking what the GOP would do about voter integrity.  The answer?
Nothing.  They aren’t legally able to.
This all goes back to a lawsuit 31 years ago, in 1981. The following is compiled from an account on The Judicial View, a legal website specializing in court decision research and alerts, and from “Democratic National Committee v Republican National Committee,” Case No. 09-4615.
In 1981, during the gubernatorial election in New Jersey (NJ), a lawsuit was brought against the RNC, the NJ Republican State Committee (RSC), and three individuals (John A. Kelly, Ronald Kaufman, and Alex Hurtado), accusing them of violating the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1971, 1973, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
The lawsuit was brought by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the NJ Democratic State Committee (DSC), and two individuals (Virginia L. Peggins and Lynette Monroe).
The lawsuit alleged that:
  • The RNC and RSC targeted minority voters in New Jersey in an effort to intimidate them.
  • The RNC created a voter challenge list by mailing sample ballots to individuals in precincts with a high percentage of racial or ethnic minority registered voters. Then the RNC put the names of individuals whose postcards were returned as undeliverable on a list of voters to challenge at the polls.
  • The RNC enlisted the help of off-duty sheriffs and police officers with “National Ballot Security Task Force” armbands, to intimidate voters by standing at polling places in minority precincts during voting. Some of the officers allegedly wore firearms in a visible manner.
To settle the lawsuit, in 1982, the RNC and RSC entered into an agreement orConsent Decree, which is national in scope, limiting the RNC’s ability to engage or assist in voter fraud prevention unless the RNC obtains the court’s approval in advance. The following is what the RNC and RSC, in the Consent Decree, agreed they would do:
[I]n the future, in all states and territories of the United States:
(a) comply with all applicable state and federal laws protecting the rights of duly qualified citizens to vote for the candidate(s) of their choice;
(b) in the event that they produce or place any signs which are part of ballot security activities, cause said signs to disclose that they are authorized or sponsored by the party committees and any other committees participating with the party committees;
(c) refrain from giving any directions to or permitting their agents or employees to remove or deface any lawfully printed and placed campaign materials or signs;
(d) refrain from giving any directions to or permitting their employees to campaign within restricted polling areas or to interrogate prospective voters as to their qualifications to vote prior to their entry to a polling place;
(e) refrain from undertaking any ballot security activities in polling places or election districts where the racial or ethnic composition of such districts is a factor in the decision to conduct, or the actual conduct of, such activities there and where a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting; and the conduct of such activities disproportionately in or directed towarddistricts that have a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic populations shall be considered relevant evidence of the existence of such a factor and purpose;
(f) refrain from having private personnel deputized as law enforcement personnel in connection with ballot security activities.
The RNC also agreed that the RNC, its agents, servants, and employees would be bound by the Decree, “whether acting directly or indirectly through other party committees.”
As modified in 1987, the Consent Decree defined “ballot security activities”to mean “ballot integrity, ballot security or other efforts to prevent or remedy vote fraud.”
Since 1982, that Consent Decree has been renewed every year by the original judge, Carter appointee District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise, now 88 years old. Long retired, Debevoise comes back yearly for the sole purpose of renewing his 1982 order for another year.

U.S. District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise
In 2010, the RNC unsuccessfully appealed “to vacate or modify” the Consent Decree in “Democratic National Committee v Republican National Committee,” Case No. 09-4615 (C.A. 3, Mar. 8, 2012). (I paid The Judicial Review $10 for the PDF of Case No. 09-4615 and uploaded the 59-page document to FOTM’s media library. To read Case No. 09-4615, click here!)
This is a summary of the appeals judge’s ruling, filed on March 8, 2012:
In 1982, the Republican National Committee (“RNC”) and the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) entered into a consent decree (the “Decree” or “Consent Decree”), which is national in scope, limiting the RNC’s ability to engage or assist in voter fraud prevention unless the RNC obtains the court’s approval in advance. The RNC appeals from a judgment of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey denying, in part, the RNC’s Motion to Vacate or Modify the Consent Decree. Although the District Court declined to vacate the Decree, it did make modifications to the Decree. The RNC argues that the District Court abused its discretion by modifying the Decree as it did and by declining to vacate the Decree. For the following reasons, we will affirm the District Court’s judgment.
Surprise! The judge who denied the RNC’s appeal to “vacate” the 1982 Consent Decree is an Obama appointee, Judge Joseph Greenaway, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Judge Joseph Greenaway, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
Guy Benson of Townhall.com points out that in last Tuesday’s election, Obama only won by 406,348 votes in 4 states:
  • Florida: 73,858
  • Ohio: 103,481
  • Virginia: 115,910
  • Colorado: 113,099
Those four states, with a collective margin of 406,348 votes for Obama, add up to 69 electoral votes. Had Romney won 407,000 or so additional votes in the right proportion in those states, he would have 275 electoral votes.
All four states showed Romney ahead in the days leading up to the election. But on November 6, Romney lost all four states by a substantial margin, all of which have precincts that inexplicably went 99% for Obama, had voter registrations that exceeded their population, and had experienced  problems with voting machines.
This election was stolen by the Democrats via vote fraud. Despite all the evidence of fraud, the Republican Party has been strangely silent about it.
Now you know why.

I’ll leave you with one last, even more disturbing thought:

The RNC and DNC made their Consent Decree 30 years ago, in 1982. The agreement in effect gives a carte blanche to the Democrat Party to commit vote fraud in every voting district across America that has, in the language of the Consent Decree, “a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic populations.” The term “substantial proportion” is not defined.
The Democrat Party knew this 30 years ago, more than enough time to put a plan in place to identify and groom their “perfect candidate” — in the words of Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in 2008, a “light-skinned” black Democrat who has “no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.”
  • Being a black Democrat, this perfect candidate would get the support of almost all black Americans (96% in 2008!) and other racial minorities (two-thirds of Hispanics in 2008).
  • Being a “light-skinned” black with “no Negro dialect”, this perfect candidate would get the support of white Americans perpetually guilt-ridden about America’s original sin of slavery.
It doesn’t matter if this “perfect candidate” has dubious Constitutional eligibility to be president. They would see to it that his original birth certificate (if there is one) would never see the light of day. The same with his other documents — his passports, school and college records, draft registration, and medical records (so we’ll never know why Obama has that very long scar running from one side of his head, over the crown, to the other side).
Now, we understand the significance of the account Tom Fife wrote during the 2008 presidential campaign. Fife, a U.S. government contractor, claims that in 1992 while he was visiting Moscow, a woman with undying allegiance to Soviet Communism (the Soviet Union had recently collapsed, on December 31, 1991) told him that a black man named Barack, born of a white American woman and an African male, was being groomed by communists to be, and would be elected, President of the United States.
Now, we finally understand the cryptic remark made in May 2010, by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan: “Obama was selected before he was elected.”
In 2008, this “perfect candidate” won the presidential election. And despite his many failures in his first term, he would be reelected in 2012 for a second term via massive vote fraud. But nothing would be done about the vote fraud, because of that Consent Decree signed by the RNC 30 years ago.
The Republican Party is dead — and with it, the U.S. two-party system as well — and the sooner we voters recognize that the better.
The question that remains is whether the American Republic is also dead.

UPDATE (NOV. 16, 2012):

Since I published this post yesterday, we’ve been asking each other: “What can I/we do about this?” Here are my suggestions:
1. If you are a registered Republican, QUIT! Switch your voter registration ID to non-partisan Independent.
2. Stop donating money, not even one penny, to the GOP. Tell them why.
  • EVERYONE on your email list.
  • Media people for whom you have email addresses.
  • Tea Party groups you know.
  • Post the link on your Facebook page.
  • Post the link as your comment on websites and blogs you visit.
Just so you know: It makes no monetary difference to us how many people read this post. Fellowship of the Minds is an ad-free blog. We don’t make even a penny in revenue because we don’t have ads. All of our writers work our butts off, for no pay, as a labor of love for our country.
~Eowyn

Mark Steyn: How the GOP earned its date with destiny | percent, america, vote - Opinion - The Orange County Register

Mark Steyn: How the GOP earned its date with destiny | percent, america, vote - Opinion - The Orange County Register


To an immigrant such as myself (not the undocumented kind, but documented up to the hilt, alas), one of the most striking features of Election Night analysis was the lightly worn racial obsession. On Fox News, Democrat Kirsten Powers argued that Republicans needed to deal with the reality that America is becoming what she called a "brown country." Her fellow Democrat Bob Beckel observed on several occasions that if the share of the "white vote" was held down below 73 percent, Mitt Romney would lose. In the end, it was 72 percent, and he did. Beckel's assertion – that if you knew the ethnic composition of the electorate you also knew the result – turned out to be correct.
This is what less-enlightened societies call tribalism: for example, in the 1980 election leading to Zimbabwe's independence, Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU-PF got the votes of the Ndebele people while Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF secured those of the Shona – and, as there were more Shona than Ndebele, Mugabe won. That same year America held an election, and Ronald Reagan won a landslide victory. Nobody talked about tribal vote shares back then, but had the percentage of what Beckel calls the "white vote" been the same in 2012 as it was in 1980 (88 percent), Mitt Romney would have won in an even bigger landslide than Reagan. The "white vote" will be even lower in 2016, and so, on the Beckel model, Republicans are set to lose all over again.
Article Tab: File: Republican presidential candidate and Former California Governor Ronald Reagan in 1979.
File: Republican presidential candidate and Former California Governor Ronald Reagan in 1979.
ANONYMOUS, ASSOCIATED PRESS
POLITICAL CARTOONS:
Hence the urge to get on the right side of America's fastest-growing demographic. Only 27 percent of Hispanics voted for Romney. But all that could change if the GOP were to sign on to support some means of legalizing the presence of the 12-20 million fine upstanding members of the Undocumented-American community who are allegedly "social conservatives" and thus natural Republican voters. Once we pass amnesty, argues Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, "future immigrants will be more open to the Republican Party because, unlike many immigrants who are already here, they won't have been harmed or insulted by Republican politicians."
So, if I follow correctly, instead of getting 27 percent of the 10 percent Hispanic vote, Republicans will get, oh, 38 percent of the 25 percent Hispanic vote, and sweep to victory.
Everyone talks about this demographic transformation as if it's a natural phenomenon, like Hurricane Sandy. Indeed, I notice that many of those exulting in the inevitable eclipse of "white America" are the same people who assure me that demographic arguments about the Islamization of Europe are completely preposterous. But in neither the United States nor Europe is it a natural phenomenon. Rather, it's the fruit of conscious government policy.
According to the Census, in 1970 the "Non-Hispanic White" population of California was 78 percent. By the 2010 census, it was 40 percent. Over the same period, the 10 percent Hispanic population quadrupled and caught up with whites.
That doesn't sound terribly "natural" does it? If one were informed that, say, the population of Nigeria had gone from 80 percent black in 1970 to 40 percent black today, one would suspect something rather odd and unnatural had been going on. Twenty years ago, Rwanda was about 14 percent Tutsi. Now it's just under 10 percent. So it takes a bunch of Hutu butchers getting out their machetes and engaging in seven-figure genocide to lower the Tutsi population by a third. But, when the white population of California falls by half, that's "natural," just the way it is, one of those things, could happen to anyone.
Every four years, the Republican Party pines for another Reagan. But Ronald Reagan, governor of California for eight years, couldn't get elected in today's not-so-Golden State. Jerry Brown, Governor Moonbeam back in the Seventies, now presides as Governor Twilight, lead vampire of a malign alliance of unionized bureaucrats and a swollen dependency class that maintains them in office at the expense of a remorselessly shrinking productive class. As the nation's demographic profile trends ever more Californian, perhaps Norquist's predictions of naturally conservative Hispanics pining for a new Reagan will come to fruition. Or perhaps Bob Beckel's more crudely determinative analysis will prove correct – that, in a multicultural society, jostling identity groups will stick with the party of ethnocultural spoils.
Once upon a time, the Democrats thought differently. It was their first progressive president, Woodrow Wilson, who imposed the concept of "self-determination" on post-Great War Europe, insisting that the multicultural empires of the Habsburgs and Romanovs be replaced by a patchwork of ethnic statelets from the Balkans to the Baltics. He would be surprised to find his own party presiding over a Habsburgian America of bilingual Balkanization as a matter of electoral strategy.
The short history of the Western Hemisphere is as follows: North America was colonized by Anglo-Celts, Central and South America by "Hispanics." Up north, two centuries of constitutional evolution and economic growth; down south, coups, corruption, generalissimos and presidents-for-life. None of us can know the future. It may be that Charles Krauthammer is correct that Hispanics are natural Republicans merely pining for amnesty, a Hallmark Cinco de Mayo card and a mariachi band at the inaugural ball. Or it may be that, in defiance of Dr. Krauthammer, Grover Norquist and Little Mary Sunshine, demographics is destiny and, absent assimilationist incentives this country no longer imposes, a Latin-American population will wind up living in a Latin-American society. Don't take it from a right-wing bigot like me, take it from The New York Times. In 2009, Jason DeParle filed a story about suburban Maryland, in which he helpfully explained the municipality of Langley Park to Times readers:
"Now nearly two-thirds Latino and foreign-born, it has the aesthetics of suburban sprawl and the aura of Central America. Laundromats double as money-transfer stores. Jobless men drink and sleep in the sun. There is no city government, few community leaders and little community."
Golly. You'd almost get the impression that Mr. DeParle thinks that laundromats doubling as money-transfer stores, jobless men drinking and sleeping in the sun, and dysfunctional government are somehow characteristic of Central America. That sounds awfully judgmental for a Times man, no?
Republicans think they're importing hardworking immigrants who want a shot at the American Dream; the Democrats think they're importing clients for Big Government. The Left is right: Just under 60 percent of immigrants receive some form of welfare. I see the recent Republican proposals for some form of amnesty contain all sorts of supposed safeguards against gaming the system, including a $525 application fee for each stage of the legalization process. On my own recent visit to a U.S. Immigration office, I was interested to be told that, as a matter of policy, the Obama administration is now rubber-stamping all "fee waiver" requests for "exceptional hardship" filed by members of approved identity groups. And so it will go for all those GOP safeguards. While Canada and Australia compete for high-skilled immigrants, America fast-tracks an unskilled welfare class of such economic benefit to their new homeland they can't even afford a couple of hundred bucks for the necessary paperwork.
It's hardly their fault. If you were told you could walk into a First World nation and access free education, free health care, free services in your own language, and have someone else pay your entrance fee, why wouldn't you? So, yes, Republicans should "moderate" their tone toward immigrants, and de-moderate their attitude to the Dems who suckered the GOP all too predictably. Decades of faintheartedness toward some of the most destabilizing features of any society, including bilingualism (take it from a semi-Belgian Canadian), have brought the party to its date with destiny. Or as Peggy Lee sang long ago in a lost land, "MaƱana is soon enough for me."
©MARK STEYN

12.10.12

A War of Laws by Daniel Greenfield

A War of Laws


A War of Laws



Civilization is law. A civilization makes its own laws and enforces them. And it views those who do not abide by those laws as lawless savages. Who the civilized lawkeepers and who the lawless savages is a matter of perspective. 

From the perspective of our rulers, law is defined by multilateral human rights commitments. From the perspective of their rulers, law is defined by the Koran and allegiance to Islamic law. Both consider their approach just and believe that their mission is to extend and universalize their legal codes. The transnationalists believe that they can integrate Muslims within their codes. Muslims believe that they can integrate transnationalists within their system. 

Similar alliances between Muslims and Leftists, whether in Iran or Egypt, have always broken in favor of the Islamists. The determining factor in those countries was ruthlessness and lower class support. In a global struggle for our civilization, it will be demographics that will determine the losers and winners. If Muslim immigration can shift the demographics of a region or of our entire civilization sufficiently in favor of their creed then freedom will be as dead as a rebellious daughter in Afghanistan.

The Clash of Civilizations is at its most essential a clash of laws. Law is the organizing principle of a civilization. It determines who has what powers and what rights. It structures responsibilities and penalties to create a system that encompasses any and all possibilities that may arise within a society. Western societies have attempted to impose their laws on their own Muslim immigrants and on entire Muslim countries. Muslims are attempting to impose their own laws on Western countries through violence and demographics.

At its most naked, law is control. Those who can force others to comply with their laws are the lawmakers. Those who cannot can be rebels or philosophers. 

Compliance with the law can be obtained through the higher means of convincing people that it represents an ideal. It can be obtained by convincing them that the law is in their interest. Or it can be obtained through the lowest barbaric means of pure compulsion.

Islamic law, with its manifold punishments and its ubiquitous brutalities, is rooted in the compulsion of force. Islam spread through conquest and retained its grip through empire. Its seduction of self-interest enlisted Muslim converts by sanctifying banditry and rape. The bandits became Emirs and Caliphs, and put on airs, filling their gardens with singing birds and their throne rooms with exotic treasures, but their power always derived from naked force. 

The instability of the Muslim world is tied to this essential lawlessness. For all the proliferation of scholars and clerics, the second-hand legalisms cobbled together from Jewish and Greek law, the essential foundation of Muslim civilizations is in the drug-peddling Taliban raiders and the Shiite militias in Iraq and Lebanon. Islamic law is a convenience that enshrines the force of the bandit into religious law.

A Muslim regime lasts only as long as the essential tensions in its society act to tear it apart. The Arab Spring was not a tremendous step forward, but a repetition of the long history of the region where the final law is the law of force. 

Tethered to the law of force, the Muslim world remains violent and unstable, and exports its bandit civilization with the same means. It imposes its laws, whether on Afghan schoolgirls or French artists, with the same measures that their barbaric tribal ancestors did over a thousand years ago. All the sophistication of Islamic legalism eventually comes down to the sharpened sword.

Western law’s universalism has a broader and narrower appeal to self-interest than Islamic law. This is the paradox that undermines any attempt to export it to the Muslim world. While universalism with its equality clause appears on the surface to have broader appeal, it actually has far less appeal, because it weakens the position of those in power while holding an appeal only to those who are not in power.

That paradox makes Western law a “slave religion” that appeals most to the oppressed. It holds little appeal for Muslim men who risk losing power over their wives and daughters. It holds little appeal for wives who risk losing power over their daughters. It holds little appeal for religious majorities who risk losing power over minorities. It holds little appeal for strong tribes and strong families who risk losing power over weaker tribes and families.

The problems exporting Western law also hold true for maintaining it in areas of America, Europe, Canada and Australia that have been overrun by Muslim immigrants. Honor killings are how Muslim men retain control of their women and how Muslim women retain control of their daughters nullifying the appeal of Western legal equality.  

While Western law is trying to push forward, Muslim law is working to go backward. The Arab Spring and the No Go Zones of Europe show that when it comes to pure control, backward is more effective than forward. 

The blasphemy clash is a war of laws. But those laws are more than mere technicalities. Freedom of Speech is a means of power redistribution. By making it possible for any idea to be expressed, this freedom deinstitutionalizes culture and political authority. Maintaining a monopoly on law and power is difficult when any idea can be expressed. 

Blasphemy codes on the other hand are a monopolization of ideas. Blasphemy makes Islam and the dominant form of the religion unchallengable. It takes religion and law away from the people and assigns them to a specialized class of interpreters and scholars. And it makes the political system dependent on faith in the system, rather than in open government. To believe in Islam is to believe in the Islamist politician. The outcome is not a government of laws, but a system of faith, not faith in any divinity, but in the power of Mohammed and his political descendants.

Mohammed represents the Divine Right of Caliphs, he cannot be blasphemed against because he embodies the power principle that underlies Islamic law. Without Mohammed there is no Islamic law and without Islamic law, there is neither law nor government, only the nakedness of the existing power struggles without the sanctification of any higher power. 

The Bill of Rights can survive the complete discrediting of Thomas Jefferson because we are not obligated to take its premises on faith. Islamic Law cannot survive even gentle mockery of Mohammed because to question the central figure is to destroy an entire edifice built on unquestioning faith.

Western governments have attempted to impose their law on Muslims by appealing to their ideals and their self-interest, and both approaches have failed. Far more Muslims believe that they have something to lose from universal rights than they have to gain from them. Add up every Muslim who can look down on someone else, even if he has to do it from the bottom rung of the ladder, and you have a compelling opposition to universal equality.

That leaves ideals and ideals come too close to faith and it is difficult to convert people with their own faith to your own faith. Western systems combine the populist mysticism of democracy with rational appeals to self-interest. Both fall flat when confronted by the denizens of medieval societies who do not accept universalist premises, either as self-interest or as mystic populism.

Muslim attempts to export their law into the West have become altogether direct. America has faced the same treatment as any domestic minority group has in the Muslim world. The gathering mobs had a very simple message, either prosecute blasphemy or face the mob. 

Obama chose to drag the Mohammed filmmaker to prison rather than face the mob. And so Islamic law was complied with, if not openly, but as a covert gesture that allowed both sides to save face. This has been the usual tactic adopted by Western governments that punish blasphemy as crimes against tolerance and social harmony.  

Western countries hold on to a facade of being free nations governed by reason and progressive politics, rather than medieval blasphemy laws. Muslims get to see blasphemers punished, but without the penal system acknowledging the Islamic law that serves as the basis for that punishment. The West loses its freedom while Muslims remain dissatisfied with the outcome. Through such means the transnationalists hope to integrate Muslim codes into their codes, but the effort is doomed from the start. 

Law is control and Muslims have used violence to take control of the process. For the last fifty years they have turned the problem of their violence into a challenge for civilization. That challenge intensified with the attacks of September 11 and in response the integrationists have worked overtime to align Muslim codes with our own. They have been willing to compromise, but Muslims have not.

The Clash of Civilizations will come down to control of spaces, the physical spaces in which we live and the conceptual spaces that define how we live. The nervous reaction to Muslim blasphemy laws shows the extent to which our conceptual spaces have already been taken care of. The No Go Zones carve out their own alien territories, imposing their systems on our cities and the way we live.
The extent to which we maintain control of these physical and conceptual spaces is also the extent to which we remain free. 

Freedom is not always taken at the point of a gun, sometimes it is taken at the very idea of the gun or at the economic and political disruption that would be caused by the idea of the gun. These are the effects that ripple through the conceptual spaces, breeding appeasement and surrender, as the system tries to integrate the foreign element, rather than spitting it out.

Our leaders are willing to pay almost any price to retain the multilateral and multicultural narrative, but as individuals, as societies and as nations, we cannot afford to lose our civil rights and our future for the sake of their Sisyphean progressivism. The conceptual spaces that they have imposed on us have no room for a world without multiculturalism and multilateralism. But to survive we must break with their discredited philosophies and their bloody cost or risk losing everything.

Law is the fundamental characteristic of a civilization. And law must be defended. To save our civilization, we must save our laws, and protect our territories, the physical territories of our cities, towns and villages, and the spiritual territories of our minds and cultures. Within those territories we must find the fortitude to defy the brute force of the lesser law that the savage would impose on us in the name of his bandit-prophet and his license to rule over those he can crush beneath his boots.

4.9.12

Israel faces the cynical world

 by Caroline Glick
August 24, 2012, 9:27 AM





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This week a German doctor in Bavaria filed a criminal complaint against Rabbi David Goldberg.

Rabbi Goldberg's "crime"? He performs ritual circumcisions on Jewish male infants in accordance with Jewish law.

The doctor's complaint came shortly after a ruling by a court in Cologne outlawing the practice of male circumcision.

The Austrians and the Swiss also took the ruling to heart and have banned infant male circumcision in several hospitals in Switzerland as well as in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. Denmark and Scandinavian governments are also considering limiting the practice of circumcision which has constituted one of the foundational rituals of Judaism for four thousand years.

Meanwhile, in Norway Dr. Anne Lindboe has come up with the perfect way out of the artificial crisis. Lindboe serves a Norway's ombudsman for children's rights. And she proposes that we Jews just change our religion to satisfy anti-Jewish sensitivities. She suggests we replace circumcision with "a symbolic, nonsurgical ritual."

It's worth mentioning that circumcision isn't the only Jewish ritual these enlightened Europeans find objectionable. Sweden, Norway and Switzerland have already banned kosher slaughter.

Attacking circumcision isn't just a European fetish. The urge to curb Jewish religious freedom has reached the US as well. Last year San Francisco's Jewish Community Relations Council had to sue the city to strike a measure from last November's ballot that would have banned circumcision if passed. The measure's sponsor gathered the requisite 12,000 signatures to enter the proposition on the ballot. Circumcising males under the age of 18 would have been classified as a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison. Sponsors of the measure distributed anti-Semitic materials depicting rabbis performing circumcisions as villains.

The people involved in banning or attempting to ban circumcision are not on the political fringe of their societies. They are part of a leftist establishment. They are doctors and lawyers, judges and politicians. This doesn't mean that all their fellow leftists are anti-Semites. But it does mean the political Left in the Western world feels comfortable keeping company with anti-Semites.

This state of affairs is even more striking in international affairs than in domestic politics. On the international level the Left's readiness to rub elbows with anti-Semites has reached critical levels.

While the Europeans have long been happy to cater to the anti-Semitic whims of the Islamic world, the escalation of the West's willingness to accept anti-Semitism as a governing axiom in international affairs is nowhere more apparent than in the Obama administration's foreign policy.

And the American Left's willingness - particularly the American Jewish Left's willingness - to cover up the administration's collusion with anti- Semitic regimes at Israel's expense is higher today than ever before.

A clear-cut example of both the Obama administration's willingness to adhere to anti- Semitic policies of anti-Semitic governments and the Left's willingness to defend this bigoted behavior is the Obama administration's decision not to invite Israel to participate in its new Global Counterterrorism Forum.

The GCTF was founded with the stated aim of fostering international cooperation in fighting terrorism. But for the Obama administration, it was more important to make Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, who supports the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups, feel comfortable, than it was to invite Israel to participate.

Not only did the US exclude Israel, at the GCTF's meeting last month in Spain, Maria Otero, the State Department's under secretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights, seemed to embrace the Muslim world's obscene claim that Israelis are not victims of terrorism because terrorism against Israel isn't terrorism.

In her speech, titled "Victims of Terrorism," Otero spoke of terror victims in Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Uganda, Colombia, Northern Ireland, Indonesia, India and the US. But she made no mention of Israeli terror victims.

Rather than criticize the administration for its decision to appease bigots at the expense of their victim, American Jewish leftists have defended the administration. Writing in The Atlantic, Zvika Kreiger, senior vice president of the far-left S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, wrote that allowing the Jewish state entry to the GCTF parley would have "undermined the whole endeavor."

Kreiger sympathetically quoted a State Department official who explained that actually, by ostracizing Israel the administration was helping Israel.

The source "reasoned the progress made by the organization would ultimately better serve Israel's interests (not to mention those of the United States) than would the symbolic benefits of including it in a group that likely wouldn't accomplish anything. [Moreover]... once the organization was up and running, and its agenda was established, they could find ways to include Israel that would not be disruptive."

So despite the fact that Israel is a major target of terrorism, and despite the fact that many of the states the US invited to its forum condone terrorism against Israel and support terrorist groups that murder Israeli Jews, Israel is better off being excluded, because the anti-Jewish governments invited by the Obama administration will somehow totally change their perspective on anti-Jewish terrorism as long as they don't have to suffer the irritation of sitting in the same room as real-live representatives of the Jewish state.

THE CYNICISM of the State Department official's statement to Kreiger is only outpaced by Kreiger's stubborn refusal to acknowledge that cynicism.

Kreiger's behavior makes sense. If he acknowledges the bigoted nature of the Obama administration's policies he will have to stop defending them.

To a degree, Kreiger's willingness to defend and justify the Obama administration's anti-Israel behavior parallels the behavior of Israelis who argue against Israel unilaterally striking Iran's nuclear facilities in order to delay the Iranian regime's acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Since 2003, when Iran's nuclear weapons program was first revealed to the world community, Iran's leaders have succeeded in convincing world leaders that Israel is No. 1 on their target list. And so, the international debate about what a nuclear-armed Iran will mean for the world has always followed the Iranians' lead and centered on the dangers it would pose to Israel.

Israel's leaders from then-prime minister Ariel Sharon down to the last governmental spokesman have maintained that Iran's nuclear program threatens the entire Free World. Sharon - like his leftist disciples today - claimed that given the threat Iran's nuclear program constitutes for global security, Israel has no reason to lead the global fight to destroy Iran's nuclear weapons program. Indeed, Israeli leadership of the campaign against Iran's nuclear program would cause some countries to do nothing because they hate Israel even more than they fear Iran.

Like his followers today, Sharon insisted that the US, as the leader of the Free World, is responsible for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And they are right. Iran's nuclear program does threaten global security and Iran's nuclear program does threaten the US specifically. Iranian dictator Ali Khamenei just ordered his troops to carry out terror attacks against the US in retaliation for US moves to overthrow Iran's Syrian puppet Bashar Assad. Iran was the principle sponsor of the insurgency in Iraq and remains the principle supporter of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

It's not that Israel's leaders belittle the threat Iran's nuclear weapons program constitutes for Israel. Across the spectrum on the Iran debate in Israel - from former Mossad director Meir Dagan and President Shimon Peres on the Left to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on the Right - everyone agrees that in light of the Iranian regime's religious fanaticism and its millenarian belief that Armageddon will hearken the coming of the Shi'ite messiah, Iran cannot be trusted not to use nuclear weapons against Israel.

Everyone admits that given Iran's open sponsorship of terrorism, it is a certainty that terror groups would use the Iranian nuclear umbrella to massively expand their terrorist war against Israel.

Just as Dagan, Peres and their associates share Netanyahu's assessment of the threat Iran's nuclear program poses for Israel, Netanyahu agrees with their assessment that Israel's options for contending militarily with Iran's nuclear program are limited and imperfect. No one argues that Israel has a magic bullet to destroy Iran's nuclear project.

Netanyahu and Barak have repeatedly warned that Israel has no perfect strike option. They have also warned that a response from Iran and its proxies in Syria and Lebanon to an Israeli strike will likely be harsh and deadly. All they say is that it is better than the alternative of Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons.

The doves agree with Netanyahu that a limited Israeli strike is better than the alternative of a nuclear-armed Iran. They differ with Netanyahu on only one issue: their assessment of the US's willingness to use military force to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

Voicing the doves' assessment of the Obama administration and Europe, this week former commander of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. (res.) Aharon Zeevi Farkash told NBC news, "I think Western leaders realize a nuclear Iran is the No. 1 challenge facing the world."

Unfortunately, Farkash is wrong. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, made this point earlier this week in an interview from Afghanistan. There Dempsey said frankly, "Israel sees the Iranian threat more seriously than the US sees it, because a nuclear Iran poses a threat to Israel's very existence."

In other words, Dempsey told us that Iran's cynical packaging of its nuclear program as an anti-Israel initiative has worked. The Americans - and the Europeans - believe that Iran's nuclear program is Israel's problem to deal with. The Israelis are right that as the leader of the Free World it is the US's responsibility to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. But as Dempsey's statement shows, the US is not interested in fulfilling its responsibility.

Like the Europeans, the Americans will only act when Iran forces them to do so. And that means they will do nothing to prevent Iran from developing the bomb. They will only move when Tehran has already crossed Israel off the top of its target list.

Israeli opponents of an Israeli strike against Iran don't want to believe that Americans are capable of such cynicism. They would like to believe that the only government capable of behaving cynically is their own. They want to believe that the US - with its vastly superior military capabilities to destroy Iran's nuclear program - will do the right thing and not leave it to Israel - with its limited means - to take care of the problem for a cynical world.

But just as Kreiger's defense of the Obama administration's courtship of anti-Semites at Israel's expense crosses the line separating naivete from willful, bigotry-enabling blindness, so Peres, Dagan and their colleagues cross the line. And it is not mere bigotry they are enabling.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.