The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Month: December 2014

Profiling the Islamic “Lone Wolf”

In his December 25th “Christmas” column, “Every
Christmas Now Comes with Muslim Terrorism
,” Daniel Greenfield observed
about the average, unassuming Muslims in our midst:
They may lapse at
times. They may get through a university education, attend nightclubs, listen
to the same music all the other kids their age do– but there’s still a ticking
time bomb inside their heads. And that bomb is the same one that appears as the
lit fuse on the turban of the cartoon
Mohammad
.
An average and unassuming Muslim next door
or down the street can douse the fuse himself by repudiating Islam. He can
convert to Christianity, to Judaism, to Buddhism, to Scientology, or even
become an atheist. Apostasy is absolutely imperative, but comes with some risk because
Islam, the “religion of peace,” decrees the death of an apostate.
Honor killings of girls and women who are “seduced”
by Western cultural and social norms are a result of a partial or full repudiation
of Islam by their victims. The killings are committed by average and unassuming
Muslim parents and relatives. The perpetrators preserve their ethereal “honor”;
the victims lose their lives.
Still, repudiation entails some very
serious thinking and reflection. But repudiation in some form is necessary to
douse that fuse or to defuse the ticking mechanism inside his turbaned mind
before it eventually explodes the bomb. Only the prospective apostate knows which
color wire needs to be snipped.
For otherwise he may take the car jihad
route, or plant bombs among throngs of Marathon spectators or Christmas
shoppers, or toss fire bombs at passing cars. Or shoot two policemen in cold
blood as they have lunch in a patrol car in Brooklyn. Or murder two hostages
inside an Australian chocolate shop. Lately, and too often, it’s the ordinary-looking
Muslims who have been waging “lone wolf” jihad against Westerners. They haven’t
telegraphed their intentions by wearing suicide vests or toting AK-47’s and
wearing ski-masks in public as they approach their targets. They infiltrate
crowds or stroll past a café and do what they came to do. Destroy.
But it’s the ticking time bomb metaphor of
Greenfield’s that piqued my resolve to offer additional comments about how and
why “lone wolf” terrorists are not “alone.”
Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin, in her December
18th FSM column, “Man
Haron Monis’ Politically Incorrect Developmental Problem
,” argues that many
terrorists, such as the Sydney, Australia chocolate shop hostage-taker and
killer, or the Chechen
jihadists
, are somewhat autistic, are terrified of being alone, are bereft
of or derogate the basic norms of social behavior, and as a consequence are unable
to “bond” or empathize with anyone, especially not with their victims.  Their victims are simply objects to be
controlled and destroyed. After all, one can’t “bond” with a rock, except
perhaps when one is using it to bash someone’s brains out.
[Jihadis]… are
obsessed with the infidel and their feminization of the Other as well as
bonding to hard objects such as weapons.
Just think of the
Taliban attack on the Pakistani
military school
. They might brag that their [own] children are jewels but
no one else’s are – for them the Pakistani victims were merely objects in their
poorly developed minds. Jihadis harbor a terror of the other. They do not know
how to relate to anyone who is not exactly like them. They are the ultimate
narcissists. They did not learn the corollary to “Some of these things are
just like the other” which is “Some of these things and people are
different and that is okay.” No, we must become Muslim just like them as
they are terrified to be alone.
I purchase some of Kobrin’s argument, but
not all of it. Perhaps there is some truth in Kobrin’s thesis that a terrorist
wishes to instill in his victims the terror he feels himself at the sight of
those who appear to have lived successfully. He wishes to reduce his victims to
the metaphysical state of A.E. Houseman’s alienated
 manqué
:
“I, a stranger and afraid, in a world I never made.”
Islam gives that manqué an excuse and a
chance to unmake the world he never
made.
In the final analysis, however, whether or
not an Islamic terrorist, or even a non-terrorist, is autistic, developmentally
arrested, or has developed sociopathic, pathological, or psychotic symptoms or
habits, diagnosed or not, he chooses to take his actions based on his
fundamental epistemology and metaphysics. If they are dark and obsessed enough,
that will be enough to drive him to become what is commonly called a “lone
wolf” terrorist.
What the “lone wolf” terrorist craves is
something to fill the void of his internal being, a cause, a religion, or a
movement that will dictate his actions and his purpose for existing. HIs
“internal being” acts like a stellar black hole. It sucks everything within
range of its gravity into its crushing mass and obliterates everything’s
identity. Unable to form his own first-hand values, he borrows values from
others. HIs nihilistic, malevolent universe “soul”—that hunk of venomous glop –
is naturally attracted to anything that exhorts him to help “change the world” –
or to take revenge on it because it does not automatically supply him with a
reason for living.
Islam does that: It supplies anyone born
into it, or anyone who choses to convert to it, with an automatic reason for living.
Islam doesn’t require deep thinking or reflection. Islam punishes it.
As I remarked in “’Lone
Wolf’ Terrorists are Not “Alone
,” the Islamic “lone
wolf
” terrorist seeks the company of his ilk. He wants to “belong” to
something, or to some tribe that seems to be having a consequence in the world
he never made. Of all the religions that ask one to give oneself to a higher
being and its purposes, Islam is the most demanding and thorough. It demands
that one regard oneself as superfluous, as inconsequential, as selfless. What
better creed could an essentially selfless person be attracted to like a filing
to a magnet but Islam? He “gives” himself to Allah.
As I remarked in my previous column, he
need not even come into contact with his ilk. All he need do is absorb all the
nihilist, Islamic calls to jihad on such Internet sites as “Inspire” that urge
Muslims to take up arms, even if it’s only with a carving knife or a machete,
against Western infidels.  As Pamela
Geller on Atlas
Shrugs
reports:
The latest issue of
the slick jihad magazine, “Inspire”, is devoted to lone jihadi attacks (or as
the media calls them lone wolves). The Islamic State’s recently released video
called for more bloody lone wolf jihadi attacks.
Clearly Muslims
across the US, Canada and Europe are “inspired” by the Islamic State, al Qaeda
and the Qur’an to wage jihad. They are taking their marching orders quite
seriously as we have witnessed this past week alone – the cold-blooded murder
of two NYPD cops by a jihadi, three distinct “allahu akbar” attacks in France
in as many days, and thwarted attacks in Denmark, Canada and the UK.
What’s fascinating is
the Asperger-like insistence by Obama, the EU, and the media that these attacks
are not Islamic or religiously motivated. It would be laughable if there
weren’t so many dead and bloodied bodies.
The treacly, fear-driven divorcing by many
American and European politicians of Islam from the piles of bodies and smoking
ruins and carnage produced by Islamic terrorists and ISIS and the Taliban is
worth another column. As for President Barack Obama, his affinity for Islam is
too well known to comment on here (I’ve discussed his malodorous policies and
actions in past columns); his intention to “accelerate” the “transfer” or
“release” of Gitmo
detainees
is, I’m certain, motivated by his own “lone wolf” malignity.
There is a proven record that those already released are
certain to return
to the “battlefield” to kill more Americans and plan more
jihad. He must know this. This knowledge damns him.
To help gauge the “internal workings” of a
“lone wolf” terrorist – one who acts on his own at the behest of his inner
demons and answers the call to rampant or random jihad – read the life stories
of Ted Bundy, the serial
killer, Richard Speck,
and Charles Manson.
Speck and Manson were not serial killers. In fact, Manson did not kill anyone,
he ordered his Family to commit murders. To his Family, he acted as a kind of
Mohammad whose example must be followed without question and who must be
obeyed. Speck had no “family” of cultists; he was a shiftless “ne’er-do-well” who
raped and murdered on opportunity. Bundy, whose rape-murder-dismemberment spree
produced at least thirty victims, was evil incarnate.
But the common denominator between the
three men is that they lived empty, aimless, itinerate lives, in whom grew a
festering  pustule  of resentment and hatred for everyone and
everything. Their nihilist criminal careers presaged those of “lone wolf’ Islamic
terrorists.

“Lone Wolf” Terrorists are Not “Alone”

A “lone wolf” is still as much a predator
as it would be in a pack. Its predatory, programmed instincts, behavior and
actions are shared with those of a pack. It may be a “lone wolf” because of
conflicts between it and the wolf pack. But it is still a wolf.
Wikipedia notes about the behavior of the
“lone wolf”:
As an animal, a lone wolf is a wolf that lives
independently rather than with others as a member of a pack.
In the animal kingdom, lone wolves are
typically older wolves driven from the pack, perhaps by the breeding male, or are
young adults in search of new territory. Many young wolves between the ages of
1 and 4 years leave their family to search for a pack of their own (this has
the effect of preventing inbreeding), as in typical wolf packs there is only
one breeding pair.
Some wolves will simply remain lone wolves;
as such, these lone wolves may be stronger, more aggressive and far more
dangerous than the average wolf that is a member of a pack. However, lone
wolves have difficulty hunting, as wolves’ favorite prey, large ungulates, are
nearly impossible for a single wolf to bring down alone. Instead, lone wolves
will generally hunt smaller animals and scavenge carrion.
“Lone wolves” or packs of wolves kill to
survive. They eat their prey.
“Lone wolf” jihadists and terrorists, by
the same token, are still Islamic supremacists. They need not be “soldiers” of
any particular group, such as Hamas, ISIS, Hezbollah, the Taliban, the Muslim
Brotherhood, or Al-Qaeda. They need not run with a pack. They need not have had
any close or social contact with any of those groups, other than perhaps
attending a mosque that preaches violent jihad against the West.
Many “lone wolf” terrorists are converts
driven to “prove” their new religious convictions. Their “independence” of
action may not even be approved by any of those groups, although their
fascination with Islam may be fueled by what a “lone wolf” sees those groups
approve of as seen on the Internet and in the MSM in the way of beheadings,
dismemberment of victims’ bodies, rapes,
and “random” killings. Not to mention the chest-beating claims by terrorists
that Islam will rule the world. All this answers an element in a “lone wolf’s”
makeup, a malevolent loneliness. He responds.
He is not alone.
“Lone wolf” terrorists do not kill to
survive. They kill for the sake of killing.  Islamic terrorists, alone or in packs or
gangs, are in essence nihilists. They boast:
“We love death
more than you love life.”
– Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who killed 13
and wounded 30 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, TX
“We love death
more than you love life.”
– Adis Medunjanin, part of a 911 call made
in New York City after crashing his car while fleeing from federal agents who
had confiscated his passport
Anyone doubting the Islamic fixation on
death and its compulsion to destroy life, should see Palestinian Media Watch’s
sampling of “death wishes” here.
The death wishes one sees there are endemic throughout Islam. They are not
unique to the “Palestinians.”  They are
permanently etched in Koranic Sharia law
and in the Muslim mentality.
Here is a short list of murders committed
by “lone wolf” Islamic terrorists:
British Muslim “grooming”
gangs
, which are little more than Islamic wolf packs following the dictates
of the Koran and Hadith on the status of “captured
infidel or non-Muslim girls and women, and which do not operate under the aegis
or orders of any recognized terrorist gang. These gangs can be said to be
sub-tribes of Muslims. Their purpose is to kill any sense of personal identity
in their victims, to dehumanize them.
 The beheading murder of Lee Rigby.
The beheading murder
of Colleen
Hufford
.
The recent murders
of two NYPD
officers
in Brooklyn.
The “car jihad”
murders in Israel,
France,
and The
Netherlands
. In the U.S., an Iranian Muslim committed “car jihad” in 2006 at the
University of North Carolina.
A “lone wolf”
jihadist needn’t even have any grievances concerning Islam. It can be racially
motivated, as in the NYPD murders, which were about cops killing
black suspects
in self-defense.
The Boston
Marathon bombing
, carried out by two “lone wolf” Muslims.
The Sydney, Australia
Lindt Chocolate hostage-taking
and murderby a “lone wolf.”
The foiled Times
Square
“lone wolf” bomber from 2010.
This list could go on for pages. Here is a
sampling of the West’s kneejerk denials that “lone wolves” are not associated
with the “religion of peace.” These and countless other “authorities” claim to
be perplexed by the common denominator between violent crime committed by
Muslims… and Islam:
Robert Boyce, NYPD’s Chief of Detectives,
on the murder of two patrolmen by a Muslim:
Late this
afternoon, the NYPD’s Chief of Detectives, Robert Boyce, knocked down published
reports that Brinsley may have had ties to a militant prison gang, but said
he’d made anti-government statements on social media.
“There is one where
he burns a flag and made some statements. There’s others with talks of anger
for the police. He specifically mentions Michael Brown and Eric Garner…. Right
now we have no gang affiliation at all attributed to this man. He has no
tattoos to suggest anything of it and he has no religious statements that we
found on Instagram at all. None whatsoever.”
Meanwhile, in Australia, Manny Conditsis,
the former attorney of Man Haron Monis, the chocolate shop hostage-taker and
murderer, offered a weazely explanation for Monis’s criminality: 
Monis’ former
lawyer Manny Conditsis describes him as a ‘damaged goods individual’ with an
ideology that clouds his common sense.
‘This is a one-off
random individual,’ Mr Conditsis said. ‘It’s not a concerted terrorism event or
act. It’s a damaged goods individual who’s done something outrageous. ‘His
ideology is just so strong and so powerful that it clouds his vision for common
sense and objectiveness.’ 
Ayn Rand, the novelist/philosopher, had
some keen observations about “lone wolves.” In the “Ayn Rand Letter” of June, 1973:
In my last two Letters
[“The Missing Link”] I discussed the anti-conceptual mentality and
its social (tribal) manifestations.  All tribalists are anti-conceptual in
various degrees, but not all anti-conceptual mentalities are tribalists. 
Some are lone wolves
(stressing that species’ most predatory characteristics).
The majority of
such wolves are frustrated tribalists, i.e., persons rejected by the tribe (or
by the people of their immediate environment): they are too unreliable to abide
by conventional rules, and too crudely manipulative to compete for tribal
power.  Since a perceptual mentality cannot provide a man with a way of
survival, such a person, left to his own devices, becomes a kind of
intellectual hobo, roaming about as an eclectic second-hander or brain-picker,
snatching bits of ideas at random, switching them at whim, with only one
constant in his behavior: the drifting from group to group, the need to cling
to people, any sort of people, and to manipulate them. [Bold type mine.]
Bear in mind that Rand was writing in 1973,
long before Islam raised its Medusa’s head to wage its non-stop war on the West
and on the world. (The first
Islamic
-related plane hijacking took place in February 1972.) The “lone
wolf,” she explains, is basically selfless, that is, he has no anchored or
permanent sense of self-identity. HIs “self” flits from religion to group to
cause in search of something that will give him a sense of self. A genuine
self, she writes, has a set of non-lethal personal or second-hand values to
which he is fully or only nominally loyal.  
The jihadist’s search will end, however,
when he alights on a “cause” or a group or a religion that promises some
measure of “drama.” The search will flail about governed by the individual’s
core metaphysical premise: death, or
killing that which it cannot be
. It searches for targets imbued with the
perceived, enviable aura of successful living. The terrorist will feel “real”
only when he is wielding life-or-death power over the living. Being a
ready-made Muslim/jihadist, or converting to Islam promises to reward him his
own aura of importance, especially if he decides to engage in murder and
mayhem. I frankly doubt that any run-of-the-mill “peaceful” Muslim genuinely
believes that being a suicidal “martyr” will convey him immediately to Paradise
and 72 virgins. But, in Islam, to doubt that is a serious, fatwa-earning crime.
Identifying the amoral character of a “lone wolf,” Rand noted:
Without personal
values, a man can have no sense of right or wrong.  The tribal lone wolf
is an amoralist all the way down….
The amoralist’s
implicit patter of self-appraisal (which he seldom identifies or admits) is:
“I am good because it’s me.”
 Beyond the
age of about three to five (i.e., beyond the perceptual level of mental development),
this is not an expression of pride or self-esteem, but of the opposite: of a
vacuum – of a stagnant, arrested mentality confessing its impotence to achieve
any personal value or virtue.
To an observer, an amoralist or “lone wolf”
may appear to have values and be moved by them. But the appearance is merely an
elaborately constructed façade raised over a lifetime to hide the truth from
any and all observers – and from the amoralist himself.
Citing a number of rationalizations of how an
amoralist can convince himself and others of his “goodness,” Rand concluded:
But even such
shoddy substitutes for morality are only a pretense: the amoralist does not
believe that “I am good because it’s me.”  That implicit
policy is his protection against his deepest, never-to-be-identified
conviction: “I am no good through and through.” (Italics Rand’s)
To sum up, the “lone wolf” Islamic terrorist
knows that he is at root irredeemably evil,
that his soul is nothing more than a hunk of poisonous glop, which he dare not
contemplate for any length of time.
All those suicide bombers, all those
suicide attack squads willing to butcher dozens of adult and children’s lives
as callously as reaping wheat or mowing a lawn, such as during the Peshawar
school massacre
, all the killing and destruction committed by them and
fellow killers, especially at the price of their own lives, reveling  their victims’ screams of terror and pain,
savoring the bloody carnage – is but their own nihilist attempt to escape alone or in the company of fellow
killers the self-knowledge that they are
evil, of no value to themselves or to
anyone else.
Is it any wonder that Islam is called the
cult of death?

Not Travels With My Aunt

Or, My Global
Banning
Last night, in my dreams, I took an
imaginary junket around the world with every expectation that I would return
alive and in one piece. Or at least not wake up screaming and in a cold sweat.
I have recorded this adventure for the amusement of readers.
Actually, I didn’t travel with my late (but
not late enough) biological aunt, although she did appear very briefly at the
beginning of the dream, her creepy face leering at me from across the great
divide of reality and fantasy. I’ve always tried to forget her face. She strongly
resembled Madame
Blavatsky
in “spirit,” as well. When I met her for the first time, her
first question to me was if I believed in séances. After making a face of
incredulity – and I’ve been told I have a very expressive and forbidding face –
I said no. This, time, however, I must have made a “Yech!” sound in my sleep,
so her face went poof in a puff of phlogiston, and she never returned.
Or was it phostrogen? I never could get those two straight.
My first stop was Washington, D.C., which I
last visited by train in 1975, and took away as my sole souvenirs a set of
stainless steel salt and pepper shakers. They were the only worthwhile things I
could find in any of the shops. I still have them. 
This time, however, I was stopped just
inside the Beltway by a Capitol Police SWAT team in a Metro parking lot. It
turned out that the NSA
had long ago planted a GPS tracker in my trunk, and so the heavily clad and
armed local Federales had received an
electronic heads-up of my impending arrival. After being shaken, stirred,
groped, and bar-coded, they informed me that I was banned from the city, that I
could no longer enter the Capitol because of my many dozens of columns that
roasted President Obama on an iron turning spit, which had earned me a “Red
Flag Level 4” category of a “person of interest.”
I was warned that if I ever attempted to
enter the city again, I would be arrested and sentenced without a hearing to
labor for five years with an ankle bracelet as a bouncer for the Chicken Ranch
brothel in Pahrump, Nevada, to intercept wandering souls (or escapees) from the
NSA data collection facility in Bluffdale, Utah. 
Next, rather abruptly I appeared in London.
I don’t know how I got there, because I no longer fly. I vaguely recalled
working my way to Britain as a relief chef on a tramp steamer. Here, I was
immediately accosted by the police. I just materialized in Heathrow Airport,
and was scanned with an electronic wand by a Customs person in a burqa firmly
secured by a yellow straw boater with a purple
band.
The wand made a horrible screeching sound,
like old time air raid sirens during the London blitz. The burqa entity mumbled
in a deep male voice something from behind its black sheath: “
كل واضح!“  My Arabic is rusty, but I don’t think it
meant, “All clear!”  It sounded more
like, “
أنت كافر القذرة! الجوارب الخاصة بك لا تبق!“  “You filthy kaffir! Your socks don’t match!”
But don’t hold me to that.
The wand must have been computer-linked to
Britain’s Government
Communications Headquarters
(the equivalent of the NSA), because some seconds
later I was surrounded by heavily clad and armed Transportation and Security
Administration personnel and representatives from MI5, MI6, and what seemed to
be a shimmering hologram of Theresa May, the
Home Secretary (not the glamour model). I guessed she was too busy to show up
herself. Her white hair looked as though she’d just stepped out of the shower –
she was wrapped in a towel – and hadn’t time to blow-dry it, but  I can recognize moussed hair from a 100
yards. 
Leashed ferrets from the Metropolitan
Police’s crack Drug and Explosives Detection Units sniffed around my ankles and
other body parts for dangerous or illegal contraband, dogs having been
cashiered from all British law enforcement duties on the complaints of Muslims who
regard dogs as “filthy.” (They should
talk!)     
One of the ferrets squeaked an alarm: He
found a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes in a shirt pocket. Another squeaked; he
found my Ronsonol lighter-fluid loaded Zippo in a pants pocket. The TSA fellows
removed these items from my person, together with a prized Waterman pen.
And, wouldn’t you know it? Apparently my
name is in the Brits’ “persons of especial interest” database, as well, because
the faux Mrs. May produced an
official-looking document from beneath her towel, snapped it open, and
proceeded to read me the riot act.
“Because you have
been demonstrably connected with other persons of an Islamophobic color and
character, such as Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders, Steve Emerson,
Michael Savage, and numerous other persons of that discredited ilk, and,
because you have penned an Islamophobic novel, The
Black Stone
, and published tens if not hundreds of scurrilous and
defamatory political columns that have been deemed Islamophobic, bigoted, inflammatory,
and racist, including a separately published screed, Islam’s
Reign of Terror
, you therefore and henceforth also have been
permanently prohibited from lawful entry into Great Britain, lest your presence
and likely public statements be found hateful and offensive to Asians
and provoke domestic disturbances.”
Mrs. May refolded her document, squinted at
me fiercely, and asked: “What have you to say to these facts, sir?”
I shrugged and answered, ”I think you need grooming.”
The Customs entity in the burqa made an odd
muffled sound beneath the black cloth – it might have been raspberries – and
threw a rock at me. The ferrets squeaked ferociously.
Mrs. May scowled and snorted as only a Home
Secretary could, and flicked the document in the air. “Be gone, ye of little
faith!”
Before I could retort, “Actually, none,” I
was whisked away to Marseilles, France, and found myself standing near a dock
and a yacht. Up a steep hill and some stone steps, a sign in bright blue
letters splattered with sea gull droppings read, Quai
de Cocaïne. Beneath that
one was a smaller one. Interdiction de fumer!  How did I know this was the Port of
Marseilles ?
Because in another blink, I was face to
face with Gene Hackman as Detective Popeye Doyle from The French Connection II.  He
was there in pursuit of the master criminal/dope dealer who got away in The French Connection I. “Hey, mister!”
he asked, running towards me, waving an arm wildly at me, “You speak Frog?” He
was in a disheveled state, with his goofy hat on backwards, his trousers
beneath the knees in tatters, and his tennis shoes were untied and squished
with every step.  
 Grenouille? Est-ce que la langue latine ou à une Germanique?» I asked instead. I
added, 
«Je ne connaissais pas les grenouilles avaient une langue. Quel
dialecte?”
Hackman groaned, made a face, and belted me
once. Then he suddenly drew a small revolver from his jacket, looked over my
shoulder, rested the gun on it, and fired. In my dreams, I have rear-view
vision, and so I saw that he’d put a hole in the head of a blue burqa-clad
entity whose sparkling sheath was firmly secured on its head by a ring of
plastic bags filled with some white stuff. It had clutched a dagger and had
been ready to stab me in the back. I didn’t think the plastic bags contained
flour or confectionary sugar or sea salt.
The blue burqa-clad entity dropped out of
sight as through a trap door, moaning in ecstasy, and up popped a pinch-faced,
sour-looking uniformed French Customs inspector in an imposing and overly
decorated kepi. He shouted at Hackman, wagging a finger, “
Vous ne pouvez pas tirer musulmans en France! Il est contre la loi!” (“Shooting
Muslims is not allowed!”)
Hackman shot back in near perfect French, “Mettez une chaussette en elle, Froggy! Vous prenez jamais vos pieds à
Poughkeepsie?

(“Put a sock in it, Froggy! You ever pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?”)
The Customs man snorted at this, got into a
protracted shouting match with Hackman, each assaulting the other with rude
gesticulations and obscene deprecations, but abandoned Hackman when the actor  paused to light up a Gitane.  
The Customs man turned and jerked me around
by my shoulder and said in guttural English, visible clouds of garlic
enveloping my face and causing tears to roll down my cheeks, “Monsieur! Your
French is execrable!
Porcine américaine!  You are banned from France, pour toujours et à jamais! You have written several  books that offend our loyal immigrant
citizens!

He paused to jab a finger on my chest. “Our
Direction
générale
de la sécurité extérieure has been auditing your books, Monsieur!
They are not halal!
Nous avons déclaré les insultant et donc ils sont interdits! They are
slanderous! Calomnieuse!  Banned, you
understand?? Comprende??»
  
 Before
I could reply, and in impeccable Frog yet, “
Vous pouvez embrasser mes grains!“ (“You may kiss my grits!”), he very
grandly raised a hand, snapped his fingers once….
…and presto! I was transported to Moscow!   
I stood shivering in the middle of a
snow-covered Red Square. It’s winter, you know. Russian winters have bite. There
in front of me was Vladimir Putin, bare-chested, sitting astride a Clydesdale,
doing jumping jacks without jumping,  holding a Siberian tiger and a Russian bear in
each hand by the scruffs of their necks. He espied me and dropped the suffering
animals, which scampered away emitting pathetic whines and howls of relief. He
gazed down at me with those frigid
blue eyes
. “Advance, my American poodle.”
The hackles on my neck stood at attention.
I spat back, “Think again, McDougal! I’m not your poodle!” I didn’t intend the
alliteration. It just came out that way.
Putin rested his hands on the horn of his
silver saddle and leaned forward. He said with a mocking chuckle, “Think again,
Mr. Obama.”
Mentally, I frowned and exclaimed,
“What…??” Magically, a hand mirror appeared in my nearly frost-bitten fingers,
which were now…brown!. I looked into
it, and gasped. Good God! I looked like Obama, except for the glasses! Even my
ears had grown! What tricks one’s mind can play on…one’s mind!
That 
moment, I began entertaining the possibility that perhaps Immanuel Kant
was right, that our senses distort what we see and hear and touch, which are
already distortions of the true reality.
But I shook my head, and exclaimed, “Nah!”
I looked up. Putin had dismounted and stood
in front of me. He was a full head shorter, the top of his neatly barbered head
an inch and a half short of my chin. He looked up and drilled me with those
cold eyes. “You are the secret author of a silly but libelous spy novel, A
Crimson Overture
, which casts poisonous and malicious aspersions on the
Party of my past. Your nom de plume
never fooled us! We know you are the author. My foreign
intelligence
apparatus has been observing you for years. We know that all your golfing and
fundraising appearances were performed by a double, while you yourself wrote
slanderous fiction In the Oval Office!
Putin sighed and shook his head. “What a
disappointment, Mr. Obama! That you,
with your irreproachable ideological pedigree, so skillfully hidden from public
view, should betray…our cause!” The
dictator straightened his shoulders. “I have decreed that no novel of yours may
be bought in Russia. Possession of one will result in a stay in Lubyanka Prison.”
 Again, the hackles of my neck rose. “Look, you
recidivist Communist,” I replied, “I’m not Obama!”
Putin clucked his tongue. “It is no use
denying it, my feckless poodle! Your Bunbury days are over!” He
paused and smiled wickedly. The frost in his smile I think dropped the
temperature by ten degrees. “Have you ever heard of…SMERSH?”
Of course I’d heard of SMERSH. It was a
Soviet organization (and probably now a Russian “Federal” apparatus) that
assassinated defectors and other wayward Russians, such as journalists. But I
decided to get under Putin’s skin. “SMERSH? Oh, yeah, that’s a kind of Russian
burrito, isn’t it, with ground beef and onions and peppers and anchovies in a
pita pocket?”  Putin looked confused. I
added, “I’d heard that the Arabs call it ‘that awful falafel.’” Then I peered
closely into Putin’s eyes. I asked, “Are those contacts? By the way,” I remarked,
touching a patch of his skin just right of his right eye, “your makeup person
missed a spot.”
Putin gritted his teeth, his eyes widened
in the very apotheosis of madness, and a growl rumbled from within the bare
chest that the public knew so well from his exhibitionist exploits. I had a
fleeting thought: If only Viral Vladimir could be persuaded to wrestle a really agitated rhinoceros, Russia might
be saved.
He raised both of his hands to clutch my
neck. They were ice-cold. He began to force me down to my knees. He kept
shouting into my face, mostly in Russian, not a word of which I understood,
except for nyet! He kept repeating nyet repeatedly and rapidly so that he
sounded like Curly of the Three Stooges.
Gasping for air, and as I prepared to deliver
a sucker punch….
I woke up not with a scream, but with a
start, and in a  cold sweat.
 I glanced at my hands. No longer brown! In the
bathroom, I looked in the mirror. I was back to my old self! I was no longer
Barack Obama! What a nightmare that was! 
I went to the kitchen and poured myself a
tall glass of fortified eggnog. That ought to help put me back to sleep.
At my desk, waiting for the rum, brandy,
and whiskey to work their magic, I listened to the latest chapters read by the
narrator of Book Two of Sparrowhawk.
By God! I thought. The  fellow’s going to
finish the whole thing before Christmas!
What a wonderful gift!

George Bailey, Global “Equalizer”

Back in December 2008, in my column,
“George Bailey’s
Wasted Life
,” I did Grinch duty and scored Frank Capra’s 1946 “iconic” movie,
It’s a Wonderful Life, for
being a cinematic paean to altruism, self-sacrifice, and living for others.
While coated in the patina of Americanism, I pointed out that it was a
distinctly un-American movie.  I followed
that in October 2011 with “Not
So Wonderful a Life
,” in which I dwelt on other observations I had in the
meantime made about the movie and its moral premises.
Some readers complained that while I made
valid points about the movie I overlooked the benevolence in it, that it was a
movie which made people glow with good will. It made one “feel good.” They,
however, neglected my point that emotions, good or bad, are not tools of
cognition, and that anyone who “felt good” after seeing IAWL has been conned by
an expert.  I recommended Capra’s hectic
comedy Arsenic and Old Lace as an
antidote.
This week, in the spirit of the season, I contemplated
adding a third column on the subject to incorporate further observations, but
decided that the horse was dead and that there was no longer a reason to beat
it. Then I caught an Internet squib about Bill Gates’ Stanford
University commencement address
in mid-June among a slew of such addresses.
I immediately thought, “George Bailey in
the flesh!”  Knowing that Gates is a
committed altruist who has made a career of expiating his “sins” of success and
creating unimaginable private wealth, which he is dedicated to dissolving in
the worst instance of “giving back,” I looked up that address. And, lo and
behold, there was George Bailey’s moral doppelganger and his
soul-mate
wife, Melinda, reading from prepared remarks to what I can only
assume was an adoring audience. It’s likely he got a pinch of satisfaction for
having been bestowed an honorary degree from Stanford, just as he probably did
when he got an honorary “Doctor of Laws” degree in 2007 from the school he
dropped out of, Harvard.
Of course, Gates can do whatever he wishes
with his wealth, for whatever reasons. But because he never questioned the
secular version of altruism, and had no real sound moral instruction in why he
should never have apologized for having amassed a fabulous fortune and begged
forgiveness in such an abysmal, pathetic way, that is his fate. And the
deliberate, conscious dissolution of his wealth does constitute an apology of a
particularly altruist, selfless species.
However, his attitude towards others’
wealth seems to be: I’ve made my
pile; you others can take the hindmost. I’ll respect you if you want to make
money, but only if it’s to help the poor, the lame, and the halt of the world.
Lost and forgotten in all the sanctimonious
back-and-forth about helping the “poor,” the “disadvantaged,” and the “impoverished”
is the American middle class. Gates mentions it not.
Aside from all the off-the-shelf banalities
in their Stanford commencement speech about optimism, vision, innovation, asking
“what you can do for your county – excuse me, for the world – not what your
country (or the world) can do for you,” the future, and the pride one should
feel for being a “nerd” (at one point they patronized and amused the audience
by putting on pairs of “nerdish” glasses), Bill and Melinda Gates cited some
repellant examples of what motivates them: the sores of others they seem to
enjoy sticking their fingers into and throwing money at. Were there no sores
for them to experience, they’d have no “moral” reason to “do good.”  
Bill related his experiences in Soweto,
South Africa, Melinda hers in India and Asia. Melinda rubbed elbows with Indian
prostitutes. I’m betting she took a long, hot shower every time she communed
with disease-ridden “sex workers.”
Bill and Melinda urged the graduates to
work hard in their future careers, to expect and be willing to “give back” as
they themselves are, and to seek out pockets of misery and poverty. Melinda
said, “Let your heart break. It will change what you do with your optimism.”
So here is our
appeal to you: As you leave Stanford, take your genius and your optimism and
your empathy and go change the world in ways that will make millions of others
optimistic as well. You don’t have to rush. You have careers to launch, debts
to pay, spouses to meet and marry. That’s enough for now.
But in the course
of your lives, without any plan on your part, you’ll come to see suffering that
will break your heart.
When it happens,
and it will, don’t turn away from it; turn toward it.
Work to imbue others with optimism. Live to
give others hope. Never mind the taxes and regulations that may make your
“optimism” harder to sustain. Let your hearts be broken. Weep, and you will be
rewarded.
I’d venture to say this is a scarier sermon
than any delivered by Jonathan
Edwards
, the 18th century pulpit pounder and guarantor of Hell and
Damnation no matter how virtuous a life you lived.  The whole of the Gates’s commencement address
could be re-titled, “The
Selfish In the Hands of an Angry Humanitarian
.” (E.g., Edwards wrote, “Simply
because it is natural to care for oneself or to think that others may care for
them, men should not think themselves safe from God’s wrath.”)
Before offering her broken heart advice,
Melinda Gates displayed her true epistemological and metaphysical colors (say,
rather, disabilities?), by repeating
Obama’s “you didn’t build that” mantra. Speaking about what contributes to
one’s success, she said:
When I talk with
the mothers I meet during my travels, I see that there is no difference at all
in what we want for our children. The only difference is our ability to give it
to them.
What accounts for
that difference? Bill and I talk about this with our kids at the dinner table.
Bill worked incredibly hard and took risks and made sacrifices for success. But
there is another essential ingredient of success, and that ingredient is luck –
absolute and total luck.
When were you born?
Who were your parents? Where did you grow up? None of us earned these things. They were given to us.
When we strip away
our luck and privilege and consider where we’d be without them, it becomes
easier to see someone who’s poor and sick and say “that could be me.”
This is empathy; it tears down barriers and opens up new frontiers for
optimism. (Italics mine)
Bill didn’t “build Microsoft”? The only
conclusion I can draw from this drivel is that Bill Gates’ success was possible
because he had “empathy,” combined with “luck.” If one doesn’t have “empathy,”
then one is out of luck. You won’t succeed. And if you do, you must have
cheated somehow, and you’ll be a pariah because you didn’t have empathy. Go
figure. I can picture Melinda Gates twenty or thirty years hence, resembling
that wizened, selfless old crone,  Mother
Teresa
, the patron witch of altruism. A perfect soul-mate for Bill. Lucky
him.
Bill Gates might a Democrat. He might a
Republican. Or an “Independent.” It’s difficult to determine which Party
commands his loyalty. As can be seen in the linked CampaignMoney.com’s chart of his
political contributions going back to 1999, he has divided his campaign
contributions almost equally between Democrats and Republicans and
“Independents.” Therefore, neither Party can accuse him of favoritism or of not
being bipartisan. This is so typical of American businessmen: Betting on Tweedledee
and Tweedledum in a pragmatic exercise of ensuring friendly treatment from
whichever party may assume control over the economy, finance, and trade.
In his Stanford speech, Gates noted that
advances in technology, especially in computer technology, “would make
inequality worse.” His goal from the beginning, he claimed, was to “democratize
computing.”  (You can take that with a
grain of salt.) He didn’t want just “rich kids” and businesses be able to use
computers. This is an altruist way of saying he wanted to create a bigger
market and make lots of money. At the outset, he wants us to believe, he was a
kind of “people’s capitalist” with not a selfish bone in his body.
Gates is obsessed with income “inequality,”
and “wealth disparity.” Some economists recommend that capitalism be “reformed”
to achieve “social justice.” But this is a
non sequitur. As Islam can’t be “reformed”
without killing Islam, one can’t reform capitalism, because at the end of the
reformation, what’s left is no longer “capitalism.” Gates doesn’t want to
reform it. He wants to punish it, or rather what we have left of it.
Chris Matthews in his October 15th Fortune
article, “Bill
Gates’ solution to income inequality
,” noted:
It might not come
as a surprise to many that Bill Gates, whom Forbes’ magazine ranks as the second wealthiest
man in the world, doesn’t agree with the ideas of French economist Thomas
Piketty. It’s Piketty, after all, who made a big splash this year with his book
Capital
in the 21st Century
,
which argued that it is a fundamental
law of capitalism that wealth will grow more concentrated absent destabilizing
events like global wars.
Piketty’s solution?
A global tax on capital that could help governments better understand how
wealth is distributed and stem the tide of inevitably increasing inequality,
which Piketty believes is socially destabilizing.
There’s another altruist premise: A global
tax will instruct governments on how to devise policies that will preempt the
envious and diminish “inequality.” Like most economists today, Piketty isn’t
much concerned with how wealth is created, only with how it can be seized and
distributed to stave off the envious.
                                                                                                                         
Picketty’s global tax on wealth would be
collected by whom? In all the discussions
of Picketty’s tax,  I haven’t seen one
that identifies the agency which would collect such a tax. The European Union?
The IMF? The United Nations? What entity would impose and collect such a tax globally? Further, I’ve always been
astonished by the nonchalance
with which most economists advocate various systems of legalized theft.
Gates dissents, on the other hand, writes
Matthews:
…Gates has already
pledged to give away half his fortune over the course of his lifetime, a much
larger amount than the 1% or 2% wealth tax, proposed by Piketty, would
confiscate. His problem isn’t with the idea that the super wealthy should
spread their fortunes around, but rather with Piketty’s mechanism and the
incentives it would create….
Gates shares
Piketty’s goal of spreading wealth [echoes of Obama’s explanation to Joe
the Plumber
can be heard here], yet he doesn’t want to discourage the uber wealthy (like Gates) who are taking
risks, investing in value-creating businesses, and helping the world through
philanthropy. Gates’ solution? Shift the American tax code from one that taxes
labor to one that taxes consumption.
 The super
rich, you see, have a moral duty to “help the world” and become fulltime
philanthropists. If they don’t meet that obligation, then they’re contemptible philistines
only interested in “conspicuous consumption.” Strive to “consume” less
conspicuously, and you’ll be counted as having had a broken heart and are a
good person because you’ve sacrificed a value.
After a gobbledygook fantasy of an explanation
of how Gates’ consumption tax would work for an “average” family and help to
reduce the federal deficit (!!!), Matthews neglects to mention in it that no
controls would stop a government from continuing to be a conspicuously
consuming spendthrift. For example, see Betsy
McCaughey’s
article on Family Security Matters on Cromnibus, the 1,695 page,
$1.1 trillion “budget” Congress hurriedly passed last weekend to fund the
federal government through September 2015.
Gates, however, while he endorses less “consumption”
and wishes to penalize it with a tax, is much more interested in ensuring that the
wealth one leaves one’s heirs is boiled down to rice and old shoes with a
confiscatory inheritance or “death tax.” William H. Gates, Sr.,  co-authored a sophomorically written piece, “’Death Tax’: What’s in a Name?,” in which he
advocates replacing the term “death tax” with simply “estate tax” to make it
more palatable. It was Gates Senior (and later 
billionaire Warren Buffet) who, early on, together with Melinda,
urged Bill Junior to liquidate his wealth as a moral obligation.
Matthews writes:
Such a regime could
appeal to both the right and left sides of the political spectrum. For those on
the left, who are sometimes uncomfortable with the effects of a culture based
around consumption, this tax would discourage such behavior. Meanwhile, a
regime that encourages savings and investment would appeal to conservatives.
But for a
progressive consumption tax to be truly progressive, there would need to be a
hefty estate tax to prevent the rich from simply letting their wealth grow over
generations through interest income. But Gates argues this is not a problem,
because we have the ability to institute estate taxes, a policy which he is a
“big believer” in.
The son, however, is an enthusiastic “globalist-socialist”
and endorses not only a death tax, but all kinds of other taxes,  as reported in Cliff Kincaid’s November 2012
AIM article, “Bill
Gates Urges Obama to Embrace Global Tax
.”
On Thursday, as
part of the G20 summit, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation, delivered a report on “financing for development” that proposes
global taxes on America and other “rich” nations to make the Global Poverty Act
a reality.
“I am honored to
have been given this important opportunity,” said
Gates,
founder of Microsoft. “My report will address the financing needed
to achieve maximum progress on the Millennium Development Goals, and to make
faster progress on development over the next decade.” The report, available
on the website of the Gates Foundation, proposes a financial transaction tax
(FTT) as well as taxes on tobacco, aviation and bunker fuel, and carbon
(energy), by G20 countries and other members of the European Union.
What? No FTT on trading in “carbon credits”?
Al Gore must be relieved.
George Bailey, a “community organizer” in
his own right,  has come a long way from
Bedford Falls.  He continues to “give
back” what he never took in the first place.

My Own “Enemies List”

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”
Not necessarily. Remember what happened
when FDR allied himself with Josef Stalin to defeat Nazi Germany. At war’s end,
Stalin gobbled up half of Europe with FDR’s leave. The U.S. was saddled with a
costly “cold war” with our former “friend” Soviet Russia for nearly half a
century. See Diana West’s path-breaking book, American
Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character
, for details, or
here,
about how “mainstream” historians deny the truth of West’s thesis. The USSR was
never a friend of America.
The proverb
suggests that two opposing parties can or should work together against a common
enemy. Although it is often described as an Arabic proverb, there is no
evidence of such an origin.
But now I can say that the friends of my
enemies are without question or a shade of doubt my enemies, as well.
To begin with, every one of them is a liar.
Daniel Greenfield, in his December 12th
FrontPage column, “Lying
in Post-Truth America
,” prefaced his comments with a reprise of Bill
Clinton’s lies about Monica Lewinsky, then remarked:
Clinton’s antics
set the stage for a current administration which can never be caught in a lie
because it’s lying all the time. Obama and his people don’t just lie, they lie
about the lies and then they lie about those lies. Bringing them in to testify
just clogs the filters with an extra layer of lies.
Invite [Jonathan] Gruber
to testify about the time that he admitted that the administration had been
lying and the only thing that will happen is more lies being told by a man who
is there only because he lied….
Journalists
repeatedly dismissed ObamaCare scandals by arguing that no one could have taken
Obama’s claims at face value anyway. When Obama promised Americans that they
could keep their doctors, the housewife in Topeka, the freelance programmer in
San Francisco and the geologist in Tulsa were supposed to be as knowing as the
Washington press corps and realize that he didn’t mean it….
Obama doesn’t
simply lie. He exists in a truth-free zone. He doesn’t stumble with any
construction as clumsy as Kerry’s “I actually did vote for the $87 billion,
before I voted against it.” He does not start with truthful facts. His starting
point is in an imaginary territory. It ends in an imaginary territory. If the
two imaginary territories are different, it scarcely matters because neither
place was ever real….
Lying is the faking of reality, of
committing fraud by concocting an illusion for others. To the liar, something
has GOT to be true, for otherwise the liar hasn’t a claim to anyone else’s
attention and without the lie the liar is an empty-handed boob and nobody. Or
because the truth will condemn the liar to jail or social ostracism. To the
liar, reality must conform to his lies. If it doesn’t, then he will blame it on
the Möbius Strip that the liar wishes you also to believe is the nature of
existence, that everything is in a Heraclian flux.  That way, neither he nor you can claim any
authority about what is a truth or a lie.  
Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Feinstein, and Jonathan
Gruber
, among others, wanted Obamacare foisted on the country, so they all
participated in a lie. Americans are suckers, claimed Gruber, and should never
be given an even break. Lies can be told to them because it’s for their own
good. But the truth behind the nature of Obamacare wasn’t a lie. He was caught
out by his own hubris.
Gruber made the mistake of boasting about
it at an obscure conference he thought no one else would ever care to learn
about, and went into detail about the machinations of his and his allies’ minds
and explained the rationale behind their collective lies. Even in his Congressional testimony
his apology for calling the  American
voter “stupid” is a lie; his crime makes Richard Nixon, perceived as a lying
used car salesman, seem like an artless novice. Bill Clinton beat him hands down. Concerning Gruber, the
sound we heard in Congress was his imitation of Porky
Pig
.
Barack Obama, however, is a congenital liar
about everything. He probably even boasts to others that he could give the golf
pro Jack Nicklaus a run for his money, and believes
it.
If he exists in what Greenfield called a “truth-free
zone, or in an “alternative universe” in which a paper cornucopia of wealth
flows from solar panels and Muslim outreach and healthy school lunches and the
milk and honey are actually vinegar and rationed Trail Mix, then it is thanks
to generations of philosophers, going back to David Hume,  Immanuel Kant and Georg Hegel (or even further
back to Plato) who preached that “reality” is not accessible to man. It exists
in some other-worldly realm impervious to man’s lying, stunted senses, so, who
knows what the truth is?
The truth is what I say it is, asserts the
liar, and who is anyone to question my special powers of kenning it. Truth can
be “A” and “non-A” at the same time or any combination of “X” and “Z” and “Y”
or whatever else I say it is. Let’s pass Obamacare, turn it into an ironclad
law, except when the President rewrites it, and then we can see what’s in it.
However, who are my enemies, who pose as my
friends yet side with my other enemies?
First
and foremost
:
President Barack H. Obama, our National Community Organizing Expert, enemy of
the Constitution, and Liar-in-Chief.
Second: everyone who,
with starry-eyed hankerings for the unearned and the redistribution of what
they never built, voted for Obama first, and then, after seeing the destruction
he wrought on the country, and even in their own lives in the way of Obamacare,
cost of living increases, unemployment, scandals, inflation, the increase in
the national debt, blatant cronyism, corruption, and foreign policy disasters
that will redound repeatedly on America in the future like the Four Horsemen of
the Apocalypse, voted for him again in 2012.
Third: his Progressive,  Socialist, and soft-pedaling Communist allies
in Congress, in both houses. This includes Nancy Pelosi, Tim Kaine and Mark
Warner (U.S. Senators for Virginia, my current domicile), Harry Reid, John
Boehner, and the whole Rouges’ Gallery of politicians, most of them Democrats
or pretend Republicans.
Fourth: the Mainstream
Media, Obama’s private NGO cum news
dispenser, the lap dog of the White House’s policy of dissimulation and
disinformation, and unpaid propaganda bureau. This includes prominent
columnists, pundits, apologists for America, and writers and blog sites that project
more empathy
for the enemy and totalitarians than they do f or the victims of statist and
Mideast (read Islamic) savagery.
Fifth: Islam, in the
person of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and all of its
Hamas-Terrorist affiliations, such as ISNA, ICNA, MSA, and other alphabetic
linkages beyond, such as ISIS, the PA, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah, and
any other Islamic terrorist organizations.
Sixth: all the other Islamic States, such as Saudi Arabia,
Iran, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and all the small
fry Islamic States. I may as well throw in Turkey. The blitzkrieg of ISIS (the
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is comparable to Mohammad’s campaign on the
Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century to bring the whole region under his and
Islam’s thumb.
Seventh: Career
race-baiters and “What? Me Worry?” ignoramuses who have a vested interest in
racial strife and conflict, and work diligently perpetuate them on the
slightest pretext,  regardless of
reality, such as Al
Sharpton
and Jessie Jackson.
 In his own special category of
pulpit-pounding racism, I also name Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan.
Eighth: Conservatives who
can’t decide on which side their principles (if any) and convictions (if any) should
reside: Freedom, or a status quo as defined by their alleged enemies, Democrats.
Ninth: Billionaires
who donated to Obama’s re-election,
most of whom donated to his first election.
Tenth: Less-than-billionaires
who donated to Obama’s re-election,
many of whom donated to his first election.
Eleventh:  Any and all Federal and state regulatory
agencies established to regulate trade, human activities, and social
relationships, such as the Internal Revenue Service, the Environmental
Protection Agency, Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration,
among myriad others.
There are many others that merit my eternal
hostility, but I think these eleven ought to suffice for the moment. Then there
are the “lone wolf” enemies, such as American book and newspaper publishers,
who refused to reproduce the Mohammad
cartoons
of 2005 and even in a Yale University
Press
book about The
Cartoons That Shook the World
lest they “offend” the gentle
sensibilities of Muslims and anger them to the point that they would go on
murderous rampages and call for the end of freedom of speech.  
And let us not forget the major and
“inadvertent” faux pas of Scholastic,
Inc.
, which recently published a children’s book that omitted Israel from a
map of the Mideast. Or, given the rising tide of anti-Semitism, was the
omission instead an instance of l
a négligence
consciente
?
Perhaps Wizard Harry Potter,
whose exploits are published by Scholastic, whisked by on his broom and with a
flick of his magic wand made Israel disappear from the minds of Scholastic’s
cartographers. I’m trying to imagine the discredited Protocols of the Elders of
Zion in the curriculum of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
That curriculum, however, seems to be
shared by most American schools and universities.
All in all, one’s “friends” are not
necessarily one’s “friends.” They could be one’s worst enemies.
Moral: Choose your friends wisely. And make
sure your enemy knows you are not his friend.

Montessori Made Easy

Some book debuts are memorable and marvelous to
behold, and this is one of them. I almost feel privileged to review Charlotte
Cushman’s Montessori:
Why It Matters for Your Child’s Success and Happiness
, recently
published by The Paper Tiger.
Maria Montessori was born on August 31, 1870, in the provincial town of
Chiaravalle, Italy, to middle-class, well-educated parents. At the time that
Montessori was growing up, Italy held conservative values about women’s roles.
From a young age, she consistently broke out of those proscribed gender
limitations. After the family moved to Rome, when she was 14, Montessori
attended classes at a boys’ technical institute, where she further developed
her aptitude for math and her interest in the sciences—particularly biology.
Facing
her father’s resistance but armed with her mother’s support, Montessori went on
to graduate with high honors from the medical school of the University of Rome
in 1896. In so doing, Montessori became the first female doctor in Italy.
Montessori displayed the same insatiable appetite
for knowledge that she has encouraged her teachers to imbue in their pre-school
and kindergarten students. Her premise was that “class” and a child’s external
environment did not necessarily determine the contents and actions of his mind,
unless he has a passive, as opposed
to an active, ambitious, eager mind. (Passivity
is also an action of volition, or of choice, but a negative one.) The mentally healthy mind possesses the human
attribute of volition, and can develop a willingness
and ability to think. This, Cushman, emphasizes, is a natural desire in
children. Bright, independent, confident children could hale from any strata of
society. Social status is irrelevant.
As
a doctor, Montessori chose pediatrics and psychiatry as her specialties. While
teaching at her medical-school alma mater, Montessori treated many poor and
working-class children who attended the free clinics there. During that time,
she observed that intrinsic intelligence was present in children of all
socio-economic backgrounds.
Montessori
became the director of the Orthophrenic School for developmentally disabled
children in 1900. There she began to extensively research early childhood
development and education….
Montessori
began to conceptualize her own method of applying their educational theories,
which she tested through hands-on scientific observation of students at the
Orthophrenic School. Montessori found the resulting improvement in students’
development remarkable.
When an infant begins to see things – when the
blurs and blogs of color that swim in his vision begin to coalesce into
identities—what a child needs to know is that these things are real things in a
reality that is permanent and stable. Montessori stresses the primacy of
existence. Cushman writes:
“Children
need to establish a view of the world that is stable, and since the child forms
himself from his environment, order is a major component of Montessori
classrooms. Everything in the classroom is in order. The classroom as a whole
is in order, organized into designated areas, each of which is part of a
sequence. The materials on the shelves are in order, and each activity is
displayed properly arranged in its container. Concepts are presented in a
logical order and there is order in how they are taught. Order is part of the
daily routine.”  (p. 5)
Discussing the role of language in a child’s
developing and growing mind, Cushman notes:
“Humans
are cognitively superior to all other animals because they can reason (and can
thus control their environment and their own lives). A person uses mathematics
in the process of forming concepts. He forms a concept for a given kind of
thing when he has integrated the appropriate number of abstractions from real
instances of it, and he then labels that concept with a word, which is a symbol
for the concept. Language is a systematic combination of such symbols that
arranges concepts in a logical sequence and is, therefore, primarily a tool of
cognition.” (p. 40)
Cushman makes this startling observation about how
a child begins to learn how to speak:
“The
child is sensitive to human speech even before he knows who is speaking. By the
time the baby is four months old his eyes are focused on the mouth of the
speaker and he can be seen making little motions with his lips as though he
were making silent words. At six months the child begins to babble, imitating
the sounds of human speech, and by the time he is eight or nine months old, he
has uttered every sound in the alphabet of his native language. It is
interesting to note that the child does not utter and imitate every sound
in his environment, but is drawn towards language.”  (pp. 40-41)
Here are some highlights from Cushman’s opus:
“Creation
doesn’t start with…creation. It starts with knowledge, and the primary focus of
education in the beginning must be the acquisition of knowledge. Knowledge
needs to be presented in an orderly way so that the mind can file information
logically and retrieve it reliably; only then can the mind make the novel
connections that are the essence of the creative process. Once knowledge and
skills have been attained, freedom is necessary for the mind to bring
innovations into existence.” (p. 112)
“What,
then, is the true aim of the Montessori Method? In a word—independence, and the
result is the child’s profound love of his work.” (p. 128)
“Self-esteem entails two interrelated aspects: that one is
worthy of living and that one is competent to live. It is the knowledge that
one’s mind can grasp the facts of reality, that one can understand the world
and then live rationally and morally.” (p. 142)
“Self-esteem, as I discussed earlier, does not come from the
approval of others. Children initially develop their self-evaluation from the
conclusions that they draw about the world through their experiences. If they
think reality is understandable and that they are capable of understanding it,
they will have a positive view of themselves; but if they think reality is
chaos, that they can’t comprehend it, and that anything goes, they will have a
negative view of themselves.” (p. 157)
“In
Montessori education the child is taught how to think for himself. He uses
concrete objects to experiment with and confirm reality. The Montessori child
develops an independent mind because we do not tell him what to think. We allow
him to learn independently—on his own—without flooding the room with adults. We
also let him learn by interacting with lots of other children.” (p. 196)
In modern education, children (and high school- and
college-age adults) are pressured to become “socialized,” to fit into groups,
to “go with the flow,” to conform collectivist identities and purposes, to obey
and not question. But, Cushman asks:
“Fit
into what? The group, the crowd, the gang? Relationships are with individuals, not with unknown collectives. When
someone wants to fit in with the unnamed “others,” he puts himself at the mercy
of what others think of him. Instead, he should be defining what his standards
are for relationships, decide which individuals are worthwhile, and choose his
friends accordingly.” (p. 209, Italics
mine.)
Cushman advises parents:
“As
you consider your options, keep this in mind: education is more than just
learning how to add and read. Education is preparing the child for adulthood.
When he grows up, he will need to know how to listen and remember what he
hears, read and assimilate information, follow a train of logic, and make
decisions.” (p. 211)
At the end of Maria Montessori,
Cushman re-emphasizes the purpose of the Montessori Method of education:
“The
ability to think is essential for man’s survival and happiness. I don’t know of
any other educational system other than the Montessori Method that uses a
highly specialized, integrated methodology for the specific purpose of teaching
a child how to use his mind. Maria Montessori discovered what children are and
how they really learn. And she recognized that in order to reason, it takes
much more than just an accumulation of facts. The Montessori Method is a
realistic approach to learning based on the true nature of the child. And it
works.” (p. 222)

Forty illustrations of children at work – never
at play – in a Montessori classroom adorn this important volume. Some children
are smiling while performing a chore or a task. Others are frowning in thought
while engaged in some activity. But a frown is a good sign. Ayn Rand, to whom
Cushman has dedicated her book, noted
in her novel, The Fountainhead:
“…. Man’s first frown is the first touch of
God on his forehead. The touch of thought.”

Montessori: Why It Matters for Your
Child’s Success and Happiness
, by Charlotte Cushman. Kerhonkson, NY: The
Paper Tiger. 253 pp. Illustrated.

Obama’s Tribal Warfare Agenda

In my recent post, “The
Transparency of Obama’s Malignity
” (November 24th), I wrote that the man is
evil incarnate. He is a nihilist. He revels in the destruction he contemplates
and initiates. He disguises his nihilism, not very effectively, behind one or
another kind of verbal and behavioral public mask: a jihadist/terrorist
wrap-around mask revealing only his eyes, a Venetian carnival mask
to express his practiced insouciance, and a bandit’s bandanna over his muzzle
the better to render his words unintelligible. But, like Mickey Mouse
attempting the same deception, his true intentions and ends have always been
obvious to the keen observer.  I’m not
talking about Mickey’s or Obama’s ears.
Dr. Leonard Peikoff has published a new book, The
Cause of Hitler’s Germany
, which is a distillation of his 1983 opus, The
Ominous Parallels
: The End of Freedom in America.  The Cause
focuses on the philosophical
roots of Nazism, going all the way back to Plato, up through Augustine,
Immanuel Kant, Georg Hegel, and sundry philosophers and intellectuals in the
present time. In a copacetic relationship, Nazism benefited mightily from
Marxist ideology, and vice versa, vis-à-vis the principles and practice of
totalitarian rule. I left this
comment
on the Amazon listing of The
Cause
.
If
you want to understand the phenomena of Barack Obama and his continual grabs
for power, his indifference to Congress, and his hostility to America and to Americans,
Dr. Peikoff’s book would be an essential, necessary place to start. Obama,
however, is merely the end product of over a century and a half of political
and moral thought in the United States. He is merely the practicing heir of
Immanuel Kant and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel from the 18th and 19th
centuries. His predecessors in office, Republican and Democratic, subscribed to
some of his agenda; the Republicans, to preserve the status quo, whatever it
happened to be at the moment; the Democrats, to advance the Progressive,
collectivist agenda of transforming the nation to a thoroughly regulated one from
top to bottom.
Dr.
Peikoff explains in clear terms how America is “progressing” to an end similar
to that of Nazi Germany’s. The visible accoutrements may differ between
Germany’s Nazism and our own – jackboots and kepis vs. tennis shoes and
baseball caps – but the ideology and consequences are the same. It was logical
that Hitler hated America and regarded it as a mortal enemy; and it is only
logical that Obama express his undisguised hatred for America, as well, and
seek to advance its destruction more blatantly.
Someday, hopefully, when reason is reestablished in
this country, and the nihilists now in charge of its dissolution have been
disenfranchised, a documentary will be produced showing the highlights of
Obama’s own “Triumph of
the Wil
l,” not as a a propaganda film, but as an instructional exposé.
In The Cause
of Hitler’s
Germany, Dr. Peikoff makes little reference to how the progress
to Nazism or to our own brand of totalitarianism is paralleled in America. That
daunting task he performs in The Ominous
Parallels
. The text of the latter is updated in The Cause to include the turmoil in the Middle East. When The Ominous Parallels was published in
1982/1983, the fundamental essence of Islam, a totalitarian ideology garbed in
religious vestments, had not yet been comprehended by very many observers who
based their assessments on any ideology’s essential characteristics.
On November 24th, President Barack Obama gave a speech
to a Chicago
audience on the subject of his executive amnesty for 12
million illegal immigrants, the majority of them from Mexico and Central
America. It is the same folksy, patronizing rhetorical equivocation that has
characterized all his political speeches, one that sought to capitalize on a
subject he has, on one hand, been ambiguous about, but on the other quite
clear: He is going to do it in spite of the probable illegality of his action,
in spite of his failed programs, in spite of his growing unpopularity even
among his now luke-warm supporters.
Neil Munro of The Daily Caller, in his November
25th column, “Obama:
Americans Have No Right to Favor Americans
,” remarked:
The
only Americans who can legitimately object to immigration are native
Indian-Americans, President Barack Obama told his Chicago audience Nov. 24, as
he made an impassioned ideological plea for endless immigration, cultural
diversity and a big government to manage the resulting multicultural society.
“There
have been periods where the folks who were already here suddenly say, ‘Well, I
don’t want those folks,’ even though the only people who have the right to say
that are some Native Americans,” Obama said, rhetorically dismissing the
right of 300 million actual Americans to decide who can live in their homeland.
Americans should not favor other Americans over foreigners, Obama demanded.
“Sometimes we get attached to our particular tribe, our particular race, our
particular religion, and then we start treating other folks
differently… that, sometimes, has been a bottleneck to how we think about
immigration,” he said in the face of many
polls
 showing rising opposition to his immigration agenda.
Obama promises that he will step-by-step grant
no-strings-attached amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants who he says will
boost an economy he has already wreaked with Obamacare and all his other wealth
and income sapping policies. It is burdened with an unemployment rate of nearly
13%
among Americans and legalized immigrants already here. Neil Munro
highlights Obama’s “compassion” for people he wants to swamp the country with:
Deportations
of illegals who have children in the United States “breaks up families… it is
heartbreaking, it is not right,” he said. “We’re not a nation that kicks
out strivers… we find ways to welcome people, fellow human beings, children of
God, into the fold, and harness their talents.”
The
Statue of Liberty doesn’t have its back to the world, he said, trying to
portray the monument as a colossal invitation to migrants. In fact, the statue
was designed as a “Light to the World” that would show foreigners how Americans
use their constitution and liberty to govern themselves without kings or
emperors. The many immigrants who arrive have to be treated equally under the
law, Obama said, segueing into his progressive agenda.
To “show foreigners how Americans use their constitution
and liberty to govern themselves without kings or emperors”? Or an
authoritarian – “Do as I say, not as I do” – usurper of the constitution that
stands in his way?
James Taranto in his Wall Street Journal article of
November 25th, “Policy?
What Policy?
” pondered the apparent contradictions in Obama’s Chicago
speech:
Simply
put, the president offers no explanation for why he is ordering these changes
only for 5 million of the nearly 12 million illegals in the United States.
Everything he said in his speech about the value of immigrants, and the need to
show kindness to the stranger, ought in theory to apply to any illegal [alien]
but a criminal. But Obama has limited its reach to people who have been here
for several years and have children who are American citizens. This means
either his arguments are disingenuous, or he doesn’t have the courage of his
convictions, or he’s calibrating his responses to satisfy a political
constituency without causing a wholesale eruption inside the country. Or all
three.
It’s Obama’s version of the Three-Card-Monte scam. Taranto
ends his column with:
The
administration is playing a double game. Plainly Obama believes his political
objectives are best served by striking a bold and confrontational pose (which
further suggests that arriving at a legislative compromise is not among those
objectives). But in formulating a legal argument, it is in the administration’s
interest to present the action as modestly as possible—a minor change in policy
that doesn’t amount to a “general policy” at all.
It’s
not the first time we’ve seen such an approach from the administration. During
the political debate over ObamaCare, the president insisted that the bill’s
proposed penalty for not having insurance was not a tax. When it came time to
defend the law in court, the solicitor general argued in the alternative that
it is a tax. In that case, at least, the double game was successful. We’ll see
if they can pull it off again.   
If Taranto bothered to peel the onion of Obama’s
immigration policy layer after layer down to its bud, he’d be crying a river of
tears. He might better understand the nature of the monster he is assessing. Consistency
is not a hallmark of a dictator or even a wannabe dictator such as Obama. Dr.
Peikoff stresses that Obama, emulating Hitler, plays the ultimate pragmatist,
claiming that an action was absolutely imperative one day, but change his mind
the next day and propose or enforce another kind of action. Since nothing was
real in Hitler’s universe, he could pose as a paragon of consistency while at
the same time waffle between contradictory policies and persuade Germans that
he was “staying the course.”
From Obama’s November 25th remarks in Chicago
which “don’t” mention the Ferguson riots or the Grand Jury decision:
 As many of you know, a verdict came down — or
a grand jury made a decision yesterday that upset a lot of people.  And as
I said last night, the frustrations that we’ve seen are not just about a
particular incident.  They have deep roots in many communities of color
who have a sense that our laws are not always being enforced uniformly or fairly…. 
“Communities of color”? “White” isn’t a color? Are
Asians lumped together with “whites” in Obama’s universe, but Latinos or
Hispanics comprise another “community of color”? Obama is fixated on race. As are
his supporters, and the MSM.
But
what we also saw — although it didn’t get as much attention in the media —
was people gathering in overwhelmingly peaceful protest — here in Chicago, in
New York, in Los Angeles, other cities.  We’ve seen young people who were
organizing, and people beginning to have real conversations about how do we
change the situation so that there’s more trust between law enforcement and
some of these communities.  And those are necessary conversations to have….
“Peaceful protests”? Such as mostly white
protesters
staging Ferguson “die-ins” in shopping malls, or or trying to
stop Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, or disrupting public Christmas events, such as
Christmas tree lightings? And I can’t help but recall actor Morgan Freeman’s
2005 retort to Mike
Wallace
who asked him to comment on America’s alleged “race problem.” Freeman
said: “Stop talking about it!” Implying that skin color is important only if it’s
an issue to you.
So
my message to those people who are constructively moving forward, trying to
organize, mobilize, and ask hard, important questions about how we improve the
situation — I want all those folks to know that their President is going to
work with them.  (Applause.)  Separate and apart from the particular
circumstances in Ferguson, which I am careful not to speak to because it’s not
my job as President to comment on ongoing investigations and specific cases, but
the frustrations people have generally — those are rooted in some hard truths
that have to be addressed.
And
so those who are prepared to work constructively, your President will work with
you.  And a lot of folks, I believe, in law enforcement and a lot of folks
in city halls and governor’s offices across the country want to work with you
as well. 
So
as part of that, I’ve instructed Attorney General Eric Holder not just to
investigate what happened in Ferguson, but also identify specific steps we can take
together to set up a series of regional meetings focused on building trust in
our communities. 
He isn’t going to comment on Ferguson, but does
anyway. The boy can’t help himself.
But Peikoff’s chief point is that the Germans were
conditioned by two centuries of imbibing Kant and Hegel and could no longer
tell what was real and what wasn’t. This is Obama’s policy, as well.  “I’m against racism and violence and property
destruction,” he’ll say with faux sincerity on one hand. But his policies and
actions say something else. On December 1st he convened a
“civil rights” conference
of the leading
racists
in the country that included Al Sharpton, the president of La Raza,
and other preeminent race-baiters and race exploiters to discuss how to fix
America’s “race problem,” which Obama has done more to exacerbate than the KKK.
Imagine Hitler calling a meeting of the top Nazis
to deliberate on how to combat anti-Semitism. Further, the participants at the
White House meeting have “suffered” from racism like Paris Hilton and Miley
Cyrus have suffered from “sexism.” Obama’s race conference seems more like a
rap session between non-rival gangs. Think the Bloods and the Crypts trading
jive-talk and planning their own jihad
against the American public (as in Ferguson “protesters” invading malls,
ruining public Christmas events), supervised by a government appointed maven for
community-organizing outreach.
My own point here is that Obama wants a “race war,” or tribal warfare.
He’ll do everything in his “executive power to encourage it.   There’s
money in it, there’s political capital in it, there’s Progressive “social
justice” in it.
If you think this column is “too intellectual,” then
there’s nothing I can do for you. You must be a tribalist.

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