The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Month: May 2015 Page 1 of 2

Hate Crimes vs. Hate Speech: A False Dichotomy

“Thoughtcrime is death. Thoughtcrime does not entail death.
Thoughtcrime IS death. I have committed even before setting pen to paper the
essential crime that contains all others unto itself.” Winston Smith, Nineteen Eighty-Four*

I was alerted to the renewed assault on freedom of
speech by a Jihad Watch article by Robert Spencer of May 26th, “Half
of Democrats support laws curtailing the freedom of speech
.” He opens with:
problems with this should be obvious, and it’s a sign of the fix we’re in that
they aren’t. Who decides what speech is “intended to stir up hatred against a
particular group”? Islamic supremacist groups such as Hamas-linked CAIR and
other “Islamophobia”-mongers relentlessly claim that foes of jihad terror and
Sharia supremacism are stirring up hatred against Muslims. This charge is
entirely baseless, as any Muslim who sincerely rejects jihad terror and the
imposition of Sharia in the West should be standing with us, and is welcome to
do so.
the key question here is, who decides?
The allies and friends of those who believe, or claim to believe, that it is
“inciting hatred” to oppose jihad terror and Sharia supremacism are in the
corridors of power. If the Democrats succeed in criminalizing “hate speech,”
there is no doubt that it will become illegal to speak honestly about the
nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, and the jihadis will be able to
advance unimpeded. [Italics mine]
Here is the article of May 20th from UGOV from
which Spencer quotes:
1994 people convicted
of federal crimes motivated by the ‘actual or perceived’ identity of victims

have faced tougher sentences. Many other states had passed ‘hate crime’
statutes in earlier years, and in recent years many states have been adopting
laws which make crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation of gender
identity hate crimes which face tougher sentences, something the federal
government did in 2009. Unlike much of the rest of the developed world,
however, the United States does not make it a criminal offense for people to
make statements which encourage hatred of particular groups. For example a
prominent British columnist, Katie Hopkins, is being investigated by the police
for referring to African
migrants crossing the Mediterranean as ‘cockroaches’
latest research shows that many Americans support making it a criminal offense
to make public statements which would stir up hatred against particular groups
of people. Americans narrowly support (41%) rather than oppose (37%)
criminalizing hate speech, but this conceals a partisan divide. Most Democrats
(51%) support criminalizing hate speech, with only 26% opposed. Independents
(41% to 35%) and Republicans (47% to 37%) tend to oppose making it illegal to
stir up hatred against particular groups….
it comes to crimes motivated by hatred, most Americans do back the current
federal hate crime laws, including the expanded definition of hate crime passed
in 2009. 56% of Americans back the federal law mandating tougher penalties for
cimes motivated by race, religion or gender, and 51% support expanding that to
include sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. Democrats (68%)
tend to be much more supportive of the law than either independents and
Republicans. Republicans (38% to 39%) are split over the expanded definition of
hate crime, while independent tend to support (46%) rather than oppose (28%)
And one of the questions in the survey was whether respondents
supported or opposed “the federal law which expands existing federal hate crime
law to apply to crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender,
sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability?”
Although the survey results are interesting, the
percentages are irrelevant. I subscribe to the “Fifty million Frenchmen can be
as wrong as one” school of deciding whether or not  something is right, or whether or not  something exists, or whether or not  something ought to be. That is, I do not make
value judgments or act on a consensus. I base my decisions and conclusions on
the evidence of my own senses, and not on the collective opinion of countless,
anonymous others.
to Wikipedia,
“The modern era of hate-crime legislation began in 1968 with the
passage of federal statute, 18 U.S. 245, part of the Civil Rights Act which made it illegal to
“by force or by threat of force, injure, intimidate, or interfere with
anyone who is engaged in six specified protected activities, by reason of their
race, color, religion, or national
.” However, “The prosecution of such crimes must be
certified by the U.S. attorney general.”
The Leadership
site on hate crime legislation cites the
Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act of 1994
introduced by Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) as
freestanding legislation, the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act was
enacted into law as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act
of 1994. Pursuant to the Act, the United States Sentencing Commission
established a sentencing enhancement of “not less than 3 offense levels
for [federal] offenses that the finder of fact at trial determines beyond a
reasonable doubt are hate crimes.” The enhancement defines a hate crime as
“a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the
case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because
of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity,
gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.” In other words, sentences imposed on
defendants convicted of federal crimes may be substantially increased if the
crime is found to be motivated by bias.
This measure–which covers only
federal crimes–applies, for example, to bias-motivated attacks and vandalism
that occur in national parks and on other Federal property. This enhancement
took effect on November 1, 1995. [Italics
The notion of hate
s has been troublesome for me ever since it was introduced. I couple
it with the phenomenon of hate speech.
The two notions are intimately – nay, intrinsically
linked. For if one thinks a politically incorrect or criminalized thought, the
assumption is that one will likely act on it. Ergo, the speech police must
discourage, frustrate, and even censor speech before it could possibly entice
the speaker to commit a violent crime. And if a hate crime is committed, then
the penalty for it must be made more severe than if one committed the crime for
banal reasons (e.g., committing a murder in the course of another felony, or
just holding up a bank or a convenience store for “mere” money).
Linked in the USGOV story was an International
Business Times
story about Katie Hopkins, a British writer who
characterized in her Sun newspaper column the hundreds of “migrants” from North
Africa crossing the Mediterranean in boats to Italy and Europe as
“cockroaches.” The Have
a LIttle Faith site
provided a more extensive quotation from the Sun
wrote in the Sun newspaper that instead of rescue boats helping migrants, there
should in fact be gun ships. She refers to migrants as “a plague of feral
humans” and likened them to cockroaches. She suggests we take the “Australian
approach” of “threaten[ing] them with violence until they bugger off, throwing
cans of Castlemaine in an Aussie version of Sharia stoning,” a statement which
manages to be offensive to Australians, Muslims and migrants all in one.
Of course, liberal/left blog sites like The
Huffington Post
climbed on board the let’s-get-Hopkins fried-and-fired
train. Regardless, however, of what one thinks of her remarks, should Hopkins
be punished for speaking her mind? Is it the Sun newspaper’s option or is it
“society’s” to determine her career status? Suppose I called all the illegal
immigrants pouring into the U.S. from Mexico “cockroaches”? Or, better yet, “termites”
meant to undermine the country and to solidify the Democratic voting bloc in
this country for decades to come, as Obama intended all along? Should we gag Ann
r for alleging that one of the purposes of the border invasion is to
achieve the “browning” of America, and force her to perform “community” service
in an orange jump suit? Should the government shut down Rule of Reason for
printing my “provocative” speech, or threaten other sites to refrain from
reprinting my remarks on pain of financial or other penalties? For a detailed
exchange between Coulter and her inadequate Fusion host, go to Salon here,
or read her Point column about the Fusion interview here.
The Orwell quotation that opens this column is
pertinent. The key part of it is the
essential crime that contains all others unto itself
. Wikipedia lists other
terms that occur in Orwell’s dystopian novel.
Crimestop means to rid oneself of
unwanted thoughts, i.e., thoughts that interfere with the ideology of the
Party. This way, a person avoids committing thoughtcrime….
means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at
the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping
analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the
simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or
repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical
direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.”
A voluntarily self-imposed protective stupidity, to
be more precise. To dwell on unorthodox thoughts is crimethink. At the moment, Muslims seem to be the only observable
group, aside from the MSM, to follow a regime of crimethink and presumably engage in crimestop. They do not question the basic, fundamental tenets of
Islam, do acknowledge that some of what its adherents do is really awful, but
stop short of blaming Islam itself. They don’t wish to commit hate speech. They
do not wish to risk the charge of blasphemy. They do not wish to question the
politically correct orthodoxy that Islam has been “hijacked” by monsters. They
not wish to suggest, let alone say it explicitly, that Islam by its nature
inculcates monsters and that monsters are all we can expect from Islam.
Imagine having a serious discussion with Joe Biden
about Aristotelian philosophy. No? With Shirley Jackson Lee of Texas? I can
hear the raspberries.
Or with Barack Obama on the golf course. “All I
know is,” he’d say, “is that when I hit the ball, it goes somewhere. Not always
where I want it to go. That’s metaphysics for you. Unreliable. Usually it’s in
complete conflict with my epistemological expectations and desires.”
Want to call that “hate speech”? Go right ahead.
It’s called satire. And I haven’t seen a flattering political cartoon of Obama
in, well, years. Why aren’t those cartoonists in jail for having provoked
enmity towards Obama? They’ve done violence to his reputation and credibility.
Of reputation, he has carloads; of credibility, it amounts to a rusted Chevy
sitting on cinder blocks in the Arkansas hinterland.
Back to the
essential crime that contains all others unto itself.
Imagine that I shot a
rabbi, or a priest, or even an imam. Why would I shoot a cleric? Is it relevant
why? Perhaps I found the cleric’s
garb “provocative.” Perhaps he flipped me off some time in the past. Perhaps he
shouted at me in front of witnesses that I was as thick as a brick. Anyway, the
sight of him was personally offensive. But the motive, if objective law was
adhered to, would be irrelevant. I committed a capital crime: first degree
murder, aggravated assault, premeditated murder, whatever. Before the
introduction of exception-making in criminal jurisprudence to protect specific
groups, the physical crime was all that I would be tried and convicted for. I initiated
force against another man. I murdered or wounded him. That’s the crime, and
that’s all that would be to it.
My motive would not
have been criminalized. My animus for clerics and my thinking about shooting
the cleric would not have been
criminalized. The contents of my mind would not
have been the subject of criminal legislation. My motive likely would have been
used by the prosecution and defense to explain
why I shot the cleric, but my motive would not
have been on trial. Just my provable, demonstrable actions. Atheistic or anti-cleric
or Islamophobic literature might have been found by the police in my home, on
my computer, or buried in the back yard – or there might have been no such
literature at all to find.
Let’s change the scenario a wrinkle. Suppose I was
a Muslim and I was offended by visual representations of Mohammad, or I was
told by my American mullah or imam that I ought to be offended. I go to the
magazine that’s published some really “provocatively” offensive images of
Mohammad and shoot the staff. Or I go to Garland, Texas, and try to shoot
everyone attending a conference held to celebrate the drawing of Mohammad. All
those people deserved to die, I think, they were out to get my goat. Or my ewe.
They were exploiting the phobia Americans
have about Islam. About me.
Knowing that depictions of Mohammad are forbidden
in Islam by the faithful and by the
unbelievers wherever they live, they deliberately set out to provoke me! Taunt me! Dare me! I’m
shot and wounded by a single policeman before I can do anything. The press and
TV reporters learn I’m a Muslim. Possibly deranged, possibly not. A little
strain of sympathy is felt for me. I couldn’t
but react the way I did. My religion was being mocked! My icon of a
perfect man was being denigrated and slandered! Overwhelming hostility is felt
for Pamela Geller and everyone having anything to do with scheduling and holding
and participating in the Draw Mohammad conference. Geller and her fellow provocateurs
ought to have known what the
consequences would be. I would show up, or someone else. That’s what everyone
would be saying. Wave a red cape at a bull and the bull’s going to charge. Don’t
wave the red cape, and the bull will lie down beneath the press box to bask in
the sun and dream of Pamplona.
Or of enlisting in ISIS.
Didn’t these freedom-of-speech fanatics know that? But they did know it! They boast of it! They were not practicing responsible free speech. They consciously
set out to provoke me! I didn’t have to look at the drawings, no one forced me
to. But I’m a product of my Islamic environment, and I can’t help but look and
be offended. I have no volitional consciousness. How do I know they
deliberately provoked me? I just know it. I can’t help it if they choose to incite hatred against me and my faith!
The press and TV anchors, politicians, Donald Trump
and Bill O’Reilly don’t much examine my
motives. But they put Geller’s motives through the wringer. They also insinuated
that the Charlie Hebdo staff had it coming to them. They further insinuate that
had I not forgotten to thumb off the safety on my gun, Geller and Bosch Fawstin
and Robert Spencer would have had it coming to them, too.
Spencer reported that a gaggle of Democrats are all
for passing laws that would restrict
freedom of speech
, to make it more “responsible.” Of course, as a
consequence, speech would no longer be “free,” but regulated. Which would mean that thought would be regulated. If you have a thought, and must express
it in a way deemed acceptable and proper according to some authority’s
criteria, and there are penalties for not meeting those criteria, how free can
thinking be, either? Before you set hand to keyboard or brush to an easel, you
must indulge in crimestop before you
commit crimethink, or “hate speech”
or a hate crime. You must vet
yourself before letting the speech police can vet your speech.
Which can easily lead to thoughtcrime.
It would be wrong to call this petit totalitarianism. It is totalitarianism pure and simple.
Sean Gabb in his May 2012 essay, “Another
Surveillance Law: One More Step towards the Big Brother State
,” published
in The Barrister, in discussing the rise of the “soft” but no less insidious police
state in Britain, the kind that is “investigating” Katie Hopkins and her “cockroaches”
remarks, noted:
police state is less about enforcement than control. Its function is to make a
ruling class irresistible when robbing and oppressing, or when imposing its
utopian fantasies. If people can be made to obey without being clubbed to death
in a police cell, why bother with violence? There is no British Gestapo or KGB
or Stasi, because our own police state rests on a foundation of changes of
investigatory and criminal procedure and of omnipresent surveillance. When
people know that they are being watched in all that they do, and when they know
that stepping over some invisible line will put them to great inconvenience and
expense, they will change their behavior and their attitudes to authority.
But, back to my enraged and offended Muslim scenario
and my fumbled attempt to impose Sharia Law on Geller and her provocateurs. I’m
finally put on trial for an attempted act of terrorism. I’m convicted of
attempted murder and nothing else. My defense counsel protests and I protest:
But…but what about my religion? What about my motive? This isn’t fair! You’re just sentencing me for carrying a
gun with the intent to kill some people! Sure, I was about to commit a hate crime, but that should be in my
favor, because I’m a persecuted minority! And oppressed. And anti-Islamophobia!
This is more evidence of my oppression, judging me by my mere actions, and not
by my motives! Geller and her provocateurs are guilty of a hate crime, too!
They entrapped me!
Let’s turn that around. It is but a few tentative,
mincing steps from treating a physical, demonstrable crime and bundling it with
one’s motive or the contents of one’s mind and packaging it as a whole. Which is
what is being done today.
Blaming Pamela Geller  et al.
for the violence in Garland, Texas, and deeming the Draw Mohammad contest and
event a deliberate “provocation,” and illegal and a crime, is what the government
and the MSM are coyly, if not vociferously, sidling up to, a British- or
European-style power to fetter and regulate freedom of speech – a.k.a., censorship.
If ever legislated, that will be the end of America.
*Part I, Chapter 1, Nineteen Eighty-Four, the complete text. University
of Adelaide

Islam in the Academy

There is a troika of movements that’s coalescing
into one ugly phenomenon, a phenomenon that may rival what the world witnessed
in the 1930’s in Germany. They are a virulent anti-Semitism promoted by the
Progressives and the left, its appearance on college campuses and in university
classrooms, and the assault on freedom of speech in the guise of being
combating “Islamophobia.”
A Jihad Watch article of May 23rd, “Campus Watch: Legitimizing
Censorship – ‘Islamophobia Studies’ at Berkeley
,” by Cinnamon Stillwell and
Rima Greene, details the pitiful and organizationally inept efforts of the
Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project to pass itself off as a major
mover and shaker in the fight against Islamophobia.
studies” is the latest addition to the academic pantheon of politicized,
esoteric, and divisive “studies” whose purpose is to censor criticism of
differing views by stigmatizing critics as racist or clinically insane. The
University of California, Berkeley’s recent Sixth Annual
International Islamophobia Conference—organized
by the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP)—was titled, “The
State of the Islamophobia Studies Field.” The fact that this “field” doesn’t
yet formally exist in the U.S. may explain why speakers the first day of the
conference barely mentioned it. As in years past, the
conference featured victimology, academic jargon, and anti-Western rhetoric.
audience, including a number of women in hijabs (headscarves), ranged from
twenty to fifty students and faculty members. Because the conference was
preempted by another event, it had to shift between two venues. Adding to the
confusion, the schedule was made available online only days before. While IRDP
director and Near Eastern studies lecturer Hatem
bragged at the outset that the conference livestream had garnered
“seven thousand” viewers in 2014, this year, visual and audio problems often
rendered it unwatchable.
The spurious audience estimate of between twenty to
fifty attendees is a telltale indication that Hatem Bazian was preaching to a
miniscule choir, or to a hollow papered hall in which the body count wasn’t
large enough to absorb the echoes of his words.
his introduction, Bazian apologized for these mishaps before launching into a
glowing report about the alleged state of “Islamophobia studies,” which,
according to the IRDP website,
“has witnessed rapid expansion in the past fifteen years.” He claimed that the
field had “come of age” in that there is “no longer . . . a debate over whether
we should use the term or not” or if “it is real or not,” except for “those who
really don’t want to confront Islamophobia” or “don’t want to deal with the
reality of what has taken place.”
fact, there is no consensus on the existence of “Islamophobia” in the U.S.,
particularly in light of FBI statistics
showing Jews experiencing the highest number of religiously-motivated hate
crimes, with Muslims a distant second. Conflating legitimate criticism of Islam
and the myriad human rights abuses occurring in its name all over the world
with an irrational fear or prejudice towards all Muslims further obfuscates the
Bazian claimed that his sparsely attended
conference was part of an international series of conferences (but not the OIC, or the Organization
of Islam Conferences
? How déclassé!),
spanning the globe from Paris to Switzerland. Stillwell and Greene report,
however, that “at this juncture, a search yields no evidence of IRDP-connected
conferences this year.”
Stillwell and Green then introduce
, founding director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Islamic Studies and
assistant professor of Islamic studies at the Graduate Theological [Madrassa?] Union, followed with the
talk, “Frames and Scripts of Islamophobia.” Jiwa maintained that the U.S. and
the U.K. view Islam through the “frames” of the September 11, 2001 and July 7,
2005 terrorist attacks, respectively, and lamented that, “This forgets the long
history of Muslims in the West” and “Muslim contributions to Western
civilization.” Referring to the alleged shortcomings of the latter—including,
ludicrously, the Enlightenment—he made the ahistorical
Much like Colonial and Enlightenment ways of
dividing the world: us and them. It’s as if the West just came up with all
these great ideas on its own.
complained that Americans see terrorism as “barbaric,” “out of the blue,” and
“related to Islam, rather than the most warring nation in the world”—i.e.,
Yes, the U.S. and the U.K. view Islam not only through
the “frames” of 9/11 and 7/7, but also through the “frames” of the nearly 26,000 acts of terror worldwide
since 9/11 and 7/7. Stillwell and Greene note that Jiwa “never mentioned ISIS’s
atrocities, only ‘our responsibility’ in creating the context for that
It’s always the victim’s fault for creating all
those “frames” and “contexts.” As soon as we fit them onto a Muslim, he goes
ballistic and commits violence, almost as though by auto-suggestion. He’s just
a pre-programmed automaton, a kind of Pavlovian cum Mahometan dog “conditioned” to respond to certain stimuli, such
as depictions of Mohammad, or critical or satirical portrayals of Islam. What
conditioned him? The anti-mind, anti-reason, anti-life ideology of Islam.
After discussing the Marxist blathering of two
other speakers at Bazian’s conference, Stillwell and Greene end their article
this year’s conference may have failed to usher in the dawn of an officially
recognized “Islamophobia studies,” it wasn’t for lack of effort. Soon after,
IRDP announced the latest edition
of its politicized
bi-annual publication, the Islamophobia Studies Journal. Perhaps
following UC Berkeley’s lead, Georgetown University recently launched
the Bridges Initiative, a project
of the Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center
for Muslim-Christian Understanding devoted to “protecting pluralism – ending
subject is all the rage in the
of Middle East studies and throughout academe, which is doing its utmost to silence
critics of the Islamic supremacism, systemic social problems, and total chaos
plaguing the region. If and when “Islamophobia studies” becomes a reality, we
can’t claim we didn’t see it coming.
It is interesting to note in passing some of the
actual funding for “Islamophobia” studies and similar pseudo-academic endeavors.
Mike Ciandella wrote in his February 4th, 2014 article for Media Research
Center, “$5.6
Million from Soros Aids Universities That Boycott Israel,”
American Studies Association is asking its member universities to join the
academic boycott of Israel
. Eight out of the 14 member universities of the
ASA’s National Council that approved the boycott have received more than $5.6
million from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations since 2000. The ASA has
also been working closely with anti-Israeli organizations to promote this
anti-Israeli and liberal propaganda, Soros has poured more than $400
into colleges and universities around the world, including money to
most prominent institutions in the United States. According to a May 2012
article in The
New York Times
, Soros gave $500,000 a year to J Street, a “two-state
solution” organization whose co-founder, Daniel Levy, called the creation of
Israel in 1948 “an
act that was wrong
.” Some of the $23.8 million that Soros has given to Bard
College in New York has gone to a Palestinian youth group, and Bard also offers
joint degree programs at a Palestinian school in Jerusalem, and partners
closely with Al-Quds University.
to the ASA,
this boycott is part of the larger BDS, or “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions”
movement. BDS promotes the work of Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as arguing for
a “one-state
” to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, which would involve
Palestinians having equal right of return status in Israel with Israelis.
I always chuckle when I read that Soros’s “Open Society” machine is
involved in one or another program to “transform” America into a “more tolerant
democracy.” It’s a risible misnomer, when what Soros and his winged monkeys
have in mind in the end is a “closed society” – closed to freedom of thought
and to freedom of speech.
The official BDS site encourages
the academic boycott of Israel:
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)
was one of the founding entities in 2005 of the Palestinian Civil Society BDS
Campaign and remains a key part of the Palestinian-led, global BDS movement.
was launched in Ramallah in April 2004 by a group of Palestinian academics and
intellectuals to join the growing international boycott movement. The Campaign
built on the Palestinian call for a comprehensive economic, cultural and
academic boycott of Israel
issued in August 2002 and a statement made by
Palestinian academics and intellectuals in the occupied territories and in the
Diaspora calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions in October 2003….
PACBI Call states:
Palestinian academics and intellectuals, call upon our colleagues in the
international community to comprehensively and consistently boycott
all Israeli academic and cultural institutions
as a contribution to the
struggle to end Israel’s occupation, colonization and system of apartheid, by
applying the following:
  1. Refrain from participation in any form of academic
    and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli
  2. Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli
    institutions at the national and international levels, including
    suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;
  3. Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by
    international academic institutions;
  4. Work toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by
    pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and
    cultural associations and organizations;
  5. Support Palestinian academic and cultural
    institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli
    counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.”
In academia – on the physical campuses, in the ivy
that clings to their walls but which is infested with the black widow spiders
of Marxism, and in the suffocating, light-dimming canopies of culturally
diverse kudzu – this agenda will manifest itself into active anti-Semitism of
the violent kind. Boycotting Israeli goods and thinkers and speakers and
associations translates into anti-Semitism. There isn’t any other meaning
 Being an
Israeli is synonymous with being Jewish, even though one may be an atheist or a
Christian or an Arab-Israeli Muslim, you’re still “Jewish” and can be
“boycotted” or bashed in the face or beaten up or even murdered.  You’re still an “occupier” of Palestinian land
and a racist and a colonizer over the bodies the Palestinian children and a
ruthless oppressor of Palestinian workers. The Boycott, Divestment, and
Sanction movement against Israel means business, and isn’t limited to a tenured
professor flapping his gums about the outrages committed by Israelis, or to
half-witted slobs sporting keffryahs and niqabs carrying signs and shouting
themselves hoarse, “Brains dead! Don’t shoot!”
While the BDS crowd keeps boasting of how it helped
to end apartheid in South Africa, it equates that with trying to end
“apartheid” in Israel. I’ve seen no recent calls by that crowd to protest
oppression, exploitation, and discrimination in Saudi Arabia, Red China,
Zimbabwe, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and other sundry
dictatorships and authoritarian countries. It’s only against tiny Israel, the
freest and most prosperous country in the Middle East.
The American
Studies Association
has been recruiting universities to join in BDS and to
become signatories of the BDS
of December 2013 to boycott Israeli academic institutions. The
ASA, founded in 1951 and purportedly ”the oldest scholarly organization devoted
to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history,” has been
captured by the Left and is now apparently devoted to imposing a politically
correct discipline. The Jerusalem Post of January 1st, 2014, reported, however,
that ninety-two universities rejected
the academic boycott
of Israel.
than 90 American universities have so far released statements rejecting the
American Studies Association decision to boycott Israeli academic institutions,
and several have cut ties with the organization in protest.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations expressed
appreciation to university presidents and chancellors who “stood up against
this discriminatory and unjustified measure and rejected the ASA boycott of
But not all is well with the university and
education heads. Many of them belong to what Salman
who still lives with an Iranian fatwa on his head, might have called
the “But…Brigade” when it came to endorsing freedom of speech. “We’re for
freedom of speech, but….” Or perhaps these hypersensitive folk should be called
Corbett, president of the American Council on Education – an umbrella group
that covers 1,800 institutions and claims to be the “most visible and influential
higher education association” in the US – issued a statement on Sunday that
“such actions are misguided and
greatly troubling, as they strike at the heart of academic freedom….

We hope the leadership of these organizations [who support the boycott] soon
reconsiders their actions and trust that other scholarly organizations will see
the troubling implications of such boycotts and avoid [a] similar vote….” [Italics mine]
But BDS is nothing if not clear and on-target about its means and ends. To call
the ends of BDS – one of which is the economic submission and eventual
destruction of Israel – “misguided” is like calling an armed hold-up a
“misguided” attempt to augment one’s income.
president Christopher L. Eisgruber dubbed the boycott “misguided,” adding that
singling Israel out was “indefensible.”

But while Eisgruber noted that his “personal support for scholarly engagement
with Israel is enthusiastic and unequivocal,” he said he did not intend to
denounce the ASA or cut Princeton’s institutional ties with the organization.

“My hope is that the ASA ’s more thoughtful and reasonable members will
eventually bring the organization to its senses – here, too, engagement may be
better than a boycott,” he wrote.
But the central method of BDS is to bypass thought
and reason and to rely on emotion and a virulent strain of anti-Semitism to
accomplish its ends. There are no “thoughtful and reasonable” members in BDS.
The only “engagement” they’re interested in is violence and force and
A May 4th article by Ruth Wisse in Mosaic Magazine,
Goes to School
,” reveals the depth of the anti-Israel sentiment and of the
February, a Jewish college student was hospitalized after being punched in the
face at a pro-Palestinian demonstration on a campus in upstate New York. His
family has insisted on maintaining the boy’s privacy, but other such incidents,
some caught on camera, include a male student punched in the face at Temple
University, a female student at Ohio University harassed for defending Israel,
and a male student at Cornell threatened physically for protesting anti-Israel
propaganda. On three successive days last summer, the Boston police had to
protect a student rally for Israel from pro-Palestinian mobs shouting “Jews
back to Birkenau!” At the University of California-Irvine, this year’s Israel
Independence Day festivities were blocked and shouted down by anti-Israel
demonstrators. Every year, some 200 campuses now host a multiday hate-the-Jews
fest, its malignancy encapsulated in its title: “Israel Apartheid Week….”
are students the only targets. At Connecticut College, to cite but the most
recent example, a quietly pro-Israel professor of philosophy has been
maliciously singled out and hounded as a “racist” in a campaign instigated by
Palestinian activists, endorsed by numerous faculty members, and at least
tacitly complied with by the college administration and the campus Hillel
organization. At the annual meetings of prestigious academic associations,
boycott resolutions against Israel and Israeli academic institutions are
routinely aired and often passed.
Wisse’s article is long and detailed in her examination
of the anti-Israel phenomenon in this country, and is worth reading in its
entirety. Some highlights are:
one of its first acts in December 1945, the Arab League called on all Arab
institutions and individuals to refuse to deal in, distribute, or consume
Jewish and Zionist products or manufactured goods. Seventy years later, calls
for boycott of Israel, under the acronym BDS—boycott, divestment, and
sanctions—have become a staple of American university agendas, extending not
only to Israeli companies like SodaStream but to Israeli scholars in the
humanities and social sciences. Last year, a petition by “anthropologists for
the boycott of Israeli academic institutions” garnered the signatures of the
relevant department chairs at (among others) Harvard, Wesleyan, and San
Francisco State. The American Studies Association attracted the “largest number
of participants in the organization’s history” for a vote endorsing a boycott
of Israeli academic institutions.
Keep in mind that the briefly described incidents
here did not occur in Nazi Germany:
is not to say that grounds are lacking for larger concern. In addition to the
catalog of academic offenses I’ve briefly summarized here, a growing number of
anti-Jewish incidents—from a swastika-desecrated Jewish cemetery in New Jersey
to fatal shootings at a Kansas City Jewish community center—has been registered
by agencies like the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee.
At the government level, more ominously, and perhaps for the first time in
recent American history, it is the White House, rather than the once
notoriously Arabist State Department, that has taken the lead in threatening to
isolate the Jewish state. President Obama’s frankly contemptuous treatment of
Israel’s prime minister smacks more of the university than of the Senate in
which he once served, but he is the president, and his words and actions
give license to others.
The linkages between the assault on American values
and on Jews is not so complex that it needs lengthy explication. To wit:
to the claims of administrators like the chancellor of UCLA, prosecuting the
war against the Jews is not an issue of free speech, “sacrosanct to any
university campus.” Had UCLA’s chancellor and president faced a campaign to
reinstate segregation, recriminalize homosexuality, or bar women from the
faculty club, they would have reacted with more than “concern.” Yet behind the
banner of free speech, they tolerate, however squeamishly, campaigns to undo
the Jewish homeland and to demonize the already most mythified people on earth.
Anti-Jewish politics are no more innocent when pursued by left-wing American
SOCCs and SOOPs than when they were prosecuted by right-wing European
blackshirts [sic]….
institutions that enforce “sensitivity training” to insure toleration for gays,
blacks, and other minorities may inadvertently be bringing some of these groups
together in common hostility to Jews as the only campus minority against whom
hostility is condoned. On almost every campus in the land, the norms of
political correctness are rigorously enforced; punitive speech codes
proliferate; a phalanx of administrative functionaries labors so that nothing
said, or read, will ever offend the sensibilities of any student—with one
licensed exception. Multiculturalism has found its apotheosis in a
multicultural coalition of anti-Zionists: a uniquely constituted political
phenomenon with its own functions, strategies, and goals. 
I have a hypothesis about anti-Semitism and Jew hatred
on or off campus. It is probably not even an original hypothesis. It is based
on nothing more disgusting and damning than envy.
When you recall all the accomplishments of Jewish men and women over the
centuries – in scholarship, in science, in finance, in business, in the arts –
what is it that Jews are most resented and hated for?  What they’ve done in the face of persecution,
genocide, and pointed discrimination when they were not being persecuted,
punished, or murdered.
Writing as an atheist who is beholden to no
religion, I am naturally confounded by the attraction to or loyalty to Judaism.
I could poke holes in it as easily as I can poke holes in Islam and Catholicism
or in any other species of Christianity or faith. What I see, however, in the
BDS movement and in the poison ivy-covered halls and walls of academe is racism
– even among those self-hating Jews who lend their hands to BDS and to all
manner of anti-Israel causes. The latter really need to book themselves some
time on a therapist’s couch to thrash out that self-hatred. It’s a unique
pathology; I haven’t read about self-hating Episcopalians calling for the dismemberment
and downfall of the Anglican Church. 
Is Judaism a “race”? I think not. Neither is Islam.
I wouldn’t know a Jew on the street unless he was wearing a sandwich board or a
BDS and anti-Semitism are birds of the same
diseased feather. What is perhaps most important is that BDS and anti-Semitism
in the schools is simply that their horrendous maledictions against Israel and
Jews enable Islam to insert itself into the phenomena and eventually reach a
terms-setting ascendency. That is already happening in an incremental, stealthy
progression in American education at all levels, and bodes no good for freedom
of speech.

The “Sach-ing” of America

There was the sack of Rome by Alaric and his Visigoths
in 410 A.D. There was the sack of Rome by Charles I, Holy Roman Emperor, in
1527. That pillage only ended when, after eight months, the food ran out, there
was no one important left to hold hostage for ransom, and then a plague
appeared caused by all the rotting corpses in Rome’s streets. When the
destruction, rape, and looting stopped, only 10,000 residents were left in
Attila the Hun never sacked Rome, but did loot and
destroy a great portion of northern Italy. It wasn’t for lack of trying to
invest Rome. But his hordes contracted “camp disease” and fell too ill to
pillage and loot. He had to withdraw his “freedom fighters” to try another day,
but died about a year later before making another attempt, in 453 A.D.
It’s a scenario being acted out in the Middle East
by ISIS. Until he was reportedly killed by U.S. Special Forces, ISIS commander Abu Sayyaf was aiming
for the Pol Pot Mass Murder award that was to have been conferred on him by the
Swedish Academy of Peace and Harmony. He was also going to be presented with a
check for $10 million, an interest-bearing, untaxable bank account with Nordea
Bank,  and a certificate of indulgence
and indemnity to rape every blonde, blue-eyed Swedish woman he set eyes on in
Stockholm, and take one back to the Islamic State as a prize to add to his
collection of sex slaves.
It would take
a village
– or, at least, the “global” one – to subjugate and sack America.
That is what is being proposed by Jeffrey Sachs. And who is Jeffrey Sachs?
D. Sachs
is a world-renowned professor of
economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling
author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more
than 100 countries. He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most
influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the
most important economist in the world,” and by Time Magazine “the world’s best
known economist.” A recent survey by The Economist Magazine ranked Professor Sachs
as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past
Sachs serves as the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of
Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at
Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position
under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is Director of the UN
Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is co-founder and Chief
Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium
Villages Project. Sachs is also one of the Secretary-General’s MDG Advocates,
and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development. He
has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the past seven years: The
End of Poverty
(2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet
(2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). His most recent books are To
Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace
(2013) and The Age of Sustainable
That, in a nutshell, is who Jeffrey Sachs is. A
career elitist and people director, whose middle name seems to be “sustainable.”
A starry-eyed busybody who’d love to manage your body and habits so that the
earth survives your carbon footprint. Time Magazine said (twice) he was one of
the world’s most influential leaders. The New York Times said he was “probably
the most important economist in the world.” I wonder what Times columnist and
“economist” Thomas Friedman thinks about that accolade. Sachs has the usual
chestful of politically correct medals and ribbons that identify him as a
“world leader,” probably many more than were pinned to Al Gore’s tuxedo.
But, until Cliff Kincaid wrote about Jeffrey Sachs
in a May 18th column in Accuracy in Media (AIM), “Liberal
Academic Says America’s Founding Document Outmoded
,” I’d never heard of
this “world leader” and “eminent person.”
Kincaid wrote:
Vatican adviser Jeffrey Sachs says that when Pope Francis visits the United
States in September, he will directly challenge the “American idea” of
God-given rights embodied in the Declaration of Independence.
a special advisor to the United Nations and director of the Earth Institute at
Columbia University, is a media superstar who can always be counted on to
pontificate endlessly on such topics as income inequality and global health.
This time, writing in a Catholic publication, he may have gone off his rocker,
revealing the real global game plan.
Which Catholic publication? It was a Jesuit one,
United States, Sachs writes
in the Jesuit publication, America, is “a society in thrall” to the idea
of unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But the
“urgent core of Francis’ message” will be to challenge this “American idea” by
“proclaiming that the path to happiness lies not solely or mainly through the
defense of rights but through the exercise of virtues, most notably justice and
these extraordinary comments, which constitute a frontal assault on the
American idea of freedom and national sovereignty, Sachs has made it clear that
he hopes to enlist the Vatican in a global campaign to increase the power of
global or foreign-dominated organizations and movements.
This is not really news. Pope Francis has
pontificated often enough on how capitalism and the pursuit of material wealth
are major failings of mankind and obstacles to man’s spiritual redemption. The
liberty to own property can result in an individual’s happiness, and Francis
has strenuously objected to that. But, it does come as a minor surprise that
Sachs would enlist the Vatican to shill for his dreams of “justice” (read
“social justice,” a Progressive end) and “charity” (read compulsory charity).
On second thought, it shouldn’t be a surprise. The
full title of Sachs’ America article is “A Call to Virtue: Living
the Gospel in the land of liberty.
Sachs and Francis are of the same species of
vulture. With, of course, the United Nations. Jeffrey Sachs, being such an
influential gadabout and gauleiter for the environmentalist cause, will always
find employment in the realm of global collectivism. Here is what the U.N. had
to say in August, 2014:
Sustainable Development Solutions Network will work with stakeholders including
business, civil society, UN agencies, and other international organizations to
identify and share the best pathways to achieve sustainable development…
Naturally, eager government wonks will determine what is and
isn’t “sustainable.”
Solutions Network will be directed by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs,…and will
operate in close coordination with the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on
the Post-2015 Development Agenda announced by the UN last week.
you, doubtlessly not an “eminent
person,” and can stomach it, you can read the whole U.N. plan here.
article links to Sachs’ article in America. One Sustainable Development
“solution” would be to tax fuel and other energy producing modes to pay for achieving
a “sustainable” planet in another generation. Of course, the U.S. would pay the
lion’s share of such a “global” impost.
important, they [the American revolutionaries] believed that they would find
happiness as individuals, each endowed by the creator with individual rights.
There is, no doubt, grandeur in this idea. As children of God, individuals have
rights to be free of persecution, to be treated as ends and not means, as
Immanuel Kant put it. The dignity of man requires the rights of man, as Thomas
Paine declared.
from the point of view of the Gospels, such rights are only part of the story,
only one facet of our humanity. The Beatitudes, regarded by Pope Francis as key
to the Gospel truth, are actually not at all about individual rights but about
virtues, meaning the right path to the right kind of life. The Sermon on the
Mount is not a defense of the individual but a call to humility, love and
modern terms, we would say that rights must be balanced by responsibilities.
Kant said that the rights of individuals must be combined with duties, as
guided by the categorical imperative. According to Kant, we have the duty to
behave according to those maxims, and only those maxims, which can be made into
universal laws.
Wouldn’t you know it? The original Prussian
goose-stepper, Immanuel Kant, pops up into view from behind the curtain like
the Wizard of Oz. Sachs goes on in his article:
Francis is telling the world, and the world is listening, that the path from
indifference to the suffering of others can be found through the reinvigoration
of the Gospel virtues. This, I believe, is a compelling message, though one
that is very strange indeed to the modern, and especially American, psyche.
Americans might rather expect a call to legal responsibilities—“You must pay
your taxes”—than a call to virtues. Yes, they will tend to dismiss such claims
of social responsibility (“It’s my right to keep my money, since I earned it”),
but at least they are familiar with the language of rights and
the call to virtues is deeper and ultimately more compelling. Pope Francis is
not coming as a scold but as a guide to help us find a solution to the paradox
of the poverty of the spirit in the rising sea of affluence. He is not speaking
the language of duties and responsibilities but of human meaning. He is not rejecting
the libertarian defense of human dignity but saying that dignity is found not
only through individual rights and free markets but from within, by each person
pursuing the virtues of charity, justice and compassion in solidarity with the
common good. This, after all, is the message of hope that brought the
multitudes to hear Jesus preach.
In short, Americans will be expected to declare
their Declaration of Independence “outmoded” and flawed, just as Barack
Obama said it was
in a 2001 radio interview:
Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and
of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that
extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it
wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that
were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been
interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally
the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t
do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say
what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.

“And that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights
movement was because the civil rights movement became so court-focused I think
there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing
and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition
of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we
still suffer from that.”
We must – or our warders must, we lack their intellectual and moral wherewithal,
don’t we?  – amend the Constitution to
comply with UN rules and regulations, and to turn themselves into Kantian
automatons fulfilling their categorical imperative-dictated duties to save the
world and to feel everyone’s pain but their own UN-devised destitution. Thus
spoke Jeffrey Sachs and Pope Francis and Glen Greenwald and every other America
hater, who never miss an opportunity to scold the U.S. for being so selfish and
loot-worthy and recklessly leaving its carbon footprints all over the globe. What
were those lyrics from the Entrance and March of the Peers in Gilbert &
Sullivan’s Iolanthe?
Bow, bow, ye lower middle classes!
Bow, bow, ye tradesmen, bow, ye masses!
Blow the trumpets, bang the brasses….!
Sachs wrote in “America”:
a macroeconomist, I have tried to put the challenge of compassion into the hard
financial terms of the national income accounts. For 20 years I have tried to
work up the balance sheet of social justice, so to speak, in order to measure
the scale of investments that society needs to make in order to overcome
extreme poverty; control epidemic diseases likes [sic] AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and Ebola; and convert our energy
systems from climate-changing fossil fuels to safe, low-carbon energy sources
like solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric power. The paradox that I have
found time and again is that for a tiny investment of material goods—perhaps 2
percent to 3 percent per year of our global income—we could mobilize our
technological excellence to end the scourges of extreme poverty, disease and
environmental degradation that cause great global suffering and that in fact
threaten our very survival. Solutions to our global material problems, whether
climate change or epidemic control, are within our grasp, but only if we try.
So, Professor Sachs, which is it going to be? Do we
surrender to the ineffable forces of Marx’s dialectical materialism, or to the
Triumph of the Will? Or your Will?
Curious about the nature of Pope Francis’
forthcoming encyclical, Evangeli
: On the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World
, on which
Sachs places so much hope, I dipped into this mile-long screed and found some
interesting observations. From Chapter II, point 64:
process of secularization tends to
reduce the faith and the Church to the sphere of the private and personal.
Furthermore, by completely rejecting the
, it has produced a growing deterioration of ethics, a
weakening of the sense of personal and collective
, and a steady increase in relativism. These have led to a general sense
of disorientation, especially in the periods of adolescence and young adulthood
which are so vulnerable to change.
the bishops of the United States of America have rightly pointed out, while the
Church insists on the existence of objective moral norms which are valid for
everyone, “there are those in our culture who portray this teaching as unjust,
that is, as opposed to basic human rights. Such
claims usually follow from a form of moral relativism that is joined…to a
belief in the absolute rights of individuals.
In this view, the Church is
perceived as promoting a particular prejudice and as interfering with
individual freedom.” We are living in an information-driven society which
bombards us indiscriminately with data – all treated as being of equal importance
– and which leads to remarkable superficiality in the area of moral
discernment. In response, we need to provide an education which teaches
critical thinking and encourages the development of mature moral values. [All Italics mine]
“Mature” meaning altruistic values and an
“educated” sense of selflessness, something American public schools are busy
developing. We move on to point 93 of Chapter II:
worldliness, which hides behind the appearance of piety and even love for the
Church, consists in seeking not the Lord’s glory but human glory and personal
well-being. It is what the Lord reprimanded the Pharisees for: “How can you
believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that
comes from the only God?” (Jn 5:44). It is a subtle way of seeking one’s
“own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (Phil 2:21). It takes on many
forms, depending on the kinds of persons and groups into which it seeps. Since
it is based on carefully cultivated appearances, it is not always linked to outward
sin; from without, everything appears as it should be. But if it were to seep
into the Church, “it would be infinitely more disastrous than any other
worldliness which is simply moral.”
Kincaid ends his article with:
than emphasize the absolute need for safeguarding individual rights in the face
of government overreach and power, Sachs writes that the Gospel teachings of
humility, love and justice, “like the teachings of Aristotle, Buddha and
Confucius,” can take us on a “path to happiness through compassion” and “become
our guideposts back to safety.”
elsewhere in the new issue of America, Christiana Z. Peppard, an
assistant professor of theology, science and ethics at Fordham University, writes about the
“planetary pope,” saying, “What is really at stake in the collective response
to the pope’s encyclical is not, ultimately, whether our treasured notions of
theology, science, reality or development can accommodate moral imperatives.
The real question is whether we are brave enough and willing to try.”
plan is quite simple: world government through global taxes, with a religious
face to bring it about.
Or global jizya,
with a religious face to bring about “peace”?  In its essentials, Sachs’ plan for the future sacking
of America differs little from Islam’s. They are copasetic. As Ellsworth Toohey
put it so well at the end of The
on the secret of acquiring power over men: “Fight the doctrine
that slaughters the individual with a doctrine that slaughters the individual.”
(p. 694)
Talk about clashing brasses!
by Ayn Rand. New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1943. 754 pp.

A Handbook on Islam

For regular readers, just a note…….A Handbook on Islam: A Counter-Jihad Guide for the Uninitiated, the Ill-Advised, the Misinformed, and the Lied-to. I’ve just approved it for release and it should
be available for sale on Amazon in a day or two. In the meantime, the Kindle
edition has already registered some sales. Both editions feature Bosch
Fawstin’s drawing of Mohammad as the sole illustration.

This is intended to be a supplement to Islam’s Reign of Terror. 

Villains: Where or What Would They Be?

Ellsworth Toohey, the arch-villain of Ayn Rand’s
novel, The
, meets with Peter Keating, an arch-compromiser,
second-hander, and betrayer of what few personal values he had, and who has
just won a lucrative architectural contest. Toohey’s chief focus, however, is
not Keating, but Howard Roark, the novel’s hero. Toohey has never met him, but
fears him and is planning to destroy his career in architecture and see him
jailed and taking orders from his moral inferiors.
Toohey – whose physical appearance Rand had modeled
on the British socialist Harold
– “…spoke with a kind of cautious precision. The sounds of his voice
were small and dry and final, like the cracks of matches being broken.” At one
point in their conversation, which Keating senses has taken an odd turn, Toohey
asks him several questions about Roark.
                “Does he talk much?”
                “Very little.”
                “Does he listen if others
discuss any…ideas with him?”
                “He listens. It would be better
if he didn’t.”
                “It would be less insulting – if
you know what I mean, when a man listens like that and you know it hasn’t made
slightest bit of difference to him.”
                “Did he always want to be an
                “What’s the matter, Peter?”
                “Nothing. It just occurred to me
how strange it is that I’ve never asked myself that about him. He’s a maniac on
the subject of architecture. It seems to mean so damn much to him that’s he’s
lost all human perspective. He just has no sense of humor about himself at all
– now there’s a man without a sense of humor, Ellsworth. You don’t ask what
he’d do if he didn’t want to be an architect.”
                “No,” said Toohey. “You ask what
he’d do if he couldn’t be an architect.”
                “He’d walk over corpses. Any and
all of them. All of us. But he’d be an architect.” [pp. 253-254]
That excerpt is by way of introducing the subject
of what prominent, real life villains today would be had they not any political
connections, no ambition or aspirations to occupy the highest and most powerful
political offices, no desire to walk over any and all corpses, including us, to
run the country – or at least cripple it or “transform” it so that it was
manageable according to a malevolent universe premise – or no desire to give
orders to their moral superiors.
The chief Peter Keatings  and Ellsworth Tooheys here are the Clintons.
Also known as the Clanton – or Clinton – Gang. Hillary and Bill run their own
version of the cattle-rustling “Cowboys.”
Were it not for Bill Clinton’s penchant for preferring
any port in a storm  — that’s a sexual innuendo,
I hope it’s suitably offensive, but it can also be a politician’s pragmatic
option of saying anything and adopting the most expedient pose to stay in power
– and for his making Hillary his “life
” and cuckolded spiritual soul-mate, I do believe Hillary would
be a welfare queen somewhere, or a bag lady, or holding odd jobs such as writing
a newspaper sob sister’s agony column or composing daily horoscopes, or be known
in a bad quarter of town as a foul-mouthed bar fly turning tricks in the men’s
room. Perhaps she’d be a lowly, drunken trailer-park harridan and floozy. There
is absolutely no substance to this woman. She is a nonentity imbued with a
compulsion to control reality by controlling men – in politics.
Having observed her behavior and actions ever since
the 1990’s, I have concluded that Hillary is the very model of moral
Well, at least after Barack Obama. But, Obama’s
shrewd, as shrewd and feral as cougar stalking its prey. Still, there is
nothing in his soul but a messy mound of poisonous glop.
Likewise, there is no substance to Bill Clinton.
Were it not for the growth of statism, of the
welfare state, of power politics, of the suborning of Congress by lobbyists
seeking exemptions from regulations, or legislation that would insulate them
from or destroy competition, the Clintons would be denizens of the lower depths
of society.
I can imagine Bill as a pimp of some kind – of the
flesh, of the petty favor – as a two-bit ward heeler. As a peddler
of patent medicines, as a carnival barker, as an auction house shill, as a Cincinnati Kid-caliber gambler,
as a nickel-and-dime craps shooter. As a street corner hustler scamming people
with the three-card
card game, charming the suckers with his soft Arkansas drawl.
Young Bill shook the hand of the country’s premier,
“what you can do for your country” fascist, John
F. Kennedy
(in a photograph I have dubbed, “Passing the Torch of
One might object: But, they went to college! The
most respectable ones! Hillary went to Wellesley
and then Yale Law School. Bill went to Georgetown University, and Oxford, and Yale Law School.
That’s where the soul-mates met! It’s so romantic! How can you compare them
with the dross and besotted sawdust of society?
One’s educational pedigree is no guarantee of one’s
character. Hillary corresponded with American radical Saul Alinsky and wrote her
adulatory 1969 Wellesley thesis, “There
Is Only the Fight
,” on his political action tactics.
A successful industrialist or investment billionaire
is a billionaire because he has mastered reality. Bill and Hillary are
literally “filthy rich” in a congenital quest to amass a fortune which they see
as a shield against reality. Daniel
Greenfield, in a May 7th FrontPage column noted:
Clinton has many positions, against and for gay marriage, against and for
illegal immigration, for and against fighting crime. If you don’t like a
Hillary position, write out a $300,000 check to the Clinton Foundation and wait
4 to 6 weeks for her position to change.
Statism, or the political philosophy that the state
is all, and the individual but its servant, acts as a vehicle for power-seekers
and the pursuers of the unearned, and allows the dross and dredges of society
to rise to the top strata of the state, by fair means and foul, by deception
and verisimilitude. They run for office by putting on dog
and pony
shows;  today’s shows are
elaborate and long drawn-out “campaigns” and cost billions of dollars, from the
time a person announces his candidacy to razzle-dazzle party conventions. What
serves as the ringmaster of the multifarious spectacle?
Largely, the mainstream media, which is decidedly
pro-statism, and pro-anyone who promises to expand the welfare state.
Under statism, virtuous men are barred from running
for office because of their virtues.
The Bill and Hillary Clintons of politics do not produce anything. Instead, like their
other power-lusting ilk, they scheme, manipulate, plot to get money, to get power.
Then there’s their distaff spawn, Chelsea Clinton. Like
parents, like daughter. Greenfield had no kind words for her, either, in his May
18th FrontPage article, “Bill
and Hillary Produced the Ultimate Entitled Offspring.
shouldn’t be too much of a shock. As bad as Bill and Hillary are, they did at
least put some effort into getting where they are. Chelsea was simply born. It
shouldn’t be too shocking that she acts like the entitled
spoiled brat of an entitled power couple
Greenfield links to an article by Richard Johnson
of the New York Post, also of May 18th, “Staff
Quit Clinton Foundation
is so unpleasant to colleagues, she’s causing high turnover at the
Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, sources say. Several top staffers
have left the foundation since Chelsea came on board as vice chairman in 2011…
None of this
would surprise her former co-workers at McKinsey and NBC News. At both the
management consulting firm and the network, co-workers allegedly were told they
couldn’t approach Chelsea.
A source at
NBC, where
Chelsea was paid $600,000 a year
, said, “If someone wanted to talk to
Chelsea about something, they had to go through a producer.”
… Instead of
being something Hillary can point to with pride, the foundation has become a
bloated slush fund that some critics say deserves an official investigation.
And Chelsea’s fingerprints are all over it.
About that habit of “getting” money, there’s also
the scandal
behind that foundation’s
donor sources and its purposes.
But that’s a whole ‘nother story.
Hillary, Dickory, Dock.
Hillary’s racing the clock.
She’s only sixty-nine.
Way, way past her prime.
And her talk is as full as a windsock.
Hillary, Billary, Dock
The lady’s racing the clock
Unlike her hubby
She’s turned a tat tubby
So Bill‘s living out of wedlock.
by Ayn Rand. New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1943. 754 pp.

The Suicidal Tautology of Islamophilia

I left a shorter comment on this subject on Sultan
Knish’s May 13th column, “Schrödinger’s
.” I decided to expand my remarks on the issue, after having quoted
Daniel Greenfield from an email on Schrödinger’s Cats in my May 9th column, “Islam:
An Ideology of Lethal Absurdities” on Rule
of Reason
and Capitalism
“The media is howling that a bunch of cartoonists
in Texas were irresponsible for sketching Islam’s dead warlord,” wrote Daniel
Greenfield in Schrödinger’s
. This is not surprising. The news media has been virtually taken over
by the left. Academia is now basically a leftist indoctrination program. Even science
has been appropriated by the left (e.g., the attacks on global-warming “deniers”).
The news media howls, college teachers perform lobotomies on the young, and
scientists toe the line in order to get government “research” grants, or are
silent in order to keep their jobs.
Greenfield wrote:
keeps the lie alive is another paradox. Call it Schrödinger’s Jihad. The more
famous Schrödinger’s Cat is a paradox in which a cat in a sealed box with
poison that has a 50 percent chance of being released is in an indeterminate
state. It is neither dead nor alive until someone opens the box.

In Schrödinger’s Jihad, the Muslim terrorist is in an indeterminate state until
some Western observer opens the box, collapses his wave function and
radicalizes him. The two Muslim Jihadists were in an indeterminate state until
Pamela Geller and Bosch Fawstin and the other “provocateurs” suddenly turned
them into terrorists in a matter of days or weeks. It didn’t matter that Elton
Simpson, one of the Garland terrorists, had already been dragged into court for
trying to link up with Jihadists in Africa.

Every Muslim is and isn’t a terrorist. He is both a peaceful spiritual person
who is eager to embrace our way of life and a violent killer who can be set off
by the slightest offense. Like the cat in the box that is neither dead nor
alive, he is both violent and peaceful, moderate and extremist, a solid citizen
and a terrorist. He does not choose which of these to be or to become; we
decide what he will be.

The Jihadist paradox is that the Muslim terrorist is always defined by what we do, not by what he does. (Emphasis mine)
And what lie is Greenfield referring to? That the
violence of jihad is committed only by a tiny number of Muslims, also known as “extremists”
or “radicals,” that their deplorable actions have nothing to do with Islam,
nothing to do with its fundamental doctrines, nothing to do with the numerous exhortations
in the Koran and Hadith to commit violence on non-believers and members of the
opposite Islamic sect, and that the “extremists” and “radicals” have “misinterpreted”
those exhortations to mean something they don’t.
And to top that off, many current Islamic spokesmen
have “condemned” such violence, echoing the blandishments of the Western news
media, practicing a taqiyya so subtle
that you could call it a taco, that
is, speaking from both corners of one’s mouth in practiced ventriloquism (but don’t
call it verisimilitude, that would be
a negative, unconstructive judgment).
ISIS? The Taliban? Al-Qaeda? Boko Haram? They’re as
good-intentioned as the Salvation Army and Doctors Without Borders.
Reality is what they all want it to be thanks to
the grips Immanuel Kant and Georg F. Hegel have had on Western culture for about
two centuries. The grip was tentative in the 19th century; reality was being
enjoyed by most men during the Industrial Revolution. The works of Kant and
Hegel were just playthings of philosophers; it kept them occupied with ideas
that could never in a thousand years seep into Western culture and poison its ideational
water table.
Now the grips are around our throats and their
thumbs are firmly fixed over our laryngeal prominences. Kant said that we can’t
know reality because our senses warp and distort the “real” reality and so we can’t
“know” its nature and causes. So, it is permitted to fantasize about reality. Hegel
said that reality is always in a flux in its progress or evolution towards a “perfect”
reality that transcends reality and the evidence of our senses, and that
includes man and his social institutions. So, it is permitted to see what isn’t
The principle of cause and effect therefore can be
stood on its head; at least it sits strangely and awkwardly in the heads of the
news media, academia, and scientists; effects lead to causes. There are no
prime movers, there is only a kaleidoscope of effects interacting with each other,
and if we turn the tube long enough and with the tactile sensitivity of a
lock-picking thief, the maelstrom of numberless pieces will someday, somehow
fall into a pattern we approve or are comfortable with. In this topsy-turvy
universe, freedom of speech is an “effect” that will compel Muslims to become
ineffable “causes.” Ergo, it is necessary to blame the speakers for any
violence, and not the killers who resort to violence to punish that “effect.”  
Greenfield observed in his signature sardonic style:
real threat is not from the terrorists, it’s from the truth.

When we tell the truth, people die. The truth turns Muslims into terrorists
while the lies soothe them back into non-existence. Underneath all the academic
terminology is the dream logic of wishful thinking. If we believe that Islam is
a religion of peace, it will be a peaceful religion, and if we accept the
reality that it’s violent, then it will become violent. Islam does not define
itself. We define it however we want. Our entire counterterrorism policy is
based around the perverse ostrich belief that Islamic terrorism is a problem
that we create by recognizing its existence. If we ignore it, it will go away.
Those poor, victimized killers; they’re only
killers because of our distorted perceptions of them. If we didn’t pin “Kick Me,
I’m a Killer” signs on their backs, they wouldn’t be killers; that is, if we didn’t
apply the Law of Identity to them, they wouldn’t be what they are, but
something harmless and benign. If they rape your daughters, behead your sons,
turn automatic weapons on your neighbors, and torture your pets, that’s only because
you’ve called them nihilists and homicidal maniacs who ought to be extinguished
before they extinguish you. You’ve hurt their feelings, offended their belief
system, mocked their most precious symbols, and provoked them into retaliatory
action. Now, if you didn’t provoke them, they wouldn’t resort to violence. People
like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer and Geert Wilders must be gagged for
their own good, because they just don’t realize that an Islamic terrorist is
merely the powerless pawn of his belief system, bereft of volition and malice.
And, about that violence: How do you know your daughters have been raped,
your sons beheaded, your neighbors mowed down by AK-47’s, and your dogs
tortured and maimed? Those are just negative, judgmental labels arbitrarily and
maliciously appended to actions that may very well be humanitarian, missionary
work by distraught, Muslims struggling to keep to their faith. Jihadism, after all, means “struggling.”
Ergo, the tautology goes, a terrorist is not a
terrorist, but a warrior for peace, who just wants to be left alone to practice
his creed. And the best guarantee of being left alone to practice his creed is
to shut people up, with either violence or lawsuits. Just don’t tick him off, or
“provoke” him, or open his Pandora’s box.
The New York Times on May 6th, three days after the
aborted attack on Pamela Geller’s Draw Mohammad art exhibit on May 3rd in
Garland, Texas, opined in an editorial, “Free
Speech vs. Hate Speech
is also no question that however offensive the images, they do not justify
murder, and that it is incumbent on leaders of all religious faiths to make
this clear to their followers….
two men were would-be murderers. But their thwarted attack, or the murderous
rampage of the Charlie Hebdo killers, or even the greater threat posed by the
barbaric killers of the Islamic State or Al Qaeda, cannot justify blatantly
Islamophobic provocations like the Garland event. These can serve only to
exacerbate tensions and to give extremists more fuel.
of those who draw cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad may earnestly believe that
they are striking a blow for freedom of expression, though it is hard to see
how that goal is advanced by inflicting deliberate anguish on millions of
devout Muslims who have nothing to do with terrorism. As for the Garland event,
to pretend that it was motivated by anything other than hate is simply hogwash.
Pamela Geller, says the New York Times, is just
grandstanding her Islamophobia in an exercise of “hate speech.” Pretending that
she’s expressing her right to criticize Islam is just “hogwash.” However, criticizing
murdering terrorists for practicing the core tenets of their faith in order to
silence criticism in the name of freedom of speech, well, that’s not hogwash,
but just regrettable confusion, and our name is Schrödinger.  Where are my rose-tinted glasses? I hear
mewing in that box. Let’s open it – responsibly, and not rush to hasty
conclusions should we pull a Bullwinkle and yank a
terrorist out of the box!
Well, if we keep saying that the predatory lion we
yank out of the box is actually a Peruvian
, it sooner or later will be the “truth.”
That is the tautology of Bedlam governing the news
media, academia, and science. And the arts. And politics. So, is it any wonder
that suicidal madness seems to be governing the course of the West?

did you know that we’re all from Saturn’s moon Titan, and need regular
injections of methane to stay alive, administered to us in our sleep by Nurse Ratched?

Review: Visions of “Progress”

Visions of Progress: The Left-Liberal Tradition
in America
, by Doug
, contains in its title the term “traditional.” The book is colored
throughout by a yearning for years and causes past, when “radicals” and
leftists wore suit jackets and had haircuts instead of sporting Che Guevara
T-shirts and tattered fashion designer jeans, and the distaff elements looked
more like clean-cut pom-pom girls instead of slovenly, foul-mouthed sluts, and
when the “liberals’ and “radicals” cooperated to advance their collectivist
causes in this country.
almost as though Rossinow were hankering for the days of good grooming and
presentable attire in the march to a Progressive utopia.
In fact,
the cover of Vision features two young figures from a 1962 May Day
poster. One can project the man and woman in their old age today as arch-conservatives
worried about their IRA’s, 401k’s, and retirement portfolios. That is, worried
about what’s left after the socialists/progressives/social justice warriors
have dipped their beaks into them.
University of Pennsylvania Press, in its press release, best
sums up the character and content of Rossinow’s study:
Liberals and leftists in the United States
have not always been estranged from one another as they are today. Historian
Doug Rossinow examines how the cooperation and the creative tension between
left-wing radicals and liberal reformers advanced many of the most important
political values of the twentieth century, including free speech, freedom of
conscience, and racial equality.
of Progress
chronicles the broad
alliances of radical and liberal figures who were driven by a particular
concept of social progress—a transformative vision in which the country would
become not simply wealthier or a bit fairer but fundamentally more democratic,
just, and united.
Believers in this vision—from the
settlement-house pioneer Jane Addams and the civil rights leader W. E. B. Du
Bois in the 1890s and after, to the founders of the ACLU in the 1920s, to
Minnesota Governor Floyd Olson and assorted labor-union radicals in the 1930s,
to New Dealer Henry Wallace in the 1940s—belonged to a left-liberal tradition
in America. They helped push political leaders, including Presidents Woodrow
Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Harry Truman, toward reforms that made the goals
of opportunity and security real for ever more Americans. Yet, during the Cold
War era of the 1950s and ’60s, leftists and liberals came to view one another
as enemies, and their influential alliance all but vanished.
says the press release, “revisits the period between the 1880s and the 1940s,
when reformers and radicals worked together along a middle path between the
revolutionary left and the establishment liberalism.” He then chronicles the
dissolution of that alliance with the gradual emergence of the New Left and its
“We Want It Now” tactics and mantra. Occupy Wall Street is a direct descendent
of the Gilded Age’s preliminary skirmishes for “social and economic justice.”
pays lip service to the original meaning of the term “liberal” as it was
employed in the U.S. and Britain in the 19th century.
The first expressly political use of the
term “liberal” in the United States occurred in the 1870s when a group of
writers and activists criticized the major parties of the Gilded Age for their
corruption and preached a bracing doctrine of individual independence that they
called liberalism. The name was borrowed from “Manchester liberalism,”
so-called for the English city whose name the activists Richard Cobden and John
Bright made synonymous with free trade and lasissez-faire advocacy in
the nineteenth century. (pp. 21-22)
otherwise discusses the subject of the itinerant, on-again/off-again
liberal-left alliance in liberal-left terms. From my perspective – from that of
an upholder of individual rights of life, liberty, and property, which together
can contribute to my pursuit of happiness – a “liberal” is a politician or
advocate of policies that would impinge, regulate, or eliminate those rights
incrementally, in “go-slow” fashion, in a kind of sneaking up on that brand of
statism so the politician and advocate can have their cake and eat it, too –
for a while, until it’s gone. As Margaret Thatcher said in 1976: “The
trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
socialism – or liberalism, or Marxism, Nazism, Communism, or any collectivist
“ism” you care to name – always manages to run out of other people’s
confiscated, looted, appropriated money.

A leftist is anyone, in or out of office, regardless of the period,  who advocates the immediate imposition of such
policies without regard to consequences or costs, in the name of “social
justice,”  and either carps on having
legislation passed to achieve those ends, or resorts to violence and physical
force, or demands that the government resort to physical force. There isn’t a
single individual or organization in the liberal-left camp, past or present, mentioned
in Rossinow’s books, with which I could develop an iota of empathy.
covers the linkages, alliances, separations, and divorces of some seventy
collectivist organizations in Visions, a kaleidoscope of organizations
in political hues ranging from pallid pink to blood red, all of them clamoring
for the government to take action against the capitalists and the wealthy. But
they weren’t alone in the endeavor.
wanted protection from imports and demanded government price supports when the
protective tariffs didn’t do their job. Workers wanted shorter hours and higher
wages. Social workers wanted landlords to provide “decent” housing for the
poor. The poor wanted more and more generous handouts and doles. Blacks
imbibing Marxist ideology demanded reparations and a special status for blacks.
The ideology of laissez-faire bulked
large in the imagination of nineteenth-century Americans. Considering the wide
belief in the self-made man as both a moral standard and a social reality
during that century, the United States saw a rather high level of government
intervention the economy, including publicly funded roads and canals and,
later, huge gifts of public land to railroad corporations.
Political rhetoric proclaimed America the
land of self-sufficiency, yet businessmen and civic leaders advocated publicly
funded “improvements” as ways to develop national prosperity….In the United
States, even though the Democrats were more strident than Republicans in
proclaiming government irrelevant to prosperity, lasissez-faire was the
sustaining myth of a whole society, not that of one party. (pp. 15-16)
Much of
this is true – American businessmen did seek protection from domestic and
foreign competition and advocated :”public works” projects. It’s a phenomenon
that dates back to after the Constitution was ratified. Alexander Hamilton
advocated such a policy. This was the result of there not being an
uncompromising champion of laissez-faire and individual rights during
the Gilded Age, and of no prohibition against private lobbies seeking influence
in Congress for it to pass laws that would insulate their livelihoods and
businesses from reality.
On the
other hand, calls for “soaking the rich” and reducing them to the same
subsistence levels which socialism and communism would reduce everyone else to
were ubiquitous in the era Rossinow discusses:
The economist George H. Soule painted a
stark picture in 1934 [in his book, The Coming American Revolution] in
1934: “Just as feudalism was compelled in the end to give way to the rise of
middle classes and capitalism, so capitalism must in the end give way to the
rise of the working classes and socialism.” (p. 110)
that Hegelian/Marxist dialectical materialistic process again. We, the great
unwashed worker class and anonymous ciphers of the social anthill are imbued
with a mystical power that will allow us to collectively overcome all those
individualistic rich men who aren’t somehow imbued with any mysticism at all.
The rich are selfish, grasping snots and must be made to eat the same roots and
bulbs as everyone else. We are going to turn their limousines into communal
jitneys, fill their high hats with soup and gruel, occupy their mansions, and
play our proletarian version of pig-sticking
with their wives, sons and daughters. And then the world will be at peace.
Islamic supremacists
have the same designs on America. Is it any wonder they and the left are copasetic?
quotes another eminent person of the period, Edmund Wilson, and his
very personal perspective on capitalists:
A few thinkers among the new progressives
were willing to take the leap [to advocating the nationalization or
collectivization of everything]. They broke with liberalism in all its forms,
rejecting individual freedom as the basis for the new society they heralded. So
few even among their political comrades could go where they went that readers
have passed over these farewells to individual freedom with little comment,
find it hard to understand them and recoiling from them if they did understand.
Edmund Wilson hinted in this direction in
his angry expression of hope, early in the Depression, for the liquidation of
the dominant capitalist class: “I should be glad…to see a society where this
class was abolished. It seems to me plain from my reading of history that the
tendency of society is progressively leveling. And with this tendency I am in
complete sympathy. I take no stock in the alleged precious “values” cultivated
by aristocratic societies and destroyed in democratic ones. Poverty and
degradation below and unearned wealth and idleness on top have been implied in
all these values.” (pp. 113-114)
of what book I have read currently or in the past about the plans of the
Fabians, socialists, Marxists, liberals, et al. to “level” society, I get the
cloying sense that “thinkers” like Soule and Wilson vent their “you are doomed”
bile from an unmistakable envy of the rich in their alleged idleness, wallowing
in their “unearned wealth.”
Many the
usual collectivist suspects, and some of your favorites, are discussed at
length by Rossinow:

Saul Alinsky, the “community
organizer” extraordinary and mentor to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama;
Eugene Debs, Socialist
Party candidate for the presidency and one of the original Wobblies;
Lincoln Steffens, journalist,
muckraker, and an early supporter of the Soviet Union and the Mexican
Revolution. In the Soviet Union, he saw the future, and like Walter Duranty, the
lying journalist for the New York Times, he would not acknowledge it didn’t work;
William Jennings
, the populist Democratic orator who was the original populist
bloviater and three-time candidate for the presidency (1896, 1900, 1908).;
W.E.B. Dubois, the
black writer and civil rights activist who became enamored with the Soviet
Henry Wallace,  a raving mystic (reminiscent of Ayn Rand’s
spiritual bankrupt and searcher of a faith that will forgive him in The
) and FDR’s Secretary of Agriculture who believed that by
paying farmers not to produce, and by destroying their livestock and arable
acreage, prosperity would return to rural America. Wallace admired the energy
with which the Soviet tyrants organized “the people”;
Harry Ward, a British
immigrant who became the first head of the leftist American Civil Liberties
Union, and a Communist fellow traveler;
Teddy and
Franklin Roosevelt, Teddy the founder of the “bully pulpit,” conservationist,
and outright statist; and Franklin, his cousin, the president who tried to
remove all the chocks from the juggernaut of a full-scale, nationalist, regulated,
confiscatory welfare state, and with whom Barack Obama identifies;
and Robert M.
and his family, progenitors of the welfare state and aggressive
Just about
everything the leftists and “liberals” had ever hoped to have implemented in
the U.S. has been accomplished, including special protected groups, such as
immigrants and now Muslims (re Barack Obama’s two-pronged, intentional invasion
of the U.S. for the purpose of changing its political, cultural, and racial
characters). The “progress” in Progressivism for over a century has been
largely unopposed, and has culminated in a “mixed economy” in which the
productive private sphere grows ever smaller but is responsible for sustaining
an ever growing non-productive and parasitical sphere.
In an October
14h, 2014 article in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune , “Perhaps
the verdict on Obama is not yet in
,” Rossinow reflects on Obama’s two terms,
the balance of his last full year in office, and how the future may view him. Obama
is, after all, an apotheosis and the quintessential exemplar of everything every
one of his predecessors yearned and fought for: the heir and perpetuator of a
ruinous welfare and regulatory state lorded over by a kind of ebony Mussolini
who appeals to the lowest, most malicious, envious emotions in the electorate. Comparing
Obama’s record of failures and disasters with those of Bill Clinton, George W.
Bush, and Ronald Reagan, Rossinow wrote:
With the exception of Clinton — whose
congressional pursuers repulsed much of the public — these and other
two-termers saw the opposition realize major gains in the elections six years
into their presidencies.
In short, these other guys were in some
serious trouble. Bush, Clinton and Reagan, each in a different way, were
gravely compromised by either scandal or policy disaster. Obama has committed
no comparable misdeed (which is not the same as saying he has made no serious
errors). The only reason the Republican-controlled House has not started
impeachment proceedings is probably that there is nothing on which the GOP can
touch him.
Au contraire, Mr. Rossinow: There is plenty on Obama that the GOP can touch to
bring him to justice. But the GOP simply lacks the courage and concern. The GOP
is simply geared to retaking Congress and later the White House to implement
its own brand of statism, to perpetuate its own version of the “status quo.”
The history
of the visionary liberal-left, as presented by Doug Rossinow, is an engrossing
tour-de-force in terms of bringing to life the oft-contentious and divisive
glittering but hollow disco ball of American collectivism.
Rossinow is
a professor of history at Metropolitan
State University
in Minnesota, another pioneer state for welfare statism. Metro State was founded in 1971. The
school admitted 50 students in 1972. David
E. Sweet
was the university’s first president.[4]
The university initially followed a non-traditional course: students could
design their own degree plans, instructors wrote “narrative
evaluations” instead of using traditional letter grades, and much of the
teaching was done by “community faculty” who had advanced degrees as
well as extensive practical work experience in their respective fields.
of Progress: The Left-Liberal Tradition in America
, by Doug Rossinow.
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008. 322 pp.

Islam: An Ideology of Lethal Absurdities

Daniel Greenfield wrote on FrontPage about the absurdity of the news media in accusing Pamela Geller and Bosch Fawstin of encouraging violence by conducting a drawing Mohammad contest and inviting others to the event:

“The actual attempt at mass slaughter was dismissed as the terrorists ‘take the bait’ from the cartoonists who had been fiendishly plotting to be mass slaughtered by them for the publicity.”

But, this is the actual motive of Islamic terrorists; they are fiends looking for “bait” to take in order to be killed by their intended victims (or by a lone policeman, as in Garland) so their names can be publicized as “martyrs for Allah.” The only time terrorist outfits like ISIS, Al Qaeda, et al. value and recognize such self-sacrificing fools (aka “brothers”) is when they’re dead. This policy reduces the average jihadist to the level of a passive receptor, or a human lemming, who just can’t help himself for wanting to die, of seeking immediate if not eventual death.

But then, Islam is a nihilist ideology, chock full of absurdities.

While the jihadist is alive, he values going to an ethereal Howard Johnson’s or Marriott kind of Paradise with 24-hour room service and 24/7 meals-on-wheels and houris-on-call at the touch of a button, with Allah acting as the Supreme Pimp, the All-Knowing Concierge, and the Greatest Bellboy.

In this splendid accommodation, the consumption of pork will be permitted, provided the porkers are slaughtered per halal rules. Other celestial livestock will also be similarly slaughtered: horses, camels, goats, sheep and other Muslim delicacies, all raised and grazed in the Big A Ranch. These are special beasts who blood from their slaughter turns into the finest French wine. Moreover, once they’re slaughtered, like the seventy-two virgins, their lives are renewable.

This is Fantasy Land on steroids. Life is a burden. Let’s imagine an effortless existence. Let’s do “the right thing” and end it all now, and send a few infidels and blasphemers to hell in the meantime.

That is, actual life is of no value to a terrorist seeking “martyrdom.” But the alleged values of life in actual existence are projected in this Paradise. That’s one absurdity of Islam. Actual life is a burden, a bother, an imposition imposed by Allah. The things that can be had while one is living don’t count. They count only when one is dead, and can be experienced without guilt only in a glittering afterlife.

The jihadist who seeks “martyrdom” in death seeks to be relieved of the responsibility and requirements of living. Such relief can be found only in an Islamic “paradise.”

Cocooned in each “devout” but “non-violent” Muslim is an ideological incubus prepared to seduce its host to commit violence. This violence is initially visited on Muslim children. Then it is visited upon non-Muslims or Muslims of another sect. The hijab-covered Muslim woman who brings her wash to the local laundromat could some day just as well enter the place wearing a suicide vest.

Muslims can be regarded as pre-programmed beasts, programmed by irrational premises of Islam which most of them do not question. If one taunt, provokes, or aggravates a lion or a gorilla, one can expect the animal to attack its tormentor. An animal acts according to its nature. It acts with no volition, no moral choice. There are countless YouTube videos of the phenomena.

Muslims, however, are human, and are vested with the attribute of volitional choice. They can choose to be ciphers of their creed or its passive drudges. But if a Muslim becomes “radicalized,” the new slander is that it is the victim’s fault that the victim’s life is put in jeopardy, and that the jihadist terrorist is merely blameless victim, instead.

This is an absurdity promoted not so much by Islamic apologists, propagandists, or proselytizers, as by Western political correctness.

Daniel Greenfield (Sultan Knish), in a personal communication, offered a perfect analogy:

What keeps the lie alive [that the victims of terrorism invite their own demise] is another paradox. Call it Schrödinger’s Jihad. The more famous Schrödinger’s Cat is a paradox in which a cat in a sealed box with poison that has a 50 percent chance of being released is in an indeterminate state. It is neither dead nor alive until someone opens the box.

In Schrödinger’s Jihad, the Muslim terrorist is in an indeterminate state until some Western observer opens the box, collapses his wave function and radicalizes him. The two Muslim Jihadists were in an indeterminate state until Pamela Geller and Bosch Fawstin and the other “provocateurs” suddenly turned them into terrorists in a matter of days or weeks. It didn’t matter that Elton Simpson, one of the Garland terrorists, had already been dragged into court for trying to link up with Jihadists in Africa.

Every Muslim is and isn’t a terrorist. He is both a peaceful spiritual person who is eager to embrace our way of life and a violent killer who can be set off by the slightest offense. Like the cat in the box that is neither dead nor alive, he is both violent and peaceful, moderate and extremist, a solid citizen and a terrorist. He does not choose which of these to be or to become; we decide what he will be.

Which means that your average Muslim can be an A and non-A entity at the same time. He can be something and not that something, depending on who opens the box, raises his hackles, or “provokes” him. How Kantian. How Hegelian. How Existentialist.

The Associated Press on May 7th ran a hostile profile of Pamela Geller, “Activist: No regrets about cartoon contest ended by gunfire.” (Actually, the event was concluded, and wasn’t “ended by gunfire.”) The AP thought it apropos to quote the New York Times estimate of Geller’s activism:

In an editorial Thursday, The New York Times said Geller “has a long history of declarations and actions motivated purely by hatred for Muslims” and called the Garland event “an exercise in bigotry and hatred posing as a blow for freedom. … To pretend it was motivated by anything other than hate is simply hogwash.”

Here is what preceded that quotation in the New York Times editorial:

Whether fighting against a planned mosque near ground zero, posting to her venomous blog Atlas Shrugs or organizing the event in Garland, Ms. Geller revels in assailing Islam in terms reminiscent of virulent racism or anti-Semitism. She achieved her provocative goal in Garland — the event was attacked by two Muslims who were shot to death by a traffic officer before they killed anyone.

Those two men were would-be murderers. But their thwarted attack, or the murderous rampage of the Charlie Hebdo killers, or even the greater threat posed by the barbaric killers of the Islamic State or Al Qaeda, cannot justify blatantly Islamophobic provocations like the Garland event. These can serve only to exacerbate tensions and to give extremists more fuel.

You see: Muslims aren’t the only humans capable of harboring the capacity for being A and non-A at the same time.

Geller is passionate about her activism. So are Robert Spencer on Jihad Watch, and Daniel Greenfield in his Sultan Knish and FrontPage columns, when they chronicle the murderous depredations of Islam and its “extremist” Islamic terrorists, and also about the dhimmi submission to Islam by Western politicians and the Western news media. Yet, the mere reporting of the crimes committed by ISIS, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other Islamic gangs is “venomous” and “bigoted.”

Warner Todd Huston of Breitbart, in his May 7th article, “AP Slams Pam Geller as Having ‘No Regrets’ That Two Terrorists Died in TX,” made these two pertinent observations:

It doesn’t appear to have occurred to the AP that the two would-be killers wouldn’t be dead if they didn’t go to the event with guns blazing in the first place.

And that The New York Times and the Associated Press are also susceptible to Islamic-like provocations such as a Draw Mohammad contest:

Just as it’s apparently a calling for the AP to attack free speech.

Overall, the attacks on Geller, Fawstin, Spencer and others who exercise their right to “provoke” killers, are not instances of the finest hours of Western journalism. Overall, Western journalism has descended into the maelstrom of the theater of the absurd.

Nullified Barbarisms

Originally finished
in 1992, but not published until 2012, The
Head of Athena
, the second Cyrus Skeen detective novel, addresses in this
chapter the issue of freedom of speech, in which a notorious atheist, Enoch
Paige, attempts to deliver an address in San Francisco in May 1929. The scores
of people who attend the event go not out of agreement with or even curiosity about
what he has to say or about what they expect him to say, but to silence Paige. His
speech, they are certain, will “offend” their religious or moral sensibilities.
Paige is awaiting trial for the murder of his ex-wife; his attorney has asked Skeen
to investigate the crime and produce evidence that will exonerate Paige of the
who has not yet met Paige, attends the lecture to assess the man’s character. Here
he encounters Sgt. Robert Hoile of the SFPD, a homicide detective with a
special animus for Paige; his fiancé was murdered in much the same horrific way
as was Paige’s ex-wife, and believes that Paige is guilty. He is looking for
any excuse to lock Paige up again for violating his bail and for disturbing the
lieu of another column on the importance of freedom of speech (I have written a
few dozen), and the May 3rd attack  n the
The American Freedom Defense Initiative’s Draw Mohammad Contest in Garland,
Texas, I chose to excerpt this chapter from the novel. It dramatizes much of
what I would have said in a regular column. The Garland police officer  nullified
two barbarisms when he shot and killed the two Muslim gunmen.
Founders’ Hall, a rambling, squat building of grimy red
brick with a soiled neoclassical façade, sat a block and a half from the
Southern Pacific rail depot in China Basin, the city’s flat industrial port
south of Market Street. Built by the Metal Casters Association shortly after
the Civil War, it housed the offices of die casting firms, metal jobbers, and
automotive engineers. The offices ringed a small auditorium, which had once
been a locomotive parts warehouse and repair shop.
eleven-forty-five, Skeen drove past the building, saw a line of perhaps forty
people, and parked his roadster around the corner. By the time he returned, the
doors had opened and the line was filing inside. Skeen strode to the end of it.
A cheaply printed placard was tied with string to one of the iron pillars of
FOR GOD AND MAN? ONE DOLLAR ADMITTANCE. At the door, a glowering young man in a
worn tweed suit collected money and handed back mimeographed circulars. Skeen
smiled and dropped a silver dollar in the open palm. The young man dropped it
in turn into a metal cash box on the table before him. Skeen took a circular
from him and went into the auditorium.
About a hundred
wooden folding chairs were set up in two sections, leaving an aisle of bare
plant floor between them. Early afternoon light struggled to pierce the
unwashed glass of the high arched windows that divided the mezzanine above the
hall. Dusty green curtains hung from the ceiling on the sides of the dais. In the
middle stood a battered lectern. Behind it, on either side, were two flag
stands. One was bare, and on the other drooped a dingy American flag that was
missing half of its tassels.
Skeen spotted a
vacant seat in the front row next to a sour-looking spinster and headed for it.
By a step and a half he beat a large, pinched-faced man in a bulky woolen
overcoat that smelled like rotten cabbages. The man regarded him with hostile
eyes, and looked as though he wanted to say something nasty, but he turned around
and found another seat in the third row. Skeen shook out of his raglan and
folded it over the back of the chair, then removed his trilby, folded it, and
stuffed it inside one of the raglan’s pockets. He did not sit down, but stood
and watched the growing audience. Many more people had followed him in and were
filling up the chairs rapidly.
He read the
circular, on which was an encapsulation of Paige’s career, followed by a
statement that his talk this afternoon had originally been sponsored by the
Freethinkers League. Two weeks ago, the League had withdrawn its sponsorship,
and Paige had had to hire the hall at his own expense.
Skeen again
studied the audience, whose composition ranged from very well dressed men and
women to students, sales clerks and manual laborers. As more people came into
the hall and took their seats, he noticed something else: Many in the audience
did not join in the animated chatter, but sat very still with sullen
expressions. They looked too disinterested and too contemptuous, thought Skeen.
These might be troublemakers. There were many who were angling for Paige’s
He finished
reading the circular. The last paragraph read: “This is to be Mr. Paige’s last
scheduled public address. Mr. Paige plans to sequester himself for a time to
examine other matters of gravity. Whether he withdraws from the public eye by
choice, or by compulsion, remains to be seen.”
All the seats had
been taken by now, and attendees were beginning to line the sides of the hall
and the rear. Skeen smiled when he recognized a face.
Sergeant Robert
Hoile was leaning against a stone pillar whose blue paint had been flecking
away for years. He permitted himself a brief grin when he saw Skeen approach.
Skeen greeted him and shook his hand.
“Good morning,
Sergeant. What brings you here?”
“I’m surprised to
see you here, Skeen,” Hoile answered. “I didn’t know you went in for this kind
of rabble-rousing.”
Skeen said, “He
might be a client of mine. I don’t mind telling you that, because it would be
hard to conceal the fact if I decide in his favor.”
“Freund talk to
Skeen nodded, then
waved at the hall. “Are you here to be edified, or are you on business?”
Hoile frowned.
“I’m here to keep an eye on my man. I arrested him, you know.”
“So you did.
Corelli with you?”
“No. He’s on
“Why do you think
Paige needs watching?’
“Because if
there’s any trouble, the bastard goes back to jail, and no amount of money will
get him out again. He’ll sit there until his trial.” Hoile’s eyes hardened, and
little shades of red appeared on his face.
Skeen studied the
sergeant for a moment. “You’re sure he’s guilty, aren’t you?”
“You didn’t see
the body, Skeen,” said the detective. “One of the worst I’ve ever seen. Even if
she was a slut, nobody deserves to die like that.”
“The condition of
her body may be immaterial to Paige’s innocence.”
“If you knew what
I know, maybe you wouldn’t want to help clear this guy.”
Skeen decided to
drop the matter. “I shall endeavor to know as much as you do, Sergeant,” he
said. He nodded, and returned to his seat.
A moment later the
sour young man closed the doors to the hall, strode to the dais, and announced
Enoch Paige. He left as the speaker came in through a side door. A pebbly
applause greeted Paige as he mounted the platform and walked to the lectern. He
put a sheaf of papers on it, and planted two fists on his hips to study the
audience as though he were daring anyone in it to object to his presence there.
Enoch Paige was a
short, wiry man of twenty-seven, with curly brown hair and blue eyes in a
square, impudent face. His eyes and mouth were in perfect harmony; his mouth
expressed what his eyes told, although both features seemed permanently locked
in a curious union of impish humor and satanic intent. He wore a pepper gray
suit and a blue bow tie.
After he had
scrutinized the audience, he said, in a clear, impavid voice, “I must apologize
for underestimating my popularity — or my notoriety. If I’d known so many of
you would come out this fine Sunday morning, I’d have hired more chairs. And I
must extend my gratitude to the Police Department for having dispatched a
single officer to ensure the safety of my person. Welcome, Mr. Hoile.”  Paige swept a hand in the air in the general
direction of the detective, who had not moved from his pillar. Some heads in
the audience turned to look incuriously at him.
Paige clapped his
hands together. “As was announced, the subject of my talk this afternoon is the
question: Can God and man occupy the same universe? More specifically, my
question is: Why has religion exercised a monopoly on the notions of good and
evil? Even more specifically: Is it possible for man to know these notions,
exclusive of God and religion?”
Skeen crossed his
legs and sat back in genuine interest. The audience seemed quietly attentive.
Paige put a hand
on the top sheet of his papers, then withdrew it and put it in his trousers
pocket. “Now — how best should I approach this subject? My options appear to be
limitless. I could ridicule the notion of God, and subject the rituals of
religion to comic treatment. I could insult your intelligence with infantile
jest, and point out that God, spelled backwards, is dog — really, it’s a very
old chestnut, that one! — and dwell on a bawdy but fictitious mutual etymology.
I could tell you that I’ve finished penning an amusing play, after the fashion
of Mr. Bernard Shaw, about how many times the end of the world has come and
gone, and, just to spice up the tale, included in it a fatuous romance between
a Reformed Millenialist drummer and a Second Resurrectionist tuba girl.” Paige
paused and raised a hand. “Or — I could tell you that I’ve written a very serious
play, one in the style of those Continental Expressionist jackdaws, featuring a
handful of symbolic characters marooned in a barren wilderness, who debate and
shout and cry about a savior who never comes — ”
At this, some of
the more studious-looking attendees chuckled. Others in the audience shifted
restlessly in their seats.
“ — nor even sends
word that he has been delayed by a faux pas in another part of the
universe.” Paige shrugged his shoulders. “I could recite witty limericks or
outrageous ditties and have all of you — or most of you — rolling in the
aisles. Oh, I could do so many things to get your attention. But, I will not
resort to ridicule. Ridicule is a luxury one may indulge in only after seeing
to the grave business of refutation. It is not my way to cajole those whose
intellects I presume to address, although I think I can be an amusing man. I do
not fault apt speakers for using the device of humor to weave a web of
attention over their auditors. I am merely saying that it is a device I choose
not to employ.”
Skeen chuckled and
recrossed his legs.
Paige stared down
at him. “Sir?”
“Yes, Mr. Paige?”
“Were you
scoffing, or was it a compliment you were paying me?”
Skeen grinned. “I
simply realized that you used a combination of the Subtle and Direct
Approaches, as recommended by Cicero in Ad Herennium. Book One, I
 Paige looked mildly surprised. “One,” he said.
“Did I do it well?”
“Well enough,”
Skeen answered, “as you’re doing it again.”
“Thank you, sir.”
There was some laughter in the audience. Paige waited for it to subside.
“Marcus Aurelius, a man esteemed not only in our political and intellectual
circles today, but also among the clergy — for, even though he persecuted
Christians and burnt them by the bushel, there is much in his writing to cadge
and clip for many a sermon — said in his Meditations that the ‘purpose
of reasonable beings is to follow the rule and law of the most venerable city
and state.’ I have never held much esteem for Aurelius myself. While I admit
that it is fine to follow rule and law, I question the object of veneration — ”
“Who are you
to talk of law??” shouted a man in the middle of the right hand section. “Who
are you, murderer?”
“This’ll be a
decent state when they cooks you to a cinder!!” yelled another man.
Paige sought out
the first man, who had sunk back into his seat. “You may ask that question of
me when a judge or jury has concluded that I am indeed a murderer, sir. Not
until then.” He turned to the second man. “And you, sir, should take better
care to avoid barbarisms in your speech. There is, after all, a limit to
colorful illiteracy.”
Skeen, too, had
turned to look at the men in the audience. He noticed the pinched-face man in
the third row scowling at a slip of paper in his hand. When he turned again, he
saw also that the spinster next to him sat with her fingers in her ears, her
lips moving in silent prayer.
“ — I question the
objects of veneration,” Paige continued, “just as I must question the rules and
laws. Here I direct your attention to the not-so-coincidental connection
between Aurelius’s imperatives and St. Paul’s admonishments found in Romans,
thirteen, to obey the state and surrender its due. ‘It is an obligation imposed
not merely by fear of retribution but by coincidence.’ To free men who wish to
remain free, these cannot be sage words of advice, but prescriptions for
Paige spoke on.
Skeen thought that, given the first incidents of hectoring, he would have been
driven from the dais twenty words into his address. But he suspected that the
hecklers were not hearing what they had expected to hear. Five minutes went by
without further interruption.
“…The state and
religion treat you like royalty. You are deemed privileged persons. Laws and
customs are established for your protection. Today, these diminish your
freedom, rather than enlarge it. And, like the royalty of Europe, you must, by
grace of these laws — such as the Sixteenth and Eighteenth Amendments, and all
the countless, merely legislative intrusions on your person and property —
indulge yourselves in secret and mind your own business in the umbra of sin,
scandal and fiat guilt. You drop a coin into the collection basket in church
with the same grudging charity that you fudge your books for taxes or buy your
liquor from a bootlegger or search for loopholes in your business licenses.
These laws and customs, designed to make moral men of you, instead corrupt you
and their administrators, however understanding you or the administrators may
appear in public. I say there is little difference between the fraud
perpetrated on you by the state and that perpetrated on you by any church. In
both instances, there are material exactions and spiritual exactions. They tend
to make us, as Hamlet said of himself, unable ‘as unvalued persons do, to carve
for himself,’ not free of the fetters on our minds and pocketbooks, fetters
created to direct us to some ‘higher’ purpose or approved, salutary existence,
fetters forged to allow us to move only with special dispensation awarded by
those who have quite arbitrarily set themselves above us as our moral warders.”
Paige noted the
coughing and restive movements in the audience, and waited before he continued.
“This brings me to another announcement: I am unable to answer my own question!
I freely confess a stock of requisite knowledge unequal to the task of
formulating an intelligible answer. I shall no longer inveigh against God, or
against superstition, or against the sham of organized belief. Something akin
to the unpleasant ennui one experiences after a helping or two of very rich
food has bothered me for some time. Only yesterday did I realize that it was —
boredom. I have grown tired of tilting against the ghosts in men’s minds. There
are bigger and more substantive specters to lance. I have said all I will say
on the subject. It is a good record. That there is no God is a matter I have
settled to my own satisfaction. In the near future, I shall retire in order to
ponder the question I am now unable to answer, but which I am confident can be
answered. It promises to be an intriguing and exciting quest.”
Paige paused. “I
realize that I have not delivered my usual tirade, which is what many of you
came to hear today. So, if any of you feel cheated, your admission fee will be
returned to you without question or reproach – ”
What is this??”
shouted a short, skinny old man in the second row. “You said you was gonna talk
about God! What kinda trick is this?”
“You have no right
to speak of morality, you heathen, Godless blasphemer!” shouted the spinster
next to Skeen, brandishing her umbrella.
“You wanna
retire?” yelled a man in the fourth row. “You’re gonna be retired — in the
‘lectric chair!”
Skeen turned to
look at the last heckler, but saw the pinched-face man rise and read from his
slip of paper. “There’s no love or forgiveness for him who denies the Lord!”
Behind him, another man rose and shouted, “God can’t be understood with reason
or defeated with fancy talk!”
A tomato sailed
through the air and hit the plaster wall behind Paige. “Ah!” he exclaimed. “I
see that my appreciation society is upset!”
Another tomato and
an egg rocketed over Skeen’s head and splattered against the dais wall. “God’s
aim seems a tat off today!” laughed Paige. “But — even though I’ve announced my
temporary retirement and should have left this stage by now, I’ll not budge
from this stage until this hall has been emptied!”
“Begone, ye of no
faith!” cried the spinster, shaking her umbrella at Paige.
“If you don’t
leave that stage,” shouted the pinched-faced man, “there’s enough of us to make
you, you little squit!”
Skeen rose and
turned to see the commotion that had exploded behind him. Between twenty and
thirty people were shouting threats and denunciations at Paige, while others
argued violently with the hecklers. He saw one man punched by another and
collapse between the chairs. A woman screamed. Others, sensing the growing
trouble, abandoned their seats for the safety of the rear.
Sergeant Hoile was
nowhere to be seen.
Something hard hit
the wall behind Paige. Skeen turned and saw a rock bounce to a rest on the
planks of the dais. Paige stood still, glaring at the pandemonium, his arms
folded, determined to stand his ground. Skeen mounted the dais, briefly saluted
him, and stood with him. The sour faced young man also stepped onto the dais
and stood next to Paige.
“Thank you for the
gesture, sir,” said Paige over the racket, “but there’s no need for you to get
a pummeling, too.”
“It’s no gesture,”
Skeen said, offering his hand. “Cyrus Skeen, latter day roving Musketeer, at
your service.”
Paige grinned and
shook the hand thoughtfully as a large potato missed his head by inches. “In
that case,” he said, “allow me to introduce my protégé, Humphrey Garnett.” The
sour faced young man extended his arm, but he was hit above his left ear by a
small stone. Stunned, he began to collapse, but Paige caught him in his arms.
Skeen stepped back
and picked up one of the stones. He spotted the pinched-face man, who had
retreated a couple of rows and was reaching into his overcoat for another
missile. Skeen hefted the stone in his hand, then reached back and hurled it.
The man watched stupidly as it flew through the air and struck him on the bridge
of his nose.
Skeen did not have
a chance to see what happened to him. Someone yelled, “Let’s show ‘em we mean
business!” and a dozen or so men knocked chairs and spectators out of the way
and rushed the dais.
Skeen took the
lectern by its base and swung it at the first man to step onto the stage,
hitting him in the face and knocking him back into two others. He swung again
and caught another in the chest, but the force of the blow and the weight of
the lectern yanked the thing from his grip. The lectern fell apart as it and
the man crashed into the chairs below, falling at the feet of the spinster, who
had fainted. Paige had lowered the unconscious Garnett to the planks, and stood
in front of him, wildly swinging what looked like a blackjack at his attackers,
keeping them at bay.
A stone grazed
Skeen’s temple above his right ear. He stepped back and grabbed the unused flag
stand and removed it from the brass base. He handed the pole to Paige and took
the base at the stem in both hands. Instead of waiting for the men to rush him,
he rushed them, striking out at their heads.
Just then a
cacophony of shrill whistles erupted in the hall, and a dozen uniformed
policemen swept in through the main doors, led by Hoile. The attackers leapt
from the dais and tried to disperse, but were brought down by nightsticks. One
man ran up the center aisle and tried to shoulder Hoile aside, but Hoile let
him fly by and pistol-whipped him as he passed. The man plummeted to the floor
and lay still.
Skeen stood on the
dais, holding the brass base in one hand. Paige stood a few feet away from him,
holding the two ends of the wooden pole, which looked splintered. Five
unconscious men lay at their feet among the sheets of Paige’s scattered notes.
Skeen had a small cut above his right ear, while Paige’s face boasted a pair of
Paige put down the
pole, and bent to look at Garnett. With a groan, the young man opened his eyes
and sat up.
Sergeant Hoile
approached the dais with a uniformed officer and stepped onto the dais. He put his
revolver away and stood over Paige. “You were warned, Paige,” he said. “Any
kind of ruckus, and back you go.”
Paige rose to face
the detective. “You know this wasn’t my doing.”
Skeen said, “You
saw how it happened, Sergeant. If you arrest him, you’ll have to clap steel on
me, as well.” He put down the brass base and approached the policemen.
“I’ve got no
argument with you, Skeen,” Hoile said. “You did what you thought needed doing.
But I can’t let this man go free to incite more public disturbances.”
“He didn’t incite
it. He was finished. There were men here who were looking for an excuse to
cause trouble. You know that.”
Hoile drew himself
up and faced Skeen. “Don’t tell me what I know!”
The hall became
still. Spectators, policemen and arrested men alike turned to watch and listen.
Skeen gestured to
the hall. “There are as many witnesses to what we saw as there are to how it
all started.”
“God damn you,
Skeen,” muttered Hoile beneath his breath.
“Arrest Paige, and
I’ll pay his bail, too.”
Hoile studied Skeen
for a moment, then turned to Paige. “All right. You’ll have to come down to the
Hall, if you want to lodge a complaint.” He turned, stepped down from the dais,
and stalked away, shouting to a uniformed sergeant. “Don’t just stand there!
Clear this place out! Now! Get moving!”
Paige sighed as he
watched Hoile retreat. Then he turned to Skeen and they silently shook hands.
Skeen sat with a cigarette on the edge of the dais and
dabbed at the cut on his temple with a wet handkerchief. Enoch Paige was
gathering his notes. Humphrey Garnett sat in one of the folding chairs and held
a wet towel to the side of his face. Hoile paced back and forth in the rear of
the auditorium, waiting for ambulances to take away the few injured spectators
and the men Paige and Skeen had felled. He threw angry scowls at Skeen and
Paige and snapped at the officers under his command.
Paige lit a cigarette of his own and walked up to Skeen
with a tired grin. “There was a debate Cicero had no advice for, eh, Mr.
“You won it, nonetheless.”
“So we did. But I wouldn’t want to adjudicate the point
with such Catilines very often.” Paige studied Skeen for a moment. “Where’d you
pick up your Cicero?”
“At Yale.”
Paige’s face lit up. “Not Professor Xavier Warmington??”
Skeen nodded.
“Old ‘Warm Up to My Subject Warmington? By God!” exclaimed Paige. “Another Eli stuck in the
Styx! What year?”
“Twenty-one,” said Skeen.
“Twenty-three!” Paige laughed. He slapped Skeen on the
shoulder. “Of course, you know, even if you’d been a Harvard man, I’d have
welcomed your help all the same, and still called you friend!”
Skeen smiled. “I’d have helped you even were you an
alumnus of Sequoia College of Dentistry in Portland, Oregon.”
They turned to face Hoile in the rear of the hall. The
sergeant said, “Are you coming down to the Hall to lodge your complaint or
“Yes, I am, Mr. Hoile. I’ll be right with you.”
“Then, come on! I haven’t got time to waste!” Hoile turned
and walked out.
Humphrey Garnett rose and came up to Paige. “You go ahead,
sir. I’ll see the custodian about the damages and have these chairs carted back
to the rental.”
“All right, Humphrey. Sure you’re okay?”
The man nodded with a weak smile and began to fold the
Paige turned to Skeen. “I know how to reach you, Mr.
Skeen. Freund said you’d be dropping by here, but I wasn’t paying him much
attention. I’d better be going, before the law changes its mind.” He went into
the side door and returned with his overcoat and hat. He waved goodbye and
strode out of the auditorium.
Skeen dropped the handkerchief on the dais and rose to
survey the carnage. He could not imagine how Paige could have committed murder.
Murderers did not defend their right to speak in such a manner. 
He walked over to the splintered flagpole and picked it
up. He examined the ornamental brass tip, which was shaped and as sharp as a
spearhead. It was smeared with bright red.

Blaming the Right Culprits

West has performed yeoman’s work in exposing the Soviet-FDR connection in American
Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character
. She has aired
out America’s dirty laundry and hung it out to dry. Neocons and other strange
creatures attacked her for contradicting their over half-century-old meme that
FDR was a blameless dupe of Joseph Stalin and that there were no real Soviet
agents and fellow travelers in FDR’s administration.
were the number of attacks and the personalities making them that she had to
write another book to counter all the lies, misconceptions, academic pufferies,
character assassinations, and misrepresentations about her and American Betrayal in those attacks, in a
second book, The
Rebuttal: Defending ‘American Betrayal From the Book Burners
. I
followed this ongoing exchange between West and her detractors from Day One. It
was similar to watching Cyrano
de Bergerac
take on a hundred cutthroat swordsmen. I can hear her muttering
now, about the caliber of her attackers: “I have been robbed. There are no
hundred here!”
were only poseurs, fakers, pseudo-historians and envious fop-doodles lined up
against West. They had a vested interest in silencing her. They attempted to
wear her down. Still wish she would go away. She handily demolished them all.
what’s a conservative? I’ve never actually received a straight, unambiguous
answer to that question from a conservative. What is it that a conservative wishes
to “conserve”? Family values? Traditions? The Christian ethos? The welfare
state? Our mixed economy of some freedoms and lots of controls? All I can think
of is that the most honest answer is: The Status Quo. An un-rocked and leaky boat.
Just leave us alone, don’t bother us with principles or really getting our
hackles up over Democratic skullduggery. We’re too busy enjoying our perks, in
the Senate and in the House.
is it that a neoconservative wants to
“conserve”? A neocon is someone who is an ex-leftwing “radical” who finally
understood the error of his ways, recanted, and joined the Non-Fight Club.
now they have another reason to hate West. In her latest column, “Who Is To
Blame?” she asks the question: If President Barack Obama is so nihilistic a
“leader,” dedicated to destroying this country and abetting the sinking of the
West in the face of the Islamic onslaught on civilization, who enabled him?
Must we always groan and cuss and go red in the face every time we read of his
latest depredations, such as the Iran nuclear deal and other
“suicide-by-design” policies?
easy to inveigh against Obama. He’s such a natural target. Who’s to blame for
his being in the seat of power to do whatever he wishes?
helped to put him in power?
it was the Republicans. The GOP. Surprised?
I was a teenager, I thought GOP meant “government opposition party.” I know now
it means “Grand Old Party.” But is it so “grand”? It’s old, it’s decrepit, it creeps
around leaning on the walker of pragmatism, uses a hearing aid called “me
too-ism,” and takes the Valium of disengagement to counter any clash with
Constitutional issues. Perish the thought that the GOP would have anything to
do with private ad hoc groups that
expect a Republican to take up sword and shield and wage war on this country’s
enemies, internal and external, domestic and foreign. Far be it from most
Republicans to demand that Obama adhere to his oath of office. Far be it from most
Republicans to even acknowledge the malodorous nature and character of Obama’s
regime. Or of Bill Clinton’s.  or Jimmy
Carter’s.. Or of Eisenhower’s.  Or of FDR’s.
of either of the Bushes’.  Recall that
one ad featuring former president George W. Bush: “Miss me?” Well,
no, I don’t. We shouldn’t.
this perhaps precious moment, then, it is important not to waste the
opportunity to assess blame (and, best case scenario, regroup) in yet another
aerobic exercise of venting at the Left (self-congratulation). Especially not
when we — our side, not the Left — are to blame.
refer to … everything.
right. Whatever it is, it’s not really Obama’s fault, the DNC’s fault, Al
Sharpton’s fault, even (gasp) the media’s fault, etc. Not entirely, to be sure.
After all, like Tiggers, Obamas do what Obamas do best. The DNC, Sharpton, the
media do what they do best. The Right Wing, however, fails to do what it should
do best — fails to behave according the principles that define it.
goes on to cite instances of how the Republicans have repeatedly fallen down on
the job of truly taking Obama to task, such as impeaching him for, among other
things, overstepping his executive power in everything he has ever touched. Better
yet, she cites the pragmatism of Republican policies when dealing with
political figures, such as both Clintons – Hill and Bill, as West refers to
them – who have not been called onto the carpet of justice in any serious way
for decades. The Republicans would rather just look the other way from the
facts of their multiple offenses, crimes, and major, jail-able misdemeanors.
What about stepping back
a little and asking how it could be that Hillary, with the foreign donors to
Clinton Inc. well known in 2009 as giant conflicts of interest (at
least), was confirmed as SecState in the first place? The Senate voted to
confirm her, 94-2 (GOP Sens. Demint and Vitter were the “no” votes).
That leaves a lot of responsibility for Clinton Inc./State conflicts of
interest/corruption to go around, and very particularly on the Republican side
of the aisle….
We can continue this
exercise. For the Clintons’ post-impeachment “second” act, we
owe everything to the Republican Establishment’s Establishment Bush family
— H.W., W. and Barbara, too. It was the Bush family, after all, that lifted
Bill from his political nadir where he belonged, joining “charitable”
forces, inviting him to Kennebunkport. Remember “the Three Amigos”?
The Bushes took Bill in like
the second president-son I hope they never have. They made appearances with
this sexual predator/probable rapist at their sides — he, who traded away US
military secrets to Red China for campaign contributions (for which he also
should have been impeached and convicted), he who discussed US troop movements
in the Oval Office, one hand presumably on the phone, the other on his intern
… .
up! Don’t blame! shout the Republicans. We aren’t responsible for the actions
of this kid in the Oval Office, he’s wild and unpredictable and kind of
endearing. Besides, he’s black, and if we really tried to clap cuffs on him,
there’d be holy hell to pay. West writes:
Step back a little. Who
cleared the way for Obama to the presidency in the first place? In GOP silence
on the matter of Obama’s identity docs, in the party’s failure first to seek to
settle the matter in the US Senate (where Sen. John McCain, another responsible
party, was asked to document his “natural born” eligibility but not
Sen. Barack Obama), at the RNC, in the Electoral College, in the House, Senate
and elsewhere since, in conservative media silence all along (and worse,
derision and enforcement of silence) is death — the death of the Republic.
Remember, Obamas do what
Obamas do best. That is, what should we expect of someone mentored by arch
Communist Frank Marshall Davis? What should we expect of lock-step Democrats
who, mafia-omerta-style, always keep mum to gain power?
But law and order Republicans?
Officials who swear to defend the Constitution? Pundits who echo the
same? The all-but-certain crime of the centuries — the extremely
strong appearance of identity fraud in the Oval Office — has been enabled
first and foremost by Americans on the right side of the political spectrum who
failed to require or conduct a most basic investigation of Obama’s papers….
Seven years later, the fact
that Obama and the Left Wing are still in control — no checks, no balances,
ever — has everything to do with the abandonment of defining principle of the
Right Wing. Indeed, GOP responsibility and support for the wreckage
solidifies every day that goes by without GOP-controlled Congress drawing up
articles of impeachment.
West’s assessment of the Republican Party’s role as an opposition force against
Obama is that it isn’t an opposition force. The Republicans are just along for
the ride.
moving on (No Open Society pun intended) to Phyllis Chesler’s Middle East Forum (and
article on the PEN award to Charlie Hebdo and the cop-out dissenters who
sniffed their noses at the awardees, let’s define our terms here.
are two species of evil: the evil that is a predator, and the evil that is
empowered by cowardice, compromise, and silence of its alleged opponents. The
predator is just fundamentally driven by the desire to loot, kill, to maim, to
destroy. Those who murder, rape, maim and destroy out of some psychotic need
will always be around. This will serve as a handy moniker for ISIS or the Islam
State. And the Taliban. And Al-Qaeda, And other Islamic gangs. But, these
particular manifestations of evil needn’t be around. They can be wiped out.
Exterminated. Napalmed. Sent packing to their 72 virgins (or raisins, and maybe
a glass of Poland Spring water).
large-scale evil is fundamentally impotent. It can borrow its power to destroy
and kill only if the compromisers, cowards, naysayers, and Let’s-Make-A-Deal,
“there’s no need to go to extremes” amoral pragmatists let it commit mayhem. This
policy allowed the Soviet Union to survive for half a century. It allowed Mao
to conquer China. It has allowed the West to become in thrall to religious
totalitarian regimes like Saudi Arabia and Iran. It has allowed ISIS to run
riot in the Middle East.
doesn’t blink an eye at this devastation? Well, of course George W. Bush and
Barack Obama don’t. But neither do their alleged critics in the GOP. They let
it happen. They encourage it by their silence. They are partners with the
enablers. They are the enablers.
Obama’s and Bush’s and Carter’s and the Clintons’ Catalogues of Crimes over and
over again tends to dull one’s sense of outrage. West is saying: Let’s turn our
outrage on the Republicans, our so-called defenders.
Chesler’s “145 American
Writers Think Honoring Charlie Hebdo is ‘Islamophobic’
” takes those 145
writers to task in the Middle East Form 
(and under a different title on Breitbart).
Chesler is the author of numerous
on censorship and related subjects.
On April 26, 2015, six PEN
“table hosts,” all highly regarded writers, publicly
PEN’s decision to give an award for “Freedom of Expression
Courage” to these courageous survivors. This award, to be given on May 3rd,
is separate from the literary prizes.
By April 30th, the
six (Peter Carey, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose,
and Taiye Selasi) were joined by one
hundred and thirty nine authors
who signed a petition of protest. In
all, this represents only 4% of their membership.
has the full
list of the 139
authors who joined the original six “dissenters.” I don’t
know who most of these people are. I recognize only a few of their names. One
supposes they’ve all written books. I know that Russell Banks, for example, is
a hack novelist and short story writer who’s spent a lot of time in writers’
colonies. Francine Prose? Until now, I’d never head of her.  The “disassociators” – I looked up some of
their literary credits, all yawners – are mostly dreggish idlers at the
keyboard with little else to communicate but their ennui and boredom and overall displeasure with the world. They are
true, bottom-of-the-barrel scriveners and tyros who presumably comprise the
literary establishment.
Salman Rushdie, a writer who
knows what it is to pay the price for having criticized Islam and is also a
former President of PEN had this to say: They are “six
authors in search of character
.” He is right. They do not know how to stand
up to the false charge of “Islamophobia.”
Thus, one hundred and forty
five authors have decided to shame PEN—publicly, and at the last minute—in
order to make an “anti-Islamophobic” political statement which renders every
critic of Islamic gender and religious apartheid, and every critic of Islamic
terrorism, that much more vulnerable.
say right up front that I’m an Islamophobe. I fear Islam. I also fear
rattlesnakes, typhoid, food poisoning, and other life-threatening things. But
Islam is special. It is of human manufacture and it is, according to its sacred
texts, especially the Koran, a
predator. It is an ideology programmed by its premises to conquer or to kill.
It is anti-mind, anti-life, anti-values. That most Muslims aren’t active
predators like ISIS, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other such gangs,
is irrelevant. Your average Friday-go-to-mosque Muslim is already dead –
upstairs. He of the head-banging ritual is prohibited from thinking and questioning.
And I think most Muslims are comfortable with that condition.
one doesn’t expect that of Western writers and of the Western intelligentsia. Those
two groups are already “conquered.” So is the Western news media.
gives us an example of our intelligentsia’s deconstruction of a simple issue:
One of the six protesting
table hosts, novelist Francine Prose, has written in The
The ‘narrative’ of the Charlie
murders—white Europeans killed in their offices by Muslim
extremists—is one that feeds neatly into the cultural prejudices that have
allowed our government to make so many disastrous mistakes in the Middle East.
The First Amendment guarantees the right of the Neo-Nazis to march in Skokie,
Illinois but we don’t give them an award.
it to a Marxist to bring up race and even insinuate that dead horse, European
colonialism. And, of course, the Muslims who massacre anyone are “extremists,”
even though they quote chapter and verse from the Koran in their tweets and hashtags and emails. The Nazis who ran
the concentration and extermination camps were “extremists,” if we go by Prose’s
measure. The other Nazis? They were all-right guys and snappy dressers who
wanted to do good for their country. They’re blameless.
such an intellectual and moral disconnect here that it can’t be grasped except
by sending a probe to the Kuiper Belt that encircles the solar system.
thousands of members of PEN comprise the American and Western literary
establishment. It is distinctly of a leftist persuasion. The “professional” membership list is exhaustive.
Scanning the dozen pages of the membership, I recognize just a handful of
names. I quit the Mystery Writers of America because of its internal politics.
I let my membership in the Author’s Guild lapse because it was of no help or
assistance in my fight against a publisher that bilked me out of royalties and
committed other contract-violating actions; all it could do was commiserate. I
have no interest in joining PEN, no matter how benign its intentions of
furthering freedom of expression. Here is one reason why, and Phyllis Chesler
provides it in her column. I don’t think a writer who produced plotted,
non-Marxist, non-deconstructed novels would be welcome or would find much
company in it.
included this illuminating and instructive note:
PEN is one of the two major
American groups which represent authors; The Author’s Guild is the other group.
PEN is funded by many including; The Ford Foundation; Hachette Book Groups; The Mellon Foundation;
The Kaplen Foundation; The Lannan Foundation; the National Endowment for the
Arts; and Soros’s Open Society Institute. This documents that PEN is a
mainstream powerhouse, and what they do matters.
literary or artistic group that takes money from the government is immoral or
morally rudderless.  Worse, any literary
or artistic group that takes money from George Soros is damned a priori. Barack Obama, our saboteur
extraordinary, was backed to the hilt by Soros from the very beginning.  Soros’ Open Society Institute is in PEN’s top
four contributor brackets. See PEN’s
link for the Brunswick stew of corporate and foundation “angels.”
Soros has always had in mind as an “open society” would be, in practice, a “closed”
society – a society gagged and fettered by “authorities” in and out of government,
a “society” much like our literary establishment today. Only much worse, because
it would have government clout to enforce the status quo.
Gitlin at Tablet also published a critique of the PEN imbroglio, “PC
Thought-Bots Embarrass Themselves with PEN Boycott
,” wrote:
PEN, the organization of
writers, decided to give a Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression
Courage award to Charlie Hebdo—that is, to those of its staff who were
not massacred by the Islamist Kouachi brothers on Jan. 7. So, of course hell
broke loose.
But these days, darts are
flying. A
letter of dissociation
signed by a good
 of well-known writers, including Russell Banks, Peter Carey,
Teju Cole, Deborah Eisenberg, Lorrie Moore, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael
Ondaatje, Francine Prose, and Wallace Shawn, declares that there is a critical
difference between staunchly supporting expression that violates the
acceptable, and enthusiastically rewarding such expression.
In the aftermath of the attacks, Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons were
characterized as satire and “equal opportunity offense,” and the magazine seems
to be entirely sincere in its anarchic expressions of disdain toward organized
religion. But in an unequal society, equal opportunity offense does not have an
equal effect….
To the section of the
French population that is already marginalized, embattled, and victimized, a
population that is shaped by the legacy of France’s various colonial
enterprises, and that contains a large percentage of devout Muslims, Charlie
Hebdo’s cartoons of the Prophet must be seen as being intended to cause further
humiliation and suffering.
One wonders how the
signatories know that the Mohammad cartoons are “intended to cause further
humiliation and suffering.” Intended? Might they not be intended,
rather, to challenge an interpretation of Islam that bans depictions of the
Prophet, and thereby to offer Muslims (or anyone else) an opportunity to
rethink what their faith requires of them?
Shawn? Who’s he? You
mean you don’t remember his stellar performance in that memorable yak-fest. My Dinner with Andre?
Or anything else he’s credited with doing?
however, is akin to pole dancers whose reward for its members’ literary
performance is to allow all kinds of lascivious creatures to stick money into
their thongs.
who is Francine Prose,
anyway? Her novels, every one of them, is Marxist-Feminist-Deconstructionist
rubbish, all published by major mainstream publishers (Athenaeum, G.P. Putnam’s
Sons, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, HarperCollins, Pantheon, St. Martin’s Press).
Hebdo will no longer publish
caricatures of Mohammad. Perhaps PEN will
award it a White Feather recognition for submitting to Islam.
Cartoonist Luz, who drew
Charlie Hebdo’s front cover picture of Mohammed following the massacre of the satirical
weekly’s editorial team by jihadists in January, has told a French magazine he
will no longer draw the prophet. “I will no longer draw the figure of
Mohammed. It no longer interests me,” he told Les Inrockuptibles magazine
in an interview published on Wednesday. “I’m not going to spend my life
drawing (cartoons of Mohammed).”
“The terrorists did not
win,” Luz told Les Inrockuptibles. “They will have won if the whole of
France continues to be scared,” he added, accusing the far-right National
Front of trying to stir up fear in the wake of the attacks.
yes M. Luz, the terrorists won. They’d much rather you focus your satirical attention
on those in France who object to the country being taken over by those nearly five
marginalized, embattled, and
victimized” Muslims. Never mind the Muslim crime gangs, the numerous “no-go” Muslim
enclaves throughout France, the Muslim assaults on Jews, Muslim rapes of non-Muslim
Frenchwomen, being a Muslim on French welfare, and the annual car-burnings by Muslims.
None of that has anything to do with Islam or Mohammad.
So, on one hand we have
neocons attacking Diana West for telling the truth about our best and brightest
traitors and their Republican enablers. On the other hand, we have not a few
dozen American PEN writers who’d rather not congratulate Charlie Hebdo for “offending
Muslim sensibilities.”
The squawking you hear is
coming from the chicken coop of American culture.

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén