October 12, 2017

"Restraint in public life is not a foundation of civilization. It is civilization"

One would not expect an article about manners in Geopolitical Futures.  But George Friedman makes the very good case that manners are very much a geopolitical matter.

Manners and Political Life  Restraint in public life is not a foundation of civilization. It is civilization.

I married a woman born in Australia, of that class that emulated English culture...Meredith, my wife, grew up elegant and restrained. The enormous body of rules she called good manners rigidly shaped and controlled her passions, which were many. She followed the rules she learned as a child partly out of a desire for others to think well of her, partly because she regarded these manners as the laws of nature. Restraint and propriety were the outward sign of a decent life. ... Good manners allowed her to be both free and civilized, in the English manner. Her obsession with manners imposed a civility that shaped the way in which people disagreed....

I learned from her that there was a time and place for everything. I learned that without manners, however arbitrary they might be, life was chaos. I learned that combat, in speech and deed, might sometimes be necessary, but that it must be bound by the rituals of civility, or everything is destroyed....Manners make it possible to disagree within a framework of ritual that the disagreement does not lead to unhealable breaches.

I grew up in the 1960s, when manners were held to be a form of hypocrisy, the sign of a false and inauthentic time.  The argument was that honesty was the highest virtue. Manners restrained honest expression and therefore denied us our authenticity. What came of this was an assault on the distinction between what we are in private and what we are in public. The great icon of this was Woodstock, where the music was less important than the fact that things that had been ruthlessly private had become utterly public. The shame that is attached to bad manners was seen as dishonesty, and unrestrained actions as honesty. The restraint of manners became mortally wounded....

Today, we are surrounded by politicians who have decided that honesty requires that they show how deeply they detest each other, and a public that feels free to display its contempt for any with whom it disagrees. Our opponents have become our enemies, and our enemies have become monsters. This has become true for all political factions, and all political factions believe it is true only for their opponents. The idea that it is proper to hide and suppress our malice because not doing so is bad manners has been lost on all levels. With this has been lost the idea that it is possible to disagree on important matters, yet respect and even honor your opponent. Or, put another way, what has been lost is the obligation to appear to feel this way. Manners, after all, do not ask you to lie to yourself, but merely to the rest of the world.

The idea that manners create inauthentic lives, lives in which true feelings are suppressed, is absolutely true. But it forgets the point that many of the things we feel ought to be suppressed, and many of the truths we know ought not to even be whispered. Indeed, the whisperer, when revealed, should feel shame. Without the ability to feel shame, humans are barbarians. It is manners, however false, that create the matrix in which shame can be felt. When we consider public life today, the inflicting of shame has changed from the subtle force of manners, to the ability to intimidate those you disagree with. As Francois de La Rochefoucauld said, “Hypocrisy is a tribute vice pays to virtue.” Today, vice feels little need to apologize.
What I have written here would seem to have little to do with geopolitics. It has everything to do with it. A nation has as its foundation the love of one’s own. That isn’t a saccharine concept. It is the idea that we are born in or come to a country and do not merely share core values with each other, but honor each other for being our fellow citizens, that our mutual bond is the fellowship of the nation. Underneath there may be much malice, but good manners require it be hidden. The collapse of manners undermines the love of one’s own and weakens the foundation of the nation. And since nations rise and fall, this is very much a geopolitical question.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:32 PM | Permalink

August 28, 2017

"Soul to self to brand is a steep decline in what it means to be a human being"

Brendan O’Neil of Spiked recently wrote on his Facebook page:

“You are a white man. Check your privilege. Stay in your lane. You will never understand black people’s lives or experiences. You’re all about whiteness, that’s how you’re conditioned.” — SJWs

“I am a white man. What a privilege. I’m going to stay in my lane. I will never understand black people. I’m all about whiteness, it’s how I’m conditioned.” — White Nationalists

Rod Dreher quotes Greg Sheridan, foreign editor for The Australian in What Will It Mean When God Is Dead?

"Australia is about to become an atheist nation. ...Our trek to radical unbelief follows much of western Europe. The same trends are evident in the US. Though religious belief is stronger there, it has lost the elites and over time elite opinion leads public opinion.  The eclipse of Christianity will be like the eclipse of the sun. Darkness will be the result. Will it be a temporary darkness or a long night of the Western soul?

In abandoning God, we are about to embark on one of the most radical social experiments in Western history. It is nothing short of the reordering of human nature. Short of war, nothing is as consequential....

The unfolding revelation of the character of God, and the developing conception of the character of humanity, as the Old Testament progresses, is one of the central ­elements of cultural and indeed political development in Western civilization. But it was in the New Testament that the bases for human rights and human dignity were most explicitly developed....

"The soul — the embodiment of our deepest sense of integrity and destiny — gave way to the self as the therapeutic age replaced the age of belief.  Now, in our postmodern times, even self has been supplanted by brand. Soul to self to brand is a steep decline in what it means to be a human being....

The novelist Doris Lessing tells feminists to Lay off men in 2001.

"I find myself increasingly shocked at the unthinking and automatic rubbishing of men which is now so part of our  We have many wonderful, clever, powerful women everywhere, but what is happening to men? Why did this have to be at the cost of men?

"I was in a class of nine- and 10-year-olds, girls and boys, and this young woman was telling these kids that the reason for wars was the innately violent nature of men.  You could see the little girls, fat with complacency and conceit while the little boys sat there crumpled, apologizing for their existence, thinking this was going to be the pattern of their lives."

Lessing said the teacher tried to "catch my eye, thinking I would approve of this rubbish"... "This kind of thing is happening in schools all over the place and no one says a thing. It has become a kind of religion that you can't criticize because then you become a traitor to the great cause, which I am not.

"It is time we began to ask who are these women who continually rubbish men. The most stupid, ill-educated and nasty woman can rubbish the nicest, kindest and most intelligent man and no one protests...Men seem to be so cowed that they can't fight back, and it is time they did."

Seth Godin in What you know vs. what you do

Except I didn't buy 1,000 dollars worth of Bitcoin in 2008. If I had, I'd have more than $40,000,000 today. It's not that I didn't know.  It's that I didn't act. Two different things.I knew, but I didn't know for sure. Not enough to act.
All the good stuff happens when we act even if we don't know for sure.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:15 AM | Permalink

August 27, 2017

Red Guards, political vampires and emotional manipulation

66% of Americans now fear speaking their minds in a politically correct nation according to a recent Rasmussen survey.  Just 28 percent of Americans believe that they have think Americans “have true freedom of speech today.”

America’s Post-Charlottesville Nervous Breakdown Was Deliberately Induced

Americans are being emotionally manipulated to take up cause with those whose ultimate purpose is the repeal of the First Amendment and erasure of national memory.

Wars are won or lost based mostly on perceptions of events, not on what actually happens. This is true for any given battlefield, whether it’s the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam or the ideological battlefield over the future of the First Amendment as played out in Charlottesville in 2017. The reality of what takes place in the public arena is always secondary to any projected illusion.  So let’s never forget this: Whoever has the power to dictate public perceptions of reality is in a position to dictate public opinion and behavior. ...

A lot more factors are responsible for the state of mass delusion we appear to be in today, but I’ll try to map out three elements I think the recent gruesome events in Charlottesville highlight:
1. the manipulation of our language;
2. the deliberate use of such loaded language to cultivate extreme emotions in people, particularly anger and resentment; and
3. the role of mass media as a nuclear device to impose those perceptions on a mass scale.

How American Anarchy Parallels China’s Cultural Revolution 

Both movements started on college campuses, with students who wanted to re-make history according to their own ideology....  Both justify violence on the basis of their perceived moral authority....

China’s Cultural Revolution was triggered by a group of students at Beijing University, the most elitist college in China. They called themselves the Red Guards because they worshiped China’s communist dictator Mao and his socialist/communist ideology feverishly. In their manifesto, they questioned the usefulness of knowledge, and condemned their professors and university administrators for harboring “intellectual elitism and bourgeois tendencies” and for stalling China’s progress towards a communist utopia....

Mao’s Cultural Revolution movement was the darkest chapter in China’s history. It should be called “Cultural Destruction.” It brought the Chinese people nothing but misery. It did fundamentally transform Chinese society: millions, including a generation of China’s intellectual backbone, perished, and an entire young generation grew up without any formal education. It tore the social fabric that used to unite people, and overturned traditional close relationships among families and communities. Its irreplaceable destruction of China’s cultural heritage left Chinese people in a spiritual and moral vacuum.

Political Vampires

Political activists have sucked the joy out of a whole lot of places, including science, and planetary exploration...One of the hallmarks of Great Causes™ is that they leave no room for delight and wonder. Everything in life is about The Cause, and The Cause comes before anything else. Thus a scientist overseeing a project that successfully lands a space probe on a comet and takes samples and sends data back to Earth is not someone to be complimented or someone to celebrate with. Oh no, no, he must be excoriated because he’s wearing a shirt with a pattern of attractive young women and rockets on it, a bit like the old pulp sci-fi covers.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:00 PM | Permalink

August 17, 2017

Identity politics can only unravel further what binds us

To be clear, I am unequivocally against every form of division and hatred whether on the left or the right.  I am for what brings us together and lifts us up.

The Liberal Crackup by Mark Lilla

Liberals should reject the divisive, zero-sum politics of identity and find their way back
to a unifying vision of the common good

It is time to admit that American liberalism is in deep crisis: a crisis of imagination and ambition on our side, a crisis of attachment and trust on the side of the wider public....

To meet the Reagan challenge, we liberals needed to develop an ambitious new vision of America and its future that would again inspire people of every walk of life and in every region of the country to come together as citizens. Instead we got tangled up in the divisive, zero-sum world of identity politics, losing a sense of what binds us together as a nation. What went missing in the Reagan years was the great liberal-democratic We. Little wonder that so few now wish to join us.

There is a mystery at the core of every suicide, and the story of how a once-successful liberal politics of solidarity became a failed liberal politics of “difference” is not a simple one. Perhaps the best place to begin it is with a slogan: The personal is the political.

This phrase was coined by feminists in the 1960s and captured perfectly the mind-set of the New Left at the time. ....This was an innovation on the left. Socialism had no time for individual recognition. Rushing toward the revolution, it divided the world into exploiting capitalists and exploited workers of every background. New Deal liberals were just as indifferent to individual identity; they thought and spoke in terms of equal rights and equal social protections for all. Even the early movements of the 1950s and ’60s to secure the rights of African-Americans, women and gays appealed to our shared humanity and citizenship, not our differences. They drew people together rather than setting them against each other.

How ‘Diversity’ Is Tearing America Apart Rod Dreher

Lilla is exactly right when he says that a foundation based on personal identity “sets up a wall against questions” and that “the more obsessed with personal identity campus liberals become, the less willing they become to engage in reasoned political debate.”
It is not easy to live in a pluralistic democracy. Left-wing identitarians and those who empower them — I’m especially looking at you, university administrators and corporate managers — are making it much harder. A workplace where people have to be on edge for fear that they will be reported to Human Resources for microaggressing someone by engaging in “lookism” is a place that, sooner or later, is going to blow.

The Poison of Identity Politics  WSJ Editorial

The new identity politics that again seeks to divide Americans by race, ethnicity, gender and even religion. “Diversity” is now the all-purpose justification for these divisions, and the irony is that America is more diverse and tolerant than ever.

The problem is that the identity obsessives want to boil down everything in American life to these categories. In practice this means allocating political power, contracts, jobs and now even salaries in the private economy based on the politics of skin color or gender rather than merit or performance. Down this road lies crude political tribalism, and James Damore’s recent Google dissent is best understood as a cri de coeur that we should aspire to something better. Yet he lost his job merely for raising the issue...Identity politics can destroy democratic trust and consent.

Weimar America by Daniel Greenfield

You can’t legitimize one form of racism without legitimizing all of them. The media may advance this hypocritical position. Obama used the shameful “reverse racism” euphemism that distinguishes between black and white racism. But propaganda and spin don’t change the physics of human nature. Either all racism is bad. Or all racism is acceptable.

Charlottesville is what happens when you normalize racism and street violence. Every normalization of extremism equally normalizes the extremism of the opposite side.  A civil society depends on a consensus. ‘Racism is bad’ is an example of such a consensus. If you normalize black nationalism, you will get more white nationalism. If you normalize leftist street violence against Trump supporters, you will also get more street violence against leftists.
Compromises are uncomfortable. After the Civil War, the Union was preserved, but Southerners were allowed to honor their cause. It was an uncomfortable compromise, but it helped limit the violence from a conflict that had claimed the lives of 2% of the population. The Taliban campaign by black nationalists to tear down Confederate memorials was a deliberate effort at shattering a compromise that kept civil society working.

Washington Post Editorial Openly Calls for Political Violence

Its title "Charlottesville showed that liberalism can't defeat white supremacy. Only direct action can."
It concludes with, “Start throwing rocks."

Here’s A List Of All The Monuments Liberals Want To Tear Down So Far

including the Jefferson Memorial and Mt. Rushmore.  On Wednesday, a bust of Abraham Lincoln was defaced after someone doused it with a flammable liquid and then set it on fire.

What Do We Say About Decent Men Who Died for a Wicked Cause? Spengler

" Of course they're not going to be stop with a few Confederate generals.
They're just getting started. Pretty soon it will be all statues. Then it'll be movies. Then books. They're on a roll and they're not going to stop until they've turned the entire country into 'Fahrenheit 451', Mao's Cultural Revolution, and '1984' all mashed up together and managed by Google" 

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:06 PM | Permalink

July 20, 2017

"In the vacuum of belief, Islam ascends"

Maureen Mullarkey revisits Hilaire Belloc and finds 80 Years Ago, Hilaire Belloc Predicted Radical Islam’s Re-Emergence Because Of Secularization

His insight into Islam at a time England was preoccupied—with Hitler, communism abroad, and a fascist movement at home—was exceptional. And penetrating.
The sway of conversion—aided by terror alongside the juridical and economic subjection of dhimmis—has moved in Islam’s favor over the centuries...

I say the suggestion that Islam may re-arise sounds fantastic— but this is only because men are always powerfully affected by the immediate past. One might say they are blinded by it.say the suggestion that Islam may re-arise sounds fantastic— but this is only because men are always powerfully affected by the immediate past. One might say they are blinded by it.

Belloc understood what modernity blithely ignores: cultures spring from religions. Religion is a vital sustaining force. Its disintegration entails the historic decay of the culture that carries it. Belloc saw that most clearly in the decomposition of Christianity.....

She quotes Douglas Murray, echoing Belloc in “The Strange Death of Europe”

For centuries in Europe one of the great—if not the greatest source of [cultural] energy came from the spirit of the continent’s religion. It drove people to war and stirred them to defense. It also drove Europe to the greatest heights of human creativity.

In conclusion, she writes

In the vacuum of belief, Islam ascends—as Belloc envisioned it would.

Religion is the key of history,” said Lord Acton. It is the key of our future as well. But it is uncertain which civilization holds the key. A secular West is caught in an impasse, its own freedoms and God-given rights deadlocked in the wreckage of beliefs it has discarded.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:49 PM | Permalink

July 15, 2017

Young Afghan refugees "are motivated by a deep and abiding contempt for Western civilization."

A bone-chilling article by a doctor who has worked with refugees for decades.

I've Worked with Refugees for Decades. Europe's Afghan Crime Wave Is Mind-Boggling by Dr. Cheryl Benard

It quickly became obvious that something was wrong, very wrong, with these young Afghan men: they were committing sex crimes to a much greater extent than other refugees, even those from countries that were equally or more backward, just as Islamic and conservative, and arguably just as misogynist.

This is not an article that has been fun for me to write. I have worked on issues related to refugees for much of my professional life, from the Pakistani camps during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan to Yemen, Sudan, Thailand, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Lebanon, Bosnia, Nicaragua and Iraq, and have deep sympathy for their plight.
It took a while for the pattern to be recognized because, until recently, western European media deliberately refrained from identifying an assailant’s refugee or asylum status, or his country of origin. Only when the correlation became so dramatic that it was itself newsworthy did this policy change. At that point, it became clear that the authorities had known about, and for political reasons had deliberately covered up, large-scale incidences of sexual assault by migrants.


What’s going on? Why is this happening? And why the Afghans? A few competing theories are in circulation.
First: “They get drunk.”....A second theory hypothesizes confusion caused by a clash in cultural values. .....
This brings us to a third, more compelling and quite disturbing theory—the one that my Afghan friend, the court translator, puts forward. ...
They are motivated by a deep and abiding contempt for Western civilization. To them, Europeans are the enemy, and their women are legitimate spoils, as are all the other things one can take from them: housing, money, passports. Their laws don’t matter, their culture is uninteresting and, ultimately, their civilization is going to fall anyway to the horde of which one is the spearhead. No need to assimilate, or work hard, or try to build a decent life here for yourself—these Europeans are too soft to seriously punish you for a transgression, and their days are numbered.
The young Afghan attackers are saying, yes, that they have no impulse control, that their hormones are raging, and that they hate themselves and the world—but most especially, that they will not tolerate women who are happy, confident and feeling safe in public spaces. They are saying that they have no intention of respecting law, custom, public opinion, local values or common decency, all of which they hate so much that they are ready to put their own lives, their constructive futures and their freedom on the line for the satisfaction of inflicting damage.


What to do? The necessary measures, I think, are obvious.
1. Anyone convicted of a felony or any kind of sexual crime should be immediately deported, and that consequence should be made known to new arrivals as part of their initial orientation....

2. Every arriving refugee and asylum seeker must be subjected to rigorous fact-checking of their story, including validation of their asserted age by lab testing if there is any doubt. Yes, it’s troublesome and costly, but not nearly as troublesome and costly as letting the wrong people in, or putting hundreds of thousands of foreigners permanently or semipermanently on the dole with benefits they are not entitled to.....

3. Members of the relevant diaspora communities must make very clear to the refugees that they do not approve of and will not assist them with their false claims, cheating, bad behavior or crime......

4. Finally, the Left has to do a bit of hard thinking. It’s fine to be warm, fuzzy and sentimental about strangers arriving on your shores, but let’s also spare some warm, fuzzy and sentimental thoughts for our own values, freedoms and lifestyle
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:43 PM | Permalink

June 26, 2017

Our own cultural revolution

A Cultural Revolution in Slow Motion by Sarah Hoyt

I don’t believe in grand historical conspiracies, or in designs that go on over generations. The right suffers from a bad case of “the individualists failed to organize” and the left, by now in its third generation of social dominance, is approaching the sort of behavior and IQ one saw in the last days of the Soviet Union. Or if you prefer, Marxist scientific efficiency has given us in three generations what it took the royal houses of Europe sixteen generations of inbreeding to achieve: an “elite” so profoundly dumb they couldn’t pour p*ss out a boot with instructions on both sides.
Western civilization is not – of course, being human – perfect. It has had its share of monsters and madmen. We were, after all, responsible for Marx, whose ideas have been a worse scourge in Africa than all the supposed greedy colonialists.

We are, however, simply put, the most successful human civilization ever. That is, if you judge success in terms of “fed the most people” and “lifted most of the world above the demands of immediate need,” to be able to create and think as never before. Other things we’ve done go a long way to eliminate the quotidian misery of disease and push back aging by decades.

Sarah remembers how the  Cultural Revolution in China (from 1966 until 1976), led by Mao Tse Tung and his revolutionary and young Red Guards spread across the country bringing terror as they sought to purge remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from society -

Millions of people were persecuted in the violent struggles that ensued across the country, and suffered a wide range of abuses including public humiliation, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, hard labor, sustained harassment, seizure of property and sometimes execution. A large segment of the population was forcibly displaced, most notably the transfer of urban youth to rural regions during the Down to the Countryside Movement. Historical relics and artifacts were destroyed. Cultural and religious sites were ransacked.

,...those too were a bunch of ignorant kids, taught only Maoism and completely ignorant of what the peasants needed to do to survive and grow food...The problem with the latest trend of these feral children, their minds filled with academic lies, screaming about “racist, sexist homophobes” and holding the past up to the standards of their present---is that it makes many people afraid of opening books, of reading our past.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:53 AM | Permalink

June 23, 2017

Rage and Apathy

In the U.S, the escalating attacks and threats of violence against Republicans is deeply troubling.  Mary Katherine Ham writes Aftermath Of Alexandria Shooting Showed The Left’s Cultural Bullying At Its Worst

My, how quickly we move in the news cycle from Republicans literally shot to Republican overreach about Republicans being literally shot.....

A week later, one of the victims, Rep. Steve Scalise, had been smeared by one national media figure and told his wound was “self-inflicted” by a nightly news anchor while he was still in the hospital fighting for his life....

It all revealed once again the overweening cultural hubris of the American Left, which has been in control of so many institutions and the prevailing political narrative for so long, it can’t conceive of Republicans as victims even when they’re being shot. Many of them are cultural bullies convinced of their righteousness, and as Reid did, they’ll kick you when you’re down after being shot on a baseball field. Why, it’s enough to drive you to hire a giant, coarse, shameless bully of your own and make him president.

30 GOP Congressmen Have Been Attacked or Threatened with Death Since May
Twenty one of them were practicing on the Alexandria baseball field at 7 in the morning when a gunman opened fire last week. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three other people were wounded while the gunman, James T. Hodgkinson, prepared with "a lot of ammo," fought a gun battle with police before he, too, was shot and later died. 

Only the two Capitol Police officers assigned to Scalise "stopped a massacre".  The only members of the House that are given security details are constitutional office holders: the speaker of the House, the majority and minority leaders, and both the whips.  "Without Capitol Hill police, it would have been a massacre," Sen. Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican and one of the lawmakers on the scene, said on Fox News. "We had no defense, we had no defense at all.” Paul said the scene was like a "killing field." He added: "We were sitting ducks."

Scalise was the most seriously injured in the attack. The bullet pierced his pelvis, fracturing bones and injuring internal organs. He has undergone several surgeries and received multiple blood transfusions. He is no longer in intensive care and his condition has been upgraded to fair.

We learned from social media that Hodgkinson was an active Democratic activist and Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer who hated Republican members of Congress and raged against them online.

The FBI tried to claim that the shooting at the baseball field was spontaneous and had no target, despite all evidence to the contrary. writes Mollie Hemingway

The FBI admits that Hodgkinson:
vociferously raged against Republicans in online forums,
had a piece of paper bearing the names of six members of Congress,
was reported for doing target practice outside his home in recent months before moving to Alexandria,
had mapped out a trip to the DC area,
took multiple photos of the baseball field he would later shoot up, three days after the New York Times mentioned that Republicans practiced baseball at an Alexandria baseball field with little security,
lived out of his van at the YMCA directly next door to the baseball field he shot up,
legally purchased a rifle in March 2003 and 9 mm handgun “in November 2016,”
modified the rifle at some point to accept a detachable magazine and replaced the original stock with a folding stock,
rented a storage facility to hide hundreds of rounds of ammunition and additional rifle components,
asked “Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?” before firing on the Republicans,
ran a Google search for information on the “2017 Republican Convention” hours before the shooting,
and took photos at high-profile Washington locations, including the east front plaza of the U.S. Capitol and the Dirksen Senate Office.

The FBI’s briefing appears so contrary to the facts as to be insulting. When a man with a history of hating Republicans cases a location, takes pictures, verifies the targets are Republicans before opening fire, has a list of Republican politicians in his pocket, and shoots and nearly kills Republicans, it’s hard to swallow the FBI’s contention that the shooting was “spontaneous” with “no target.”

As Peggy Noonan writes in the WSJ Rage Is All the Rage, and It’s Dangerous,

That’s what we’re doing now, exciting the unstable—not only with images but with words, and on every platform. It’s all too hot and revved up. This week we had a tragedy. If we don’t cool things down, we’ll have more....

We have been seeing a generation of media figures ....losing their heads. ...They have been making the whole political scene lower, grubbier...By indulging their and their audience’s rage, they spread the rage. They celebrate themselves as brave for this.
Do your part, take it down some notches, cool it. We have responsibilities to each other.

In Europe, German police are wearing chain-mail armor as defense against knife-wielding terrorists


Sweden - A Paradise Lost: 150,000 women undergo FGM, authorities admit large areas under Islamic rule

Living under the world’s only “feminist government” is becoming increasingly dangerous, especially for  women.  Sweden has a population of 10 million (five million women and girls).  In the report,  partly written by SVT, the Swedish state media, authorities conclude that large parts of the country, including its capital Stockholm, are effectively ruled by Sharia-adherent Muslims.....

Big areas of Sweden are now under de facto Islamic rule. Stockholm, Sweden’s capital, is almost completely surrounded by areas (commonly called “no-go zones”) that are veritably ruled by Muslim gangs and Islamic sharia police. “There is lawlessness in parts of the Stockholm region now,” a nervous police chief, Lars Alvarsjø, said. “There are some areas where we seem to lose control.”  ..... From 2015 to 2017, lawless areas increased from 15 to 23. According to the Swedish authorities, “religious police have taken the role as law enforcement” in many areas now.

Sadly, when Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani, two Muslim women, testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs about the ideology of political Islam, both speaking from their personal experience and with scholarly expertise, the four Democratic women senators brushed them off, chosing not to ask them a single question.  So they wrote an op ed in the New York Times:

...in the rubric of identity politics, our status as women of color is canceled out by our ideas, which are labeled “conservative” — as if opposition to violent jihad, sex slavery, genital mutilation or child marriage were a matter of left or right. This not only silences us, it also puts beyond the pale of liberalism a basic concern for human rights and the individual rights of women abused in the name of Islam....

The silence of the Democratic senators is a reflection of contemporary cultural pressures. Call it identity politics, moral relativism or political correctness — it is shortsighted, dangerous and, ultimately, a betrayal of liberal values.

The hard truth is that there are fundamental conflicts between universal human rights and the principle of Shariah, or Islamic law, which holds that a woman’s testimony is worth half that of a man’s; between freedom of religion and the Islamist idea that artists, writers, poets and bloggers should be subject to blasphemy laws; between secular governance and the Islamist goal of a caliphate; between United States law and Islamist promotion of polygamy, child marriage and marital rape; and between freedom of thought and the methods of indoctrination, or dawa, with which Islamists propagate their ideas.

Mark Steyn, as usual, as the last word.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:16 PM | Permalink

February 23, 2017

Astonishing news about Iran

I just came across this article by David P. Goldman, aka Spengler, Why Iran is obsessed with the Jews (hint: same as Hitler) in the Asia Times.  The article was written in 2015, but what he reported was gobsmacking news to me.

Someone should tell the mullahs in Tehran that there’s no way Hitler could have lost that war, if only he had had the Jews on his side. There’s more than a modicum of truth in the joke. Killing six million Jews diverted resources from the German war effort. More importantly, Jewish physicists, including Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, Robert Oppenheimer, David Bohm, Rudolf Peierls, Otto Frisch Felix Bloch, Niels Bohr, Otto Hahn, and Edward Teller, led the American effort to build an atom bomb. Enrico Fermi, whose wife was Jewish, left Italy for America after Mussolini imposed race laws in 1938. Albert Einstein had spent the First World War in Berlin; at the outbreak of the Second, he helped persuade Franklin Roosevelt to fund the Manhattan Project.

Killing Jews served no rational German objective. Yet no-one can argue that Jew-hatred was merely incidental to the Nazi regime. On the contrary, it was the raison d’etre of National Socialism....After 1930, Germany’s total fertility rate fell below replacement for the first time in its history, to just 1.7 children per female when Hitler took power in 1933. His apocalyptic fears of the disappearance of the Germans were not unfounded. Germany had begun to die, and Hitler proposed a messianic, megalomaniac vision to restore it.

Hitler was crazy, if by crazy we mean that his obsessions caused him to act repeatedly against self-interest.
A fortiori, Iran’s self-interest would dictate cordial relations with the State of Israel...The last thing Iran should want is an alliance between Israel and its Sunni opponents—Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, but potentially Turkey and Pakistan as well.....

But Iran’s leaders talk about the destruction of the State of Israel obsessively...

Iran’s reality is galloping demographic decline...the result of the unprecedented collapse of Iranian fertility after 1990.
Iran’s national megalomania trumps rational self-interest....Khamenei’s existential problem is to persuade the Persians to continue to exist at all. The collapse of Iran’s fertility rate from 7 children per female in 1969 to between 1.6 and 1.8 children at present ranks as one of history’s great examples of genosuicide.
Between 23% and 25% of Iranian couples claim to be infertile, which might be an excuse not to bear children. It also might be the result of the world’s highest reported rates of venereal infection, associated with Shi’ite “temporary marriage,” or clerically-approved prostitution. Iranian studies report Chlamydia infection rates of 12.6% in Tehran and 21.25% in Isfahan, vs. 0.6% in the United States and 4.3% worldwide.

Iran also has the worst drug problem of any country in the world. According to Iran’s interior minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, six million Iranians (20% of the population over age 15) have been affected by drug abuse, and 1.3 million (or 4.3% of Iranians over age 15) are addicts, using heroin as well as crystal meth. Only 36.7% of Iran’s population is economically active, one of the lowest counts in the world.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:17 AM | Permalink

January 19, 2017

Real community or 'cultural totalitarianism'

There was a time when all Americans would come together celebrate Inauguration Day  -- even if their political candidate lost -- because it demonstrates over and over again the remarkably peaceful transfer of power given us by the founding fathers.    That day is no more.

Identity Politics: Our Appetite For Destruction

Community is the source of all genuine revolution — actual people working in daily, sweaty concert to achieve a good common to them all.  A man can theorize or post about the need for a worker’s collective, a revitalized downtown, or a parish picnic until his typing fingers grow calloused. Only a living group of people with the will to act can give his ideas flesh. This is hardly a novel claim, but we need reminding. Action does not come from the government, “movements,” or radical ideas. Action comes from us.

An alien visitor to the Western world would assume that we are living in a golden age of community.  The word is so ubiquitous, one trips over it on the way to lunch. Our political leaders address the black community, the Christian community, the gay community, the transgender community, and the farming community with alarming rapidity. We refer to “the Twitter community” or “the Facebook community.” Online writers are encouraged to foster “community” in their comboxes.

If the identity-politician means anything by community, it can’t be much more than “group” or “sample” or “population.” It is the abstract consideration of a diverse people under the sign of some common trait. This would be nothing more than the misuse of a word, except the community-that-means-population is said with the same glow and power as one might refer to a community that lives, loves, and dies together. Identity-politics tries to milk the unity of a neighborhood from the dubious cow of “population.” It’s no wonder the milk goes sour so easily, and the energy of most identity-groups goes into in-fighting about who’s in and who’s out.

Glenn Reynolds: Irrational fear of fellow countrymen is spreading among America's ruling class.

How crazy has the reaction to Trump’s impending presidency gotten? So crazy that Democratic operatives are scared of plumbers...Ned Resnikoff, a “senior editor” at the  liberal website ThinkProgress, wrote on Facebook that he’d called a plumber to fix a clogged drain. The plumber showed up, did the job and left, but Resnikoff was left shaken, though with a functioning drain. Wrote Resnikoff, “He was a perfectly nice guy and a consummate professional. But he was also a middle-aged white man with a Southern accent who seemed unperturbed by this week’s news.” ....When it was all over, Resnikoff reported that he was “rattled” at the thought that a Trump supporter might have been in his home. “I couldn’t shake the sense of potential danger.”

Roger Scruton coined the term “oikophobia” (from the Greed oikos for “home”) to describe the fear of one’s fellow countrymen.

Alexander Maistrovoy calls the The Comedy of Terrors: Western Progressive Thinking Against Nature and Man

After Trump’s win, a huge part of enlightened America was plunged into mourning. Students were crying, teachers canceled lectures to calm them down, “hotlines” started working to help desperate people.  What brought American students to such despair? They are unlikely to be able to explain it, but it’s a very dangerous syndrome of mass insanity. It’s a symptom of the fact that the cultural totalitarianism of the West is far more effective than the Soviet political totalitarianism, and much more deadly and poisonous. It suppressed the will, consciousness and emotions of people — the Soviet party members didn’t achieve that.

Soviet totalitarianism not only failed to suppress basic instincts, but did not even try to do this. A man seeing a girl subjected to sexual harassment would stand up for her if he could. A situation similar to the one that happened in Cologne last year was unthinkable in Moscow or St. Petersburg.  It was absolutely unthinkable that political officials in the USSR would justify rapists and accuse their victims on the grounds of immodesty. It was inconceivable that the Politburo members would welcome the mockery of their own children and protect rapists, as happens regularly in Western Europe.  I can’t imagine that a Soviet court would justify the rape of a child, as was the case in Austria; or care about the future of migrants who mocked and raped a child, as happened in Sweden. Authorities in Sweden decided not to deport Afghan migrants who committed a gang rape of a boy, because it was not safe in Afghanistan.
No one dared to reject the great culture because it was created by “Dead White European Males” (DWEM).  None of the Soviet Communists would have said what  George Ciccariello-Maher, an associate professor of political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said: “All I Want for Christmas is White Genocide.”  Nobody could think of replacing the picture of Shakespeare with the picture of Audre Lorde, an African American writer, civil rights activist and self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” as students at the University of Pennsylvania did.
The Soviet regime was atheist and suppressed religion. Well!  However, it suppressed all religions, without exception. It didn’t mock Judaism and Christianity while at same time glorifying one single religion — Islam.  It didn’t ban the study of Voltaire, Holbach and David Hume because they had despised and rejected Islam as a primitive, patriarchal and aggressive religion. No one invited a crowd of strong, aggressive, sexually unsatisfied migrants to the country only because they were Muslims.

The Church suffered from persecution in the Soviet Union. But nevertheless, it remained the Church, not Sodom and Gomorrah. Priests and rabbis didn’t walk hand in hand, didn’t call for homosexual marriages, and didn’t elect a lesbian pastor or rabbi just because of her sexual preferences.
Cultural totalitarianism succeeded much more. It turned people into sterile zombies, brainwashed them, perverted the minds of men and women, and subdued the intellectuals who have responsibility for the future of their people.

I feel sorry for those young people who cried after Trump’s  win. But I am even more sorry for the nations whose progressive students will eventually become the elite of their societies. I am afraid we will return to the Middle Ages with a quasi-religious cult, where a “progressive” Inquisition will rule.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:19 PM | Permalink

August 24, 2016

George Soros: Dark Lord Sowing Chaos Around the Wold

Dark Lord: Hacked Documents Reveal Magnitude Of George Soros’s Domestic Influence

Reviews of the more than 2,500 documents hacked from the servers of George Soros’s Open Society Foundations highlight the undue influence the billionaire financier exerts domestically, from attempting to remake the American electorate to successfully lobbying for changes in U.S. immigration policy to funding initiatives targeting local police forces.

While many of the documents spotlight Soros’s global network, focus on the hacked materials from his Foundations’ U.S. contingent begins to expose the many tentacles of the Democratic Party mega-donor’s operation and its deep impact over the policy objectives of the Obama administration, often utilizing a slew of U.S.-based progressive groups and activist organizations. The revelations in the hacked documents also raise questions about Soros’s future influence over presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, especially since the billionaire is one of Clinton’s top donors.


On The Bizarre Media Blackout Of Hacked George Soros Documents

Scandal: Leaked documents released a few days ago provide juicy insider details of how a fabulously rich businessman has been using his money to influence elections in Europe, underwrite an extremist group, target U.S. citizens who disagreed with him, dictate foreign policy, and try to sway a Supreme Court ruling, among other things. Pretty compelling stuff, right?  Not if it involves leftist billionaire George Soros. In this case, the mainstream press couldn't care less.

On Saturday, a group called DC Leaks posted more than 2,500 documents going back to 2008 that it pilfered from Soros' Open Society Foundations' servers. Since then, the mainstream media have shown zero interest in this gold mine of information.  We couldn't find a single story on the New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, CBS News or other major news sites that even noted the existence of these leaked documents, let alone reported on what's in them.  Indeed, the only news organization that appears to be diligently sifting through all the documents is the conservative Daily Caller, which as a result has filed a series of eye-opening reports.

• Soros' far-flung international organizations attempted to manipulate Europe's 2014 elections. The "List of European Elections 2014 Projects" details over 90 Soros efforts he had under way that year...
• nearly $4 million into anti-Israel groups, with a goal of "challenging Israel's racist and anti-democratic policies."
• $650,000 to "invest in technical assistance and support for the groups at the core of the burgeoning #BlackLivesMatter movement."
• "extensive networks" to pressure the Obama administration into increasing the number of refugees it would take to 100,000, despite concerns that Islamic terrorists could use the refugee program to infiltrate the U.S.
• $7 million to the Clinton-supporting Priorities USA super-PAC, and a total of $25 million to support Democrats and their causes.
• A separate memo details how Soros tried to use his clout to sway Supreme Court justices into approving President Obama's unilateral effort to rewrite immigration law.

Leaked e-mails show George Soros paid $650K to influence bishops during Pope’s US visit

Leaked emails through WikiLeaks reveal that billionaire globalist George Soros - one of Hilary Clinton's top donors - paid $650,000 to influence Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the USA with a view to "shift[ing] national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign." The funds were allocated in April 2015 and the report on their effectiveness suggests that successful achievements included....

Grantees were PICO, a faith-based community organizing group, and Faith in Public Life (FPL), a progressive group working in media to promote left-leaning ‘social justice’ causes. Soros has funded left-wing causes the world over and was just found to have been funding an effort to eliminate pro-life laws around the globe....The grant specifically targeted the ‘pro-family’ agenda.

Caroline Glick in Our World: Soros’s campaign of global chaos

The first thing that we see is the megalomaniacal nature of Soros’s philanthropic project. No corner of the globe is unaffected by his efforts. No policy area is left untouched.  On the surface, the vast number of groups and people he supports seem unrelated. After all, what does climate change have to do with illegal African immigration to Israel? What does Occupy Wall Street have to do with Greek immigration policies? But the fact is that Soros-backed projects share basic common attributes.

1. They all work to weaken the ability of national and local authorities in Western democracies to uphold the laws and values of their nations and communities.

2. They all work to hinder free markets, whether those markets are financial, ideological, political or scientific. They do so in the name of democracy, human rights, economic, racial and sexual justice and other lofty terms. In other words, their goal is to subvert Western democracies and make it impossible for governments to maintain order or for societies to retain their unique identities and values.

Black Lives Matter, which has received $650,000 from Soros-controlled groups over the past year, is a classic example of these efforts. Until recently, the police were universally admired in the US as the domestic equivalent of the military. BLM emerged as a social force bent on politicizing support for police. Its central contention is that in the US, police are not a force for good, enabling society to function by maintaining law and order. Rather, police are a tool of white repression of blacks.  Law enforcement in predominantly African American communities is under assault as inherently racist....

3. Soros’s groups are on the ground enabling illegal immigrants to enter the US and Europe. They have sought to influence US Supreme Court rulings on illegal immigration from Mexico. They have worked with Muslim and other groups to demonize Americans and Europeans who oppose open borders.

The DCLeaks exposed the immensity of the Soros-funded Left’s campaign against the foundations of liberal democracies. The “direct democracy” movements that Soros support are nothing less than calls for mob rule.

The peoples of the West need to recognize the common foundations of all Soros’s actions. They need to realize as well that the only response to these premeditated campaigns of subversion is for the people of the West to stand up for their national rights and their individual right to security. They must stand with the national institutions that guarantee that security, in accordance with the rule of the law, and uphold and defend their national values and traditions.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:46 PM | Permalink

August 12, 2016

"Today dissidents are in the East, they will move to the West."

Philippe de Villiers: “I Believe That France Will Become an Islamic Republic”
A French historian, author, and former MEP, he is among a small minority of French intellectuals in being a conservative Catholic.  Below I have excerpted some of interview  Philippe de Villiers gave last fall.    In it you’ll hear him discuss the Islamization of France and the coming destruction of Europe. It is his conclusion that France has already surrendered to Islamization.

....Chirac, Giscard (d’Estaing), Sarkozy, Hollande, to take four. History — they don’t give a damn; history of France and world history because these are marketing people, people of the moment.  They don’t care about the French, yes I am adamant. They hate her. I’ll tell you, what they hate in her. They hate Christianity, Christian roots. Yes. That’s really it. You see?  Christian France is so present and so ancient, and so it’s in its institutions, that it’s everywhere...  You would have to eradicate all French literature and all the monuments, for the stones to stop talking.

....The three reasons why I believe that France will become an Islamic republic: The first reason is that it is the project of Islam; That is to say that Islam is a peaceful religion AFTER the conquest, always!… not BEFORE!

So the second reason is, that there is the fertility differential...“Childbirth is the jihad of women”.

thirdly the spirit of dhimmitude...the dhimmis are semi-citizens. There are Jews and Christians who are in the land of Islam and who do not have civil rights and they pay a tax and are humiliated; and they live like that. Yes. In order to survive...

This Islamization of the country...It is wanted. It is intended by the French elites. The French political class was bought by Saudi Arabia and Qatar...on the internet you have everything on Bilderberg, the Trilateral; therefore, I say, they’re not conspiring: they have the power!  Voilà! And so you have the national political class. And above it, the invisible super-class, whom the national political class obeys....the alliance of liberal and libertarian, meaning, the idea that the big companies need new markets, new appetites, new clients; so we need to transform the world into a planetary mass market and transform the citizens into compulsive consumers

And this is where the conversation, which marked me so much, takes place. With Alexander Solzhenitsyn, we’re in Tambov, we’re walking. Suddenly he stops and says: “We, we will recover, [Eastern Europe and Russia] but you [the West], you’ll slip into a deep abyss, because you have the disease of emptiness. You will experience an eclipse of intelligence. You are at the last stage, the final stage of spiritual exhaustion. And one day, fireflies will come out of that great catacomb, carried by dissidents.” — The dissidents? I answered.

Well, I’m telling you, today dissidents are in the East, they will move to the West.“ ....Two things: the dissidents, they will emerge, out of the water, because they have two unique qualities: the first is courage, and the second is lucidity. The courage: they’ll dare to cross the hygienic perimeter: forbidden words.

Voilà. And as you could see, I hope. There is no malice in what I said about politicians; Rather, I have compassion for them. First, because most of them are illiterate; illiterate concerning France, even if they are highly educated, and secondly, because it’s the system that had placed in their chest a stone instead of a heart.

Paul Weston concludes France Has Two Options -- Civil War or Submission

Does French Culture Have a Future? by Pierre Manent

The French are exhausted, but they are first of all perplexed, lost. Things were not supposed to happen this way. … We had supposedly entered into the final stage of democracy where human rights would reign, ever more rights ever more rigorously observed. We had left behind the age of nations as well as that of religions, and we would henceforth be free individuals moving frictionless over the surface of the planet. … And now we see that religious affiliations and other collective attachments not only survive but return with a particular intensity. Everyone can see and feel this, but how can it be expressed when the only authorized language is that of individual rights? We have become supremely incapable of seeing what is right before our eyes....

Il Foglio: Has French culture a future? Has Christianity, caught between Islam and a militant secularism, a future in France? Will Western civilization continue to sustain Europe, or are we witnessing a slow abandonment of Western ideals?

We do not know when the trumpet will sound. I cannot answer you in the name of some “expertise”; I can only answer “by hope.” Christian hope is based on faith. I believe that, amid the crumbling of Western civilization, which has begun, the supernatural character of the Church will become, paradoxically, more and more visible. The hatred of the world will turn against it more and more clearly. More clearly than ever the fate of all will depend on the “little flock” of Christians.

Muslim Cultural Centre in Warsaw offers the Arabic language classes and to learning about the Koran. You can also pray in the huge, new mosque. It is not all! Arab sheikhs announce the construction of Islamic neighborhoods

Media is silent while authorities don’t ask the public for an opinion!...The whole thing is being financed with money from the sponsors from the Persian Gulf. Who exactly are these people? No answer. In the Fall they’re coming to Warsaw.

The new Arab neighborhood is to be built next to the National Stadium. All buildings will be designed exclusively for Muslims. There is one essential question: whether anyone asked the Poles about their opinion on the matter? Concerning the construction of the mosque, Polish people also found out after the fact.

Germany's Migrant Rape Crisis Spirals out of Control

Suppression of data about migrant rapes is "Germany-wide phenomenon." ...Only one in 10 rapes in Germany is reported and just 8% of rape trials result in convictions, according to Minister of Justice Heiko Maas.....a high-ranking police official in Frankfurt said:  "There are strict instructions from the top not to report offenses committed by refugees. Only direct requests from media representatives regarding specific crimes should be answered. ... It is extraordinary that certain offenders are deliberately NOT being reported about and the information is being classified as confidential."

Amir Khan’s Muslim Trainer Banned from Facebook for Anti-Islamic State, Pro-Britain Plea

Facebook took down Tam Khan’s profile after the boxing trainer wrote: “I think it’s time the British or west deport not only those who speak bad or against the country but the entire family also. You come to a country to milk the benefit system, free education & health yet complain. Try that in Pakistan or the Gulf. See what will happen.”

“Muslims we need to start cleaning up our communities ASAP. We are just as much to blame for letting these idiots do these things as they are for sitting quiet. If we don’t it won’t stop only get worse.”  Mr. Khan said he had never experienced Islamophobia, noting that he had always felt able to practice his religion in the UK.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:40 PM | Permalink

August 2, 2016

Expected Lies

William Briggs writes perhaps the best piece on political correctness I've read in some time. “All Religions Want Peace”: The Pope, Propaganda & The Expected Lie

There is a kind of propaganda that everybody knows is propaganda, but which involves statements which everybody expects a personage to make. Call it Expected Lies....

Nothing more than this explains the endless stream of nothing-to-see-heres we get from European leaders after the latest killing by Muslims in the name of Islam. We are told the Expected Lie in many forms: “This is not true Islam (even though the Muslim attackers swear that it is)”, “All Muslims are not terrorists (a truth but non sequitur)”, “We don’t know the reason for the murders (despite the sworn testimony of cowardly killers)”, “The slaughter was sparked by racism (false, and even if true no excuse for wanton murder)”, “The rapes of children and their cover-up were not unusual (a hell-condemning perposterosity)”, “Immigration is good and will continue (even though all of history shows forced mixing of cultures leads to violence)”, and so on.

Nobody believes any of these Expected Lies, nor are we meant to. Yet there is something in all of us that screams, “Why can’t these bloody liars tell the truth!” They cannot because, as with the serially offending President, admitting the truth must needs lead to action. And the action called for cannot be countenanced by these leaders.

En route to Krakow, Pope says world is at war, but it's not a war of religions

“When I speak of war, I talk about it seriously, but it’s not a war of religion. It’s a war for money, for resources, for nature, for dominion. This is the war.  Could one think of a religious war? No. All religions want peace. Others want war,” he said. “Is that clear?”

ISIS disagrees.  'We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers, said Dabiq, the ISIS propaganda magazine with its leading story entitled Break the Cross .

The jihadi author reasons that the masses are too scared to call the group Islamic because its 'politically incorrect'. He notes there are 'exceptions among the disbelievers... who will unabashedly declare that jihad and the laws of the Shari’ah – as well as everything else deemed taboo by the Islam-is-a-peaceful-religion crowd – are in fact completely Islamic'.  The article says these people tend to have far less credibility and 'are painted as a social fringe, so their voices are dismissed and a large segment of the ignorant masses continues believing the false narrative'. 'As such, it becomes important for us to clarify to the West in unequivocal terms – yet again – why we hate you and why we fight you.'

The magazine features a whole editorial titled Why We Hate You and Why We Fight You. The list-style article explains 'we hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not'.  The other six reasons ISIS hates everyone who isn't a member of its terror group is because they are reportedly 'liberal', 'atheist', commit 'crimes against Islam' and 'crimes against the Muslims' and invade 'our lands'.

'As long as there is an inch of territory left for us to reclaim, jihad will continue to be a personal obligation on every single Muslim,' the propaganda piece states.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:14 PM | Permalink

August 1, 2016

"It will end in rivers of blood"

Is Europe Helpless? asks Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal A civilization that believes in nothing will ultimately submit to anything.

Can the decline be stopped? Yes, but that would require a great unlearning of the political mythologies on which modern Europe was built.

Among those mythologies: that the European Union is the result of a postwar moral commitment to peace; that Christianity is of merely historical importance to European identity; that there’s no such thing as a military solution; that one’s country isn’t worth fighting for; that honor is atavistic and tolerance is the supreme value. People who believe in nothing, including themselves, will ultimately submit to anything.
More important, Europeans will have to learn that powerlessness can be as corrupting as power—and much more dangerous. The storm of terror that is descending on Europe will not end in some new politics of inclusion, community outreach, more foreign aid or one of Mrs. Merkel’s diplomatic Rube Goldbergs. It will end in rivers of blood. Theirs or yours?
Europeans will no doubt look to Israel for tactical tips in the battle against terrorism—crowd management techniques and so on—but what they really need to learn from the Jewish state is the moral lesson. Namely, that identity can be a great preserver of liberty, and that free societies cannot survive through progressive accommodations to barbarians.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:25 PM | Permalink

July 28, 2016

Irresponsible colleges principal cause for the historical illiteracy of students and so is the College Board

No U.S. History?

ACTA's new report, No U.S. History? How College History Departments Leave the United States out of the Major, reveals that less than ⅓ of the nations leading colleges and universities require students pursuing a degree in history to take a single course in American history...

"Historical illiteracy is the inevitable consequence of lax college requirements, and that ignorance leads to civic disempowerment,” observed Michael Poliakoff, ACTA’s president-elect. “A democratic republic cannot thrive without well-informed citizens and leaders."
Given what we know about the historical illiteracy of young Americans, it would seem irresponsible not to make the study of our history and government mandatory for all students. Not to require students majoring in history to take, at a minimum, a course with reasonable chronological and thematic breadth on the history of the United States would be a truly breathtaking abandonment of intellectual standards and professional judgment.

From the report How College History Departments Leave the United States out of the Major,

Top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges: 7 require U.S. history
Top 25 National Universities: 4 require U.S. History
Top 25 Public Institutions: 14 require U.S. history

Of the 23 programs that do list a requirement for United States history, 11 allow courses so narrow in scope—such as “History of Sexualities” or “History of the FBI”—that it takes a leap of the imagination to see these as an adequate fulfillment of an undergraduate history requirement.....

Some strange topics can take the place of United States history. Of the schools that do not require a single course in U.S. history, majors have free-range to choose from niche courses such as “Soccer and History in Latin America: Making the Beautiful Game” (Williams College), “Modern Addiction: Cigarette Smoking in the 20th Century” (Swarthmore College), “Lawn Boy Meets Valley Girl” (Bowdoin College), and “Witchcraft and Possession” (University of Pennsylvania).

Indoctrination begins in high school. since the 'curricular coup' as Stanley Kurtz reports in D’Souza’s America and Our Schools in 2014

The teaching of American history in our high schools has just been seized in what a few sharp-eyed critics rightly call a “curricular coup.” The College Board, the private company that creates the SAT test and the various Advance Placement tests, has issued a new set of guidelines that is about to turn the teaching of American history into exactly the sort of grievance-based pedagogy that D’Souza decries in his film.

Leftist academics have finally figured out a way to circumvent state and local control over America’s schools and effectively impose progressive political indoctrination on the entire country. Once the AP U.S. History test demands blame-America-first answers, public and private schools alike will be forced to construct an American history curriculum that “teaches to the test.”

George Washington, a key figure in D’Souza’s film, barely makes an appearance in the new AP U.S. History Guidelines. Figures like Benjamin Franklin and James Madison are completely omitted. The Declaration of Independence is presented chiefly as an illustration of the colonists’ belief in their own superiority.  Slavery and the treatment of Native Americans are at center stage.  At times, the presentation of the New Deal and the Reagan era seems to come straight out of a Democratic Party press office. If you want your child to be admitted to a top quality college, you may soon feel pressure to parrot this line.

In 2016, the College Board now mandates a corresponding leftist narrative on the teaching of European history.  David Randall of the National Association of Scholars examines The Disappearing Continent: A Critique of the Revised AP European History Examination

What the College Board did to American history it has now done to European history: erase and contort. Much of the European past goes missing in the new AP European History Course and Exam Description, as it is officially called.  Columbus is absent, and Churchill is reduced to a single prompt. The College Board tells the story of European history as the triumph of secular progressivism, and shunts to the margins the continent’s centuries-long rise to political freedom and prosperity.

Details include:

  1. APEH presents the history of government rather than of liberty.
  2. APEH presents religion throughout as an instrument of power rather than as an autonomous sphere of European history.
  3. APEH treats the movement to abolish slavery without mentioning how it was inspired by religious faith.
  4. APEH underplays British history throughout, thus minimizing the importance of Britain’s distinctive history in the European tradition as the champion of liberty.
  5. APEH minimizes and extenuates the evils of Communism, the brutal destructiveness of Soviet rule, and the aggressiveness of Soviet foreign policy.
  6. APEH virtually ignores Europe’s unique development of the architecture of modern knowledge, which made possible almost every modern form of intellectual inquiry.

The press release accompanying the report College Board Shreds European History, Study Finds: Faith and Freedom Gone

Stanley Kurtz writes Bad History is Killing Us

The College Board’s newly-issued curriculum for its Advanced Placement European History (APEH) course...is the closest most Americans will come to a class in what used to be called Western Civilization. And the new curriculum will shape textbooks, and the way in which all high school and college students are taught about our Western heritage for years to come.

In short, as the NAS puts it, “APEH follows modern progressive historians’ soft-Marxist interpretation of the history of Europe, which works to justify modern progressivism’s soft-Marxist political action in the present…APEH shreds European history to serve today’s progressive agenda.”

The damage goes far beyond socialism-infatuated millennials. The core liberal democratic idea that individual rights do and should trump race, ethnicity, and sex has been under assault for some time by the sort of left-multiculturalism enshrined in the College Board’s new curricula.
Once the College Board has finished producing detailed curricula for all of its AP courses, we will have arrived at the endpoint no-one openly admits to wanting: a leftist national curriculum. The only way to block this is by creating a competing educational testing company advised by the best traditionalist scholars and capable of authorizing alternative curricula and textbooks. For those dissatisfied with America’s current direction, there is no better way to begin the task of cultural reconstruction than this.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:55 PM | Permalink

June 16, 2016

Rejecting Reality is Definitely Stupid

Richard Fernandez  Definitely Stupid

One might ask how the Western elites could be so stupid as to get into a situation, where like Titanic, the threat is coming in faster than it can be pumped out.  They may have even paid for some this influx from public funds. The Western elites first imported ISIS in the most expensive conceivable way and then proceeded to manage them through the most inefficient method imaginable.  They imported a threat which as Foreign Policy points out is effectively a state-sponsored shock unit and now find they can't afford to monitor it.  Why it's almost like promising pensions that can't be funded.

A Melancholy Calculation David Solway

Perhaps the most evident sign of civilizational devolution is the inability or unwillingness to acknowledge reality, to come to terms with things as they are, and to oppose the suppression of objectivity and its substitution by fantasy, illusion and wish-fulfillment. ....Biology, Nature, economic forces and human nature are not disposable artifacts, fashion accessories or hypothetical creations of unanchored will. They can be investigated, plumbed, to some limited degree modified and harnessed to advantage, but they cannot be turned into something they are not or conveniently abolished without unleashing tragic consequences.....

By Rejecting ‘Radical Islam,’ Obama Rejects Reality writes David Harsanyi

Instead, the president lashes out at America's real enemy: the GOP....“Radical Islam” distinguishes between extremists and moderates. Other than allowing liberals to accuse anyone who brings up theological problems of being Islamophobic, what other purpose does ignoring this distinction achieve?

Dan Greenfield on Reality

Narratives only work on the people you fool. They don’t remove the underlying danger. All they do is postpone the ultimate recognition of the problem with catastrophic results. Islamic terrorism is a reality. Erase all the narratives and the fact of its existence remains. ...

Assuming that Muslims are oppressed minorities is a profound intellectual error crippling our ability to defend ourselves. Islamic terrorism is not an anti-colonial movement, but a colonial one. ISIS and its Islamic ilk are not oppressed minorities, but oppressive majorities.....The very notion that the good opinion of the enemy should constrain our military operations, our thinking and even our ability to recognize reality is an enemy narrative of unprecedented effect.

And this is the narrative that our leaders and the leaders of the world have knelt in submission to.

“Islamic Refugee” With Gas Pipeline Plans Arrested in New Mexico Border County  Judicial Watch

Police in a U.S. town bordering Mexico have apprehended an undocumented, Middle Eastern woman in possession of the region’s gas pipeline plans, law enforcement sources tell Judicial Watch. Authorities describe the woman as an “Islamic refugee” pulled over during a traffic stop by a deputy sheriff in Luna County, New Mexico which shares a 54-mile border with Mexico.

Syrian Immigrant Who Said 9/11 ‘Changed The World For Good’ Is A Homeland Security Adviser Peter Hasson

Laila Alawa was one of just 15 people tapped to serve on the newly-formed HSAC Subcommittee on Countering Violent Extremism in 2015 — the same year she became an American citizen. Just last week, the subcommittee submitted a report to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, recommending that the DHS avoid using Muslim terminology like the words “sharia” and “jihad” when discussing terrorism.

John Brennan, Director of the CIA's grave warning: ISIS dangerous as ever CNN

"Unfortunately, despite all our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group's terrorism capability and global reach,"...."We judge that ISIL is training and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks," he said. "ISIL has a large cadre of Western fighters who could potentially serve as operatives for attacks in the West. And the group [ISIS] is probably exploring a variety of means for infiltrating operatives into the West, including refugee flows, smuggling routes, and legitimate methods of travel.

It Was John Brennan Himself Who Halted LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) Training on Islam, Jihad  Robert Spencer

CIA Director John Brennan  is the person who -- after U.S. Muslim groups demanded he do so – “purged” all mention of Islam and jihad from law enforcement counter-terror training materials in 2011.

Intelligence and law enforcement agents training to counter terrorist threats today are taught all about militiamen and white supremacists -- but they hear nary a word about the beliefs, motives, and goals of Islamic jihadists. Unless they educate themselves on their own, our agents have no training on what jihadis are intent on doing and why. They are left abjectly incapable of devising effective strategies for countering them.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:10 PM | Permalink

May 12, 2016

Christians, Gays and Women Find No Safety in German Refugee Centers, only Violence and Harassment

The most persecuted and victimized people in the world today are Christians, particularly Christians living in Muslim-majority countries or, as you can see below, Christians in refugee camps in Germany where most of the migrants are Muslim and the security guards are Muslim. 

Christians facing violence and harassment inside German Refugee Centers Muslim guards involved in the abuse of Christian refugees, forced Islamic prayers imposed on non-Muslims

For many Christians fleeing the nightmare of religious persecution in Arab and Muslim lands their torment and suffering doesn’t end when they arrive on the shores of Europe since Islamist bullies single them out for harassment. A detailed study released by the Christian group Open Doors on Monday says that newly arrived Christian refugees in Germany are facing systematic violence, harassment and abuse at the hands of Muslim migrants.

The most disturbing part of the study is the abuse faced by Christians at the hands of Muslim guards inside the German refugee housing. In many refugee housing centres most of the migrants and the security guards are Muslim. The Christian group talked about the prevailing atmosphere of “fear and panic” among the persecuted Christians arriving in Germany. According to a Christian minister from Berlin, Christian refugees must take part in Islamic prayer and threatened if they refused to comply.

The group Open Doors Germany collected testimonies of 231 Christian refugees, most of them coming from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. The study found that an overwhelming majority, nearly 90 percent, of the respondents admitted being attacked and harassed on grounds of their Christian faith. Apart from widespread harassment, 37 percent of these Christian refugees suffered physical injuries and 32 percent admitted receiving death threats. According to survey, an overwhelming majority (88 percent) said they have been targeted by other migrants because of their religion. Additionally, almost one-half of survey participants accused guards of discriminating against religious minorities or harassing them  Out of 231 Christian migrants, 42 percent have reported insults, 37 percent said they suffered a physical injury, and 32 percent allegedly received death threats. (…)
Open Doors Germany urged German government to take urgent steps to address the plight of Christians, Yezidis and other non-Muslim minorities housed in refugee centres. One suggestion is to separate the Christians and the non-Muslims from the Muslim migrants. The group is asking the government to place non-Muslim guards to protect the Christian refugees.

As the Lutheran minister Gottfried Martens asked the press on Monday, does “every last Christian [in Germany] needs to be attacked” before the government could get its act together?

REPORT: Christians, Gays, Women Fleeing Asylum Centres Due To Persecution By Muslim Men

Christians, homosexuals and women are fleeing asylum centres in Germany in ever growing numbers due to acts of violence, intolerance and crime perpetrated by Muslim men.

According to German newspaper Die Welt, the violence toward ethnic minorities, religious minorities and women continues to skyrocket across German asylum centres. Muslim men tear up Bibles and assault Christians, sexually abuse women and children, and beat up homosexuals. The news has led to calls from human rights campaigners to say enough is enough.
Breitbart London has reported on migrant violence within asylum homes with cases of Christians, homosexuals and others being beaten in asylum centres across Germany, reports of asylum centres as breeding grounds for extremism, and even young children being brutally raped by fellow migrants.

Watch this video from Prager University presented by Raymond Ibrahim: Christians, the World’s Most Persecuted Minority.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:32 PM | Permalink

April 28, 2016

"The conquest and Islamization of Europe will be easy"

90% of 13-Year-Olds at Italian School Would Convert to Islam if ISIS Came to Their Home Robert Spencer

From the looks of this, the conquest and Islamization of Europe will be easy.  The German-language site Katholisches.info reports that “90 percent would convert to Islam without hesitation to save their own lives, the Islamic State (IS) should conquer the country. This ‘shock result’ (Il Giornale) came from a survey of 13-year-olds at an Italian secondary school. Only two of 25 students opposed conversion. Both students are from devout Catholic families.”
The teacher reportedly did not sugarcoat the Islamic State’s hostility to Christians and Christianity: “The teacher told her students that the IS destroyed all Christian symbols and threatened everyone who was not willing to convert to Islam with death. She also did not conceal that many Christians were killed, exiled or enslaved because of their faith by IS.”
These children in this Italian classroom are the products of a relativistic, materialistic, hedonistic culture that has relentlessly indoctrinated them with the ideas that all belief systems and cultures are of equal value and are essentially interchangeable, and that it is wrong and “racist” to oppose even an authoritarian and violent ideology, and that defense of one’s homeland and culture is likewise “racist,” and that Judeo-Christian Western civilization is itself uniquely “racist” and responsible for the great majority of the evil in the world.

Cultural Identity Theft

The ideological struggle with Islam is in large part a spiritual struggle. It will be won by those with the deepest faith and strongest convictions. In other words, it’s the kind of struggle that many Europeans and Americans are ill-prepared for. While the mosques and Islamic schools have been delivering a purpose-driven message about Islam’s manifest destiny, multiculturalist educators in the West have done everything they can to undermine their student’s cultural foundations. According to multiculturalists, the worst crime is to deprive native peoples of their culture, yet all their efforts have been aimed at depriving Western students of their own multi-millennium cultural inheritance.
That’s what seems to have happened to the Italian students. In commenting on their response, Katholisches.info observed:

The theft of our own identity is proceeding on many levels… And now we are expected to tell our young people to take up weapons and defend themselves… In the name of what ideals and values are we to ask that of them? In the name of those ideas we never taught them, but denigrated in their eyes?

Those who are ashamed of their culture will not defend it—or, apparently, even themselves. If you believe in nothing important, then the prudent thing to do when faced with danger is to capitulate. As Alessandro Grotteri, the author of the Katholisches.info piece, puts it, “Decisive resistance comes from someone who is firmly founded in belief.”

The end result of the de-Christianization of Europe will very likely be the Islamization of Europe—unless, that is, Europeans are able to recover the faith that made Europe great in the first place. It was largely because of their Christian faith that Europeans of another era were able to resist Muslim forces at Tours, Lepanto, Malta, and Vienna, and to retake Spain from Muslim hands.
Actually, the attitude of the elites toward gender differences and their attitude toward Islam are connected. If you accept the proposition that your gender is whatever you wish it to be, then why not conclude that Islam is whatever you wish it to be? That is more or less what’s happened. European and American elites have constructed a make-believe version of Islam in their own minds. For them “Islam” means “peace,” “jihad” is a “spiritual struggle,” and violence has nothing to do with Islam....

The Caliphs of old who had their sights set on conquering Europe could only have dreamed about facing such clueless and spineless opponents.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:34 PM | Permalink

April 27, 2016

"The Left hates standards – moral standards, artistic standards, cultural standards"

Dennis Prager asks Why Does the Left Loathe Western Civilization?

Wherever there is conflict between the West — identified as white, capitalist, or of European roots — and the non-West, the Left portrays the West as the villain. I am referring to the Left, not to liberals. The latter generally venerated Western civilization. President Franklin Roosevelt, for example, frequently spoke of defending “Christian civilization.” Today, the Left would revile any Westerner who used such language as xenophobic, racist, and Fascist.

...the Left dismisses virtually all Western achievements, but regards criticism of anything non-Western as racist, chauvinistic, imperialist, colonialist, xenophobic, etc.  That is why the Left is so protective of Islam. America’s first left-wing president, Barack Obama, will not use, or allow the government to use, the words “Islamic terrorism”; and all criticism of Islam is labeled “Islamophobic,” thereby morally equating any such criticism with racism. It is not that the Left is sympathetic to Islam; the Left has contempt for all religions. It is that many Muslims loathe the West, and the enemies of my enemy (the West) must be protected.

That is why the Left loathes Israel. If the Left actually cared about human rights, women’s rights, gay rights, or freedom of speech, religion, and the press, it would be wildly pro-Israel. But Israel, in the Left’s view, is white, European, and colonialist; in other words, Western. And the Palestinians are non-Western.

So, then, the Big Question is, Why? Why is the Left hostile to Western civilization? After decades of considering this question, the answer, I have concluded, is: standards. The Left hates standards – moral standards, artistic standards, cultural standards. The West is built on all three, and has excelled in all three.

Why does the Left hate standards? It hates standards because when there are standards, there is judgment. And Leftists don’t want to be judged.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:59 AM | Permalink

April 16, 2016

"The grand vulnerability of the Western mind is horror."

Spengler: To be kind is to be cruel, to be cruel is to be kind

Just after the September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, I warned that radical Islam would horrify the West into submission. In Europe, it has taken a giant step towards success. Europe’s horror at the prospect of human suffering has made it supine. Sadly, the more the Europeans indulge in their humanitarian impulses, the more Muslims will suffer. To be kind is to be cruel.
Turkey’s President and de facto dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan last October threatened European officials with 10,000 to 15,000 drowned migrants, according to minutes leaked to a Greek news site and widely reported by European mainstream media–with no official denial. Erdogan demanded 6 billion Euros up front and 3 billion Euros a year to stop the refugee flow....

The leader of a prominent Muslim country who claims to speak for the Muslim world threatened the Europeans with 10,000 or 15,000 Muslim deaths. When in world history has one side in negotiations threaten to kill its own people in order to gain leverage?
I argued in October 2001 that the mass sacrifice of Muslim lives lay at the heart of battle plan of radical Islam:....Evil for its own sake becomes imaginable only when the Christian civilization of the West abandons Christianity and stares into the abyss of its own destruction….The grand vulnerability of the Western mind is horror. The Nazis understood this and pursued a policy “des Schreckens” (to cause horror) and “Entsetzens” (terror, literally: dislodgement). Horror was not merely an instrument of war in the traditional sense, but a form of Wagnerian theater, or psychological warfare on the grand scale. Hitler’s tactical advantage lay in his capacity to be more horrible than his opponents could imagine.

The more the West indulges its humanitarian sentiments–that is, its squeamishness in the face of absolute evil–the more calamities will befall Muslim civilians, because Muslim leaders from Raqqa to Ankara have learned to weaponize horror. Staging humanitarian catastrophes in order to blackmail the West has succeeded for the most part. What would be required to persuade the likes of President Erdogan that the West will not accede to blackmail? Sadly, the West would have to watch with indifference as horrors unfolded on its borders. The Pakistani who threatened to hang himself earlier this month at a refugee camp in Lesbos will not go back to his miserable life in Pakistan unless the alternative at a European refugee camp is even nastier. To be kind is to be cruel: it encourages horrific outcomes staged to manipulate the Western conscience. Paradoxically, to be cruel is to be kind.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:25 AM | Permalink

April 13, 2016

Stupid Stanford Students

"Besides democracy, education, philosophy, logic, mathematics, engineering, literature, and theater, what has Western civilization ever done for us?”  Monty Python, The Life of Brian.

Stanford Students Fight Campus Groupthink

In a startling development, Stanford University students are petitioning to be taught Western civilization ...headed up by undergraduate Harry Elliott, editor-in-chief of “The Stanford Review,” an independent campus newspaper.....

[L]earning about Western culture isn’t simply about undertaking a cohesive study of the history, philosophy, literature, and arts that have enormously influenced the world in which we all live. It is also about learning how to express ideas effectively, how to separate fact from propaganda through specific tools of learning developed in the West. Taking those tools away—such as the Socratic method, civil discourse, and rules of order and civil debate—hinders clarity, independent thought, and the powers of observation. It makes students far less able to resist conformity and groupthink.

The author of the piece and former Stanford student Stella Morabito asks

How and why did such huge swaths of foundational knowledge—of history, philosophy, art, and literature—become forbidden fruit? So much basic knowledge was withheld—stolen—from me through random and faddish courses that claimed to be more ‘relevant’ to education. I remember this realization happening to me. I was at first confused, then livid. In the end, they amounted to disjointed fragments of information. Later in life I picked up the pieces through self-education.

As you would expect, this proposal the proposal sparked outrage.

“The Review’s staff have been called everything from ‘dusty’ to ‘racist’ to ‘b–ch’ to ‘pendejos’ to ‘disgusting,’” Elliott expanded in an editor’s note published Monday. “We have been repeatedly ‘invited’ to ‘wonderful events’ with ‘constructive dialogue.’ Unfortunately, Review members who have tried to attend such events have been refused entry at the door.”

“Signers of the petition have reported being personally called out in dining halls and student group meetings, and have been systematically contacted to justify their signatures. They have also been publicly branded as supporters of ‘racism,’ ‘elitism,’ ‘classism’ and ‘hatred,’” Elliott wrote.  He also pointed to Facebook statuses posted by members of the activist community at Stanford, which show the individuals claiming that they have downloaded the list of signers in order to use it against them in the future.

Stanford Law professor Michael McConnell, told the Review that he has taught many students in recent years who had “little or no familiarity with the political, intellectual, and cultural history that shaped the American legal tradition.”  I’ve encountered students who have never heard of Hobbes and Locke, do not know the causes of the American Revolution, are unfamiliar with the Lincoln-Douglas debates, haven’t a clue about Progressivism or the New Deal, don’t know what separates Protestants and Catholics, and have only the vaguest sense what race relations were like before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. One thing a great university provides is education about what educated people should learn,” McConnell is quoted as saying.

Stanford Students: Offering Western Civilization Classes Destroys Diversity

One suspected—suspected, mind you—supporter was stripped from helming a support network for low-income students. Evidently his co-leaders concluded there are no good reasons a low-income student might want to study the history of the society whose economic ladder he is trying to climb.
Why target Western civilization? This counter-campaign calling itself “Who’s Teaching Us?” (WTU) promotes diversity, which Western civilization—the civilization that eliminated slavery, empowered women, and introduced the idea of equality—apparently does not have enough of.
If WTU truly wants to further diversity at Stanford, probably the single best thing it could do is to support the Stanford Review’s call for a Western civilization requirement. There are 579 distinct courses that meet Stanford’s “Engaging Diversity” requirement. There is none available to the entire student body that surveys the history of the first culture to appreciate intellectual diversity and enshrine intellectual liberty in law. That’s a history lesson all colleges and universities should learn.

In 1964, all of the nation’s top 50 colleges and universities had a Western civilization course, and in most of them it was required. In 2010, not a single one of those same universities required the class, and two-thirds of them did not even offer it, according to a 2011 study by the National Association of Scholars.

UPDATE: Stanford Students Reject Western Civilization By A 6-To-1 Margin.  These students are supposedly part of the "best and the brightest" who will be running the country and the corporations in a few years.  Just last December, students at Yale willingly sign 'petition' to repeal First Amendment.  They are willing to throw the greatest treasures of our national heritage in the trash.  How long will it be before they or their children realize how stupid they are? 

Who wants government at any level to regulate political speech and expression?  Not any sensible, rational adult, conscious of their responsibility to pass on the freedoms  they have been given.  Just ideologues who want power and no dissent like the president of the National Organization of Women.  NOW: Abortion Is 'Necessary'; First Amendment Should Be Repealed

Calling for a repeal of the First Amendment in order to empower the government to regulate political speech and expression, O’Neill demanded an overturning of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. FEC ruling. Senate Democrats unanimously voted in favor of repealing the First Amendment in September of 2014.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:22 AM | Permalink

April 12, 2016

"I should have know better"

UK Equalities Chief Who Popularized The Term ‘Islamophobia’ Admits: ‘I Thought Muslims Would Blend into Britain… I Should Have Known Better’

The former head of Britain’s Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Trevor Phillips, has admitted he “got almost everything wrong” on Muslim immigration in a damning new report on integration, segregation, and how the followers of Islam are creating “nations within nations” in the West.

Phillips, a former elected member of the Labour Party who served as the Chairman of the EHRC from 2003-2012 will present “What British Muslims Really Think” on Channel 4 on Wednesday. An ICM poll released to the Times ahead of the broadcast reveals:

One in five Muslims in Britain never enter a non-Muslim house;
39 per cent of Muslims, male and female, say a woman should always obey her husband;
31 per cent of British Muslims support the right of a man to have more than one wife;
52 per cent of Muslims did not believe that homosexuality should be legal;
23 per cent of Muslims support the introduction of Sharia law rather than the laws laid down by parliament.

Phillips comments: “Some of my journalist friends imagine that, with time, the Muslims will grow out of it. They won’t.”....Many of our (distinctly un-diverse) elite political and media classes simply refuse to acknowledge the truth. Any undesirable behaviors are attributed to poverty and alienation. Backing for violent extremism must be the fault of the Americans. Oppression of women is a cultural trait that will fade with time, nothing to do with the true face of Islam.”
In terms of solutions, Mr. Phillips opines on “halting the growth of sharia courts and placing them under regulation” ensuring that school governance never falls into the hands of a single-minority group, “ensuring mosques that receive a steady flow of funds from foreign governments such as Saudi Arabia, however disguised, are forced to reduce their dependency on Wahhabi patronage” and an end to the “silence-for-votes understanding between local politicians and Muslim leaders — the sort of Pontius Pilate deal that had such catastrophic outcomes in Rotherham and Rochdale”.

Mr. Phillips’s comments echo those of the Czech president, and research from across Europe that revealed attitudes amongst Muslims on the continent have hardened. The younger the Muslim, the more likely they are to hold hard-line views, one recent study found.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:02 PM | Permalink

April 6, 2016

Easy Meat: The sexploitation and enslavement of girls has become pervasive and routine in England

A Look Inside Britain's Muslim Sex Grooming Gang Scandal

For the past few decades, British authorities have been caught up in the pervasive meme of multiculturalism -- the falsehood that all cultures are equal and that to believe otherwise is to commit the worst modern day offense -- to be “racist.” Under this fallacy, the British government in 2001 introduced a series of restrictive speech codes that criminalized criticism of Islam, followed by a Racial and Religious Hatred Bill imposing fines and even imprisonment for speech that “incited hatred against a person for their religious or racial background.” 
In this context and political climate, with racism conflated with religion – one specific religion – it is easy to see how government and public service employees would fear professional and legal repercussions (up to seven years in prison) merely for speaking up about criminal behavior by Muslims who justify their actions citing the Koran. In this way, teachers, police, child care workers, government officials and others have been silent about the growing menace of Muslim gangs who sexually groom and exploit children in the UK.

In his riveting book, Easy Meat: Inside Britain’s Grooming Gang Scandal   author Peter McLoughlin explains how multiculturalism-inspired political correctness along with its companion, willful blindness concerning Islamic doctrine, has jeopardized the safety and well-being of children. McLoughlin posits that, since 1988, this nationwide sexploitation has resulted in the shattering of lives of between 100,000 to 1 million girls. The author documents how the fear of being deemed racist and facing criminal charges, dismissal or even threats of violence, has led to suppression of information and a stunning lack of intervention on behalf of young victims. In essence, an extensive, insidious operation that targets children for sexual grooming and enslavement has been covered up because of political correctness and fear of Muslim retribution.
In his research on Muslim groomers, McLoughlin uncovered an unusual distinction between them and non-Muslim pedophiles. Non-Muslim pedophiles are typically lone adults who groom children for sex in reclusive secrecy, worry about being prosecuted by law enforcement, meet accusations with defensive denial and worry about being discovered, shamed, and criticized by friends or relatives. Muslim perpetrators, however, work in gangs, see nothing wrong with their shariah-sanctioned activities, receive collusive support from their communities and feel they are above the law.
McLoughlin makes reference to the staggering profitability of the sex grooming enterprise for the Muslim community. He cites a 2007 expose, Mothers of Prevention by Julie Bindel, a feminist writer and founder of the legal reform group, Justice for Women.  Bindel estimated that a pimp can make $325,000 to $550,000 annually with one 16-year-old girl. ...

The author reports that police routinely dismiss parents’ concerns and have failed to set up surveillance operations at strategically significant locations. Police have even arrested parents for trying to save their children. In one such case, fathers, who were able to track down their daughters and tried to rescue them were arrested by police. In fact, McLoughlin discloses that law enforcement officers have actually returned wayward girls to their pimps.

McLoughlin reveals that local authorities – social workers, teachers’ unions, educational organizations and childcare agencies – have made no effort to intervene or draw public attention to the pervasive threat. He submits that feared charges of racism preclude their mandated responsibility for the protection of children. In fact, the author reports how major teachers' unions are behind an organization – Unite Against Fascism – that blocks the publicizing of the sex grooming gang phenomenon and its Muslim community participation.
In Easy Meat, McLoughlin details how the sexploitation and enslavement of girls, once viewed as a great evil in Western society, has become a pervasive, routine, and almost pedestrian part of everyday life in the UK. On this issue, the courageous author effectively deals with the contention that Western civilization is fighting for its very existence in a clash between civilization and barbarism. His book serves as a grave warning for other countries as they consider increased levels of Muslim immigration.

Robert Spencer reviewed Easy Meat

How does a nation commit suicide? Peter McLoughlin's Easy Meat is a harrowing step-by-step chronicle of how Britain is doing just that, by sacrificing its girls to the idols of multiculturalism and political correctness. McLoughlin lays out in heart-wrenching detail how British officials abandoned thousands of unfortunate girls to the depredations of Muslim rape gangs who were inspired and motivated by Islamic teachings on the treatment of infidel women, and did nothing to save them for fear of being called "racist" and "Islamophobic." Young girls and women are the future of any nation; what Britain has done to its own has condemned it to a future of chaos, civil war, and slavery. Peter McLoughlin has done an invaluable service in laying out exactly how it all happened. May this important book serve as a cautionary tale for nations that are still free.

Over the past few years, I've followed this appalling story, but for those who haven't, the brief recap below is from Wikipedia.  In every case, the victims were poor, white girls and the perpetrators were from various countries, but all had a Muslim heritage.

In Rotherham, there have been trials, investigations, coverups and several subsequent investigations that horrified the nation

The Alexis Jay report published on 26 August 2014 revealed that the number of children sexually exploited in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 was, by "conservative estimate", at least 1,400. According to the report, children as young as eleven were "raped by multiple perpetrators, abducted, trafficked to other cities in England, beaten and intimidated." Three previous inquiries—in 2002, 2003 and 2006—had presented similar findings but, according to the report, had been "effectively suppressed" because officials "did not believe the data"....The inquiry team found examples of "children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone"...

Home Secretary Theresa May described the failures of police and council agencies to deal with child sex abuse as a complete dereliction of duty. She said that "institutionalized political correctness" had contributed to the authorities turning a blind eye to the abuse: "I am clear that cultural concerns – both the fear of being seen as racist, and the frankly disdainful attitude to some of our most vulnerable children – must never stand in the way of child protection. We know that child sexual exploitation happens in all communities. There is no excuse for it in any of them.

The Rochdale sex trafficking gang preyed on under-age white teenage girls in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England.
The Derby sex gang was a group of men who sexually abused up to a hundred girls, 12-18, in Derby, England.
The Oxford sex gang was a group of seven men who preyed on more than 300 pre-teen and under-age teenage girls in Oxford, England.
The Bristol sex gang was a large group of Somali men who committed serious sexual offenses against underage teenage girls in Bristol, England.
The Telford sex gang was a group of seven men who preyed extensively on pre-teen and under-age teenage girls in Telford, England.
The Peterborough sex abuse case involved groups of men who committed serious sexual offenses against under-aged girls, some as young as 12, in the English city of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
The Banbury sex gang was a group of seven men who committed serious sexual offenses against under-aged girls in the English town of Banbury, Oxfordshire.
The Aylesbury sex gang was a group of six men of South Asian heritage who committed serious sexual offenses against two under-aged girls in the English town of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
The Keighley sex gang was a group of 12 men of Muslim heritage who committed serious sexual offenses against two under-aged white girls in the English town of Keighley and city of Bradford, West Yorkshire.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:16 PM | Permalink

March 28, 2016

Europe is again at war

Europe is again at war by John R. Schindler

It’s time to admit the extent of Europe’s problem with Islamic radicalism. This isn’t mere terrorism any longer, this is guerrilla war.
The bombings at Zaventem airport and the Brussels metro at current count killed 31 and injured 270—over 300 casualties in all. Belgium is not accustomed to such a bloodbath. ... Belgium is a small country. Relative to population, this would be equivalent to 900 dead Americans and a staggering 7,800 wounded. To say nothing of the symbolism of yesterday’s attack on the metro near Maelbeek station in downtown Brussels, right next to the offices of the European Union. Striking at the very heart of the European project, revealing its vulnerability to even a handful of ardent madmen, sends a powerful message that nobody can miss.
Belgian intelligence has long been short of funds and personnel and above all any political will to do anything substantive about the country’s vast jihadist problem. Belgium’s chronically dysfunctional politics have played a toxic role, as has the general Western European tendency to avert eyes and hope for the best regarding the growing radicalism of whole swathes of young people in the Muslim ghettos that exist in most of their cities now.

As I’ve explained before, there is no intelligence solution to this problem. Although more funds and better information sharing will surely help prevent some terrorism—and especially catch terrorists after they kill innocents—the threat is now so great, with Europe possessing thousands of homegrown radicals bent on murder, that mere spying cannot prevent all attacks “left of boom” as the professionals put it.  Maintaining 24/7 human and technical surveillance on just one target requires something like two dozen operatives, and even the larger European security services can effectively watch only a few handfuls of would-be terrorists at one time.
Europe is now at war again. The threat today is less terrorism than a low-grade insurgency, a guerrilla war of sorts, that hangs over much of the continent as thousands of jihadists, made proficient killers by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, return home with visions of killing “infidels,” their former neighbors. There will be no parley or negotiation with such mass murderers.
When that violence comes, a practically disarmed Europe will be all but powerless to stop it. To take the case of Belgium, at the Cold War’s end a generation ago, its army had seven brigades with 18 infantry battalions, plus some 30 more battalions in the reserve. Today, Belgium’s army has only two brigades and six infantry battalions, some 3,000 bayonets in all. That tiny force would have trouble exerting control over even one bumptious Brussels neighborhood in the event of serious crisis.
And when politics fail, violence follows, and violence on a large scale becomes war.

I believe it.  Just take a look at these links from the past week.
Belgium terror incompetence laid bare: How all THREE Brussels suicide bombers were flagged up by Turkish authorities and left to commit mass murder in Europe.  No bullets in rifles!    Belgian soldiers deployed to fight terrorists had no bullets in rifles.

Brussels cancels peace march amid fears ISIS will use it to launch ANOTHER brutal attack.  Authorities cancelled the march as it would be difficult to properly police without drawing resources away from the manhunt for the dangerous terrorists responsible for the attacks on the Metro and airport that killed 34 and injured more than 300.

Sick Irony: One Of The Brussels Terrorists Was A “Migrants Rights Activist” 

Brussels terrorists used highly-volatile explosive called Mother of SATAN in their bombs and may have had outside help.

Sleeper cells    ISIS have 400 trained fighters in Europe who are poised to unleash more terror attacks with orders to wait for the right time to cause maximum carnage.  ISIS 'sleeper cells' are reported to be plotting more than 20 deadly terror attacks on Britain's streets in a follow-up to the atrocities in Brussels and Paris while  MI5 are tracking more than FIFTY hardcore jihadis who are thought to be planning attacks in Britain .

Dirty Bomb

Fears over the vulnerability of the nuclear installations in Belgium a country with a history of security lapses at its nuclear facilities, a weak intelligence apparatus and a deeply rooted terrorist network.  "Dirty Bomb" Fears Rise.  The Brussels terrorists may have been plotting to make a radioactive bomb after it emerged 11 nuclear power plant workers have had their site access revoked amid fears of 'insider help'.
Jihadi brothers Khalid and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui had secretly filmed the daily routine of Belgium's nuclear program chief, before they blew themselves up at Brussels airport and on a Metro train.  Belgian Nuclear Plant Guard Murdered, Security Badge Stolen Days After Attack
Police say it was a criminal and not a terrorist attack since the guard was killed in his bathroom.  Two Belgian nuclear power plant workers fled to Syria to join ISIS

Holy Week
In Glasgow Muslim shopkeeper who wished his 'beloved Christian nation' a Happy Easter is stabbed 30 times by a FELLOW MUSLIM who sat laughing on his dying victim's chest.

ISIS 'crucifies Catholic priest on Good Friday' after kidnapping him from old people's home where four nuns were shot dead.

Taliban jihadi kills 72 and injures 300 by targeting Christians celebrating Easter in a Lahore, Pakistan park.

ISIS attacked the town of Taza in northern Iraq with mustard gas shells.  Three people were killed including a six-month-old baby and 1,500 were injured.  Dozens of victims are being flown to Ankara, Turkey for medical treatment

Teenage ISIS suicide bomber blows himself up at a FOOTBALL STADIUM near Baghdad, killing at least 65 people and injuring more than 60

Continuing Threats

ISIS supporters in Belgium cheer Brussels attacks in calling it a "new 9/11" and pledging further terror atrocities in Europe.

British ISIS fighters threaten Heathrow and Downing Street in chilling video celebrating Brussels terror attacks

Middle-class jihadis plotting bloodbath on London streets: 'Turnup Terror Squad' plotted to gun down soldiers, police and civilians in ISIS-inspired drive-by shootings

Brussels slaughter 'just a taste' of what is coming, warns ISIS chief executioner
In a chilling ISIS video Hicham Chaib, responsible for countless beheadings, crucifixions and amputations in Syria, tells the West that ISIS will 'kill your people' during a rant over air strikes in the country....At the end of the nine-minute video, the 34-year-old executes a kneeling ISIS prisoner, shooting him in the head.

ISIS Supporters Release Video with Exploding Eiffel Tower
To you western Kafir, you that meant to fight Islam," the narrator warns, "vengeance is coming" against the "new crusaders," and "it will be welcomed by Allah's permission." The video threatens to "rip your cross," showing video of ISIS members tearing down church crosses in the territory occupied by the Islamic State. "So we will invade London, Brussels and Berlin, like we did in Paris before."

Top Jihadist Claims Brussels, Paris Are Terror Rehearsals for ‘Big’ Attack Inside U.S.

Another Top Jihadist Claims Islamic State Has Agents Working in Western Airports.  That's easy to believe when we learn that the TSA failed to vet 73 employees with terror ties working at 40 U.S. airports

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:32 PM | Permalink

March 3, 2016

Various views on our country and our culture that resonate

Malcolm Pollack writing on  Culture and Metaculture  in 2013.

We need to be clear about the meaning of the word “culture”. The word, properly understood, refers to the ideas and folkways that are characteristic of, and above all shared by, a particular group of people....Culture, then, is what a common people share. Its very essence is its distinctness. The commonalities that have until now formed the essential foundations of culture, throughout history and around the world, are such things as language, religion, moral norms, history, myths and legends, great heroes, music, poetry, literature, cuisine, dress, and rituals of birth, marriage, and death. Above all, there is always a sense of extension in time: a reverent awareness of the shared culture’s unique embedding in history, and of the duty to preserve it for future generations by honoring and propagating its traditions.

By contrast, look at modern American (or more generally, Western) “culture”. Its highest value, its summum bonum, is now the very antithesis of culture itself: not commonality, but “diversity”.

What remains of the high culture of the West in our new, barbarian metaculture is shrunken, withered, pecked by crows. As for the metaculture itself: what are its pillars? Where are its heroes, its mythos, its religion, its language, its great literature? Where are the commonalities that bind its people together? Gone, gone, gone.

Worse: where is its history? Not only gone, but despised. Our new “culture” has lost its sense of extension in time. Under modernity’s ascendant doctrine, the long history of the West is only a litany of sins, deserving not propagation, but repudiation. We have no legacy, no heritage, to cherish for posterity; we have pulled up our own roots. If our new American “culture” has any history worth remembering at all, it is no more than a few decades old, and consists almost entirely of the destruction of the past.

In our “brave new world”, then, we are cut off from both past and future, imprisoned in the present as no generation of people has ever been before. We have lost — jettisoned — both our rudder and our compass, and are unmoored and adrift.

Malcolm Pollack in 2016 quotes from his earlier essay and adds

In short, we have lost our sense of extension in time. Until now, every generation of every civilization saw itself as a living bridge between past and future — as heirs and beneficiaries of the productive labor of their forebears, and stewards of that treasure for children yet unborn. But now, having pulled up our roots (and salted the earth from which they sprang), we have no inheritance to cherish and preserve; that which we have not simply squandered, we have taught ourselves to despise. We have, therefore, nothing to offer our posterity, and so if we think of it at all, it is only to turn away in guilt, and to focus on what we can take for ourselves right now. If that weren’t enough, we also find ourselves in a time of exponential social and technological change. Even those of us who do seek to preserve our inheritance can hardly imagine how.

'Idiocracy' writer: I never expected my movie 'to become a documentary'

Cohen co-wrote the time-travel comedy. The plot revolves around the misadventures of a man who wakes up in a futuristic America only to discover that everyone around him, including lawmakers and government officials, is an idiot.
"I thought the worst thing that would come true was everyone wearing Crocs,” Cohen told his Twitter followers.

Peggy Noonan Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected

What marks this political moment, in Europe and the U.S., is the rise of the unprotected. It is the rise of people who don’t have all that much against those who’ve been given many blessings and seem to believe they have them not because they’re fortunate but because they’re better.....This is a terrible feature of our age—that we are governed by protected people who don’t seem to care that much about their unprotected fellow citizens.  And a country really can’t continue this way.

Brendan O'Neill, From Trumpmania to Euroscepticism: Revenge of the Plebs

America’s new elites, fancying themselves superior to the rural, the old, the religiously inclined and the rest, have increasingly turned politics into something that is done to people, for their own good, rather than by people according to their moral outlook. And then they wonder why people go looking for something else, something less sneering.

Charles Murray writes in Trump’s America that there is nothing irrational about Donald Trump’s appeal to the white working class.  They have every reason to be angry

For white working-class men in their 30s and 40s—what should be the prime decades for working and raising a family—participation in the labor force dropped from 96% in 1968 to 79% in 2015. Over that same period, the portion of these men who were married dropped from 86% to 52%....These are stunning changes, and they are visible across the country. ...

These major changes in American class structure were taking place alongside another sea change: large-scale ideological defection from the principles of liberty and individualism, two of the pillars of the American creed. This came about in large measure because of the civil rights and feminist movements, both of which began as classic invocations of the creed, rightly demanding that America make good on its ideals for blacks and women....

For the white working class, there has been five decades of decline.... During the past half-century of economic growth, virtually none of the rewards have gone to the working class....The real family income of people in the bottom half of the income distribution hasn’t increased since the late 1960s......

During the same half-century, American corporations exported millions of manufacturing jobs, which were among the best-paying working-class jobs. ...During the same half-century, the federal government allowed the immigration, legal and illegal, of tens of millions of competitors for the remaining working-class jobs....

Add to this the fact that white working-class men are looked down upon by the elites and get little validation in their own communities for being good providers, fathers and spouses—and that life in their communities is falling apart. To top it off, the party they have voted for in recent decades, the Republicans, hasn’t done a damn thing to help them. Who wouldn’t be angry?....

And just as support for the American creed has shrunk, so has its correspondence to daily life. Our vaunted liberty is now constrained by thousands of petty restrictions that touch almost anything we want to do, individualism is routinely ignored in favor of group rights, and we have acquired an arrogant upper class. Operationally as well as ideologically, the American creed is shattered.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:15 AM | Permalink

January 21, 2016

Denial and Ignorance

NYPD ordered to purge info on Islamic terror

A U.S. District Court has ordered the NYPD to purge extensive documentation that outlines the rise of Islamic terror in the West and threats to the United States.  The report, "Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat," focused on providing law enforcement and policy-makers with vital intelligence on domestic terror operations.  A key component of the document outlined how jihadists get into the country and carry out terror attacks.  Many experts have described the report as “critical” to our national security.  The court order is a huge victory for the ACLU (who spearheaded the effort two and a half years ago) and Islamic supremacists.  The Free Beacon reports on key areas reached in the settlement, including the following mandates:

· The NYPD must purge the report on the department’s understanding of “radical Islam” along with how best to police the threat.

· The NYPD must “remove the publication from its database and vow not to rely on it in the future” and that they will not open or extend investigations based on it.

· The NYPD must implement measures to “mitigate the impact of future terror investigations on certain religious and political groups,” such as those in the Muslim-American community.  Needless to say, many legal experts have pointed out that this action “could hamper future terrorism investigations.”  The court ties law enforcement’s hands behind their back, blindfolds them, and performs a lobotomy. 

Benjamin Weingarten, writer and national security analyst, covered the court case and said that now more than ever, local police departments need the NYPD report.  “To pursue a see-no-Islam counter-jihadist strategy is not only absurd and contradictory on its face, but its [sic] a severe dereliction of duty – ignorance is not an excuse, and it represents a failure to do everything necessary to defend against an ideology that seeks to undermine the Constitution and subvert and destroy Western civilization again, according to Islamic supremacists themselves,” he said.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:34 PM | Permalink

January 13, 2016

Sexual terrorism

Don Surber was wrong when he wrote Gang rape is the new terrorism tool.  It's only new to us.  As is the word Taharrush, the "rape game".

The Arabic gang-rape 'Taharrush' phenomenon which sees women surrounded by groups of men in crowds and sexually assaulted...

The Arabic term 'taharrush' roughly translates to 'collective harassment' and refers to sexual assaults carried out by groups of men in public places.  Surrounded by dozens of attackers, lone women are groped or raped
The phenomenon was first seen in 2011 when Lara Logan reporting on the protests in Egypt was attacked and endured a sexual assault by many men and feared for her  life. 

German police: It's an Arab rape game called Taharrush, and now it has come to Europe

The attacks range from sexual molestation to rape, says head of BKA, Holger Münch....The "rape game" Taharrush is about a large group of Arab men surrounding their victim, usually a Western woman or a woman wearing Western-style clothing, and then the women are subjected to sexual abuse.  ...They surround the victim in circles. The men in the inner circle are the ones who physically abuse the woman, the next circle are the spectators, while the mission of the third circle is to distract and divert attention to what's going on.  If there is enough men, the woman is dragged along by the mob, while the men take turns ripping her clothes off, grope her, and inserting fingers in her various body orifices.

What happened to Lara Logan was not an anomaly writes Neo-neocon

I’d never heard the term till now, but I was aware of the phenomenon of “taharrush”. Anyone who read the story of what happened to Lara Logan in Egypt back in 2011 should have been well aware of the same phenomenon.
The attack on Logan was reported as though it was an isolated incident, perhaps an anomaly. It was not ‘Between 2011 and 2013, sexual harassment became common at protests in Tahrir Square, exemplified by a number of highly publicized violent attacks that demonstrate how women’s bodies became objectified and dehumanized during the uprising.’

Police notes from the reports of the more than 500 victims of the Cologne sex attacks reveal the full, horrific detail of how women were groped, sexually assaulted, robbed and raped at the hands of a vicious sex mob

The notes reveal how women complained they were surrounded by sexually frustrated men who tried to put their hands inside their tights and knickers and tried to put their fingers in their vaginas. One woman told police she was surrounded by 20 men of North African appearance before they attacked her intimate parts. A victim said she was pinched in the crotch, while another said hands were 'all over her breasts and buttocks'.

When Worlds Collide: Unassimilable Muslim Migrants Crash Europe’s Fantasy Islam  Andrew McCarthy

.....when Muslims are seeking conquest, Islamic scripture endorses sexual assault as a weapon to establish their dominance. “O Prophet,” Allah is said to have announced (in the Koran’s sura 33:50), “We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou has paid their dowers, and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the captives of war whom Allah has assigned to thee.”
In the Western ministries of fantasy Islam, the pols and their note-takers will thumb their chins and wonder what could possibly have motivated the German attacks — just as they wonder what could possibly explain the European sexual-assault crisis that has, by some mysterious coincidence, coincided with mass Muslim migration.  The rest of us will know that there is a strategy: conquest. Just as in the Middle East, women and girls in the West are the spoils of jihad, the vehicle for intimidating non-Muslims into surrendering sovereignty over the streets. If they want to be safe, Sheikh Qaradawi warns, they must submit to Islam’s sartorial suffocation. If not, well, they have it coming.

In reporting on sexual terrorism, Andrew Bostom talks about the epiphany of a Cologne bouncer. 

Ivan Jurcevic, till his New Year’s eve 12/31/15 eyewitness epiphany, deemed Muslim rampages in Europe the stuff of “right wing PEGIDA [a grass roots European anti-Islamization advocacy group] propaganda videos.”

But that evening Jurcevic, a Cologne, Germany hotel club bouncer, witnessed barbaric scenes of sexual assault against women, a hemorrhagic stab wounding, attacks on police, and other acts of violence, committed directly in front of Cologne’s iconic cathedral, the Kölner Dom. All the mayhem Jurcevic observed was perpetrated by roving throngs of Muslim males, whom he noted caustically, were from among those ostensible “refugees” that “…we welcomed just 3-months ago with teddy bears and water bottles..

Robert Spencer on "Uncovered Meat"

Identifying the attackers as Muslim leads directly to understanding the attacks themselves, because the attackers were acting in accord with Islamic teachings.  Sexual assault plagues all cultures -- but only in Islam is it given divine sanction.

When the Muslim War on Women Comes to Germany, Dan Greenfield writes, The only way for European women to have a future is to fight Muslim migration.

Mohammed had told his men that the majority of those condemned to hell are women (Bukhari 2:24:541), that they could rape non-Muslim women (Koran 4:24) and that women who weren’t wearing Hijabs or Burkas were fair game (Koran 33:59). This isn’t an aberration. This is Islam.

Due to Germany’s asylum laws, it’s unlikely that any of the foreign attackers will be deported for their crimes. Sexual assault isn’t “serious enough” for that. And as refugees, they probably couldn’t be deported anyway because they would face “persecution” in their homeland. The hundreds of Muslim men who assaulted women know that they have nothing to fear because nothing will happen to them.

Merkel made this mess. And the only way to undo it is to undo Germany’s asylum policies and likely its membership in the European Union. The migrant wave has fundamentally altered Germany’s demographics in a way that makes the country hostile to women. The only way for women in Europe to have a future is to fight the migration mob. Otherwise what happened outside the Cologne cathedral, what happens to the 99% of women in Egypt and what happens in the Islamic State will be their future.

Lara Logan, UK Rape Gangs, and Europe’s Muslim Mob Sex Assaults

In enabling the mass molestation of its female citizens by Muslim migrants, and yet insisting on increasing Muslim immigration, Europe and England have condemned their women, their culture, and ultimately their future to a long, horrific gang rape.
An official EU Economic Forecast predicts 3 million Middle East immigrants to penetrate Europe (pun intended) by the end of 2016, and Merkel’s own allies estimate 10 million more Muslim migrants to flood Europe by 2020. At this rate, this chess match may be in its end game sooner than any of us suspect.
Just like the Muslim migrants who drowned their Christian fellow-migrants by throwing them off the boat as they crossed the Mediterranean Sea, we now have another indelible image of what the future holds for us.
Lara Logan’s description of her multicultural experience may serve as the epitaph for Western Civilization:
"All I could feel, was their hands raping me over and over and over again…."

The culmination comes with the institutionalization of rape and slavery as the Islamic State does. Austin Bay reports on ISIL’s Ministry of Rape and Enslavement    

Take note alienated young Muslim men who can’t get chicks: for victorious warriors, slaves are Caliph-approved rewards.  A special ISIL government ministry handles slaves and other “war spoils.” Campus feminists, grievance industry magnates and jaded media elites take note: the enslavement and mass rape of Yazidi women after ISIL tool the Iraqi Yazidi city of Sinjar was no one-off war crime, it is ISIL policy, rooted in what its evil leaders regard as glorious history.

Andrew Malcolm ISIS sets rules for raping captive women

Now one document from a stash seized during a bold Special Ops raid into Syria seven months ago has provided a shocking window into the medieval minds of these radical Islamic extremists who would impose harsh Sharia law wherever their caliphate spreads. Hard to believe we're reading such material in what to most of the world is the 21st century. The weirdly explicit document is a varsity-level fatwa. It was translated by U.S. government officials and obtained by Reuters, which was unable to independently verify it. A fatwa is a religious edict by Muslim clerics. This one sets 'rules' for the systematic rape of thousands of women captured by ISIS forces, mostly Yazidis and Christians.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:25 PM | Permalink

When the official story becomes catastrophic pathological denial

Sexual assaults by migrants swept across Europe - in Cologne, and in every major German city as well as in Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, and France - in a single night.  Cologne Muslim sex assaults were planned, Muslims traveled from France and Belgium to join them said the German justice minister.

The response of governments and the media to these horrific attacks was to try to cover them up in a conspiracy of silence.  It was the upstart Breitbart London that brought the Truth about Cologne to the global public writes Melanie Philips in the Times of London.

The West is refusing to accept the unpalatable truth behind the assaults on women in Germany

The nature and scale of what happened in German cities on New Year’s Eve has been an eye-opener. Hundreds of sexual assaults on women, including harassment, molestation and rapes, were reported to police in Cologne, Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich and Düsseldorf. The women said the perpetrators were mostly Arab and north African migrants.

Even more remarkable has been the response. First, the German authorities misleadingly reported merely a small handful of attacks by German-speaking men with no evidence of immigrant involvement. Then social media, and the Breitbart news website, started to report the victims’ graphic testimony and a very different picture emerged. In Cologne women were sexually assaulted and both men and women robbed by a throng of migrants a thousand strong. The victims identified virtually all these attackers as of north African, Arab or “dark” appearance.

Ace comments

In the future, every city will be Rotherham for 15 minutes. Or, actually, 15 years.  Or 40.  Who knows.
The important thing is that the government must do its utmost to deny information to the citizenry to keep them from having the Wrong Thoughts.
in Germany, they're prosecuting a bunch of people in the wake of the sex-mob attacks.  Not for the sex-mob attacks, but for speaking too crudely about the sex mob attacks. 

Perhaps even more disturbing than the crackdown on the protests, it’s being reported that German has “reached a deal” with Facebook, Twitter and Google wherein the social media outlets will cooperate in identifying “hate speech” for investigation.

In case you've forgotten,  Rotherham, England, is where 1,400 children were abused by organized Muslim gangs as police  conspired to deny the horror for a decade and a half for fear of "appearing racist" .    John O'Sullivan on Rotherham’s — and England’s — Shame

Britain has felt real shock and horror over the report that 1,400 young women in the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham had been groomed, raped, prostituted, trafficked, and brutally abused in almost every possible way by a criminal gang for the last 16 years. In addition, the authorities — which in this case are the local government authority, the police, and the child-protection services — had been repeatedly informed of these crimes but had dismissed the reports as false or exaggerated and taken no action to investigate, halt, and punish them.

What happened is explained by two additional facts: The 1,400 girls were all white and of Christian background and English ethnicity while all but one of their exploiters were Muslims of Pakistani heritage. As in other recent cases, the men targeted the girls in large part because they were white Christians, culturally speaking, and thus “worthless.” They actually told the girls that this was so. Still worse, the police also treated the girls as worthless when they bravely ignored the physical threats against them (one man poured petrol over a girl and threatened to light it) and sought police help.
The motives of the exploiters, though vile, are not hard to understand. They plainly include both racism and sexism alongside the lust and cruelty enabled by their misogynistic culture. But what explains the silence, the acquiescence, even the cooperation of the authorities? Their motives seem to derive from the rich stew of progressive absurdities that constitute official attitudes in modern Britain. The first is the fear of being suspected of racism.
A final factor is that Rotherham and South Yorkshire have been Labour “pocket boroughs” for 80 years or more. Until the last local elections — when UKIP broke through to win ten seats — there has been no effective opposition to hold Labour to account. The threat from UKIP in recent years has made Labour still more determined to hold the Muslim vote and even more reliant on those Muslim Labour councilors who were its missionaries to Muslim voters. So Labour kept the lid on the scandal as long as it could and discouraged interest in it. (You may hear certain American echoes there.)

German Cop Breaks Ranks: We Are BANNED From Detaining Migrants

A growing body of evidence suggests German police are hobbled at every possibly opportunity by the Federal government from dealing with the criminal migrant problem, with one officer complaining they have even been banned from preventing suspects escaping custody.  ...22 year old ‘Bernd’ reveals the extraordinary nature of police work in modern Europe. Deployed to Passau, a small city in south-east Germany on the Austrian border where thousands of migrants come by train and road every month Bernd revealed “95 percent of refugees are single men”.
The officer told the paper the public do not get an accurate idea of what is really happening in the migrant crime wave, because events are mis-reported by police to prevent outrage. He said: “should an asylum seeker cut another’s throat. In the report we would state it was grievous bodily harm rather than attempted murder. It looks better in the statistics”.
The officer said Germany needed to clamp down and introduce tighter controls on migrants, as well as deploy more police officers. He said at present at the moment police officers lack the support of politicians, a sore point for the national police union which has been warning for years that significant cuts in manpower was leaving the force unable to protect the nation.

Police in Norway proclaim 'Oslo is lost'

Gronland is a district in Oslo, Norway, very close to Parliament.  Per a Poqari News report, the area looks like “Karachi, Basra, and Mogadishu all rolled into one.”  The situation has devolved to such a point that the police in Gronland have declared: “Oslo is lost."

Poqari News reports that Norway (and all of Europe) is no longer recognizable as such, that women are routinely raped, men are robbed on a regular basis, the police have given up, and there are sharia patrols.  In 2015, there were 50 rape reports filed in Gronland, where, like all of Oslo, 100% of rapes of native Norwegian women by strangers are committed by Muslims.  Across Norway, as with all of Europe, women dare not go out at night alone, the risk of rape is so incredibly high.

At Legal Insurrection

The German media, much like our own, is suspected by many Germans to be actively suppressing the truth about criminal acts by Muslim refugees.

All established media have been confronted with the same phenomenon. In Germany, there is a stable minority that is convinced that the country’s broadcasters, newspapers and magazines are controlled by dark powers and have agreed to suppress bad news about foreigners so as not to endanger the political project of welcoming refugees.

It sounds like the role of the media in Germany is rather similar to our own in that it props up failed “progressive” policy and ignores anything that calls their worldview into question.  If they don’t print it, it never happened.  Or something.

The Daily Beast

Amid accusations that it deliberately covered the incident up in order not to spark panic, the public broadcaster ZDF was forced to issue an apology for failing to include the assaults in its main evening news broadcast. It appears that, as the authorities and the media were choosing between stirring up racial tension and these women’s rights, we were faced with a conspiracy of silence.

Eventually, this was bound to happen. Recent mass migration patterns across Europe have meant that misogyny has finally come head to head with anti-racism, multiculturalism is facing off against feminism, and progressive values are wrestling with cultural tolerance.

Rod Dreher on The Inconvenience of Rapey Refugees

So the authorities lied because the truth was “politically awkward.” ... Noticing what happened and drawing the “wrong” conclusions about it is “at least as awful” as actual rape and sexual assault.

This is how it happens, though, in Europe, in America, everywhere: mainstream parties, institutions, and figures cannot bring themselves to deal with difficult truths, so they ignore them and dismiss people who pay attention to these things as racist, or otherwise bigoted. But the contradiction between observable reality and the Official Story may finally cause things to snap.

Richard Fernandez  Stand by for collision

Before the story of the Cologne attacks broke, Katin Bennhold of the New York Times wrote a piece on the abuse of refugee women on the migrant trail.  The story should have set alarm bells ringing in the West about what was coming up the trail towards them but it didn't.
Events are being covered up because it runs counter to the Narrative peddled by the Western left.  The Narrative is the source of their moral authority, the justification for their special graft.
What makes the pathological denial so catastrophic is that a vast, almost unstoppable torrent of refugees is already on the way to Germany, the fragments of collapsing Islamic countries.  Cologne is but a skirmish with the vanguard.  The main host is still on its way.
There remains the belief that Western leaders can still fix this problem with a little tweaking.  But the time for easy action has passed.  The Golden Hour in which to prevent irreversible damage has lapsed, neglected by a Washington too sure of its own fantasies to act decisively.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:58 AM | Permalink

January 4, 2016

"There’s nothing more discouraging than the lack of hope" The theological virtue of Hope.

In The Public Discourse Europe, Multiculturalism, and Nihilism by Luca Volonte

The EU’s current assimilation model led to the segregation of most people coming from Islamic countries. There are “Banlieue” districts in every European city, in which the rules regarding social and community life are completely different from the ones adopted in the rest of the city. Official secularism has led to a rise of sharia.
The idea of a superficial multiculturalism, in which everything is conformed to State nihilism and secularism without reference to any religious reality—especially the Christian one—has miserably failed.....European totalitarian secularism is strong, and a discriminatory, violent attitude against religion is spreading.
By contrast, every successful model of cultural integration has been built upon a real respect for other faiths and other cultures—a respect that starts from the proud affirmation of one’s own cultural memory and personal identity. ...As Europe and the entire West world have abjured not only God, but their own historic, cultural, and religious roots, it has become increasingly difficult for modern Europeans to understand and find solutions to current problems.

The fact that Europe bans Christmas traditions in public schools, as well as Christmas songs, nativity scenes, Christmas decorations, and public processions in memory of patron saints (see, for example, the abolition of St. Martin's Day in Germany) is not due to the complaints of Muslim citizens or children. I have never heard of protests organized by Muslim communities or parents on this matter. In the vast majority of such cases, Christian traditions are abolished because of political decisions taken by governments and school authorities. Such authorities use the trivial excuse that they “don’t want to offend anyone” of a different faith and that they wish to “maintain a peaceful atmosphere” that does not encourage terrorist attacks. The terrible risk of religious violence and the tragedies that have occurred are actually used by the supporters of totalitarian secularism to repress cultural memory and restrict religious freedom.
The new secularism is not only interested in controlling today’s society; it also seeks to deprive future generations of the keys to unlock and interpret of our personal and international memory. The abolition of books like Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of the Sun,” the Rule of Saint Benedict, and the novels of G.K. Chesterton, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, T.S. Eliot, Graham Greene, and Cormac McCarthy will not help society to develop integration and mutual respect. On the contrary, such repression will lead everyone to new unbearable forms of slavery.

There’s nothing more discouraging than the lack of hope. In Europe, we see—on a grand scale—the same phenomenon that is taking place in our private lives. Europe and the Western world can only emerge from this downward spiral by putting religious faith and respect for history and tradition at the center of our communal and personal lives. When one has taken a wrong turn, sometimes the only way to reach the goal is to come back and take the well-trodden path, abandoning dangerous shortcuts and doing the hard work necessary to ascend the summit.

Hope is the Christian messageIt is not a classical virtue but a theological oneThe Effrontery of Hope

It seems to me that we take “hope” for granted...The culture in which we live has been steeped, for two thousand years of Christianity, in the language of hope.
That near-certainty of disappointment and sorrow most definitely occupied the thought of pagan antiquity....A serious study of the literature and thought of pagan antiquity instead reveals a profound pessimism regarding human life and destiny. The Greeks and Romans had no idea of “progress,” “human development.” or “fulfillment” in the modern senses of those words. On the contrary, they saw human history and the lot of mankind as one of relentless decline and devolution.......

So, when the Christian message infiltrated the pagan culture, it struck Greco-Roman antiquity as something radically different. It was really and truly “news.” Whether it was deemed “good” news or not depended on the outlook and openness of the hearer, but it was certainly something they weren’t accustomed to hearing from their own dominant culture. The newness and radicalism of the Christian message at least partially accounts for the hostility and derision that the Faith frequently encountered. It was an effrontery to the mindset and received worldview of its time.
We see around us today the signs that our society is sinking into the fundamental despair that plagued the ancients. Perhaps we too can proclaim, in this Christmas, the effrontery of a God who chose to save us by doing something different, which seemed to the world either an absurdity or an offense.

Gagdad Bob on Hope: Natural and Supernatural

Pieper writes that merely natural hope "blossoms with the strength of youth and withers when youth withers."..This is obviously a sobering reality, but again, I think it explains why older people who should know better cling to the callow political enthusiasms of their youth.
Now, the loss of natural hope brings with it the growth of what we might call "natural despair." ..Likewise, hopelessness and cynicism would be quite appropriate in a wholly materialistic worldview, for what is there to hope for aside from the grim maximization of an ever-dwindling pleasure while pretending death isn't right outside the door?
This very different type of transnatural hope is by no means tied to natural youth. However, consistent with Jesus' statements regarding the importance of holy childlikeness, this hope "bestows on mankind a 'not yet' that is entirely superior to and distinct from the failing strength of man's natural hope."
Pieper writes of "the enchanting youthfulness of our great saints," for "nothing more eminently preserves and founds 'eternal youth' than the theological virtue of hope. It alone can bestow on man the certain possession of that aspiration that is at once relaxed and disciplined, that adaptability and readiness, that strong-hearted freshness, that resilient joy, that steady perseverance in trust that so distinguish the young and make them so lovable."
Too old, older than Abraham, too young, young as a babe's I AM. The circle unbroken by and by, a Divine child, a godsend, a touch of infanity, a bloomin' yes.

For in the end, hope is nothing more or less than a trusting and childlike Yes! to the Creator, and the faithful certainty that his creation is indeed good.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:11 PM | Permalink

November 23, 2015

Not serious about protecting Americans

Why cook the books?  New claims Pentagon doctors ISIS intelligence to suit the White House as probe widens into 'manipulation'

A small-scale internal investigation has been expanded within the Defense Department into claims that U.S. intelligence about the Islamic State terror army has been censored by senior officials to reflect a rosier-than-reality viewpoint.

Dozens of intelligence analysts came forward in July to complain of the situation, even taking the unusual step of writing and signing their complaints to the DOD Office of the Inspector General, which opened a relatively low-key probe.  With the added unease created by the recent ISIS attacks in Paris, that probe has now gained more investigators and more documents. Yet it has also generated more concern from Congress because U.S. officials say some intelligence may have been deleted before investigators could seize it, according to a report over the weekend in The New York Times.

The bombing raids against ISIS turn out to be shams.  Why?  The Obama White House is giving ISIS a 45 minute warning before bombing their oil tankers by dropping leaflets advising potential jihadists to flee before air strikes in Syria.

While it took the U.S. fifteen months to even begin targeting ISIS’ oil refineries and tankers, air strikes by Moscow destroyed more than 1,000 tankers in a period of just five days.  In comparison, Col. Steve Warren said that the U.S. had taken out only 116 tanker trucks, the “first strike” to target ISIS’ lucrative black market oil business, which funds over 50 per cent of the terror group’s activities.

U.S. air strikes targeting ISIS oil assets are so rare that PBS was caught using footage of Russian fighter jets bombing an oil storage facility in Syria and passing it off as evidence of the U.S. targeting the Islamic State’s oil infrastructure.
U.S. military pilots have also confirmed that they were ordered not to drop 75 per cent of their ordnance on ISIS targets because they could not get clearance from their superiors.

Americans believe the government's first responsibility is to protect the national security and Americans at home and abroad. The traditional screening of immigrants to keep out those with a serious communicable disease like TB,  a violent criminal record, were apt to become a charge on the public purse and those who who advocate the overthrow of the US government.    Since there is no database that can corroborate the personal testimony of those who state they are Syrian refugees (Are they really Syrians?  Are they really refugees? ), and given the attack in Paris,  I don't understand why a pause in their resettlement is 'UnAmerican' as the President claims.  Besides, isn't it better to shelter them in a safe space, a refugee camp in their own country that we can create and protect?

Obama Administration refuses to give 27 states where Syrian refugees are being resettled any law enforcement information about them

In a call with senior Obama administration officials Tuesday evening, several governors demanded they be given access to information about Syrian refugees about to be resettled by the federal government in their states. Top White House officials refused...

On the call several Republican governors and two Democrats -- New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan and California’s Jerry Brown -- repeatedly pressed administration officials to share more information about Syrian refugees entering the United States. The governors wanted notifications whenever refugees were resettled in their states, as well as access to classified information collected when the refugees were vetted...

McDonough responded to Brown that there was currently no process in place to give states such information and the administration saw no reason to change the status quo.


We've already accepted 1.6 million immigrants from predominately Muslim countries since 9/11

There’s no doubt that some Muslims come here to seek better economic opportunity, just like any other group that has immigrated in recent years.  But, if even 10% of these immigrants have radical Jihadist tendencies, that is 160,000 new ticking time bombs – all brought here after 9/11. ….A 2007 Pew survey found that 26% of young Muslims in America support suicide bombing in pursuit of Jihad (see p. 60).  This is a very ominous statistic given the increased share of young Muslims and the growth of cyber-jihad since 2007. 

No wonder respected commentators like Raymond Ibrahim writes such devastating articles as Exposed: Obama's Love for Jihadis and Hate for Christians

For starters, the overwhelming majority of "refugees" [98%] being brought into the United States are not just Muslim, but Sunnis – the one Muslim sect that the Islamic State is not persecuting and displacing....The real victims are Christians...Obama should further prioritize Christian refugees simply because his own policies in the Middle East have directly exacerbated their plight....  (Unlike Muslims or even Yazidis, Christians are easily assimilated into Western nations due to the shared Christian heritage, and they bring trustworthy language and cultural skills that are beneficial to the "war on terror.")
these recent revelations of the Obama administration's pro-Muslim and anti-Christian policies.. fit a clear and established pattern of religious bias within his administration.  For example.....

In Obama Wants to Defeat America Not ISIS, Daniel Greenfield writes:

The unspoken idea that informs his strategy is that American power is the root cause of the problems in the region. Destroying ISIS would solve nothing. Containing American power is the real answer.......
He doesn’t see the Caliph of the Islamic State as the real threat, but the average American who watches the latest beheading on the news and wonders why his government doesn’t do something about it. To the left it isn’t the Caliph of ISIS who starts the wars we ought to worry about, but Joe in Tennessee, Bill in California or Pete in Minnesota.

That is why Obama sounds bored when talking about beating ISIS, but heats up when the conversation turns to fighting Republicans. It’s why Hillary Clinton named Republicans, not ISIS, as her enemy.

Even the liberal Democrat Walter Russell Mead who supported Obama writes about the President's Cynical Refugee Ploy

The collapse of President Obama’s Syria policy is hardly a partisan issue. He has repeatedly overruled his own national security officials, top diplomats, and advisors, many of whom have been horrified by the President’s passivity in the face of onrushing disaster. His abrupt policy switch on airstrikes left many senior Democrats who had supported his apparent determination to enforce his “red line” against Assad twisting in the wind.
For no one, other than the Butcher Assad and the unspeakable al-Baghdadi, is as responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria as is President Obama. No one has committed more sins of omission, no one has so ruthlessly sacrificed the well-being of Syria’s people for his own ends, as the man in the White House. In all the world, only President Obama had the ability to do anything significant to prevent this catastrophe; in all the world no one turned his back so coldly and resolutely on the suffering Syrians as the man who sits in the White House today—a man who is now lecturing his fellow citizens on what he insists is their moral inferiority before his own high self-esteem.
From the standpoint of American interests and of the well being of the Syrians, the primary responsibility that the United States has toward the people of Syria is not to offer asylum to something like 0.25 percent of its refugee population. The primary duty of this country was to prevent such a disaster from happening and, failing that, to support in-country safe havens and relief operations. No doubt President Obama and the unthinking press zealots who applaud his every move prefer a conversation about why ordinary Americans are racist xenophobes to one about why President Obama’s Syria policy has created an immense and still expanding disaster.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:58 PM | Permalink

November 14, 2015

Lessons from history: “Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly”

Born in Austria, Kitty Werthman remembers the transition from the chaos of post-WWI Austria to the take-over by Hitler, and what followed.  Now president of the South Dakota Eagle Forum, she is hated by the Left because she is trying to warn the world that they are sliding into totalitarianism.

I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected him by a landslide – 98% of the vote..

In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates….We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group — Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria . We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

Hitler Targets Education – Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:
The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang “Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,” and had physical education.
Equal Rights Hits Home: All food was rationed and ration cards only for those who worked.  Both girls and boys drafted for the labor corps for one year. "During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. "

Hitler Restructured the Family Through Daycare: ….The state raised a whole generation of children.. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had…..

Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls: As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing….We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners.

“Mercy Killing” Redefined: Mentally retarded adults taken away from their homes and villages and euthanized

The Final Steps – Gun Laws: First registration, then confiscation

No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

“Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly. It took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:06 PM | Permalink

November 11, 2015

Veterans Day 2015 in the midst of the 'Cultural Revolution' on campus

Believers, agnostics and atheists, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, all must recognize that their lives are founded on the blood and sacrifices of those now dead.  Yet, many of the freedoms they fought and died for are now imperiled by student 'cry bullies' and spineless college administrators who capitulate to them. 

 Sacrifice Veterans

The little tyrants dubbed the ‘Yale snowflakes’ are the bastard offspring of older radicals who created "the unhinged, unfree climate currently crippling daring thought and open debate across the Western world."

Today's  college students, older than many of those who went to war on our behalf in years past, demand safe spaces, trigger warnings and written rules to help them negotiate sexual relations,  Raised in an emotional cocoon by politically correct parents who micro-managed their play time, they are 'smart, kind and very  fragile' writes Jonah Goldberg, " We are raising fragile kids who to to become "the generation the mandarins of political correctness have been waiting for"

David French argues these PC student police aren't fragile, they are vengeful and malicious

Fragile people don’t form political movements, tote around mattresses as works of “performance art,” engage in civil disobedience, or shriek at the top of their lungs for the destruction of their enemies. Fragile people don’t try to sweep away all opposition, dominate the culture, and impose new legal and cultural norms. No, this is the work of vengeful and malicious political activists, people who’ve forsaken true debate and dialogue to try to impose their will through fear and intimidation. They are trying (and succeeding) at scaring people into silence

The Campus Lunacy Spreads

at Vanderbilt, where an online student petition demanding the suspension of Professor of Law and Political Science Carol Swain for being “hateful” toward minorities has gotten more than 1,000 signatures. The fact that Professor Swain is black is no insulation from these charges.

Swain’s apostasy is that she has made politically incorrect statements about radical Islam and her traditional Christian beliefs, statements that the petitioners deem intolerant and which the University, therefore, must  not tolerate — tolerance, of course, being a one-way street.

Without any apparent sense of irony, the petitioners make the inevitable demand that Swain be sent to diversity training camp (along with the rest of the faculty) so that she will think and speak in a manner approved by the commissars of political correctness.

Heather McDonald looks at this racial hysteria and writes

... this shocking video [at Yale]  is a glimpse of the future—the boorish, hate-filled Cultural Revolution come to America. Colleges have capitulated completely to delusional victimology; unless employers are willing to stand up against the coddled products of the academic hothouse, we may all soon be living in a world of screaming, monomaniacal victims.,

Political correctness is the strategy to preserve the dominant 'narrative'.  For heretics, there are loss of privileges, shaming, training camps, inquisitions and imprisonment. 

To end with my favorite quote from Theodore Dalrymple.  For 'communist' you could substitute fascist or totalitarian

Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:15 PM | Permalink

November 9, 2015

The Final Hijrah

Back in February, ISIS smuggler said  "We will use refugee crisis to infiltrate the West."

An ISIS operative confirmed what many already suspected – the Islamic State is using the refugee crisis to form a fifth column of Muslim fighters inside Western nations.  The Syrian operative claimed more than 4,000 trained ISIS gunmen have already been smuggled into Europe – hidden among innocent refugees, reported the Express, a British newspaper
In September, Robert Spencer said, “This is no longer just a ‘refugee crisis.’ This is a hijrah.”  Hijrah is the Islamic doctrine of migration, which is a form of stealth jihad.

The Final Hijra: A Warning on the Refugee Crisis

After Muhammad’s death, Muslims have counted two great hijras in the West. The first was the great Islamic expansion from 632 to 750, when Islamic armies conquered all of the territory from what is today central France to Uzbekistan. The second hijra included the Turkish migrations that resulted in the fall of Constantinople, and reached its zenith with Islamic armies besieging the gates of Vienna in 1683. It was during this last encounter that the horde was driven back by Polish Catholic forces into the Balkan Peninsula, breaking the strength of the Ottoman Empire…..

This, now, is the third hijra. According to certain voices in the Islamic world, it will be the final hijra, the one that will conquer Rome.

In Islamic circles, there has been a long-held belief that Christianity — and specifically, the Catholic Church — is the main obstacle impeding Islam’s domination of all humanity under one religious and political system. Therefore, in order to realize this vision, the Christian faithful must not only be converted to Islam, but their sacred spaces must be taken from them and given to the dar Al-Islam – “the house of Islam.” If the Islamic conquest of Jerusalem led to the end of Christianity as the dominant religion in the Holy Land, and the same was true in the Byzantine Empire with the fall of Constantinople, the conquest of Rome and the Islamization of St. Peter’s Basilica would mean the effective destruction of the Church worldwide, and its replacement with Islam.

Raymond Ibrahim argues that Western nations should only accept Christian refugees.

As refugees from the Middle East flood the West, a number of countries—including Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Cyprus, and Australia—are defying political correctness by wanting to accept Christian refugees only. 

While more “progressive” voices cry “racism,” the fact remains: there are several objective reasons why the West should give priority, if not exclusivity, to Christian refugees—and some of these are actually to the benefit of European host nations.

Christians are true victims of persecution.  From a humanitarian point of view—and humanitarianism is the chief reason being cited in accepting refugees—Christians should receive top priority simply because they are the most persecuted group in the Middle East….Conversely, Muslim refugees—as opposed to the many ISIS and other jihadi infiltrators posing as “refugees”—are not fleeing direct persecution, but chaos created by the violent and supremacist teachings of their own religion, Islam. …

Muslim persecution of Christians has been further enabled by Western policies, especially those of the Obama administration. After all, Christians did not flee from Bashar Assad’s Syria, or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, or Muamar Gaddafi’s Libya.  Their systematic persecution began in earnest after the U.S. and others interfered in those nations in the name of “democracy.”  All they did is unleash the jihadi forces that the dictators had long kept suppressed. Now the Islamic State is deeply embedded in all three nations, enslaving, raping, and slaughtering countless Christian “infidels” and other minorities….

Unlike Muslims, or even Yazidis, Christians are easily assimilated in Western countries, due to their shared Christian heritage. Muslims follow a completely different blueprint, the Koran—which condemns Christians by name, calls for constant war (jihad) against all non-Muslims, and advocates any number of distinctly anti-Western practices.  Hence it is no surprise that many Muslim asylum seekers are anti-Western at heart, if not members of jihadi organizations.  …..Muslims follow a completely different blueprint, the Koran—which condemns Christians by name, calls for constant war (jihad) against all non-Muslims, and advocates any number of distinctly anti-Western practices.  Hence it is no surprise that many Muslim asylum seekers are anti-Western at heart, if not members of jihadi organizations.  ….
In America and Britain persecuted Christians are “at the bottom of the heap” of refugees to be granted asylum. Muslims receive top priority. Since January 2015, the U.S. has granted asylum to approximately six Muslims for every Christian it takes in. .

By taking in “foreign” Muslims, as opposed to “siding” with “familiar” Christians, progressives get to feel “enlightened,” “open-minded,” “tolerant,” and “multicultural”—and that’s all that matters here.  Meanwhile, reality quietly marches on: The same Islamic mentality that slaughters “infidel” Christians in the Middle East is welcomed into the West with open arms.

Patriarch of Antioch: Muslims to Conquer Europe With Religion and Procreation 

In a stunning interview, the Catholic Maronite patriarch of Antioch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, has contended that Islam has a clear, two-pronged strategy to take over Europe: religion and procreation.

The cardinal said that Muslims look on Christians as weak and believe that since they have no children and barely practice their faith, Islam will easily conquer them. Sadly, he said, Muslims take their faith more seriously than most Christians, and they are gaining ground because of it.

“I have often heard from Muslims that their goal is to conquer Europe with two weapons: their faith and their birthrate,” al-Rahi said in a recent interview with Famiglia Cristiana, an Italian Catholic weekly magazine.
The Muslims “believe that God’s will is to procreate and that marriage is aimed at this,” he said. “They think that numbers will give them the upper hand.” Christians, however, “hardly get married anymore, and have few children,” he said.

The first thing to do to protect Christians in the Middle East is to end the war in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Palestine,” the Cardinal said. “European states quarrel with each other about the number of refugees to be admitted but do nothing to end the conflict.”

“The Middle East is emptying and leaving the field open to fundamentalist and terrorist organizations,” al-Rahi said. For some reason, he said, “States do not talk about it, the only one making appeals is Pope Francis.”

“Europe is talking about the reception of refugees, those who would like ten thousand and another who will take three thousand people, but this does not help us,” he said. “Europe should focus on the cause of migration, namely the war. You have to turn off the tap and ensure that Muslims and Christians will return to their lands.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:05 PM | Permalink

ISIS executes 200 captive Syrians, many of whom may be children

Anti-ISIS activists use horrific jihadi propaganda film to claim brutal militants executed hundreds of children

 Isis Executes 200 Syrian Children

A horrific ISIS video which purportedly shows 200 Syrian children being lined up and gunned by militants has been revealed to be a jihadi propaganda video from 2014. 

The sickening mass execution video was posted online by an anti-ISIS activist based in Yemen and quickly started to draw condemnation from social media users shocked by the atrocities.

However the footage is believed to have filmed in late August 2014 and the victims are prisoners of war who were caught by ISIS after the jihadi group overran the Assad held Tabqa airbase in Syria.

Forced to lie side-by-side and with their faces in the dirt, the video shows about 200 Assad regime soldiers fighting in the Syrian Arab Army stretched out in a long line to the left and right.  Behind them, at least a dozen gunmen armed with assault rifles and handguns stand poised and ready to fire.  One militant then begins firing at point blank range - shooting each prisoner individually as he makes along the row of victims.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:24 PM | Permalink

August 10, 2015

Miscellany 17

Becoming a Southern Lady, An Essay

She felt like an outsider who didn’t fit in with Southern ladies—that is until, after studying us, she finally figured us out. “All you have to do,” she told me, “is say two things: ‘How’s yo’ momma?’ and ‘Love yo’ hair’.”

Welcome to the Quietest Square Inch in the U.S.

The quietest inch isn’t a sound vacuum. It represents a place with a minimum of human-made noise. The discipline of acoustic ecology, which is dedicated to understanding the natural sounds that come through loud and clear when we're not around, outlines an important distinction between sound and noise.  The blip of water droplets from a forest canopy? Sound. The tinny din of Taylor Swift through smartphone speakers? Noise.

Cooling is as important to civilization as making fire — only much harder

Chilled, Tom Jackson’s enthralling history of how refrigeration changed the world, takes us from Mesopotamian ice-houses to the Large Hadron Collider  It’s a fascinating journey and Jackson conducts it in the manner of a wizard. From heat-pumps we whisk in a flash to 18th-century BC Terqa, on the west bank of the Euphrates, where the new king Zimri-lim sets about building an ice-house. We race, shivering and sweltering by turns, around the ancient world, to fifth-century BC Persia, to Egypt, from stone jars in water-pits to ceramic pots standing in kraters of snow (and, incidentally, giving sense to the naming of sorbet). Cold — colder than it should be — is always, in this narrative, as magical as Kubla Khan’s ‘sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice’

.Russian Photographers Show The World The Way Birds See It

 Russian Drone Central Park

 Birds-Eye-St Basil's Cathedral Moscow

20 Weirdest Waterfalls on Earth


GravityLight generates light from gravity.

GravityLight is unique - it doesn't need batteries or sunlight and costs nothing to run.  GravityLight provides:Instant light, any time.  It takes just a few seconds to lift the weight that powers GravityLight. There's no need to charge in advance, it's ready when you need it.  With no running costs. Meaning that GravityLight pays for itself within weeks of switching from a kerosene lamp.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:23 AM | Permalink

April 24, 2015

Adolf Hitler,“Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

The Islamic Genocide of Christians: Past and Present by Raymond Ibrahim
A century after the Armenian Genocide, Muslims continue cleansing their countries of Christian minorities.

Today, April 24, we remember how exactly 100 years ago the last historic Muslim caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, tried to cleanse its empire of Christian minorities — Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks — even as we stand by watching as the new caliphate, the Islamic State, resumes the genocide.
As happens to this very day, the Muslims of the Ottoman caliphate, not able to reach or defeat the stronger infidel — the “Christian men” of Britain, France, and Russia — satiated their bloodlust on their Christian subjects.  And they justified the genocide by projecting the Islamic doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity onto Christians — saying that, because Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks were Christian, they were naturally aiding the other “Christian men” of the West.

As happens to this day under the new caliphate — the Islamic State — the Ottoman caliphate crucified, beheaded, tortured, mutilated, raped, enslaved, and otherwise massacred countless “infidel” Christians.  The official number of Armenians killed in the genocide is 1.5 million; hundreds of thousands of Greeks and Assyrians each were also systematically slaughtered (see this document for statistics).

(Although today marks the “Armenian Genocide,” often forgotten is that Assyrians and Greeks were also targeted for cleansing by the Ottoman caliphate.  The only thing that distinguished Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek subjects of the caliphate from Turkish subjects was that the three former were Christian…..

Because this genocide of Christians is usually articulated through a singularly secular paradigm — one that recognizes only those factors deemed intelligible from a modern, secular, Western point of view, one that never uses the words “Christian” and “Muslim” but rather “Armenian” and “Turk” — few are able to connect these events from a century ago to today.
Put differently, silence is always the ally of those who would commit genocide.  In 1939, on the eve of World WWII, Hitler rationalized his genocidal plans against the Jews, when he reportedly asked: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

 Nazis Isis

And who speaks today of the ongoing annihilation of Christians under Islam?

For 7th year in a row, Obama breaks promise to acknowledge Armenian genocide

Thomas de Waal on Five Memoirs of the Armenian Catastrophe

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:58 PM | Permalink

April 22, 2015

The 20th century Genocides Even Our Government Is Afraid to Recognize

I've known about the slaughter of the Armenians for decades, but only knew that it was Muslims against Christians in the past two or three years.

Pope Francis infuriated the government of Turkey by using the word “genocide” leading up to April 24, the 100th anniversary of the start of the mass murder of as many as 1.5 million Armenians in what was then the Ottoman Empire. That atrocity, amid the chaos and rivalries of World War One, is often regarded as the forerunner and inspiration for Nazi efforts to exterminate the Jews of Europe.

Genocide of the Christians: The blood-soaked depravity exceeded even today's atrocities by Islamic State - now, 100 years on Turkey faces global disgust at its refusal to admit butchering over a MILLION Armenians

The Armenians — who lived on the eastern edge of the empire ruled from Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) — were Christians and had been since the year 301, making theirs the first nation officially to adopt Christianity, even before Rome.  But here, among the Islamic Turks, they had long been second-class citizens, a persecuted minority.

Now, as power in the land was seized by a junta of nationalist officers known as the Young Turks, persecution turned to unbridled savagery. Over the next six months, there was to be a systematic uprooting and slaughter of perhaps as many as 1.5 million Armenians — on the grounds that they were infidels, racially inferior ‘dogs’ and traitors who were siding with Russia against Turkey.
Outside of Turkey, the position is strangely confused. Around two dozen countries acknowledge the truth of the Armenian genocide, despite often strong-arm diplomacy by Turkey to dissuade them and put Ankara’s gloss on past events. They will be greatly heartened by the Pope’s stance.  But others have chosen to sit on the fence, notably the United States, unwilling to cross swords with a Nato ally that is geographically so close to Russia.

Before coming to office, President Obama promised his nation’s one million people with Armenian roots that he would recognize that genocide had occurred, but has not yet dared to utter the word, hiding behind the less-damning Armenian phrase ‘Medz Yeghern’ — the great crime or the great catastrophe.

Yet, ironically, it was an American who first made the world aware of what happened. Back in 1915, Henry Morgenthau was the U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and on his desk in Constantinople landed reports from American consuls in far-flung Turkish cities, documenting massacres and death marches.He concluded: ‘I do not believe the darkest ages ever presented scenes more horrible.’

Unleashed on the Armenians, Turkish policemen and soldiers ransacked Christian churches and handed bishops and priests over to the mob…..Crucifixion was treated as a sport. ‘As the sufferer writhes in his agony, they would cry: “Now let your Christ come and help you”.’

When orders were given to assemble all the Armenians and march them out into the desert, Morgenthau had no doubt that this was ‘the death warrant to a whole race’. Moreover, he said: ‘In their conversations with me, the authorities made no particular attempt to conceal the fact’.
Convicts were let out of prison to help with the killings. Locals joined in, too. In Ankara, all Armenian men aged 15 to 70 were bound in fours and led out to a secluded valley, where Turkish peasants hacked them to death with scythes, spades and saws.  ‘In this way, they exterminated the whole male population.’

 !Million Armenians Killed
This week, Turkey’s president declared that Armenians pressing Turkey to recognize massacres as genocide are simply trying to score points against his country. ‘Their aim is not to search for the truth, but to attack Turkey and cause it harm,’ he contends.

But such defiance flies in the face of history. Arnold J. Toynbee, a British intelligence agent at the time (and later a distinguished historian), wrote that ‘all this horror was inflicted on the Armenians without a shadow of provocation’.

I had never heard of the Greek / Pontic Genocide or the Christian Assyrian Genocide, both of which the Ottomans (Young Turks)  committed in conjunction with the Armenian genocide until I read this article Concerning other little-known religious 'genocides' on the edges of the news

In the April 15 issue of The Christian Century, Baylor University historian Philip Jenkins reports on another 2015 centennial that major media have ignored – the “Sayfo” (“sword” year) memorialized by Christian Assyrians. Among other events, historians will examine this at the Free University of Berlin June 24-28. During that dying era of the empire with its historic Muslim Caliphate, hundreds of thousands of ethnic Greeks were also killed during the “Pontic” ethnic cleansing.
Jenkins depicts their “glorious” past civilization centered on the Diyarbakir region with its 100 monasteries…..“That world came to a sudden and bloody end,” Jenkins says. At the outset of the war the Assyrians totaled around 600,000, largely in present-day northern Iraq and adjacent Syria and Turkey. What he calls “the Assyrian genocide” exterminated half that population through direct killing or starvation, perhaps more, with 95 percent dead in one province.

Jenkins says Ottoman, Kurdish, or Arab troops repeatedly committed mass murder of men, burned women alive, and bayoneted or drowned children. Historian David Gaunt reports that the Syrian Orthodox counted the deaths of seven bishops, 154 priests and 90,313 lay believers and the destruction of 156 church buildings. The Chaldeans lost six bishops, 50 priests, and 50,000 parishioners. The Nestorians were so devastated and scattered they could never compile data.

From Wikipedia on the Greek / Pontic Genocide

The Greek genocide, part of which is known as the Pontic genocide, was the systematic ethnic cleansing of the Christian Ottoman Greek population from its historic homeland in Anatolia during World War I and its aftermath (1914–23). It was instigated by the government of the Ottoman Empire against the Greek population of the Empire and it included massacres, forced deportations involving death marches, summary expulsions, arbitrary execution, and the destruction of Christian Orthodox cultural, historical, and religious monuments. According to various sources, several hundred thousand Ottoman Greeks died during this period. Most of the refugees and survivors fled to Greece (amounting to over a quarter of the prior population of Greece), some, especially those in Eastern provinces, took refuge in the neighboring Russian Empire. Thus by the end of the 1919–22 Greco-Turkish War, most of the Greeks of Asia Minor had fled or been killed.

According to a German military attaché, the Ottoman minister of war Ismail Enver had declared in October 1915 that he wanted to "solve the Greek problem during the war... in the same way he believe[d] he solved the Armenian problem."
In July 1915 the Greek chargé d'affaires explained that the deportations "can not be any other issue than an annihilation war against the Greek nation in Turkey and as measures hereof they have been implementing forced conversions to Islam, in obvious aim to, that if after the end of the war there again would be a question of European intervention for the protection of the Christians, there will be as few of them left as possible." According to George W. Rendel of the British Foreign Office, by 1918 "...over 500,000 Greeks were deported of whom comparatively few survived."
The Allies of World War I condemned the Ottoman government-sponsored massacres as crimes against humanity
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:29 AM | Permalink

April 17, 2015

ISIS abroad and close by

ISIS Camp a Few Miles from El Paso, Mexican Authorities Confirm
"During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.
According to these same sources, “coyotes” engaged in human smuggling – and working for Juárez Cartel – help move ISIS terrorists through the desert and across the border between Santa Teresa and Sunland Park, New Mexico. To the east of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, cartel-backed “coyotes” are also smuggling ISIS terrorists through the porous border between Acala and Fort Hancock, Texas. These specific areas were targeted for exploitation by ISIS because of their understaffed municipal and county police forces, and the relative safe-havens the areas provide for the unchecked large-scale drug smuggling that was already ongoing."

That means ISIS is in the U.S.
"It is now known that ISIS intends to target railways and airport facilities in the vicinity of Santa Teresa, NM (a US port-of-entry). ISIS also has “spotters” located in the East Potrillo Mountains of New Mexico (largely managed by the Bureau of Land Management) to assist with terrorist border crossing operations. They are conducting reconnaissance of universities, the White Sands Missile Range, government facilities in Alamogordo, NM and Ft. Bliss, as well as the electrical power facilities near Anapra and Chaparral, NM. That ought to have Americans screaming, but no one seems to be noticing it much at all. That is apathetically suicidal. ISIS doesn’t tend to bluff and they have already told us they are coming.
Remember, this is the border that Obama refuses to secure. The border he has thrown open to welcome illegal immigrants. Those illegals coming over that border in the last year and a half, are primarily not Mexican. Many of them are other nationalities. It’s a welcome wagon for ISIS and other terrorists."
Just last week, ISIS released a video promising “We Will Burn America.” It calls for another 9/11 in America and for ISIS fighters to slaughter Americans across the globe. Don’t you think that it would be prudent to listen when someone with a proven murderous track record threatens to annihilate millions of Americans?"

More than 2000 families flee Ramadi 'with just the clothes on their backs[ as ISIS closes in.
"Houses and shops have been left deserted as resident try to escape the worsening violence. Months of ISIS pressure has left Iraqi forces outnumbered inside the city. US forces previously waged a eight year battle against insurgents in Ramadi and Fallujah."

The ISIS military market selling everything from miniature jihadi uniforms for children… to combat knives and machetes just like those used in beheading videos

-Nineveh Market Selling Isis Goods

"The photos come from the Iraqi province of Nineveh, where ISIS have recently been targeting historic archaeological sites as well as their bloodthirsty campaign against civilians.  Iraq always had gun souks but the growing number of local markets catering to the needs of new Islamic State recruits remains deeply worrying."

Having got rid of all the living Christians ISIS destroys Christian graves and headstones in Mosul with sledgehammers

 Isis Destroying Mosul Graves

"The group released a statement with the images that attempted to justify the mass desecration. It said that graves above the ground suggested that the dead person was closer to Allah than the living, so must be demolished and any images on the graves must be erased."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:55 PM | Permalink

April 6, 2015

"Religious liberty is precisely what allows a pluralistic society to live together in peace."

Now Is the Time to Talk About Religious Liberty

For many religious believers, Passover and the Easter season are cornerstones of the year. Thus our hearts have been especially troubled in recent days by the acrimony and lies surrounding legal efforts, in Indiana and elsewhere, at ensuring religious liberty for people of all faiths.

As Americans commemorate their respective holy days, we urge all our fellow citizens to remember the moral roots of their constitutional system, and to engage in a sensible national conversation about religious liberty. Even those who are not religious have a stake in seeing that our “first freedom”—religious freedom; freedom of conscience—is protected in law.

In recent days we have heard claims that a belief central to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—that we are created male and female, and that marriage unites these two basic expressions of humanity in a unique covenant—amounts to a form of bigotry. Such arguments only increase public confusion on a vitally important issue. When basic moral convictions and historic religious wisdom rooted in experience are deemed “discrimination,” our ability to achieve civic harmony, or even to reason clearly, is impossible.

America was founded on the idea that religious liberty matters because religious belief matters in a uniquely life-giving and powerful way. We need to take that birthright seriously, or we become a people alien to our own founding principles. Religious liberty is precisely what allows a pluralistic society to live together in peace.

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Philadelphia

Robert P. George
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence
Princeton University

William E. Lori
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Baltimore

Albert Mohler, Jr., President
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Russell Moore, President
Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
Southern Baptist Convention
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:57 PM | Permalink

March 17, 2015

Slouching Toward Mecca

Slouching Toward Mecca is Mark Lilla's review of Michel Houellebecq's book Soumission, translated from the French by Frank Wynne.

The best-selling novel in Europe today, Michel Houellebecq’s Soumission, is about an Islamic political party coming peacefully to power in France.

Michel Houellebecq has created a new genre—the dystopian conversion tale. Soumission is not the story some expected of a coup d’état, and no one in it expresses hatred or even contempt of Muslims. It is about a man and a country who through indifference and exhaustion find themselves slouching toward Mecca. There is not even drama here—no clash of spiritual armies, no martyrdom, no final conflagration. Stuff just happens, as in all Houellebecq’s fiction. All one hears at the end is a bone-chilling sigh of collective relief. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. Whatever.
The qualities that Houellebecq projects onto Islam are no different from those that the religious right ever since the French Revolution has attributed to premodern Christendom—strong families, moral education, social order, a sense of place, a meaningful death, and, above all, the will to persist as a culture.
For all Houellebecq’s knowingness about contemporary culture—the way we love, the way we work, the way we die—the focus in his novels is always on the historical longue durée. He appears genuinely to believe that France has, regrettably and irretrievably, lost its sense of self, but not because of immigration or the European Union or globalization. Those are just symptoms of a crisis that was set off two centuries ago when Europeans made a wager on history: that the more they extended human freedom, the happier they would be. For him, that wager has been lost. And so the continent is adrift and susceptible to a much older temptation, to submit to those claiming to speak for God. Who remains as remote and as silent as ever.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:24 AM | Permalink

March 2, 2015

Bottomless depravity of ISIS

Just when you think ISIS couldn't get more depraved, along comes a story like this Islamic State fed murdered man to his own mother

A British man, Yasir Abdulla, 36, from Yorkshire, who went to fight with the Kurds against Islamic State tells this story to a British newspaper

“I hate IS because of what happened to an old Kurdish woman from a nearby tribe. Her son was captured by IS fighters and taken as a prisoner to Mosul.  She was determined to find her son and went to IS headquarters and asked to see him. The IS men told her to sit down because she had travelled a long way and said she should have some food before they took her to meet her son.  They brought her cups of tea and fed her a meal of cooked meat, rice and soup. She thought they were kind. But they had killed him and chopped him up and after she finished the meal and asked to see her son they laughed and said, ‘You’ve just eaten him’.”

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:03 PM | Permalink

How ISIS governs

No alcohol. No music.  No history. No literatureLibya: Isis wages war on music by burning drums, saxophones and other instruments
The Islamic State (Isis) propaganda machine has published photos of its militants in Libya burning musical instruments they said were confiscated in line with the radical group's interpretation of Sharia law.  Under the jihadi group's rules, instrumental music is banned as well as what it claims are other un-Islamic activities such as smoking and drinking alcohol.  In September, it was reported that Isis had imposed a new school curriculum in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, banning art and music as well as all classes on history, literature and Christianity.

No smoking. A senior member of Islamic State's feared al-Hesbah (or Hisbah) force in Deir Ezzor was found with his head cut off and a cigarette in its mouth. The corpse showed signs of torture and carried the message "This is evil, you Sheikh" written on it. It is unclear who carried out the decapitation but the message was obvious.  Islamic State's ban on cigarettes is one of its signature polices. It has imposed a strict set of Sharia laws barring the use of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes in the territories it has conquered.

No cell phones.  Isis chops off women's hands 'for using mobile phones' in northern Iraqi city of Mosul
The Islamic State (Isis) in Mosul, northern Iraq, has reportedly chopped the hands off three women for using mobile phones.In addition, five men are also said to have been flogged for using their phones – which the Islamic State consider a crime.

No to statues. ISIS thugs take a hammer to civilization: Priceless 3,000-year-old artworks smashed to pieces in minutes as militants destroy Mosul museum.  Extremists used power drills and sledgehammers to smash ancient items and wreck a series of 3,000-year-old statues at museum in Mosul, Iraq.  One vandal says items being destroyed because they promoted idolatry.  They also blew up  the Mosul Public Library, sending 10,000 books and more than 700 rare manuscripts up in flames.  Leading members of Mosul society reportedly tried to stop the fanatics destroying the building, but failed.

 Isis Destroys Statues-Mosul Museum

No to cultural sites.  UN report shows utter devastation of Syria's heritage  'Humankind is losing hundreds and thousands of years of heritage'
Nearly 300 cultural heritage sites have been destroyed, damaged and looted in Syria since its conflict broke out in 2011, the UN said Tuesday in a report citing satellite evidence.  Among the areas exposed to major damage were UNESCO world heritage sites such as Aleppo, where settlements have been in place for 7,000 years, and the fabled desert Greco-Roman oasis of Palmyra.

"Looting, destruction from aerial bombardment and other explosions, as well as infrastructure construction at cultural sites significantly threatens the heritage to future generations of these historic structures and objects," the UN said in a statement.  The report focused on 18 areas, of which six are UNESCO-listed: the Old City of Aleppo; Bosra; Damascus, the Dead Cities of northern Syria; Crac des Chevaliers and Palmyra.  Detailed analysis of satellite imagery of 290 locations at these sites showed 24 of them had been destroyed, 104 severely damaged, 85 moderately damaged and 77 possibly damaged.

No to churches.  ISIS is turning Christian churches into torture chambers where it forces believers to convert to Islam… and funding its terror mission by selling stripped artifacts to Western collectors. An expert told the Jerusalem Post that the terror organization's goal was to 'wipe out Christianity.' 'This is why they are crucifying Christians — which includes children — destroying churches and selling artifacts,' he told the newspaper.  The reality is, this group will stop at practically nothing to raise funds for its terrorist mission.' Jihadists have pocketed around £23million from the sale of stolen artifacts in Nabaq, Syria, according to the Christian Post.

Yes to child sex slaves and suicide bombers. UN report reveals ISIS is selling youngsters from minorities as sex slaves, turning them into suicide bombers and crucifying them if they disobey
The children, who are often from the Yazidi sect or Christian communities, but also Shi'ites and Sunnis, are being tortured and murdered, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said.  A report released on Wednesday revealed a host of horrifying outcomes for the children kidnapped by the Islamic militants, including boys under-18 being used as bomb makers, informants or human shields to protect facilities against U.S.-led airstrikes. Girls are being sold as sex slaves, while children - often with learning difficulties - are being used as suicide bombers. Others are simply being murdered, the report says.

Yes to kidnappings. ISIS jihadists have kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians from villages in Syria, says watchdog – far more than was previously feared
The number of Assyrian Christians kidnapped by ISIS in Syrian has risen to 220 after militants attacked a chain of villages along a strategic river

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says hostages comes from Tal Tamr.  ISIS began abducting Assyrians on Monday sending panic through villages. It is thought they are being held by the extremists in the ISIS-controlled city of Shaddadeh

Yes to beheadings and crucifixions. Syria: Isis crucifixion frenzy in revenge for wave of assassinations targeting their fighters. The men, who were shot dead and then crucified for three days, were accused of fighting against Islamic State.  "Isis is sending a message to all people living under its control, to say: 'This is what will happen to any opponent"  One man was executed for taking a picture of an ISIS fighter and publishing it on Facebook.    After the beheadings of the 21 Coptic Christians, ISIS sends out video showing children staging an Islamic State (Isis)-like beheading with wooden sticks.  Another boy speaks to camera and claims: "We have no religion or nation. We slaughter children, women, and the elderly. We have decided the following - to kill all the youths of the town of [inaudible]. Slaughter then, o men!"

Yes to rules for Christians. The Islamic State has released a list of rules dictating how Christians living in the Syrian city of Raqqa should behave,

No public worship
No treachery against ISIS
No church construction or repairs
Do not display crosses in Muslim areas or markets
Praying must be done quietly and should never be heard by Muslims
No mockery of Muslims or Islam
Do not prevent others from converting to Islam

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:08 PM | Permalink

February 23, 2015

How Coptic Christians react to the "flowing river of Christian blood in the Middle East"

 Icon 21Coptic Martyrs Tony Rezk
Tony Rezk is the iconographer

The Coptic Martyrs

The Coptic Orthodox Church has declared “martyrs” the 21 Copts slaughtered by ISIS for being Christians. Their feast day will be February 15, the day they died on the beach in Libya. From Radio Vaticana:

In an interview with Christian channel SAT-7 ARABIC on Wednesday, Beshir Kamel, brother of two of the Coptic martyrs, even thanked the Islamic State for including their declaration of faith in the videos before killing them. “ISIS gave us more than we asked when they didn’t edit out the part where they declared their faith and called upon Jesus Christ. ISIS helped us strengthen our faith,” he said. Beshir said that he was proud of his brothers Bishoy and Samuel, saying that their martyrdom was “a badge of honor to Christianity.”

Heaven in the Face of Hell  The families of 21 Coptic Christians martyred in Libya showed a gratitude not of this world.

Twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians were slaughtered on a beach in Libya a week ago. And even in his mourning, the brothers of two of them gave thanks. Beshir Kamel, brother of both Bishoy Astafanus Kamel, who was 25, and Somaily Astafanus Kamel, who was 23, thanked their murderers for not editing out the name of their Savior when disseminating the video of their beheadings. Appearing on an Arabic Christian television station, Kamel said that the families of the men, laborers who were working in Libya in order to provide for their families — 13 of them from the same small, impoverished village — were congratulating one another. “We are proud to have this number of people from our village who have become martyrs,” he explained.

Who would have an ounce of gratitude at such a moment? The answer: one who has hope — hope of something real and eternal.
It sounds crazy to a modern secular society, one that tends to view religious faith as sentiment, comfort, and milestone ritual. Kamel said: “Since the Roman era, Christians have been martyred and have learned to handle everything that comes our way. This only makes us stronger in our faith because the Bible told us to love our enemies and bless those who curse us.” And he relayed what his mother had said, when asked what she would do if she ever met the man who had beheaded her son. “My mother, an uneducated woman in her sixties, said she would ask [him] to enter her house and ask God to open his eyes because he was the reason her son entered the kingdom of heaven.”
The Christianity of the men who were martyred for their faith, is “the most important aspect of the story,” said Samuel Tadros, the author of a book on Christians in Egypt, Motherland Lost, and a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom. “ISIS gunmen chose these men from among other Egyptians living there because they were Copts,” he said. “This was no random choice. ISIS holds deep hostility to say the least towards Middle Eastern Christians. Its goal is quite simply the eradication of their existence

WATCH The Amazing Copts Filled With Joy For The 21 Martyred Copts

Harrowing scenes of the murders have been seen around the world. The last words of some of those killed were “Ya Rabbi Yasou” (My Lord Jesus Christ).   Imagine thanking the killers of two of your brothers who were beheaded and video taped for the whole world to watch the barberic cruelty. Yet, this is exactly what the brother of two of the 21 Coptic Christians did when ISIS murdered both of them in Libya last week. With amazing grace comes amazing faith. Speaking on a live prayer and worship program Beshir Kamel said that he was proud of his brothers Bishoy Estafanos Kamel (25) and Samuel Estafanos Kamel (23) because they were “a badge of honor to Christianity”.

The amazing faith of Beshir Kamel even gave thanks, not just to God and Christ, but also to ISIS for not editing out the men’s declaration of belief in Christ because he said this had strengthened not only his own faith but the families of the ex-patriate workers were “congratulating one another” and not in despair: “We are proud to have this number of people from our village who have become martyrs,” he told the program.
“When we saw the video we were filled with joy. They were like lions, none of them left their faith. We thank God…..We are so glad. They are with Christ. We thank the Lord….  They went to the eternal joy. We were tired when we did not know, but we were filled with joy when we found out they were heroic”…..Lam’i said “It is as if Christ has opened the heavens for them and He said ‘come up hither’ or why else they would all be kneeling firmly with joy and firmness in their faith."

Bad Catholic on The Difference Between a Martyr and a Victim

The martyr is not glorified for the abuse, torture, or deprivation she suffers, as if we held her up in awe of what was taken from her. No, the martyr is something essentially positive, from the Greek martur – a witness, a pointing-towards, an icon and profound evidence of the immense value and the unspeakable worthiness of that for which she dies.

The martyr, then, is not the victim. The victim is referred to some enemy (a victim of a freak boating accident, of the measles, of terrorism) while the martyr is referred to some friend (a martyr for God, for country, for peace). The victim is referred to a moment in the past (she was a victim of gang violence) while the martyr is a martyr by virtue of a quality she has in the present moment, even after she is dead (she is a martyr). The victim is held up to direct our negative attention towards the cause of her victimhood (look at what evil has wrought!) while the martyr is held up to direct our positive attention towards the reason for her martyrdom (look at her incredible faith, her courage, her commitment, her love for God, etc.). The victim’s death works against her life, coming in the form of a homicide, a buffalo stampede, a car crash, all without any meaningful, harmonious relationship to the content of her existence. The martyr’s death, on the other hand, is in profound harmony with the content of her existence. It does not end her life, pulling down the curtain in the midst of Act II, so much as it crowns her life, a fruit and reasonable consequence of its direction and intention — she lived as a Christian and died for it.

Isis in Libya: Tripoli Catholic Bishop defies beheading threat refusing to leave

The head of the Catholic Church in Libya has refused to flee the country amid crumbling security, saying he would rather risk being beheaded by jihadist militants than abandon his shrinking flock.  Italy evacuated all its nationals from the northern African country at the weekend, as Islamist militants were taking sway, also posting a gruesome online video depicting the slaughter of 21 Coptic Christians on a beach near Tripoli.  Father Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the bishop of Tripoli, however decided to stay back.  "My community is here. How could I give up? ….It would be a betrayal."

Coptic Catholics consecrate first church in Sinai, against backdrop of martyrdom

For Coptic Christians, threat of martyrdom is part of daily life

“These 21 victims, they were not the first and they will not be the last. There is a flowing river of Christian blood in the Middle East,” said Mina Abdelmalak, one of the organizers of a D.C. candlelight prayer vigil outside the White House on Ash Wednesday.
“Most people living in those areas, really every day they live by the grace of God,” explained Fr. Anthony Messeh of the St. Timothy and St. Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Church in Arlington, Va.  "They’re not as shaken by these things as we are, because they count every day as a gift from God.” Their public faith could mean “the end of their life,” he told CNA.
Faith for the Copts is everything, “a life that they’re willing to lose for the sake of their faith.” This is why the “extreme bravery” of the Coptic martyrs is so compelling, . “They’re doing the stuff that we’re preaching,” he said.

In 2013, the late Bob Simon reported on The Copts .

Heba Morayef, who headed Human Rights Watch in Egypt, says the pope's support of the military was denounced at Muslim Brotherhood rallies which often blamed Christians for conspiring to overthrow Morsi…..Accusations that Christians were responsible for the coup. Chants that would call Christians the Pope's dogs. ,,,, It all came to an abrupt end last August 14th -- when the army crushed two huge Muslim Brotherhood encampments. Close to a thousand protestors were killed.  The dispersal of the two sit-ins on August 14th were the most bloody incidents of police violence we've ever seen in Egypt.    As word of the killings spread all across Egypt, Muslim mobs began attacking Christian churches.

… In a town called Kerdasa, a mob broke down the gate of another Coptic church complex.  Redha Girgis, a caretaker, "They looted everything from chairs to pews. They stole anything that could be carried, what they couldn't carry, they destroyed….They set the whole place on fire, with Molotov cocktails and gasoline. And, on their way out, the attackers left behind a calling card: graffiti saying that Egypt is Islamic. The whole complex was gutted. Everything was incinerated: pews, paintings, Bibles.

The Copts had supported the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood rule, were overjoyed when the army took over. But when they saw their churches in flames, they realized they were paying a price for siding with the military and that they were on their own. No one was going to help them.  But martyrdom has always been at the core of the Coptic religion. Suffering, Copts believe, deepens their faith. The day we were in Kerdasa - they held a service in the only place that hadn't been destroyed. But we were surprised there was no anger, no call for revenge.

Recent attacks against the Copts

2010 Nag Hammadi massacre.  As Coptic Christians were leaving midnight Christmas mass, Muslim gunmen killed 8 Copts and one Muslim bystander and injured 9 Copts 
2011 Alexandria bombing of the Saint Mark and Pope Peter Coptic Orthodox Church where several thousand Copts were attending a New Year's service. 23 Copts were killed and 197.
2011 Imbaba church attacks.  St Mina and the Virgin Mary Church in Imbaba, a working class area in Cairo, attacked and burned by Salafi Muslims.  15 people killed, 232 injured, and many Christian-owned houses and businesses destroyed.   
2011 The Maspero Massacre. Video.  Thousands of protestors peacefully marched on the Maspero TV tower demonstrating against the military's silence over the burning of a church and the armed forces recent attacks on a similar protest a few days earlier. That day the military killed twenty-eight civilians, injured hundreds, and arrested thirty.

You can see the spirit, the strength and the joy of the Copts in this video shortly after the Maspero Massacre, Coptic Christians cry out Jesus for 10 minutes.

 Copts Call Out Jesus  YouTube link

Turmoil in Egypt - Who was in power and when

2011 Revolution.  Amid the Arab spring and the discontent over the 30 year autocratic rule of Hosni Mubarak, protests broke out across Egypt.  Two days later, the Muslim Brotherhood threw its support behind the protests.  18 days later, Mubarak resigns.  The Armed Forces assume control and promise free elections
June 2012,  Elections  held: 
Mohammed Morsi , a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood wins 51.7% of the vote and took office
Nov 2012: Morsi grants himself unlimited powers to 'protect' the nation, including the power to legislate without judicial review. 
Dec  2012  Constitution of 2012 includes many elements of Sharia law as defined by Sunnis. Massive protests and violent action throughout the country follow
Early 2013.  Massive protests and violent action throughout the country and calls for Morsi to resign
July 3, 2013 Egyptian coup d'etat
led by the Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi removed the President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, from power and suspended the Egyptian constitution.  Arrests and detention of Muslim brotherhood members and closure of their medial outlets, their party (Freedom & Justice) banned.
May 2014.  Former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi  elected as President in new elections with 47% turnout and 96% of the vote.
El-Sisi also became the first Egyptian president in the entire Egyptian history to attend the Christmas Mass and gave a speech at the Coptic Orthodox Christmas service in Cairo in January 2015 calling for unity and wishing the Christians a merry Christmas.  He has  greatly improved relations with Israel, and donated half his salary and half his inheritance to help rebuild the Egyptian economy, called for a year long fast track  to double the size of the Suez Canal and so increase its revenues.    He is overwhelmingly popular.

Glimmers of Hope.  As the leader of the largest Arab nation, on New Year's Day before an audience of leading imans,  he gave an extraordinary speech on Islam

It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.  Impossible!

That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world.  It’s antagonizing the entire world!

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our  hands.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:03 PM | Permalink

February 21, 2015

What ISIS says about beheading of 21 Christian Copts

What ISIS says about beheading of 21 Christian Copts

 21 Coptic Holy Martyrs

Raymond Ibrahim watched the video.  I could not.
The disputed fate of the 21 Coptic Christians abducted in Sirte, Libya is now clear and visible for all to see on video: while holding them down, Islamic State members shove their fingers in the Christians’ eyes, crane their heads back, and slice away at their throats with knives—all in the name of Allah and Islam, all as the slaughtered call out on the “Lord Jesus Christ.”...

The lead executioner waves his dagger at the camera while boasting of the Islamic State’s savagery: “Oh people, recently you have seen us on the hills of as-Sham and Dabiq’s plain [Syrian regions], chopping off the heads that have been carrying the cross for a long time.  And today, we are on the south of Rome, on the land of Islam, Libya, sending another message.”

He adds: “We will fight you until Christ descends, breaks the cross and kills the pig” (all eschatological actions ascribed to the Muslim “Christ,” Isa).

They had "grievances"
An article in Dabiq, the Islamic State’s online magazine in English titled “Revenge for the Muslimat [Muslim women]: Persecuted by the Coptic Crusaders of Egypt” claims that 21 Christians were slaughtered in “revenge” for two Coptic women who, back in 2010 and according to Islamic propaganda, were compelled by Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church to recant their conversion to Islam and return to Christianity.

Great reward” for killing Coptic Christians
In other words, due to the 2010 “good deed” of killing nearly 60 Christians during church service in Iraq, Allah has allowed the Islamic State to grow and kill more Christians in Libya and elsewhere. …“there is no doubt in the great reward to be found on Judgment Day for those who spill the blood of these Coptic crusaders wherever they may be found…

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:00 PM | Permalink

How ISIS is funded

Self-funded and deep-rooted: How ISIS makes its millions

Matthew Levitt, director of the Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington, D.C., calls ISIS "the best-financed group we've ever seen…..Besides revenue from oil smuggling, the group receives money through donations from wealthy sympathizers in countries including Qatar and Kuwait. But the group has another method of funding itself: through organized crime within the territories it has vanquished and now controls. The group, says Levitt, was born among crooks and thugs from a broken Iraq, and at its root it is a criminal enterprise.
ISIS can demand money from people wherever it has established control. Want to do business in ISIS-controlled territory? You pay a tax. Want to move a truck down an ISIS-controlled highway? You pay a toll. Villagers in ISIS territory reportedly are charged and pay for just about everything…. They also control sort of the breadbasket of Syria, in terms of Raqqa (their defacto capital). They've got the cotton and the wheat and all these other things. All of these serve as sort of economic and powerhouse or funding for ISIS."


The terrorist group relies on a relatively complex system to manage its far-reaching networks. Its currencies of choice—cash, crude oil and contraband—allow it to operate outside of legitimate banking channels. Turkey’s southern corridor, Iraq’s northwestern corridor and Syria’s northeastern corridor are key weak spots, well away from the prying eyes of outside investigators.

Royal Donors in the Gulf.
ISIS has accepted funding from government or private sources in the oil-rich nations of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait—and a large network of private donors, including Persian Gulf royalty, businessmen and wealthy families.  Until recently, all three countries had openly given hefty sums to rebels fighting Bashar Assad’s Syrian regime, among them ISIS.
A couple of factors are frustrating attempts to dam these rivers of cash. First, the relatively open banking systems of Qatar and Kuwait are being skillfully exploited by ISIS, since, unlike Saudi banks, they do not automatically raise red flags when money is siphoned to Islamist causes. Second, Qatar and Kuwait are loath to limit the activities of highly influential ISIS donors due to the political fallout such intervention may cause.

Fake Humanitarian Aid.  These donations, Newsweek has learned, are also routinely laundered through unregistered charities in the form of “humanitarian aid,” with terrorists coordinating geographical drop-off points for payments using cellphone applications such as WhatsApp and Kik.  WhatsApp, bought by Facebook last month for $19 billion, would not respond to Newsweek questions about whether it was aware ISIS operatives were using its mobile-messaging platform or whether it had a policy to flag, monitor or report to U.S. authorities the communications of known terrorists.

Captured oil wells and oil smuggling.
Oil-smuggling operations involving millions of barrels have recently been uncovered.
The oil comes from wells and refineries that ISIS has taken over inside northern Iraq and northern Syria, and until very recently it was easy to smuggle it into this quiet part of southern Turkey. One reason is that cheap, smuggled oil is a much-prized commodity in Turkey, where oil is so expensive that it almost doesn't matter who is selling it, even if it's your enemy.

Organ trafficking
ISIS Selling Human Organs Harvested From Dead Soldiers And Alive Hostages To Generate Huge Profits, Fund Terror Group

For months, foreign doctors have allegedly been recruited by ISIS commanders to harvest internal organs not only from the bodies of their own dead soldiers, but also from living hostages - including children - taken from minority villages in Iraq and Syria, according to a report by al-Monitor news website.

"Surgeries take place within a hospital and organs are quickly transported through networks specialized in trafficking human organs," the report's author wrote.  "The organs come from fallen fighters who were quickly transported to the hospital, injured people who were abandoned or individuals who were kidnapped."

But according to doctor Siruwan al-Mosuli, an extensive organ trafficking system, which is already beginning to generate huge profits, is currently being run by hired foreign doctors from a hospital in the captured city of Mosul, northern Iraq, Western Journalism reported…"[Al-Mosuli] said that lately he noticed unusual movement within medical facilities in Mosul Arab and foreign surgeons were hired, but prohibited from mixing with local doctors," the report said. "Information then leaked about organ selling."

After completing operational procedures at the hospital, the human hearts, livers and kidneys are transferred to a specialist organ-smuggling division whose sole responsibility is to sell the internal organs on the lucrative international black market, the Iraqi ear, nose and throat doctor said. Then, a majority of the organs are smuggled out of Syria and Iraq into neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia or Turkey where criminal gangs sell them on to shady buyers across the globe, the Assyrian International News Agency reported.

UN urged to investigate ISIS's bloody trade in human organs after Iraqi ambassador reveals doctors are being executed for not harvesting body parts The shocking news of ISIS trade in human organs was first revealed in a report by al-Monitor news website in December, citing an Iraqi ear, nose and throat doctor named Siruwan al-Mosuli.  He told the site that ISIS commanders hired foreign doctors to run an extensive organ trafficking system from a hospital in Mosul that is already beginning to generate huge profits.

Drug smuggling Drug smuggling, supplying half of Europe's heroin market.   Al Monitor's report claims that IS traffics Afghan heroin into Europe from the city of Nineveh, which the Russian Federal Drug Control Service (RFDCS) says is generating 'significant revenues.'
Its drug business has become so successful in recent months that the RFDCS claims that IS now supplies half of Europe's entire heroin market.

Looting and selling antiquities Looted from ancient buildings in ISIS strongholds, such as the group's de facto capital city Raqqa, the antiquities are up to 10,000-years-old and can exchange hands for more than $1 million each….The finer points of ISIS trade in antiquities was uncovered in an investigation by the BBC.  It revealed that ISIS militants charge smugglers 20 per cent on the sale of ancient items found or looted in territory under its control. If the smugglers decide not to buy the items, they are promptly smashed to pieces as examples of idolatry, regardless of their historic significance

Human trafficking  A report by OHCHR confirmed that more than 25,000 women and children have been imprisoned, sexually violated and sold by IS….The Times of London exposed “a human trafficking network established by ISIS in Mosul, where women and children were sold for money. This also constitutes a funding source for the fighters. According to the newspaper, women and children of Yazidi, Christian and other minority backgrounds are also sold through a networking hub in Syria’s Raqqa.”

Human smuggling The sixth funding source is human smuggling rings, especially for families who wish to emigrate to other countries. One family reached Turkey after reportedly paying $8,000 for each individual that escaped

Kidnapping for CashRansoms from kidnappings make up about 20 percent of ISIS’s revenue, says Integrity’s Jiyad. The U.S. Treasury estimates ISIS has received $20 million in ransoms so far this year. 

Sale of passports and counterfeit goods. Foreign Affairs: Blood Money - How ISIS Makes Bank
Still more funding comes from the sale of counterfeit cigarettes, pharmaceuticals, cell phones, antiquities, and foreign passports. The trafficking of some of these commodities into Turkey from Syria has risen dramatically. For example, cigarette smuggling has increased, fuel smuggling is estimated to have tripled, and cell phone smuggling has risen fivefold. ISIS is also taxing black market antiquities at 20–50 percent, depending on the region and type of antiquity. Meanwhile, foreign fighters sell their passports for thousands of dollars in Turkey before entering Syria, where the proceeds help fund them and ISIS. These particular forms of illicit trade are attractive to terrorists because there is less competition, less regulation, and limited law enforcement in these markets compared to others, such as the arms and narcotics trades.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:57 PM | Permalink

February 19, 2015

"Europe's Jews are living history rather than reading it."

Mark Steyn on Living History.  When you're living history as opposed to reading it, the trick is knowing when to head for the exit.

Europe's Jews are living history rather than reading it. They are living through a strange, freakish coda to the final solution that, quietly and remorselessly, is finishing the job: the total extinction of Jewish life in Europe - and not at the hands of baying nationalist Aryans but a malign alliance of post-national Eutopians and Islamic imperialists…..

This is Europe now, 2015. What will 2016 bring, and 2020, 2025? And yet France or Denmark is all you've ever known; you own a house, you've got a business, a pension plan, savings accounts… How much of all that are you going to be able to get out with? These are the same questions the Continent's most integrated Jews - in Germany - faced 80 years ago. Do you sell your home in a hurry and take a loss? Or maybe in a couple of years it'll all blow over. Or maybe it won't, and in five years the house price will be irrelevant because you'll be scramming with a suitcase. Or maybe in ten years you won't be able to get out at all - like the Yazidi or those Copts.

If you're living history as opposed to reading it in a sophomoric chatroom with metrosexual eunuch trustiefundies, these are the calculations you make - in Mosul, in Raqaa, in Sirte, in Sana'a, in Donetsk, in Malmö, Rotterdam, Paris…
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:23 AM | Permalink

February 18, 2015

“A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross”

 Red Blood Christians
Red with the blood of 21 Coptic Christians decapitated by ISIS

Could ISIS come to Italy?  It's not just Italians that are afraid of that. 

Italy Fears ISIS Invasion From Libya

As ISIS makes inroads into Libya, officials in Rome are panicking about an Islamic State just across the sea—but have no idea how to combat the crisis.

Last weekend in Italy, as the threat of ISIS in Libya hit home with a new video addressed to “the nation signed with the blood of the cross” and the warning, “we are south of Rome,” Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi shuttered up the Italian embassy in Tripoli and raised his fist with the threat of impending military action.  Never mind that Italy has only 5,000 troops available that are even close to deployable, according to the defense ministry. Or that the military budget was cut by 40 percent two years ago, which has kept the acquisition of 90 F-35 fighter jets hanging in the balance and left the country combat-challenged to lead any mission—especially one against an enemy like the Islamic State.
there is no question that there is a palpable tension in Italy over the ISIS threat—Libya is just 109 miles away from the island of Lampedusa and 300 miles from Sicily—made worse by a 64 percent increase in illegal migrant arrivals by sea since last year.  In all of 2014, more than 170,000 people arrived from Libya and Turkey, the highest number ever recorded. ….

Anti-immigration politicians have argued for months that it would take little for jihadi fighters to infiltrate a migrant boat and effectively end up taxied into Italy by rescue ships and the Italian navy.

ISIS Threat puts Rome on High Alert: "Never So Exposed'

Rome has dramatically stepped up its security in the wake of last weekend’s slaughter of Christians in Libya and the Islamic State’s overt threat to the city. Outside of Rome’s US embassy on Via Veneto, increased security has been stationed, and machine guns have appeared in the hands of guards. A special security taskforce has been convoked to plan Rome’s response to escalating ISIS threats.

According to reports, “the ISIS threat against Italy is now real and direct,” and intelligence analysts are saying that Italy “has never been so exposed.”  Italy closed its embassy in Tripoli on February 15, and Italy’s defense minister Roberta Pinotti said that the possibility of jihadists reaching Italy from Libya “cannot be ruled out.”

The Islamic State released a video on Sunday showing the Islamic militants beheading 21 Egyptian Christians, in which the masked leader twice mentions Rome.  Rome’s police chief Giuseppe Pecoraro already requested an extra 500 military personnel earlier this year, and the city mayor Ignazio Marino has called for reinforced security for the city’s major monuments and churches.

The video is titled “A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross,” and the leader identifies their position as “on the south of Rome, on the land of Islam, Libya.” After the beheading, the leader says: “And we will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission, the promise of our Prophet, peace be upon him.”

This is not the first time that ISIS has identified Rome as its primary target. Representing the center of global Christianity, Rome has long been in ISIS’ sights.
Along with the possibility of direct terrorist attacks, ISIS has threatened to send “500 thousand immigrants into Italy from the Libyan coast” in the case of a military intervention in Libya. According to reports, the news comes from intercepted phone calls between jihadists, who would use immigration as a psychological weapon. One objective would reportedly be to provoke mass deaths at sea and thus destabilize the country.

Islamic State 'planning to use Libya as gateway to Europe'  Exclusive: Jihadists hoping to use Libya as a "gateway" to wage war across the whole of southern Europe, plans by Isil supporters reveal

Islamic State militants are planning a takeover of Libya as a "gateway" to wage war across the whole of southern Europe, letters written by the group's supporters have revealed.  The jihadists hope to flood the north African state with militiamen from Syria and Iraq, who will then sail across the Mediterranean posing as migrants on people trafficking vessels, according to plans seen by Quilliam, the British anti-extremist group.

The fighters would then run amok in southern European cities and also try to attack maritime shipping.  The document is written by an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) propagandist who is believed to be an important online recruiter for the terror in Libya, where security has collapsed in the wake of the revolution that unseated Colonel Gaddafi in 2011.
Yesterday, Nasser Kamel, Egypt's ambassador to London, warned Britain brace itself for 'boats full of terrorists' unless action was taken in Libya. He spoke after 2,164 migrants were rescued at sea in a 24-hour period over the weekend in what has been described as an 'exodus without precedent'.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:24 AM | Permalink

February 16, 2015

Sea Red with Martyrs' Blood by Genocidal ISIS

Released last night, a new video by ISIS showed the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians on a beach in Libya

The 21 men, who were Egyptian migrant workers kidnapped last month, are then seen being forced onto their knees before they are beheaded simultaneously by the militants standing behind them.

-Seas Red Martyrs' Blood
Pope Francis has today condemned the beheading of 21 Coptic Egyptians by ISIS militants, saying all Christians 'be they Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Lutherans' are one faith, proclaiming the murdered men martyrs.

The Pope unexpectedly went off script following a meeting with a representative of the Church of Scotland in the Vatican, making a short speech in his native Spanish in which he claimed the murdered Egyptians' last words were 'Jesus help me'.
Pope Francis has today expressed 'profound sadness' at hearing of the brutal murders of the 21 Christian Egyptians. 

'Today I read about the execution of those twenty-one or twenty-two Coptic Christians,' the Pope said in his native Spanish according to Breitbart. 'Their only words were: "Jesus, help me!" 'They were executed for nothing more than the fact that they were Christian. The blood of our Christian sisters and brothers is testimony that cries out [to us].
The Egyptian government declared a seven-day mourning period after the release of the video and President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi addressed the nation late Sunday night……Tens of thousands of Egyptians work in Libya, mainly in the construction sector, and they have been targeted as the country has descended into chaos.
The killings raise the possibility that the Islamic militant group - which controls about a third of Syria and Iraq in a self-declared caliphate - has established a direct affiliate less than 500 miles from the southern tip of Italy.  One of the militants in the video, speaking English, makes direct reference to that possibility, saying the group now plans to 'conquer Rome.' 

Charles Krauthammer In the wake of the murders of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians,:

“[ISIS] is not just Islamic radicalism anymore, or Islamic terrorism, which is only a tactic. This is really Islamist supremacy. And in that sense, it is akin to Nazism. That was racial supremacy; here it’s Islamist.”

“The ideology of ISIS is clearly supremacist,” said Krauthammer on Monday’s Special Report, “in the sense that anybody who is not Islamic in their understanding is to be either enslaved or eradicated.

This is a genocidal movement. You kill Christians, you kill Jews, you kill Yazidis (but you may in certain circumstances enslave them). That’s what we’re up against, and we have an administration that will not even admit that there’s a religious basis underlying what’s going on.”

The Anchoress: Holy Martyrs of Egypt, pray for us and for your ISIS killers

And in the must-read article in the Atlantic What ISIS Really Wants by Graeme Wood The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

The group seized Mosul, Iraq, last June, and already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. …Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable: It is a hermit kingdom; few have gone there and returned. Baghdadi has spoken on camera only once. But his address, and the Islamic State’s countless other propaganda videos and encyclicals, are online, and the caliphate’s supporters have toiled mightily to make their project knowable. We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world.
The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:54 PM | Permalink

January 9, 2015

Glimmers of hope from Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates

For the first time, I see glimmers of hope coming from the Muslim world.  While U.K. Prime Minister Cameron insists that the caliphate announced by ISIS, otherwise known as Islamic State is not Islamic despite all the evidence otherwise and President Obama said the same last September, 2014, the courageous al-Sisi, the  President of Egypt, the world's largest Arab country, before an assembly of leading imans on New Year's Day called upon Muslim leaders and scholars to carry out a "religious revolution."

Roger L. Simon reports on his  Extraordinary Speech on Islam

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made an extraordinary speech on New Year’s Day to Cairo’s Al-Azhar and the Awqaf Ministry calling for a long overdue virtual ecclesiastical revolution in Islam.  This is something no Western leader has the had the courage to do, certainly not Barack Obama, despite his Muslim education.

Accusing the umma (world Islamic population) of encouraging the hostility of the entire world, al-Sisi’s speech is so dramatic and essentially revolutionary it brings to mind Khrushchev’s famous speech exposing Stalin. Many have called for a reformation of Islam, but for the leader of the largest Arab nation to do so has world-changing implications.

Here are the key parts as translated on Raymond Ibrahim’s blog:

It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.  Impossible!

That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world.  It’s antagonizing the entire world!

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our  hands.

For that speech, Simon thinks al-Sisi deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

Michael Leeden writes It’s a huge story. And it’s been spiked, at least for the moment.

Sisi knew that there was no possible compromise. He knew, and knows, that this is a battle to the death. He’s either going to destroy the Islamists, or they’re going to do him in.
President Sisi is in a position similar to ours in Iraq after the defeat of Al Qaeda and Iran. He has defeated the Muslim Brotherhood, and he is pressing his advantage, liquidating the leaders the Brothers had elevated over the course of eighty-odd years, and in the last week he delivered the blockbuster speech and became the first president in Egyptian history to attend Coptic Christmas celebrations in Cairo.

It’s a very big deal. If he wins, the jihadis, and, along with them, the ideological mass movement Sisi has challenged will be gravely damaged. If he loses, we face very grave consequences indeed.

Daniel Pipes, An Arab Prince Denounces Islamism

Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the crown prince of Bahrain (an island kingdom in the Persian Gulf and home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet)…proposes to replace "War on Terror" with his formulation: a "War on Theocrats." … In perhaps the outstanding line of the speech, he states that "it is the ideology itself that must be combatted. It must be named, it must be shamed, it must be contained, and eventually it must be defeated."
Salman's remarks fit into a growing trend among Muslim politicians directly to confront the Islamist danger. Two recent examples:
• the nearby United Arab Emirates government has placed the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and many other non-violent groups on its terrorism list on the grounds that they engage in incitement, funding, and the other precursors of terrorism.
• The government of Egypt issued an INTERPOL arrest bulletin for Yusuf al-Qaradawi, 88, the hugely influential spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, for "incitement and assistance to commit intentional murder, helping … prisoners to escape, arson, vandalism and theft.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:25 AM | Permalink

Now in Paris, the recurring problem of Islamist terror

The horrific massacre in Paris by Islamists against specific people at Charlie Hebdo horrified the world and marked a new stage in the War against the West by radical Islamists.  We can expect more of these smaller foreign and home-grown Islamist attacks throughout Europe and here in the United States for decades to come. 

In fluent French, the Islamic terrorists "Allahu Akbar" "Nous avons venge le Prophete" (We have avenged the Prophet)

First the predictable responses.  Islamists defend the attack.  British Islamist Anjem Choudary Defends Slaughter at Charlie Hebdo, by tweeting "Freedom of expression does not extend to insulting the Prophets of Allah" which uncomfortably echoes Obama's speech to the United Nations shortly after the Benghazi attack, ""The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

Or blame the Jews. Top comments on Al Jazeera’s Arabic language Facebook page: by Salim Mansour of Algeria. He said the Jews masterminded the attack in order to punish France for having recognized the State of Palestine and for voting in support of the State of Palestine in the Security Council. He added “And God only knows what the Jews are planning in the coming days”.

The American media protects us from  inconvenient truths.  NY Times Removes Mention of Islam, Quran from Paris Survivor’s Account .  Then unbelievably asks  “What What We Don’t Know: The reason Charlie Hebdo was targeted”

They worry about a largely imaginary Islamophobia, not about the murder of twelve of their fellow journalists by jihadists.    UK’s Telegraph headline on Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre story: “France faces rising tide of Islamophobia.    As Thomas McDonald points out , "A phobia is an irrational fear. In this case, it’s perfectly reasonable to be concerned about a religious movement that has rained blood on the world." 

While Slate, The Huffington Post, National Review online, the Daily Beast, Buzzfeed and the Daily Caller  and even Al Jazeera showed the satirical covers of Mohammed that Charlie Hebdo published, the  Associated Press, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, Time Magazine, New York Times, Fox News, All Censor Charlie Hebdo Pictures of Mohammed…

Said Mark Steyn, "The New York Daily News won’t even show [the cartoons],  dishonors the dead in Paris by not even showing properly the cartoons.  They pixelated Mohammed out of it so it looks like Mohammed has entered the witness protection program but they left the hooked-nose Jew in and that exactly gets to the double standard here."

Allahpundit. How do you censor the images those men died defending and then say “Je suis Charlie” with a straight face? And more to the point, how do you do it when those images are at the center of a major international news event?

Governments  and politicians evade.  German Interior Minister: Charlie Hebdo murders have nothing to do with Islam.  Howard Dean on the Charlie Hebdo murderers: “I stopped calling these people Muslim terrorists. They’re about as Muslim as I am.”.  Turkey’s Erdogan to EU: Time to crack down on “Islamophobia”
Marine Le Pen’s party barred from national unity rally  Despite the French president calling for “unity” in the light of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the National Front were not invited to take part in Sunday’s rally for “national unity” in Paris.  Mark Steyn comments, "In the most recent national election in France, Marine Le Pen's National Front won. So the national unity rally excludes the most popular national party. That seems likely to work."

There are exceptions.  Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper: “The international jihadist movement has declared war They have declared war on anybody who does not think and act exactly as they wish they’d think and act. We may not like this and wish it would go away, but it’s not going to go away, and the reality is we are going to have to confront it.”

Fjordman, The West After the Charlie Hebdo Massacre

This was not some random crime. It was an act of war, as Geert Wilders correctly pointed out. It was an act of war the same way as the Jihadist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the USA. A war has been declared on Western civilization, yet Western ruling elites refuse to acknowledge this. They still treat Islamic attacks as a law and order problem. It is not. Not anymore.
the country’s authorities were unable to prevent the attack. This is an indirect admission that Western authorities can no longer guarantee the safety of their citizens. There are now simply too many Muslims and potential Jihadists in a country such as France to keep effective control over all of them.
Once you kill off the few people who are willing to die, the rest will quietly bow their necks. As long as the number of Muslims willing to kill is higher than the number of non-Muslims willing to die, they win. This is mathematics, not politics. Islam is a highly effective and evolved killer ideology.

Geert Wilders: “We have to close our borders, reinstate border controls, get rid of political correctness, introduce administrative detention, and stop immigration from Islamic countries. We must defend ourselves. Enough is enough.”

Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ali explained that violent attacks like the one in Paris stem from a political ideology that is embedded in Islam.  Ali told Megyn Kelly that “we are facing a war on the core values of western civilization,” and that the only way to fight it is by talking about it.  “We are fighting an asymmetric war where we fight with military means and counter-terrorism means, but we are not fighting back with ideas,”

She writes in the WSJ, How to Answer the Paris Terror Attack

We can no longer pretend that it is possible to divorce actions from the ideals that inspire them.

This would be a departure for the West, which too often has responded to jihadist violence with appeasement. We appease the Muslim heads of government who lobby us to censor our press, our universities, our history books, our school curricula. They appeal and we oblige. We appease leaders of Muslim organizations in our societies. They ask us not to link acts of violence to the religion of Islam because they tell us that theirs is a religion of peace, and we oblige.

What do we get in return? Kalashnikovs in the heart of Paris. The more we oblige, the more we self-censor, the more we appease, the bolder the enemy gets.

Muslims segregated from French society in growing Islamist mini-states

City officials have increasingly ceded control of heavily Muslim neighborhoods to Islamists, block by block.
France has Europe’s largest population of Muslims, some of whom talk openly of ruling the country one day and casting aside Western legal systems for harsh, Islam-based Shariah law.

“The situation is out of control, and it is not reversible,” said Soeren Kern, an analyst at the Gatestone Institute and author of annual reports on the “Islamization of France.”
Gatestone reports that an intelligence document leaked to Le Figaro said Muslims are creating a separate public school society “completely cut off from non-Muslim students.”  Over 1,000 French supermarkets are selling Islamic books that call for jihad and the killing of non-Muslims
Said Mr. Kern, “Europe is very committed to multiculturalism. So any speech critical of Islam is immediately branded as being Islamophobic or racist or something like that. There’s not really an honest debate about what’s going on in Europe because the European elite have so much invested in this multicultural society that they’re trying to build.”

Daniel Pipes wrote about the  751 No-Go Zones in France which go by the  euphemistic term Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or Sensitive Urban Zones or ZUS in 2006.

What are they? Those places in France that the French state does not control. … A more precise name for these zones would be Dar al-Islam, the place where Muslims rule…According to a 2004 estimate, nearly 5 million people live in them, 8 percent of the population…..The ZUS exist not only because Muslims wish to live in their own areas according to their own culture and their own Shariah laws, but also because organized crime wants to operate without the judicial and fiscal interference of the French state. In France, Shariah law and mafia rule have become almost identical.

A 2011 update by Soeren Kern:  Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of "no-go" areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims. Many of the "no-go" zones function as microstates governed by Islamic Sharia law. Host-country authorities effectively have lost control in these areas and in many instances are unable to provide even basic public aid such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services.

The "no-go" areas are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated rather than become integrated into their European host nations. He then surveys developments in the United Kingdom, france, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

Dutch police paid Sharia patrols to patrol The Hague on New Year’s Eve

The Dutch police have capitulated: they can no longer uphold law and order in Muslim-dominated areas, and are now hiring Salafi Sharia patrols from the local mosque to patrol the streets. This is not only in complete conflict with secular principles, it also lends authority to people who follow a doctrine that preaches destruction of democracy and death upon the very people that the police is supposed to protect.

HiilBuzz  calls it Revenge Colonization

Muslims are setting up colonies in Western nations. Everywhere a mosque is built, Muslim colonists arrive and resettle and gradually take over more of the area around it. It’s happening in Chicago too. There’s a suburb here called Orland Park that’s being taken over, ever since a mosque was built a few years ago. Muslims apparently are required to live within a certain distance from a mosque. Which means they congregate, build their numbers, and then begin taking over. Soon, the host culture becomes afraid of upsetting them…and starts abdicating power to them. And then they become a permanent presence as a colony.

The academic elite in the West have a sickness, where they believe that the West should be punished for colonizing the world. The punishment and penance is now allowing the Third Worlders to move into Western countries and take them over block by block. All white countries must now be “multicultural” until the day that “white privilege” is erased and white people become a minority in Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, the US…the list goes on.
Islam is not a religion but is instead an ideology like Nazism and it has a built-in conquest plan that’s based on incremental movements and the patience to outlive, outlast, and outbreed targeted enemies.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:21 AM | Permalink

January 7, 2015

"Nothing worth believing in, nothing worth dying for" vs. Glamor of Islamic State

Europe’s Empty Churches Go on Sale

ARNHEM, Netherlands—Two dozen scruffy skateboarders launched perilous jumps in a soaring old church building here on a recent night, watched over by a mosaic likeness of Jesus and a solemn array of stone saints.

This is the Arnhem Skate Hall, an uneasy reincarnation of the Church of St. Joseph, which once rang with the prayers of nearly 1,000 worshipers.

 From Church To Skatepark

The Skate Hall’s plight is replicated across a continent that long nurtured Christianity but is becoming relentlessly secular.  The closing of Europe’s churches reflects the rapid weakening of the faith in Europe, a phenomenon that is painful to both worshipers and others who see religion as a unifying factor in a disparate society.
But it is in the Netherlands where the trend appears to be most advanced. The country’s Roman Catholic leaders estimate that two-thirds of their 1,600 churches will be out of commission in a decade, and 700 of Holland’s Protestant churches are expected to close within four years.

In Commentary, Europe is Losing Its Soul

This lack of religious belief may well also be related to why Europeans are choosing to have so few children….Europeans have been increasingly choosing against national identities in general. [T]he loss of belief in national identity, like the loss of belief in religious truth, has gone hand in hand with a relativism that no longer allows Europeans to champion the superiority of their own liberal values. …In this Europe where there is nothing worth believing in, nothing worth dying for—and perhaps nothing worth living for, given the birth rate

In the NYT, Arthur Brooks, An Aging Europe in Decline

“I’VE fallen and I can’t get up.” These words, shouted by an elderly woman, were made famous in a medical alert device ad in the 1990s. In 2015, they might be Europe’s catchphrase….

Predictions of decade-long deflation, low productivity and high unemployment are becoming conventional wisdom….As important as good economic policies are, they will not fix Europe’s core problems, which are demographic, not economic….Even Pope Francis in a speech before the European Parliament in November said, “In many quarters we encounter a general impression of weariness and aging, of a Europe which is now a ‘grandmother,’ no longer fertile and vibrant,”  weary with disorientation.”

No matter what the money supply and public spending levels, a country or continent will be in decline if it rejects the culture of family, turns its back on work, and closes itself to strivers from the outside. Europe needs visionary leaders and a social movement to rediscover that people are assets to develop, not liabilities to manage. If it cannot or will not meet this existential challenge, a “lost decade” will look like a walk in the park for Grandma Europe.

With the loss of faith, national pride and confidence in western values comes a huge vacuum which today is being filled by The Glamour of the Islamic State.  Virginia Postrel writes "Islamic State promises ordinary men adventure, fellowship and religious significance if they fight infidels and heretics in a distant land….

As inspiring as glamour can be, it often dissipates with experience. That’s because all glamour contains an illusion. It hides anything that might break the spell: flaws, distractions, hardship, tedium. Dispelling glamour, then, requires revealing the truth. ……What glamorous visions of jihadi glory obscure isn’t violence. It’s drudgery, subordination, infighting, hypocrisy and general messiness. “The reality on the ground is a world away from the glamour of well-produced recruitment videos,”
….Emphasizing Islamic State’s brutality may rally mainstream domestic audiences, but it won’t destroy the group’s glamour in the eyes of potential recruits. For that, we need more stories about menial chores, less publicity that turns terrorists into celebrities and, most essentially, battlefield evidence that effortless victory is an illusion -- Islamic State is for losers.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:48 PM | Permalink

December 16, 2014

The Total Depravity of the Radical Islamists

A week of radical Islam striking the West began on Monday when a 'known wolf' Islamist terrorist and self-appointed 'Sheik Haron Monis took hostage ordinary citizens going out for coffee in the Lindt cafe in Sydney.  After 17 hours, he was killed when the Sydney police stormed the cafe.  So were the hostages cafe manager Tori Johnson and barrister Katrina Dawson and both were killed as they tried to protect others:  Katrina was killed trying to defend her pregnant colleague and Tori, after seizing the terrorist's shotgun, it went off killing him, triggering the police to storm the cafe before the terrorist set off his suicide bomb thus allowing others to escape.

 A Hostage Runs To An Armed Tactical Response Police Officers For-A-12 1418749507816

IBD.  The Plague Of Radical Islam Strikes Again, In Sydney

Monday's Sydney cafe attack is a reminder, as if we needed one, that radical Islam continues its lethal war on Western civilization. It remains critical for the West to get rid of this plague…..The flag of radical Islam enables lone-wolf lunatics like Haron to justify their attacks — and thus fuels them.  And the attacks are growing more common.
Contrary to what you might hear, this isn't about a lone madman acting on insane impulse. It's about how Islamic radicalism continues to find new ways to attack the vulnerable West.

WSJ  ISIS has called for 'lone-wolf' Islamist attacks around the world

Then Tuesday  Children forced to watch their teacher being burnt alive in Taliban massacre at Pakistani school in which up to 130 children were slaughtered .Wearing security uniforms, nine militants entered the school and massacred at least 126 people, mainly children

The International Business Times reports that the Peshawar school attack was the Taliban's 'revenge' for Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Peace Prize

Malala, the youngest ever Nobel Prize winner, was shot by the Pakistani Taliban in 2012 for advocating education for women in Pakistan. She was attacked on a school bus in the Swat valley, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, of which Peshawar is the capital.

A few days before the Peshawar attack, the Taliban warned that Malala had forged a pact with "Western satanic forces" and the Nobel committee gave their award to her to "promote Western culture and not education".

We also learned this week that ISIS using bombs containing live SCORPIONS in effort to spread panic, in tactic used 2,000 years ago against Romans  Canisters packed with poisonous varieties of scorpion are being blasted into towns and villages, which explode on impact - scattering the scorpions and causing panic among the innocent local population.

And they published a book on how to rape slave girls.  ISIS publishes shocking guidebook telling fighters how to buy, sell and abuse captured women

Islamic State (IS) has published a shocking guidebook for its fighters on how to rape slave girls – even if they have not reached puberty.  The Arabic manual, titled Questions And Answers On Taking Captives And Slaves, instructs IS fighters on how to buy and sell women and girls who have been captured in war as booty. The document, published by the Research and Fatwa Department of IS, gives its fighters the green light to turn captured women into slaves and concubines, and even give them as gifts to one another.

It was circulated on the Twitter accounts of senior IS leaders and on Friday was distributed by masked IS fighters outside a large mosque in Iraq’s second city Mosul, which is controlled by the group.
The document has been obtained by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute and translated into English.  British terrorism experts, who have studied the document, have concluded it is genuine.

Remember back in 2011 when a Muslim cleric said that saying 'Merry Christmas' is 'worse than fornication, drinking alcohol and killing someone'?  Here he is an the video that's going around again.

And still some people deny the existence of evil.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:52 PM | Permalink

Christmas in an Iraqi refugee camp

It's a level-three emergency -  the UN's highest classification of a humanitarian crisis.  Over three million Christians have been "displaced", two million of them Iraqis.  When ISIS came, they fled their homes without any possessions, even winter clothes, and most of them to Kurdistan. 

The autonomous region in Northern Iraq is being pushed to breaking point by sheer number of new settlers
Families are safe, for now, from any immediate danger but dropping temperatures pose another serious threat.

They take refuge in their faith and in the preparations for Christmas.

 Christmas-2014-Iraqi Refugees

Christmas in an Iraqi refugee camp: Moving pictures show nativity scene set up by some of the thousands of Christians fleeing ISIS

 Christmas Refugees Praying

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:39 AM | Permalink

November 23, 2014

"Venomous ignorance" at UCLA

Maetenloch at Ace of Spades writes  There's an slow motion racial Cultural Revolution going on at UCLA. And the administration is backing the student Red Guards. Read the whole thing and weep over the madness.

The Microaggression Farce by Heather MacDonald. The latest campus fad, which sees racism everywhere, will create a new generation of permanent victims.

As student claims of racial and gender mistreatment grow ever more unmoored from reality, campus grown-ups have abdicated their responsibility to cultivate an adult sense of perspective and common sense in their students. Instead, they are creating what tort law calls “eggshell plaintiffs”—preternaturally fragile individuals injured by the slightest collisions with life. The consequences will affect us for years to come.

She reports on the madness at At UCLA  "which trumpets its “social-justice” mission at every opportunity, is a cauldron of simmering racial tensions"

Finally, on November 14, 2013, the class's five "students of color," accompanied by "students of color" from elsewhere at UCLA, as well as by reporters and photographers from the campus newspaper, made their surprise entrance into Rust's class as a "collective statement of Resistance by Graduate Students of Color." The protesters formed a circle around Rust and the remaining five students (one American, two Europeans, and two Asian nationals) and read aloud their "Day of Action Statement." That statement suggests that Rust's modest efforts to help students with their writing faced obstacles too great to overcome.

This is a truly horrifying and one of the most disturbing articles I've read in years. 

Why anyone would want to go to UCLA for an education is beyond me.  Who would ever want to hire them? These graduate students are going to become teachers "who will do their best to transmit their venomous ignorance to the next generation."

John Hinderaker comments "The more I learn about what goes on in our universities, the more I conclude that our civilization has a death wish,"

and "The professor was trying to teach students–graduate students!–to write properly, and they took it as an affront to their racial identity. As though there were some correlation between skin color and literacy. That is a view that used to be called “racist,” but is now apparently de rigueur among liberals.

How did UCLA respond? The administration appointed a Race and Ethnic Relations Committee, and they cut loose the professor who tried to teach his students to write. In American universities, as best I can tell, idiocy reigns supreme."

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:57 AM | Permalink

November 13, 2014

The Ongoing Demise of Britain

This is what the Islamization of a Western country looks like.

Support of ISIS.  Dan Greenfield writes  "One in seven young British adults has 'warm feelings" about the murderous ISIS and  80% of London Muslims Support ISIS

No-go areas.  Top U.K. Anglican Bishop Nazir-Ali who was born in Pakistan warned years ago that Islamic extremists have created "no-go" areas across Britain where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter…. people of a different race or faith face physical attack if they live or work in communities dominated by a strict Muslim ideology…. he blames its [the government's]  "novel philosophy of multiculturalism" for allowing society to become deeply divided, and accuses ministers of lacking a "moral and spiritual vision".

"Community justice". Murders and rapes going unreported in no-go zones for police as minority communities launch own justice systems.  Honor killings, genital mutilations, domestic violence and sexual abuse of children go unreported. 

Critics of Sharia law deemed"extremists".  London Telegraph. Sharia law or gay marriage critics would be branded ‘extremists’ under Tory plans,

Anyone who criticises Sharia law or gay marriage could be branded an “extremist” under sweeping new powers planned by the Conservatives to combat terrorism, an alliance of leading atheists and Christians fear.  Theresa May, the Home Secretary, unveiled plans last month for so-called Extremism Disruption Orders, which would allow judges to ban people deemed extremists from broadcasting, protesting in certain places or even posting messages on Facebook or Twitter without permission.


"It is mainstream Britain which needs to integrate more with the Muslim way of life, not the other way around," David Cameron in What I Learned from My Stay with a Muslim Family, 2007.  He changed his mind in 2011.  He said multiculturalism has failed and Muslims must embrace mainstream values of freedom of speech and religion and equality under the law. But then proposes Extreme Disruption Orders in 2014.

Political Correctness or Living in a False Reality.  UK  Child Exploitation is Now the 'Norm"  Robert Spencer .
The UK’s Guardian reported Wednesday that “sexual exploitation of vulnerable children has become the social norm in some parts of Greater Manchester,” and the denial and obfuscation about what is really causing this problem is thicker than ever….

It was in Rochdale that a group of Muslims were involved in a large-scale sex trafficking ring involving young non-Muslim girls. Coffey is right: there is already abundant evidence that it was not an isolated case, as 1,400 British non-Muslim children were gang-raped and brutalized by Muslims in the British city of Rotherham alone, and there are numerous other documented cases in Britain of Muslim sex trafficking and rape gangs, of which the victims were non-Muslim girls.

Why has this been happening, and on such a massive scale? According to the Guardian, it’s all because social workers and others in positions of authority just don’t like troubled young people….In reality, social workers are not prejudiced against vulnerable teenagers; they’ve dedicated their lives to aiding people such as vulnerable teenagers. No, what social workers, in the U.S. as well as in Britain, are prejudiced against is being called “racist.”

And what were the ethnic origins of those perpetrators? Wednesday’s Guardian report doesn’t mention it (which in itself is telling), but 75%, and probably more (since it is so politically unacceptable to report such things) of these rape and sexual exploitation gangs are “Asian,” which is British Newspeak for “Muslim.” Despite the continuing horror of these revelations, the British continue to take all this with equanimity, for to resist it would be “racist” and “Islamophobic.”

Stealth Sharia.  Muslim fundamentalists patrol East London streets to enforce Sharia Law.  Clarissa Ward, a 60 Minutes correspondent, interviewed their leader who said, “Ultimately, I want to see every single woman in this country covered from head to toe.  want to the see the hand of the thief cut. I want to see adulterers stoned to death. I want to see sharia law in Europe, and I want to see it in America, as well. I believe our patrols are a means to an end.”

Muslim parents tell daughter they would “cut her head off” if she went to British authorities over forced marriage

Will sharia conquer the United Kingdom by stealth? asks Robert Spencer and points out 10 signs of Britain's Impending Demise

6. Libyan soldier blames Brits for sex attacks by Libyan cadets in UK: “They didn’t tell us…what’s the difference between right and wrong here.”

About 300 Libyan army cadets who were training in Britain have just been sent home after allegations that they had committed multiple rapes and sexual assaults of non-Muslim girls in the neighborhoods near their barracks.

Radicalized Brits Britain will face costs of Islamic extremism for 'many years', says Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner .  Former MI6 director of global counter-terrorism Richard Barrett: "You don't know which ones are coming back… quite severely radicalized" 'Not possible' to monitor all UK Syria fighters returning home

Four Muslims Arrested for Plotting to Behead Queen Elizabeth

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:22 PM | Permalink

November 10, 2014

The Berlin Wall - 1948-1989

As World War II came to a close, the Allied Powers agreed to split the defeated nation into  occupied zones, the eastern part to the Soviet Union, the western part to the US and Great Britain.  The city of Berlin, 100 miles into the eastern part of the zone was likewise split into east and west.  In 1948 the Soviet Union blocked all traffic into west Berlin, essentially creating a blockade.  President Truman responded with The Berlin Airlift "Operation Vittles" to deliver food, fuel and other goods to the west Berliners for almost a year until the blockade was lifted.

When John Kennedy was President, the Berlin Wall was constructed to stop people from fleeing the communist East.  He didn't challenge them directly, but in a visit to Berlin in 1963, he gave one of his most memorable speeches, "Let Them Come to Berlin".

"There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass'sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin."

When Ronald Reagan first saw the Wall in 1978, when he told his aide Peter Hannaford: “We’ve got to find a way to knock this thing down.”

After he became president, he returned in 1982 and enraged the Soviets by taking a couple of ceremonial steps across a painted borderline. Then, in 1987, he overruled his own State Department by giving a momentous speech in which he implored the Soviet general secretary directly: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

Officials tried over and over to have the section removed, judging that it was too provocative and theatrical. White House officials believed the language would embarrass Gorbachev. A June 2, 1987, memo from a National Security Council aide called the speech “mediocre” and said it represented a “lost opportunity.” The edited draft that was attached to this memo had the entire “tear down this wall” section crossed out.

But Reagan insisted on leaving his sock-it-to-’em lines in, and they proved a hit with the many thousands of people who heard it — they cheered for a full 20 seconds.

What had been unthinkable became thinkable and then possible.    Two and a half years later, the wall was completely swept away.

Below is a six minute documentary on The Fall of the Berlin Wall by Carsten Cumbrowski, born in East Berlin in 1974


I was transfixed 25 years ago when I watched television and saw East Germans begin to tear down the Berlin Hall. 
For Christmas that year, I wept when I opened up a present and found I was holding a chunk of that wall.

Mark Steyn on The Will to Fell

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It did not fall, of course. It was felled. It was felled by ordinary East German men and women who decided they were not willing to spend the rest of their lives in a large prison pretending to be a nation.

On the other side of the wall - the free side - far too many westerners were indifferent to the suffering of the east….The presidents and prime ministers of the free world had decided that the unfree world was not a prison ruled by a murderous ideology that had to be defeated but merely an alternative lifestyle that had to be accommodated…detente…..

When a free man enjoying the blessings of a free society promotes an equivalence between real democracy and a sham, he's colluding in the great lie being perpetrated by the prison state.

There were three key figures who stood against the détente fetishists, and in large part against the disposition of western electorates. Their names were Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II - all heroes in Eastern Europe to this day, yet, as Richard Fernandez notes, all absent from the coverage of today's observances.

Video, John Fund relates how he met a 14-year-old  East German student in East Berlin and maintained a correspondence with her for five years.  On the day of the fall, he received a phone call  "John, This is Monika…I'm Over the Wall"


The 20th anniversary was marked with painted dominos along the former route of the Wall and Lech Walesa pushed the first

 Berlinwall 20Th Dominos-1

This year to mark the 25th anniversary on the Fall, a Wall of Light - 8000 glowing balloons recreated the route of the Wall.  These glowing orbs are part of the Lichtgrenze or lightborder art project.

 8000 Luftballons-1

Marc Bauder, who designed the art installation with his brother, Christopher Bauder, said: 'We wanted to counter this ominous, heavy structure with something light."

At dusk on Sunday night, the white balloons were released one by one to symbolize the breaching of the wall by crowds of protestors.  At a massive open air party at the Brandenburg Gates, the Berlin Orchestra played Beethoven's Nine Symphony, "Ode to Joy".

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:22 PM | Permalink

October 23, 2014

"Of all the questions in the liberal west, none is more forbidden to ask than why you are alive." "

Richard Fernandez in The Strong Hearse on why young teenage girls and boys are joining ISIS.

The liberal ideology is a very old and empty idea that is continuously undergoing cosmetic surgery to look young. Liberalism isn’t Western culture, but its corpse.  Our institutions without the animating spirit are but a coffin containing the expiring remains of a once great civilization. The box is painted in bright colors, but the young have looked inside it and seen what it contains: a demographically dying, self-hating and ultimately amoral culture that’s ready for its ghastly closeup.

And for want of an alternative to this corpse they go to the only flag permitted to fly by the corpse itself: ISIS. Too many people are looking at the offerings of  decadence and theocracy and tossing the coin .  It wasn’t supposed to be this way.  The left believed it would be safe from rivals.  It feared Judaism and Christianity, but did not fear Islam, thinking it too hideous to compete.  Maybe it should reconsider.

Alduous Huxley understood that not everyone would buy into the Brave New World of the left. For all too many, the Obamacare and Obamaphones and Kim Kardashian diet won’t be enough. History shows the young always demand to know why men live and die. Snarky answers from Lena Dunham aren’t good enough any more. And of all the questions in the liberal west, none is more forbidden to ask than why you are alive. As Huxley pointed out, in the perfect future, which is our present, God will be pornography.
When we locked up the sacred writing of our civilization in a safe labeled ‘hate speech’; when we made it shameful to fly the flag, wear the uniform, or bow your head to something greater than the Great Leader what did we think we would get?  We got ISIS.

The Left believed they could abolish the transcendent without understanding that this process  risked abolishing man.  The Great Narrative strove to make man merely an animal, and in its stead they got a monster.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:50 PM | Permalink

October 7, 2014

How the 1571 Battle of Lepanto saved Europe

Michael Novak gives us all a history refresher course in October 7: The Feast of Our Lady of Victory

For those who know little history, today’s battle with the Islamic State in the Middle East may seem new and unprecedented. It is not.

In a.d. 622, Mohammed set out from Medina to conquer the whole Christian world for Allah by force of arms. Within a hundred years, his successors had occupied and pillaged every Christian capital of the Middle East, from Antioch through North Africa (home of Saint Augustine) and Spain. All that remained outside Allah’s reign was the northern arc from Southern France to Constantinople.

What we are seeing in 2014 has a history of more than 1,300 years — a very bloody, terror-ridden history. Except that today the struggle is far, far more secular than religious — a war over political institutions and systems of law, with almost no public argument over religious doctrine.


Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:14 PM | Permalink

September 27, 2014

Jihad in America UPDATED

When Colleen Hufford woke up, she never could have imagined she would be beheaded at work.

Alton Nolen, who now goes by Jah'Keem Yisrael, a convert to Islam, decapitated Hufford and was stabbing Traci Johnson  with the intent of beheading her when he was shot and wounded by Mark Vaughan, CEO of Vaughan Foods and a reserve deputy sheriff carrying a concealed handgun

In a statement, Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel said:  "Mark put an end to the threat by shooting the suspect and saving the life of a second victim who was being actively attacked by the suspect.  There is every reason to believe that the lives of untold others were saved who would have been targeted by the suspect if it hadn't been for Deputy Vaughan’s actions."

Fired Muslim convert store-worker who beheaded female colleague lost his job 'in argument over stoning women'

The Muslim convert who allegedly beheaded a female co-worker was arguing with his colleagues about whether it is acceptable to stone women to death the day he launched his attack, it has been claimed.

Alton Alexander Nolen, 30, was trying to convince workers that Islam teaches that the punishment is acceptable on Thursday, shortly before he was fired from his job at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, according to local media. He returned the same day and lashed out at colleagues Colleen Hufford and Traci Johnson with a knife, police said.

He allegedly beheaded Ms Hufford and stabbed Ms Johnson - and would have continued his rampage had he not been shot by the store's CEO. According to Truth Revolt, a family told a local Oklahoma paper Nolen was telling co-workers about an unspecified Islamic teaching which - Nolen claimed - said women should be stoned for committing certain offenses.

He survived the injury and was hospitalized, while Ms Johnson remains in stable condition in hospital.

Now, it has emerged that Nolen apparently celebrated terrorism, promoted Islam and disparaged non-Muslims in a series of posts on Facebook in the months leading up to the alleged killing.  Under the name Jah'Keem Yisrael, the suspect posted an image of Pope Benedict XVI to the social networking site, accompanied by the caption: 'SHARIA LAW IS COMING!!'…..  Other posts saw Nolen reading the Koran, donning Muslim religious clothing, praying in a mosque and seemingly performing the one-figure salute of the Islamic State terror group.

Earlier this year, Nolen, whose Facebook cover photo appears to show several Taliban fighters, posted a photo of the 9/11 attacks, writing: 'A future prophecy revelation 18.8. She (the Statue of Liberty) is going into flames. She and anybody who's with her',

 Facebookbeheader Nolan posted this picture of himself on his Facebook page on Sept 5  standing in front of the gates of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City.  His caption read “At The Masjid (Mosque)Today For Jumar 9/5/2014 & Peforming Wudu!!!”

Roger Simon asks Have Our Prisons Become Jihad Factories

Was Nolen motivated by jihad or workplace revenge or a cocktail of both?  Probably both. He had a checkered past.  He had been convicted in January 2011 of “multiple drug offenses, assault and battery on a police officer and escape from detention,” according to state records.  He was released from prison in March 2013.

We don’t know the extent to which Nolen’s conversion to Islam occurred in prison, although it is highly likely most of it did.  This is surely worth investigating. Such conversions are a monumental powder keg in the process of going off.  From Wikipedia:

J. Michael Waller claims that Muslim inmates comprise 17-20% of the prison population in New York, or roughly 350,000 inmates in 2003. He also claims that 80% of the prisoners who “find faith” while in prison convert to Islam.[1] These converted inmates are mostly African American, with a small but growing Hispanic minority.[2] Waller also asserts that many converts are radicalized by outside Islamist groups linked to terrorism….

Just last June, Homegrown jihadist shoots N.J. teen 8 times, calling it a ‘just kill’

Brendan Tevlin, of Livingston, was stopped at a red light driving home from a friend’s house on June 25 when Ali Muhammad Brown allegedly walked up his car and fired 10 rounds, striking him eight times.

Mr. Brown then drove the car, with Tevlin’s lifeless body still in it, to a parking lot in West Orange and left him there, Fox News reported.

….Mr. Brown had undergone extensive Jihad training in California and that he’s suspected of additional murders throughout the country, a local Fox affiliate reported.

Mr. Brown allegedly called Tevlin’s death “a just kill” for Muslim deaths at the hands of Americans in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Who can forget the Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Hassan.  A former United States Army psychiatrist and Medical Corps officer, Hassan shouted Allahu Akbar! before fatally shooting 13 people and injuring more than 30 others at Fort Hood  on November 5, 2009. Prior to the shooting the Army and the FBI concluded that his many emails to the late Anwar al-Awiaki were in the nature of 'research' and that he was not a threat.  The Department of Defense called the mass shootings 'workplace violence.'  In 2013, after a court marital, he was convicted of 13 counts of murder and sentenced to death.

Nassan has written a letter to the leader of the Islamic State, Ameer, Mujahid Dr. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”

“I formally and humbly request to be made a citizen of the Islamic State.”

UPDATE:  Ben Shapiro on seven other recent cases of lone wolf Islamic attacks inside the United States in recent years:

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:42 PM | Permalink

September 17, 2014

20th century jihad by the last Caliphate killed between 1-1.5 million Christians

Raphael Lemkin was a Polish Jew and a public prosecutor in Warsaw when he delivered a paper to the Legal Council of the League of Nations in 1933  calling the Crime of Barbarity (which evolved into the idea of genocide a name he coined)  a crime against international law.   

Late in life, he responded to an interviewer who asked him how he became interested in genocide, ""I became interested in genocide because it happened so many times. It happened to the Armenians and after the Armenians Hitler took action".

He joined the Polish army and  defended Warsaw when it was under siege and sustained a bullet wound to his hip. Evading capture by the Germans, he fled Poland for Lithuania and from there to Sweden where he received permission to enter the United States in 1941.  He became a special advisor to the War Department, and after the an advisor to Robert Jackson chief counsel at the Nuremberg trials, a distinguished scholar and professor of law. 

He was moved by the annihilation of between 1 - 1.5 million  Armenians and other Christians who were targeted for extermination by the Ottoman government under the guise of deportation, a crime of genocide which Turkey denies to this day.  Turkey has threatened those who write about the Armenian genocide with reprisals. It wasn't until 2010 that the U.S. Congressional panel voted narrowly that the Armenian holocaust was indeed genocide.

Wikipedia has an extensive article on the Armenian genocide from which I got the following two quotes:

Winston Churchill described the massacres as an "administrative holocaust" and noted that "the clearance of the race from Asia Minor was about as complete as such an act, on a scale so great, could well be. … There is no reasonable doubt that this crime was planned and executed for political reasons. The opportunity presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race opposed to all Turkish ambitions, cherishing national ambitions that could only be satisfied at the expense of Turkey, and planted geographically between Turkish and Caucasian Moslems"

As a neutral state, Sweden maintained representatives in Constantinople (now Istanbul) during the entirety of WWI who reported on.the massacres.  What the ambassador wrote

In his report on 22 July, Anckarsvärd noted that the persecutions of the Armenians were being extended to encompass all Christians in the Ottoman Empire:

[The deportations] can not be any other issue than an annihilation war against the Greek nation in Turkey and as measures hereof they have been implementing forced conversions to Islam, in obvious aim to, that if after the end of the war there again would be a question of European intervention for the protection of the Christians, there will be as few of them left as possible."

On 9 August 1915, Anckarsvärd dispatched yet another report, confirming his suspicions regarding the plans of the Turkish government, "It is obvious that the Turks are taking the opportunity to, now during the war, annihilate [utplåna] the Armenian nation so that when the peace comes no Armenian question longer exists"

Andrew Bostom  writes  the Ottoman Caliphate of 1915-19 Exponentially Worse than ISIS

Notwithstanding the recent horrific spate of atrocities committed against the Christian communities of northern Iraq by the Islamic State (IS/IL) jihadists, the Ottoman jihad ravages were equally barbaric, depraved, and far more extensive.

Occurring primarily between 1915-16 (although continuing through at least 1919), some one million Armenian and 250,000 Assyro-Chaldean and Syrian Orthodox Christians were brutally slaughtered or starved to death during forced deportations through desert wastelands.

The identical gruesome means used by IS/IL to humiliate and massacre its Christian victims were employed on a scale that was an order of magnitude greater by the Ottoman Muslim Turks, often abetted by local Muslim collaborators (the latter being another phenomenon which also happened during the IS/IL jihad campaign against Iraq’s Christians).

Reverend K. Balakian’s eyewitness narrative Hai Koghota (The Armenian Golgotha) —  recounted the harrowing details of a particular slaughter at Yozgat, its Islamic religious motifs unexpurgated. Balakian quotes a Turkish gendarme who confirmed the Ottoman government’s sanction of this explicit act of mass-murderous jihad.  Regarding this particular massacre, Balakian laments:

It is impossible for me to convey what happened to those 6,400 defenseless women, virgins, and brides as well as suckling infants. Their heartrending cries and doleful pleas brought down the deaf canopies of heaven. The police soldiers in Yozgat (and Boghazliyan) who accompanied us would even boast to some of us about how they had committed tortures and decapitations, cut off and chopped up body parts with axes, and how they had dismembered suckling infants and children by pulling apart their legs, or dashing them on rocks.

More than one million Armenian city dwellers and peasants were savagely slaughtered and made to choke quietly on their own blood. Tens of thousands of Armenian males, lashed together with string or rope, were mercilessly butchered along all the roads of Asia Minor, or massacred with axes, like tree branches being pruned. The executioners were deaf to the crying and weeping of these wretched victims, even to their pleas to shoot them so that they might escape the torment: the order had come from on high and the jihad against the Armenians truly had been proclaimed. Yes, it was necessary to mercilessly slaughter them until not a single Armenian was left within the confines of the Ottoman Empire.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:39 AM | Permalink

September 4, 2014

"What if the West has already been conquered, but simply doesn't know it yet?"

The Anchoress Do The Rapes of Rotherham Tell a Tale of Conquest?

What Rotherham puts me in mind of is the behavior of the conqueror. One of the terrible after-effects of invasion and war has been the subjugation of the women, the rape of wives and daughters, the seed of the conqueror, inserted into a culture and a society — yet another tactic meant to subdue and eradicate.

And yet, there has been no old-fashioned “invasion” and no “war” in the southern part of Yorkshire. This conquering was invited, and it was invited throughout Europe, where Rotherham will be discovered to have been replicated. Why wouldn’t it be? Who in Europe would dare to prosecute?
Rape and subjugation is one way to conquer a people. Getting them to destroy themselves is another. A conquest is a conquest. For that matter, one needn’t use a blunt knife to behead a culture; you just blunt their thinking as much as possible.

What if the West has already been conquered, but simply doesn’t know it yet, because a painless coup happened while the West was naval gazing, or buried in its twitter feed?

Mark Steyn on the Reformation of Manners

the individuals who presided over this regime destroyed the lives of 1,400 people in their care, and have paid no price for it. Indeed, some have been promoted, and put in charge of even more children: Sonia Sharp, who was head of child services in Rotherham, is now in an equivalent position Down Under for the entire state of Victoria.

Meantime, the fear of being perceived as "racist" prevails even in the news stories about how terrible it is that nobody did anything. As James Delingpole explains, if you have to get specific about the perpetrators, the preferred euphemism is "Asian", a word that in Fleet Street doesn't mean Chinese or oriental but persons deriving from the Indian sub-continent. This is, apart from anything else, grossly unfair to Hindus. The men who raped and tortured these girls were, in Rotherham as elsewhere, mostly Muslims of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin. And their victims were not.
So now, in the new multiculti Britain, the child sex trade is back, as part of the rich, vibrant tapestry of diversity - along with Jew-hate, and honor killings, and decapitation porn. The solutions to the internal contradictions of multiculturalism are (a) David Cameron's expanded security state; (b) Afsun Qureshi's universal prostration before Islam; or © an end to mass Muslim immigration. The last is too obvious for any viable western politician ever to propose it.
That leaves Wilberforce's "reformation of manners" - on a scale he never contemplated, and with a self-segregating community extremely resistant to outside influence. Meanwhile, leaders such as David Cameron keep hoping that somehow all these excitable young men with their surplus energies will embrace "British values", without ever being able to say what these "British values" are, other than the stuff Yorkshire schools teach as the source of all the evils in the world - imperialism, racism, colonialism, etc. And even as we dither, in Rotherham and elsewhere, Islam is already reforming our manners. As I wrote the other day, slowly, remorselessly, we are becoming them.

Yet the reporting in the New York Times, the so-called 'paper of record' fails to mention

what for many other mainstream news reports is the key issue: the investigation traced the local government officials’ inaction primarily to fears of offending the Muslim community. […]  The religion angle is completely absent from the Times article. 
This story points to the problem of Muslim integration in Europe (and elsewhere). Policy elites have authorized mass immigration without much public discussion or consent, and the cultures and values aren’t mixing well (exacerbated by horrible economic problems in much of Europe, thanks also to the elite’s euro fiasco). These factors combine to create a potentially explosive situation on the ground. Readers of the Times won’t understand this very well and will miss one of the key issues driving European, and therefore world, politics.

Rebecca Hamilton  Rotherham and the Cowardly Act of Offering Up Young Girls to the Dragon of Misogyny

We are being told that the local police and the rest of the community were so fearful of being called out by the forces of political correctness that they offered up their city’s young girls to avoid it. This echoes tales of heretofore mythical villagers, offering up their daughters to appease the dragon. Only this is real life.
I’ve been reading for months about ISIS in Iraq and Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, kidnapping Christian girls, and raping them and selling them into sex trafficking. Boko Haram kidnapped almost 300 school girls for the express purpose of selling them into sex slavery. In other news, we have the Sidney gang rapes of Australian girls by Australian nationals of Lebanese Muslim descent, and the gang rapes in Holland by men of Turkish and Moroccan descent.

Does anybody see a pattern here?

The politically correct crowd can yak about “racism” and “Islamaphobia” all they want. What we are dealing with is violent and vile misogyny of almost mind-boggling proportions. And it’s not just the rapists who are misogynists. Whole countries — entire nations — are willing to sacrifice their girls to the dragon of politically-correct lies.  The Rotherham police can now join the cops of Juarez who allowed young women to be kidnapped, raped and tortured to death and would not lift a finger.
We also have a pattern of one particular group of people — of whom the Rotherham rapists are a part — engaging in terror tactics against helpless civilians in a number of places around the world. Not only do they kidnap/rape/enslave and sell young girls, they burn, behead and annihilate whole populations.
We justify it with self-righteous claims that anyone who speaks against it is a racist who hates Muslims. The obvious response to that is Who is the racist here? Who is raping whom?

I, for one, do not hate Muslims. I believe that there are a lot of Muslims who feel trapped between these rapists and the larger society. But we do those people no good by allowing the savages among them to run free and terrorize all of us, including them.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:04 AM | Permalink

September 2, 2014

The Last Empire

The Arab Empire Arabs are not indigenous to most of the land they control.

Nothing angers an Islamist like an infidel occupying Muslim land. The political Left has a taboo along the same lines; no memory is reviled like those of the old empires…..

In some ways, the anti-imperialists are right — historically, empires have been a hit-or-miss proposition. The British Empire built roads and schools, the Roman Empire built roads and baths and murdered a great many people, the Mongol Empire murdered a great many people and built a pyramid using 90,000 of their heads.  But whether or not empires deserve the hatred that has been heaped on them since World War II, they’re mostly a thing of the past. The Mongols rule only Mongolia, the Romans have melted into a nation of well-dressed womanizers, and the sun sets on Britain every day. With the Soviet Union gone for 20 years now, there’s really just one great empire left: the Arab Empire.

When people think of indigenous peoples of the Middle East, they think of Arabs — but in the grand scheme, the Arabs are new to most of the territory they control. Striking out from the Arabian Peninsula around 600 a.d. with their new Muslim message, they conquered, converted, and murdered their way into ethnic dominance from Iraq to Morocco. Today’s Egyptians are not descendants of the Egyptians who built the pyramids — though the bitterly oppressed Copts might be. Moab and the Moabites have disappeared, the Lebanese of antiquity were Phoenician, the Philistines were not Palestinian. In fact, only one nation west of Persia weathered the storm of Arab expansion and reestablished self-governance: the Judeans.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:18 PM | Permalink

September 1, 2014

Quote of the day

From Instapundit's unnamed friend.

Let’s accept, arguendo, that the outgoing DIA chief is right, and that we are now in an era of danger similar to the mid-1930s. How did we get here? It’s worth looking back into the mists of time — an entire year, to Labor Day weekend 2013. What had not happened then? It’s quite a list, actually: the Chinese ADIZ, the Russian annexation of Crimea, the rise of ISIS, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the fall of Mosul, the end of Hungarian liberal democracy, the Central American refugee crisis, the Egyptian-UAE attacks on Libya, the extermination of Iraqi Christians, the Yazidi genocide, the scramble to revise NATO’s eastern-frontier defenses, the Kristallnacht-style pogroms in European cities, the reemergence of mainstream anti-Semitism, the third (or fourth, perhaps) American war in Iraq, racial riots in middle America, et cetera and ad nauseam.

All that was in the future just one year ago.
But the larger point here is not what’s happening, because what’s happening is obvious. Things are falling apart. The point is how fast it’s come. It takes the blood and labor of generations to build a general peace, and that peace is sustained by two pillars: a common moral vision, and force majeure. We spent a quarter-century chipping away at the latter, and finally discarded the former, and now that peace is gone. All this was the work of decades.

Look back, again, to Labor Day weekend 2013, and understand one thing: its undoing was the work of mere months.

It reminds me of this quote from Will and Ariel Durant

"Out of every hundred new ideas ninety-nine or more will probably be inferior to the traditional responses which they propose to replace.

No one man, however brilliant or well-informed, can come in one lifetime to such fullness of understanding as to safely judge and dismiss the customs or institutions of his society, for those are the wisdom of generations after centuries of experiment in the laboratory of history.

For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not as the distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before."
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:25 PM | Permalink

August 27, 2014

"‘I didn’t want to appear racist’ is the ‘I was only obeying orders’ of our age"

From Rotherham , a large town in South Yorkshire of about  258 thousand comes the horrifying, appalling report of police, councilmen and social workers allowing mainly white girls as young as 11 to be raped, threatened with death and turned into sex slaves by Pakistani gangs so no one could accuse them of being racist.    A grotesque sacrifice of young girls on the altar of political correctness.

You can be sure that none of them will be punished and taxpayers will bear the cost of damage awards of the civil suits that are sure to follow.

Rotherham sex abuse scandal: 1,400 children exploited by Asian gangs while authorities turned a blind eye

More than 1,400 children were sexually abused over a 16 year period by gangs of pedophiles after police and council bosses turned a blind eye for fear of being labelled racist, a damning report has concluded.

Senior officials were responsible for “blatant” failures that saw victims, some as young as 11, being treated with contempt and categorized as being “out of control” or simply ignored when they asked for help.

In some cases, parents who tried to rescue their children from abusers were themselves arrested. Police officers even dismissed the rape of children by saying that sex had been consensual.

Downing Street on Tuesday night described the failure to halt the abuse in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, as “appalling”.  Following the publication of the report, the leader of Rotherham council, Roger Stone, resigned, but no other council employees will face disciplinary proceedings after it was claimed that there was not enough evidence to take action.

New York Times 

A report released on Tuesday on accusations of widespread sexual abuse in the northern England city of Rotherham found that about 1,400 minors — some as young as 11 years old — were beaten, raped and trafficked from 1997 to 2013 as the local authorities ignored a series of red flags.

Some children were doused in gasoline and threatened with being set on fire if they reported their abusers, the report said, and others were forced to watch rapes and threatened with the same fate. In more than a third of the cases, the victims appear to have been known to child protection agencies, but the police and local government officials failed to act……

The vast majority of perpetrators have been identified as South Asian and most victims were young white girls, adding to the complexity of the case. Some officials appeared to believe that social workers pointing to a pattern of sexual exploitation were exaggerating, while others reportedly worried about being accused of racism if they spoke out. The report accused officials of ignoring “a politically inconvenient truth” in turning a blind eye to men of Pakistani heritage grooming vulnerable white girls for sex.
Some officials were apparently ordered by their managers to withhold information on the ethnic origin of the abusers, the report said. As a result, no contact was made with local Pakistani leaders for help in identifying gangs that continued to assault and abduct teenagers.

Some Pakistani councillors in Rotherham 'blocked attempts' to tackle child abuse… and some 'tried to force social workers to reveal the refuges where domestic violence victims were staying'

Sue Reid 'I was called a liar and a racist for exposing this sex gang abuse horror'

Even those of us who warned for years of young girls being traded in provincial towns as sex slaves were shocked at yesterday’s revelations of the scale of the crimes.  Particularly shameful was the silence of police, councillors and senior social workers. For crucial information about the crimes that had been given to the authorities — often by parents frantic about their daughters going missing or turning up drunk and dishevelled late at night — was either suppressed or ignored.

And so the brutal street-grooming and sexual abuse went on for 16 years. One girl quoted in the report says she thought ‘gang-rape was a usual part of growing up’.
It is vital to stress two important things. First, that the great majority of Asian men are law-abiding citizens with strong family values. Second, that rape and pedophilia are problems across all sectors of society and have nothing to do with race and ethnicity.
Yet the responsibility for these crimes to continue unpunished for so long lies with the weakness of those authorities whose duty it is to care for the vulnerable.
Speaking on conditions of strict anonymity because she fears for her safety even though she has now left the town, one of the early victims of the Rotherham gangs told me that she was at primary school when she was first attacked. ‘One minute I was playing with dolls, the next I was a sex slave.’

'I saved all my clothes I was raped in but the police lost them and said it was my word against his': Shocking claims of Rotherham sex abuse gang victim whose parents sent her abroad when authorities failed to protect her

The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards

White experts and officers have for too long been reluctant to confront serious offences committed by black and Asian people. Such extreme tolerance is the result of specious morality, that credo that says investigating such crimes would encourage racism or enrage community activists and leaders, or, worse, make the professionals appear racist. So, instead of saving children who were being gang raped, drugged, assaulted, threatened and terrorised, they chose to protect rapists, abusers, traffickers and drug dealers. And themselves.
The perpetrators are not pedophiles in the normal sense of the word. Racial and cultural odium as much as ugly lust and power drives them to abuse. Most of them are also irreversibly misogynist. It is a lethal mix, this sexist psychopathy.

I partly blame their families and communities. Too many Asian mothers spoil their boys, undervalue their girls, and demean their daughters-in-law. Within some British Asian circles, the West is considered degenerate and immoral. So it’s OK to take their girls and ruin them further. Some of the most fierce rows I have ever had have been with Asian women who hold these disgusting views.

Ann Althouse “I’d like to see more detail about this ‘fear of being thought as racist.’ It sounds like a confession of deliberate law enforcement paralysis, a choice to permit thousands of children to be raped for decades on end, because of befuddlement about how on earth to begin to do anything without looking bad or because of a sense that your community is already hopelessly overwhelmed by evil forces that will only become more aggressive and violent if opposed.”    Perhaps they need to consider the possibility that there are worse things than being thought racist. Of course, if that idea were to spread, a powerful tool of social control would vanish.

"Political Correctness is Fascism Pretending to be Manners"  Bookworm Room

‘I didn’t want to appear racist’ is the ‘I was only obeying orders’ of our age writes Ed West in the Spectator

How could this have happened? A clue is given by the report’s authors, who state that ‘several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist’.

Racism has become so hysterical a subject that it has crowded out all other moral concerns, including in this case the concern to look after children…..

Political correctness was supposed to make us nicer, but in reality it just makes people stupider. As anyone who has done any sort of online test will tell you, much of human intelligence comes down to pattern recognition; the whole purpose of political correctness is to stop us noticing patterns even when they stare us in the face.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:46 PM | Permalink

August 21, 2014

"Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here"

Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future. I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.

Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims.  Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles.  You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values.  If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.

Archbishop Amel Nona, Chaldean Catholic Archeparch of Mosul, now exiled in Erbil  source

In the NYT, Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress writes Who Will Stand Up for the Christians?

WHY is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa? In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the tragic deaths of Palestinians who have been used as human shields by Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza. The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference.

The Middle East and parts of central Africa are losing entire Christian communities that have lived in peace for centuries. The terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped and killed hundreds of Christians this year — ravaging the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza, in Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, two weeks ago. Half a million Christian Arabs have been driven out of Syria during the three-plus years of civil war there. Christians have been persecuted and killed in countries from Lebanon to Sudan.

Historians may look back at this period and wonder if people had lost their bearings. Few reporters have traveled to Iraq to bear witness to the Nazi-like wave of terror that is rolling across that country. The United Nations has been mostly mum. World leaders seem to be consumed with other matters in this strange summer of 2014. There are no flotillas traveling to Syria or Iraq. And the beautiful celebrities and aging rock stars — why doesn’t the slaughter of Christians seem to activate their social antennas?
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is not a loose coalition of jihadist groups, but a real military force that has managed to take over much of Iraq with a successful business model that rivals its coldblooded spearhead of death. It uses money from banks and gold shops it has captured, along with control of oil resources and old-fashioned extortion, to finance its killing machine, making it perhaps the wealthiest Islamist terrorist group in the world. But where it truly excels is in its carnage, rivaling the death orgies of the Middle Ages. It has ruthlessly targeted Shiites, Kurds and Christians.

“They actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick” a Chaldean-American businessman named Mark Arabo told CNN, describing a scene in a Mosul park. “More children are getting beheaded, mothers are getting raped and killed, and fathers are being hung.”

This week, 200,000 Aramaeans fled their ancestral homeland around Nineveh, having already escaped Mosul.

The general indifference to ISIS, with its mass executions of Christians and its deadly preoccupation with Israel, isn’t just wrong; it’s obscene…..

The Jewish people understand all too well what can happen when the world is silent. This campaign of death must be stopped.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:53 PM | Permalink

August 19, 2014

An electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, is "the most significant threat" to the U.S. and our allies in the world.

In the Wall Street Journal, James Woolsey former director of the CIA warns us of  The Growing Threat From an EMP Attack  A nuclear device detonated above the U.S. could kill millions, and we've done almost nothing to prepare.

In a recent letter to investors, billionaire hedge-fund manager Paul Singer warned that an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, is "the most significant threat" to the U.S. and our allies in the world. He's right. Our food and water supplies, communications, banking, hospitals, law enforcement, etc., all depend on the electric grid. Yet until recently little attention has been paid to the ease of generating EMPs by detonating a nuclear weapon in orbit above the U.S., and thus bringing our civilization to a cold, dark halt……

What would a successful EMP attack look like? The EMP Commission, in 2008, estimated that within 12 months of a nationwide blackout, up to 90% of the U.S. population could possibly perish from starvation, disease and societal breakdown.
What to do?

Surge arrestors, faraday cages and other devices that prevent EMP from damaging electronics, as well micro-grids that are inherently less susceptible to EMP, have been used by the Defense Department for more than 50 years to protect crucial military installations and strategic forces. These can be adapted to protect civilian infrastructure as well. The cost of protecting the national electric grid, according to a 2008 EMP Commission estimate, would be about $2 billion—roughly what the U.S. gives each year in foreign aid to Pakistan.

When the lights go out forever…

It is ironic that, in just a handful of generations, America’s dependence on electricity and computer technology is absolute. Its disappearance would lead to the collapse of civilization, a prospect which must look quite enticing to those actors who wish to do America harm.
Can this dark future be prevented? Of course, but the will to address this threat in Washington apparently does not exist.

Tech companies and influencers seek to prevent EMP damage

Concern over the destruction inflicted by an EMP attack from North Korea has heightened since Congress created the first Congressional EMP Commission in 2001, but the electric grid’s vulnerability to disruptions associated with solar flares has been known for more than 150 years.

Industry watchers attribute the grid’s poor security to turf wars involving the federal government’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the international nonprofit North American Electric Reliability Corporation, as well as a lack of urgency by both organizations

The Foundation for Resilient Societies, in a July op-ed in the Capitol Hill publication The Hill, for example, blasted NERC and FERC for a May 2013 vote against improving the physical security standards for the grid after six men with AK-47 machine guns shot up a substation in California.

Only after FERC report about leaked almost a year later did the agency pressure NERC to improve physical security

Sifma: Terrorist Attack Could Temporarily Drain Account Balances

Wall Street’s biggest trade group has proposed a government-industry cyber war council to stave off terrorist attacks that could trigger financial panic by temporarily wiping out account balances, according to an internal document.

The proposal by the Securities Industry and Financial Market Association calls for a committee of executives and deputy-level representatives from at least eight U.S. agencies including the Treasury Department, the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security….

“The systemic consequences could well be devastating for the economy as the resulting loss of confidence in the security of individual and corporate savings and assets could trigger widespread runs on financial institutions that likely would extend well beyond the directly impacted banks, securities firms and asset managers,” Sifma wrote in the document, dated June 27.

The cost of protecting our electrical infrastructure is so small - $2 billion - and the devastating impacts of an EMP attack so horrendous and immediate, there should be not a single Congressman who is opposed to it, no matter what their political persuasion.  I urge you to demand that your Congressman or candidate for Congress go on record as to the urgent need for legislation and immediate action to protect this country's electrical grid. 

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:39 PM | Permalink

July 28, 2014

One hundred years ago, the Great War began

It is impossible to overestimate the effect of World War I.  This summer and for the next four years we will learn what we didn't know about the Great War and its disastrous effects on millions of lives across the world

The War That Broke a Century  Peggy Noonan

A king, a kaiser, a czar—all were undone as they realized what they had unleashed with World War I….. It was the great disaster of the 20th century, the one that summoned or forced the disasters that would follow, from Lenin and Hitler to World War II and the Cold War. It is still, a century later, almost impossible to believe that one event, even a war, could cause such destruction, such an ending of worlds.

History still isn't sure and can never be certain of the exact number of casualties. Christopher Clark, in "The Sleepwalkers" (2013), puts it at 20 million military and civilian deaths and 21 million wounded. The war unleashed Bolshevism, which brought communism, which in time would kill tens of millions more throughout the world. (In 1997, "The Black Book of Communism," written by European academics, put the total number at a staggering 94 million.)

Thrones were toppled, empires undone. Western Europe lost a generation of its most educated and patriotic, its future leaders from all classes—aristocrats and tradesmen, teachers, carpenters and poets. No nation can lose a generation of such men without effect. Their loss left Europe, among other things, dumber.

Ghosts of the First World War: Century-old photos of soldiers marching down our streets superimposed on modern-day images
The new photos by Getty Images photographer Peter Macdiarmid have been matched up with archive shots from various image banks.

 Wounded Wwisoldiers Beach
Indian soldiers who were wounded fighting at Flanders recuperate on Bournemouth beach in 1917, while modern-day visitors are also seen there

In the National Geographic, an  Interview with British historian David Reynolds on his  book  The Long Shadow
The Great War, as it came to be known, lasted four years, from 1914 to 1918. But its aftereffects haunted Europe and the rest of the world through the 20th century—and are still felt in our own times.  It helps explain today's bloodshed in the Middle East

Rapunzel-like display outside the Tower of London launched as more than 800,000 ceramic poppies will be planted over the summer to commemorate the First World War

A ceramic poppy will be planted in the Tower's moat for each allied victim.  More than 800,000 poppies will be planted before Armistice Day in November

 Poppies Londontower

In the Atlantic World War I in Photos: Introduction  by Alan Taylor

 Archduke Ferdinand+Sophie

In 1914, Austria-Hungary was a powerful and huge country, larger than Germany, with nearly as many citizens. It had been ruled by Emperor Franz Joseph I since 1848, who had been grooming his nephew, Archduke Franz Ferdinand as the heir to the throne. In this photo, taken in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, a visiting Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Czech Countess Sophie Chotek, are departing a reception at City Hall. Earlier that morning, on the way to the hall, their motorcade had been attacked by one of a group of Serbian nationalist assassins, whose bomb damaged one car and injured dozens of bystanders. After this photo was taken, the Archduke and his wife climbed into the open car, headed for a nearby hospital to visit the wounded. Just blocks away though, the car paused to turn around, directly in front of another assassin, who walked up to the car and fired two shots, killing both Franz Ferdinand and his wife. (AP Photo)

How the Peace Pope Almost Put an End to the First World War

Under Pope Benedict XV (1854-1922), the Vatican became a center for effective Christian peace activism. Benedict took office on September 3, 1914, a nightmare moment in European history. …..

In November 1914, he protested, “There is no limit to the measure of ruin and of slaughter; day by day the earth is drenched with newly-shed blood, and is covered with the bodies of the wounded and of the slain. Who would imagine, as we see them thus filled with hatred of one another, that they are all of one common stock, all of the same nature, all members of the same human society? Who would recognize brothers, whose Father is in Heaven?”    In 1916, he famously lamented “the suicide of civilized Europe.”
Benedict also offered strictly practical plans for limiting the conflict…..In retrospect, though, Benedict’s ideas impress by their practicality. If his principles sound familiar, that is because they were substantially incorporated into Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points of the following year, which supplied the terms on which the defeated Germans finally accepted an Armistice. Carried out on the lines Benedict envisaged, his 1917 scheme might well have avoided the disasters of the post-1918 world, and even the Second World War.

Life on the eve of war

We’ve delved into the Telegraph’s archives and read the newspapers of 1914. They show just how unaware we were of the horrors ahead. This is the life Britain unwittingly left behind…..What is so unnerving reading the Telegraph in those days after the assassination was the way life carried on as normal. People continued to browse dress patterns, plan weekend drives, tear out recipes and queue at cinemas, quite oblivious to what was coming. This is the life they were about to leave behind forever.

….Fashion -Outfits called “ready-mades” had arrived in the West End shops and women began daring to go hatless,
…..Cars and planes -There are fewer fatalities on the roads now than there were before the First World War, despite there being eighty times more motor vehicles. Danger seemed dashing, and brakes could be a little tricky, back then.
….Food -Tinned food was all the rage, as were cookery books and new home refrigeration devices. But we still hadn’t learned to prepare vegetables properly.
….Art & Culture.  Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford reigned supreme at the cinema, Serge Diaghilev was a sensation at Drury Lane and the works of a young Pablo Picasso shocked the nation.
….Women’s Rights - The Telegraph called it “a hopeless exercise” but the suffragettes were bolder than ever in their fight for women's right to vote in 1914.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:49 PM | Permalink

July 26, 2014

"The cumulative deconstruction has cheapened everything we fought for and everything we might fight for"

From one of the best essayists of our time, Richard Fernandez at the Belmont Club writes When God Goes Fishing

There are some subjects that are almost too large for literature, even for Tolstoy, who tried to answer the question “how should one live a moral life in an ethically imperfect world?” by following  the fortunes of  characters in his novel War and Peace.

Some characters seek fame, others  sensual gratification, a few — like Napoleon — pursue an egotistical sense of power. But altogether too many of the rest are content to gnaw their way through the world like insects, not only incapable of answering Tolstoy’s question but unable to even ask it.

Some even want to meet God,  a few glimpse the answer fleetingly and are content. One suspects the present time, like 1812 is a special era, one when more people than usual ask: ‘where is God in this amoral world?’ The answer may be that  ’God is away on one of His customary disappearances’.  For one of the hallmarks of historical discontinuity is that God vanishes temporarily, during a time when old loyalties, ideologies and beliefs lose their power to bind.

The last 70 years have been spent dismantling the mental world of our fathers;  in teaching us about the corruption of America, the emptiness of patriotism and the hypocrisy of organized religion.  But along the way it has had to admit to the brutality of Communism, the fatuousness of manufactured causes, and the perversity of Hollywood.

That cumulative deconstruction has cheapened everything we fought for and everything we might fight for. Like Tolstoy’s characters in 1812, it  has left us with nowhere simple to turn; with no easy way to live a moral life in an ethically imperfect world.
Today, as Russian troops mass on the border of Ukraine, move rockets to the frontier; as the Middle East goes up in flames and Central Americans flood the southern border the question is not only what is there left to defend but why it should be.  What for?

For the sake of a land grabbed from the Indians?

For the salvation of a nation founded on slavery?

In the name of a God that doesn’t exist?

To preserve a constitution authored by old white men that is a hundred years old and nobody reads any more?

Which leaves us almost where Prince Andrei was on the fields of Borodino……
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:51 AM | Permalink

July 20, 2014

ISIS to Christians in Mosul: 24 hours to leave or be beheaded

The "final solution" underway in Iraq for all Christians and few care.

Christian Holocaust Underway in Iraq.  USA and World Look Away  by Sebastian Gorka

When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, there were at least 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Over the last ten years, significantly in the last few months with the emergence of ISIS, that figure has dropped to about 400,000.

One of the world’s leading experts on asymmetric warfare, Dr. Sebastian Gorka, “in the last 48 hours, ISIS, which is now called the Islamic State in Mosul, has painted the letter “N” for Nazarene on the houses of all the surviving Christians in the city. ISIS has basically given an ultimatum to all the Christians left: You can either flee or convert to Islam, or we will kill you.”

Gorka points out that, over the last 20 years, America has stood up around the world to save Muslims. “Whether it was to save the Muslims in Bosnia or the Albanians, Kosovars, and Muslims in Serbia, it is now time for a humanitarian operation to save the remaining Christians in Iraq,” he said. “It is time for the American people and our representatives to do something for our co-religionists remaining in the Middle East.”

Marlow observed that the blatant religious cleansing is horrifying and asked Gorka: “Why is it that the mainstream press is not interested in the story?” Gorka first responded by saying "Let's face it, this is a Christian version of the Holocaust and nothing less.” ….. the media is “post-modernist, sophisticated, and secularist. So when it comes to the idea of religious persecution, they say, ‘Well who really cares because I don’t believe in God. If you are not sophisticated enough to be a post-modernist secularist… tough on you!

Christians Given Ultimatum in Mosul: Convert, Leave or Die

Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Saad Sirop of Baghdad has confirmed a troubling report from Mosul that the Islamic State is now presenting Christians in that city with a final ultimatum of conversion, subservience or death.

Christians have until  tomorrow (Saturday, July 19)  to leave, or face execution.  "In the last hours, the jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have forced the few remaining Christians in Iraq's second city to leave their homes. Desperate, Christians immediately fled but were stopped at checkpoints by militias who have looted cars and all their belongings and then summoned them to continue on foot. Most of the families are headed to the North, in the city of Dahuk."
It may be the end game Christians have feared for some time, especially since ISIS took over Mosul in early June. Since then, things have gotten progressively worse for Christians. The Associated Press has also reported that the Islamic State has begun seizing the houses of Christian and Shiite families who fled Mosul and giving some of them to Sunni families uprooted from areas like Tikrit and Diyala. "They mark these houses with signs reading Islamic State Properties,"

As Christians are massacred in Iraq, laid-back Obama maintains his shameful silence notes Damian Thompson.

Thousands of Iraqi Christians pour out of Mosul after ISIS jihadis give them deadline to convert, pay or face death

Thousands of Iraqi Christians today poured out of Mosul after ISIS jihadis gave them an ultimatum - convert, pay or face death.
The Islamic State terror group declared that Christians must either convert to Islam, pay a special tax or leave the city, around 250 miles north-west of Baghdad.
If they did not do so by noon (9am GMT) today, there would be 'nothing for them but the sword', it said.
Chaldean patriarch Louis Sako, who heads Iraq's largest Christian community, said the terrifying ultimatum had been relayed by mosques in ISIS-controlled Mosul.
He told AFP: 'Christian families are on their way to Dohuk and Arbil [in Kurdistan]. For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians.'

News from Ninevah by David Warren

It would seem that, this morning, for the first time in more than eighteen centuries, there are no Christians in Mosul, Iraq….

By tradition, the tombs of several Old Testament patriarchs and prophets are to be found within the large area now under Mosul’s modern urban sprawl. (It is the largest city in Iraq, except Baghdad.) This includes the shrine associated with the tomb of Jonah, itself of extraordinary antiquity, which was torched and demolished earlier in the week. All physical evidence that Christians ever lived in Mosul will soon be erased, if it has not been erased already. (Shia Islamic shrines have also been demolished by the Sunni jihadis; and I gather that the museum, one of several sites around Mosul under nominal protection of UNESCO as “world heritage,” has also been trashed by these iconoclasts.)
The “final solution” for Mosul’s Christians was blared from loudspeakers in the minarets of the city’s Sunni mosques after Friday prayers. They would have twenty-four hours to flee, taking nothing but the clothes they were wearing. Those found still in the city, after noon yesterday, would be put to the sword. A third option, conversion to Islam, was mentioned only for the record. Any intending to do that would surely have done it by now. The possessions of all Christians had been “nationalized,” according to the announcement — everything they owned now belonged to the Islamic Caliphate of Iraq and the Levant.
The Christians have fled, by necessity many on foot under the killing sun of the Mesopotamian summer, mostly towards Kurdistan: the one part of northern Iraq the jihadis have not yet attempted to subjugate. That is also where Western refugee aid is most likely to be available. At this point, we cannot guess how many will make it alive. Certainly the number of dead will vastly exceed those tallied in the airliner that was shot down in eastern Ukraine — the story now at the top of Western media headlines, for the plane was full of Europeans.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:47 PM | Permalink

The Myth that Religion is the #1 Cause of War

The Myth that Religion is the #1 Cause of War

Atheists and secular humanists consistently make the claim that religion is the #1 cause of violence and war throughout the history of mankind. One of atheism's key cheerleaders, Sam Harris, says in his book The End of Faith that faith and religion are “the most prolific source of violence in our history.”1
An interesting source of truth on the matter is Philip and Axelrod’s three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars, which chronicles some 1,763 wars that have been waged over the course of human history. Of those wars, the authors categorize 123 as being religious in nature  which is an astonishingly low 6.98% of all wars. However, when one subtracts out those waged in the name of Islam (66), the percentage is cut by more than half to 3.23%.


The truth is, non-religious motivations and naturalistic philosophies bear the blame for nearly all of humankind’s wars. Lives lost during religious conflict pales in comparison to those experienced during the regimes who wanted nothing to do with the idea of God – something showcased in R. J. Rummel’s work Lethal Politics and Death by Government:

Non-Religious Dictator Lives Lost
  • Joseph Stalin - 42,672,000
  • Mao Zedong - 37,828,000
  • Adolf Hitler - 20,946,000
  • Chiang Kai-shek - 10,214,000
  • Vladimir Lenin - 4,017,000
  • Hideki Tojo - 3,990,000
  • Pol Pot - 2,397,0003
Rummel says: “Almost 170 million men, women and children have been shot, beaten, tortured, knifed, burned, starved, frozen, crushed or worked to death; buried alive, drowned, hung, bombed or killed in any other of a myriad of ways governments have inflicted death on unarmed, helpless citizens and foreigners. The dead could conceivably be nearly 360 million people. It is though our species has been devastated by a modern Black Plague. And indeed it has, but a plague of Power, not germs.”

The historical evidence is quite clear: Religion is not the #1 cause of war.  via Tea at Trianon

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:22 PM | Permalink

July 18, 2014

When people simply forgot how to build things

In Aeon Farming the apocalypse by Keith Farrell

"When my life came crashing down I took shelter on my farm, surviving with 11th-century tools like the sickle and scythe"
Only gradually did I realize that I had far more in common with a post-apocalypse survivor – and chronic illness, not to mention financial challenges, are apocalyptic in their way – than with an 11th-century farmer. Those farmers, after all, knew what they were doing; their whole lives would have been spent doing it. They were far more prepared for a post-apocalypse life on the land than me or almost anyone I knew

Rod Dreher comments in Livin' The Medieval Dream,

When you have to preserve skills and methods from generation to generation simply to survive, traditions develop, and they become critically important, even after people may have forgotten why they came about. Then along comes technology to free you from traditions, and you discard them. Eventually you come to believe that anything you will is possible. And you forget that we all live on a soap bubble.

Historian Brian Ward-Perkins says that the retreat of material culture after the Western Roman Empire fell was catastrophic; people simply forgot how to build things — and that with the disappearance of the relatively complex economic networks under imperial Rome, intellectual life also shriveled. I interviewed Ward-Perkins about this once in his Oxford University office, but I don’t know that I understood so intimately what he meant by that until I read Ferrell’s essay.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:48 AM | Permalink

July 10, 2014

Who Turned Out the Lights and Who Turned Them Back On

 Monks Copying Books
An illustration from a medieval manuscript depicts monks copying books by hand in a monastery.

The Dark Ages: Who Turned Out the Lights?

Polemicists who comment on blogs often blame the Church for the Dark Ages. Actual historians know that the Dark Ages, insofar as they were dark, were darkened by the barbarian invasions that inundated the western Roman Empire, and that it was only in the Church (and in its monasteries in particular) that any light was preserved. It might be a bit of a stretch to suggest (as Thomas Cahill did in his book of similar name) that “the Irish (i.e. the Irish monks) saved civilization,” but it is certain that whatever vestiges of earlier Roman civilization managed to be saved were saved by the Church.

It was the pagan Gothic tribes sweeping down from the north and east that submerged classical Roman and Christian culture in a sea of barbarism. It was the Church that tried to preserve what learning it could, and which strove valiantly to convert them. After centuries of work it did a passable job, and it was only thanks to this that classic learning was preserved to become the foundation for later progress. On that foundation the west has built many things, including modern democracy, modern science, and the concept of human rights. But the foundation upon which they were built was a Christian one, one laid painfully and laboriously by the Church in the so-called Dark Ages. In short: it was the pagans who turned out the lights. It was the Church who kept a lamp burning, and eventually turned the lights back on again.
In all these debates about the Church and the Dark Ages, the real disagreement is not between the Church and the secularists, but between real scholars and ignoramuses.  . Real historical scholars know that the concept of “the Dark Ages” is an historical construct of fairly recent vintage, and that the Church of that period was the defender of learning and the arts.

Life and Work in Medieval Monasteries

Some of the most important work carried on during the Dark Ages was done by humble monks copying ancient manuscripts in cold, dark monasteries.

 Monk In Scriptorium

The printing press had not yet been invented and all documents were copied by hand on parchment. Scribes copied thousands of Bibles and classical works for circulation in the Christian areas of Europe. Theirs was the labor that would lift the western world out of the darkness of ignorance and illiteracy.

Fortress Protection From Viking Barbarian Attacks
Viking invasions were a major danger for the peaceful monastic communities in Europe. The scriptorium was the most important room in a monastery next to the chapel itself and for this reason, these writing rooms were often built at the top of an attack-proof fortress tower with curved walls resembling a tall cylinder. The towers were separate buildings enclosed within the walls of the compound. The monks climbed 15 to 20 feet up a ladder to the scriptorium and then pulled a ladder up after them. This made it almost impossible for the attacking warriors to reach them.

A Monastic Scribe’s Workday
After lauds, the morning prayer, each scribe entered the scriptorium and worked hunched over at a tiny table while seated on a backless stool. The desk was placed in front of a small window that provided the only available light in the room. No candles or fires for warmth were allowed because of the flammability of the parchment material. They worked in these conditions no matter how cold or wet the weather might be.

The threat of the Vikings and the perilous nature of life in the Dark Ages is brilliantly told in The Secret of the Kells, the most beautiful animated movie I've ever seen.  Variety called it "A Tour-de-Force!" and  "Absolutely luscious to behold!".    The LA Times movie critic Kenneth Turan said,  "Four Stars! Ravishing! Magical! Glorious!"  Now on dvd, it's a marvelous film for families and children. 

And then there is the engaging classic by Thomas Cahill How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe

But the best is probably by Thomas Woods, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.    You can download as a free ebook chapter 3 How the Monks Saved Civilization here.    You will learn how during a period of great turmoil as Roman rule collapsed all over Europe, Benedictine monasteries were "oases of order and peace".

"“Wherever they came,” adds still another, “they converted the wilderness into a cultivated country; they pursued the breeding of cattle and agriculture, labored with their own hands, drained morasses, and cleared away forests. By them Germany was rendered a fruitful country.” Another historian records that “every Benedictine monastery was an agricultural college for the whole region in which it was located.
For the monks,  manual labor was a channel of grace.  "They chose the most secluded and inaccessible sites to reinforce the communal solitude of their life and partly because this was land that lay donors could more easily give the monks. Although they cleared forests that stood in the way of human habitation and use, they were also  careful to plant trees and conserve forests when possible.
They introduced new crops" "Here they would introduce the rearing of cattle and horses, there the brewing of beer or the raising of bees or fruit. In Sweden, the corn trade owed its existence to the monks; in Parma, it was cheese making; in Ireland, salmon fisheries—and, in a great many places, the finest vineyards."  They pioneered in the production of wine and one monk Dom Perignon is credited with the discovery of champagne.

Monks as Technical Advisors.  Cistercian monks were superb metallurgists. "In effect, whether it be the mining of salt, lead, iron, alum, or gypsum, or metallurgy, quarrying marble, running cutler’s shops and glassworks, or forging metal plates, also known as firebacks, there was no activity at all in which the monks did not display creativity and a fertile spirit of research. Utilizing their labor force, they instructed and trained it to perfection.  They explored aviation.  In the early 11th century,  a monk named Eilmer flew more than 600 feet with a glider.  Centuries later, a Jesuit priest , Father Francesco Lana-Terzi explored the subject of flight more systematically and earned the honor of being called the father of aviation.  They built the first clocks one of which from the 14th century still sits in excellent condition in the London Science Museum.

Their charitable works ranged from the monasteries themselves that served as gratuitous inns for foreign travelers, pilgrim and the poor
to the building of lighthouses, the establishment of libraries, the preservation of classic texts and the preservation of the Bible.
Above all, they built schools and were teachers  and laid the foundations for universities.  "They were the thinkers and philosophers of the day and shaped the political and religious thought. To them, both collectively and individually, was due the continuity of thought and civilization of the ancient world with the later Middle Ages."

"The monastic contribution to Western civilization, as we have seen, is immense. Among other things, the monks taught metallurgy, introduced new crops, copied ancient texts, preserved literacy, pioneered in technology, invented champagne, improved the European landscape, provided for wanderers of every stripe, and looked after the lost and shipwrecked. "

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:38 PM | Permalink

June 17, 2014

"Without the family, the pyramid scheme of the state faces a demographic collapse" "

Sultan Knish writes in Twilight of the Family of the horrifying future when the state takes over the functions of the family

Governments have come to serve as undying guardians of human society, ushering new life into the world and ushering old life out of it. New parents are as likely to turn to the government for help as they are to their extended family. When their child is old enough to look around for a career, it is the government that they expect to provide the education and the jobs. And when they grow old, the child can keep on working at his government job and paying off his student loans knowing that the government will be there to make all the difficult and expensive decisions about their care.
The family has been displaced and replaced. In some places it is even repressed. Like an old station wagon, it idles by the side of the road, while its former owners drive away in their new sleek electric government compact car built for two or a micro-car built for one into a wonderful childless future of unfunded pensions, social collapse and death panels.
Modern society has made the price of children extremely expensive and many couples have found it easier to end the family with their own deaths.  The future of the West has been aborted or never conceived. It has been broken up, divorced and never married.

The state gave its citizens the impression that it could fulfill all the functions of a family far better than the real thing. Its appeal was the power of bigness, the stability of a system too big to fail and rooms full of experts working night and day to improve on the fallible family. With its vast industrial social services bureaucracy, the state would be able to provide a more stable social safety net, save everyone money on health care, educate their children, care for their elders, perpetuate their values, protect their income, safeguard their way of life and usher in a bright new future.
Unfortunately the state is more like an actual pyramid scheme …And nowhere has the pyramid scheme of the social state schemer proven more disastrous than in the collapse of the family. The state has usurped the family, but it depends on the family to crank out industrious little taxpayers, small men and women who will work the shops and factories, toiling night and day, paying their fines and fees dutifully while raising the next generation of taxpayers. Without the family, the pyramid scheme of the state faces a demographic collapse.
The spectre of Communism is no longer haunting Europe. It has come and gone. Under Socialism, it is the spectre of demographics that haunts Europe. It is the dead children, no longer killed in factories or protests, but in clinics and for convenience's sake, that float aimlessly through the streets of Munich, London and Paris. Europe is no longer haunted by its dead, but by those who were never born.
Socialism has left behind a terrible bill and there is no one left to pay it. The population is crashing in every Western country. The elderly are losing their generous benefits, the men and women of middle age worry for the future and the youth no longer believe in the future at all.

The future is rapidly approaching.  In Scotland, they are racing to undermine parents with a sinister 'Named Person" scheme

Children  have all been assigned a 'Named Person' to oversee their welfare, supervise their upbringing and intervene where they deem it to be appropriate, even when this conflicts with the will of the parents.
Holyrood has effectively passed a bill which nullifies parental rights and endows the state with higher baby-sitting authority: Scotland has become the progenitor and guardian of all her children - not ultimately or in extremis, but right from the beginning. …parents will be reported to the state for trivial family incidents, such as forgetting a child’s doctor's or hospital appointment.

Parents are not allowed to know who the 'named person' for each of their children is.  Nor is the 'named person' available for consultation or discussion.

At the same time, a proposed "Cinderella Law"  in the U.K.  would make it a crime to deliberately harm a child’s ‘intellectual, emotional, social or behavioral development’ and sits alongside the physical or sexual abuse of children. Its definition of abuse includes “controlling or coercive behavior” which would “encompass but is not limited to physical, financial, sexual, psychological or emotional abuse”

Those found guilty would face up to ten years in jail. The change will update existing laws in England and Wales.  Currently, adults responsible for a child can only be prosecuted if they have deliberately assaulted, abandoned or exposed a youngster to suffering or injury to their health.

This may be a well-intentioned law, but it will be a disaster in its implementation.  It is vague, overbroad and underspecific,  How will religious families trying to pass on their traditions far ?  Just what is 'controlling or coercive behavior' anyway?  Already parents have been arrested because their child was too fat.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:43 AM | Permalink

May 20, 2014

The Evolution of Marriage and Having Kids Makes Parents Happier

The Evolution of Marriage

‘A girl for every boy, a boy for every girl”: That’s the main thesis of William Tucker’s engaging new book. With polygamy, you see, there isn’t a girl for every boy, and the leftover boys must find some other — usually disruptive and frequently violent — way to pass their time. But the “unique social contract of monogamy — a male for every female, a female for every male — lowers the temperature of sexual competition and frees its members to work together in cooperation. It is at this juncture that human societies — even human civilizations — are born.”

Tucker is not himself an academic, but he is a smart journalist, and Marriage and Civilization: How Monogamy Made Us Human is the result of some 20 years of reading through the scholarly literature on marriage and thinking through the implications. It’s written for “the average reader,” and covers some “subjects that many scholars and academics in the field seem to find uncomfortable.” Indeed, Tucker comes to some rather politically incorrect views. His work is a clear-headed presentation of a “biological, anthropological, and historic understanding of the role that monogamy has played in the evolution of human society” — and by monogamy Tucker doesn’t simply mean any old union of two people, but an exclusive and more or less permanent union of a man and woman, husband and wife, father and mother.
Monogamy so understood doesn’t happen by chance. In a certain sense, “human monogamy — the pair-bonding of couples within the framework of a larger social group — is not entirely a natural institution.” After all, “monogamy does not sustain itself ‘naturally.’” And yet, when monogamy is lived out, human civilization flourishes. As Tucker puts it, “The rule is: those who form traditional families succeed; those who don’t fail.”

Because monogamy doesn’t grow on trees, “it requires rules — rules that must be continuously enforced by the members practicing it.” So, while “monogamy is manifestly a more equitable and successful way to organize a society, it is always under siege and forever fragile.” And if a society “becomes lax or indifferent about upholding its norms, the advantages will quickly unravel — as we are plainly witnessing in the America of today.”
In 1965, when the Moynihan Report was issued, the concern was that the out-of-wedlock birth rate for blacks was 25 percent. Today 40 percent of all children, 50 percent of Hispanics, and 70 percent of African Americans are born outside of marriage.

And this breakdown of marriage most hurts the least well-off. A leading indicator of whether someone will know poverty or prosperity is whether, growing up, he or she knew the love and security of having a married mother and father. Marriage reduces the probability of child poverty by 80 percent. The reason is simple: Marriage attaches a child’s father to his mother, and then attaches that committed pair to the child. As Tucker notes: “Children without fathers are more at risk for drug and alcohol abuse, dropping out of school, depression, delinquent behavior, crime, early sexual activity, and having illegitimate children in the next generation. They are more at risk for abuse, molestation, and incest.”

The art of fatherhood,” however, “does not come naturally but is a skill that must be passed on from generation to generation.”

In the Atlantic, Having Kids Makes Parents Happy After All.  New research overturns the decades-old belief that having children is a downer.

“What we believe is going on is that there is a general negative trend in happiness among adults—[but] that negative trend is not happening for parents.” Adults seem to be getting grumpier as a whole, but parents are bucking that general trend.
Herbst and Ifcher offer three theories why parents are becoming happier—and what that means for American society.

First, there’s the phenomenon that Robert Putnam identified in his 2000 book Bowling Alone—that Americans were becoming increasingly isolated from community and family. Herbst and Ifcher argue that families are the “last vestige of community life in American society.”

“Parents are more likely to spend time with friends, get the news, be interested in politics, think people are honest, have faith in the economy, be trusting,” Herbst said. “We think that parents remain better attached to society, and we think the linchpin of that attachment is kids.”

Second, the financial hardship brought on by children has lessened over time. The U.S. now has a more generous earned income tax credit and childcare tax credits, which means parents have more of a financial cushion than they used to.

“The social safety net has begun to favor parents more over time than non-parents,”….

Finally, who is having a kid these days is different than who had children in previous decades…parents are probably becoming parents because they want to be parents, and less because of societal pressure. These adults are more likely to be a self-selected group, desire their children, and therefore derive more happiness from having the children they wanted.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:34 AM | Permalink

May 1, 2014

May 1 Victims of Communism Day

Ilya Somin on Victims of Communism Day

May Day began as a holiday for socialists and labor union activists, not just communists. But over time, the date was taken over by the Soviet Union and other communist regimes and used as a propaganda tool to prop up their regimes. I suggest that we instead use it as a day to commemorate those regimes’ millions of victims. The authoritative Black Book of Communism estimates the total at 80 to 100 million dead, greater than that caused by all other twentieth century tyrannies combined.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:06 PM | Permalink

April 4, 2014

American Witch Hunt or American Inquisition?

Ritual Sacrifice in Silicon Valley

The one thing all sides can agree on is that Eich, on paper, is very well suited to the job. His most notable technical achievement is the invention of the Javascript programming language, and while some of us might sniff at the poor design decisions which made that language notoriously unpleasant to work with, it is incontestable that it forms the underpinnings of much of the modern web.

Mozilla: No Dissent Allowed. The NR editors on Corrosive Conformity

In 2008, Barack Obama and Brendan Eich both were against gay marriage. Senator Obama averred his support for the one-man/one-woman view of marriage, while Mr. Eich, a cofounder of the Mozilla web-browser company, donated $1,000 to support Proposition 8 — a California ballot initiative that had the effect of making Senator Obama’s avowed marriage policy the law in California.

This is, of course, pure poison. This is not a matter of law but one of culture, and not a question of means but of ends….The nation’s full-time gay-rights professionals simply will not rest until a homogeneous and stultifying monoculture is settled upon the land, and if that means deploying a ridiculous lynch mob to pronounce anathema upon a California technology executive for private views acted on in his private life, then so be it.

Brendan Eich and the New American Totalitarian State By Sally Zelikovsky

Brendan Eich, a highly-respected tech guru in Silicon Valley and co-founder of Mozilla Corporation, after he was appointed CEO in late March.  In less than a week, he was forced out of this position for no reason other than that he had a made a $1000 contribution to the Prop 8 initiative in 2008.  His own money.  On his own time.  In his private capacity.  Mozilla had nothing to do with it.  Nor did he discuss gay marriage at work.
forced out he was after a huge outcry from thousands of employees and Silicon Valley residents,  after half of the Mozilla Foundation board resigned -- yes, resigned! -- and OKCupid blocked web surfers from accessing their site through the Firefox portal.
It now seems that anyone can be punished for his or her religious, moral or political beliefs by well-funded mobs that can exert economic pressure on one’s employer.  These are the tactics of closed societies behind the Iron Curtain; not the shining city on the hill.

The Anchoress holds nothing back, A Gay CEO with Balls Needs to Hire Eich and Halt this Crap

and speak truth to a growing, and most illiberal new power. He or she needs to hire Brendan Eich in some sort of corporate leadership capacity for the sake of the most fundamental of freedoms — the freedom to think what you want to think, even if your thinking is unpopular or deemed “mistaken” — and in so doing boldly declare that our society has no truck with inquisitions.
Let me be clear: I hold out absolutely no hope that this chill wind will be checked or reversed — too many people with money and influence and no individual courage at all find totalitarianism an alluring idea…..it is an execrable, detestable trend that, if unchecked, will affect every facet of our lives as “correct” thoughts and “correct” ways become ever-narrower and trap more and more people in its stinking and miserable gullies.

Andrew Sullivan, the openly gay columnist

The guy who had the gall to express his First Amendment rights and favor Prop 8 in California by donating $1,000 has just been scalped by some gay activists. After an OKCupid decision to boycott Mozilla, the recently appointed Brendan Eich just resigned under pressure:
Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.

The WSJ on Mozilla's Intolerance quotes the New York Times

"In Silicon Valley, where personal quirks and even antisocial personalities are tolerated as long as you are building new products and making money, a socially conservative viewpoint may be one trait you have to keep to yourself….

The Times adds that "there is no indication that Mr. Eich behaved in a biased manner at work." So it appears that simply holding a private belief that was shared by a majority of Californians in 2008 and by President Obama until May of 2012 is no longer tolerated by the extreme wing of the movement to redefine marriage—or by the Silicon Valley technology community. Has a culture that once prided itself on its openness and inclusiveness become so bigoted that it cannot accept anyone who holds traditional Christian, Jewish or Muslim beliefs?

The Prop 8 donor list now functions essentially as a blacklist, and Eich isn’t its first or only victim.

Remember, people who gave to Prop 8 have been harassed and had their property vandalized; the Heritage Foundation issued a report chronicling cases of intimidation back in 2009…..
[T]he LA Times obtained a list of people who gave, for and against, to the fight over the Prop 8 referendum in 2008. They put the whole database online and made it searchable. Search it today and, sure enough, there’s Eich with a $1,000 donation in favor. Under California law, that disclosure is perfectly legal. Under California law, that disclosure is perfectly legal: The state is authorized to provide certain personal information about anyone who donates more than $100 to a ballot measure. Why the state is allowed to do that, I’m not sure. The reason you want transparency when donating to a candidate is to prevent an elected official, who’s supposed to serve the public interest, from being secretly co-opted by huge sums of money provided by a special interest. In a ballot measure, though, the money being spent is designed to influence the public itself. They’re the final arbiter of the public interest, no?
Jonathan Last seizes on the significance of Mozilla chair Mitchell Baker admitting that “I never saw any kind of behavior or attitude from him that was not in line with Mozilla’s values of inclusiveness.” If that’s the case, says Last, why exactly was Eich ousted?……. the problem isn’t with how he comported himself. It’s with what he thought…

Ace. Brendan Eich is out at Mozilla.

His crime: Giving $1000 to the Prop 8 campaign which was passed by a majority of Californians in 2008. And having the same views on gay marriage that Obama publicly stated circa 2007. Therefore he must be shunned and kept unemployed….

Mozilla in the midst of self-congratulation is blind to the beam in their own eye as it  tweets "We believe in openness &  that no one should be persecuted for the beliefs they hold, no matter what they are."

Roger Simon  Although not held by me,

Eich evidently has beliefs shared by literally billions of people of faith throughout the world.  Those  demanding his head like junior Robespierres should be ashamed of themselves.  Not only are they violating the spirit of the Bill of Rights and freedom of religion, they dishonor their own cause and embarrass themselves no end.  They move things backwards when the think they are moving things forwards….
This is no more than political correctness gone berserk. It is totalitarianism flying under the banner of marriage equality.  How reactionary, how fascistic, and, yes, how darkly comic is that.

Bryan Preston

If one’s position on a personal-religious-cultural issue as same-sex marriage becomes a hiring or firing offense, then we have truly moved into dangerous new territory. Illegal territory too, as such questions are not supposed to be part of the employment process.

Rod Dreher If Brendan Eich Isn't Safe

What you may not know, as someone not in the tech industry, is that Eich is not just some suit who has done some engineering. He is credited as literally the inventor of the JavaScript programming language. This is the scripting language that more or less operates the browser and allows a web page to interact with the user as opposed to be a static display. You might think that would be pretty relevant for the CEO of a freaking browser company. But apparently not as important as the fact that the guy had the same opinion on SSM as Barack Obama in 2008.
If they can knock off a guy like Eich, one of the co-founders of the company and one of the most important figures in the tech industry, because of his belief in traditional marriage, who is safe?
this is a clear shot that no orthodox Catholic, Evangelical, or Orthodox Christian, or Orthodox Jew, or faithful Muslim, is welcome at Mozilla — nor, it is safe to assume, in Silicon Valley at all. ….They would rather throw one of the founding fathers of the Internet down a well than tolerate him, because of his expressed belief on traditional marriage.


Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:31 PM | Permalink

March 24, 2014

Barcoding human embryos

The accumulating horror of human beings treated like things.

Aborted babies incinerated to heat UK hospitals  The remains of more than 15,000 babies were incinerated as 'clinical waste' by hospitals in Britain with some used in 'waste to energy' plants

Barcoding Human Embryos

Scientists from Barcelona have announced in the journal, Human Reproduction, that they now can place a barcode tag directly on an embryo to make sure you end up with the right kid. Because mix-ups do happen.

… The direct tagging system based on lectin-biofunctionalized polysilicon barcodes of micrometric dimensions is simple, safe and highly efficient, allowing the identification of human oocytes and embryos during the various procedures typically conducted during an assisted reproduction cycle….. This system has now been tested in human oocytes and embryos…

Genetically Modified Food: Bad; Genetically Modified Humans: Good

The three-parent technique is particularly troubling because it does not just modify the resulting embryo; the modification will extend to further generations. This is what is called a germ-line modification: one that will be incorporated into egg and sperms cells and passed onto future offspring. Unlike the United States, many other countries have laws prohibiting germ-line modifications in humans.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently considering allowing American in vitro fertilization clinics to bring to trial the three-parent technique for couples where the mother has mitochondrial disease. ….The average citizen likely assumes that the safety of the three-parent technique has been thoroughly studied and found to be safe for use in humans. The reality is something different. In a recent paper in Science, researchers revealed that, so far, the only other primates created with this technique are four macaques that have only reached three years of age and have not produced another generation. Other animal models show that mtDNA-nuclear DNA mismatch has some serious effects that may not be apparent until adulthood. The researchers were clear that "it is premature to move this technology into the clinic at this stage."

Children to Order: The Ethics of 'Designer Babies'  ...The FDA, meanwhile, only regulates the potential safety and efficacy of these techniques, not their ethical implications.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:43 AM | Permalink

February 24, 2014

Plastic bodies, plastic souls

The deeper implications of gay marriage and assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) are explored in The Brave New World of Same-Sex Marriage by Michael Hanby

To accept same-sex unions as ‘marriage’ is thus to commit officially to the proposition that there is no meaningful difference between a married man and woman conceiving a child naturally, two women conceiving a child with the aid of donor semen and IVF, or two men employing a surrogate to have a child together, though in the latter cases only one of the legally recognized parents can (presently) contribute to the child’s hereditary endowment and hope for a family resemblance. By recognizing same-sex ‘marriages’ the state also determines once and for all that ARTs are not merely a remedy for infertility but a normative form of reproduction equivalent to natural procreation, and indeed it has been suggested in some cases that ARTs are an improvement upon nature. Yet if this is true, it follows that no great weight attaches to natural motherhood and fatherhood and that being born to a father and mother is inessential to what it means to be human, or even to the meaning of childhood and family. These are not fundamentally ‘natural’ phenomena integral to human identity and social welfare but mere accidents of biology overlaid with social conventions that can be replaced by ‘functionally equivalent’ roles without loss.
Underlying the technological conquest of human biology, whether in its gay or feminist form, is a dualism which bi-furcates the person into a meaningless mechanical body made of malleable ‘stuff’ and the affective or technological will that presides over it. The person as an integrated whole falls through the chasm. This is the foundation of the now orthodox distinction between ‘sex’ which is ‘merely biological’ and ‘gender’ which is socially constructed, as well as the increasingly pervasive (and relentlessly promoted) idea that freedom means our self-creation of both. Technological dominance over procreation imposes this bi-furcated anthropology upon parents and children alike, and codifying it implicitly makes this anthropology the law of the land.
The technological dominance of procreation asserts, contrary to the child’s true nature and to his parents’ unquestionable love for him, that a child is essentially a product of human making, an assemblage of parts outside of parts that are the parts of no real whole, whose meaning and purpose, as with all artifacts, reside not in itself but in the designs of its maker.
Huxley…and C.S. … saw that the plastic body emptied of its dignity through eugenics had as its necessary counterpart the plastic soul deprived of its human inheritance and emptied of its capacity for truly human thoughts, feeling, and experiences. This process too, which is even harder to see than it is to understand, is already well underway.
A culture that accepts such deep violence at the origins of life will have every incentive not to think about the profound questions of human existence that for so long animated Western culture—they cut too close to the heart—and so education, even now scarcely distinguishable from ignorance, will largely consist in learning not to ask them.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:16 PM | Permalink

Plastic bodies, plastic souls

The Brave New World of Same-Sex Marriage by Michael Hanby

To accept same-sex unions as ‘marriage’ is thus to commit officially to the proposition that there is no meaningful difference between a married man and woman conceiving a child naturally, two women conceiving a child with the aid of donor semen and IVF, or two men employing a surrogate to have a child together, though in the latter cases only one of the legally recognized parents can (presently) contribute to the child’s hereditary endowment and hope for a family resemblance. By recognizing same-sex ‘marriages’ the state also determines once and for all that ARTs are not merely a remedy for infertility but a normative form of reproduction equivalent to natural procreation, and indeed it has been suggested in some cases that ARTs are an improvement upon nature. Yet if this is true, it follows that no great weight attaches to natural motherhood and fatherhood and that being born to a father and mother is inessential to what it means to be human, or even to the meaning of childhood and family. These are not fundamentally ‘natural’ phenomena integral to human identity and social welfare but mere accidents of biology overlaid with social conventions that can be replaced by ‘functionally equivalent’ roles without loss.
Underlying the technological conquest of human biology, whether in its gay or feminist form, is a dualism which bi-furcates the person into a meaningless mechanical body made of malleable ‘stuff’ and the affective or technological will that presides over it. The person as an integrated whole falls through the chasm. This is the foundation of the now orthodox distinction between ‘sex’ which is ‘merely biological’ and ‘gender’ which is socially constructed, as well as the increasingly pervasive (and relentlessly promoted) idea that freedom means our self-creation of both. Technological dominance over procreation imposes this bi-furcated anthropology upon parents and children alike, and codifying it implicitly makes this anthropology the law of the land.
The technological dominance of procreation asserts, contrary to the child’s true nature and to his parents’ unquestionable love for him, that a child is essentially a product of human making, an assemblage of parts outside of parts that are the parts of no real whole, whose meaning and purpose, as with all artifacts, reside not in itself but in the designs of its maker.
Huxley…and C.S. … saw that the plastic body emptied of its dignity through eugenics had as its necessary counterpart the plastic soul deprived of its human inheritance and emptied of its capacity for truly human thoughts, feeling, and experiences. This process too, which is even harder to see than it is to understand, is already well underway.
A culture that accepts such deep violence at the origins of life will have every incentive not to think about the profound questions of human existence that for so long animated Western culture—they cut too close to the heart—and so education, even now scarcely distinguishable from ignorance, will largely consist in learning not to ask them.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:24 PM | Permalink

February 18, 2014

Quotes from a KGB defector, "Russia today is the first intelligence dictatorship in history"

Romanian Lt. Gen. Ion Pacepa  is the highest-ranking Soviet intelligence officer to ever defect, having come to the United States and received asylum from President Carter in 1978. Ever since, Pacepa has been writing in defense of freedom while living undercover due to assassination threats.

In connection with the release of his most-recent title “Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism.”,  here are 11 quotes that will shock and chill you from our interview with the highest-ranking Soviet bloc intel officer to ever defect.

1. The very idea that the Soviet Union was defeated is disinformation in itself. …Russia today is the first intelligence dictatorship in history. It is a brand new form of totalitarianism, which we are not yet familiar with. Now the KGB, rechristened FSB, is openly running Russia.”

2.  The absolutely worst—and often irreparable—damage done to the Free World has been caused by the Kremlin’s disinformation operations designed to change the past…The Kremlin’s repeated lie that Pius XII was Hitler’s Pope has become the “truth”—a lie so firmly established against all evidence to the contrary, that for most educated people who have not looked closely at the subject, there seems nothing to discuss.”

6. The KGB plot to turn the Arab World against the Jews  ”In 1972, during a breakfast in his office, KGB chairman Andropov told me that “our” disinformation machinery should ignite a campaign aimed at transforming Arab anti-Semitism into an anti-American doctrine for the whole Muslim world. The idea was to portray the United States as a war-mongering, Zionist country financed by Jewish money and run by a rapacious “Council of the Elders of Zion” ….The KGB boss described the Muslim world as a waiting petri dish, in which we could nurture a strain of hate-America. The Muslims had a taste for nationalism, jingoism and victimology. We had only to keep repeating, over and over, that the United States was a war-mongering, Zionist country financed by Jewish money, with the goal of taking over the whole world.

8.  On the true meaning of glasnost - Glasnost is an old Russian term for polishing the ruler’s image……Glasnost was a[n]…instrument…to embellish the stature of a leader, not a catchword for openness

9. The Soviet Union devoted more resources to ideological warfare than standard intel-gathering “

11. The KGB flooded the world with copies of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”

From the interview

What would you hope is the primary takeaway for readers from your book?

Pacepa: That Marxism and its earthly Socialism are immense disinformation operations, and that all they have left behind is former Marxist countries that ended up looking like trailer camps hit by a hurricane, and leaders roasting in Dante’s Inferno. That all Marxists who have ever risen to lead a country have ended up in hell—all, from Trotsky to Stalin, Tito to Enver Hoxha to Mátyás Rakosi, Sékou Touré, Nyeree and Hugo Chavez.
You dedicated a significant part of the book to the connection between the Soviet framing of Pius XII and the current international terrorism. Could you synthesize that part here?

Both the framing of the pope and the threat of international terrorism were born at the Lubyanka, the headquarters of the KGB. Both grew out of the Kremlin’s anti-Semitism and its addiction to framing people and countries. And both were intended to slander and undermine the faith of the Judeo-Christian world, while at the same time driving a wedge between Jews and Christians.  That brings me to the crux of the matter. Anti-Semitism has always generated terrorism.

In your view what is the best way to fight against Leftist disinformation?

Pacepa: By revealing the truthRadio Free Europe has been a lot more important than the armies and the most sophisticated missiles. The ‘missiles’ that destroyed Communism were launched from Radio Free Europe, and this was Washington’s most important investment during the Cold War.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:50 PM | Permalink

February 17, 2014

Americans are becoming increas­ingly ignorant of how the modern world was made

How the West Won—but “Western Civ” Lost.  Rodney Stark writes in the Intercollegiate Review

It’s remarkably unfashionable to study—or even talk about—the West these days.
Forty years ago the most important and popular freshman course at the best American colleges and universities was “Western Civilization.” It not only covered the general history of the West but also included historical surveys of art, music, literature, philosophy, science, and other matters. But this course has long since disappeared from most college catalogues on grounds that Western civilization is but one of many civilizations and it is ethnocentric and arrogant to study ours.

To the extent that this policy pre­vails, Americans will become increas­ingly ignorant of how the modern world came to be. Worse yet, they are in danger of being badly misled by a flood of absurd, politically correct fabrications, all of them popular on college campuses: That the Greeks copied their whole culture from black Egyptians. That European science originated in Islam. That Western affluence was stolen from non-West­ern societies. That Western modernity was really produced in China, and not so very long ago.

The truth is that, although the West wisely adopted bits and pieces of technology from Asia, modernity is entirely the product of West­ern civilization.

I use the term modernity to identify that fundamental store of scientific knowledge and procedures, powerful technologies, artistic achievements, political freedoms, economic arrangements, moral sensibilities, and improved standards of living that characterize Western nations and are now revolutionizing life in the rest of the world. For there is another truth: to the extent that other cultures have failed to adopt at least major aspects of Western ways, they remain backward and impoverished.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:12 PM | Permalink

February 12, 2014

The Bible

Christina Odone wrote in the Telegraph that the Bible has disappeared from our children's lives

Almost a third of children do not know their Adam from their Noah or that David slew Goliath. The Good Samaritan is a stranger and the Nativity just a Christmas play.

The latest Bible Society findings prove that the West has erased its Christian heritage from public life. I'm not surprised – only saddened that No God Zone, my e-book on the subject, has been vindicated. After decades of concerted efforts by secularist zealots, the Bible is a truly alien subject. Future generations will look on "the greatest story ever told" and think it is a 1965 movie starring Charlton Heston and Max von Sydow.

Even Richard Dawkins, our God-hater-in-chief, thinks this a pity. In a very amicable exchange three years ago, we agreed that the Bible represents a precious part of our legacy. I agreed with Prof Dawkins that you don't have to be a believer to delight in its literary merits and recognise its historical value. A few faith schools still teach "the Good Book"; but they are under fire from the atheist brigade, and many feel that they will only survive if they promote a multicultural syllabus that stars Gandhi and Mandela rather than Abraham and Jesus.

The extraordinary, subversive book, with its lessons on charity, compassion and respect for others inspired generations to rebel against tyrannies of all kinds – dictators, addictions, vices. Men and women dedicated their lives to its teachings – and were ready to die for it. But today it seems that a host of martyrs lost their lives in vain: the Bible is just another book that sold more than the Hunger Games trilogy at some point.

The recent poll by the Bible Society in the U.K. revealed that more than half of the adults who responded believe “The Hunger Games” are biblical and one in three say “Harry Potter” could be a storyline from the sacred text.

“While these statistics may appear surprising at first glance, they are symptomatic of the fact that many children indicate they have never read, seen or even heard these stories.” ….. Of the parents questioned, 46 percent did not recognize that the account of Noah’s Ark comes from the Bible, according to the results of the January survey of 800 children ages eight to 15 and 1,000 parents.

The survey was taken in preparation for the launch of the organization’s “Pass It On” campaign which is intended to raise the level of knowledge about the Bible.

More from the poll

  • more than 43 percent of parents feel it is important for kids to have read, heard or seen Bible stories.
  • three in 10 secondary school pupils, aged 12 to 15, did not realize the Nativity was from the Bible
  • one-third of the parents “were unsure or did not recognize the stories of David and Goliath and Adam and Eve as being from the Bible.
  • 27 percent thought the storyline from “Superman” was or could be in the Bible.

“It is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom,” wrote Horace Greeley (1811-1872), publisher and journalist

“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), 26th President of the United States

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”  George Washington (1732-1799), first President of the United States

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:01 PM | Permalink

February 7, 2014

"This is a good place to be an addict and a single mom”

Down and Out in Vermont by Geoffrey Norman in the Weekly Standard

Drive-bys. Dealers dropped in the act of going for a gun. Lawn signs warning the druggies to stay away. It doesn’t seem right—not on these leafy streets in this little city with its splendid views of the mountains a mile or two distant.

“Tell me about it,” Prouty says.
“They steal anything they can sell. Copper. The catalytic converters out of cars. Electronics, of course. They’ll walk into Walmart and pick up a flat-screen television and just walk out with it.”

He and the rest of Baker’s officers do what they can. They make their presence known. They make arrests. But the numbers are not on their side. The state can lock up only so many and keep them only so long.
If you live in the state, you feel a certain undeniable pride in the way that they, like Jim Baker and Matt Prouty, are taking on the problem. There is a measure of the old Vermont spirit of yeomanry about it….This heroin invasion, though, is a different kind of fight. The enemy is an alternative sensibility, one that is exactly contrary to that older spirit. Heroin is the agent of total surrender. The drug of demoralization.

“There are so many programs. So much assistance. This is a good place to be an addict and a single mom”….This woman works for the paternalistic government, after all, and her clients are welfare mothers. Her words are spoken out of a deep frustration. And it is shared, around the table, as women nod ….
The trend is not unique to Vermont, as the example of places where methamphetamine abuse is rampant makes plain. Vermont, so far, has mostly been spared that vector of the plague. But not the idleness, dependency, and demoralization.

Still, the police are willing to stand up to the gangs, and the women at Mandala House are not afraid to tell an addicted mother to hang up her clothes.  So there is hope.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:13 PM | Permalink

February 6, 2014

"I resign the Revolution. I'm joining the Resistance"

A child of the sixties, Gerard Vanderleun reposts Goodbye to the Way We Were from 2006

Lately we seem to be living on a daily drip-feed of despair for our future and estrangement from our past. It's not a new diet in this country, but it is starting to assume the proportions of a runaway fad diet.

He concludes, ""I resign the Revolution. I'm joining the Resistance." 

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:44 PM | Permalink

January 22, 2014

"A relentless determination to reduce the stunning complexity of the past to the shallow categories of identity and class politics"

Heather MacDonald, The Humanities and Us in City Journal
Don’t listen to today’s narcissistic academics—the West’s cultural inheritance is indispensable.

In 2011, the University of California at Los Angeles decimated its English major……Until 2011, students majoring in English at UCLA had to take one course in Chaucer, two in Shakespeare, and one in Milton—the cornerstones of English literature. Following a revolt of the junior faculty, however, during which it was announced that Shakespeare was part of the “Empire,” UCLA junked these individual author requirements and replaced them with a mandate that all English majors take a total of three courses in the following four areas: Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Sexuality Studies; Imperial, Transnational, and Postcolonial Studies; genre studies, interdisciplinary studies, and critical theory; or creative writing. In other words, the UCLA faculty was now officially indifferent as to whether an English major had ever read a word of Chaucer, Milton, or Shakespeare, but was determined to expose students, according to the course catalog, to “alternative rubrics of gender, sexuality, race, and class.”
The UCLA coup represents the characteristic academic traits of our time: narcissism, an obsession with victimhood, and a relentless determination to reduce the stunning complexity of the past to the shallow categories of identity and class politics. Sitting atop an entire civilization of aesthetic wonders, the contemporary academic wants only to study oppression, preferably his own, defined reductively according to gonads and melanin.
It was not always so. The humanist tradition was founded not on narcissism but on the all-consuming desire to engage with the genius and radical difference of the past. The fourteenth-century Florentine poet Francesco Petrarch triggered the explosion of knowledge known today as Renaissance humanism with his discovery of Livy’s monumental history of Rome and the letters of Cicero, the Roman statesman whose orations, with their crystalline Latin style, would inspire such philosophers of republicanism as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
This constant, sophisticated dialogue between past and present would become a defining feature of Western civilization, prompting the evolution of such radical ideas as constitutional government and giving birth to arts and architecture of polyphonic complexity. And it became the primary mission of the universities to transmit knowledge of the past, as well as—eventually—to serve as seedbeds for new knowledge.

What college students today would understand The dreams of readers?

In an essay published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1858, the poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson chose the adjective to describe the experience of reading: “I find certain books vital and spermatic, not leaving the reader what he was.” For Emerson, the best books — the “true ones” — “take rank in our life with parents and lovers and passionate experiences, so medicinal, so stringent, so revolutionary, so authoritative.” Books are not only alive; they give life, or at least give it a new twist.
Psychologists and neurobiologists have begun studying what goes on in our minds as we read literature, and what they’re discovering lends scientific weight to Emerson’s observation…..A work of literature, particularly narrative literature, takes hold of the brain in curious and powerful ways…Making sense of what transpires in a book’s imagined reality appears to depend on “making a version of the action ourselves, inwardly.”

One intriguing study, conducted a few years ago by research psychologists at Washington University in St. Louis, illuminates Oatley’s point. The scholars used brain scans to examine the cellular activity that occurs inside people’s heads as they read stories. They found that “readers mentally simulate each new situation encountered in a narrative.” The groups of nerve cells, or neurons, activated in readers’  brains “closely mirror those involved when [they] perform, imagine, or observe similar real-world activities.”…

The reader’s brain is not just a mirror. The actions and sensations portrayed in a story, the researchers wrote, are woven together with “with personal knowledge from [each reader’s] past experiences.” Every reader of a book creates, in Oatley’s terms, his own dream of the work — and he inhabits that dream as if it were an actual place.

We gain a special trance-like state of mind in which we become unaware of our bodies and our environment,” explains Holland. “We are ‘transported.’” It is only when we leave behind the incessant busyness of our lives in society that we open ourselves to literature’s regenerative power. That doesn’t mean that reading is anti-social. The central subject of literature is society, and when we lose ourselves in a book we often receive an education in the subtleties and vagaries of human relations
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:31 PM | Permalink

January 3, 2014

The real gender war is against boys and men

'What you're seeing is how a civilization commits suicide," said Camille Paglia who wrote A Feminist Defense of Masculine Virtues. in the Wall St Journal's interview of her last weekend that everyone is talking about and with which I couldn't agree more.

The military is out of fashion, Americans undervalue manual labor, schools neuter male students, opinion makers deny the biological differences between men and women, and sexiness is dead. And that's just 20 minutes of our three-hour conversation….But no subject gets her going more than when I ask if she really sees a connection between society's attempts to paper over the biological distinction between men and women and the collapse of Western civilization.  She starts with military service ……

"The entire elite class now, in finance, in politics and so on, none of them have military service—hardly anyone, there are a few. But there is no prestige attached to it anymore. That is a recipe for disaster," she says. "These people don't think in military ways, so there's this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind, if we're just nice and benevolent to everyone they'll be nice too. They literally don't have any sense of evil or criminality."

The results, she says, can be seen in everything from the dysfunction in Washington (where politicians "lack practical skills of analysis and construction") to what women wear. "So many women don't realize how vulnerable they are by what they're doing on the street," she says, referring to women who wear sexy clothes.
Ms. Paglia argues that the softening of modern American society begins as early as kindergarten. "Primary-school education is a crock, basically. It's oppressive to anyone with physical energy, especially guys," she says, pointing to the most obvious example: the way many schools have cut recess. "They're making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters."
She sees the tacit elevation of "female values"—such as sensitivity, socialization and cooperation—as the main aim of teachers, rather than fostering creative energy and teaching hard geographical and historical facts. By her lights, things only get worse in higher education. "This PC gender politics thing—the way gender is being taught in the universities—in a very anti-male way, it's all about neutralization of maleness." The result: Upper-middle-class men who are "intimidated" and "can't say anything. . . . They understand the agenda."
Politically correct, inadequate education, along with the decline of America's brawny industrial base, leaves many men with "no models of manhood," she says. "Masculinity is just becoming something that is imitated from the movies. There's nothing left. There's no room for anything manly right now." The only place you can hear what men really feel these days, she claims, is on sports radio. No surprise, she is an avid listener. The energy and enthusiasm "inspires me as a writer," she says, adding: "If we had to go to war," the callers "are the men that would save the nation."

…. Women, particularly elite upper-middle-class women, have become "clones" condemned to "Pilates for the next 30 years," Ms. Paglia says. "Our culture doesn't allow women to know how to be womanly,"

She noted several years ago what we all observe

Visually, American men remain perpetual boys, as shown by the bulky T-shirts, loose shorts and sneakers they wear from preschool through midlife. The sexes, which used to occupy intriguingly separate worlds, are suffering from over-familiarity, a curse of the mundane. There’s no mystery left.

Who else but the lesbian feminist Paglia would dare to say It’s a Man’s World, and It Always Will Be

A peevish, grudging rancor against men has been one of the most unpalatable and unjust features of second- and third-wave feminism. Men’s faults, failings and foibles have been seized on and magnified into gruesome bills of indictment.


After the next inevitable apocalypse, men will be desperately needed again! Oh, sure, there will be the odd gun-toting Amazonian survivalist gal, who can rustle game out of the bush and feed her flock, but most women and children will be expecting men to scrounge for food and water and to defend the home turf. Indeed, men are absolutely indispensable right now, invisible as it is to most feminists, who seem blind to the infrastructure that makes their own work lives possible. It is overwhelmingly men who do the dirty, dangerous work of building roads, pouring concrete, laying bricks, tarring roofs, hanging electric wires, excavating natural gas and sewage lines, cutting and clearing trees, and bulldozing the landscape for housing developments. It is men who heft and weld the giant steel beams that frame our office buildings, and it is men who do the hair-raising work of insetting and sealing the finely tempered plate-glass windows of skyscrapers 50 stories tall.

Legal Insurrection applauds Paglia for pointing out  “it’s all about neutralization of maleness” 

We have noted here many times the war on little boys in elementary school through the absurd application of “zero tolerance” rules, When do we finally stop the harassment of little boys by school administrators? 

Punishing boys for kissing a girl on the cheek,  eating a poptart so it looks like a gun, imaginary arrows, pointing a pencil like a gun

We also have noted Dr. Helen Smith’s book Men on Strike regarding how similar policies through college and beyond have had a negative impact………

Dr. Helen rightly points out that when you reward the “Uncle Tims” at the expense of the “White Knights”, and decry masculinity as evil, then self-serving behavior will be the result. She notes, “as you sow, so shall you reap.”

So we watch reality shows to see what real men are like.  Victor Davis Hansen  Good Ol’ Boy, Inc.

The hysteria over Duck Dynasty reminds us that cable TV is currently inundated with working-class, white-guy reality shows. Top-drawing, relatively low-cost realities showcase gold miners, oil drillers, hunters, locomotive drivers, off-the-grid backwoods eccentrics, fishermen, crabmen, truck drivers, ax men, moonshiners, or the new generation of Beverly Hillbillies. The list of the particular subspecies of the muscular classes is endless.

So good-ol’-boy reality offers glimpses, premodern though they may be, of unrestrained freedom. ….The crabmen and lumberjacks don’t seem to worry about what they say or whom they offend — to the degree that such screw-it attitudes can be hinted about on politically correct camera. They are not fellow subjects who live among us in our kingdom of lies, in which you both dare not confess to profiling and dare not walk in a particular Philadelphia neighborhood.

The Washington Examiner Editorial: The real gender war is against boys

A recent study by two MIT economists found that men, not women, are less likely to graduate from high school and finish college. As a result, the study said, "over the last three decades, the labor market trajectory of males in the U.S. has turned downward along four dimensions: skills acquisition, employment rates, occupational stature and real wage levels."

Men can't even get together on their own anymore.  Is There A Male Friendship Crisis?

Men have always felt comfortable in clubs, fraternities, and other exclusive groups. Membership implies discretion: What happens at the Rotary Club stays at the Rotary Club, enabling men to open up and speak frankly. While men enjoy access to these types of bonds in, say, college fraternities, these places vanish in adulthood.

The erosion of “male space,” as psychologist Helen Smith convincingly argued in her otherwise problematic book, “Men on Strike,” has played a key role in the social isolation of men. “Our culture has steadily made it almost obscene for men to congregate on their own together,” Smith writes. “Men are discouraged and actively made fun of or denied the ability to be in all-male groups by the law and by the disapproval of certain segments of the culture.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:03 PM | Permalink

October 7, 2013

Speaking of Islam

Brendan O'Neill I'm sorry, but we have to talk about the barbarism of modern Islamist terrorism

In Western news-making and opinion-forming circles, there’s a palpable reluctance to talk about the most noteworthy thing about modern Islamist violence: its barbarism, its graphic lack of moral restraint. This goes beyond the BBC's yellow reluctance to deploy the T-word – terrorism – in relation to the bloody assault on the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya at the weekend. Across the commentating board, people are sheepish about pointing out the historically unique lunacy of Islamist violence and its utter detachment from any recognizable moral universe or human values. We have to talk about this barbarism; we have to appreciate how new and unusual it is, how different it is even from the terrorism of the 1970s or of the early twentieth century. We owe it to the victims of these assaults, and to the principle of honest and frank political debate, to face up to the unhinged, morally unanchored nature of Islamist violence in the 21st century.

Maybe it’s because we have become so inured to Islamist terrorism in the 12 years since 9/11 that even something like the blowing-up of 85 Christians outside a church in Pakistan no longer shocks us or even makes it on to many newspaper front pages. But consider what happened: two men strapped with explosives walked into a group of men, women and children who were queuing for food and blew up themselves and the innocents gathered around them. Who does that? How far must a person have drifted from any basic system of moral values to behave in such an unrestrained and wicked fashion? Yet the Guardian tells us it is “moral masturbation” to express outrage over this attack, and it would be better to give into a “sober recognition that there are many bad things we can’t as a matter of fact do much about”. This is a demand that we further acclimatize to the peculiar and perverse bloody Islamist attacks around the world, shrug our shoulders, put away our moral compasses, and say: “Ah well, this kind of thing happens.
What we have today, uniquely in human history, is a terrorism that seems myopically focused on killing as many people as possible and which has no clear political goals and no stated territorial aims. The question is, why? It is not moral masturbation to ask this question or to point out the peculiarity and perversity of modern Islamist violence. My penny’s worth is that this terrorism speaks to a profound crisis of politics and of morality. Where earlier terrorist groups were restrained both by their desire to appear as rational political actors with a clear goal in mind and by basic moral rules of human behavior – meaning their violence was often bloody, yes, but rarely focused narrowly on committing mass murder – today’s Islamist terrorists appear to float free of normal political rules and moral compunctions. This is what is so infuriating about the BBC’s refusal to call these groups terrorists – because if anything, and historically speaking, even the term terrorist might be too good for them.

Raymond Ibrahim: Surreal and Suicidal: Modern Western Histories of Islam

Consider some facts for a moment:

A mere decade after the birth of Islam in the 7th century, the jihad burst out of Arabia. Leaving aside all the thousands of miles of ancient lands and civilizations that were permanently conquered, today casually called the "Islamic world" -- including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and parts of India and China -- much of Europe was also, at one time or another, conquered by the sword of Islam.

Among other nations and territories that were attacked and/or came under Muslim domination are (to give them their modern names in no particular order): Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Sicily, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Lithuania, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Crete, Cyprus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Belarus, Malta, Sardinia, Moldova, Slovakia, and Montenegro.

In 846 Rome was sacked and the Vatican defiled by Muslim Arab raiders; some 700 years later, in 1453, Christendom's other great basilica, Constantinople's Holy Wisdom (or Hagia Sophia) was conquered by Muslim Turks, permanently.
In short, for roughly one millennium -- punctuated by a Crusader-rebuttal that the modern West is obsessed with demonizing -- Islam daily posed an existential threat to Christian Europe and by extension Western civilization.

And therein lies the rub: Today, whether as taught in high school or graduate school, whether as portrayed by Hollywood or the news media, the predominant historic narrative is that Muslims are the historic "victims" of "intolerant" Western Christians.

In the future (whatever one there may be) the histories written about our times will likely stress how our era, ironically called the "information age," was not an age when people were so well informed, but rather an age when disinformation was so widespread and unquestioned that generations of people lived in bubbles of alternate realities -- till they were finally popped.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:08 PM | Permalink

August 20, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood Jihad against Christians “Right now there is a bullseye on the back of every Christian living in Egypt.”

It is perfectly clear to me that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is conducting a violent jihad against Christians.

Andrew Doran, writing at National Review, calls the current wave of anti-Coptic violence in Egypt a Coptic Kristallnacht:

In the violence that erupted on Wednesday and Thursday, 32 churches were destroyed and 19 severely damaged, according to the Maspero Youth Union, a Christian human-rights organization. Scores of Christian homes, businesses, and automobiles were destroyed — all of this in roughly 24 hours.

And yet, bizarrely, Western media have largely portrayed the Muslim Brotherhood as the victims of violence
“So much violence, so many innocent people killed,” says Mina Thabet, an Egyptian human-rights activist who lives in Cairo. “The [Mohamed] Morsi supporters are armed and killing people in the streets. They are targeting Copts. But if the Muslim Brotherhood had remained in power, we would have the same violence and much more because he would use the institutions of the country, the army and the police, against us.”
The Muslim Brotherhood’s systematic and coordinated attacks against Christians in Egypt are reminiscent of Kristallnacht in Germany in 1938, when Nazi paramilitaries systematically vandalized Jewish homes, businesses, and synagogues and murdered scores of Jews in a disturbing foreshadowing of the fate of European Jews over the next few years.

Islamist mob parades nuns in Cairo as prisoners of war after six hours looting church school and replacing cross with banner resembling Al Qaeda flag

In some villages, the homes of Christians were marked with red paint so they would be easier to target.

On Facebook, a Muslim Brotherhood Memo blesses the burning of churches.

47 churches and monasteries that have been burned, robbed, or attacked since Aug. 14 in a wave of violence against Christians since the brutal police crackdown on the former president's supporters, according to Ishak Ibrahim of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. He adds that dozens of Christian schools, other religious buildings, homes, and shops have also been attacked and burned, and seven Christians killed.

One church in Minya, Egypt was forced to cancel Sunday mass for the first time in 1600 years.

Reporter Gary Lane writes

What do Muslim Brotherhood members do when Egyptian Security Forces launch a forewarned operation to clear them from Cairo tent cities? Attack Christians. That’s right.

Morsi supporters responded with a monumental attack–unprecedented in modern times–on churches throughout Egypt. The torching and destruction of churches occurred within six hours of the start of the military crackdown.

Even Aljazerra reported More than 30 churches have been destroyed in the past week as thugs launch a campaign of intimidation.

Why does the Muslim Brotherhood attack churches as part of its argument with the military government?

The first reason is because the Christian minority, unlike the military, is vulnerable. Throughout the long year when Egypt suffered under Morsi’s Islamist rule, Christians and their churches were increasingly subject to attacks as the Muslim movement sought to make the position of the religious minority untenable. 
Second, … such attacks are an inextricable part of their worldview as they seek to transform Egypt in their own Islamist image. In the Muslim Brotherhood’s Egypt, there is no room for Christians or even secular Muslims. That is why so many in Egypt applauded the coup as perhaps the last chance to save the country from permanent Islamist rule.
As difficult as it may be for some high-minded Americans to understand, in this case it is the military and not the protesters in Cairo who are seeking to stop tyranny. Though the military is an unattractive ally, anyone seeking to cut off vital U.S. aid to Egypt should remember that the only alternative to it is the party that is currently burning churches.

Andrew McCarthy writes Muslim Brotherhood ‘Reprisals’ & ‘Enemies of Islam’

The Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamic supremacist allies – portrayed in the mainstream media as “peaceful protesters” subjected to unprovoked violence by Egyptian security forces – continue their jihad against Christians. And that jihad continues to be portrayed in the mainstream media as “reprisal” attacks, as if it were the Copts rather than the armed forces who had ousted the Brotherhood from power.

IBD: World Silent as Muslim Brotherhood Targets Egypt's Coptic Christians

Amid the raging violence in Egypt, a less-publicized war is being waged against Egypt's long-persecuted Coptic Christians, this time using the excuse that they were somehow involved in the military's ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi from power.

How is it that Vladimir Putin is the only leader who says the world should unite against anti-Christian persecution?

Did you know that the Muslim Brotherhood were Nazi collaborators?

There are huge amounts of archival evidence, including documents showing not only Nazi payments to the Brotherhood but also that the Nazis provided them with arms for a rebellion to kill Christians and Jews in Egypt.  There is no evidence that the Brotherhood has changed its positions.

David Warren in Chronicles of "peace, peace"

In Egypt, we should note that the fate of ten million Christians is on the line. Either the Muslim Brotherhood will be uprooted, or the Christians will be uprooted. There is no “third way,” & those who speak & act as if there were have effectively taken sides, with evil.

Islamic Brotherhood failed to understand the majority of Egyptians rejects fundamentalism

Group’s leadership aims to transform country into Islamic state.

Egypt’s Coptic Church announces support for army, police

Michael Coren Stop the persecution

Yet no matter tragic human suffering is, the deliberate removal of a fourth century church from Egypt is on a different level of sociological violence and ethnic cleansing.  You see, Christianity pre-dates Islam by 600 years, and Egypt was a majority Christian country long before Islam existed. The attack on the church was a clear statement to the 15% of Egyptians who refuse to abandon Christ. “You do not belong, you never existed.”

At almost the same time as the church was destroyed, a little Christian girl, 10-year-old Jessica Boulous, was shot through the chest and killed in Cairo as she walked home from a Bible class.
The Copts of Egypt are the indigenous people of the country, with far more rights to the land than many Muslims. But while the world will sympathize with Palestinians, or for that matter Canadian natives and Australian aboriginals, it prefers to ignore persecuted Christians.

U.S. State Dept. Spokeswoman Psaki Denounces ‘Enemies of Islam’

While Obama was forcing Mubarak out, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood was a “largely secular” organization that “eschewed violence.”

On Martha’s Vineyard, Obama disavowed all responsibility for the Muslim Brotherhood while insisting, once again, that its leaders should be set free.

The President denounced  the “arbitrary arrests” of Muslim Brotherhood supporters and the “broad crackdown on Mr. Morsi’s associations and supporters” and then insisted “We don’t take sides with any particular party or political figure.”

Allies Thwart America in Egypt Israel, Saudis and U.A.E. Support Military Moves

The U.S.'s closest Middle East allies are undercutting American policy in Egypt, encouraging the military to confront the Muslim Brotherhood rather than reconcile.  The parallel efforts by Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have blunted U.S. influence with Egypt's military leadership and underscored how the chaos there has pulled Israel into ever-closer alignment with those Gulf states, officials said. 

A senior Israeli official called the anti-Muslim Brotherhood nations "the axis of reason".

Mark Steyn 

General Sisi has made a calculation that he has a small window of opportunity to inflict damage on the Muslim Brotherhood that will set them back decades and that it is in Egypt’s vital interest to do so. Grasping that, the Brothers are pushing back hard.

For the same reason, the Gulf monarchies, having weathered the immediate storms of the Arab spring and understanding the longer-term threat the Brotherhood represents, have supplanted Washington as Cairo’s principal paymasters:

Canada Free Press. Egypt championing Coptic Christians while Obama plays Nero

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham should take lessons in courage from Egyptian defense minister Col. Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, who has vowed to rebuild Coptic Churches destroyed by the Muslim Brotherhood.  Not only is the courageous El-Sisi vowing to rebuild Muslim Brotherhood-destroyed Coptic Churches, but his order aims to have them rebuilt ASAP, according to the Mid-East Christian News.
Yesterday top U.S. Senate Republicans McCain and Graham were siding against El Sisi and throwing in with the Muslim Brotherhood
Obama did take time out from partying to say that the United States has cancelled a joint U.S.-Egyptian military exercise because of the Egyptian crackdown on protests supporting Morsi—without, of course ever mentioning that he was quite willing to have military exercises when it was Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi in power.

A list of the churches attacked, looted, destroyed or burned by the Muslim Brotherhood all over Egypt

“Right now there is a bullseye on the back of every Christian living in Egypt,” says Middle East Expert Erick Stakelbeck

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:02 AM | Permalink

July 30, 2013

Unspeakable connections to the world of jihad

Andrew McCarthy lays out the more disturbing side of Huma Abedin Weiner in Huma's Unmentionables, "the elephant in the room goes unnoticed, or at least studiously unmentioned"  While she was Hillary Clinton's aide, the State Department became remarkably cozy with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Ms. Abedin’s connections to prominent Islamic-supremacist figures and groups are deemed unsuitable for public discussion – Egyptians may be able to eject the Muslim Brotherhood, but in today’s Washington it is raising questions about the Muslim Brotherhood that gets you run out of town.
Diana West asks Why Won't the Media Cover Huma Abedin's Ties to the Global Jihad Movement?
It is not enough to analyze Huma Abedin as a "political wife." Abedin is also a veritable Muslim Brotherhood princess. As such, the ideological implications of her actions -- plus her long and privileged access to US policy-making through Hillary Clinton -- must be considered, particularly in the context of national security.

But talk about paradoxes. In an era when the most minute and lurid descriptions of her husband's anatomical and sexual details are common talk, Huma Abedin's familial and professional connections to the world of jihad are unspeakable.

IBD Under Sequester, U.S. Giving Islamists $500 Million

Circumventing Congress and with no fanfare, President Obama last week issued an executive order enabling him to send an additional $500 million directly to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank — much of which you can bet will wind up going to the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization.

According to Obama, "it is important to the national security interests of the United States to waive the provisions of" Congress' legislative restrictions "in order to provide funds . .. to the Palestinian Authority."

At the beginning of his first term, Obama promised close to $1 billion in aid to the Palestinian Authority, with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledging none of it would reach Hamas.

But there's not enough money to open the White House to tourists.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:26 PM | Permalink

July 18, 2013

"Instead of investigating the militant Boston mosque where the bomber brothers were radicalized, the FBI partnered with it for political "outreach."

The PC-ification Of The FBI

Homeland Insecurity: If there's any doubt the FBI's gone soft on Islamic terror and may be overlooking more Boston-style plots, witness the bureau chief's recent Hill testimony.

In a testy exchange with Republican lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee, FBI Director Robert Mueller reluctantly acknowledged FBI counterterrorism training materials have been purged of references to "jihad" and "Islam" and that counterterrorism agents have been restricted from doing undercover investigations at mosques.

These outrageous policies likely contributed to the FBI missing signs of radicalization in the Muslim community — including that of the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston. The marathon bombers operated in plain sight of the FBI before killing three and wounding 260.
Mueller confirmed that instead of investigating the militant Boston mosque where the bomber brothers were radicalized, the FBI partnered with it for political "outreach."

Asked if he was aware the mosque was co-founded by a convicted terrorist cited by the Treasury Department as an al-Qaida fundraiser, Mueller sheepishly replied, "I was not."
The same mosque also has graduated several other convicted terrorists. The FBI helped put all these terrorists behind bars, yet didn't tie them back to the mosque. If the bureau had, it would have seen something rotten with the leadership there
Mueller wasn't always Mr. Magoo. Who put the PC blinders on him? Eric Holder.  In October 2011, the attorney general quietly put in force two policies that have made the nation far more vulnerable to homegrown terrorism.

For one, he set up a special review committee to curb mosque investigations, classifying the names of the reviewers, who reportedly may include outside parties.  Also that month he ordered a review of all FBI counterterrorist training manuals "to identify and correct any material that may be construed as offensive to someone of the Islamic faith," according to a directive sent to all FBI field offices.
Reviewers proceeded to purge references to "jihad" and "Islam" in connection to terrorism.

Instead, they are spying on us.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:57 PM | Permalink

July 3, 2013

Growing trend of baby-hating

At special session of the Texas state legislature. Pro-abortion protestors chant 'Hail, Satan' to drown out pro-life protestors singing Amazing Grace. 

The Anchoress comments

“Amazing Grace” is a psycho-spiritual weapon. When it is deployed, people cannot be shocked at what weapons others will use in response.

The Anchoress writes, "Simcha Fisher speaks truth" ( in The Earth is a Nursery )    "Only Bad Guys Hate Babies"  Succinct.  To the point. 

increasingly people feel entitled to publicly demonstrate their hatreds, not just for people who think differently (“enemies of the human race!”), or on political issues (“I hope your daughter gets raped!”); they feel okay about hating little kids.

Active baby-hating is not a sign of a healthy society.

And in another post, on the growing trend of adults expressing displeasure at the public  existence of children and their parents

— as one contributor to the New York Times Magazine put it — “These wan goons. . .bringing their squealing offspring to brunch or for clogging up the sidewalk…”

[The New York Times Magazine] featured this letter to the editor, written by “Carolyn” in Maryland:

Five years ago I faced an unwanted pregnancy. At the time, I had a 2 year-old and a 4 year-old, and I was working full time as a college professor and living an upper-middle-class life. When I found out I was pregnant at eight weeks, I consulted with my husband (who supported either decision) and we scheduled an abortion the following week. I was overwhelmed at the thought of caring for another child. Had I been turned away, I’m sure that I would be able to report that I loved that third child, that our family was doing well and that there were no notable negative impacts or issues as a result of bearing and raising the child from an unwanted pregnancy. I can, however, say the same thing now, having not had that child.

The blood runs cold. Break it down to its essentials, and it’s “Yeah, I could have had the kid and we’d have still been fine, but what’s the difference? This way I wasn’t inconvenienced.”

Or, put another way: “I just sacrificed my child to the idol of I. The idol of myself. I can’t even claim he was sacrificed for the idol of future plans, or that she was sacrificed to the idol of a career. No, I just sacrificed my child to me. To the idea of me: Ms. Personal Autonomy. I am like a god! I decide who lives and dies; didn’t feel like having another baby, so I killed it. Because I could. My other two kids only breathe and live by my grace, alone.”
It is precisely because a baby brings the unconditional love of God to us in a renewed way that evil cannot abide it, and works so desperately to prevent it.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:56 PM | Permalink

"Final Hours" in Egypt

The largest protest in Egypt's history continues day after day as millions take to the streets to protest the Morsi government.  More than 22 million Egyptians have signed a petition calling for the country's Islamist president to step down.

 Egyptian-Largest Protest

Egyptians are gathering nationwide.  11 Powerful Images From the Largest Protest In Egypt's History

The 'final hours' showdown

The military chiefs, wanting to restore order in a country racked by protests over Mursi's Islamist policies, issued a call to battle in a statement headlined "The Final Hours". They said they were willing to shed blood against "terrorists and fools" after Mursi refused to give up his elected office.

Mursi said, "The price … is my life."


For ordinary Egyptians, fixing the economy is key.

They are demanding a functioning economy that works under the rule of law. Particularly, the young in Egypt have been increasingly frustrated about their country’s outmoded economic system and discouraging reality. The continuing lack of economic reforms has fueled discontent since 2011, with state finances left drained by extensive subsidies on food, energy, and other key commodities…..President Mohamed Morsi has been more focused on expanding his own power and consolidating the control of the Muslim Brotherhood than in advancing the declared goals of Egypt’s democratic revolution and reviving Egypt’s worsening economy.

Let's not forget that earlier this month Morsi appointed a hardline Islamist to govern Luxor who is a member of the militant group responsible for the 1997 Luxor massacre that killed 58 tourists.

In Luxor itself, Morsi's move was met with anger. "How is this guy from this group [Gamaa Islamiya] going to encourage tourism?" asked Alaa Mahmoud, the owner of Magic Horizon, a tourism company in the city. "No one in Luxor wants him. It's like Morsi wants to finish the country."

The NSF's Abdel Ghany said: "It sends a very bad message to the tourist industry and the families of those killed … Morsi is destroying the image of Egypt as a tourist destination and a civil society in favour of satisfying the Salafist groups."

So much furor erupted that Adel Khayat, the newly appointed governor of Luxor had to resign.

Spengler writes Egypt Falls Back on the Military

The population has had enough. Beans (not to mention animal protein) have been priced out of the budget of the poorer half of Egypt’s citizens for weeks, and the country is nearly out of fuel — which means, in the middle of the wheat harvest, nearly out of bread. There isn’t much to hope for here, but there are best and worst case scenarios.

The worst case scenario is the status quo: chaos in politics, violence in the streets, complete cessation of tourism, and economic breakdown. This is not an economy with a lot of buffer. Nearly a fifth of Egyptians were suffering from malnutrition when the World Health Organization surveyed the country in 2011. WFO estimates that two of five Egyptian adults are mentally and physically “stunted” by inadequate diet. The slow starvation of Egyptians under successive military regimes is gradually turning into actual hunger.

Muslim Brotherhood offices destroyed

The scene at the headquarters was a microcosm of the extreme polarisation affecting Egyptian society, which is divided between those who may be religious, but do not seek an Islamic state – and Islamists like the Brotherhood, which seeks to use the concepts of Islamic law to govern Egypt. Even state institutions appear to have been drawn into the division. The police, who defended the same building during a similar attack in March, did not intervene on Sunday.

One little reported connection of the Muslim Brotherhood to the death of Americans. The Muslim Brotherhood's Connection to Benghazi

"Written solely as a perfunctory after-action report …an interdepartmental memo from the Libyan National Security offices in Tripoli to the Ministry of the Interior…details several confessions of the six Egyptians in Libyan custody for the 9.11.12 bombing of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi….
details the involvement of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as being involved with and in the funding, support, planning, and execution of the attack.
It was prepared by Mahmoud Ibrahim Sharif, the Director of National Security of Libya
.  In his report Sharif conveys that the Libyan investigation unearthed an Egyptian (terror) cell that had been involved in the planning and execution of the attack. Six confessions from those arrested at the scene--all of them Egyptian--and all connected to the U.S. terror watch listed group Ansar al-Sharia.
"during interrogations, these Egyptian jihadi cell members 'confessed to very serious and important information concerning the financial sources of the group and the planners of the event and the storming and burning of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi…. And among the more prominent figures whose names were mentioned by cell members during confessions: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi…'"

The investigation also seems to have unearthed a video taken the night of the attack in which members of the jihadists identify themselves as being sent personally by "Dr. Morsi."

It's time to Overthrow Morsi and end the Muslim Brotherhood's dictatorial rule in Egypt

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:11 AM | Permalink

June 27, 2013

"Whatever happened to the intellectual depth of the serious atheists?"

I always pay attention when Rabbi Jonathan Sacks writes.  His latest is in The Spectator

Atheism has failed.  Only religion can defeat the new barbariansThe West is suffering for its loss of faith. Unless we rediscover religion, our civilization is in peril

Future intellectual historians will look back with wonder at the strange phenomenon of seemingly intelligent secularists in the 21st century believing that if they could show that the first chapters of Genesis are not literally true, that the universe is more than 6,000 years old and there might be other explanations for rainbows than as a sign of God’s covenant after the flood, the whole of humanity’s religious beliefs would come tumbling down like a house of cards and we would be left with a serene world of rational non-believers getting on famously with one another.

Whatever happened to the intellectual depth of the serious atheists, the forcefulness of Hobbes, the passion of Spinoza, the wit of Voltaire, the world-shattering profundity of Nietzsche? Where is there the remotest sense that they have grappled with the real issues, which have nothing to do with science and the literal meaning of scripture and everything to do with the meaningfulness or otherwise of human life, the existence or non-existence of an objective moral order, the truth or falsity of the idea of human freedom, and the ability or inability of society to survive without the rituals, narratives and shared practices that create and sustain the social bond?

A significant area of intellectual discourse — the human condition sub specie aeternitatis — has been dumbed down to the level of a school debating society. Does it matter? ….Why not leave it at that?

Fair enough, perhaps. But not, I submit, for readers of The Spectator, because religion has social, cultural and political consequences, and you cannot expect the foundations of western civilisation to crumble and leave the rest of the building intact. That is what the greatest of all atheists, Nietzsche, understood with terrifying clarity and what his -latter-day successors fail to grasp at all.

Time and again in his later writings he tells us that losing Christian faith will mean abandoning Christian morality. No more ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’; instead the will to power. …

The history of Europe since the 18th century has been the story of successive attempts to find alternatives to God as an object of worship, among them the nation state, race and the Communist Manifesto. After this cost humanity two world wars, a Cold War and a hundred million lives, we have turned to more pacific forms of idolatry, among them the market, the liberal democratic state and the consumer society, all of which are ways of saying that there is no morality beyond personal choice so long as you do no harm to others.

Even so, the costs are beginning to mount up. Levels of trust have plummeted throughout the West as one group after another — bankers, CEOs, media personalities, parliamentarians, the press — has been hit by scandal. Marriage has all but collapsed as an institution, with 40 per cent of children born outside it and 50 per cent of marriages ending in divorce. Rates of depressive illness and stress-related syndromes have rocketed especially among the young. A recent survey showed that the average 18- to 35-year-old has 237 Facebook friends. When asked how many they could rely on in a crisis, the average answer was two. A quarter said one. An eighth said none.

None of this should surprise us. This is what a society built on materialism, individualism and moral relativism looks like. It maximises personal freedom but at a cost. As Michael Walzer puts it: ‘This freedom, energising and exciting as it is, is also profoundly disintegrative, making it very difficult for individuals to find any stable communal support, very difficult for any community to count on the responsible participation of its individual members. It opens solitary men and women to the impact of a lowest common denominator, commercial culture.’
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:43 AM | Permalink

June 20, 2013

How Institutions Decay and Economies Die

""We are living through a profound crisis of the institutions that were the keys to our previous success—not only economic, but also political and cultural—as a civilization"

writes Niall Ferguson in his new book, The Great Degeneration, which is reviewed by George Melloan who calls it A Jeremiad to Heed.

Doomsayers are never popular, but sometimes they're right….That maxim applies to the writings of the economic historian Niall Ferguson.
With a focus on the United States, "The Great Degeneration" warns that Western civilization has entered into a period of decline due mainly to the strangling of private initiative by the ever-encroaching state. "….

The threatened institutions are representative government, the free market, the rule of law and civil society. Mr. Ferguson is dismayed at the explosion of public debt, the destruction of markets by excessive regulation, the replacement of the rule of law by "a rule of lawyers," and the decay of civil society as represented in part by the decline of thousands of private, voluntary organizations (Rotarians, Elks, et al.) that have contributed so much to social order and progress in America.
The most worrisome evidence of decline, he believes, is the "crisis of public debt," with government budgets out of control in the U.S. and Europe. He sees outsize debt as a symptom of the "betrayal of future generations: a breach of Edmund Burke's social contract between the present and the future."
[U.S. future obligations exceed future revenues by $200 trillion, and state and local governments face $38 trillion in unfunded obligations.]
The French author Alexis de Tocqueville marveled at the scope of American civil society in the 19th century, the many associations that owed their "birth and development" not to law but to individuals freely joining forces. Mr. Ferguson agrees with Tocqueville that "the state—with its seductive promise of 'security from the cradle to the grave'—was the real enemy of civil society."

Earlier this month, Ferguson wrote two op eds in the Wall Street Journal based on the premises of his new book.

How America Lost Its Way  It is getting ever harder to do business in the United States, argues Niall Ferguson, and more stimulus won't help: Our institutions need fixing.

If poor countries can get rich by improving their institutions, is it not possible that rich countries can get poor by allowing their institutions to degenerate? I want to suggest that it is.
We used to have the rule of law. Now it is tempting to say we have the rule of lawyers, which is something different.
The decline of American institutions is no secret. Yet it is one of those strange "unknown knowns" that is well documented but largely ignored.
Each year, the World Economic Forum publishes its Global Competitiveness Index. Since it introduced its current methodology in 2004, the U.S. score has declined by 6%. (In the same period China's score has improved by 12%.) …In only one category out of 22 is the U.S. ranked in the global top 20 (the strength of investor protection). In seven categories it does not even make the top 50.

Niall Ferguson: The Regulated States of America  Tocqueville saw a nation of individuals who were defiant of authority. Today? Welcome to Planet Government.

In "Democracy in America," published in 1833, Alexis de Tocqueville marveled at the way Americans preferred voluntary association to government regulation. ...Unlike Frenchmen, he continued, who instinctively looked to the state to provide economic and social order, Americans relied on their own efforts. "In the United States, they associate for the goals of public security, of commerce and industry, of morality and religion. There is nothing the human will despairs of attaining by the free action of the collective power of individuals."
Instead of joining together to get things done, Americans have increasingly become dependent on Washington.
As the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Clyde Wayne Crews shows in his invaluable annual survey of the federal regulatory state, we have become the regulation nation almost imperceptibly…..The cost of all this, Mr. Crews estimates, is $1.8 trillion annually—that's on top of the federal government's $3.5 trillion in outlays, so it is equivalent to an invisible 65% surcharge on your federal taxes, or nearly 12% of GDP. Especially invidious is the fact that the costs of regulation for small businesses (those with fewer than 20 employees) are 36% higher per employee than they are for bigger firms.

Here are three recent examples of what Ferguson is talking about.

Department of Labor vs. me

What started as a small family business operating out of our home has grown to 22 states. Now, though, it might all turn out to be illegal, thanks to the bureaucratic thinking of the Department of Labor.

The business model that parents thought was an innovation, but that Labor sees as a menace, is simple but effective. You might have heard of it: cooperation.

Then there is the struggle to start  a charter school in Maryland using a classical curriculum and science that Charles Murray talks about in A case study in the government as enemy.   

Or the harassment experienced by one man who tried to start a non-profit to challenge the imagination of the rising generation by engaging them with the great books and America's moral and constitutional order.  The IRS targeted my organization.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:31 AM | Permalink

June 18, 2013

The Suicide of French historian Dominique Venner in Notre Dame Cathedral

Suicide at Notre Dame a Warning to the West

Dominique Venner was, from my understanding, neither Catholic nor formally pagan: his spiritual life was found in a kind of reverence for the heritage of Europe; that heritage includes both pagan and Christian religion, and so he admired both. His suicide in the cathedral was a final act of respect, as well as a powerful setting for the message he intended to convey. He saw the cathedrals of Europe as artistic manifestations of the genius of his people. In his suicide note, “Reasons for a Voluntary Death,” he explained,

I am healthy in body and mind… However, in the evening of my life, facing immense dangers to my French and European homeland, I feel the duty to act as long as I still have strength. I believe it necessary to sacrifice myself to break the lethargy that plagues us. I give up what life remains to me in order to protest and to found. I chose a highly symbolic place, the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, which I respect and admire: she was built by the genius of my ancestors on the site of cults still more ancient, recalling our immemorial origins.

Venner sees himself as the founder of something new, in defense of something old. This calls to mind another founding, born out of rape. That is the founding of the Roman Republic, which was inspired in large part by the suicide of a Roman woman, Lucretia….
This act inspired the revolution that overthrew the monarchy of Rome…. But the Roman founding was born out of suicide and shame—not the shame of Lucretia, but the shaming of her husband and father by the horrible acts done to her. So too, Dominique Venner’s suicide mirrors of the suicide of the West, and is meant to shame us.

The final piece that he wrote on his personal blog, “The May 26 Protests and Heidegger,” gives a clearer explanation of his death than does his suicide letter. It contains a warning and a call to arms. …Venner himself expressed horror at the notion of “gay marriage,” but his objection to the culture of relativism goes deeper than that. He relates the words of an Algerian blogger,

“In any case,” he said, “in 15 years the Islamists will be in power in France and will remove this law.” Not to please us, we suspect, but because it is contrary to Sharia (Islamic law)…..“The May 26 protestors cannot ignore this reality. Their struggle cannot be limited to the rejection of gay marriage. The ‘great replacement’ of the population of France and Europe, denounced by the writer Renaud Camus, is a far more catastrophic danger for the future.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:11 AM | Permalink

June 17, 2013

A Great Speech

Yuval Levin's great speech

Gratitude and Seeing the Best Intentions of Your Brother Voicing an Opposing View

To my mind, conservatism is gratitude. Conservatives tend to begin from gratitude for what is good and what works in our society and then strive to build on it, while liberals tend to begin from outrage at what is bad and broken and seek to uproot it.

You need both, because some of what is good about our world is irreplaceable and has to be guarded, while some of what is bad is unacceptable and has to be changed. We should never forget that the people who oppose our various endeavors and argue for another way are well intentioned too, even when they’re wrong, and that they’re not always wrong.

But we can also never forget what moves us to gratitude, and so what we stand for and defend: the extraordinary cultural inheritance we have; the amazing country built for us by others and defended by our best and bravest; America’s unmatched potential for lifting the poor and the weak; the legacy of freedom—of ordered liberty—built up over centuries of hard work.

We value these things not because they are triumphant and invincible but because they are precious and vulnerable, because they weren’t fated to happen, and they’re not certain to survive. They need us—and our gratitude for them should move us to defend them and to build on them.
Conservatives often begin from gratitude because we start from modest expectations of human affairs—we know that people are imperfect, and fallen, and weak; that human knowledge and power are not all they’re cracked up to be; and we’re enormously impressed by the institutions that have managed to make something great of this imperfect raw material. So we want to build on them because we don’t imagine we could do better starting from scratch.

Liberals often begin from outrage because they have much higher expectations—maybe even utopian expectations—about the perfectibility of human things and the potential of human knowledge and power. They’re often willing to ignore tradition and to push aside institutions that channel generations of wisdom because they think we can do better on our own.
The American idea of progress is the tradition that we’re defending. It is made possible precisely by sustaining our deep ties to the ideals of liberty, and equality, and human dignity expressed in our founding and our institutions. The great moral advances in our history have involved the vindication of those principles—have involved America becoming more like itself.

And in any society, the task of sustaining those kinds of institutions for the next generation is the essential task—the irreplaceable precondition for everything else. That is the work first and foremost of families, and of communities. It can also be the work of educators, and of legislators. The work of democratic capitalism and of our constitutional order.

They are all connected by the need to sustain the great gift that is our country, and when we fail to see them as connected—when for instance we think we can advance our economic agenda at the expense of our concerns about the culture—we risk losing that gift altogether.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:44 PM | Permalink

June 13, 2013

Blind to Terror

Obama's Snooping Excludes Mosques, Missed Boston Bombers

The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won't snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.   That's right, the government's sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.

Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee. Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.
The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped.  The bureau didn't even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.

This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.  What other five-alarm jihadists are counterterrorism officials missing right now, thanks to restrictions on monitoring the one area they should be monitoring?

Barry Rubin explains how this came to be in Why Expanded Government Spying Doesn’t Mean Better Security Against Terrorism

Isn’t it absurd that the United States — which can’t finish a simple border fence to keep out potential terrorists; can’t stop a would-be terrorist in the U.S. Army who gives a PowerPoint presentation on why he is about to shoot people (Major Nidal Hasan); can’t follow up on Russian intelligence warnings about Chechen terrorist contacts (the Boston bombing); or a dozen similar incidents — must now collect every telephone call in the country?

Isn’t it absurd that under this system, a photo-shop clerk has to stop an attack on Fort Dix by overcoming his fear of appearing “racist” to report a cell of terrorists?

That it was left to brave passengers to jump a would-be “underpants bomber” from Nigeria, because his own father’s warning that he was a terrorist was insufficient?

Isn’t it absurd that terrorists and terrorist supporters visit the White House, hang out with the FBI, and advise the U.S. government on counter-terrorist policy, even while — as CAIR does — advising Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement? And that they are admiringly quoted in the media?

Meanwhile, a documented, detailed revelation of this behavior in MERIA Journal by Patrick Poole – ”Blind to Terror: The U.S. Government’s Disastrous Muslim Outreach Efforts and the Impact on U.S. Middle East Policy” — a report which rationally should bring down the government, does not get covered by a single mass media outlet?

Rubin wrote earlier this month,  Make Room for Islamistgate: The Obama Administration’s Newest, (Biggest?) Scandal

For the last four years, the Obama administration has conducted a major “outreach” program to Islamic groups in the United States and in the Middle East. In a comprehensive article, investigative journalist and PJ Media contributor Patrick Poole now presents the full scoop and scope of what’s been going on. His article — “Blind to Terror: The U.S. Government’s Disastrous Muslim Outreach Efforts and the Impact on U.S. Policy” — appearing in the new Summer issue of the MERIA Journal is a game-changer.

The majority of these groups and individuals promoted by the Obama administration have been radical Islamists, particularly Muslim Brotherhood cadre, and more than occasionally were people involved in terrorist activity.

Actual moderate Muslims have been neglected and isolated by this project, which has helped the radicals, Islamists, and pro-terrorists gain hegemony in the Muslim community in America.

Blind to Terror:  The U.S. Government's Disastrous Muslim Outreach Efforts and the Impact on U.S. Middle East Policy

Why has the U.S. government called certain Islamic groups supporters of terror in federal court, and then turned around and called these same organizations “moderates” and embraced them as outreach partners? In a number of cases from the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations, the leaders of these organizations (some of whom are now in federal prison) were under active investigation at the same time they were meeting with senior U.S. leaders at the White House and the Capitol and helping develop U.S. policy.

Now these same Islamic organizations and leaders have openly encouraged a purge of counterterrorism training that have effectively blinded law enforcement, homeland security, and intelligence agencies to active terror threats as seen in the inaction of the FBI concerning the Boston bombing suspects and other terror cases. This study poses serious questions as to the efficacy and even security concerns about U.S. government outreach to Islamic groups, which often turn out to be Islamist militants, enemies of Islamic moderation, and even supporters of terrorism.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:23 PM | Permalink

June 11, 2013


There are so many scandals in Washington now coming to light, it's a scandalpalooza.  Beyond the scandals we know of, Benghazi, IRS, the DOJ and NSA, other scandals are erupting.    The common thread to all is abuse of power and the chilling of opposition to the party line by the bullying of the government.

There would probably be more if the Inspector Generals were appointed for State, Interior, Labor, Homeland Security and the Agency for International Development but the President has failed to appoint them.   Obama's Inspector General Negligence

All told, an IG has been missing in action at each of those cabinet departments and the AID agency for between 18 months and five years.

In the State Department

CBS:  U.S. State Department Cover-Ups Range from Prostitution Charges to Drug Rings
including allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” with foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”
investigators were told to stop probing the case of a U.S. ambassador who was suspected of patronizing prostitutes in a public park. The memo states that the ambassador was permitted to return to his post despite having, “routinely ditched…his protective security detail” in order to “solicit sexual favors from prostitutes.”

 Howard-Gutman-Belgium-Ambassador Howard Gutman, Ambassador to Belgium, identified as the U.S. diplomat accused of "soliciting sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children" denies the charges.

After being called back to Washington, he met with Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy, but kept his job.    Gutman raised $500k for Obama and helped finance the inaugural.

DSS agents told the Inspector General's investigators that senior State Department officials told them to back off, a charge that Fedenisn says is "very" upsetting.

"We were very upset. We expect to see influence, but the degree to which that influence existed and how high up it went, was very disturbing," she said.

At the EPA.  Four separate scandals going on at the EPA  including making conservatives pay a fortune for FOIAs to be granted while waiving fees for liberal groups  and leaking confidential information on farmers and cattle facilities to environmental groups

At the FHA.  Yet Another Obama Cover-Up: FHA Bailout Fear

Subprime: For years, the administration has denied FHA troubles. But emails reveal it not only knew of them, but also withheld evidence of projected insolvency from Congress.
The agency is letting lower-income borrowers get loans just three years after foreclosure with as little as 3% down and subprime-low credit scores. In fact, 40% of newer FHA-backed loans are subprime.

The risky lending has led to higher delinquencies. Now at 17%, delinquencies on FHA loans are so high the administration has extended the grace period for repayments on troubled loans to a full year.

Last year, the FHA secretly conducted a Fed-style stress test that found agency losses could hit $115 billion. Because the results were politically embarrassing, FHA chose to not disclose them.

At the GSA  According to the IG, Feds in the GSA Threw Contracts to Crony Companies

The stunning report shows that GSA managers routinely overruled contracting officers on certain accounts, including Carahsoft and two large IT contracts with Deloitte and Oracle. The contracts amounted to $900 million in 2011 alone. The IG found, according to the Federal Times, that “After GSA managers intervened in contracting officer decisions, the result was higher-than-appropriate prices for federal customers and a demoralized acquisition staff for GSA.”

At  HHS.  At least 436 Department of Health and Human Services employees Had Insider Tip of $8 Billion Medicare Decision that set private health insurers' stock soaring.  The Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) have launched a probe to investigate possible insider trading.

In the Army  Soldier Who Read Conservative Books Now Faces Charges

A member of the U.S. Army Band who said he was reprimanded for having anti-Obama bumper stickers on his personal car, serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at a party and reading books written by conservative authors like Sean Hannity is now facing Article 15 charges – which cropped up shortly after he went public with his complaints. 

Last summer he was reprimanded for reading David Limbaugh and Mark Levin  privately and silently backstage at a U.S. Army Band concert.  A superior officer told him he was causing "unit disruption" and offending other soldiers

At the Energy Dept.  Nepotism ‘open and widely accepted’ at Energy Department.    Despite the fact that Federal law prohibits  public officials from appointing, employing or even advocating for their children or relatives to work within their agencies

At NSA  Pat Cadell on the sordid revelations .  The Fuse Has Been Lit:  Seven Critical Points on Uncle Sam's Spying Program

If the IRS was so willing to share confidential information with favored private groups, we shouldn’t be surprised, in the end, to learn that NSA/PRISM material ended up in the hands of Obama friends and allies outside of the government.
These communications companies put peepholes into all of our private lives, through which Uncle Sam could sneak a peek.  Every e-mail, every phone call, every text-message--the government knows about them all.  It’s now evident that all these wonderful digital services--many of them, such as Google’s Gmail, given away for free--were, in fact, a kind of Trojan Horse.

More at the IRSHouse panel to probe alleged seizure of medical records by IRS

A top House committee launched another probe of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tuesday after a lawsuit alleged that the agency improperly seized millions of personal medical records in California.

The IRS seized 60 million records of 10 million people  without a search warrant or subpoena

Why the IRS is not answering questions about who did what.  Wow: IRS Claims Law Protecting the Privacy of Taxpayer Information Also Protects the Privacy of Those Who Violate Taxpayer Privacy

When everything is a crime, government date mining matters  especially in a flourishing culture of intimidation directed at the Tea Party, traditional marriage supporters, conservatives and other opponents of Obama and his agenda

Losing America by Peter Kirsanow

The “fundamental transformation” of America proceeds apace. The erosion of our freedoms and traditions, once incremental and barely perceptible, accelerates daily.

Armies of bureaucrats commanded by political ideologues remarkable mainly for their galactic incompetence intrude on ever more aspects of our lives — aspects both large and small. They tell us what light bulbs we’re allowed to use and how much water we may flush. They stick swabs in our mouths to collect our DNA and order us to buy health insurance we don’t want. They can seize our land if they think they know how to use it better, or stop us from using our land because a favored amphibian might live there too.
Trust us, they say, it’s for your own good; a sovereign imperative, essential for national security. This from a government that freely lets millions cross our borders illegally without bothering to find out even the slightest detail about them.

Roger Kimball  writes

the transformation of us citizens — formerly the employers of all those “public servants” (it sounds funny now, doesn’t it: “public servants” forsooth!) swanning about in Washington on our money — the transformation, I say, of us citizens into serfs, i.e., slaves working for a feudal master.

Via American Digest is  finem respice

If you live in the United States it may finally be dawning on you that you have something of a problem in the government to which you are now a Subject….In fact, given the manner you have quashed the opportunity- almost unique in the history of the species- created by an impossibly rare coexistence of liberty, private property, free markets, the rise of scientific method, and freedom of expression (to name just a few) there is more than a passing argument to be made that your society has squandered one of the greatest intellectual and individualistic fortunes in history.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:59 PM | Permalink

June 6, 2013

D-Day 69 years later

 Robertcapa Dday

When freedom came ashore: Stunning shots of Allied troops storming Omaha Beach in Normandy by war photographer Robert Capa and how they were almost lost forever

War photographer took 106 photos - but only 11 of them survived because of a blunder when processing the film.  Life magazine picture editor in London John Morris told staff to 'rush!' in the dark room.  In their haste, three whole rolls of film melted and over half of the fourth was destroyed
Robert Capa's images - later named The Magnificent Eleven - are the closest any photographer got to the action  Capa landed just off the beach in a US landing craft and took his pictures from the water.
Capa was aboard a landing ship carrying Company E of 16th Regiment, First Infantry of the US Army which landed on Omaha beach in the early hours of June 6.
As machine guns were fired all around him, the troops - and the war photographer - waded towards the beach under heavy enemy fire.  Omaha beach proved to be the worst killing field of the first day of the invasion, with an estimated 3,000 US soldiers killed within a matter of hours.

He later wrote in his book, called Slightly out of Focus: 'The men from my barge waded in the water. Waist-deep, with rifles ready to shoot, with the invasion obstacles and the smoking beach in the background gangplank to take my first real picture of the invasion.
'The boatswain, who was in an understandable hurry to get the hell out of there, mistook my picture-taking attitude for explicable hesitation, and helped me make up my mind with a well-aimed kick in the rear. The water was cold, and the beach still more than a hundred yards away.'

He dived for cover behind a steel object before heading onward in the water for a disabled American tank as he snapped away furiously.

The photographer held his camera high above his head to stop his precious film being damaged and later ran towards an incoming landing craft. He was hauled aboard and spirited away to England where most of his shots were inadvertently destroyed in the developing room.

What courage those men had.    Ronald Reagan gave one of his greatest speeches on the 40th Anniversary:

We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For 4 long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: ``I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.''

Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.

You can experience D-Day live and minute by minute here

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:11 PM | Permalink

June 5, 2013

A Potemkin Village Rises in Ireland for the G8 World Summit

Fake villages will greet President Obama and other G8 world leaders in Fermanagh Fake shop fronts and derelict buildings covered in billboards disguise economic plight


Fake shop front - local councils have hired workers to paint fake shop fronts stocked with attractive but illusory produce for the pleasure of the G8 Summit meeting talking place in Fermanagh this month.

According to Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE, local councils have hired workers to paint fake shop fronts stocked with attractive but illusory produce.

They have also been contracted to cover derelict buildings with colorful billboards, the better to hide the real economic hardship being felt in towns and villages close to the five star golf resort where G8 leaders will meet this month.

Critics have called the move a Potemkin village charade, named after the fake village created by Russian minister Grigory Potemkin to fool Empress Catherine II about the state of locality during her visit to Crimea in 1787.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:53 AM | Permalink

May 29, 2013

When tribal cultures occupy London

Daniel Greenfield writes Afghanistan Comes to London

Five years ago, the sight of Muslim terrorists beheading British soldiers was a horror that could happen in Afghanistan or Iraq. Now it has happened in broad daylight in the capital of the United Kingdom.

In a decade, 600,000 white Londoners have fled the city. Those are the sorts of numbers you would expect from the Syrian civil war. Their place has been taken by the million Muslims occupying the city.
Muslim fighters have torn Somalia apart. And importing 200,000 of them into the United Kingdom is beginning to have the same effect. There are an estimated 70,000 Somalis in Greater London. That makes London the 12th largest city in Somalia. Nearly 2 percent of Somalia now lives in the UK.

80 percent of Somalis in the UK live in public housing. They have the lowest employment rate of every immigrant group in the country. And within four years, they had managed to rack up over ten thousand arrests. Every effort to integrate them has failed. Rather than the Somalis becoming British, shards of Britain have become little Mogadishus.

The Somalis are not alone in this regard. Muslim immigration to the UK has brought the norms of Somalia, Afghanistan and Egypt to the streets of London. Individual acts of violence can be overlooked. But there is nothing individual about all these cases. This is a culture of violence.

Islam sanctifies that culture of violence. It takes tribal killings and endows them with the status of a religious duty. Jihad is simply gang warfare, no different than the kind practiced by the Woolwich Manz, given theological meaning. Men have been butchering other men with machetes throughout Africa. But when a Muslim mutilates a British soldier with a machete, then he is engaging in a religious ritual.
What happened near Woolwich Commons would not have been considered extraordinary in Afghanistan, Somalia or Syria. It is only extraordinary because it has been a long time since rampaging Vikings were disemboweling the locals. It is only extraordinary because the nation is hobbled by the assumptions of civilization. And one of those basic assumptions is that murderers with red hands will not carry out beheadings in your streets.

Brendan O'Neill, The Savagery of Identity Politics

One of the most shocking things about the brutal attack in Woolwich yesterday was the arrogance with which one of the bloodied knifemen claimed to be acting on behalf of all Muslims. In what sounded like a South London accent, this British-seeming, casually dressed young man bizarrely spoke as if he were a representative of the ummah. He talked about “our lands and what “our people” have to go through every day.  He presumably meant Iraqis and Afghanis, or perhaps the broader global “Muslim family”.

How can a couple of men so thoroughly convince themselves that they speak for all Muslims, to the extent that they seriously believe their savage and psychotic attack on a man in the street is some kind of glorious act of Islamic resistance? Perhaps because they live in a country in which claiming to speak “on behalf of” a community, even if you’ve never been elected by or even seriously talked to that community, is taken seriously. A country where one’s identity, one’s racial or religious or cultural make-up, now counts for everything, certainly for more than what one does or what one believes. A country in which the politics of identity, the narrow and deeply divisive communal politics of shared cultural traits, has been privileged over all other kinds of politics.
Identity politics breeds narcissism and arrogance, a belief that one is special because of where one comes from or looks like. It fosters petty grievances, too, inviting people to think of themselves as a threatened little cultural corner, being walked over by the ignorant, culture-lacking mainstream. In some cases, these feelings, it seems, can become completely unhinged, to the extent that we have recently seen horrific acts of violence carried out by people who really, passionately believe that they are global community spokespeople.

Islam’s Parallel Emirate in the U.K.  Andrew McCarthy quotes Soren Kern who reported two years ago.

Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of “no-go” areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims.

Many of the “no-go” zones function as microstates governed by Islamic Sharia law. Host-country authorities effectively have lost control in these areas and in many instances are unable to provide even basic public aid such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services.

The “no-go” areas are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated rather than become integrated into their European host nations….The Islamic Emirates Project names the British cities of Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, as well as Waltham Forest in northeast London and Tower Hamlets in East London as territories to be targeted for blanket Sharia rule.

What is this but the announced conquering of Britain city by city. 

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:59 PM | Permalink

April 17, 2013

"A cry of defiance, and not of fear”

  Bostonheraldcov Oneboston

Herald Editorial:  Justice demands, get the bastards

But as the president said yesterday, “Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people. I’m supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other and move forward as one proud city.”

Oh, he’s so right on that score. It’s the way this city has always been — always will be — going back to that night celebrated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.” Revere’s spreading of that alarm at what would be the birth of this nation was, he wrote, “A cry of defiance, and not of fear.”

And so it is today in Boston. We will not live in fear. We will demand that the cowardly bastards who did this be brought to justice. Nothing else will do.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:57 AM | Permalink

April 11, 2013

The French have it right when it comes to gay marriage

In this politically charged issue, a disclaimer is necessary.  I have no animus against homosexuals and i've supported civil unions, but I've drawn the line against marriage because I am so concerned with the well-being of children and so opposed to any commodification of human beings.

Adults may have great desire to have children, but they have no "right" to  children.  If a couple can not procreate, they can not buy children or demand the state children provide them children.  They are allowed to adopt children but only if they satisfy the state's requirements of adoption which are concerned with the welfare of the individual child and the fitness of the prospective adoptive parents. 

On the other hand, children have the right to have two parents, male and female.  It is the way nature works.

But we are already deep down the path of turning children into commodities to be bought and sold  There is little or no regulation about sperm donation, about IVF, about surrogacy and already the consequences are very troublesome for the the children involved.  Do we want even more children with gaping holes in their lives whose Daddy's name is Donor?

I'm  French when it comes to the issue of gay marriage. 

Robert Oscar Lopez is right when he says the French are ahead of us in exposing the great lie of gay marriage.

Gay marriage is posing as liberation for homosexuals but really hiding the nefarious goal of commercializing procreation, turning children into commodities.  Designer children will be a huge business in the future, but without "gay equality" as a smokescreen to distract people from the ugliness of what such a commerce entails, the market would come under massive criticism.

Gay marriage eradicates the role of mother and father and institutionalizes a form of child-rearing that works by contract and purchase, which the government naturally controls and oversees in collaboration with massive corporations.

It was the French man on the street who figured out the big lie -- that this movement for gay marriage is really all about big money, about men like Elton John and Pierre Berge buying children and disposing of women (Berge said that renting a womb to make a baby is like renting a worker's arms in a factory to make a product); that this movement for gay marriage is being pushed not by gay advocates, but by well-funded usurpers of gay rhetoric.
Ironically, the left, supposedly against McCarthyism, enjoys the total suppression of dissent at universities and in the press on this issue.  Ironically, the left, ostensibly the party of civil rights, is eagerly leading a lemming charge backward into the sale and purchase of human beings,

Child’s Question: ‘Which Parent Do I Not Need: Mom or Dad?’ Stumps Legislature

Minnesota state legislators considering a same-sex marriage bill for the state did not have an answer to an 11-year-old girl’s question on which parent is not needed.

“Since every child needs a mom and a dad to be born, I don’t think we can change that children need a mom and a dad. I believe God made it that way,” Grace Evans, 11, said before the Minnesota House Committee on Civil Law last week. “I know some disagree, but I want to ask you this question: Which parent do I not need – my mom or my dad?”

Gay marriage is a social experiment that will cause serious harm to children

It is either right to maintain the ideal man-woman definition of marriage – our most important social institution — or it is not. We must not base our decision on compassion for gays (or misunderstood sense of fairness), whether the gay person is our child, a sibling, friend or anyone else.
Same-sex couples in New Jersey already receive equal benefits under civil-union law, and these unions deserve distinction for good reason. A new gold-standard, peer-reviewed, family structures study released in June 2012 by sociology professor Mark Regnerus from the University of Texas indicates that the social experiment of homosexual “marriage” will cause serious harm to children. The study found that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are significantly more likely than those raised in a two-parent heterosexual home to: have social and mental health problems requiring therapy, identify themselves as homosexual, choose cohabitation, be unfaithful to partners, contract sexually transmitted diseases, be sexually molested or raped by a parent or adult, have lower income levels, drink to get drunk, and smoke tobacco and marijuana.
Consider that the social mistakes we as a society have already made, and are headed toward now, will weigh most heavily on the shoulders of children. They are the innocent victims of social experimentation and have become morally and even physically broken in the name of so-called “freedom, equality and progress.”
This month, Doug Mainwaring, a gay man, wrote an insightful article for thepublicdiscourse.com, sharing that intellectual honesty and experience as a gay person raising children can lead to opposing same-sex marriage. “There are perhaps a hundred different things, small and large, that are negotiated between parents and kids every week,” he said. “Moms and dads interact differently with their children. To give kids two moms or two dads is to withhold … someone whom they desperately need and deserve in order to be whole and happy. It is to permanently etch ‘deprivation’ on their hearts.”

No Pasaran!, Canada's Precedent in Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage: Are There Any Valid Reasons to Be Against Gay Nuptials?

In his book Nation of Bastards, Farrow criticized  warned that by claiming the power to re-invent marriage, the Canadian state “has drawn marriage and the family into a captive orbit. It has reversed the gravitational field between the family and the state… It has effectively made every man, woman, and child a chattel of the state, by turning their most fundamental human connections into mere legal constructs at the state’s disposal. It has transformed those connections from divine gifts into gifts from the state.”
By fundamentally redefining marriage, [Douglas Farrow] says, the state has appropriated the institution of marriage and turned children, indeed all citizens, into wards of the state. Marriage and family have always existed in relative autonomy vis a vis the state, resting as they do on the nature of human beings and the natural human family.  In a liberal society, marriage and family mediate between individual and state. As such they are indispensable to liberal democracy.
They may or may not be recognized and protected by the state, but marriage and family in any case are not created by it. They are, by their nature and not the state's fiat, the way in which one generation turns from its own concerns to those of the next, requiring a sacrifice and commitment of the autonomous ego to a relationship ordered to procreation, fidelity, and a covenantal relationship involving man, woman, and any children that result from their union.
It is true that totalitarian states invariably seek to undermine and subordinate the family and all of civil society, dismantling them and slowly grinding them up, in Nietzsche's expression, "into a random collection of individuals, haphazardly bound together in the common pursuit of selfish ends."

That sounds right for Nazi Germany or Communist Eastern Europe, where all civil society, everything that stands between individual and state, is weakened and destroyed.

But Canada? It sounds far-fetched, but if Farrow is right, we can expect to see, as in Europe today, the increasing control of the state over children's education and socialization (home-schooling was outlawed in Hitler's Germany and just recently parents have been arrested for defying the law). Parents cannot be trusted not to raise their children in their own faith, whose values may contradict those of the state; parents will have fewer and fewer rights to exempt their children from the state's version of sex education and instruction in the moral acceptability of fornication. Professionals, denied protections of conscience, will be fired, not for "imposing their moral views on their clients," but for failing to impose the state's.

The Well-Being of Children

A study by Elizabeth Marquardt and associates entitled “My Daddy’s Name is Donor,”……According to Marquardt, “Donor conceived children know that the parents raising them are also the ones who intentionally denied them a relationship with at least one of their biological parents. The pain they might feel was caused not by some distant birth parent who gave them up, but by the parent who cares for them every day.”

The purpose of adoption is “to find parents for children who need them. Donor conception functions as a market, the purpose of which is to create children for adults who want them.”
Calling same-sex relationships marriages harms children. It says to them your need for your own biological father and mother doesn’t matter
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:15 PM | Permalink

April 9, 2013

"Stinky Broke, and Mad” is no way to go through life"

My favorite post of the week that I cannot resist reprinting in its entirety.

Ed Driscoll, The Gray Lady is Always the Last to Know

“Hmm. Turns out Karl Marx was just as smelly and personally useless as his modern-day acolytes!”, Moe Lane quips, adding, “Hey, you want a good laugh?  Figure out when I started to chortle… at the New York Times:”
The Karl Marx depicted in Jonathan Sperber’s absorbing, meticulously researched biography will be unnervingly familiar to anyone who has had even the most fleeting acquaintance with radical politics. Here is a man never more passionate than when attacking his own side, saddled with perennial money problems and still reliant on his parents for cash, constantly plotting new, world-changing ventures yet having trouble with both deadlines and personal hygiene, living in rooms that some might call bohemian, others plain “slummy,” and who can be maddeningly inconsistent when not lapsing into elaborate flights of theory and unintelligible abstraction.
Still, it comes as a shock to realize that the ultimate leftist, the father of Communism itself, fits a recognizable pattern.
As Tim Blair quips, “Stinky Broke, and Mad” is no way to go through life, son. And yeah, that’s the guy whose ideas you want to run with, to totally upend millennia worth of mankind’s accumulated social and economic wisdom, hit the CTL-ALT-DLT keys on civilization, and completely reboot your nation. What could go wrong?

But I love the notion of someone at the Times writing that the discovery of Marx’s foibles comes as any sort of shock, when Paul Johnson’s book Intellectuals — which devotes one of its chapters to Marx’s pathetic day to day life and places him into a recognizable pattern shared by many on the left — was first published in 1989.

Related: And if that’s how little the Times knows about its own religious forefathers, imagine what else is missing in their collective knowledge of history. Or as Michael Walsh writes, “They say you tend to believe what you read in the newspaper until the story concerns something you actually know about. The Times has just proven to 1.2 billion Catholics around the world that it knows nothing about their religion. Read it on all subjects accordingly.”

With only two additions:  The first from the same Jonathan Freeland's review of "Karl Marx" by Jonathan Sperber

Besides the long, devoted marriage to Jenny, there is another love story here: the partnership with Engels, who it seems was prepared to do anything for his comrade. Engels famously subsidized Marx; perhaps less well known is that he spared his friend a scandal by claiming paternity of the child born to the Marx family servant, Lenchen Demuth: the boy was in fact Karl’s son. After the great man’s death, it was Engels who waded through Marx’s scrawled notes to assemble, and publish posthumously, the final two volumes of “Das Kapital.” Even Marx’s signature text, “The Communist Manifesto,” included a 10-point program lifted almost verbatim from an earlier Engels program. Engels was Aaron to Marx’s Moses, able to speak in public and so make up for the deficiencies of his partner, who was burdened by both a strong Rhineland accent and a lisp.

The second from Moe Lane

On one somewhat delicate matter: if you’re schtupping your family servant (…wait, what*?) and need your best friend to claim paternity of you illegitimate kid, you are pretty much by definition not in a “long, devoted marriage” with the woman that you’re cheating on.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:45 PM | Permalink

March 15, 2013

Who wants to delete the reference to the inherent right to life?

(Monday, March 11) the US and EU called for deleting a re-affirmation that every human being has the inherent right to life, liberty and security of persons.

The US and European Union’s call to remove a reference to the inherent right to life is certainly consistent with their demand for a right to abortion. Not often do they make the mistake of presenting their position so clearly.

It’s up to civilized people to oppose it.


Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:41 AM | Permalink

February 28, 2013

20 years since the War on America Began

Twenty years ago on Tuesday, the first attack on the World Trade Center killed six and injured more than a thousand people. 

Jonathan Tobin writes The Day the War on America Began.

Unlike in 1993, the problem is no longer whether our intelligence and security establishment is serious about fighting terror, but rather whether we as a nation have the will and the patience to go on doing so. The willingness of the Obama administration to embrace the Brotherhood and to go on, as it did after Benghazi, pretending that the war on terror is over, is a sign that our will may be faltering.

It is no small thing that the Islamist government of Egypt that the U.S. has embraced has called for the freeing of Omar Abdel Rahman, the so-called “blind sheik” who was the al-Qaeda mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center attack.

Al-Qaeda in the United States

Perhaps most troubling is the fact that, as Jonathan points out, “here in the U.S., cases of home-grown Islamist terror continue to crop up.” My colleague Jessica Zuckerman has chronicled the 54 terrorist plots against domestic targets that have been thwarted since 9/11…It is hard to believe that a country which has thwarted about a plot every other month for over a decade, watched the Muslim Brotherhood take over Egypt, and seen an anniversary attack on its consulate in Benghazi could become complacent.

Recent Spate of Killings in the U.S of non-Muslims by Muslims.  Daniel Pipes asks  Was it Jihad or Criminality?  Just one example.

February 5: Yusuf Ibrahim, 27, Egyptian born and living in Jersey City, stands accused of shooting, then cutting off the heads and hands of two Copts, Hanny F. Tawadros and Amgad A. Konds, and burying them in Buena Vista Township, N.J. He is charged with two counts of murder and with desecrating human remains.

And in England 'Boom, boom, boom everywhere… kill': Chilling words of British Muslim terrorists' ringleader as he plotted to murder 2,000 people in Al-Qaeda-backed atrocity in supermarkets and town centres

The leader of an Al Qaeda-backed British Muslim gang who plotted the deadliest terror attack on British soil boasted of a nailbomb attack that could kill 2,000 people, shouting: 'Boom, boom, boom everywhere…kill.'

Chilling police recordings capture Irfan Naseer saying Westerners deserve to be 'terrorised' because 'they wanna have sex like donkeys on the street'.
He adds: 'Why shouldn't we terrorise them, tell me that? You think about it, if someone came in your house, yeah, and started dancing and throughout the night and started basically having orgies and smoking drugs and stuff…you would terrorise them, innit.'  In one sick exchange, another of the terrorists compared the gang to Formula One drivers, saying: 'It's the four suicide bombers driving around ready to take on England.'

'Little Irfan': Birmingham born Irfan Khalid travelled to Pakistan for terror training.  Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, all from Birmingham, were convicted of plotting the 'spectacular campaign' designed to claim as many lives as the 2005 London Underground bombs that killed 52 innocent people

The War is not over and will not be over in our lifetimes

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:39 AM | Permalink

February 19, 2013

"“In the name of tolerance, tolerance is being abolished" UPDATED

In the U.K., William Oddie on Pope Benedict's  warnings on secularism and religious liberty

One of the most central insights of Pope Benedict’s pontificate was summed up in his phrase “the dictatorship of relativism”. In his now famous conversation with the German journalist Peter Seewald (the same one on which he said that popes can abdicate), he said this, in explanation: “In the name of tolerance, tolerance is being abolished; this is a real threat we face. The danger is that reason – so-called Western reason – claims that it has now really recognized what is right and thus makes a claim to totality that is inimical to freedom. I believe that we must very emphatically delineate this danger. No one is forced to be a Christian. But no one should be forced to live according to the ‘new religion’ as though it alone were definitive and obligatory for all mankind.”
There can be little doubt that this secularist dictatorship is being rolled out in this country today, notably in the education system, where in certain key areas, certain forms of behaviour must be presented as being valid and acceptable whether or not teachers believe they are.
Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury spoke out about the implications for religious liberty of the vote last Tuesday on the same sex “marriage” bill now being pushed (probably irresistibly) through the Commons by the “Conservative” Prime Minister, David Cameron. Bishop Davies last week told married couples gathered from all over his diocese to celebrate landmark anniversaries at an annual Mass of Thanksgiving for Marriage that it was possible to “see the absurdity of changing the identity of marriage in the name of a false understanding of equality by the desire to even strike out the cherished names of ‘mother’ and ‘father’”.

That was a predictable enough criticism. But he also repeated a warning he has given before: having said that recognising the truth of marriage was not “an injustice to be remedied” he went on to predict that soon it could even become an offence to repeat “the beautiful teaching of Christ” that marriage is the lasting union of one man and one woman which forms the foundation of the family.

Update:  Today's example.  Andrew Cuomo’s Radical Abortion Regime

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo seeks to impose a radical new abortion regime on the state, one that goes far beyond the euphemistic byword “choice.” The bill would in fact limit many choices, for instance the choice of Catholic hospitals and other institutions with moral objections to decline to allow abortions to be performed in their facilities. It would limit the choices of organizations that counsel pregnant women if their counseling were held to be insufficiently enthusiastic about abortion. It would limit the choices of organizations that seek to help women in crisis without involving themselves in the politics of abortion.
Governor Cuomo’s bill is not about easing access to abortion — those bloody skids already are well-greased. The issue is political domination. The abortion party does not brook resistance, and it steadfastly seeks to ensure that everybody has a hand in its grisly business: taxpayers, employers, priests. All must be implicated. If a religious hospital declines to provide abortions, then it must be forced to do so. If a counseling center treats adoption as preferable to abortion, it will either change its mind or have its mind changed for it by the gentle persuasion of the State of New York.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:19 PM | Permalink

February 4, 2013

Communism, Fascism and liberals

John Gray reviews Vladimir Tismaneanu's The Devil in History, Communism, Fascism, and some lessons of the twentieth century
in Communism, Fascism and liberals now featured in The Times Literary Supplement.

Writing about Tismaneanu's belief that

in important respects Communism and Fascism were at one. He is clear that “Communism is not Fascism, and Fascism is not Communism. Each totalitarian experiment has its own irreducible attributes”. Even so, the two were alike in viewing mass killing as a legitimate instrument of social engineering.
Tismaneanu’s account of Communist totalitarianism will be resisted by those who want to believe that it was an essentially humanistic project derailed by events – national backwardness, foreign encirclement and the like. But as he points out, the Soviet state was founded on policies which implied that some human beings were not fully human. Lenin may have held to a version of humanism, but it was one that excluded much of actually existing humankind. …. If radical evil consists in denying the protection of morality to sections of humankind, the regime founded by Lenin undoubtedly qualifies.
In its predominant forms, liberalism has been in recent times a version of the religion of humanity, and with rare exceptions – Russell is one of the few that come to mind – liberals have seen the Communist experiment as a hyperbolic expression of their own project of improvement; if the experiment failed, its casualties were incurred for the sake of a progressive cause. To think otherwise – to admit the possibility that the millions who were judged to be less than fully human suffered and died for nothing – would be to question the idea that history is a story of continuing human advance, which for liberals today is an article of faith. That is why, despite all evidence to the contrary, so many of them continue to deny Communism’s clear affinities with Fascism. Blindness to the true nature of Communism is an inability to accept that radical evil can come from the pursuit of progress.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:36 AM | Permalink

December 6, 2012

Decadence and Darwin

More Babies, Please by Russ Douthat

Beneath these policy debates, though, lie cultural forces that no legislator can really hope to change. The retreat from child rearing is, at some level, a symptom of late-modern exhaustion — a decadence that first arose in the West but now haunts rich societies around the globe. It’s a spirit that privileges the present over the future, chooses stagnation over innovation, prefers what already exists over what might be. It embraces the comforts and pleasures of modernity, while shrugging off the basic sacrifices that built our civilization in the first place.

Such decadence need not be permanent, but neither can it be undone by political willpower alone. It can only be reversed by the slow accumulation of individual choices, which is how all social and cultural recoveries are ultimately made.

Boy did that set off a storm.  What most bothered people was the term decadence.

Douthat responded to his critics, Don't Mention the Decadence 

Or to put it another way, if we have moral obligations to future, as-yet-unborn generations, as almost everyone seems to agree, surely those duties have to include some obligation for somebody to bring those generations into existence in the first place — to imitate the sacrifices that our parents made, and give another generation the chances that we’ve had? And if that basic obligation exists in some form, then surely there comes a point when a culture in which it’s crowded out by other goals, other pursuits and yes, other pleasures can be aptly described as … what’s the word I’m looking for … decadent?
Is replacement-level fertility really so much to ask, morally speaking, of people graced with wealth and entertainments and diversions beyond the dreams of any previous generation? If conspicuous consumption is morally dubious when it substitutes for sacrifices on behalf of strangers, as most good progressives seem to think, why isn’t it morally dubious when it substitutes for the more intimate form of sacrifice that made all of our lives possible in the first place?
Can it really be that having achieved so much independence and autonomy and professional success, today’s Western women have no moral interest in seeing that as many women are born into the possibility of similar opportunities tomorrow? Is the feminist revolution such a fragile thing that it requires outright population decline to fulfill its goals, and is female advancement really incompatible with the goal of a modestly above-replacement birthrate?
And what Yglesias calls nuttiness still looks like moral common sense to me — a view of intergenerational obligation that human flourishing depends on, and whose disappearance threatens to sacrifice essential goods and relationships on the altar of more transient forms of satisfaction.

Mollie Hemingway ways in Admit It: We're a Decadent People

How denigrating the practice of childrearing is viewed as a feminist triumph is beyond me.

But why can't we admit that our lack of childbearing is due to luxurious self-indulgence? Seems to me that even for those who support our current self-centered way of life, this is viewed as a feature rather than a bug of our birth control culture. Why do we have to pretend otherwise?

Megan McArdle has this to say about Our Demographic Decline

Our whole economy and social system are designed for a growing economy, and a growing population.  Without future growth, savings and investment become more necessary, but less attractive.  Without growth, people become less generous towards strangers and more unhappy about their own circumstances. And without the growth around which all of our modern welfare states have been structured, the modern safety nets that governments have spent the last century establishing may not be politically or economically sustainable. 

In a less decadent age, Darwin foreswore the self-indulgence we've come to take for granted.  The private life of Charles Darwin

In the notes – made in April and July 1938 when he was 29 years old – Darwin weighs the options, listing the positive and negative points for matrimony with a pragmatic and analytical detachment that doubtless served him well in his scientific inquiries. When choosing a soulmate though, Darwin's approach comes across as – how can I put it – a little less than romantic.

On the plus side of the ledger he cites "Children (if it Please God)" and companionship, "[an] object to be beloved and played with – better than a dog anyhow". He also approves of the health-giving benefits of the "charms of music & female chit-chat".

But he then turns to the many freedoms he worries he will miss out on – "Conversation of clever men at clubs"; "cannot read in the evenings"; "less money for books". There will also be the anxiety and responsibility of fatherhood, "fatness and idleness" and above all, "loss of time"……"How should I manage all my business if I were obliged to go every day walking with my wife.  Eheu!! I never should know French, – or see the Continent – or go to America, or go up in a Balloon, or take solitary trip in Wales – poor slave."

In the end, he decided he would be happier married.

"It is intolerable to think of spending one's whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working, and nothing after all.  No, no won't do – Imagine living all one's day solitarily in smoky dirty London."

He later married and described his wedding day as "the day of days" 
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:00 PM | Permalink

November 3, 2012

"We are ordinary people and our mission is a simple one"

Daniel Greenfield We Are Those Who Stand for the Day

We are ordinary people and our mission is a simple one. We are the preservers of the present. Our task is to stand against the destroyers, the dislocated in mind and body, drawing up their plans for mutant civilizations, their distorted visions of the past and future set in ideological dogmas, for the plain and simple things of the present. While they seek to take away our nations, our beliefs and our children away from us, we fight to preserve them and to keep our world with us.

We have no grand schemes or manifestos, no glorious visions of caliphates and socialist republics, our vision is of our homes and our stores, our families and our friends, the communities that we have built and the small things that we have done every day of our lives for the sake of all these things. These small things, the little uncounted freedoms and the self-chosen responsibilities are our manifestos, they are our battle cries and they are what we fight for. They are our world and we hold them now in the light of day against the destroyers who would bring against us the fall of night.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:32 PM | Permalink

October 15, 2012

Compare the Persecution of Christians elsewhere and the treatment of Muslims here

In just one month Muslim Persecution of Christians: August, 2012

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to India in the East, and throughout the West wherever there are Muslims—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.

Jihad Killings and Christian Displacement in Iraq, Ivory Coast, Mali, Nigeria and Syria

Church Attacks in Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria and Syria

Punishment for Apostasy, Blasphemy and Proselytism In Egypt, Pakistan, Tanzania and Tunisia

General Abuse, Debasement and Suppression of Non-Muslims in Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Saudia Arabia, Turkey, Uzbekistan

Here in the United States, another cause for shame. Muslims Offended--Soldier's Career Destroyed--Official Army Records Show Loss to Nation

During a Pentagon press conference on May 10, 2012, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, publicly excoriated Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Matthew Dooley, a 1994 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a highly decorated combat veteran. His reason: The course on Islamic Radicalism which LTC Dooley was teaching at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) of the National Defense University was offensive to Muslims.

General Dempsey characterized LTC Dooley's course as "totally objectionable," and ordered all material offensive to Islam scrubbed from military professional education within the JFSC and elsewhere. But that's not all. LTC Dooley was fired from his instructor position and given an ordered negative Officer Evaluation Report (OER) -- the death-knell for a military career.

The actions against LTC Dooley follow a letter to the Department of Defense dated October 19, 2011 signed by 57 Muslim organizations demanding that all training materials offensive to Islam and Muslims be purged and the trainers disciplined.

Our state department sent Salam al-Marayati, founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), was picked to represent the United States government at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) annual 10-day human rights conference, a representative who is anti-Israel, a sympathizer with Hamas and Hezbollah and a 9/11 truther.

The ACLU is hard at work protecting terrorist funding and Sultan Knish  reports on the  Muslim Takeover of the ACLU.

The ACLU now counts at least eight Muslims on its national executive staff alone. In fact, a Muslim runs the ACLU’s Center for Democracy, while another heads its National Security Project.  The irony is not lost on Steve Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

“The ACLU was founded on the basis that there shouldn’t be any blasphemy laws,” said Emerson, who’s airing a new documentary, “Jihad in America: The Grand Deception.” “Yet in the last 10 years, they’ve appointed (to their boards) members of the Muslim Brotherhood who believe in blasphemy laws.”

One brave journalist tells the truth Lara Logan on "the Taliban Are Losing" and Other Lies the Administration Tells

“I chose this subject because, one, I can’t stand, that there is a major lie being propagated . . . The lie is that America’s military might has tamed the Taliban. There is this narrative coming out of Washington for the last two years,” Logan said. It is driven in part by “Taliban apologists,” who claim “they are just the poor moderate, gentler, kinder Taliban,” she added sarcastically. “It’s such nonsense!” She made a passionate case that our government is downplaying the strength of our enemies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as a rationale of getting us out of the longest war. We have been lulled into believing that the perils are in the past: “You’re not listening to what the people who are fighting you say about this fight. In your arrogance, you think you write the script.” Our enemies are writing the story, she suggests, and there’s no happy ending for us.

Michael Coren on  The Tale of Two Religions

The West may hate Catholicism and be too intimidated or seduced to stand firm against Islamic extremism, but one day it will discover just how different those religions are, and feel the consequences in a manner it cannot even imagine.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:36 PM | Permalink

October 13, 2012

The Continuing Shame of Benghazi

Mark Steyn: 'Politicized' Benghazi distracts from Big Bird

"The entire reason that this has become the political topic it is, is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan."

Thus, Stephanie Cutter, President Obama's deputy campaign manager, speaking on CNN about an armed attack on the 9/11 anniversary that left a U.S. consulate a smoking ruin and killed four diplomatic staff, including the first American ambassador to be murdered in a third of a century. To discuss this event is apparently to "politicize" it and to distract from the real issues the American people are concerned about. For example, Obama spokesperson Jen Psaki, speaking on board Air Force One on Thursday:

"There's only one candidate in this race who is going to continue to fight for Big Bird and Elmo, and he is riding on this plane."
Instead, the State Department outsourced security for the Benghazi consulate to Blue Mountain, a Welsh firm that hires ex-British and Commonwealth Special Forces, among the toughest hombres on the planet. The company's very name comes from the poem "The Golden Journey To Samarkand," whose words famously adorn the regimental headquarters of Britain's Special Air Service in Hereford. Unfortunately, the one-year contract for consulate security was only $387,413 – or less than the cost of deploying a single U.S. soldier overseas. On that budget, you can't really afford to fly in a lot of crack SAS killing machines, and have to make do with the neighborhood talent pool. So who's available? Blue Mountain hired five members of the Benghazi branch of the February 17th Martyrs' Brigade and equipped them with handcuffs and batons. A baton is very useful when someone is firing an RPG at you, at least if you play a little baseball. There were supposed to be four men heavily armed with handcuffs on duty that night, but, the date of Sept. 11 having no particular significance in the Muslim world, only two guards were actually on shift.

Let's pause right there, and "politicize" a little more. Liberals are always going on about the evils of "outsourcing" and "offshoring" – selfish vulture capitalists like Mitt Romney shipping jobs to cheap labor overseas just to save a few bucks. How unpatriotic can you get! So now the United States government is outsourcing embassy security to cheap Welshmen who, in turn, outsource it to cheaper Libyans. Diplomatic facilities are U.S. sovereign territory – no different de jure from Fifth Avenue or Mount Rushmore. So defending them is one of the core responsibilities of the state. But that's the funny thing about Big Government: the bigger it gets, the more of life it swallows up, the worse it gets at those very few things it's supposed to be doing. So, on the first anniversary of 9/11 in a post-revolutionary city in which Western diplomats had been steadily targeted over the previous six months, the government of the supposedly most powerful nation on Earth entrusted its security to Abdulaziz Majbari, 29, and his pal, who report to some bloke back in Carmarthen, Wales.

 Steven Breen Cartooncartoon by Steve Breen

So why on 9/11 were Marines stationed at the Barbados embassy but not at Benghazi near an armed Al Qaeda cell?

At the vice-presidential debate,  Biden interrupted Ryan 85 times and told at least 10 outright lies including "Well, we weren’t told they wanted more security"
despite the fact that the day before, former regional security Eric Nordstrom described,  in open Congressional hearings, his frustration with having his requests for security turned down by the government bureaucracy and his unforgettable line,  "For me the Taliban is on the inside of the building."

Suddenly everyone's reading the Bible and Proverbs 29:9: " If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet"

And Clint Eastwood is looking like a prophet when he said this about Joe Biden, "Just a kind of a grin with a body behind it."

About the maker of that anti-Muslim film that nobody ever heard about before it was blamed for the Al Qaeda -planned uprisings around the globe on September 11,  Walid Shoebat. a former member of the Muslim Brotherfhood says it was made by Muslim terrorists and the man Nakoula Bacile Nakoula is not a Christian Copt but a fraudster with multiple identities  who embezzled millions of dollars with Shoebat's cousin Eiad Salame.

So it's no surprise that Ayman al-Zawahri,  the leader of Al-Qaida,  has urged Muslims to wage holy war against the United States and Israel over that film.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:59 PM | Permalink

October 3, 2012

UN Head: Free Speech a 'Gift'

Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson said yesterday in a press conference, Free Speech a 'Gift'

Free speech is a “gift given to us by the [Universal] Declaration of Human Rights,”  It is “a privilege,” Eliasson said, “that we have, which in my view involves also the need for respect, the need to avoid provocations.”
Eliasson’s boss Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said last month that using “freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others’ values and beliefs” was not worthy of protection. Rather, Ban Ki-moon indicated that such freedom only deserved protection when “used for common justice, common purpose.”

I agree completely with Mark Steyn, Behead All Those Who Insult Free Speech

Free speech is a gift given to us in 1948 by U.N. officials? Who knew?

The only appropriate response of free-born peoples to such a statement is: **** off, ******. Free speech is not in the gift of minor Swedish timeserving hack bureaucrats, either to grant or withdraw…… In the end, the one-way multiculturalism of craven squishes like Eliasson will destroy our world. Nuts to him and to the U.N.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:49 PM | Permalink

September 18, 2012

Are the new ideas of what a 'family' is good for society?

Harvard professor categorizes families across time and culture into three types    Family Impact on Society

Scott Hahn in his book “First Comes Love” cites the monumental work of Harvard University Professor, Carle C. Zimmerman’s entitled “Family and Civilization” …..  Zimmerman studied families in different societies throughout history.  He classified families in these societies into three categories:  the trustee family, the domestic family, and the atomistic family.
The trustee family includes the ancestors, the present living family members, and progeny, yet to be born, as members of the family.  This type of family is called “trustee family” because the living members are the trustees of all that belongs to the family:  its values, its religious beliefs, its rights, its blood, its name, and its property.  The duty of the present members is to preserve, protect, and pass on to future generations all that they consider as properly belonging to the family.  The trustee family sees itself in religious terms, and considers itself united by a sacred bond to its ancestors as well as to its future descendants who will perpetuate the family name, honor, and worship. The trustee family considers children to be a divine blessing; a father is treated with great respect as a patriarch who serves the ancestors as well as the offspring.  In the trustee family sexual immorality is considered a crime.  Marriage is a covenant.

The domestic family limits its members to the living, the children of a father and a mother united as husband and wife by a marital bond.  The family members have individual rights, but also family duties. Children are considered as indispensable economic agents.  The father is seen as the chief executive of the family.  Sexual immorality is considered an individual sin, and the marriage bond is a contract.

The atomistic family emphasizes individual rights above family duties.  The offspring consider the household as a place from which to escape.  Children are considered a liability and an obstacle to personal fulfillment.  The father is viewed as a pathetic figure that must be left behind, in order for an individual to grow.  Sexual immorality is considered a private matter, an alternative life style.  A society in which the atomistic family model predominates has a high rated of divorce, negative population growth, and pervasive sexual immorality.  Marriage is seen as a convenient means of companionship.

The most significant finding of Zimmerman’s studies is that societies that embrace the trustee family model are societies that rise to the level of civilizations.  Whereas societies based on the atomistic family model are societies on the verge of ultimate decline.

No civilization is eternal.  Over time the concept of family degenerates from the trustee family model to the atomistic family model before the total collapse of that civilization.

We are seeing today an all-out assault on the traditional meaning of families.  One example from the headlines:  California's proposed three parent family law .  Jennifer Roback Morse writes that it was inevitable.

Can a child have three parents? If California State Senator Mark Leno has his way, children in California will be able to have three legal parents. Before we dismiss SB 1476 as another example of California Weird, we had best look into it more closely.
I believe this development was inevitable, more inevitable in fact than the much-vaunted inevitability of gay marriage. Once we started trying to normalize parenting by same-sex couples and redefine marriage to remove the dual-gender requirement, we had to end up with triple-parenting.
We are replacing the natural pre-political concept of biological parenthood with an artificial, government-created concept of parenthood that is entirely socially constructed. Instead of the government simply recognizing and recording the pre-political reality of biological parenthood, we are giving agents of the state the authority to construct parenthood.
The solution is to amend the law to remove the possibility of a person unrelated to the child, either by biology or adoption, being counted as a parent. The solution is to stop requiring a gender-neutral reading of a statute that is based on the biological, gendered facts of human reproduction.

Brazil's three-way 'marriage' ignites uproar.  A legal notary gave her stamp of approval to a civil union between a man and a woman and another woman.

Domingues believes that the couple represents a new idea of what “family” is and how the definition of what a family is has changed over the years.

The BBC quotes Domingues saying, “What we considered a family before isn't necessarily what we would consider a family today.  We are only recognizing what has always existed,” she added. “We are not inventing anything."

While polygamy is illegal in Brazil, this is classified as a "civil union" not a marriage.

A lawyer who helped draft the civil union document says the women and their man merely wanted to make it official, to protect all of their rights if they split up, and to make it easier to divide pensions, health benefits, and personal property if one or another (or another) dies.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:58 PM | Permalink

September 11, 2012

September 11 now long ago and far away

 911 From Space

Even from space, this view of 9/11 cries out

Station Commander Frank Culbertson…wrote in his diary…"It's horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point. The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche, no matter who you are."

The Miracle of Human Goodness

The following account, written by a nameless flight attendant in the wake of 9/11 and released into cyberspace like a note in a bottle thrown into the sea, is just one of such rays of sunshine, an uplifting and heartwarming story that restores, if only for a while, one's belief in mankind.
Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75-kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers. Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up. ALL the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the "guests." Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged. Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes. A young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration. Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day.

Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests.  Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools.  People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered great meals.  Everyone was given tokens for local laundromats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft.  In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.  The generous hosts also tried their best to entertain the stranded passengers, offering them all kinds of excursions.  Some guests were taken on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors.  Some went for hikes in the forests.  Finally, when U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late.  The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane each needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving.

Read to the very end.


The Problem with Moving On From 9/11

Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the crime, is dead, as President Obama and his supporters constantly remind us and for that we are thankful. But Al Qaeda is far from destroyed. The Islamist terrorist war against the West is not over and those who act as if it is are doing the country a disservice.

Americans are, we are constantly told, weary of the wars that followed 9/11 and it is hard to blame them for that. The United States has left Iraq and the mess that our exit is causing may undo the victory that President Bush’s surge made possible. We are soon to leave Afghanistan, a decision that may eventually lead to power for Al Qaeda’s Taliban allies. Throughout the Middle East, terrorists loosely affiliated with Al Qaeda persist. So do others that call themselves by different names. In Gaza, the Islamists of Hamas have created an independent terrorist state in all but name. In Lebanon, the Islamists of Hezbollah now dominate the government. In Iran, an Islamist state funds terror throughout the region and works to build a nuclear bomb as the West pursues ineffectual measures to stop them.

It is true that more than a decade of hard work by American intelligence services has prevented another 9/11. Given that most experts thought a second tragedy was almost inevitable, this is no small achievement. But the problem with this battle is that it needs more than constant vigilance from those tasked with protecting the country. It also requires the sort of patience that the citizens of democracies rarely possess.

NBC’s ‘Today’ Skips 9/11 Moment Of Silence For Kardashian Interview

The cable networks all carried it, with ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning” carrying it as well. The only national general news program to not carry the moment of silence was NBC’s ‘Today,” which, in an odd bit of counter-programming, opted to air an interview with “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star Kris Jenner, who talked about the new season of the reality show, and her breast implants.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:07 PM | Permalink

August 3, 2012

"The so-called 'Welfare State' is less a means of combating poverty than institutionalizing it...This is an irrefutable lesson of history"

Roger Kimball on Despotism, Distraction and the Defense of Civilization

The so-called “Welfare State,” for example is less a means of combating poverty than institutionalizing it. You don’t hear that from our politicians. But that is the irrefutable lesson of history.
That is to say, the battle for freedom and against the encroachments of servitude is never over. Every generation must fight it again, indeed, every individual must always be vigilant about keeping freedom alive in his own heart. That is the great Burkean point I try to make in The Fortunes of Permanence. Civilization is an achievement not a gift; it is always besieged, must constantly be defended, and once lost, is immeasurably difficult to reclaim. We see the results of the assaults against freedom all around us.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:53 AM | Permalink

July 31, 2012

Confirm thy soul in self control

Anthony Dalrymple on Diluting Self-Restraint

First there has been a profound cultural shift in the direction of the abandonment of self-control as a virtue. Thanks to the cultural revolution of the 50s and 60s (of which I am a product), people have fewer self-patrolled boundaries than they once would have had. Managers who once would have felt ashamed to deprive shareholders of their funds no longer do so. One sees this loss of self-control in all walks of life. In the public sector, for example, in which I have spent much of my adult life, the public purse is now shamelessly looted by those who work in it in a way that was inconceivable when I started my career (inefficiency is another question entirely). I could give many other examples, from obesity to gambling to drug-taking and binge-drinking.

Paul Kengor , "Confirm thy soul in self-control"

George Washington, knew the necessity of governing one’s self before a nation’s people were capable of self-governance. As Washington stated in his classic Farewell Address, “’Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.”
A forgotten philosopher who had an important influence on the American Founders was the Frenchman, Charles Montesquieu, whose work included the seminal book, The Spirit of the Laws (1748). Montesquieu considered various forms of government. In a tyrannical system, people are prompted not by freedom of choice or any expression of public virtue but, instead, by the sheer coercive power of the state, whether by decree of an individual despot or an unaccountable rogue regime. That’s no way for human beings to live. There’s life under such a system, yes, but not much liberty or pursuit of happiness; even life itself is threatened.

Montesquieu concluded that the best form of government is a self-governing one, and yet it is also the most difficult to maintain because it demands a virtuous populace. As noted by John Howard—the outstanding senior fellow at the Howard Center for Family, Religion, & Society—Montesquieu noted that each citizen in a self-governing state must voluntarily abide by certain essential standards of conduct: lawfulness, truthfulness, honesty, fairness, respect for the rights and well-being of others, obligation to one’s spouse and children, to name a few.
Sadly, becoming virtuous has indeed become a monstrous chore in a society not only lacking virtue but eschewing virtue—fleeing virtue like a vampire fleeing a cross. Living life in a good way—what Benedict Groeschel calls The Virtue Driven Life—becomes so alien that the people prefer darkness over light. When virtues are not taught—whether at home, at school, or by America’s educator-in-chief, the TV set—they become unknown and ignored and unfulfilled, desiccated and dead upon the national landscape.

And perhaps saddest of all, as John Howard notes, virtue is something that can be acquired, like learning to speak a culture’s language. Once inculcated, however, it needs to be continuously reinforced by the cultural elements of the society. Virtue needs nourished, like fruitful plants need water and sunlight. Says Howard emphatically: “I want to repeat…. Virtue must be continuously reinforced by the culture.”
Consider this line from one of our sacred political hymns, America, the Beautiful:

America, America,
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

That’s the ticket: Confirm thy soul in self-control. Our liberty is enshrined in our laws, but liberty should not be license for opportunities for the flesh. Our liberties, protected and permitted as they are, should not be exploited to do anything and everything we want, including things harmful to oneself, to one’s family, to one’s neighbors, to one’s culture, to one’s country. That misunderstanding and abuse of freedom is what Pope Benedict XVI calls a “confused ideology of freedom,” one that can engender “the self-destruction of freedom” for others.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:35 AM | Permalink

July 18, 2012

America's Cultural Revolution

I was educated in the 60s before the "Cultural Revolutions" so I remember the way we were.  Gelernter is harsh but right.

Dismantling of a Culture

DAVID GELERNTER: The Cultural Revolution itself began right after World War II (when our leading colleges were still in the hands of the generally centrist WASP elite) and culminated around 1970, when intellectuals were in control, and preparing to use these universities as platforms for imposing their worldview throughout the schools’ establishment and cultural elite.

So America went lite starting around 1970. The big change was complete by the 1980s: In ’83, “A Nation at Risk” described the mediocrity of our schools; in ’87, Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind described the intellectual corruption of our universities. Both times, these disasters had (of course) already happened. And Bill Bennett, secretary of education under Reagan from ’85 to ’88, repeatedly drew the nation’s attention to this cultural disaster.
LOPEZ: Is it a bit dramatic to call what’s happened here an actual “cultural revolution”? Was there blood? Mandates?

GELERNTER: American culture had its throat slit and bled to death at our feet. Isn’t that revolutionary enough? The blood is only metaphorical, but to the 40 percent of [all] infants [who are] born to single mothers this year, the consequences will be real.

In a piddling few decades, the world’s most powerful, influential cultural establishment happened to get demolished and rebuilt from the ground up. What had been basically a Christian, patriotic, family-loving, politically moderate part of society became contemptuous of biblical religion, of patriotism, of the family, of American greatness. The American cultural elite used to resemble (more or less) the rest of America. Today it disdains the rest of America. That’s a revolution.

LOPEZ: You write that we are “facing a terrible problem with a fairly simple solution. But the problem must be solved soon, or we lose a crucial advantage. There are still plenty of people around who were educated before the cultural revolution and remember the way we were: our schools, colleges, the press and the civilized world generally striving — with partial success at best, but fine persistence — to tell the truth. Principled conservatives and liberals remember it all fondly. They don’t want to go back in time. They don’t want to restore an old world; they want to build a new one that we can be as proud of as William DeVane was proud of America in 1957. We want a country whose national leaders are known for ‘integrity, idealism and skill’; where our college teachers are ‘learned and devoted’; where America herself is ‘the wonder and envy of other nations.’” You add: “In short, we want to go back to telling the truth.” But whose truth, Professor?

GELERNTER: Everyone’s truth. Mankind’s. Truth transcends time, place, and cultural tastes. This is a revealing, sad question for what it says about the pervasiveness of deconstruction, post-structuralism, and other games we play with the truth, all so much easier and more fun than actually finding the truth. Who does Leviticus 19 belong to, or the Ten Commandments? To mankind, and they are true for all mankind. A whole generation has been taught that truth is just a matter of taste. This is false.

Sure, we disagree about evidence. Sometimes we ask the wrong questions. We might be the jury at a murder trial, with twelve different opinions among us and no sure way of knowing who is right. But one thing we do know for sure: The truth exists, whether we can find it or not.
GELERNTER: This was and remains a religious country. There is nothing hypothetical (barring some unthinkable catastrophe) about the survival and success of Judaism and Christianity in America. Many left-wing religious brands are out of business or flailing helplessly as they take on water, but up-to-date religion never did make sense, because religion is our lifeline and a sort of love letter to our families, our ancestors, and our better selves.

David Brooks struck a similar note when he wrote Why Our Elites Stink

Over the past half–century, a more diverse and meritocratic elite has replaced the Protestant Establishment. People are more likely to rise on the basis of grades, test scores, effort and performance.

Yet, as this meritocratic elite has taken over institutions, trust in them has plummeted. It’s not even clear that the brainy elite is doing a better job of running them than the old boys’ network. Would we say that Wall Street is working better now than it did 60 years ago? Or government? The system is more just, but the outcomes are mixed. The meritocracy has not fulfilled its promise.

The best of the WASP elites had a stewardship mentality, that they were temporary caretakers of institutions that would span generations. They cruelly ostracized people who did not live up to their codes of gentlemanly conduct and scrupulosity. They were insular and struggled with intimacy, but they did believe in restraint, reticence and service.

Today’s elite is more talented and open but lacks a self-conscious leadership code. The language of meritocracy (how to succeed) has eclipsed the language of morality (how to be virtuous). Wall Street firms, for example, now hire on the basis of youth and brains, not experience and character. Most of their problems can be traced to this.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:57 PM | Permalink

April 27, 2012

Obamacare and Pope Leo XIII, the handwriting on the wall

Recommended by the Scrapbook. here are a couple of very good articles to read over the weekend

The most intelligent article I've read about How to Replace Obamacare by James Capretta and Robert Moffit in National Affairs .

The Handwriting on the Wall by George Weigel

the words on the wall at this moment in history speak of the results of a negation — a deconstruction — of the deep truths on which the civilization of the West has been built. And one of the main things that the "handwriting on the wall" in the early 21st century is telling us is that the secular project is over.

By "secular project," I mean the effort, extending over the past two centuries or more, to erect an empty shrine at the heart of political modernity.
In both its hard and soft forms, the secular project was wrong. Above all, it ignored the deep truth that it takes a certain kind of people, living certain virtues, to make democracy and the free economy work properly. People of that kind do not just happen. They must be formed in the habits of heart and mind, the virtues that enable them to guide the machinery of free politics and free economics so that the net outcome is human flourishing and the promotion of the common good. There is no such formation in the virtues of freedom available at the empty shrine.

A glimpse of what the empty shrine does produce was on offer late last summer in Great Britain, when packs of feral young people rampaged through city after city in an orgy of self-indulgence, theft, and destruction. The truth of what all that was about was most powerfully articulated by Lord Jonathan Sacks, the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, writing in the Wall Street Journal:

This was the bursting of a dam of potential trouble that had been building for years. The collapse of families and communities leaves in its wake unsocialized young people…[who are the products of] a tsunami of wishful thinking that washed across the West, saying that you can have sex without the responsibility of marriage, children without the responsibility of parenthood, social order without the responsibility of citizenship, liberty without the responsibility of morality, and self-esteem without the responsibility of work and earned achievement.
That false worship of the Self — the worship of that which is not worthy of worship — has led to a severe attenuation of the moral sinews of democratic culture: the commitment to reason and truth-telling in debate; the courage to face hard facts squarely; the willingness to concede that others may have something to teach us; the ability to distinguish between prudent compromise and the abandonment of principle; the very idea of the common good, which may demand personal sacrifice.
Taking a cue from that great philosophical celebrant of irony, Richard Rorty, Colgate University's Robert Kraynak has neatly described the net result of all this as "freeloading atheism": Like Belshazzar's lords, wives, and concubines, those formed by the empty shrine and the worship of the imperial, autonomous Self have been drinking profligately out of sacred vessels, freeloading on moral truths that they do not acknowledge (and in many cases hold in contempt), but which are essential for sustaining democracy and the free economy, which the freeloaders claim to honor. But as Lord Sacks pointed out last summer, that jig is up.
What I have called the "empty shrine" at the center of political modernity was, for Leo XIII, the result of a dramatic revolution in European intellectual life in which metaphysics had been displaced from the center of reflection, thinking-about-thinking had replaced thinking-about-truth, and governance had therefore come unstuck from the first principles of justice. Science, which had replaced metaphysics as the most consequential of intellectual disciplines, could provide no answer to the moral question with which all politics, in the Western tradition, begins: How ought we to live together? Worse, when science stepped outside its disciplinary boundaries and tried its hand at social and political prescription, it let loose new demons, such as Social Darwinism, that would prove astonishingly lethal when they shaped the national tempers that made possible the great slaughters of the First World War.
Leo XIII insisted that freedom is not sheer willfulness. Rather, as Leo's successor John Paul II would later put it, freedom is the human capacity to know what is truly good, to choose it freely, and to do so as a matter of habit, or virtue. According to this line of argument, a talent for freedom grows in us; we cut short that learning process if we insist, with the culture of the imperial autonomous Self, that my freedom consists in doing what I want to do, now.
"The handwriting on the wall" at this moment in history is telling us that a political culture detached from the deep truths embedded in the human condition eventually yields traits of selfishness and irresponsibility that ill befit citizens of a democracy. "The handwriting on the wall" is telling us that a democratic politics that ignores those deep truths eventually dissolves into thinly disguised dictatorship — the dictatorship of relativism. And if that is the message, then our duty comes into clearer focus, too.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:27 PM | Permalink

April 16, 2012

"I don't know what is awaiting me" says Pope Benedict on his 85th birthday

Happy Birthday Holy Father.  Benedict on his 85th Birthday

Earlier in the day, in an impromptu homily, the Pope had said: “I find myself on the last stretch of my journey in life, and I don’t know what is awaiting me.”

“I know, however, that the light of God exists, that he is risen, that his light is stronger than any darkness and that God’s goodness is stronger than any evil in this world, and this helps me go forward with certainty,” he said.

 B16 At 85
10 Bavarian children dance the skirt-swirling, shoe-stomping, thigh-slapping 'Schuhplattler' before the Pope

Michael Cook at MercatorNet.  Benedict XVI's analysis of the crisis of Western culture is outstanding in its depth and clarity.

Although insiders say that Benedict is slowing down, he lives at a pace which would kill younger men: a relentless succession of trips in Italy, trips overseas, daily speeches, a multitude of official visitors and the constant pressure of global attention.

And Joseph Ratzinger is still a one-man ideas factory. Since he was elected in 2005, he has written two books of his own as the theologian Joseph Ratzinger, has collaborated in a book-length interview, has written three encyclicals (more or less book-length theological position papers) and his collected addresses have been compiled into several books.
There is no denying that Western humanism is tottering. It was born in the cradle of religious belief and is grounded on the twin cornerstones of respect for reason and awe at the dignity of mankind. But – to telescope 200 years of cultural history into a few sentences – it is quavering in a crisis of self-confidence. Religion is shut up in a closet. The ambit of reason is restricted to only those things which can be touched and measured. And human dignity is being suffocated by technology.
Books have been and will be written about Benedict’s achievement. But I’m not risking anything by highlighting out the following themes.

If the ideal society is thoroughly secular, why is depression one of the leading causes of disability?
Even before he became Pope, Benedict has stressed that Christianity offers a coherent answer to our search for happiness.

Joy as the secret weapon of Christianity is a theme to which he returns again and again. "Faith gives joy. When God is not there, the world becomes desolate, and everything becomes boring, and everything is completely unsatisfactory,”
If atheism is a sign of progress, why have we trashed the environment? Few people have noticed, but ecology is a recurrent theme in Benedict’s writing. This stems not from a vague pantheism or nostalgic conservatism, but from the Biblical conviction that man is the steward of creation. A desolate environment mirrors interior desolation.
If science is so convincing, why is it so difficult to agree on fundamental issues?…Questioning moral relativism is fundamental to his program. He keeps reminding his listeners that if reason cannot deal with intangible issues like what is good and what is just, they will be defined by whoever is most powerful.

More at the link.

The Anchoress says Benedict is A Cloister Unto Himself.

Some people think the pope is a very complicated man, but really, he is very easy to get, because he is very open. He is not a politician; he is not a diplomat; he is simply a man who is humbly all-for-God, who lives his faith so completely that there are no shadows. His words are words of Be-ing, primarily.
Even before he was Benedict, back when he was Joseph Ratzinger, I loved his humility; he has always struck me as the shy old uncle who — once drawn out — keeps you enthralled with the openness, depth and breadth of his intellect, which is never pedantic, and always accessible.
His pontificate, which some thought would be “transitional” may very well end up being transformational.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:30 PM | Permalink

April 13, 2012

"The age we mark as modernity began with grand, exhilarating gestures'

Jason Jones, Of Human Dignity and Shoes

The age we mark as modernity began with grand, exhilarating gestures: discourses on method that would set us free from the dead hand of tradition (Descartes); declarations of the rights of man (the French Revolutionary Assembly); manifestos rejecting the tyranny of mere economic laws over the lives and labor of men (Karl Marx). The grand progression of the movement Henri de Lubac dubbed “heroic humanism” was full of such golden moments, which moved through the dark night of history like torches leading us forward, ever forward, to a glittering future that would make life at long last worthy of man. At the end of all the struggles, after the next (surely final!) conflict, or the next, we were promised without any irony a brave new world, an earthly paradise.
And we did. That’s what we spent the 19th and 20th centuries doing, energetically. We broke up historic empires into nation-states, where men forgot their loyalty to tiny village or global Church, and learned to think as members of ethnic tribes or aggrieved social classes. After these collectives had done their work, and proved themselves too dangerous (in 1945, and 1989, respectively) we set about smashing them, too. We broke down the ramshackle, inefficient structure of the old extended family to its minimal, nuclear core—and then when that didn’t prove as economically useful, we split that into atoms. When we learned that families have no economic use or political import, we redefined them at last as consensual, temporary alliances of adults—to whom the State contracts the duty of caring for children overnight, in the hours when schools and daycare facilities aren’t open. We have very thoroughly accomplished the job modernity’s founders set us: liquidating every barrier to the assertion of the Self, short of the laws of physics. We have killed all the fathers. We are free to make of ourselves exactly what we will, no less and no more. And here we sit with the treasure we’ve won: this pile of shoes.
The only support, it turned out, for having a high opinion of other people’s lives (our own are sacred by definition) lay not in the shiny new laboratories or libraries we were building, but in the drafty, candlelit houses of worship we had to bulldoze to make room.
The old sacred books that old men quoted to thwart the free play of our desires, which we piled in bonfires or smirked at as curiosities, were more important than we realized. They held crucial information, the shibboleths needed to make men treat each other a certain way—a way we had come to take for granted. That way of treating people—respecting the weak, sacrificing for the young, venerating the old—emerged in human history as the side-effects of specific assertions about the world. We didn’t want to believe this.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:26 PM | Permalink

April 4, 2012

The modern university teaches that there is no truth, only "lifestyle."

Western Survival Depends on Western Pride writes David Rusin

Due to “post-modernism, moral relativism, and multiculturalism, the West has lost all self-confidence in its own values, and seems incapable and unwilling to defend those values,” argues Ibn Warraq, author of Why the West Is Best. “By contrast, resurgent Islam, in all its forms, is supremely confident, and is able to exploit the West’s moral weakness and cultural confusion to demand ever more concessions from her.”

Warraq declares that if their system is to endure, Westerners must acknowledge that “the great ideas of the West — rationalism, self-criticism, the disinterested search for truth, the separation of church and state, the rule of law and equality under the law, freedom of thought and expression, human rights, and liberal democracy — are superior to any others devised by humankind.” Likewise, it is critical to compare Western ideals to those of the Islamists, which are antithetical to liberty and increasingly threaten it. A glance at how women and minorities are treated by strict Islamic law is sufficient to expose multiculturalism’s “lie that all cultures are worthy of equal respect and equally embracing of individual freedom and democracy,” to quote reformist Muslim Salim Mansur.

Astonishing isn't it, that people who point this out are often vilified and politicians who do so are raked over the coals for daring to declare the superiority of Western culture.

This decline in Western confidence was apparent 25 years ago when Alan Bloom first wrote, The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students.    It was a book that drove them crazy

The crisis was​–is​–​a crisis of confidence in the principle that serves as the premise of liberal education: that reason, informed by learning and experience, can arrive at truth, and that one truth may be truer than another.
He asked readers to consider contemporary students as he encountered them. They arrived ill-equipped to explore the large questions the humanities pose, and few saw the need to bother with them in any case. Instead, he said, they were cheerful, unconcerned, dutiful, and prosaic, their eyes on the prize of that cushy job. They were “nice.” You can almost see him shudder as he writes the word. “They are united only in their relativism,” he wrote. “The relativity of truth is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate.”

Relativism, in fact, was the only moral postulate that went unchallenged in academic life.
a professor at Carleton College, Michael Zuckert, told of canvassing the students in his class on American political thought. He asked whether they agreed that the truths in the first lines of the Declaration of Independence were indeed “self-evident.” Seven percent voted “yes.” On further conversation, he wrote, it turned out “that they were convinced there is no such thing as ‘truth,’ self-evident or otherwise, in the sphere of claims of the sort raised in the Declaration.”

An admirer of the book writes

The goal of Bloom’s book was to show how Americans of all political persuasions, social backgrounds and economic conditions are debating within a narrow modern world-view and have simply accepted as fact a mushy blend of modern theory that repeatedly contradicts itself and stands in sharp contrast to an almost entirely forgotten world of opposing thought: that of the ancients.
Where the purpose of higher education once was to enable the student to find truth, the modern university teaches that there is no truth, only "lifestyle."
Bloom simply wanted to make students think, to make them understand that there are different ideas of what man is and that they must confront these ideas if they wish to lead a meaningful life.

Andrew Ferguson writes another appreciation.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:15 AM | Permalink

The Nationalization of the Family

"The West has nationalised families over the last 60 years.  Old age, ill health, single motherhood — everything is the responsibility of the state."

Professor R. Vaidyanathan, Indian Institute of Management, as quoted by Mark Steyn.

The nationalized family is the key to understanding why the West's economic "downturn" is not merely cyclical. Like any other nationalized industry, the nationalized family prioritizes more and more perks for its beneficiaries, is unresponsive to market pressure, and revels in declining productivity. Literally: The biggest structural defect in the Western world is its deathbed demography, the upside-down family tree. When 100 grandparents have 42 grandchildren (as in Greece), it is a societal challenge under any circumstances. When 42 grandchildren have to pay off the massive debts run up by 100 grandparents, that's pretty much a guarantee of disaster
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:49 AM | Permalink

February 16, 2012

Greece's depression twice as deep as Britain's in the thirties

I have been transfixed at what is going in Greece, but I never realized how bad it was until I read The callous cruelty of the EU is destroying Greece, a once-proud country.

For all of my adult life, support for the European Union has been seen as the mark of a civilised, reasonable and above all compassionate politician....the British establishment has tended to view the EU as perhaps a little incompetent and corrupt, but certainly benign and generally a force for good in a troubled world. This attitude is becoming harder and harder to sustain, as this partnership of nations is suddenly starting to look very nasty indeed: a brutal oppressor that is scornful of democracy, national identity and the livelihoods of ordinary people.

The turning point may have come this week with the latest intervention by Brussels: bureaucrats are threatening to bankrupt an entire country unless opposition parties promise to support the EU-backed austerity plan.

Let’s put the Greek problem in its proper perspective. Britain’s Great Depression in the Thirties has become part of our national myth. It was the era of soup kitchens, mass unemployment and the Jarrow March...Yet the fall in national output during the Depression – from peak to trough – was never more than 10 per cent. In Greece, gross domestic product is already down about 13 per cent since 2008, and according to experts is likely to fall a further 7 per cent by the end of this year. In other words, by this Christmas, Greece’s depression will have been twice as deep as the infamous economic catastrophe that struck Britain 80 years ago.

Yet all the evidence suggests that the European elite could not give a damn...
Perhaps 100,000 businesses have folded, and many more are collapsing. Suicides are sharply up, homicides have reportedly doubled, with tens of thousands being made homeless. Life in the rural areas, which are returning to barter, is bearable. In the towns it is harsh and for minorities – above all the Albanians, who have no rights and have long taken the jobs Greeks did not want – it is terrifying....

It is not just families that are suffering – Greek institutions are being torn to shreds. Unlike Britain amid the economic devastation of the Thirties, Greece cannot look back towards centuries of more or less stable parliamentary democracy. It is scarcely a generation since the country emerged from a military dictatorship and, with parts of the country now lawless, sinister forces are once again on the rise. Only last autumn, extremist parties accounted for about 30 per cent of the popular vote. Now the hard Left and hard Right stand at about 50 per cent and surging.

I'm with Daniel Hannan who writes Leaving the euro isn't a punishment; it's Greece's last chance for recovery.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:23 PM | Permalink

February 15, 2012

Greece on Fire, Athens "blackened with ashes and rage"

The implosion of the Greek economy is affecting everyone in Greece.  After lawmakers approved of harsh new austerity measures demanded by creditors, in exchange for money (130 billion euro) to keep the country afloat.

there were riots across the country.  Athens was burned leaving unprecedented damage.

Nearly a third of the targets were banks.

Rioters destroyed or seriously damaged 93 buildings45 buildings were burned in Athens, including nine national heritage buildings.

"Criminals targeted all that was best in the city of Athens, its neoclassical monuments," said Thanassis Davakis, the Conservatives' cultural policy chief. "The damage must be swiftly redressed and the city's memory restored."

The Chaos of Greece

Rioters torched shops and offices, with banks and foreign businesses the main targets. Pensioners wearing gas masks joined a blockade of Parliament and squared off against some 4,000 police officers. The city's best-known cinema was burned to the ground, along with nine other national-heritage sites.

This was Athens on Sunday night as the Greek Parliament voted for austerity measures that are their only ticket to a €130 billion bailout. Don't think these scenes can't—or won't—be repeated in other Western capitals.

Stunning Pictures of the Disaster Zone in Greece

 Burning Cinema Athens

The Attikon cinema burning

Nikos Konstandaras on What was Lost in the Fire

What is lost in the fire may be greater than that which we feared to lose. The neoclassical building that housed the Attikon cinema was one of the most beautiful in Athens, among the very few that reminded us of what our city could have become if we had respected its past, if we cared about its present and its future. Perhaps it was a fitting sacrifice – a symbol of our rush to destroy because we cannot create, an expression of our need to abandon memories and pass into the future, blackened with ashes and rage.

What is lost in the flames may be greater than the incomes that will be reduced, greater than percentages of wages and pensions, greater than deposits lost and hopes abandoned. What is at greatest risk is our identity, our civilization. If we cannot stay in the eurozone, if we find ourselves on Europe's edge, we will be defeated, humiliated and alone.

The Way Greeks Live Now

By many indicators, Greece is devolving into something unprecedented in modern Western experience. A quarter of all Greek companies have gone out of business since 2009, and half of all small businesses in the country say they are unable to meet payroll. The suicide rate increased by 40 percent in the first half of 2011. A barter economy has sprung up, as people try to work around a broken financial system. Nearly half the population under 25 is unemployed. Last September, organizers of a government-sponsored seminar on emigrating to Australia, an event that drew 42 people a year earlier, were overwhelmed when 12,000 people signed up. Greek bankers told me that people had taken about one-third of their money out of their accounts; many, it seems, were keeping what savings they had under their beds or buried in their backyards. One banker, part of whose job these days is persuading people to keep their money in the bank, said to me, “Who would trust a Greek bank?”

Misery in Athens New Poor' Grows from Greek Middle Class

The "new poor" includes Lambros Zacharatos, who navigates the streets of Athens with Leonidas Koutikas in the Klimaka van night after night. Until last year, Zacharatos worked as an interior designer, earning up to €4,000 ($5,300) in a good month. "All of the sudden, boom, the crisis was here and 90 percent of the commissions were gone," he says. Zacharatos and two others sleep in a room above the Klimaka offices. The bunkbeds and veneer cabinet are reminiscent of a youth hostel.

Zacharatos says things happened very quickly. He lost his job, had no money to pay for his apartment, and within a few months he was out on the street. "Never in my worst nightmares would I have imagined that I would one day become homeless," he says.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:16 AM | Permalink

February 9, 2012

Social media vs. Religion

In the Guardian, Alain de Botton: a life in writing. An atheist who appreciates religion.

Religions, he thinks, have the buttons and know how to use them. His book considers the Catholic mass, early Christianitiy's ritual of agape or love feasts, and Jewish Passover rituals to explore how religions encouraged us to overcome fear of strangers and create communities.

He then tentatively imagines a so-called "agape restaurant" where, instead of dining with like-minded friends, you would be invited to eat with strangers. It would be the antithesis of Facebook. "Social media has lots of benefits but compared to Christianity it tends to group people by interests. Religion puts you with people who have nothing in common except that you're human." It might be a welcome challenge, he suggests. "I think that's what we need at a societal level – hosts who are able to produce the benevolence, charity, curiosity and goodwill that are in all of us but we can't let out."
He thus suggests he and Oprah, unlike our philosophy departments, have a surer grasp on society's anxieties. "I once very politely raised the thought that one reason philosophy departments have been cut is the fault of philosophers. The answer always comes back: 'The point of philosophy is to ask questions, not to give answers.' I can't help but think 'No. It can't be!' Imagine if you applied that question to other areas – is the purpose of rocket science to ask questions about rockets?"

We need, he insists, answers to Oprah-like questions now more than ever. "We're quite adrift. Civilisation should be about the transmission of the best ideas and we don't seem to believe in transmission. We've no effective mechanism."
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:24 AM | Permalink

February 7, 2012

When All Hell Let Loose

What happens when All Hell Let Loose?

Military historian Sir Max Hastings asks and answers the question

what happens when “almost everything which civilised people take for granted in time of peace [is] swept aside, above all the expectation of being protected from violence.”

The figures themselves almost overwhelm the reader: 60 million people died between 1939-45, both combatants and civilians, often in horrifying circumstances. Russia’s sacrifice of lives was immeasurably greater than all the other countries: 65 percent of the total.
He also shows the bungling and incompetence that are a characteristic of war and which often caused most casualties, commenting that in England “before peace came, accidents in the blackout killed more people than did the Luftwaffe.” The magnificent Churchillian rhetoric which Hastings rightly extols in his study of the wartime prime minister could not hide the fact that the British armed forces demonstrated continual “failures of will, leadership, equipment, tactics and training.” Where there was a will to win, as the author points out, it could not compete with the Russian or German brutal acceptance of the inevitability of huge
Interestingly, given the intellectual eminence of Germany, the author suggests that Britain’s claim to genuine success lay in the superiority of its application of science and technology.  The best civilian brains were mobilised in the war effort; the work of the boffins at Bletchley Park and the cracking of the German Enigma code were more effective in defeating the enemy than the campaigns in the field.
Yet as the author grimly reminds us, two million Russians also starved to death in territories controlled by their own governments; Stalin was as cynical about human life as was Hitler. His war aims, to grab as much territory in Eastern Europe as he could get away with, were equally selfish and at odds with human liberty.
He is dismissive of the German defence, “We did not know” when mass atrocities came to light after the War, concluding that it was “impossible” for most German civilians credibly to deny knowledge of the concentration camps or of the slave labour system. Again, referring to the Holocaust, he judges that it was “easy”, in one of the most highly educated societies in Europe, to find people willing to murder “those whom their rulers defined as state enemies, without employing duress.”

His book available at Amazon

'Unquestionably the best single-volume history of the war ever written’ The London Sunday Times

...an epic tale of human experience, from campaign to campaign, continent to continent.This magisterial book ranges across a vast canvas, from the Russian front, where more than 90% of all German soldiers who perished met their fate, to the agony of Poland amid the September 1939 Nazi invasion, and the 1943 Bengal famine, in which at least a million people died under British rule – and British neglect.

Via Tea at Trianon

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:33 AM | Permalink

January 31, 2012

Sex-trafficking, witchcraft and torture in SCOTLAND

Sex trafficking victims reveal horror of witchcraft and torture being used to enslave women in Scotland

VICTIMS of human sex trafficking have told how they were enslaved by witchcraft, torture and death threats in modern-day Scotland.

The harrowing stories of ten women were compiled by campaigners investigating the world’s fastest growing organised crime. Nine came from Africa, one from South America.
The women tell their stories in research commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The main centres for sex trafficking are Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, Stirling and Falkirk but it also touches small towns and villages
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:31 PM | Permalink

January 23, 2012

Denying the Holocaust in Our Midst

Based on facts and truth is  Michael Paulsen's cri de coeur, The Unbearable Wrongness of Roe

Today, thousands of people at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., are commemorating the thirty-ninth anniversary of a legal and moral monstrosity, Roe v. Wade, and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton. The two cases, in combination, created an essentially unqualified constitutional right of pregnant women to abortion—the right to kill their children, gestating in their wombs, up to the point of birth. After nearly four decades, Roe’s human death toll stands at nearly sixty million human lives, a total exceeding the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin’s purges, Pol Pot’s killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined. Over the past forty years, one-sixth of the American population has been killed by abortion. One in four African-Americans is killed before birth. Abortion is the leading cause of (unnatural) death in America.
Start with Roe’s radicalism, a radicalism that we may no longer grasp because it has become so familiar. Roe created a constitutional right to obtain or commit an abortion of a human life—that is, to terminate the life of a human embryo or fetus. It is important to be clear-sighted about this: abortion kills a living human embryo or fetus.
The right created by the Supreme Court in Roe is a constitutional right of some human beings to kill other human beings.
This brings us to Roe’s utter indefensibility as a matter of constitutional law. ... it has absolutely no basis in the text, structure, or history of the Constitution. No rule or principle of law fairly traceable to the text, discernible from its structure, or fairly derived from evidence of intention or historical understanding of an authoritative decision of the people, remotely supports the result reached in Roe. In terms of fair principles of constitutional interpretation, Roe is perhaps the least defensible major constitutional decision in the Supreme Court’s history.
Finally, there is Roe’s immorality—the abortion holocaust it unleashed—and the problem of our response to it. Roe is a radical decision and a legally indefensible one. But what really makes Roe unbearably wrong is its consequences. The result of Roe and Doe has been the legally authorized killing of nearly sixty million Americans since 1973. Roe v. Wade authorized unrestricted private violence against human life on an almost unimaginable scale, and did so, falsely, in the name of the Constitution.
Here is the problem, undressed: If human embryonic life is morally worthy of protection, we have permitted sixty million murders under our watch. Faced with this prospect, many of us—maybe even most—flee from the factsWe deny that the living human embryo is “truly” or “fully” human life, adopt a view that whether the embryo or fetus is human “depends,” or can be judged in degrees, on a sliding scale over the course of pregnancy; or we proclaim uncertainty about the facts of human biology; or we proclaim moral agnosticism about the propriety of “imposing our views on others”; or we throw up our hands and give up because moral opposition to an entrenched, pervasive social practice is not worth the effort, discomfort, and social costs. The one position not on the table—the one possibility too hard to look at—is that abortion is a grave moral wrong on a par with the greatest human moral atrocities of all time and that we passively, almost willingly, accept it as such.
The Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade should not be accepted as law, in any sense. It should be resisted by legislatures and it should be refused enforcement by executive officials because it is not the law. It should be resisted by all citizens, with all the resources at their disposal, and perhaps even with resources not (yet) at their disposal. Anything less is holocaust denial.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:52 PM | Permalink

January 22, 2012

"Unconscionable" challenge to religious liberty

The Other Health-Care Mandate: Good Samaritan Turned Upside Down

From the outset, the administration sought to camouflage the mandate’s radical assault on conscience by inserting an exemption for “religious employers” who objected to paying for contraception and abortion. It is a pitifully small fig leaf, however.

An organization cannot qualify if it has a “non-religious” aim (such as caring for the sick or feeding the hungry), or if it hires or serves persons of different faiths. In other words, the administration has managed to legislate a grotesque inversion of the parable of the Good Samaritan: A religious group loses the protection of the law precisely because it reaches across boundaries to help the outsider.

Religious Liberty the Latest Target of Obamacare

The Obamacare regulation gives faith-based institutions, like Catholic universities and hospitals, the choice of violating the fundamental tenets of their faith by covering the federally mandated coverage in their employee health plans, or of dropping health insurance for their employees — in which case they would be fined for violating the employer mandate.

This is an outrage...

here is a war on religion from the Left, and it is very dangerous to the institutions that make our civil society function.

The Catholic Church historically has been a vital part of the safety net — providing aid for the poor, care for the sick, shelter and food for the homeless, and care for mothers in need, as a few examples.

The health-care law threatens to tear gaping holes in that safety net by forcing Catholic health plans to cover contraception, by denying funds to Catholic adoption agencies, and ultimately by forcing taxpayers — including Catholics — to fund abortion.

This is dangerous to the very fabric of our society. It’s a crucial reason why the whole health law, with its centralized control over health-care decisions, must not stand.

" A Foul Ball, By Any Standard" U.S. Bishops vow to fight this edict.

Unconscionable to force citizens to buy contraceptives against their will.

The HHS rule requires that sterilization and contraception – including controversial abortifacients – be included among “preventive services” coverage in almost every healthcare plan available to Americans. “The government should not force Americans to act as if pregnancy is a disease to be prevented at all costs,” added Cardinal-designate Dolan.

The cardinal-designate continued, “To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable. It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom. Historically this represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty."

The HHS rule requires that sterilization and contraception – including controversial abortifacients – be included among “preventive services” coverage in almost every healthcare plan available to Americans. “The government should not force Americans to act as if pregnancy is a disease to be prevented at all costs,” added Cardinal-designate Dolan.

Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan

“Almost every employer and insurer in the country to provide sterilization and contraceptives, including some abortion-inducing drugs, in their health plans… Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience. This shouldn’t happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights.”

"...the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our conscience"

Beginning August 1, 2012 (less than eight months from today), the insurance premiums we pay, including the insurance premiums paid by Catholics for employees of churches and schools -- will be used to cover drugs and procedures that are in direct conflict with the teachings of our Church.

That's right. Our government will now force us to pay for insurance coverage for birth control, sterilization and even some abortion drugs.
Abortion-rights groups immediately applauded the decision.

"Birth control is not just basic health care for women, it is an economic concern," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. "This common sense decision means that millions of women, who would otherwise pay $15 to $50 a month, will have access to affordable birth control, helping them save hundreds of dollars each year."

Was it for this that President Obama cut $500 billion from Medicare?  Why are contraceptives and abortifacients 'privileged' as opposed to every other drug, like statins for instance?

As you might recall, it was primarily orthodox Catholics and conservative Evangelicals who kept saying during the last presidential campaign that then-Sen. Obama's record revealed a man with an unswerving, ideological obsession with making access to contraceptives and abortion available to just about anyone, anytime, anywhere—and on the taxpayers' dime. Yet it is those very folks who are continually painted as the extremists and the rigid zealots, blinded by their religious faith. But, really, who are the extremists and zealots here? How much physical, familial, cultural, social, and spiritual damage must take place before the scales fall from the eyes of those who want a drug for every problem, an excuse for every sin, and the government's heavy hand at every turn in the road of life?

Just last week Pope Benedict XIV  spoke to the American bishops in Rome on their "ad-limina" visit about the alarming state of religious freedom in America.      What the bishops told him.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:58 AM | Permalink

January 20, 2012

More on women and children first

It's been most interesting to read what people have to say about Captain Francesco Schettino, dubbed 'Captain Coward' and 'Chicken of the Sea' as well as about those of his  crew and the men that elbowed aside women and children to get into the lifeboats.

What was surprising is how many commenters blamed feminists for holding men to an unjust double standard. Feminists have been saying for decades that they are just as tough as men, they are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves and don't need any protection.  Who can forget, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."

I believe that The natural duty and responsibility of men is to protect life, especially women and children,  and if necessary give up their lives to do so.    Children have a long life ahead of them; women can create new life.  And that is why they are naturally given preference and rescued first.  More life is rescued if women and children are rescued first.

Whatever happened to women and children first?

It would now seem as though the accident was avoidable, and this makes it all the more horrifying for everyone who lived through what one crew-member called a 36-hour nightmare.

One of the features of the disaster that has provoked a great deal of  comment is the stream of reports from angry survivors of how, in the chaos, men refused to put women and  children first, and instead pushed themselves forward to escape; and how the Italian crew ignored passengers and reportedly shouldered their way past mothers and pregnant women to get into lifeboats.
When the Titanic went down in April 1912, the Captain’s orders were: ‘Women and children first!’
Although this legendary edict was never part of maritime law, it was adhered to so strictly on the Titanic that men were actually stopped from boarding lifeboats, many of which went to sea only three-quarters full.
There were only a few exceptions to the unvarying tales of heroism: three men in steerage who disobeyed the rule — Italians, coincidentally — were shot.

The chivalry was reflected in survival rates: 74 per cent of the women were saved; 52 per cent of the children; and just 20 per cent of the men.
As the father of three daughters, I do not, with a single fibre of my being, wish to go back to a time when women could not have the vote or get a university degree. Nor do I, surrounded by extremely strong-charactered and intelligent women in my family and among my friends, feel tempted to regard women as the frail sex.

But the fact remains that there is a longing among most men to protect women and children, and chivalry is simply a manifestation of that longing.  And whatever transpires about the reason for the Costa Concordia disaster, the disappearance of a chivalric code is a sorry reflection on society today.

Ed West says  Women and children first is the great marker of civilisation

Before the Victorian era it was normal for men to save themselves rather than to lay down their lives for a woman, a very un-Darwinian act of selflessness; in many cultures still men are given priority during famines. A system where women and children are given preference, in contrast, is one where physical strength gives way. For that reason "women and children first" remains one of the great markers of civilisation.

"Dud, Where's My Lifeboat'

A century ago this spring, as the Titanic entered its death throes and all its lifeboats had been launched, Capt. Edward Smith told his crew: “Men, you have done your full duty. You can do no more. Now it’s every man for himself.” One witness recalled seeing him, probably washed overboard, clutching a child in the water as the Titanic disappeared. A member of the crew always believed it was Captain Smith’s voice he heard from the water after the Titanic was gone, urging him and others on: “Good boys! Good lads!”

“Every man for himself” is a phrase associated with the deadly Costa Concordia disaster, but not as a last-minute expedient. It appears to have been the natural order of things.

Costa Concordia hero Roberto Bosio calls captain Francesco Schettino 'a disgraceful man'.

'Only a disgraceful man would have left all those passengers on board. It was the most horrible experience of my life. A tragedy, a heartache that I will carry with me forever.'

Off-duty Bosio, who captains the Concordia's sister ship the Serena, was only on board the ship by chance as he made his way back home to Savona, near Genoa. Bosio, who is engaged and lives in Ventimiglia on the French-Italian border, was in his cabin resting when disaster struck.

He helped dozens of woman and children into lifeboats, and is understood to have organised the entire rescue effort throughout the night.
'Don’t call me a hero. I just did my duty, the duty of a sea captain – actually the duty of a normal man.

'I and the others with me just did our duty. We looked each other in the eyes for a second and then we just got on with it.'

Seafarers outraged that Captain could Jump Ship

"It's a matter of honor that the master is the last to leave. Nothing less will do in this profession," said Jorgen Loren, captain of a passenger ferry operating between Sweden and Denmark and chairman of the Swedish Maritime Officer's Association.
Jim Staples, a captain for 20 years, who spoke Wednesday from a 1,000-foot (300-meter) cargo vessel he was captaining near New Orleans, said captains are duty-bound to stay with the ship until the situation is hopeless. When they bail early, everything falls apart.

"I'm totally embarrassed by what he did," he said of Schettino. "He's given the industry a bad name, he's made us all look bad. It's shameful."
A more recent example is Robert Royer, the captain of a fishing vessel that sank off Alaska in 2010. As water gushed into the ship and the three other crew members jumped overboard, Royer stayed in the wheelhouse to make a frantic mayday call and give the ship's position to the Coast Guard. The crew said that likely saved their lives, because the ship's emergency beacon didn't work.

On bravery, cowardice, moral evolution and the Costa Concordia

Why are humans cowardly and brave? What inspires suicidal courage or craven self-preservation? -- If Capt Schettino did flee the sinking ship, then he failed his duty as a captain and a leader, regardless of the evolutionary background of our species. But more interesting is that others – tens of millions of others throughout human history – have not; have risked (and lost) their own lives for other people. We often criticise human nature as brutish, selfish or ugly, but it's not – or not always. The callous logic of natural selection has made us brave, moral and loyal as well.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:50 AM | Permalink

January 19, 2012

The European Project like a 'massive, post-Tito Yugoslavia'

In short, the incontinent spending of many European governments, which awarded whole populations unearned benefits at the expense of generations to come, has—along with a megalomaniacal currency union—produced a crisis not merely economic but social, political, and even civilizational. The European Union that was supposed to put an end to war on the continent has resuscitated antagonisms that might end in bellicosity, if not in outright war. And the European Project stands revealed as what any sensible person could have seen it always was: something akin to the construction of a massive, post-Tito Yugoslavia.

Theodore Dalrymple, The European Crack-Up

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:08 PM | Permalink

December 30, 2011

Eucastrophe, An Explosion of Good

It's the sixth or seventh day of Christmas, so we're only halfway through Christmastide

Party On! It's Biblical

Postmodern man– and postmodern woman– doesn’t know how to give a good party. It’s up to us Catholics to reclaim this lost art and share it with the world.  Why? Because good parties are intrinsic to our Catholic faith.

Seven 2011 events that will change the Chuch's Story in America

the best example of the new Catholic excellence in media is Father Robert Barron’s Catholicism series. This DVD review of the beauty, truth and goodness of our faith is itself a model of beauty, truth and goodness. And it is not just a great achievement of its own. It is a sign that our talk of the New Evangelization is bearing real fruit.

A Christmas Meditation on how the Word Must Become Flesh in Us  by Msgr Charles Pope

True faith is “incarnational,” in that it takes on flesh in my very “body-person.” Remember, we human beings are not pure spirit, we are not intellect and will only, we are also flesh and blood. Therefore our faith cannot remain merely immaterial. What we most are, must be reflected in our bodies, in what we actually, physically do as well.

Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato

In Forbes, Christmas, Kurtosis, Fat Tails, Black Swans and Risk Management by Jerry Bowyer

Which brings us to Christmas. What is more barren than a virgin’s womb? (Perhaps only the tomb, but that is a topic for a column in April.) The late Christopher Hitchens quipped more than once that if civilization suddenly collapsed, would we really need to remind ourselves that Christ was born of a virgin?

The obvious implication is that the Christmas story (Fact? Myth?Both?)is useless for the rebuilding of civilization. That is a very odd observation from a man who prided himself on his knowledge of history, because, in fact, that is exactly what civilization did remind itself of after it collapsed. What Civilization?

Why Christopher Hitchens’ civilization and yours and mine: Western civilization.

When Rome fell and barbarian hordes raped and murdered their way across the dark ages, civilization was rebuilt on the Christmas story. Mary, a woman, was the Chris-bearer (in Greek, Christopheros) after whom Mr. Hitchens was named. She assented to that role willingly. If an all-powerful God does not rape, then neither should you. If God prized human life enough to bind himself to it through incarnation, then you, barbarian warrior, should not murder. If God comes as a child through a woman, then women and children are fully human, endowed with no less dignity than men.
Christmas is a good time for us to recognize that though the world generates catastrophes, but it also has been given what JRR Tolkien called eucastrophes. Eucatastrophes are sudden, unexpected, but perfectly logical-in-hindsight explosions of good. Tolkien coined the word first to describe the incarnation which Christians are currently celebrating.

What Literature Owes the Bible by Marilynne Robinson

Biblical allusions can suggest a degree of seriousness or significance their context in a modern fiction does not always support. This is no cause for alarm. Every fiction is a leap in the dark, and a failed grasp at seriousness is to be respected for what it attempts. In any case, these references demonstrate that in the culture there is a well of special meaning to be drawn upon that can make an obscure death a martyrdom and a gesture of forgiveness an act of grace. Whatever the state of belief of a writer or reader, such resonances have meaning that is more than ornamental, since they acknowledge complexity of experience of a kind that is the substance of fiction.

History shows contributions of Catholic Church to Western Civilization

modern historians of science freely acknowledge the church's contributions — both theoretical and material — to the Scientific Revolution. It was the church's worldview that insisted the universe was orderly and operated according to certain fixed laws. Only buoyed with that confidence would it have made sense to bother investigating the physical world in the first place, or even to develop the scientific method (which can work only in an orderly world). It's likewise a little tricky to claim the church has been an implacable foe of the sciences when so many priests were accomplished scientists.
The early church also institutionalized the care of widows, orphans, the sick and the poor in ways unseen in classical Greece or Rome. Even her harshest critics, from the fourth-century emperor Julian the Apostate all the way to Martin Luther and Voltaire, conceded the church's enormous contributions to the relief of human misery.

The spirit of Catholic charity — that we help those in need not out of any expectation of reciprocity, but as a pure gift, and that we even help those who might not like us — finds no analogue in classical Greece and Rome, but it is this idea of charity that we continue to embrace today.

The university was an utterly new phenomenon in European history. Nothing like it had existed in ancient Greece or Rome. The institution that we recognize today, with its faculties, courses of study, examinations and degrees, as well as the familiar distinction between undergraduate and graduate study, come to us directly from the medieval world.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:48 PM | Permalink

December 13, 2011

"Has Europe Lost its Soul?"

In London, a magnificent speech well worth reading in its entirety,  Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks asks, "Has Europe Lost its Soul?"

For the task ahead of us is not between Jews and Catholics, or even Jews and Christians in general, but between Jews and Christians on the one hand, and the increasingly, even aggressively secularising forces at work in Europe today on the other, challenging and even ridiculing our faith.

If Europe loses the Judaeo-Christian heritage that gave it its historic identity and its greatest achievements in literature, art, music, education, politics, and as we will see, economics, it will lose its identity and its greatness, not immediately, but before this century reaches its end.

When a civilisation loses its faith, it loses its future. When it recovers its faith, it recovers its future. For the sake of our children, and their children not yet born, we – Jews and Christians, side-by-side – must renew our faith and its prophetic voice. We must help Europe recover its soul.

 Jonathan Sacks Eu

He then cites a quote, I've repeated often in various blog posts.

the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences was given the task of discovering how the West, having lagged behind China for centuries, eventually overtook it and established itself in a position of world pre-eminence. At first, said the scholar, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we concluded it was because you had the best political system. Then we realised it was your economic system. "But in the past 20 years, we have realised that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West has been so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don't have any doubt about this.”

What happens when a trust economy turns into a risk economy.

George Soros writes of how in his early years as an investment manager he had to spend immense time and energy proving his credentials, his character and integrity, before people would do business with him. Nowadays, he says, deals are transactional rather than personal. Instead of placing your faith in a person, you get lawyers to write safeguards into the contract. This is an historic shift from a trust economy to a risk economy. But trust is not a dispensable luxury. It is the very basis of our social life. Many scholars believe that capitalism had religious roots because people could trust other people who, feeling that they were answerable to God, could be relied on to be honest in business. A world without trust is a lonely and dangerous place.

It was precisely the breakdown of trust that caused the banking crisis in the first place. We sometimes make the mistake of thinking that the market is a shrine to materialism, forgetting that its keywords are deeply spiritual. “Credit” comes from the Latin “credo” meaning “I believe.” “Confidence” comes from the Latin meaning “shared faith.” “Trust” is a word that has deeply religious resonance. Try running a bank, a business or an economy in the absence of confidence and trust and you will know it can’t be done. In the end we do not put our faith in systems but in the people responsible for those systems, and without morality, responsibility, transparency, accountability, honesty and integrity, the system will fail. And as it happens, the system did fail.

What lasts.

Economic superpowers have a short shelf-life: Spain in the fifteenth century, Venice in the sixteenth, Holland in the seventeenth, France in the eighteenth, Britain in the nineteenth, America in the twentieth. Meanwhile Christianity has survived for two thousand years, and Judaism for twice as long as that. The Judeo-Christian heritage is the only system known to me capable of defeating the law of entropy that says all systems lose energy over time.

Stabilising the Euro is one thing, healing the culture that surrounds it is another. A world in which material values are everything and spiritual values nothing is neither a stable state nor a good society. The time has come for us to recover the Judeo-Christian ethic of human dignity in the image of God. When Europe recovers its soul, it will recover its wealth-creating energies. But first it must remember: humanity was not created to serve markets. Markets were created to serve humankind.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:21 PM | Permalink

December 3, 2011

" If Christianity goes, the lot goes"

Peter Mullen brings a sigh of relief after learning that the calvary in the form of the US Federal Reserve rode to the rescue of the European financial institutions, but not for long.

If Christianity goes, so does Europe

Whatever the future holds, we need to understand that the economic collapse is not the main crisis which engulfs Europe. More significantly, we see the EU developing into the ever-tighter totalitarianism which was envisaged from its inception. The founding fathers of the EU never foresaw a democratic union.
But this creeping totalitarianism is not the root of our problem. Our crisis is a spiritual crisis, a crisis of identity.
all references to Europe’s Christian character have been expunged by the EU bureaucrats. Europe is now officially secular.  Pope Benedict XVI identified our real crisis with terrifying clarity:

“The EU is godless. But then it is unthinkable that the EU could build a common European house while ignoring Europe’s identity. Europe is a historical, cultural and moral identity before it is a geographic, economic or political reality. It is an identity built on a set of values which Christianity played a part in moulding.”
The mistake of the secularists and the bien pensants who now control every aspect of our lives is to imagine that we can throw off our Christian identity and yet all the political liberties and other good social consequences we derive from that identity will remain in place.

They won’t and already they haven’t. If Christianity goes, the lot goes.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:06 PM | Permalink

November 7, 2011

"It is perilously easy for young men to lose their way and our society does very little to help"

The wise man Walter Russell Mead writes  The Crisis of Young Men is a Crisis For Us All

Joblessness is only one aspect of a growing social crisis.  America is increasingly failing at the most basic task of socializing any group of people faces: helping its young males make the difficult transition from boyhood and adolescent to mature manhood.  Raised right and appropriately mentored, young men channel their energy and idealism into building families and making a better world.  Hard work, ambition, the desire to serve and protect: young men at their best make indispensable contributions to social health and well being.

It is perilously easy for young men to lose their way and our society does very little to help.  Between widespread divorce and illegitimacy, many young men are growing up with only tenuous connections with suitable adult role models.  Movies, television and popular music offer the most distorted and destructive images of men: either superhuman macho killing and loving machines or ineffectual workadaddy wimps and figures of fun.

If our boys don’t negotiate that complex transition and become men, American society will fail.  It is really that simple.  In some urban communities the transmission of the values and behaviors that help boys become men has broken down altogether; that crisis is spreading out of the inner cities and into the mainstream.  Churches, community groups and individual men need to think hard about how to reach and help this vulnerable and vital demographic.  Without new generations of upright, God fearing, disciplined, hard working and community minded men, American society will be a poor and violent place.  We are already well on the way.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:32 PM | Permalink

October 14, 2011

The Empty Cradle

Low birth rates a threat to economy, study shows

Throughout the developed world, lowered birth rates and family breakdown will have a devastating effect on the global economy and the welfare state’s viability, says an international study released Oct 3.

“On current trends, we face a world of rapidly aging and declining populations, of few children — many of them without the benefit of siblings and a stable, two-parent home — of lonely seniors living on meagre public support, of cultural and economic stagnation,” says the study, entitled “The Empty Cradle: How Contemporary Trends Undermine the Global Economy.”

Co-sponsored by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC) and pro-family groups in the United States, the Philippines, Spain and Colombia, the study shows even developing countries such as Iran, Lebanon, Chile, Thailand and South Korea have seen their lifetime births per woman shrink to fewer than two from averages as high as six. Canada’s birth rate is only 1.5 children per woman.

The study also examines the role of culture and religion.

“Today there remains in the individual countries of Europe, and of the West generally, a strong and growing correlation between conservative religious values and larger-than-average family size.”

In France and Spain, for example, practising Catholic women have “significantly more children” than non-religious women.

“Much the same story can be found throughout the globe, where the religiously observant typically have markedly higher birth rates than does the rest of the population.”

Recognizing that none of their suggestions are adequate, the authors of the study

indicate a philosophical approach is needed, “one that emphasizes the critical role of the intact, nurturing and financially secure family in sustaining and renewing the human, social and financial capital of aging societies around the globe.”

One uncomfortable fact is that if the 40 million children aborted since 1973 were alive, we would not be facing a social security problem.  About 25 million more people would be paying into the system and creating demand in the economy.

But it was Mark Steyn who put it best in It's the Demography, Stupid

The design flaw of the secular social-democratic state is that it requires a religious-society birth rate to sustain it.
Europe by the end of this century will be a continent after the neutron bomb; the grand buildings will still be standing, but the people who built them will be gone. We are living through a remarkable period: the self-extinction of the race who, for good or ill, shaped the modern world."
Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:48 AM | Permalink

September 25, 2011

"It's been such a long time since I heard anything that gave me some hope."

I found this story profoundly moving.  It comes from Sandro Magister, The Pope in Germany. In the Desert of Faith

"Where God is, there is the future" is the title Pope Benedict XVI wanted to give his third visit to Germany.
In Berlin and Erfurt, Benedict XVI enters into the area of Europe farthest from God. He wants to make it a new mission territory. A report from Chemnitz, where atheists are in the majority and almost no one is baptized anymore.
The protagonists of the renewed evangelization are a few families of Neocatechumenal Catholics, who have gone there as missionaries from other European countries.
It is moving, the little crowd of young Christians this evening in Chemnitz, formerly Karl-Marx-Stadt. Because in this corner of the former German Democratic Republic, civilization was born, in the year 1136, from a handful of Benedictine monks who founded an abbey, bringing in their wake Christian families who lived around the convent and cleared the forests for farmland, and those families also had about a dozen children apiece.

Can the story begin again, when it seems finished? You ask yourself this in this silent and spent city, where one out of every four inhabitants is elderly, and the only children of broken families are alone. Here the people turn around and look if a Neocatechumenal family goes out with even half of its children. And if a classmate happens to come over for lunch, he takes a picture of the crowded table with his cellphone, in disbelief.
"You're so lucky," they often say to us, "you go home from school and you all eat together. We eat alone, or with the cat." In a flash of longing for a real family.
Two generations without God are a lot, to the memory of men. But when, one day, some of Professor Rebeggiani's children began to sing from the balcony of their home – for the pure joy of it – the ancient song "Non nobis Domine sed nomini tuo da gloriam," the neighbors came to the windows to listen. And a widow asked the young people to sing the same song at the cemetery, in memory of her dead husband. They did, and one of those present approached them at the end: "It's been such a long time," he said, "since I heard anything that gave me some hope."

Who knows, you ask yourself, if it didn't begin the same way for the handful of Benedictine monks and laypeople who arrived here in 1136: with the astonishment of men who glimpsed something beautiful in them, and felt a mysterious longing for it.

Not to us, not to us, O Lord,
But to your name give glory.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:35 PM | Permalink

September 20, 2011

"A long, likely parade of horribles"

In Forbes is Greece and The Crisis of the Governing Elite

Europe’s governing elite – and those who believe in the superiority of government in the management of the economy – is in crisis.  Their visions of a more just society and economic security are being shredded by the stark reality that the governments they run are running out of money.

That begins a wonderful quote of Frederic Bastiat , “Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state.  They forget that the state lives at the expense of everyone.”

While Takis Michas writes in the Wall Street Journal Greece Won't Reform

"The present government has done absolutely nothing during the last 12 months to speed up privatizations, reduce the public sector or open up closed professions," Athanasios Papandropoulos, a leading economic analyst, told me recently in an interview. "In these 12 months it has not fired even one civil servant. The only thing it is doing is trying to tax the private sector out of existence. Why should we believe that they will do something different now?"

Bret Stephens takes a whack at What Comes After 'Europe'.

What comes next is the explosion of the European project. Given what European leaders have made of that project over the past 30-odd years, it's not an altogether bad thing. But it will come at a massive cost. The riots of Athens will become those of Milan, Madrid and Marseilles. Parties of the fringe will gain greater sway. Border checkpoints will return. Currencies will be resurrected, then devalued. Countries will choose decay over reform. It's a long, likely parade of horribles.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:51 AM | Permalink

September 14, 2011

China will soon become the largest Christian country on earth

Liao Yiwu spent four years in jail for writing and recording "Massacre", a poem about the killing of democracy protestors in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and when faced with jail again for the publication of his book God is Red slipped out of China to take refuge in Germany writes Ellen Bork in Hammer and Sickle and Cross

"God Is Red" consists of informal profiles of Christians in the cities of Beijing, Chengdu and Dali and in remote areas of the southwestern province of Yunnan. Beginning with a 100-year-old nun and ending with a recovering slacker in his 20s, his subjects describe the days of Western missionaries, the advent of communism—"like hearing the sinister caw of dark ravens," the nun recalls—and the ambiguous tolerance of the post-Mao era.
Mr. Liao is an unlikely chronicler of China's roughly 70 million Christians. Though skeptical about the vicious, anti-religious Communist propaganda he was raised on—he is 53—he is also skeptical of religion itself.
Mr. Liao became interested in the topic after encounters with two doctors who gave up successful careers to pursue missionary work, one in the mountains, the other in the underground "house churches" of Beijing (an alternative to the official churches controlled by the state). At the time, Mr. Liao himself was struggling, broke and on the run from security agents whom he had provoked by reporting on the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement. His research proved redemptive. "These trips have exhilarated me, lifting me out of my drunken depression," he recalls. "In these remote corners, I have discovered a center point, where East met West, and although there has been a collision of cultures, there is now a new Christian identity that is distinctively Chinese."

 Jesus In Chinese Arts

The BBC reports on Christians in China: Is the country in spiritual crisis?

“There are already more Chinese at church on a Sunday than in the whole of Europe.”

Christopher Landau has recorded two fascinating programs for the BBC as he journeyed through China and reports on why Communist authorities are allowing Christianity to flourish so freely now.

Christianity in China. episode 1
Christianity in China. episode 2

For BBC4, Tim Gardam reports on God in China where Christianity is exploding: China will soon become the largest Christian country on earth. 

As the Communist Party seeks to address the effects on Chinese society in becoming manufacturer to the world, combined with rampant consumerism and its own one child policy, it is turning to religion to fill the void.
God in China Christianity and Catholicism

There are more Christians in China (70 million) than there are people in Britain (62 million in 2009).  Some estimate the number of Christians in China to be closer to 80 million, even 100 million, when you count all the practicing Christians in underground churches that are not approved by the government.  If you take the latter number, there are more Christians in China than members of the Communist party.

Xun Jinzhen, a Christian convert who runs a beauty salon in Beijing, put it eloquently when he said: "We have very few people who believe in communism as a faith. So there's an emptiness in their hearts."

The growth of the Christian churches in China is a story of great courage and belief in the special status of man as a moral creature, for whom good and evil are eternal truths that cannot be redefined by politicians. It gives enormous hope for the future happiness of a people who have suffered under the dying creed of communism for much too long.

 Chinese Icon Mary Babyjesus

One reason the Chinese government is allowing Christianity is because of the social services they provide - old age homes and orphanages and more  - at little or no cost to the government. 

Another is a quote from Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power that I repeat one or more times every year since 2006.

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.  That is why the West is so powerful.

“The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.”

But not all in the government are happy because the Growth of Christianity in China may lead to social change.

Beijing's often brutal crackdown on those of the Christian faith, have included roundups, blacklisting and jailing. The government has driven thousands of followers underground, spurring on the house church network. It's estimated that 60 percent of Chinese Christians attend unregistered house churches.

 Chinese Crucifixion

Catholic Christians in China have faced increasing hostility with the growth of what is called the "Patriotic" Church, a State sponsored Chinese Catholic expression which seeks to undermine the authority of the Pope and the teaching office, the Magisterium, of the Roman Catholic Church.

Recently, this Patriotic Church proceeded with the consecration of one of its own Bishops with no approval from the Holy See. Catholic bishops and Priests loyal to the Church were coerced and compelled to attend or face persecution. Pope benedict XVI has heroically and publicly spoken out against this persecution and encouraged the Chinese faithful to persevere.


Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:54 PM | Permalink

August 22, 2011

"A meek man of mighty action"

Jonathan Sacks, Britain's chief rabbi,  on Reversing the Moral Decay Behind the London Riots

Britain is the latest country to pay the price for what happened half a century ago in one of the most radical transformations in the history of the West. In virtually every Western society in the 1960s there was a moral revolution, an abandonment of its entire traditional ethic of self-restraint.
This was the bursting of a dam of potential trouble that has been building for years. The collapse of families and communities leaves in its wake unsocialized young people, deprived of parental care, who on average—and yes, there are exceptions—do worse than their peers at school, are more susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse, less likely to find stable employment and more likely to land up in jail.

The truth is, it is not their fault. They are the victims of the tsunami of wishful thinking that washed across the West saying that you can have sex without the responsibility of marriage, children without the responsibility of parenthood, social order without the responsibility of citizenship, liberty without the responsibility of morality and self-esteem without the responsibility of work and earned achievement.
We have been spending our moral capital with the same reckless abandon that we have been spending our financial capital.

Janet Dailey, UK riots: The end of the liberals' great moral delusion

What real people know – and have known for quite a long time – is that the great tacit agreement which once held civic life together has been deliberately blown apart. There was a time within living memory when all reasonable grown-ups were considered to be on the same side. Parents, teachers, police, judges, politicians – decent citizens of every station and calling – formed an unspoken confederacy to uphold standards of behaviour within their own communities. But their shared values and expectations about human conduct were systematically undermined by a post-Sixties political ideology that preached wholesale disrespect for authority, and legitimised anti-social activity in the name of protest.


Somehow, we are going to have to restore trust that the operations of government and the law are not at odds with the moral inclinations of conscientious citizens. Basic to this will be the acceptance that we do not have to explain – to find legitimate reasons for – acts of wickedness: that people can do bad things for no good reason at all, and that destructive and vicious impulses are, sadly, as “natural” as charitable ones. It is futile to go on asking why the riots happened, when the question that was on the minds of most of the rioters was not “Why?” but “Why not?”

With the exception of few leftists who continue to excuse the rioters,  everyone who is paying attention sees clearly the rot that has infested modern, western culture.  Yet  few understand the important role faith communities have in building up the civic culture and in reversing the downward spiral of culture and society

Damian Thompson Benedict XVI in Spain: a triumph for this 'meek man of mighty action' (despite the best efforts of the BBC)

The crowd-pulling power of Benedict XVI is almost miraculous, given the contrast with his openly charismatic predecessor, and his former image as a conservative “enforcer”.
I’m very struck by the rapport – so evident during the Pope’s visit to Britain – that Benedict has established with young people. Partly it’s his grandfatherly charm; partly his spiritual message, expressed in language that is neither platitudinous nor patronising. What a breath of fresh air for young people exposed to bishops’ conferences’ “youth ministries”, with their dumbed-down homilies and 1970s folksy musak. The Herald’s Madeleine Teahan, definitely a young Catholic writer to watch, came up with a lovely phrase for this Pope: “A meek man of mighty action”.

 Papal Mass

James Bradley, a year ago an Anglican, now  a deacon in the Personal Ordinate of Our Lady of Walsingham that Pope Benedict set up,  sang the Gospel in front of the Pope and half a million youth

After hours of liturgical rehearsals, sound checks and walk-throughs I thought I was more than ready for the liturgy, but I’m not sure that anything would have adequately prepared me for the sheer joy which echoed around the streets of the city.

As the papal entourage entered Plaza de Cibeles, more than half a million young adults from five continents erupted with cheers of welcome: “Viva! Viva!.” Faithful to the Church, hungry for Christ, and with a deep respect for the papacy, the volume showed just how vibrant and alive the Catholic Church is among the young, and especially how much they love and revere Pope Benedict.

Spanish leftists harassed the young pilgrims in Madrid as one young woman writes.

We went in and people were shouting filthy slurs and cursing the Pope and it was awful
So we knelt down and prayed a Rosary for them in the crowd and got surrounded by angry protesters, shouting and threatening and spitting and filming us and mocking us and trying to burn our flags.
A gay couple came and made out in front of us but whatever...

 Pilgrim-Madrid Protestors

Atheist Richard Dawkins blasts  the Catholic Church

... It is extremely powerful and its "moral" crusades adversely affect the lives of millions of people in Europe and in the world.

and announces a London march for secularism on Sept 17.

Fr Dwight Longenecker on Dawkins' Rage and WJD

The Catholic Church mounts World Youth Day and over a million young people from around the world turn up to be public about their love for the Catholic Church. You know that million represent another ten million who would love to be there. They are young. They are positive. They are smart. They are energetic, and they are joyful. Watch the video of Antonio--a boy "born deaf and near death" for a shining example of what it means to be young, to be Catholic and to be pro-life.

In contrast have a look at your usual atheist-secularist gathering. They're old. They're dull. They're negative. They're tired and most of all they're angry. The more they organize their graying, baying crowds of worn out sexually exhausted has beens the better. They make our World Youth Day crowds look like the future. Which they are.

-Nuns Wyd Madid

This makes me laugh out loud with joy, for Richard Dawkins in his impotent rage is now raining on his own parade. He is increasingly marginalized as a shrill and incoherent shadow of his former self. Once an eminent scientist his public persona is now of the wild eyed extremist--the sort of irrational atheist who would gladly suppress religion in the name of 'freedom', close church schools in the interests of education, and forbid religious education and enforce atheist indoctrination in the name of 'freedom of thought'.

Father Blake, in advance of WYD, wrote about Dawkins in Two Different Worlds.

Richard Dawkins brought at least one lapsed Catholic back to the Church during the Papal visit to the UK. She saw the the anti-Pope snarling mob led by Dawkins and Tatchel, with their plastic devil horns and inflated condoms, sex "toys" and angry faces and she saw the sheer joy of those cheering the Pope and the banners carried by the enthusiastic youth. She said it wasn't about arguments, it was about faces.  Dawkins & co. glaring and hopeless, those who were there cheering the Pope full of hope and smiling - anger and joy, hate and love. For her it was the contrast between two worlds, signified by the Pope and Dawkins, faith and faithlessness, hope and hopelessness, the spiritual and the material, light and darkness.

 Catechesissm Wyd

A pilgrim to WYD writes in the Huffington Post

Pilgrims will likely not forget hiking with temperatures over 90 degrees in order to encounter the million other people arriving at the same site and looking for a place to sleep, only for their belongings later to be soaked or blown away by the rain and high winds that caused a chapel constructed on the site to collapse. Still, inclement weather was but a preface to the deeper atmosphere at the conclusion of World Youth Day in Spain.

At the beginning of his homily, Pope Benedict expressed that his heart was full of joy in seeing young people from all ends of the world gathered together - and still gathered together, despite how the weather affected the almost entirely tent-less pilgrims who slept outside the night before. Many had responded to the storm with even more singing and dancing, and millions of us here in Madrid had tasted a similar joy during this week.

And the joy was contagious


The 20th-century Jesuit Pierre Teillhard de Chardin said that "joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God." After seeing the Pope, encountering over a million fellow young people who share their faith, attending liturgical celebrations in various languages with music that moves their hearts, many young people explicitly attest to feeling as if they have been in the presence of God and that they are "rooted in Christ"-- part of the theme of this year's World Youth Day. All while exuding a contagious joy that can be an indication of that presence.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:03 PM | Permalink

August 20, 2011

Sexual freedom trumps child welfare again

David French, Ideology Trumps Child Welfare

In recent days and weeks, I’ve been pounding at the theme of how our culture and legal system place paramount importance on adult desires. Even when directly dealing with a child’s well-being (including their very right to life), the greater concern is adult happiness.

The latest example comes from Illinois, where a county judge ruled the state can decline to renew its contracts with Catholic Charities to provide publicly funded foster care and adoption services. While I haven’t read the court opinion (and thus can’t opine on the legal merits of the decision), the public policy is horrific. After the passage of the state’s civil-unions bill, Illinois officials told Catholic Charities that its policy of placing children only in married households or where single parents live alone violated state anti-discrimination law and did not fit within the very narrow religious liberty protections contained in the civil-unions statute. 

The consequence? More than 2,000 children are in danger of removal from Catholic Charities’ care — without any evidence that its care is deficient or harmful to these children. Ironically enough, this ruling comes the same week that research from the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project unequivocally reaffirms that children do better in married households — the very households Catholic Charities prefers.

Same-sex marriage advocates have long minimized its impact on religious liberty, but as this and other examples show, both religious liberty and child welfare are ultimately subordinate to sexual freedom. 

The New York Times piece on The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy about the increasingly commonplace practice whereby twin pregnancies are "reduced" to single babies via abortion has garnered lots of attention.

For all its successes, reproductive medicine has produced a paradox: in creating life where none seemed possible, doctors often generate more fetuses than they intend. In the mid-1980s, they devised an escape hatch to deal with these megapregnancies, terminating all but two or three fetuses to lower the risks to women and the babies they took home. But what began as an intervention for extreme medical circumstances has quietly become an option for women carrying twins. With that, pregnancy reduction shifted from a medical decision to an ethical dilemma. As science allows us to intervene more than ever at the beginning and the end of life, it outruns our ability to reach a new moral equilibrium.

Ross Douthat focuses on The Failure of LIberal Bioethics

The liberal camp includes many thinkers I admire, and it has produced some of the more eloquent reflections on biotechnology’s implications for human affairs. But at least in the United States, the liberal effort to (as the Goodman of 1980 put it) “monitor” and “debate” and “control” the development of reproductive technologies has been extraordinarily ineffectual. From embryo experimentation to selective reduction to the eugenic uses of abortion, liberals always promise to draw lines and then never actually manage to draw them. Like Dr. Evans, they find reasons to embrace each new technological leap while promising to resist the next one — and then time passes, science marches on, and they find reasons why the next moral compromise, too, must be accepted for the greater good, or at least tolerated in the name of privacy and choice. You can always count on them to worry, often perceptively, about hypothetical evils, potential slips down the bioethical slope. But they’re either ineffectual or accommodating once an evil actually arrives. Tomorrow, they always say — tomorrow, we’ll draw the line. But tomorrow never comes.

While French hits the mark in 'Selective Reduction' and Self-Indulgence.

What is the common thread? A desire for life on their own terms. They want children (I don’t doubt some desperately want children; especially the older women seeking expensive and sometimes painful fertility treatments), but within certain boundaries. That’s not to say there aren’t profound and intense emotions involved, and those emotions are certainly rationalized in innumerable ways, but selfishness is the heart of the matter.
Self-indulgence is the common thread that runs through most culture war issues. From marriage to divorce to cohabitation to abortion, the desperate desire to satisfy the longings of our heart collides with a Judeo-Christian moral tradition that calls for children to be raised in faithful, married mother-father households. And so we make endless accommodations to our desires — protecting as a legal right the quest to satisfy every personal whim — and our culture cracks and crumbles.

The paradox of the human condition is that those who seek to find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life will find it. In other words, the very act of self-denial enriches your life while selfishness destroys the soul
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:37 AM | Permalink

August 13, 2011

More reflections on the London riots

Mark Steyn: Lessons for us from London in flames

Big Government means small citizens: it corrodes the integrity of a people, catastrophically. Within living memory, the city in flames on our TV screens every night governed a fifth of the Earth's surface and a quarter of its population. When you're imperialists on that scale, there are bound to be a few mishaps along the way. But nothing the British Empire did to its subject peoples has been as total and catastrophic as what a post-great Britain did to its own.

Andrew Fox: It's J.G. Ballard's World, We Just Live in It

Readers familiar with Ballard’s final quartet of novels, all of which feature middle class professionals either diving into or being pulled into revolutionary, nihilistic violence due to ennui, boredom, or a cancerlike consumerism which has replaced religion and patriotism at the center of their psyches, will certainly nod with recognition at this article from The Daily Mail, which reveals that arrested looters and rioters included a law student, a social worker, a ballerina in training, and the school-age daughter of a millionnaire.

Telegraph editorial

This crisis has been building for years. It is the result of a major cultural shift that took place in the 1960s and 1970s, and the long-term decline of the conservative values and institutions that had underpinned British society since the late 19th century. This process was marked by a collapse in the belief in marriage, a retreat of the police from the streets, a move away from tough penalties for property crime, the rise of moral relativism and rampant consumerism, the diminution of stigma as a restraint on bad behaviour and the entrenchment of welfare dependency. It was not about poverty, but a collapse in values.

 Woman Jumping From Fire London

The woman who leapt from the flames

Miss Konczyk, who is from the Polish town of Koronowo and has a ten-year-old son called Damian, had made the huge move to England after divorcing her husband and leaving behind a job that paid her a pittance.
She said she moved to England because she considered it a great place

'I thought London was a civilised society full of gentlemen and ladies - but it is not like that. England has become a sick society.'
'I found myself jumping for my life after being attacked by thugs and thieves. They set fire to my building without any thought for anyone's safety.

'They were happy for me to die.
They were like animals - greedy, selfish animals who thought only of themselves.'

Legacy of a society that believes in nothing A.N. Wilson

Raw with grief, in a voice steady but tight with emotion, his appeal for calm on Wednesday was a beacon of hope amid the tumult and carnage of a horribly dark week for Britain.

....Mr Jahan had the dignity, the compassion and the common sense to demand an end to the violence that had shattered his life. ‘Blacks, Asians, whites — we all live in the same community,’ he said. ‘Why do we have to kill one another? Why are we doing this? Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise, calm down and go home — please.’

--Mr Jahan made an open and straightforward declaration of his faith. ‘I’m a Muslim. I believe in divine fate and destiny, and it was his destiny and his fate, and now he’s gone,’ he said. ‘And may Allah forgive him and bless him

 Father Tariq-Jahan

All the main religions are unshakeable when it comes to self-evident truths about right and wrong; about stealing, harming others, coveting goods, instant gratification and so on.
I interviewed Immanuel Jakobovits on his retirement as Chief Rabbi in Britain...His parting message as he retired, not only to the Jewish community but also to the British people, was that marriage and family life need to be learned; that if necessary we should have classes for young people, teaching them the importance of family life, of how to bring up children, how to discipline them kindly but firmly, and how to instil the sense of that moral law within.
Today, we live in a society where religion is something for which apologies must be made.
A Christian woman working for British Airways who wears a cross round her neck is asked to remove it for fear of offending other people. A nurse who prays with a patient in hospital is committing an almost criminal act. Catholic adoption agencies which disapprove of gay adoptive parents on religious grounds have their licences taken away.

And all the while, our governing classes and academics and teachers chip away at the fundamental truths of the great religions — truths that have stood the test of time for thousands of years — in their arrogant certainty that there are no moral absolutes and that the human race can make up the rules as it goes along.
I suspect that when time passes and we look back on this week, it is the religious sincerity of Tariq Jahan that we shall remember. All of us — Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Hindus, Christians — have a rich religious inheritance.
At the core of this inheritance is a sense of right and wrong.
And in all these religions, the school where we learn of right and wrong is the family. Muslims, Jews, Sikhs and Hindus have all, very noticeably, retained this twin strand of family structure and ethical teaching.
Faith in Christianity itself began to unravel long ago, and the majority of those whose forebears were Christian are now completely secular. They would not even recognise simple Bible stories.

The events of the past week have shown the enormous value of a living religious faith.

Not only was Tariq Jahan more impressive than any of the commentators or politicians who spouted on the airwaves this week. He was more human.

By his religious response to his son’s death, he humanised not only the dreadful and immediate tragedy. He showed us that without a religion we are all less than human.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:43 AM | Permalink

August 10, 2011

Revolt of the underclass in Britain and its modern day prophet

I've been reading Theodore Dalrymple for years, so I was horrified but not at all surprised at the London riots.  They were inevitable given the decline to  Broken Britain.    I went back to read again some of my posts quoting Dalrymple's essays.  He's a modern day prophet.

Bored by Decency.  After years of working as a psychiatrist at one of Britain's prisons, observing closely the destructive behavior and environments that brought him his clients, Theodore Dalrymple analyzed the underclass.  Long term poverty, he concludes, is caused not by economics but by a dysfunctional set of values.

"not poor... by the standards of human history" but trapped in "a special wretchedness" from which it cannot emerge.

"The combination of relativism and antipathy to traditional culture has played a large part in creating the underclass, thus turning Britain from a class to a caste society. ... Henceforth what they had and what they did was as good as anything, because all cultures and all cultural artifacts are equal. Aspiration was therefore pointless: and thus they have been immobilized in their poverty -- material, mental, and spiritual -- as completely as the damned in Dante's Inferno. Having in large part created this underclass, the British intelligentsia, guilty about its own allegedly undemocratic antecedents, feels obliged to flatter it by imitation and has persuaded the rest of the middle class to do likewise."
For people who have no transcendent purpose to their lives and cannot invent one through contributing to a cultural tradition (for example), in other words who have no religious belief and no intellectual interests to stimulate them, self-destruction and the creation of crises in their life is one way of warding off meaninglessness.
Without religion or culture (and here I mean high, or high-ish, culture) evil is very attractive. It is not boring.

Where not to be a child

The worst place in the Western world to be a child is Britain reports UNICEF; Theodore Dalrymple calls it Childhood's End.

The British, never fond of children, have lost all knowledge or intuition about how to raise them; as a consequence, they now fear them, perhaps the most terrible augury possible for a society.

What happened to the British character?

Polite, considerate, self-controlled, law-abiding, tolerant of all eccentricities, humble and modest  are adjectives once used to describe the British not that long ago.

Today, the British are often described as loutish, violent, drunken, sluttish, boastful and brutish.
Lack of self-control is just as character-forming as self-control: but it forms a different, and much worse and shallower, character. Further, once self-control becomes neither second nature nor a desired goal, but rather a vice to avoid at all costs, there is no plumbing the depths to which people will sink.
Habits become character. Perhaps they shouldn’t, but they do.

"I have seen the future and it's riots"

Not long ago, I had occasion to stay for a few weeks in a once-industrial town in the north of England. The last steel mills had just closed down. I was surprised by the elegance of much of the early 19th-century architecture, now completely overwhelmed by the brutalism of the 1960s and ’70s. The prematurely middle-aged spent their time looking for secondhand clothes in charity shops. Pawnshops had also made a big comeback. Feral young men with an expression of urban predation on their faces stood around on street corners in nylon tracksuits and hoods, muttering f---ing this and f---ing that to one another. About half the people in the street were unemployed young immigrants, mainly of Middle Eastern origin, on the lookout for a bit of small-scale trafficking. Some took advantage of free Internet access in the public library—a concrete building aesthetically suitable as the headquarters of the Stasi—to look at inflammatory political sites or to search for women.

I have seen the future, and it’s riots.

He was right.

 Londonriot Taunting Hackney

In the Daily News today , Dalrymple writes Behind England's riots, a violent and entitled generation of British young people

The riots in London and elsewhere in England have confirmed what I long knew and have long preached to my disbelieving but totally unobservant countrymen: that young British people are among the most unpleasant and potentially violent young people in the world. It took determination on the part of my countrymen not to notice it.
The rioting is only the extreme end of the spectrum of bad behavior by British youth and young adults. The characteristics that are common to all classes are arrogance, a sense of entitlement and an unwillingness to moderate their behavior for the convenience of others. The main difference between the classes is that the rich can pay for what they feel entitled to, while the poor have to wheedle, cajole, swindle and steal it. But the inflamed sense of entitlement is the same.

These riots certainly did not emerge from a cultural vacuum. Many visitors to Britain, including Americans, are surprised and disturbed by how quickly many people in Britain appear to get murderously angry over trifles and direct real and frightening hatred at a person who has offended them in some very slight way. Tempers flare over nothing.
Long training and experience have taught young denizens of our poorer areas that they have nothing to fear from the law. Not only do the police solve a mere 5% of crimes or thereabouts, but nothing much happens to those who are convicted. A former lord chief justice of England, Lord Baron Woolf, thought that house burglary was so trivial a crime that those who committed it should not be imprisoned. Shoplifting has been virtually decriminalized. The slum dwellers of London are not well-educated - they reject the very concept of education - but are perfectly capable of drawing their conclusions. The only thing that will stop the rioters is boredom or exhaustion.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:43 PM | Permalink

August 4, 2011

"Girls in particular believe they are a 'commodity they must sell to other people' on Facebook.

You probably know this already but now a top scientist says it

Facebook and Twitter are creating a vain generation of self-obsessed people with child-like need for feedback,

Facebook and Twitter have created a generation obsessed with themselves, who have short attention spans and a childlike desire for constant feedback on their lives, a top scientist believes.

Repeated exposure to social networking sites leaves users with an 'identity crisis', wanting attention in the manner of a toddler saying: 'Look at me, Mummy, I've done this.'

Baroness Greenfield, professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, believes the growth of internet 'friendships' – as well as greater use of computer games – could effectively 'rewire' the brain.

This can result in reduced concentration, a need for instant gratification and poor non-verbal skills, such as the ability to make eye contact during conversations.
Her views were echoed by Sue Palmer, a literacy expert and author, who said girls in particular believe they are a 'commodity they must sell to other people' on Facebook.

She said: 'People used to have a portrait painted but now we can more or less design our own picture online. It's like being the star of your own reality TV show that you create and put out to the world.'

How chilling is this,  "Girls in particular believe they are a 'commodity they must sell to other people' on Facebook."

How sad and tragic.

If a girl sees herself as a commodity, it becomes a lot easier to rationalize prostitution. Seeking Arrangement: College Students Using 'Sugar Daddies' To Pay Off Loan Debt

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:05 AM | Permalink

July 21, 2011

Excluding a Christian church from Ground Zero

Given the problems facing the Department of Homeland Security, you would think they would avoid the problems inherent in political correctness if only to maintain their credibility, but no.

A new video from the DHS characterizes white middle class Americans as the most likely terrorists with no mention of its own finding in December "In the last 24 months (2009 and 2010) 126 people were indicted on terrorist-related charges in the United States. All of them were Muslim."

I simply cannot understand why the mayor and the governor are not on the phone demanding the Port Authority to do all it can to rebuild St.Nicholas which was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks with the tenth anniversary less than 2 months away.

Islamic Supremacism trumps Christianity at Ground Zero

While New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg works in anxious haste to build the cultural obscenity that is the Ground Zero mosque, the iconic St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which was built in 1916 and destroyed in the attack on the World Trade Center towers by Muslim terrorists, remains vanquished, unable to rebuild.
Bloomberg is lobbying for 9/11 taxpayer funds for the Islamic supremacist grifters behind the Ground Zero mosque, but St. Nicholas Church is in purgatory ten years after the worst day in modern American history.

I spoke with Evan C. Lambrou, who is a former editor of the National Herald, the country's oldest and largest Greek-American newspaper, and a distinguished graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston.  He explained that it was "wrong for the Port Authority to take the church's original property for its purposes, in exchange for another parcel nearby; extract the church's good faith by promising to actually deliver the promised new parcel; and then not make good on that promise. In short, the Port Authority got the church to do something it didn't really want to do by promising the church something else instead, and then refused to give what was promised. That's just not right. It's morally reprehensible, in fact.

"It's very disgraceful that the Port Authority has compelled the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese to file a federal lawsuit just to rebuild one of our churches. And it's simply astounding that people work themselves into such a frenzy about Park 51; that so many elected officials have rushed to defend development of an Islamic community center two blocks away from Ground Zero; and that virtually no one cares about the Port Authority's plans to exclude a Christian church from Ground Zero altogether."
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:18 PM | Permalink

July 16, 2011

More worrisome things

More worrisome things that I must take note of and pass on so I can clear my tabs.

A very different picture of what Palestinians think was revealed in a recent  survey of 1010 Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was completed last week by American pollster Stanley Greenburg and it's not very hopeful.

6 in 10 Palestinians reject a two-state solution.  Sixty-six percent said the Palestinians’ real goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state.
Seventy-two percent backed denying the thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62% supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage, and 53% were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools.
Seventy-three percent agreed with a quote from the (Hamas) charter (and a hadith, or tradition ascribed to the prophet Muhammad) about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones and trees.
But only 45% said they believed in the charter’s statement that the only solution to the Palestinian problem was jihad.
When asked what Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s top priorities should be, 83% said creating jobs. Just 4% said getting the UN to recognize a Palestinian state, and only 2% said peace talks with Israel.

I don't like this at all.  Hezbollah hooks up with Mexican drug cartels.

Islamic terrorist groups are setting up shop in Mexico and forming alarming ties with the country's brutal drug cartels, according to a 2010 internal memo from the Tucson Police Department.  The memo, leaked by the hacker group LulzSec as part of its Arizona Department of Public Safety hack, warns that Hezbollah has established operations — and a large arms stockpile — in Mexico.

Mark Steyn reports on a public taxpayer-funded school in Toronto where every Friday afternoon, the cafeteria is opened for Muslim Friday prayers that was featured in last Saturday's Toronto Star.

 Toronto Hs Muslimprayers

The picture is taken from the back of the cafeteria. In the distance are the boys. They’re male, so they get to sit up front at prayers. Behind them are the girls. They’re female, so they have to sit behind the boys because they’re second-class citizens – not in the whole of Canada, not formally, not yet, but in the cafeteria of a middle school run by the Toronto District School Board they most certainly are.

And the third row? The ones with their backs to us in the foreground of the picture? Well, let the Star’s caption writer explain:

At Valley Park Middle School, Muslim students participate in the Friday prayer service. Menstruating girls, at the very back, do not take part.

Oh. As Kathy Shaidle says:

Yep, that’s part of the caption of the Toronto Star photo.

Yes, the country is Canada and the year is 2011.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:56 PM | Permalink

July 15, 2011

The Totalitarian impulse and Elite Sanctimony

These days when the debate over gay marriage has become rancorous, George Weigel  reminds us about the totalitarian temptation in No Homophobia.

[C]rying “homophobia” is a cheap calumny, a crypto-totalitarian bully’s smear that impresses no serious person.

As analysts running the gamut from Hannah Arendt to Leszek Kolakowski understood, modern totalitarian systems were, at bottom, attempts to remake reality by redefining reality and remaking human beings in the process. Coercive state power was essential to this process, because reality doesn’t yield easily to remaking, and neither do people. In the lands Communism tried to remake, the human instinct for justice — justice that is rooted in reality rather than ephemeral opinion — was too strong to change the way tastemakers change fashions in the arts. Men and women had to be coerced into accepting, however sullenly, the Communist New Order, which was a new metaphysical, epistemological, and moral order — a New Order of reality, a new set of “truths,” and a new way of living “in harmony with society,” as late-bureaucratic Communist claptrap had it.
[M]arriage and the families that are built around marriage constitute one of the basic elements of civil society, that free space of free associations whose boundaries the just state must respect. If the 21st-century democratic state attempts to redefine something it has neither the capacity nor the authority to refine, it can only do so coercively. That redefinition, and its legal enforcement, is a grave encroachment into civil society.

If the state can redefine marriage and enforce that redefinition, it can do so with the doctor-patient relationship, the lawyer-client relationship, the parent-child relationship, the confessor-penitent relationship, and virtually every other relationship that is woven into the texture of civil society. In doing so, the state does serious damage to the democratic project. Concurrently, it reduces what it tries to substitute for reality to farce.

That’s what those whom Mr. Kennicott deplores as virulent bigots were trying to point out.

Neoneocon points out how religious freedom lost in Gay marriage and religious freedom

The original legislation contained an important clause protecting (for now) churches from being forced to perform gay marriages if it violates their beliefs. But it lacked protection for any other group or individual that might have a similar problem. The repercussions could have been predicted, and actions such as that of Laura L. Fotusky, who resigned as town clerk of Barker, NY because performing such marriages would violate her religious beliefs, might be followed by similar actions on the part of others facing the same dilemma.
Ms. Rice’s characterization of their attitude as “personal” and “discriminatory” is personal and discriminatory itself, because beliefs founded in a religion that’s been a going concern for two thousand years are more of a group/institutional thing than some personal idiosyncrasy. Plus—at least until the NY legislation was passed less than three weeks ago—the belief that marriage remained the province of man and woman was considered mainstream and nondiscriminatory.

No doubt Ms. Rice, who is a DA, chose her words carefully in order to downplay and/or ignore the real issue here, which is religious freedom, a supposedly protected right. It is the same issue involved in protecting hospital and health care workers who refuse on religious grounds to participate in abortions that run counter to their belief system.

It's hard not to agree with Frank Furedi who wrote in The Australian on a similar debate down under: When gay matrimony meets elite sanctimony.

Whatever one thinks about the pros and cons of gay marriage, a tolerant society cannot deny the right of homosexual couples to formalise their relationship. But the campaign for gay marriage is not just about rights but about the contestation of values and attitudes.

From a sociological perspective, the ascendancy of the campaign for gay marriage provides a fascinating story about the dynamics of the cultural conflicts that prevail in Western society. During the past decade the issue of gay marriage has been transformed into a cultural weapon that explicitly challenges prevailing norms through condemning those who oppose it. This is not so much a call for legal change as a cause: one that endows its supporters with moral superiority and demotes its opponents with the status of moral inferiority.

As a result, it does not simply represent a claim for a right but a demand for the institutionalisation of new moral and cultural values.
What we have here is the casual affirmation of a double standard: tolerance towards supporters of gay marriage and intolerance directed towards its opponents.

The declaration that certain values and attitudes are incompatible with modern society tends to serve as a prelude towards stigmatising and attempting to silence it. That is why the so-called enlightened opponents of "old-time religion" more than match the intolerance of those they denounce as homophobic bigots.

In the Anglo-American world, gay marriage has become one of those causes through which the cosmopolitan cultural elites define themselves and construct a moral contrast between themselves and ordinary folk. What's really important for them is the sense of superiority experienced through the conviction that "we" are not like them. In this way, a clear moral distinction is drawn between the forward-looking attitudes of an enlightened, courageous minority and the backward-looking prejudices of a homophobic majority.

Another Australian writer Sheila Liaugminas interviews Princeton philosophy professor Robert George in The
Orthodoxy of Sexual Liberation

Devotion to “sexual freedom” had been no part of the liberalism of FDR, George Meaney, Cesar Chavez, Hubert Humphrey, or the leaders and rank-and-file members of the civil-rights movement. Today, however, allegiance to the cause of sexual freedom is the nonnegotiable price of admission to the liberal (or “progressive”) club. ...

As Sherif Girgis, Ryan Anderson, and I argue in our Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy article, once one buys into the ideology of sexual liberalism, the reality that has traditionally been denominated as “marriage” loses all intelligibility. That is true whether one regards oneself politically as a liberal or a conservative. For people who have absorbed the central premises of sexual liberation (whether formally and explicitly, as liberals tend to do, or merely implicitly as those conservatives who have gone in for it tend to do), marriage simply cannot function as the central principle or standard of rectitude in sexual conduct, as it has in Western philosophy, theology, and law for centuries.
Moreover, one will come to regard one’s allegiance to sexual liberalism as a mark of urbanity and sophistication, and will likely find oneself looking down on those “ignorant,” “intolerant,” “bigoted” people — those hicks and rubes — who refuse to get “on the right side of history.” One will perceive people who wish to engage in conduct rejected by traditional morality (especially where such conduct is sought in satisfaction of desires that can be redescribed or labeled as an “orientation,” such as “gay” or “bisexual,” or “polyamorist”) as belonging to the category of “sexual minorities” whose “civil rights” are violated by laws embodying the historic understanding of marriage and sexual ethics. One will begin congratulating oneself for one’s “open-mindedness” and “tolerance” in holding that marriage should be redefined to accommodate the interests of these minorities, and one will likely lose any real regard for the rights of, say, parents who do not wish to have their children indoctrinated into the ideology of sexual liberalism in public schools. “Why,” one will ask, “should fundamentalist parents be free to rear their children as little bigots?” Heather’s two mommies or Billy’s two mommies and three daddies are the keys to freeing children from parental “homophobia” and “polyphobia.”

“Let the marriage matter be put to the ballot in state after state,” he said, emphatically. “Because when the people deliberate on the issue, they have always come down on the side of traditional marriage.” In 31 out of 31 times it’s been put to the vote, he reminds me.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:13 AM | Permalink

July 6, 2011

"State-encouraged incest"

Germany and EU to Legalize Pedophilia and with it, Child Pornography as well

Booklets from a subsidiary of the German government’s Ministry for Family Affairs encourage parents to sexually massage their children as young as 1 to 3 years of age.
“Fathers do not devote enough attention to the clitoris and vagina of their daughters. Their caresses too seldom pertain to these regions, while this is the only way the girls can develop a sense of pride in their sex,” reads the booklet regarding 1-3 year olds. The authors rationalize, “The child touches all parts of their father’s body, sometimes arousing him. The father should do the same.”

My favorite Canadian author Michael O'Brien comments:

It is, he said, “State-encouraged incest, which in most civilized societies is a crime.” The development is, he suggests, a natural outcome of the rejection of the Judeo-Christian moral order.

“The imposed social revolution that has swept the western world is moving to a new stage as it works out the logical consequences of its view of man’s value,” said O’Brien. “It is merely obeying its strictly materialist philosophy of man. If man is no more than a creature created for pleasure or power. If he is no more than a cell in the social organism, then no moral standards, no psychological truths, no spiritual truths can refute the ‘will to power’ and the ‘will to pleasure’.”
The wiser and deeper position of most civilizations recognized that children need a period of innocence,” commented O’Brien. “Now the state, the German state, is encouraging destruction of this state of innocence,”
he added. “This is consistent with the materialist philosophy that sees all moral norms and all truths about human nature as repressive. Pleasure and their distorted concept of freedom are their only guiding principles.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:39 AM | Permalink

July 4, 2011

"The things of the spirit come first" - Calvin Coolidge

President Calvin Coolidge was a 4th of July baby,  born on July 4 in 1872.

His Speech on the Occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence is extraordinary and

and I urge you to read and ponder it.    We are not only in danger of neglecting our great heritage, we may fail to pass it on and that is worse.

We meet to celebrate the birthday of America. The coming of a new life always excites our interest. Although we know in the case of the individual that it has been an infinite repetition reaching back beyond our vision, that only makes it the more wonderful. But how our interest and wonder increase when we behold the miracle of the birth of a new nation.

Although a century and a half measured in comparison with the length of human experience is but a short time, yet measured in the life of governments and nations it ranks as a very respectable period.
Certainly enough time has elapsed to demonstrate with a great deal of thoroughness the value of our institutions and their dependability as rules for the regulation of human conduct and the advancement of civilization. They have been in existence long enough to become very well seasoned. They have met, and met successfully, the test of experience.

It is not so much then for the purpose of undertaking to proclaim new theories and principles that this annual celebration is maintained, but rather
to reaffirm and reestablish those old theories and principles which time and the unerring logic of events have demonstrated to be sound. Amid all the clash of conflicting interests, amid all the welter of partisan politics, every American can turn for solace and consolation to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States with the assurance and confidence that those two great charters of freedom and justice remain firm and unshaken. Whatever perils appear, whatever dangers threaten, the Nation remains secure in the knowledge that the ultimate application of the law of the land will provide an adequate defense and protection.
We are too prone to overlook another conclusion. Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments. This is both historically and logically true. Of course the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people....

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern.  But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

Our forefathers came to certain conclusions and decided upon certain courses of action which have been a great blessing to the world. Before we can understand their conclusions we must go back and review the course which they followed. We must think the thoughts which they thought. Their intellectual life centered around the meeting-house. They were intent upon religious worship. While there were always among them men of deep learning, and later those who had comparatively large possessions, the mind of the people was not so much engrossed in how much they knew, or how much they had, as in how they were going to live. While scantily provided with other literature, there was a wide acquaintance with the Scriptures. Over a period as great as that which measures the existence of our independence they were subject to this discipline not only in their religious life and educational training, but also in their political thought. They were a people who came under the influence of a great spiritual development and acquired a great moral power.

No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren sceptre in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like-minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshiped.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:22 AM | Permalink

June 29, 2011

The buffoonery of TIME

The tripe on the covers of the fading newsweeklies make me ever thankful for the Internet.

 Timecover Shredding Constitution

When managing editor Richard Stengel penned One Document Under Siege  he hadn't counted on  Patterico who called the piece a "journalistic scandal" written by a man who serves in an organization dedicated to teaching other journalists about the Constitution yet "rife with factual errors, including many that are obvious simply by reading the Constitution."

Patterico finds thirteen factual errors and rebuts then one by one with real facts.

False Claim #1: The Constitution does not limit the Federal Government.

Proof that he is wrong: The Constitution is filled with limitations on Federal Power.  For instance, Article I, Section 9 says:

The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.  [A.W.: They’re talking about the slave trade.]

The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another….

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States[.]

And then there is Article III, Section 3, limiting what the government can do to a traitor:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

It should be noted that Corruption of Blood is a doctrine by which the family of a traitor would suffer because of their alleged corrupted blood, so this is limiting the government’s ability to punish the children of a traitor for his or her treason.

And then there is the Bill of Rights.  As I noted last time, Mr. Stengel considered them as of a piece with the original Constitution, an interpretation I concurred with.  Every single one of them represents a limitation on federal power, so it is sufficient to only quote a few of them:

Amendment 1

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment 2

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment 9

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment 10

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

So contrary to his suggestion, the Constitution does indeed limit the power of the Federal Government, a point most of us learned in elementary school.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:16 AM | Permalink

April 26, 2011

"In God We Trust"

"In God We Trust", inscribed on all our currency is a "non religious recognition of the faith of the nation's founders in a higher power as the source of all rights" ruled the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a ruling the US Supreme Court declined to review. Newdow vs. Lefevre, 10-892.

–In God We Trust Coin

Professional plaintiff Michael Newdow, an atheist, had claimed that the phrase on currency amounts of an endorsement of religion and violates his rights under the First Amendment.

However, the origin of that amendment is attributed by historians to the founding fathers’ desire to avoid an official federally-supported church, like the Church of England, and was not intended to exclude religious expression in public life.

In July 2010, another federal appeals court in the District of Columbia ruled 3-0 in favor the national motto’s constitutionality under the First Amendment.

“It is quite obvious that the national motto and slogan on coinage and currency ‘In God We Trust’ has nothing whatsoever to do with the establishment of religion,” wrote the panel, quoting the 1970 decision, Aronow v. United States.

Father Barron explains Why It Matters That Our Democracy Trusts in God. 

It's the only way we can justify our 'inalienable rights' of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.    Only if these rights exist prior to king or state can they be protected from the king or state.  Otherwise, the king or the state is
free to grant, nullify or deny those rights that do not serve their purposes.

Even the United Nations in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights posits human dignity as the foundation of those rights.    We Americans are just more forthright about where that dignity comes from.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:09 AM | Permalink

April 21, 2011

"Austerity and decline are what will come if we do not reform the welfare state." Austerity and decline are what will come if we do not reform the welfare state.

A candidate for best essay of the year,  Beyond the Welfare State by Yuval Levin, editor of National Affairs.

It is becoming increasingly clear that we in America are living through a period of transition. One chapter of our national life is closing, and another is about to begin. We can sense this in
the tense volatility of our electoral politics, as dramatic "change elections" follow closely upon one another. We can feel it in the unseemly mood of decline that has infected our public life — leaving our usually cheerful nation fretful about global competition and unsure if the next generation will be able to live as well as the present one. Perhaps above all, we can discern it in an overwhelming sense of exhaustion emanating from many of our public institutions — our creaking mid-century transportation infrastructure, our overburdened regulatory agencies struggling to keep pace with a dynamic economy, our massive entitlement system edging toward insolvency.

But these are mostly symptoms of our mounting unease. The most significant cause runs deeper. We have the feeling that
profound and unsettling change is afoot because the vision that has dominated our political imagination for a century — the vision of the social-democratic welfare state — is drained and growing bankrupt, and it is not yet clear just what will take its place.
The fact is that we do not face a choice between the liberal welfare state on one hand and austerity on the other. Those are two sides of the same coin:
Austerity and decline are what will come if we do not reform the welfare state.

Our welfare state is very poorly suited to the kind of society we are — an aging society in which older people are, on the whole, wealthier than younger people. And it is very poorly suited to the kind of society we want to be — enterprising and vibrant, with a free economy, devoted to social mobility and eager to offer a hand up to the poor. A successful reform agenda would have to take account of both.

It would begin not from the assumption that capitalism is dehumanizing, but rather from the
sense that too many people do not have access to capitalism's benefits. It would start not from the presumption that traditional practices and institutions must be overcome by rational administration, but rather from the firm conviction that family, church, and civil society are the means by which human beings find fulfillment and are essential counterweights to the market. It would reject the notion that universal dependence can build solidarity, and insist instead that only self-reliance, responsibility, and discipline can build mutual respect and character in a free society. It would seek to help the poor not with an empty promise of material equality but with a fervent commitment to upward mobility. It would reject the top-down bureaucratic state in favor of consumer choice and competition. It would insist on the distinction between a welfare program and a welfare state — between directed efforts to help the poor avail themselves of meaningful opportunities and a broad project to remake society along social-democratic lines.

We need it above all because the decline of the social-democratic welfare state risks persuading us, falsely, that America's fate is to decline along with it. On the contrary, America's fate is, as it always has been, to show the world by example how a commitment to human liberty and equality, an application of republican virtues, a belief in individual ingenuity and drive, and an unswerving devotion to helping the least among us rise can defy the cynics and the pessimists, and can make future generations proud to succeed us.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:00 AM | Permalink

April 14, 2011

The Book That Made Your World

First,  Chinese leaders say that Christianity was the reason for the West's success, now we have an Indian philosopher who says the Bible created the soul of Western civilization and sees India's need for the "reforming power of the Bible".   

While Christianity is scorned and belittled by the secular elites in Europe and the USA, dynamic, growing,  forward-looking countries are seeing  Christianity and its positive impact on society more clearly.

Does the Bible Matter In the 21st Century?

The cancer at the heart of America’s political economy is cultural. This great nation was built by an ethic – a spirituality that taught citizens to work, earn, save, invest, and use their wealth to serve their neighbors. This biblical ethic has been replaced by secularism’s entitlement culture that teaches people that they have a right to this, that and the other without corresponding obligations to work, save, and serve. This new culture forces the state to take from productive citizens or borrow from other nations and spend it on man-made rights. This corruption of character is destroying the world’s greatest economy, but can democracy allow leaders to go against the voters’ voice?
The West became great because biblical monogamy harnessed sexual energy to build strong families, women, children, and men.

Human history knows no force other than the Bible that has the capacity to dam sexual energy to build powerful families and nations. Indeed, no non-biblical culture has ever been able to require husbands to “love your wives” and give them the spiritual resources to do so.

The author of this piece, Vishai Mangalwadi, an Indian philosopher, is also the author of "The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization" which will be published in May.

 Vishal Mangalwadi

From his website, his bio

Vishal Mangalwadi (1949-) is an international lecturer, social reformer, political columnist, and author of thirteen books. Born and raised in India, he studied philosophy at universities, in Hindu ashrams, and at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland. In 1976 he turned down several job offers in the West to return to India where he and his wife, Ruth, founded a community to serve the rural poor. Vishal continued his involvement in community development serving at the headquarters of two national political parties, where he worked for the empowerment and liberation of peasants and the lower castes.
Vishal and Ruth are currently in the United States for the production of a television documentary, The Book of the Millennium: How the Bible Changed Civilization, a project inspired by Vishal and Ruth's recognition of India's need for the reforming power of the Bible.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:31 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

April 8, 2011

Facing criminal charges for called Chechan al-Qaeda leader a "terrorist"


In Finland, a Priest May Be Defrocked, Facing Criminal Charges for Calling Chechen al-Qaeda Leader a "Terrorist"

A priest in Finland faces being defrocked after describing one of the world’s most-wanted criminals as a ‘terrorist’. He was referring to Doku Umarov — the man behind the Moscow metro and airport bombings, among other crimes.

He received death threats and when he reported them to police, he was prosecuted for hate speech crimes. He is now considering moving to Russia because he believes it there is more liberty there than in politically correct Finland.

Juha Molari is not a Catholic priest, but a Lutheran one in a 'national church' supported by the state.
The Lutheran Church now wants to defrock him for promoting religious intolerance.

Doku Umarov is a Chechan Islamist leader in Russia who claimed responsibility for the 2010 Moscow Metro bombings (40 civilians killed) and the 2011 Moscow airport bombing  (36 civilians killed), injuring hundreds.  Called 'Russia's Bid Laden', the United Nations Security Council added him to the list of individuals associated with Al Qaeda.

Molari gave fiery speeches against the website Kavkaz Centre, the internet outlet for Doku Umarov, a site banned in Russia and many other European countries, a site where extremists freely air their views. 

After a death threat which promised to behead him and his family, Molari divorced his wife so she and his children could flee for safety. 

Johan Backman, the chairman of the Finnish-Caucasus Friendship Society, says the case reflects anti-Russian feeling in the EU.

“He has told the Finnish public the truth about the activities of Doku Umarov in Finland because in Finland, the information channel of terrorists, the so-called Kavkaz Center has been operating for several years without any kind of reaction from the government or officials of Finland,” Backman said. “Of course this raises questions about whether Finnish authorities and the government of Finland are promoting terrorism against Russia.”

Molari is also being sued for criticizing what Finland calls "a legally operating organization".

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:01 PM | Permalink

April 6, 2011

""You have to go somewhere where there is sacred ground"

Walter Russell Mead on Life Beyond Blue: Faith and the Inner City

There are two big mistakes most Americans make about our inner city problems:  we believe that the troubles of the inner city are mostly about race, and we believe that they can be solved without God.

The failure of the blue social model to solve the problems of the underclass in America’s inner cities was one of the great tragedies of the last thirty years.  Hundreds of billions of dollars were spent; tens of millions of lives remained blighted, and a culture of violence, degradation and despair has taken hold among some of our society’s most vulnerable and needy people.  Generations of children are growing up in gangs; our scarce financial resources are being consumed by a grotesquely overbuilt prison system; whole segments of our population are unable to cope with even the simplest demands of modern life.
But technocratic fixes and government policy however wise and inspired cannot fix everything that is broken in the inner cities of the United States and abroad.  Drug addiction, cycles of violence and abuse, the prevalence and attraction of street gangs and the appeal of religious extremism are not the kinds of things that bureaucrats can do much about.
the hard truth is that unless someone reaches the lost generations in our inner city with powerful, life transforming messages, the dysfunctional cycles of violence, poverty and destruction will continue.  The people in our cities need the power to change their lives — and that kind of power, for most of the people most of the time in history, comes through transformational encounters with the power and the presence of God.
What I’ve learned from Gene lately is a new appreciation of the importance of the Black church in the redemption of the inner city.  Specifically, I’ve been learning about the importance of the Pentecostal churches.  Historically, the Pentecostal churches in the United States as elsewhere are strongly rooted among the poor.

To see the power of the gospel and the power of gospel music as an art form  and what it means in the lives of young teens who find a way to express their pain and to experience joy, you must watch 60 minutes which last week when Leslie Stahl looked at  Gospel for Teens, Part 1 and Part 2.

"You have to go somewhere where there is sacred ground, where there's hope, where there's  possibility, where there's a better life"    Exactly what gospel music, born in slavery,  was designed to provide in the first place.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:49 AM | Permalink

April 4, 2011

"Three dynamics interacted in a noxious fashion"

Greg Sheridan in The Australian speaks from his personal experience as he explains how he lost faith in multiculturalism

IN 1993, my family and I moved into Belmore in southwest Sydney....When I first moved there I loved it.
In the nearly 15 years we lived there the suburb changed, and much for the worse.

Three dynamics interacted in a noxious fashion: the growth of a macho, misogynist culture among young men that often found expression in extremely violent crime; a pervasive atmosphere of anti-social behaviour in the streets; and the simultaneous growth of Islamist extremism and jihadi culture.

This is my story, our story and the story of a failed policy.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:13 PM | Permalink

April 1, 2011

Feminism and Multiculturalism

The bravest woman of the week is  the Pakistani actress Veena Malik who smacks down an Egyptian mullah who accuses her of immorality.


Susannah Fleetwood tells us why this viral video was A Seminal Moment for Feminism

Liberals seem to have an overwhelming tendency to downplay Islamic abuses towards women (as well as towards gays) under the guise of multiculturalism.

She quotes David Frum who wrote in Feminists need to admit that Western men are not the enemy,

Throughout Europe, women’s rights are regressing rather than advancing, as immigration from North Africa and the Middle East transforms European societies. Europeans have found it very difficult to demand that the newcomers adapt to local ways. So Europeans are adapting instead.

He asks whether today's feminists are

morally and intellectually capable of recognizing the dangers to women’s aspirations in the 21st century? Can they transcend their inherited ideology, and recognize that the best and only guarantee of women’s equality is Western liberal democratic capitalism? Will they accept critics of Third World misogyny — such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji — into the pantheon of feminism along with Mary Wollstonecraft, Susan B. Anthony and Simone de Beauvoir?
In short, can they accept that the irony of history has reoriented feminism into a fundamentally conservative movement? Or will their inherited ideological prejudices entrap them forever in a vanished world — dooming feminism to obsolescence and subjecting the dwindling rights of women to the aggressions of “multiculturalism”?

Geert Wilders speaks in Rome at the Magna Carta Foundation on The Failure of Multiculturalism and How to Turn the Tide

I am here today to talk about multiculturalism. This term has a number of different meanings. I use the term to refer to a specific political ideology. It advocates that all cultures are equal. If they are equal it follows that the state is not allowed to promote any specific cultural values as central and dominant. In other words: multiculturalism holds that the state should not promote a leitkultur, which immigrants have to accept if they want to live in our midst.

It is this ideology of cultural relativism which the German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently referred to when she said that multiculturalism has proved “an absolute failure.”

After quoting Winston Churchill writing in 1899, he  says

Churchill is right. However, if Europe falls, it will fall because, like ancient Rome, it no longer believes in the superiority of its own civilization. It will fall because it foolishly believes that all cultures are equal and that, consequently, there is no reason why we should fight for our own culture in order to preserve it.

This failure to defend our own culture has turned immigration into the most dangerous threat that can be used against the West. Multiculturalism has made us so tolerant that we tolerate the intolerant.
Islam is a totalitarian ideology. Islamic Shariah law supervises every detail of life. Islam is not compatible with our Western way of life. Islam is a threat to our values. Respect for people who think otherwise, the equality of men and women, the equality of homosexuals and heterosexuals, respect for Christians, Jews, unbelievers and apostates, the separation of church and state, freedom of speech, they are all under pressure because of islamization.

The multiculturalist Left is facilitating islamization. Leftist multiculturalists are cheering for every new shariah bank, for every new islamic school, for every new mosque. Multiculturalists consider Islam as being equal to our own culture. Shariah law or democracy? Islam or freedom? It doesn’t really matter to them. But it does matter to us. The entire leftist elite is guilty of practising cultural relativism. Universities, churches, trade unions, the media, politicians. They are all betraying our hard-won liberties.

A call to action.  A rallying cry for The Fight of Our Lives

Let us avoid.... suicide...We may soon find out whether we will take seriously our great moral and intellectual inheritance and so determine whether we indeed have the will, and the ability, to not only call this a war but to identify our enemy and to win it as well. Or, in the long run, will we be the authors of our own undoing?
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:02 AM | Permalink

March 31, 2011

Jesus in Beijing

Christianity the reason for West's success, say the Chinese

In the West we are doing our best to destroy our Christian heritage but in China, Chinese intellectuals are coming around to the view that it is precisely this heritage that has made the West so successful.

Former editor of the Sunday Telegraph, Dominic Lawson, in a review in the Sunday Times of Niall Ferguson's new book, ‘Civilisation: The West and the Rest’, carries a quote from a member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in which he tries to account for the success of the West, to date.

He said: “One of the things we were asked to look into was what accounted for the success, in fact, the pre-eminence of the West all over the world.

“We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic, and cultural perspective. At first, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had.

“Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system.

“But in the past twenty years, we have realised that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West is so powerful.

“The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don’t have any doubt about this.”

The source?

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,  an instrument of the Chinese Communist government which spends a not inconsiderable amount of time and money persecuting Christians and is officially atheistic.

I wrote about this in 2006 in Christians in China and drew quotes from an interview of David Aikma, the author of Jesus in Beijing.

I would like readers of Jesus in Beijing to grasp how Christianity, though assumed by many in the West to be outmoded and irrelevant to modern life, is regarded by many Chinese as the absolute key to a successful, peaceful, powerful modern China in the future.
Many concluded that it was Christian ethics and the dynamism of a faith based on a profound hope in the future and a belief that history was not cyclical, as Buddhism and even Confucianism proclaimed, but linear, and with a specific end goal.

Finally, Christians in the fine and performing arts have shown that there is a way out from the often-nihilistic cycle of modernism and postmodernism. This can be very attractive to artists who would prefer a hope-filled universe in which to develop their creative skills.
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.

In fact, there are now More Christians than Communists in China.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:40 PM | Permalink

March 29, 2011

"They have bet that such a society cannot survive"

Mark Steyn is back talking about push-up bras for eight-year-olds and why, as time goes by, there are no more  popular love songs among other things in Pushing Deviancy Up.

Islam will readily acknowledge our technological superiority: If you want to operate a no-fly zone over Benghazi or send an unmanned drone into Waziristan, we have the capability and they don't. The difference is that Islam thinks our technological superiority doesn't matter - because we're unmanned drones in a more basic sense: we believe in nothing except the most transitory and dreary self-gratification, an endless adolescence that begins with a push-up bra at eight and continues through free government condoms for 30-year olds. Not only do the surging Muslim populations in European cities have no wish to "assimilate" with such a culture, they do not believe they will have to - for they have bet that such a society cannot survive.

Are they right? A hyper-sexualized society becomes, paradoxically, sexless, and certainly joyless. Listening in recent weeks to young women in both New York and London complain that the men they meet would rather look at pictures of them naked on the Internet than actually see them naked in the same room reminded me of The Children Of Men, in which P D James' characters, liberated from human fertility, find sex too much trouble. Eight-year olds with fake breasts are almost too obvious a satirist's fancy for a last desperate transgression of the terminally jaded.

I ask myself all the time How did we get here?

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:29 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

March 24, 2011

The continuing persecution of Christians - ho-hum

The ongoing, sometimes deadly, persecution of Christians continues unabated and few appear bothered, even when it is happening in the United States.    Freedom of religion is now being interpreted as freedom from religion.    Yet our founding fathers knew quite well that freedom to practice religion or not to practice religion at all was the essential foundation for civil society.

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other," John Adams


Out of every ten people, seven can not live their faith in freedom. The most persecuted religion is Christianity with at least 200 million people suffering from discrimination.  

The persecution is particularly acute in some countries with a Muslim majority.

Archbishop Warda: Iraq’s Christian History “Wiped From Collective Memory”

Archbishop Bashar Warda of northern Iraq did not mince words about the plight of Christians and other non-Muslims  in his country. Christians in Iraq face “near genocide” due only to their non-Muslim status as the Iraqi government muddies the waters of jurisprudence.
Since 2003, roughly a million Iraqi Christians have either fled their native homeland or been massacred. The damage wrought by Islamists has also taken its toll on Christian buildings dedicated to serving and uplifting the downtrodden....

The first Iraqi church was bombed in June, 2004 in Mosul. Following that event, successive campaigns have occurred and a total of 66 churches have been attacked or bombed; 41 in Baghdad, 19 in Mosul, 5 in Kirkuk and 1 in Ramadi. In addition, 2 convents, 1 monastery and a church orphanage was bombed.

Via my friend Gil Bailie in Islam is as Islam Does  is this  bloodstained image of Christ in the Church of Saints in Alexandria, Egypt, where a bomb went off at a  New Year's Eve service, killing 21 and wounding 70.

 Bloodstained Christ

He also points to George Marlin who examines The Forgotten: Christians Persecuted in the Middle East  in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, all countries with a Muslim majority where religious liberty does not have the value it does in Western countries.

A more subtle persecution of Christians is increasing here in the United States  as we can see when the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies 18- pro-family groups as "hate" groups  We're seeing an unfolding process of attempting to redefine Christian teaching on sex and marriage as racism

I used to have a residual respect for the ACLU, though I never knew the its founder Roger Baldwin was a Communist, "Communism is the goal."  But no more after reading ACLU vs. Religious Liberty

An ACLU-crafted Consent Decree has been used as a weapon to threaten school district employees with fines and jail time for merely praying over a meal, and for exercising -- even while away from school -- their sincerely held Christian faith. You read that right. The ACLU is literally seeking to criminalize Christianity.

In August of 2009, Liberty Counsel successfully defended staff member Michelle Winkler from contempt charges brought by the ACLU after her husband, who is not even employed by the district, offered a meal prayer at a privately sponsored event in a neighboring county.
During witness testimony, Mrs. Winkler sobbed as she described how she and a coworker, who had recently lost a child, literally had to hide in a closet to pray.

Fortunately, Federal District Court Judge Casey Rogers granted in part a preliminary injunction

Judge Rodgers concluded that even though "a preliminary injunction is an extraordinary and drastic remedy," one aspect of the Consent Decree -- its attempt to prohibit school employees from fully participating in private religious events -- is so flawed that it must be immediately halted.

The Court thus enjoined the School Board "from enforcing any school policy that restrains in any way an employee's participation in, or speech or conduct during, a private religious service, including baccalaureate" pending a trial on the merits. 
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:40 PM | Permalink

February 26, 2011

The Killer Apps of Western Civilization

A most interesting interview with Niall Ferguson in the Guardian on the occasion of his soon-to-be published  book Civilization.


'Westerners don't understand how vulnerable freedom is'

Civilization sets out to answer a question that Ferguson identifies as the "most interesting" facing historians of the modern era: "Why, beginning around 1500, did a few small polities on the western end of the Eurasian landmass come to dominate the rest of the world?" In other words, the book attempts to explain the roots of something – western power – that has long fascinated its author.

The killer 'apps' are the ideas that propelled the West to world domination:

1. Competition
2. Science
3. Property
4. Modern science
5. Consumption
6. Work ethic

His personal relationship with Ayaan Hirsi Ali to whom the book is dedicated has clearly influenced him.

"Ayaan comes from a completely different civilisation," he says, explaining what he meant by saying she knows what western civilisation "really means". "She grew up in the Muslim world, was born in Somalia, spent time in Saudi Arabia, was a fundamentalist as a teenager. Her journey from the world of her childhood and family to where she is today is an odyssey that's extremely hard for you or I to imagine. To see and hear how she understands western philosophy, how she understands the great thinkers of the Enlightenment, of the 19th-century liberal era, is a great privilege, because she sees it with a clarity and freshness of perspective that's really hard for us to match. So much of liberalism in its classical sense is taken for granted in the west today and even disrespected. We take freedom for granted, and because of this we don't understand how incredibly vulnerable it is."
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:18 AM | Permalink

February 3, 2011

The Immateriality of Wealth

The most crucial elements of a successful culture and a prosperous society are "intangible, immaterial, spiritual" argues Jay Richards, in The American,

His Top Ten Ways to Alleviate Poverty show The Immateriality of Wealth.

1) Establish and maintain the rule of law.

2) Focus the jurisdiction of government primarily on maintaining the rule of law, and limit its jurisdiction over the economy and the institutions of civil society.

3) Implement a formal property system with consistent and accessible means for securing a clear title to property one owns.

4) Encourage economic freedom.

5) Encourage stable families and other important private institutions which mediate between the individual and the state.

6) Encourage belief in the truth that the universe is purposeful and makes sense.

7) Encourage the right cultural mores.

8) Instill a proper understanding of the nature of wealth creation and poverty.

9) Focus on cultivating your comparative advantage rather than protecting what used to be your comparative advantage.

10) Work hard.

There is a striking correlation between societies that exhibit these traits, or some subset of them, and the large-scale wealth creation. But notice that only one of them describes a material good. All the others are intangible, immaterial, spiritual. You can’t find economic freedom or cultural mores on a map or put them in a safe. You can’t bottle diligence or weigh the ingredients for stable families and voluntary institutions on a scale. These goods involve beliefs, social conventions, institutions, commitments, virtues, and creativity.

In 2006, the World Bank released a study - Where is the Wealth of Nations? - highlighting the importance of "intangible wealth" as distinct from "natural capital" and "produced capital" with a snapshot of wealth for 120 countries at the turn of the millennium.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:00 PM | Permalink

January 4, 2011

"Permanence is the illusion of every age"

In The New Criterion, Mark Steyn decries the erosion of personal liberty, the loss of cultural inheritance and the debauching of human capital in Dependence Day.

What happens when, as a matter of state policy, you debauch your human capital? The United Kingdom has the highest drug use in Europe, the highest incidence of sexually transmitted disease, the highest number of single mothers; marriage is all but defunct, except for toffs, upscale gays, and Muslims. For Americans, the quickest way to understand modern Britain is to look at what lbj’s Great Society did to the black family and imagine it applied to the general population. One-fifth of British children are raised in homes in which no adult works. Just under 900,000 people have been off sick for over a decade, claiming “sick benefits,” week in, week out, for ten years and counting. “Indolence,” as Machiavelli understood, is the greatest enemy of a free society, but rarely has any state embraced this oldest temptation as literally as Britain. There is almost nothing you can’t get the government to pay for.


After Big Government, after global retreat, after the loss of liberty, there is only remorseless civic disintegration.

-- Permanence is the illusion of every age. But you cannot wage a sustained ideological assault on your own civilization without profound consequence.


In our time, to be born a citizen of the United States is to win first prize in the lottery of life, and, as Britons did, too many Americans assume it will always be so. Do you think the laws of God will be suspended in favor of America because you were born in it? Great convulsions lie ahead, and at the end of it we may be in a post-Anglosphere world.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 6:28 PM | Permalink

January 3, 2011

Sliding into anarchy

It may seem incredible to some that the children no longer play soccer on the streets as before. Now they pretend to be assassins. They form teams, just as before, but now they arm their mini commando units to engage in imaginary battles that perhaps in the future will be their reality.

The girls too form part of this game, leaving their dolls to the side to turn themselves into assassins. Some are even the commanders in these play groups of children.

The drug cartels are taking over Mexico amid escalating violence and corruption. Close to 40,000 Mexicans have been killed by drug violence in the past four years.

A nation sharing a border with the U.S. descending into anarchy is a frightful thought for Americans, and the obvious implications of such an event should be causing concern throughout the halls of the White House and the State Department.

Failed State Watch: How Much Longer for Mexico?

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:01 PM | Permalink

Resist the eclipse of reason, preserve the capacity to see the essential, the very future of the world is at stake

Theodore Darlrymple calls Pope Benedict, the "George Orwell of our time".

A great deal of the hostility to the Pope’s visit was likewise caused by his having been right, at least in some things, such as the insufficiency of consumerist materialism as a basis for a satisfactory existence. There are few human types less attractive, surely, than failed materialists, which is what the British, or at least so many of them, now are. They consume without discrimination what they have not earned: which is why many of them are so grotesquely fat as well as so deeply indebted. Indeed, there is scarcely any kind of debt or deficit to which we as a nation have not resorted in order to continue (at least for a time) on our vulgar and degraded way. A nation that behaves thus is quite without honour or self-respect, collective or individual. All this Benedict XVI has seen with a perfectly clear eye; and if what George Orwell once wrote, that we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men, we might even call the Pope the George Orwell of our time.

The Pope is becoming more prophetic, even more apocalyptic . In his Christmas address to the Roman curia he calls to mind

the decline of the Roman empire

Excita, Domine, potentiam tuam, et veni. [Awaken your power Lord and come] Repeatedly during the season of Advent the Church’s liturgy prays in these or similar words. They are invocations that were probably formulated as the Roman Empire was in decline. The disintegration of the key principles of law and of the fundamental moral attitudes underpinning them burst open the dams which until that time had protected peaceful coexistence among peoples. The sun was setting over an entire world. Frequent natural disasters further increased this sense of insecurity. There was no power in sight that could put a stop to this decline. All the more insistent, then, was the invocation of the power of God: the plea that he might come and protect his people from all these threats.


For all its new hopes and possibilities, our world is at the same time troubled by the sense that moral consensus is collapsing, consensus without which juridical and political structures cannot function. Consequently the forces mobilized for the defence of such structures seem doomed to failure.

addresses the clergy sex abuse crisis again in all its gravity

when in this year of all years [The Year for Priests] and to a degree we could not have imagined, we came to know of abuse of minors committed by priests who twist the sacrament into its antithesis, and under the mantle of the sacred profoundly wound human persons in their childhood, damaging them for a whole lifetime.


Only the truth saves. We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible the injustice that has occurred. We must ask ourselves what was wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen. We must discover a new resoluteness in faith and in doing good. We must be capable of doing penance. We must be determined to make every possible effort in priestly formation to prevent anything of the kind from happening again

puts it in context,

We are well aware of the particular gravity of this sin committed by priests and of our corresponding responsibility. But neither can we remain silent regarding the context of these times in which these events have come to light. There is a market in child pornography that seems in some way to be considered more and more normal by society. The psychological destruction of children, in which human persons are reduced to articles of merchandise, is a terrifying sign of the times. From Bishops of developing countries I hear again and again how sexual tourism threatens an entire generation and damages its freedom and its human dignity.


In this context, the problem of drugs also rears its head, and with increasing force extends its octopus tentacles around the entire world – an eloquent expression of the tyranny of mammon which perverts mankind. No pleasure is ever enough, and the excess of deceiving intoxication becomes a violence that tears whole regions apart – and all this in the name of a fatal misunderstanding of freedom which actually undermines man’s freedom and ultimately destroys it.

seeks its ultimate ideological source

In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorized as something fully in conformity with man and even with children. This, however, was part of a fundamental perversion of the concept of ethos. It was maintained – even within the realm of Catholic theology – that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a “better than” and a “worse than”. Nothing is good or bad in itself. Everything depends on the circumstances and on the end in view. Anything can be good or also bad, depending upon purposes and circumstances. Morality is replaced by a calculus of consequences, and in the process it ceases to exist.

He talks about an awareness of shared responsibility at this moment in history

Alexis de Tocqueville, in his day, observed that democracy in America had become possible and had worked because there existed a fundamental moral consensus which, transcending individual denominations, united everyone. Only if there is such a consensus on the essentials can constitutions and law function. This fundamental consensus derived from the Christian heritage is at risk wherever its place, the place of moral reasoning, is taken by the purely instrumental rationality of which I spoke earlier. In reality, this makes reason blind to what is essential. To resist this eclipse of reason and to preserve its capacity for seeing the essential, for seeing God and man, for seeing what is good and what is true, is the common interest that must unite all people of good will.

The very future of the world is at stake.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:50 AM | Permalink

November 26, 2010

"The Euro Game is Up!"

He's a member of the European Parliament, a Euro-skeptic from Great Britain by name of Nigel Farage.
Here's part of what he said

Untold millions must suffer so that your euro dream can continue. Well it won't work, because it's Portugal next. With their debt levels of 325 percent of GDP they are the next ones on the list, and after that I suspect it will be Spain, and the bailout for Spain would be 7 times the size of Ireland, and at that moment all the bailout money has gone - there won't be any more.

But it's even more serious than economics, because if you rob people of their identity, if you rob them of their democracy, then all they are left with is nationalism and violence. I can only hope and pray that the euro project is destroyed by the markets before that really happens.
The Daily Express has become the first national newspaper to call for Britain to leave the European Union. Britain is Better Off Out.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:25 PM | Permalink

November 9, 2010

The Bloodlands

In the New York Review of Books, Anne Applebaum reviews two new books in The Worst of the Madness.   Even from this distance in time it's hard to fathom how civilized European societies descended into such paroxysms of murderous violence and depravity.

Once, in an attempt to explain the history of his country to outsiders, the Polish poet Czesław Miłosz described the impact of war, occupation, and the Holocaust on ordinary morality. Mass violence, he explained, could shatter a man’s sense of natural justice. In normal times, had he stumbled upon a corpse on the street, he would have called the police. A crowd would have gathered, and much talk and comment would have ensued. Now he knows he must avoid the dark body lying in the gutter, and refrain from asking unnecessary questions….


For all of these reasons, Miłosz explained, “the man of the East cannot take Americans [or other Westerners] seriously.” Because they hadn’t undergone such experiences, they couldn’t seem to fathom what they meant, and couldn’t seem to imagine how they had happened either. “Their resultant lack of imagination,” he concluded, “is appalling."

The title of this book, Bloodlands, is not a metaphor. ...This is the region that experienced not one but two—and sometimes three—wartime occupations. This is also the region that suffered the most casualties and endured the worst physical destruction....This is the region that experienced the worst of both Stalin’s and Hitler’s ideological madness.....

This region was also the site of most of the politically motivated killing in Europe—killing that began not in 1939 with the invasion of Poland, but in 1933, with the famine in Ukraine. Between 1933 and 1945, fourteen million people died there, not in combat but because someone made a deliberate decision to murder them.

If nothing else, a reassessment of what we know about Europe in the years between 1933 and 1953 could finally cure us of that “lack of imagination” that so appalled Czesław Miłosz almost sixty years ago. When considered in isolation, Auschwitz can be easily compartmentalized, characterized as belonging to a specific place and time, or explained away as the result of Germany’s unique history or particular culture. But if Auschwitz was not the only mass atrocity, if mass murder was simultaneously taking place across a multinational landscape and with the support of many different kinds of people, then it is not so easy to compartmentalize or explain away.

;Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin" (Timothy Snyder)

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:51 PM | Permalink

“The real crisis in Britain is the destruction of human relationships, the foundation of society.”

Called England's "red Tory" and a "philosopher king"  Philip Blond believes Both Left and Right Have Broken Britain  and How We Can Fix It the title of his new book.

“The Right is exclusively pro-market and the Left is proscribing everything but the state. They are now no longer sustainable positions.”
Blond differs from most other critics of capitalism is in trying to reunite economics with ethics and in seeing social and economic problems as symbiotic.
Part of Blond’s mission is to restore economics to its roots, for it is impossible to separate economic decline and social breakdown.

“The real crisis in Britain is the destruction of human relationships, the foundation of society,” he says. “And that’s what’s right with the Broken Britain thesis. It’s a loss of human society. The poorer you are, the lonelier you are, the more costs you incur for the state, because human sociability is linked with wealth, health and all sorts of indicators from mental illness to obesity.

“The crisis in human relationships is shown in the way men treat women and women treat men, and how we treat our children. Now we’re getting to the situation where nearly half of all British children will be born outside of marriage, and the longevity of the relationships they’re born into is a third less than if they were married. We are reproducing an atomised society. That is a genuine social disaster.”
“We’ve killed history in our country. These people, often university educated, have literally a sophomoric understanding of British history. In fact, it’s not even that good. They have no grasp of their own recent history or their own future.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:46 PM | Permalink

October 12, 2010

History of the Future

I just want to note that the Muslim Brotherhood has declared war on the United States.

The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has endorsed (Arabic) (English translation by MEMRI) anti-American Jihad and pretty much every element in the al-Qaida ideology book. Since the Brotherhood is the main opposition force in Egypt and Jordan as well as the most powerful group, both politically and religiously, in the Muslim communities of Europe and North America this is pretty serious stuff.

Does that mean the Egyptian, Jordanian, and all the camouflaged Muslim Brotherhood fronts in Europe and North America are going to launch terrorism as one of their affiliates, Hamas, has long done? No.

But it does mean that something awaited for decades has happened: the Muslim Brotherhood is ready to move from the era of propaganda and base-building to one of revolutionary action.
In August 1996, al-Qaida declared war on America, the West, Christians and Jews. Nobody important paid much attention to this. Almost exactly five years later, September 11 forced them to notice. Let it be said that
in September 2010 the Muslim Brotherhood, a group with one hundred times more activists than al-Qaida, issued its declaration of war. What remains is the history of the future.

Thanks Michael Totten

Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:43 PM | Permalink

The First Atheistic Civilization

Vaclav Havel at the opening session of 14th session of Forum 2000 in Prague warns that the world is heading towards catastrophe due to pride.

We are living in the first truly global civilisation. That means that whatever comes into existence on its soil can very quickly and easily span the whole world.

But we are also living in the first atheistic civilisation, in other words, a civilisation that has lost its connection with the infinite and eternity. For that reason it prefers short-term profit to long-term profit. What is important is whether an investment will provide a return in ten or fifteen years; how it will affect the lives of our descendants in a hundred years is less important.

But with the cult of measurable profit, proven progress and visible usefulness there disappears respect for mystery and along with it humble reverence for everything we shall never measure and know, not to mention the vexed question of the infinite and eternal, which were until recently the most important horizons of our actions.

We have totally forgotten what all previous civilisations knew: that nothing is self-evident.

Wonder and an awareness that things are not self-evident are, I believe, the only way out of the dangerous world of a civilisation of pride.

Perhaps someone, just a few hundred light years away from our planet, is looking at us through a perfect telescope. What do they see? They see the Thirty Years War. For that reason alone it holds true that everything is here all the time, that nothing that has happened can unhappen, and that with our every word or movement we are making the cosmos different – forever - from what it was before.

In all events, I am certain that our civilisation is heading for catastrophe unless present-day humankind comes to its senses. And it can only come to its senses if it grapples with its short-sightedness, its stupid conviction of its omniscience and its swollen pride, which have been so deeply anchored in its thinking and actions.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 4:30 PM | Permalink

October 7, 2010

The most fundamental question of the modern age

James Schall reflects on Pope Benedict's visit to Britain and the question he left us all to ponder, "The Ultimate Meaning of Our Human Existence."

On reflecting on this visit, no Briton, I think, whatever be the fame of English practicality, can help but wonder, if he has not before, "What is the ultimate meaning of our existence?" He did not have this question addressed to him in the Times or the Guardian but in the reflections of Benedict XVI, the Successor to Peter. It is still the most fundamental question of the modern age.

More rippling effects of Benedict's visit come from the venerable Bede,  English, atheist and blogger, who subjects Richard Dawkins to a serious intellectual flogging for his speech at the Protest the Pope Rally in London which Bede calls a "miserable performance".

One other thing announces itself with curious clarity in Dawkins's diatribe, and that's his resentment at Ratzinger being acclaimed as an important intellectual.

The only way to dispute Ratzinger's stature as a major intellect is to refuse to listen to anything he has to say; the only way to deny that his view of modern society's ills is cogent and valid is to deny his central thesis, and cling to the 'everything is wonderful in our secular paradise' mantra that Dawkins and all the rest so shamefully endorse.

Ratzinger is a bigger thinker, a better thinker, because he starts from the premise that there is something deeply wrong: the grown-up's premise.

To merely accept this as a starting base takes courage, but without doing so nothing can be achieved. A world view - still more one that assumes entitlement to authority - that does not begin from this base is dangerous, cowardly and irrelevant.

If, like me, you don't like some of Ratzinger's answers then great - let the civilised adult debate begin. But if you'd rather attach condoms to an umbrella and parade through London with a bunch of dipsticks you rule yourself out of all serious consideration. Ratzinger is asking for a debate on some big subjects, and the best these supposed intellectual heavyweights can do is call him names, ignore the questions, and congratulate each other as the waters rise around their ugly necks.

He would trust the Pope before Dawkins.

But compare Ratzinger's rigorous analysis of the "loss of an awareness of intangible moral values" in a culture that "sees in its own history only what is blameworthy and destructive [and] is no longer capable of perceiving what is great and pure" with the ghastly fluffy-bunny 'consciousness raising' of Dawkins's recent sermons and decide for yourself in whose hands your future would be safer.

Britain Gobsmacked by Pope Benedict

At a conference in Rome this evening, barrister and president of Britain’s Catholic Union, Jamie Bogle, told me, “The secular atheist liberals and their friends in the media are going to take a long time to get over this visit. Because they thought they were on a winner. They thought they were going to, if not arrest the pope, at least seriously embarrass him.

“And this little guy in white just flattened them. His gentle, calm, soft-spoken approach just won everybody over. And the demonstrations faded away.”

The pope’s addresses, delivered barely above a whisper, made his detractors look “ridiculous, like children throwing their toys out of the pram because they couldn’t have their own way.” And today the pope’s opponents are left with little to say. “They’re nonplussed and confused” Fr. Allan said, “astonished.” “They didn’t expect people to respond as they have done.”

“They don’t understand why the British people listened to him. Why they wanted to see him. Everything the pope said is outside their mindset.”

The pope’s messages, that Christianity has a foundational place in the building of a just society, one that cannot be suppressed without destroying the foundations of freedom, were delivered fearlessly but gently, in a tone that one had to strain to hear and with an accent one had to concentrate to understand.

“He was just stating the truth,” Fr. Allan said. “It’s really swept people off their feet.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:23 PM | Permalink

September 30, 2010

The War Next Door

Investors Business Daily asks Anyone Notice The War Next Door?

Mexico's war against drug and alien-smuggling cartels grows ever more similar to the horrors of Afghanistan and Iraq. Beheadings, stonings, car bombs and terrorist attacks speak to a lust for power every bit as implacable as that of the Afghanistan's Taliban or the insurgents of Iraq.

The cartels may seem to be just a police problem, but Mexico's own officials know better: President Felipe Calderon warns that everything about their actions says they mean to take over.

But even with such a nearby threat, there are no U.S. crisis task forces or special envoys. The Northern Command hasn't been bolstered. The unbuilt border fence is one excuse after another, hostage to domestic and electoral politics.
Does anyone care that a cartel has threatened to destroy a dam in Texas? Oregon officials report huge new cartel marijuana fields on a scale never seen earlier.

The Los Angeles Police Department even warns that five cartels have set up logistics operations in America's second-largest city.
On Monday, another small-town Mexican mayor, Gustavo Sanchez of Tancitaro, was shot dead by cartels for firing corrupt officials. It was the fifth murder of a mayor in five weeks.
In Juarez, across the river from El Paso, Texas, the death toll since 2006 tops 6,000, while deaths in the entire country have surpassed 29,000. The latest outrage was the murder of a 6-year-old girl. She was murdered as she slept in her bed Monday, shot point-blank in the face by a cartel gunman.

Over 230,000 residents of Juarez, population 1.3 million, have fled for their lives from cartels, a citizens group reported last week, with 54% of them gone to El Paso.

This sure gives an added dimension to the issue of border security.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:54 AM | Permalink

September 22, 2010

"There is no more Molly Norris"

Molly Norris didn't die.  She disappeared.  They call it "going ghost"

Molly Norris, a cartoonist for the Seattle Weekly, has disappeared on the advice of the FBI.  She became famous because she ventured  to lampoon the self-censorship of Comedy Central who pulled an episode that depicted the prophet  Mohammed disguising himself in a bear suit after threats by Islamist -- by suggesting an "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day".

For that , Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, you know the one who inspired the Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hassan and the man accused of attempting to blow up a US jetliner over Detroit of Christmas Day issued a fatwa, essentially publicly ordered that she be executed, saying her "proper abode is Hellfire".

Diana West reports on this "message from an outpost of the Civilization formerly noted as Western."

The gifted artist is alive and well, thankfully. But on the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI, she is, as they put it, “going ghost”: moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity.

Very little attention is being paid to what is not unlike a death.    No one seems to be grieving the giving up of her life as the price Molly Norris paid  for exercising her First Amendment rights as a citizen living in the United States. 

The Washington Examiner editorializes:

Freedom of speech and press are in deep trouble when the American government thinks the best it can do to protect a journalist from death threats is to counsel her to go into hiding, and when the elite voices of American journalism can't be bothered to say anything in her defense. But it's actually worse than that.

So why is nobody talking about what's happening to Molly Norris asks Jim Treacher.

Yeah, isn’t that weird? Some dummy in Florida threatened to burn some books — not kill anybody, not even give anybody a bloody nose, but burn some books in a stupid, spiteful gesture — and it was a media firestorm for a whole week. Even the President of the United States felt the need to condemn it. But now we’ve got an American citizen who doesn’t feel safe in her own home because she drew a cartoon, and apparently all those same people are fine with it.

We’re supposed to apologize to the entire Muslim world whenever a single one of them might have hurt feelings. Somehow, if a Muslim feels slighted, that’s a violation of the First Amendment and proof that America isn’t America anymore. Meanwhile, this woman has been silenced under threat of death for exercising her First Amendment rights, and… Crickets. No big deal.

It's time indeed, as the Examiner editorializes, for this generation of American journalists to show more courage.

The reality is that the FBI fought the KKK at every turn, including when it threatened brave Southern newspaper editors who stood up against racism and violence. And from the start, journalists were prominent figures in the civil rights movement, courageously reporting the truth about the crushing stranglehold of segregation on life and liberty across the old South, often at risk of their very lives. It's time the present generation of American journalists found the same brand of courage many of their fathers showed in the 1960s.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:51 AM | Permalink

September 16, 2010

"Benedict XVI is looking for allies in what he believes is a war for the soul of Europe"

While Pope John Paul II did visit England nearly 30 years ago in a "pastoral visit",  today Pope Benedict XVI begins the first official state visit of a Pope to Scotland and England.

CNN asks a reasonable question, Why is he going?  Terry Mattingly at Get Religon writes

To cut to the chase: Benedict XVI is looking for allies in what he believes is a war for the soul of Europe.

The British blogger known as Archbishop Cranmer welcomes the Pope despite what appears to be an aggressive anti-Catholic and anti-Christian atmosphere.

For Pope Benedict XVI comes to the United Kingdom at a time when the Christian conscience is besieged, the national church cowed and our liberties undermined in ways they have not been for centuries. Nurses dare not pray or wear a crucifix; teachers dare not mention Jesus and the school receptionist dare not ask for prayer. If you work for BA, turbans, karas and hijabs are fine, but don’t even think about wearing a cross. Christians are no longer free to be foster parents, registrars, hotel owners or B&B proprietors. Bishops may no longer uphold orthodoxy, street preachers may not quote Scripture, and adoption agencies must act against their conscience or close.

Elizabeth Scalia, best known as the Anchoress, wrote about the Twentieth Century's Last Great Figures earlier this week.

Both Elizabeth and Benedict have seen war and its woeful aftermath, up close. They have watched totalitarian regimes advance and decline, and seen religion used as a justification for slaughter. They know what the rhetorical jackboot sounds like and how seamlessly it can advance; they can speak to our time, if we let them.
Elizabeth and Benedict, despite obvious differences, may take some comfort in each other’s brief company. Almost no one on the planet knows what they know; perhaps no one in current leadership can see and–with the eloquence born of experience–speak to past and future days, from their lonely thrones and balconies.

And sure enough, the Pope in his comments before the Queen who gave him a state welcome at the Palace of HolyRoodHouse in Edinburgh, offered his hand in friendship to the U.K.said

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.

I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives.

As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a "reductive vision of the person and his destiny"

 Pope Holyrood

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:31 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

September 4, 2010

Mexican cartels control movement in southern Arizona

Will this report stir any one in Washington to defend the territorial integrity of our country?

Arizona Sheriff Says Mexican Cartels Now Control Some Parts of the State

The Washington Times reports that the state of Arizona has essentially ceded parts of the southern border to Mexican drug cartels in what — we hope — is a tactical retreat:

The federal government has posted signs along a major interstate highway in Arizona, more than 100 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, warning travelers the area is unsafe because of drug and alien smugglers, and a local sheriff says Mexican drug cartels now control some parts of the state.

The signs were posted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) along a 60-mile stretch of Interstate 8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend, a major east-west corridor linking Tucson and Phoenix with San Diego.

They warn travelers that they are entering an “active drug and human smuggling area” and they may encounter “armed criminals and smuggling vehicles traveling at high rates of speed.” Beginning less than 50 miles south of Phoenix, the signs encourage travelers to “use public lands north of Interstate 8″ and to call 911 if they “see suspicious activity.”

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, whose county lies at the center of major drug and alien smuggling routes to Phoenix and cities east and west, attests to the violence. He said his deputies are outmanned and outgunned by drug traffickers in the rough-hewn desert stretches of his own county.

Mexican drug cartels literally do control parts of Arizona,” he said. “They literally have scouts on the high points in the mountains and in the hills and they literally control movement. They have radios, they have optics, they have night-vision goggles as good as anything law enforcement has.

Daniel Foster who posted the above piece refers to another written by  Deroy Murdock in July,
Bullets across the U.S / Mexican border.


American citizens, therefore, are supposed to steer clear of a section of our nation from I-8 to the Mexican border. Brewer campaign spokesman Doug Cole outlined this area for me on a map. He says it runs from this sign’s location — about 12 miles east of Gila Bend — to Casa Grande, and then due south from both of those points to the frontier. By my calculation, these lines in the sand define a trapezoid that covers roughly 3,600 square miles. In other words, the Obama administration has deemed that a region larger than Delaware and Rhode Island, combined, is too treacherous for Americans to visit.

“Ceding that enormous portion of the United States to the bad guys basically is the federal government saying, ‘We don’t have control of our own territory. You’re on your own. Good luck!’” says Cole. This would be bad enough if the no-go zone were just inside the frontier. In fact, it stretches some 80 miles north of the border, and, as Governor Brewer points out, the area includes “important natural recreational destinations.” She adds: “Signs do not protect our border. Let’s protect Americans, not just warn them.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:55 PM | Permalink

Restoring the culture we once took for granted

It's been a week since the "Restoring Honor" in Washington and these are the two most telling pieces of the mountains that have been written. 

Mollie Hemingway in Ricochet on Taking out the trash

I have attended dozens of rallies and marches -- anti-war, pro-life, pro-choice, anti-circumcision, you name it.

And I saw something so shocking yesterday, that I had to stop and take a picture.

Molly's Picture

As my husband and two children and I were headed back on our long walk home, we saw women tying extra garbage bags onto trash receptacles. I noticed that they had already hit the other trash cans on our way out. And other folks were collecting extra trash into other bags. It was already surprising how little trash there was in the general area. Normally a crowd that size can have quite a bit of trash. But what type of American thinks to bring extra trash bags to help keep refuse from being spread out and about? I know many in the media are trying to sell the idea that the Americans who attended this rally are dangers to society, but that simple trash vignette speaks volumes, doesn't it?

The second is by Timothy Dalrymple, Have We Squandered Our Cultural Inheritance?

Whatever else Beck has right or wrong -- and I confess I have never watched or listened to him much -- it seems to me that he is correctly interpreting the present moment. Which is no small matter.
What does he get? Beck gets that there is a deeply and urgently felt conviction emerging organically across a broad swath of the American populace that the spectacular economic and political collapses of recent years were made possible -- even inevitable -- by a much longer Great Moral Decline.
This is not an exclusively religious concern. Even secular scholars have long recognized that America's Judeo-Christian heritage supplied a set of ideals and principles -- such as the Protestant work-ethic and strong commitments to honesty, integrity, and compassion -- that encouraged and reinforced the habits and qualities that tend to help democracies and free markets flourish.
Not at all. The sociological concept of a "cultural inheritance" is helpful here. A cultural inheritance is a set of values and beliefs, habits and practices handed down through generations within a single culture. Cultural inheritance partly explains, for instance, why a high percentage of Asian-American children, who inherit from their culture strong emphases on and helpful habits in education, diligence, and financial responsibility, perform well academically and build strong professional and financial foundations. Likewise, for centuries the vast majority of children born in America inherited a culture permeated with Christian stories, wisdom, and values.
The deep concern across the United States appears to be that we have squandered our cultural inheritance. We have exchanged the extraordinary treasury of Judeo-Christian stories, values, and wisdom that sustained us for generations in favor of the cheap culture of corruption, indolence, and dissolution that has swiftly bankrupted our economy and our government.

We see this in The Generation That Can't Move On Up

The grim employment picture is familiar, but what's less widely known is that they are losing not only jobs but also their connections to basic social institutions such as marriage and religion. They're becoming socially disengaged, floating away from the college-educated middle class.

To see this illustrated, look at the photos at Then and Now, Part Two.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:11 PM | Permalink

Blackmail and a warning to the West

Last week, Col Muammar Gaddafi came to Italy and warned that Europe will 'turn black' unless EU pays Libya 4 billion pounds a year to block the arrival of illegal immigrants from Africa.

"Tomorrow Europe might no longer be European and even black as there are millions who want to come in," he said.

"We don't know if Europe will remain an advanced and united continent or if it will be destroyed, as happened with the barbarian invasions".

His remarks were condemned by Italian MPs who called it "unacceptable blackmail" and compared it to the protection money that mafia gangs demand from businesses.

But, according to the Guardian, the EU is keen to strike deal with Gaddafi on immigration.

In France, 'Islamization' of Paris a Warning to the West.

A hidden camera shows streets blocked by huge crowds of Muslim worshippers and enforced by a private security force.

This is all illegal in France: the public worship, the blocked streets, and the private security. But the police have been ordered not to intervene.

It shows that even though some in the French government want to get tough with Muslims and ban the burqa, other parts of the French government continue to give Islam a privileged status

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:09 PM | Permalink

August 26, 2010

The New Evangelization to Save Western Civilization

Sandro Magister yesterday writes of a remarkable and important speech by Archbishop Chaput in When the Tribunal of the World Condemns the Church.
There are truths that the dominant culture sees as subversive: on life, the family, sexuality. American archbishop Chaput explains why, and calls Christians to a great battle of resistance. "Only the truth can set men free"
With respect to the past, the shift represented by the new course of the Church in the United States consists, on the terrain of politics, of abandoning the "Kennedy doctrine," the doctrine of a rigid separation between Church and state, the effect of which – according to its critics – is the privatization of religious belief in the isolation of the conscience and its elimination from the public sphere.
And it is against this offensive that Archbishop Chaput is calling Catholics to "resistance." Against the reigning "relativism" that preaches tolerance but in reality produces oppression.
But Chaput's appeal is not only defensive. It is above all proactive. And it is connected to the master plan of Benedict XVI's pontificate, for a "new evangelization" of the regions of the world in which Christianity is at risk of being extinguished.

Chaput's speech is entitled Living Within the Truth: Religious Liberty and Catholic Mission in the New Order of the World.
Today, in an era of global interconnection, the challenges that confront Catholics in America are much the same as in Europe: We face an aggressively secular political vision and a consumerist economic model that result – in practice, if not in explicit intent – in a new kind of state-encouraged atheism. [...]
The West is now steadily moving in the direction of that new “inhuman humanism.” And if the Church is to respond faithfully, we need to draw upon the lessons that your Churches learned under totalitarianism. A Catholicism of resistance must be based on trust in Christ’s words: “The truth will make you free” (John 8:32). [...] and --Living within the truth also means telling the truth and calling things by their right names. And that means exposing the lies by which some men try to force others to live.

Two of the biggest lies in the world today are these: first, that Christianity was of relatively minor importance in the development of the West; and second, that Western values and institutions can be sustained without a grounding in Christian moral principles. [...]

Downplaying the West’s Christian past is sometimes done with the best intentions, from a desire to promote peaceful co-existence in a pluralistic society. But more frequently it’s done to marginalize Christians and to neutralize the Church’s public witness.

The Church needs to name and fight this lie. To be a European or an American is to be heir to a profound Christian synthesis of Greek philosophy and art, Roman law, and biblical truth. This synthesis gave rise to the Christian humanism that undergirds all of Western civilization.
We live in a time when the Church is called to be a believing community of resistance. We need to call things by their true names. We need to fight the evils we see. And most importantly, we must not delude ourselves into thinking that by going along with the voices of secularism and de-Christianization we can somehow mitigate or change things. Only the Truth can set men free. We need to be apostles of Jesus Christ and the Truth he incarnates.
I would argue that the defense of Western ideals is the only protection that we and our neighbors have against a descent into new forms of repression – whether it might be at the hands of extremist Islam or secularist technocrats.

Read the whole thing.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:56 PM | Permalink

August 24, 2010

The Effect of the Rage Against God

Peter Hitchens, brother of Christopher, in a very interesting interview by Hugh Hewitt

He asks a penetrating question to atheists, the major theme of his new book:
"The Rage Against God: How Atheism Led Me to Faith" (Peter Hitchens)
they want there not to be a God. And I think that we would get so much further with them if we insisted in every discussion where they actually deign to talk to us, and treat us as so surfeit that is not to be worth talking to, that we concentrate it upon this question, which I notice the very interesting atheist philosopher, Thomas Nagel admits as crucial. Why do they so much want there not to be a God?

He sees the decline of Britain the result of the receding tide of Christianity.

HH: You were saying, Peter, at the break that Methodism in its turn of the century rise around the 1800s powered a great age in Great Britain, and then the draining away of Christianity has powered the collapse of the edifice of that great age?

PH: We had this extraordinary combination, which very few nations and civilizations achieve of order and liberty. And people were free. There was no oppressive state. We were very lightly policed. The law did not weigh heavily on our shoulders. We weren’t told to do much. But we actually behaved ourselves, because as a people, we knew that there would be reasons to do so. And our language is full of Biblical allusion. And our music, certainly at that stage, also full of the great hymns of the English Church. Everybody’s minds were full of the injunctions of Christianity, and it was believed. I…there are many arguments about how its end came. I tend to think that the 1914-1918 war was probably the great blow to it, and a number of other institutions in our country. But since then, it has been in decline. And once people stopped believing in it, and become practical atheists, they’re not Dawkins, I’d say. They don’t go on and on about being atheists. They just are, and they are atheists in their everyday life. They believe that might is right, and they either act on it by being strong and frightening other people, or they act on it by being frightened, and having no recourse. There is absolutely nothing but force in the lives of many people in our country now.

Later he remarks on the explicitly non-Christian nature of the European Union.

And you’ll possibly remember the case of Signor Buttiglione, the Italian who wanted high office in the European Union, was excluded form it because he was specifically Roman Catholic. The European Union is an overtly, explicitly anti-Christian, or not exactly anti-Christian, but non-Christian body.

Altogether, the failure of the liberal experiment of the left and the waning of the effect of Christian faith on the poor is enormous .

unless we get some kind of grip on ourselves, unless particularly people begin to realize that the great left liberal experiment has failed on its own terms…what worries my particularly is the intelligent and educated people of my country are, by and large, still determined to pursue a series of ideas which can be shown to have failed. ...they’re so profoundly uninterested in the minutiae of how society operates. ..., they’re always writing about grandiose subjects like foreign policy and resistance to Islam and so forth. Well, okay, fine. These things are important. But you never, ever see them discussing how our society functions, and what’s happening, particularly what’s happening to the poor.... everything has to be grandiose and never actually focuses on what’s happening to the person struggling to get his children through schools when the schools are bad. What’s happening to the person trying to raise honest children in a dishonest, crime-ridden neighborhood? What’s happening to somebody who’s trying to keep his marriage going when all the laws of divorce and property are designed to undermine that marriage? What’s happening to people who are trying to keep their children away from dugs when the whole of our culture, all the rock music and all the movies, and all the jokes, and half of the stuff that’s pumped out in the education system says drugs are okay? These disastrous things are going on all the time, and nobody in the elite seems to be aware of the awful damage being done to millions and millions of individual lives by it.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:33 AM | Permalink

August 19, 2010

Demography is Destiny

Demography and Economic Destiny

Why the global economic crisis is really about old age—and how to encourage prosperous countries to have more children.
Perhaps there is an economic system that can preserve prosperity even in the face of an aging, stagnating population, but it has not yet been devised. It is no coincidence that modern industrial capitalism emerged amid the population explosion of late 18th-century England or that it flourished most in the rapidly growing United States. A young, growing population creates more demand for products and a larger supply of labor. By encouraging people to look for more efficient ways to provide food, energy, and other essentials, it also spurs innovation and entrepreneurism.

Here's two more:

Can Europe Survive Its Population Plunge?

Europe is dying. The Washington Post, among others, reports that, within a hundred years, there will be the rare German in Germany or Italian in Italy. Some demographers believe it is too late to correct Europe's plunge into extinction. "The fall in the population can no longer be stopped," reported Walter Rademacher of the German Federal Statistics Office.

Replacement fertility rates are 2.1 children per woman in developed nations. No nation in Europe can claim that rate, and most fall under 1.6. At those levels, each generation is barely half the number of the preceding one. The working-age population is reduced by 30 percent in just 20 years, having a devastating impact on economies. Today, European Union and United Nations experts are sufficiently alarmed to call councils to address the population crisis. The irony is that this is a crisis of their making.
The World Won't Be Aging Gracefully

But if you think that things couldn't get any worse, wait till the 2020s. The economic and geopolitical climate could become even more threatening by then -- and this time the reason will be demographics.

Yes, demographics, that relentless maker and breaker of civilizations. From the fall of the Roman and the Mayan empires to the Black Death to the colonization of the New World and the youth-driven revolutions of the 20th century, demographic trends have played a decisive role in precipitating many of the great invasions, political upheavals, migrations and environmental catastrophes of history. By the 2020s, an ominous new conjuncture of these trends will once again threaten massive disruption. We're talking about global aging, which is likely to have a profound effect on economic growth, living standards and the shape of the world order.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:00 AM | Permalink

August 18, 2010

The One World Illusion

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the living women I most admire for her intelligence and her courage. Now living in hiding because of the threats against her life, she is the author of "Infidel and a founder of the AHA foundation "to help protect and defend the rights of women in the West against militant Islam".


When she writes, I read.

In How to Win the Clash of Civilizations in the Wall St Journal, she makes an important point we all would do well to keep in mind: we have to see the world as it is and not as we wish it to be.

What do the controversies around the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, the eviction of American missionaries from Morocco earlier this year, the minaret ban in Switzerland last year, and the recent burka ban in France have in common? All four are framed in the Western media as issues of religious tolerance. But that is not their essence. Fundamentally, they are all symptoms of what the late Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington called the "Clash of Civilizations," particularly the clash between Islam and the West.

Huntington's argument is worth summarizing briefly for those who now only remember his striking title. The essential building block of the post-Cold War world, he wrote, are seven or eight historical civilizations of which the Western, the Muslim and the Confucian are the most important. The balance of power among these civilizations, he argued, is shifting. The West is declining in relative power, Islam is exploding demographically, and Asian civilizations—especially China—are economically ascendant.
Huntington also said that a civilization-based world order is emerging in which states that share cultural affinities will cooperate with each other and group themselves around the leading states of their civilization. The West's universalist pretensions are increasingly bringing it into conflict with the other civilizations, most seriously with Islam and China.

Thus the survival of the West depends on Americans, Europeans and other Westerners reaffirming their shared civilization as unique—and uniting to defend it against challenges from non-Western civilizations .--Huntington's model, especially after the fall of Communism, was not popular. The fashionable idea was put forward in Francis Fukuyama's 1989 essay "The End of History," in which he wrote that all states would converge on a single institutional standard of liberal capitalist democracy and never go to war with each other. The equivalent neoconservative rosy scenario was a "unipolar" world of unrivalled American hegemony. Either way, we were headed for One World.
Our civilization is not indestructible: It needs to be actively defended. This was perhaps Huntington's most important insight. The first step towards winning this clash of civilizations is to understand how the other side is waging it—and to rid ourselves of the One World illusion.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:53 PM | Permalink

July 29, 2010

"If words fall into disrepair, what will substitute?'

Tony Judt on Words

In “Politics and the English Language,” Orwell castigated contemporaries for using language to mystify rather than inform. His critique was directed at bad faith: people wrote poorly because they were trying to say something unclear or else deliberately prevaricating. Our problem, it seems to me, is different. Shoddy prose today bespeaks intellectual insecurity: we speak and write badly because we don’t feel confident in what we think and are reluctant to assert it unambiguously (“It’s only my opinion…”). Rather than suffering from the onset of “newspeak,” we risk the rise of “nospeak.”

I am more conscious of these considerations now than at any time in the past. In the grip of a neurological disorder, I am fast losing control of words even as my relationship with the world has been reduced to them. They still form with impeccable discipline and unreduced range in the silence of my thoughts—the view from inside is as rich as ever—but I can no longer convey them with ease. Vowel sounds and sibilant consonants slide out of my mouth, shapeless and inchoate even to my close collaborator. The vocal muscle, for sixty years my reliable alter ego, is failing. Communication, performance, assertion: these are now my weakest assets. Translating being into thought, thought into words, and words into communication will soon be beyond me and I shall be confined to the rhetorical landscape of my interior reflections.

Though I am now more sympathetic to those constrained to silence I remain contemptuous of garbled language. No longer free to exercise it myself, I appreciate more than ever how vital communication is to the republic: not just the means by which we live together but part of what living together means. The wealth of words in which I was raised were a public space in their own right—and properly preserved public spaces are what we so lack today. If words fall into disrepair, what will substitute? They are all we have.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:57 PM | Permalink

July 9, 2010

The digital genome in the nukeproof bunker in the Swiss Alps

"To make our current media formats usable in the future, we have to lock them in an impregnable fortress under a mountain in Switzerland."

From Swiss Cheese and Bullets

If the history of computing has taught us anything, it’s that the shiny new format you’re currently using will be useless several times over within your own lifetime. An entire generation’s work is being lost thanks to ‘progress’.

Proof that our current approach to media is flawed is the
Planets project (led by the British Library and a bunch of other European organisations). Acknowledging that most digital file formats have a life expectancy of five years, they’ve put the details of today’s most common file formats – and how they can be read – into a time capsule, and then put that into a nukeproof labyrinthine bunker in the Swiss alps. Adam Farquhar, one of the brains behind the project puts it simply:

Einstein’s notebooks you can take down off the shelf and read them today. Roll forward 50 years and most of Stephen Hawking’s notes will likely only be stored digitally and we might not be able to access them all … The time capsule being deposited inside Swiss Fort Knox contains the digital equivalent of the genetic code of different data formats, a ‘digital genome’.

By relying on hardware-dependent formats that will only last a few years, we’re turning into a civilisation with no long-term memory, only short. Publishing sorts, please acknowledge that the iPad is not the future, it is just a very shiny, very promising, fundamentally flawed present.

 Swiss-Alps Digital-Formats

I'm glad that the Swiss are doing this.  I don't know of any similar effort in the U.S.  Do you?

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:49 PM | Permalink

June 29, 2010

“They couldn’t have been spies. Look what she did with the hydrangeas.”

One woman commenting on the Russian spy next door.   

An F.B.I. investigation that began at least seven years ago culminated with the arrest on Sunday of 10 people in Yonkers, Boston and northern Virginia. The documents detailed what the authorities called the “Illegals Program,” an ambitious, long-term effort by the S.V.R., the successor to the Soviet K.G.B., to plant Russian spies in the United States to gather information and recruit more agents.

The alleged agents were directed to gather information on nuclear weapons, American policy toward Iran, C.I.A. leadership, Congressional politics and many other topics, prosecutors say. The Russian spies made contact with a former high-ranking American national security official and a nuclear weapons researcher, among others.

Ex-KGB agent Uri Bezmenov says the principal task of the KGB occupying 85% of its time, money and manpower was  subversion and Ideological Indoctrination

He says demoralization came first and it takes 15-20 years to infiltrate the schools to teach the next generation and change their perception of reality.  The idealistic  "useful idiots" of the Left  - media,  are important to destabilize society.

Here he speaks on KGB psychological warfare techniques, subversion and control of Western society.

They were far more successful than we realize or care to admit.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:33 AM | Permalink

June 28, 2010

Eyewitness to the eruption of Mt Vesuvius

If you have had any doubt that people who lived two or three thousand years ago were,  in all essential respects, like us, you can read the Letters of Pliny the Younger

Take this eyewitness account of the eruption of Mt Vesuvius

The buildings all round were shaking,” he writes, and to his amazement the tumultuous seas were “sucked back” by an earth-tremor  leaving “many sea-creatures stranded on the dry sand.” Meanwhile, Vesuvius continued to spit forth a  “black and menacing cloud, split by twisted and quivering flashes of fiery breath,” which opened out “into extended shapes of flames, like lightning flashes, but greater.”

Young Pliny and his mother soon decided to flee, despite the darkness brought on by the ash, and were nearly trampled to death by the panicked mob:

You could hear women moaning, children howling, and men shouting; they were crying out, some seeking parents, others children, and others wives, or recognizing them by the sound of their voices. Some were lamenting their own misfortune; others that of their families. A few in their fear of death were praying for death. Many were raising their hands to implore the gods, but more took the view that no gods now existed anywhere, and that this was an eternal and final darkness hanging over the world.

When true daylight finally reappeared, the exhausted survivors  were “confronted with a scene of universal change, for everything was buried by deep ash, as though by snow.”

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:15 PM | Permalink

June 25, 2010

The ominous legacy of Cordoba

Raymond Ibrahim on the Two Faces of the Ground Zero Mosque

While the Cordoba Initiative appears to Americans as a sign of good faith and a new beginning with the Islamic world, to Muslims it represents conquest, dominance — even suicidal jihad against the infidel.

Oddly enough, the so-called “tolerant” era of Cordoba supposedly occurred during the caliphate of ‘Abd al-Rahman III (912-961) — well over a thousand years ago. “Eight hundred years ago,” i.e., around 1200, the fanatical Almohids — ideological predecessors of al-Qaeda — were ravaging Cordoba, where “Christians and Jews were given the choice of conversion, exile, or death.” A Freudian slip on the part of the Cordoba Initiative?
In fact, the true history of Cordoba, not to mention the whole of Andalusia, is far less inspiring than what Western academics portray: the Christian city was conquered by Muslims around 711, its inhabitants slaughtered or enslaved. The original mosque of Cordoba — the namesake of the Ground Zero mosque — was built atop, and partly from the materials of, a Christian church.  Modern day Muslims are well aware of all this.  Such is the true — and ominous — legacy of Cordoba.

More pointedly, throughout Islam’s history, whenever a region was conquered, one of the first signs of consolidation was/is the erection of a mosque atop the  sacred sites of the vanquished: the pagan Ka‘ba temple in Arabia was converted into Islam’s holiest site, the mosque of Mecca; the al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, was built atop Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem; the Umayyad Mosque was built atop the Church of St. John the Baptist; and the Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque upon the conquest of Constantinople.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:23 PM | Permalink

June 4, 2010

Six Million Killed in Democratic Republic of Congo

I just wish the U.N. would spend less time ganging up on Israel and more time dealing with the truly horrendous scale of suffering in the Democratic Republic of the  Congo where six million have been killed in the past ten years, about 1500 a day, and rape against women has been the preferred means of terror.

Read Georgianne Nienaber who writes Witness to Rape in Congo: "What is the Future When the Heart of the Community is Broken?"

The testimony is shocking and horrifying.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:08 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

May 26, 2010

Moral sense twisted beyond imaging

It's not just the euro that's cratering.  Moral sense has been twisted beyond imagining.

A showtrial of children for being naughty
The conviction at the Old Bailey in London of a 10-year-old boy and an 11-year-old boy for attempted rape is bad enough. That the children were convicted despite the fact that the eight-year-old defendant admitted in court that she had made up the story of her ordeal is even worse. But what was worst of all was the very public exploitation of these three children for the purposes of working out adult fantasies.

This sordid spectacle had nothing to do with justice. As the trial judge Justice Saunders acknowledged, the case would have collapsed if the defendant had been an adult, because the evidence provided by the young girl was so inconsistent. That’s another way of saying that in these proceedings, what really counted was not the evidence on offer, but adult prejudices and the imperative of sending the ‘right message’.

But in truth, this make-believe court scene was part of a ritual which criminalises children who play doctors and nurses and which incites eight- and 10-year-olds to act out the role of ‘rape victim’ and ‘sexual predator’ for a watching adult audience. In their hearts, everyone involved in this mock-trial knew that everything about it was fake.

On top of that Germany and EU to Legalize Pedophilia and with it, Child Pornography

From a booklet by the German Federal Health Education Center aimed at parents of children under 6.

“Fathers do not devote enough attention to the clitoris and vagina of their daughters. Their caresses too seldom pertain to these regions, while this is the only way the girls can develop a sense of pride in their sex,” reads the booklet regarding 1-3 year olds. The authors rationalize, “The child touches all parts of their father’s body, sometimes arousing him. The father should do the same.”

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:10 AM | Permalink

May 23, 2010

Regaining What Was Won, But Is Almost Lost

One of the more interesting books that came out in 2006 was Jesus in Beijing, How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Balance of Power by David Aikma whose author, David Aikma, said in an interview,

I would like readers of Jesus in Beijing to grasp how Christianity, though assumed by many in the West to be outmoded and irrelevant to modern life, is regarded by many Chinese as the absolute key to a successful, peaceful, powerful modern China in the future.

This is not to defend the Chinese Communist government over the years and its disastrously bad policies, the genocide under Mao Tse Tung in China and Tibet more than fifty million people, the  "gendercide"  of a hundred million baby girls through forced abortion which is now causing great social instability because young men with no women to marry take to rampaging and kidnapping through the countryside and its violent suppression of political opponents and its complicity in the harvesting of organs of executed prisoners.

But what is happening among Chinese intellectuals is fascinating.  Akima says

But another factor has been a very open-minded approach by many Chinese intellectuals into such phenomena as the remarkable historical primacy of Western civilization around the world. How could this happen? What were the core principles of Western civilization that enabled it, time and again, to correct itself rather than plunge into cyclical and eventually permanent decline? Many concluded that it was Christian ethics and the dynamism of a faith based on a profound hope in the future and a belief that history was not cyclical, as Buddhism and even Confucianism proclaimed, but linear, and with a specific end goal.
At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.

How the West Was Won

"To sum up: the rise of the West was based on four primary victories of reason. The first was the development of faith in progress within Christian theology. The second victory was the way that faith in progress translated into technical and organizational innovations, many of them fostered by monastic estates. The third was that, thanks to Christian theology, reason informed both political philosophy and practice to the extent that responsive states, sustaining a substantial degree of personal freedom, appeared in medieval Europe. The final victory involved the application of reason to commerce, resulting in the development of capitalism within the safe havens provided by responsive states. These were the victories by which the West won."
Rodney Stark, The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success (Random House, 2005)  via Paragraph Farmer

Today, almost alone, Pope Benedict XVI, argues for a return to the vital source that made Europe great, A Revolution of Love is Necessary

It is an exacting challenge. The times we are living in place us before great and complex problems, and the social question has become, at the same time, an anthropological question. The ideological paradigms have collapsed that pretended, in the recent past, to be the "scientific" answer to this question. The spread of a confused cultural relativism and of utilitarian and hedonist individualism weakens democracy and fosters the dominance of the strong powers. A genuine political wisdom must be recovered and reinvigorated; to be exacting in what refers to one's own competence; to make critical use of the research of human sciences; to address reality in all its aspects, going beyond all ideological reductionism or utopian pretension; to show oneself open to all true dialogue and collaboration, keeping in mind that politics is also a complex art of balance between ideals and interests, but without ever forgetting that the contribution of Christians is decisive only if the intelligence of the faith becomes intelligence of the reality, key of judgment and of transformation. A real "revolution of love" is necessary.

More from the Holy Father as he reflects on the "priceless cultural and artistic heritage" of Christianity
"Modern culture, particularly in Europe, runs the risk of amnesia, of forgetting and thus abandoning the extraordinary heritage aroused and inspired by Christian faith, which is the essential framework of the culture of Europe, and not only of Europe. The Christian roots of the continent are, in fact, made up not only of religious life and the witness of so many generation of believers, but also of the priceless cultural and artistic heritage which is the pride and precious resource of the peoples and countries in which Christian faith, in its various expressions, has entered into dialogue with culture and the arts".

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:50 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

May 17, 2010

The Bonfire of the Liberties

Mark Steyn, A slow-burn bonfire of liberties in broken Britain.

The other “defining moment” got less coverage. Another “pensioner,” 74-year-old Roy Newman, got sick of the various party hacks knocking on his door and put a sign up in his front window: “GET THE LOT OUT.” Ninety minutes later, two police officers arrived at his home to arrest him for “racism.”

Racism? Why, yes. His sign was a piece of white card with red and blue lettering. Red-white-and-blue, geddit? The colours of the Union Jack. If using the same colour scheme as the national flag isn’t coded racism, I don’t know what is. Mr. Newman was prevailed upon to alter some of the letters to yellow, thereby diminishing the racist subtext.

With bigotry and racism running rampant, it was inevitable that homophobia would raise its ugly head. Dale McAlpine, a practising (wait for it) Christian, was handing out leaflets in the town of Workington and chit-chatting with shoppers when he was arrested on a “public order” charge by police officer Sam Adams (no relation), a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community outreach officer. Mr. McAlpine said homosexuality is a sin. “I’m gay,” said Officer Adams. Well, it’s still a sin, said Mr. McAlpine. So Officer Adams arrested him for causing distress to Officer Adams.

In fairness, I should add that Mr. McAlpine was also arrested for causing distress to members of the public more generally, rather than just the aggrieved gay constable. No member of the public actually complained, but, as Officer Adams pointed out, Mr. McAlpine was talking “in a loud voice” that might be “overheard by others.” And we can’t have that, can we? So he was fingerprinted, DNA-sampled and tossed in the cells for seven hours.

The other day, upholding the sacking of a black Christian for declining to provide “sex therapy lessons” to gay couples, Lord Justice Laws ruled that “law for the protection of a position held purely on religious grounds is irrational, divisive, capricious, arbitrary.
In today’s advanced Western society, there are no absolute rights—for all individual freedoms must be “balanced” against the state’s commitment to “multiculturalism” or “equality” or whatever other modish conceit tickles its fancy.
in the modern era “rights” are baubles in the state’s gift, and the sovereign confers them at the expense of individual liberty. Truly, this is an Orwellian assault on the very foundations of freedom.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:17 PM | Permalink

May 13, 2010

Forced Sterilization in the West

If you thought only women in China were forcibly sterilized by the government, then read this story from the London Times.

Doctors sterilize Uzbek women

WHEN her baby died soon after delivery, Gulbahor Zavidova, 28, a poor farmer’s wife, longed to be pregnant again. After months of trying she and her husband visited a doctor who told her she could never have another child because she had been sterilised.

The procedure had been performed immediately after she gave birth, by doctors who did not ask her consent. On learning she could not bear children, her husband left her.

“Not a day passes without me crying,” she said. “I was outraged when I found out what they had done. How could they do such a horrible thing without asking me?”

According to human rights groups, tens of thousands of young women like Zavidova have been sterilised without their consent in the authoritarian former Soviet state of Uzbekistan.
Activists say mass sterilisation began in 2003, but was eased after two years following an outcry. It is said to have restarted in February this year, when the health ministry ordered doctors to recommend sterilisation as an “effective contraceptive”. Critics claim every doctor was told to persuade “at least two women” a month to have the procedure. Doctors who failed faced reprisals and fines.

What was most shocking was the complicity of the United States in this forced sterilization campaign.  Apparentlyforced sterilization began much earlier.

The Silence of the Complicit: Uzbekistan's Forced Sterilization and the West's Indifference.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the five former Soviet Central Asian Republics (the “stans:” Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) finally achieved independence. Naturally, the United States was quick to offer a diplomatic relationship with these countries. However, with these diplomatic ties came U.S. foreign aid dollars—and a now-infamous U.S. foreign aid agenda.

In a 1997 report, PRI reported on how USAID quickly made population control their highest priority in all 5 central Asian nations—with a vengeance. USAID’s “assessment team” was sent in to decide what was most needed by the Central Asians, but before they set foot on Asian soil, the assessors had already decided what the answer would be. 

“Predictably,” PRI reported, “the assessment team discovered that there was a critical need for birth limitation and large quantities of contraceptive supplies were required throughout the region again, even though it is one of the least densely populated places on the planet.
As a result of this “investigation,” USAID proceeded to sterilize women. Lots of women. In fact, one USAID report claimed that USAID officials had implanted IUDs (intrauterine devices) in more than one million women in 1991 alone.

Which brings us to this year’s news about massive sterilizations. It seems clear that, even if USAID is no longer directly involved with sterilizing tens of thousands of women, their legacy lives on. It is highly doubtful that a nation like Uzbekistan, emerging from the murk of Soviet oppression and being only lightly populated, would prioritize population control in this way. And yet, it mysteriously continues to do so.
And worse, there is practically no public outcry in the West. Organizations like USAID count on their own silence, and the brevity of the public consciousness, to make these human rights scandals go quietly into the night. Rarely is there any press fanfare, or any collective public outrage.

How many women did not know what had been done to them?  In how many other countries did this happen?

Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:08 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

May 12, 2010

"Why are you striking?" one man said angrily. "You have good jobs."

The best article I've read on the Greek crisis is in Spiegel International, Is It Already Too Late to Save Greece

-Street Protests Greece

Greece has more than five times as many civil servants per capita than the United Kingdom. The country's inflated government apparatus consumes tens of billions of euros a year. It's money the Greek state doesn't have -- and actually never did
In approving the Greek bailout plan, the international community is more intent on saving its own banks than rescuing Greece itself. The Greek government owes €162 billion to foreign banks and private industry worldwide. German banks hold €33 billion in Greek government bonds.

Creditors must surely realize that the loans are no longer collectable, says Ulrich Blum, the president of the Halle Institute for Economic Research in eastern Germany. "The verdict on Greece is already in."
Harsh Measures

In specific terms, the donor nations and the IMF are requiring additional wage cuts for public employees and a further increase in the retirement age from 63 to 65.

In addition, only one-fifth of civil servant positions that become available are to be filled, and the value-added tax will be raised a second time this year, to 23 percent.

Finally, the government will be required to take decisive action against tax evasion, which is practically a national sport in Greece, as well as tackle rampant corruption.

Not Even Competitive in Tourism'

Greece is often described in the media as a trading and service economy, but that is an enormous embellishment. In reality, the country has completed the transition from an agrarian society to a republic of bureaucrats.

The country has no industry to speak of, no products capable of competing in global markets, and no research community that could develop such products for the future. Some 70 percent of the Greek economy is dependent on consumer spending.

'Why Are You Striking?'
At any rate, the situation has changed abruptly for the trade unions, which are spearheading the protests. During the recent general strike, union members were loudly berated by passersby. "Why are you striking?" one man said angrily. "You have good jobs."

'War Against Corruption'

The system operated according to the principle: Once you're in, you're in for good. Government employees were set for life.

Rakintzis isn't just talking about bribes. He also cites the problems of abuse of office, waste and unjust enrichment, corruption and the small financial favors known as fakelaki, the notorious "little envelopes" that speed up service. And he complains about the lack of efficiency in many government agencies, whose reason for existing is sometimes not even clear to members of senior management.

'People Are Tired'

This is why Papandreou wants to see his major municipal reform, dubbed "Kallikratis," approved this summer. Rakintzis has already done the preparatory work for it. The number of municipalities is to be reduced from 1,034 to only 370, and the number of municipal companies to two per municipality. About 6,000 of these institutions still exist today. But that is expected to change. As Rakintzis says, "this is a gigantic step forward and a good new beginning."

The prime minister also wants to mercilessly close government agencies and offices that have no real duties and that make little sense, and that employ staffs of people who do nothing but have been paid for years. The government plans to remain steadfast and to make a clean break with such pointless bureaucracy.

Athens therefore has grand plans. But whether all of this will be sufficient is questionable. There is "a feeling of exhaustion in many parts of society," says economist Jens Bastian. "People are tired." Although that fact will cause protests to die off, in his opinion, he wonders whether an exhausted populace will be able to sort out the huge mess that Greek is in.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:02 AM | Permalink

May 10, 2010

"The twenty-first century is a time of uncertainty, risk, revolution and explosion"

Walter Russell Read says what's going on is A Crisis of Faith Not A Crisis of Stocks

With the world’s financial markets gyrating wildly and the threat of a true depression looming over the still fragile economic recovery, the faith today that seems under the heaviest assault is more modern: the faith that natural and social science would lead humanity to an era of progress, security and peace.

while liberal modernity has succeeded as a way of organizing human society for greater productivity and power, it has failed as a religion.  The rational, liberal enlightenment has helped us master the forces of nature (though events like the oil spill in the Gulf remind us that we still have much to learn in this respect), but it has not done much to help us master ourselves or to shape our destiny.
The twenty-first century is a time of uncertainty, risk, revolution and explosion and unfortunately we are heading into it with some assumptions that look less and less likely.
We like to assume that history is getting calmer, more settled, safer and more predictable.  It ain’t.  history is going to remain radically risky, radically unknowable, and scarier than anything Stephen King ever wrote.
Liberal democratic capitalism is not a strategy for making God unnecessary by creating a stable and predictable world.  Liberal democratic capitalism is a revolutionary force that brings us face to face with the haunting uncertainties and big questions that since the dawn of time have driven people to God in search of answers.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:34 AM | Permalink

April 30, 2010

What the loss of papyrus meant to the West

Things I never knew before.

How Islam Destroyed The Literary Inheritance Of The Classical World  by John O’Neill

The real end of the Classical Age, as increasing numbers of historians are beginning to understand, occurred not in the fifth century, but during the seventh — immediately after the arrival of Islam on the world stage. And it was in the seventh century that Classical Civilization disappeared both from Western Europe and from the Middle East and North Africa.
The first author, as far as I am aware, to identify the true cause of Classical civilizations’s disappearance was Belgian medievalist Henri Pirenne, whose posthumously published Mohammed et Charlemagne (1938), ignited a debate that has not yet come to an end.Pirenne showed that it was the Arab conquest of the Middle East and North Africa, in the seventh century, that marked the real boundary between the world of Classical antiquity and that of the Middle Ages.
The Mediterranean, he showed, previously the world’s main artery of trade, now became a hunting-ground of pirates and slave-traders; and the great cities of the West, of Gaul, Spain, and Italy, whose prosperity was dependent upon the Mediterranean trade, began to die. (It should be noted that the closing of the Mediterranean had little to do with regular warfare, and was rather the result of the Islamic teaching of perpetual war against unbelievers — a teaching which encouraged small-scale actions carried out by individuals and led to a virtual tidal wave of piracy). In Mohammed et Charlemagne, Pirenne documented the sudden disappearance of luxury products of the East which had, until the start of the seventh century, been commonplace in Gaul, Spain and Italy.
Pirenne found that,
from the latter half of the seventh century, Europe became impoverished both culturally and economically with a speed that could only be described as astonishing.
Henri Pirenne noted that one of the products of the East which disappears in the seventh century is papyrus. Until the first quarter of the seventh century, Egyptian papyrus is ubiquitious in the records and documents of western Europe. By the second half of the seventh century it disappears completely, to be replaced by parchment. Now parchment, of course, was immensely expensive in comparison with papyrus, and there can be no doubt that the loss of the papyrus supply would by itself have had a devastating effect upon the state of literacy and literature in Europe. Pirenne himself recognized this, and rightly saw
the disappearance of papyrus from the West as a seminal event in Europe’s history.

 Papyrus Scroll

The one institution in Europe that could save the Classical works was the Church: And we know that, from the middle of the seventh century many monasteries had large collections of the “pagan” authors. Indeed, the great majority of the literature of Greece and Rome that has survived into modern times was preserved by the monks of the sixth and seventh centuries.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:05 PM | Permalink

April 28, 2010

Nasty, brutish and short

"During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that conditions called war; and such a war, as if of every man, against every man.

"To this war of every man against every man, this also in consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law, where no law, no injustice. Force, and fraud, are in war the cardinal virtues.

"No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."

Thomas Hobbes (1568-1679)

It sounds mighty like what Jeffrey Gettleman describes in Africa's Forever Wars

There is a very simple reason why some of Africa's bloodiest, most brutal wars never seem to end: They are not really wars. Not in the traditional sense, at least. The combatants don't have much of an ideology; they don't have clear goals. They couldn't care less about taking over capitals or major cities -- in fact, they prefer the deep bush, where it is far easier to commit crimes. Today's rebels seem especially uninterested in winning converts, content instead to steal other people's children, stick Kalashnikovs or axes in their hands, and make them do the killing. Look closely at some of the continent's most intractable conflicts, from the rebel-laden creeks of the Niger Delta to the inferno in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and this is what you will find.

What we are seeing is the decline of the classic African liberation movement and the proliferation of something else -- something wilder, messier, more violent, and harder to wrap our heads around. If you'd like to call this war, fine. But what is spreading across Africa like a viral pandemic is actually just opportunistic, heavily armed banditry. My job as the New York Times' East Africa bureau chief is to cover news and feature stories in 12 countries. But most of my time is spent immersed in these un-wars.
Most of today's African fighters are not rebels with a cause; they're predators. That's why we see stunning atrocities like eastern Congo's rape epidemic, where armed groups in recent years have sexually assaulted hundreds of thousands of women, often so sadistically that the victims are left incontinent for life. What is the military or political objective of ramming an assault rifle inside a woman and pulling the trigger? Terror has become an end, not just a means.

This is the story across much of Africa, where nearly half of the continent's 53 countries are home to an active conflict or a recently ended one. Quiet places such as Tanzania are the lonely exceptions; even user-friendly, tourist-filled Kenya blew up in 2008. Add together the casualties in just the dozen countries that I cover, and you have a death toll of tens of thousands of civilians each year. More than 5 million have died in Congo alone since 1998, the International Rescue Committee has estimated.
Even if you could coax these men out of their jungle lairs and get them to the negotiating table, there is very little to offer them. They don't want ministries or tracts of land to govern. Their armies are often traumatized children, with experience and skills (if you can call them that) totally unsuited for civilian life. All they want is cash, guns, and a license to rampage. And they've already got all three. How do you negotiate with that?

The short answer is you don't. The only way to stop today's rebels for real is to capture or kill their leaders.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:56 PM | Permalink

April 26, 2010

"This is what decadence looks like"

Ross Douthat has the ultimate skewering of Comedy Central's cowardly decision to self censor South Park because it mentioned the name of Mohammed.

.... But because it’s a reminder that Islam is just about the only place where we draw any lines at all......

There, the standards are established under threat of violence, and accepted out of a mix of self-preservation and self-loathing.
This is what decadence looks like: a frantic coarseness that “bravely” trashes its own values and traditions, and then knuckles under swiftly to totalitarianism and brute force.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:52 AM | Permalink

April 21, 2010

Losing our culture, losing ourselves

A profoundly depressing look at the culture of dependency in two former steel towns, one in Northern England, the other in Wales.

Steel Yourself by Theodore Dalrymple

If anyone doubts the existence or reality of a dependency culture, he should visit one of these two towns. They are East European communist towns with a bit more consumer choice, but not much the better for that, and in some respects worse, in so far as there is less intellectual ferment in them.

The people do not walk so much as trudge, plastic bags hanging from them like heavy fruit. They are grey-faced, bowed-down, prematurely aged, arthritic before their time. An astonishing proportion of them need (or at any rate use) walking sticks from their thirties onwards. Many of them are enormously fat, and one can imagine them completely immobile by the age of sixty. The small children – overwhelmingly illegitimate, of course, for more than half of children born in Britain are now illegitimate, and the poorer the area (except for Indian and Pakistani immigrants) the higher the proportion – are devoid of the sweetness of young childhood, instead having a fixed look of malice on their faces by the age of three. Ferret-faced young men, attired in international ghetto costume, often with a hood, stand around talking to one another, at least a third of their words being ‘fuck’ or one of its cognates. The young women are all highly sexualised without being in the least alluring. Their fate is to have children by more than one of the ferret-faced young men.

Hopelessness, indifference, apathy is everywhere, omnipresent like the gases of the atmosphere. No Indian or African slum has ever affected men in the same way: this is far, far worse. Energy is dissipated before it is expended, as if by some kind of magnetism. The people are not starving – if anything, the problem is th