Saturday, March 31, 2012
The Meaning of Freedom
THE INTERVIEW This week I did an hour-long conversation/interview with Jamie Glazov on his show and we had a great talk about a number of things. The embed is below, if you want to give it a listen.
Listen to internet radio with Radio Jihad Network on Blog Talk Radio
The media is angry. It gets angry whenever it encounters resistance to its narrative. That's what happened with the Trayvon Martin case and Obamacare.
When the media encounters resistance, it runs through its stages
1. Denial - No one but a few loons reject the narrative
2. Anger - How dare they reject the narrative
3. Bargaining - The media starts looking for moderates who will accept some element of the narrative
4. Depression - The media glumly pontificates on a broken America where racism and poor health care will always be issues. Where their narrative remains marginalized among the NPR/New York Times enlightened.
But the fifth stage, Acceptance, never kicks in. The process just repeats itself. The Trayvon Martin case is still locked into Anger mode. ObamaCare is starting to tip slowly toward Bargaining, but is also in Anger mode.
Anger mode happens when the media realizes that the resistance isn't a few people they can ignore, that the resistance is organized, literate, competent and is advancing towards its goal. It takes the media a while to reach this point, but once it does, it jumps into action, plugging its narrative non-stop, searching for any evidence, real or manufactured, to back up its case, and pushing that evidence non-stop.
The facts don't matter, only the survival of the narrative does, because the narrative is a vehicle for policy.
Trayvon Martin isn't about a dead 17 year old, it's about reestablishing racism as the dominant issue in American life, helping to pave the way for Obama's reelection campaign and finding a wedge issue to use against the NRA in order to bring down the Second Amendment.
The media's problem is that it launched the narrative prematurely based on sloppy information, without taking into account minor issues such as Zimmerman's own racial appearance or Martin's problematic backstory. It assumed that the public would uncritically eat up the narrative, the right would be sidelined or made to feel guilty for supporting individual self-defense and the Second Amendment and the narrative would steamroll its way to the 2012 election.
At first they didn't know how to deal with the blowback, now they're stuck having to fight to defend their narrative to the death.
The ObamaCare Mandate is even more problematic, because it's unpopular with the general public and not that popular even on the left. Administration authoritarianism made it seem acceptable, but that was an illusion and now that illusion is suffering a severe attack.
The left had counted on Scalia's authoritarian side, or what they thought was his authoritarian side, to pull this off for them. When they realized it wasn't going to happen, he became their first target. In Anger mode, when the left realizes that it is losing, it begins lashing out at those it blames for its defeat, whether it's Verrilli or Scalia. It's rarely capable of understanding why it lost, instead it reaches for personal attacks.
THE MEANING OF FREEDOM
The left does not really care about the Mandate, except as a vehicle for their policies. The media defends the Mandate, because it's defending national health care. This kind of cynicism leads to intellectual laziness and senseless arguments.
Instead of thinking through the objections from the other side, the left has wasted its energies on ridiculing the opposition. It can't rationally defend the Mandate from a Constitutional standpoint, for one thing it doesn't believe in the Constitution, it hardly speaks a common language with the more conservative Justices who do.
And that is the real problem with Verrilli, who could have done an excellent job explaining the social utility of the Mandate, but like his boss, is not very good at fitting the whole thing into an existing legal framework that prioritizes freedom over government power. Verrilli was a poor choice, but he was an inevitable choice by an administration that thought the Mandate was a good idea to begin with.
It's hard to make legal arguments when you don't share a legal framework or a cultural one. Kennedy uncomfortably dangles between the new court of liberals who no longer care about the law, only about making law, and the conservatives pushing back to the original document. He is out of step with Kagan and the Wise Latina who see the argument in terms of what is socially beneficial, not in relation to the limits of the law.
Slate's legal analyst Dalia Lithwick demonstrates the basic incomprehension when she writes that it's a choice between freedom from being forced to buy health insurance or freedom from free medical treatment.
Even people who support President Obama’s signature legislative achievement would agree that this debate is all about freedom—the freedom to never be one medical emergency away from economic ruin. What we have been waiting to hear is how members of the Supreme Court—especially the conservative majority—define that freedom. This morning as the justices pondered whether the individual mandate—that part of the Affordable Care Act that requires most Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty—is constitutional, we got a window into the freedom some of the justices long for.
Freedom is to be free from the telephone. Verrilli explains that “telephone rates in this country for a century were set via the exercise of the commerce power in a way in which some people paid rates that were much higher than their costs in order to subsidize.” To which Justice Scalia is again ready with a quick retort: “Only if you make phone calls.” Verrilli tries to point out that “to live in the modern world, everybody needs a telephone,”
And that's really where the gap kicks in, isn't it.
Lithwick uses the word "freedom" without having any idea of its meaning. To her, free health care is a form of freedom because it liberates you from a dangerous situation. On the other hand the freedom not to buy health insurance is a dumb kind of freedom because it only frees you to be in danger of not having health care.
It's a wonder the ACLU still exists because most on the left no longer understand the meaning of freedom, they can't separate it from government intervention or view it as a thing apart from government intervention, except during brief periods when Republicans are in office and then everything is an attack on their 'freedom'.
The gap here is cultural. Generations of the left view the government as the fundamental core of modern life. Any limitation on its power to dispense social benefits is dangerous to what they define as freedom, which is really subsidized personal autonomy... which is limited by the same government mechanisms that enable it.
So too the religious freedom vs subsidized birth control products runs into the same wall. But their idea of collectively distributed products and services that make personal autonomy possible is not freedom, it's feudalism. And that's what the Mandate debate is really about.
The Constitution was there to provide freedom from authority, to place limits on the power of central government. That is the "dark time" that Lithwick fears we will be dragged back to. For those who define freedom in terms of government mandated benefits, who believe in a subsidized autonomy, that is indeed a terrifying thing.
ObamaCare opponents and Lithwick both fear losing their freedom. But the opponents define freedom as restraint of government power. Lithwick defines freedom as government power to impose such obligations on society that will provide the appropriate social welfare benefits for those who need it.
That gap is unbridgeable and mutually incomprehensible. When you can't agree on what freedom is, then there is nothing at all to talk about.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said French Muslims were clearly not responsible for the acts of a madman... He ridiculed Le Pen's parallel between the killer and immigration, pointing out that Merah was born and raised in France.
Clearly immigration has nothing to do with this.
Sure daddy dearest, Benalen Merah, lives in Algeria, and is suing France for the crime of shooting a proud Muslim Jihadist. And sonny was a second-generation immigrant, which clearly means that immigration has nothing to do with this.
One might ask how did France fill up with Muslims if not through immigration, but hasn't Sarkozy already assured us that Islam has nothing to do with this?
Mohamed Merah isn't Muslim or an immigrant. He's just one of those ordinary French youth who are angry over things. Nothing to see here. Everyone move along.
Sarkozy is busy pandering, promising anti-terrorism and anti-Imam measures that will go nowhere when he is reelected, just as they went nowhere last time. The architects of tolerance are organizing Jewish-Muslim marches and the media is worrying that there might be another backlash against Muslims.
BOYCOTTER OF ISRAEL NOW ALSO BOYCOTTING OXYGEN
Adrienne Rich, who called for compulsory lesbianism for women and the destruction of Israel, has expanded her boycott of the Jewish State beyond the Jews and into oxygen, which she believed was tainted by Zionism and Heterosexuality.
Rich's courageous commitment to refusing to breathe has been praised by BDS activists who have rallied to her in the wake of the Battle of the Park Slope Coop defeat. While Rich's decision to boycott Zionist and Heteronormative American Imperial oxygen has led to her passing from this plane to a wondrous realm of Muslim lesbians, thus preventing her from participating in the next Gaza flotilla, she has been praised for remaining true to her principles of hating Jews, men, women and koala bears.
Adrienne Rich leaves behind a final poem summing up her existence.
Like Zionism hives hatching
Patriarchal somo-dominance of integrity
Birds shriek into a hurricane
Lesbian Palestine I embrace you
Truth is dangling from
Renounce Amerikkkan-Oxygen for
SENATOR EMBARKS ON COURAGEOUS SEARCH FOR FAIRIES
"I'm deeply concerned about the possibility of an escalation of tensions and the occurrence of more confrontations and demonstrations [in Egypt]," said McCain. "However, the more important question is whether the Muslim Brotherhood will adopt a moderate approach, or if some of its extremist members will be directing the constitution-drafting process and the [presidential] elections."
I certainly hope none of those "extremist" members of the Brotherhood will try to make the Constitution go Islamist.
IN YOUR FAT FACE
A new poll finds most New Jersey residents support the secret monitoring of Muslim groups by the New York Police Department, though that sentiment isn't as strong in Hudson and Essex counties.
What no word from Passaic County?
Will this stop Christie from shamelessly pandering to Muslims by bashing the NYPD? I wouldn't count on it, but if he's serious about going for the White House in 2016, he might want to tone it down a bit. This isn't the Democratic Party after all.
HATE IS A MUSLIM CIVIL RIGHT
Non-Muslims should not question a planned seminar on “the threat of Christianisation” to Islam as the Federal Constitution empowered Muslims to organise such events, a conservative pressure group asserted today.
The Muslim Organisations in Defence of Islam (PEMBELA) defended the event jointly organised by the Johor state education and mufti departments, saying that opposition towards the event meant questioning guaranteed Muslim rights.
So can we get an investigation of Muslim Christianophobia? Oh and this is Malaysia. And events like this are a preliminary to what we might call Hate Crimes, but over there is just called Muslims being angry about things and then burning them down.
COMING UP, THE GIRL SCOUT BURQA
The Scouts have developed the first uniform for Muslim girls as the organisation seeks to attract children from different cultures. Figures show there are around 2000 Muslim Scouts in Britain in 40 groups which have a predominantly Muslim membership. Worldwide about one in three Scouts are now said to be Muslim.
Bear Grylls, the Chief Scout, said the movement was proud of its diverse range of nationalities.
“With this new clothing range Scouting is continuing to move with the times and adapt to the growing number of people from different communities who are choosing to be a part of the Movement,” he said
But what will the nature of this movement end up being when it becomes Muslim?
1. KILL PEOPLE 2. GET MONEY 3. PROFIT 4. ALLAH AKBAR
The United States said Thursday it wanted to step up development assistance to Nigeria's restive Muslim-majority north as it urged the Abuja government to address grievances underlying violence.
Carson, while voicing concern about Boko Haram, said that Nigeria's federal government needed to address "the underlying political and socio-economic problems in the north" to prevent extremism.
"The government must also promote respect for human rights by its security forces, whose heavy-handed tactics and extra-judicial killings reinforce the belief that Abuja is insensitive to the concerns of the north," he said.
Carson said that the State Department took Boko Haram's potential threat to the United States "very seriously" but indicated that he opposed a terrorist designation.
Carson said that despite "reports of episodic contact" between Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda, the Nigerian group was not "monolithic." Carson also dismissed assessments that religion was the primary driver of the violence.
"As Boko Haram is focused primarily on local Nigerian issues and actors, they respond principally to political and security developments within Nigeria," Carson said.
There isn't even any point in talking about treason. Is it even treason anymore when it becomes the norm, when it's reflected universally in government policy?
FOLLOW THE MONEY
The Society won approval in high places. The Vatican counted it among its partners in Christian-Muslim dialogue and both Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict received its secretary general. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the world's Anglicans, visited the campus in 2009 to deliver a lecture. The following year, the U.S. State Department noted approvingly how the Society had helped Filipino Christian migrant workers start a church in Libya.
But the Society had a darker side that occasionally flashed into view. In Africa, rumors abounded for years of Society staffers paying off local politicians or supporting insurgent groups. In 2004, an American Muslim leader was convicted of a plot to assassinate the Saudi crown prince, financed in part by the Society. In 2011, Canada stripped the local Society office of its charity status after it found the director had diverted Society money to a radical group that had attempted a coup in Trinidad and Tobago in 1990 and was linked to a plot to bomb New York's Kennedy Airport in 2007.
Yet Libya's new leaders, the same ones who fought bitterly to overthrow Gaddafi and dismantle his 42-year dictatorship, are unanimous in wanting to preserve the WICS. They say they can disentangle its religious work from the dirty tricks it played and retain the Society as a legitimate religious charity - and an instrument of soft power for oil-rich Libya.
"There are still some loose ends in the Islamic Call Society in Africa," said Noman Benotman, a former member of an al-Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamist group who now works on deradicalization of jihadists at the Quilliam Foundation in London.
"They still have a lot of money going around through these channels that used to belong to the Islamic Call Society," he said. "Huge amounts of money are involved. I think we're talking about one to two billion dollars."
Ah, but the real question is whether that money is going to Boko Haram or Capitol Hill.
WE ARE ALL HOODIE WEARERS NOW
In the spirit of racial harmony, I have, for several days now, been thinking that I have to stop dressing like a white man and get with the Hoodie program. After all, isn't it better that we all learn, like Reginald Denny to "just get along?" (Or was it Rodney King? So hard to remember all the post-racial celebrities, isn't it?) Isn't it also safer for WASPs to Africanize now that we live in a nation where very marginal, very demented, and very repulsive groups such as the "New" Black Panthers can offer bounties on the head of anyone they dislike because of the color of his skin? Do I really need a weatherman to know which way their skin blows?
GAS GOUGING ON WHEELS
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wrapped up her San Francisco holiday weekend Monday with a blast at President Bush. The topic -- the price of oil. Gasoline has more than doubled since the Bush administration took office she says.
San Francisco's Meals on Wheels turns out more than 1,300 meals a day to seniors. But now there has been a dramatic rise in expenses.
"Our costs have gone up 40 percent, but even more so, the indirect costs of driving food costs is really taking a big hit on us. Almost a nine percent increase in food costs in just one year," says Ashley McCumber of Meals on Wheels.
McCumber joined Speaker Pelosi Monday to dramatize the tough times businesses are having because of fuel costs. The speaker blames what she labels the Bush-Cheney big oil agenda, using graphics to point out gasoline prices have more than doubled in the Bush administration.
Republicans should take a lesson, and seek out the current opinions at Meals on Wheels, Boys and Girls clubs, from small businessmen, caregivers and volunteers.
I doubt McCumber will show up to this one, but it's still a good idea.
AND NOW WE WANT IT BACK
"A day doesn’t go by that some Republican candidate, leader or otherwise shouts “we want our country back.”
We do want it back. You borrowed it, you broke it, and you weren't even decent enough to leave a note on the windshield. And if 2010 was any indication, we are well on the way to achieving that goal.
A response to a liberal. From Gary's Bear to the Right blog and you can find the soundtrack to that at Western Rifle Shooters.
A GOOD MUSLIM JUDGE MUST...
A Muslim judge too, according to the document, “must in his heart hate the man-made law”:
"He must also do everything in his power to enact laws that allow the Muslims to practice their Shari’a. He must keep it in his mind that he was not permitted to take this job except to serve Islam and Muslims. He must also… judge by the rulings of the Shari’a as much as possible, even if by a ruse."
So a Muslim judge is allowed to participate in the infidel system of justice only to serve Islam and fellow Muslims, not everyone who comes before his bench without discrimination, and he must rule as much as possible according to the dictates of sharia without attracting undue attention to his true intentions and loyalty.
Watch for this to really begin taking off. See details in Mark Tapson's article on Sharia subverting the legal system.
HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG TO MARRY?
We're down to five year olds in the UK now. Not Saudi Arabia, the UK. See Pamela Geller.
The shocking revelations have come to light as a public consultation into criminalising forced marriage ends. Amy Cumming, joint head of the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), told the BBC that more than a quarter - 29 per cent - of the cases it handled in 2011-12 involved minors.
She said: 'The youngest of these was actually five-years-old, so there are children involved in the practice across the school age range.'
Looks like Jesus from The Big Lebowsky should actually have been named Mohamed.
..The cost of an average family premium shot up 9.5% in 2011 — the highest rate in seven years and three times the rate of overall inflation, finds a major new survey of employer plans by Kaiser Family Foundation.
Kaiser attributes the premium spike to "changes from the new health reform law." The 200-page study explains: "Significant percentages of firms made changes in their preventive care benefits and enrolled adult children in their benefits plans in response to provisions in the new health reform law."
If we just reform health care some more, maybe no one will be able to afford it anymore at all. Except for the carefully rationed government kind. Did someone say Death Panels? Nah.
STUPID IS AS STUPID MISQUOTES
Whenever the usual useful idiots want to denounce me to the politically correct politburo, they reach for a carefully selected quote winnowed by a Muslim writer who had done work for Iranian and Saudi outlets.
This is the quote they select.
‘We would have to be willing to kill millions, directly or indirectly, while maintaining an alliance that would defy Russia, China and the First World nations that would accuse us of genocide. The real name for this war might well turn out to be World War III. It would take a Churchill or a Roosevelt to launch something like that…
What they carefully do is leave out a minor thing called context. Here's the opening paragraph of that piece.
Islamic Terrorism has become to the early 21st century, what Communism was to the late 20th century, the ultimate existential threat that the civilized world was forced to grapple with. In this article I will take a look at a few of the existing approaches, and their pros and cons, for winning the War on Terror.
The paragraph about having to kill millions that keeps getting quoted, that was listed under Cons. For the morbidly progressive, "cons" are a reason not to do something. Not a reason to do it.
Here's the entire paragraph that is carefully trimmed in these denunciations.
Cons: We would have to be willing to kill millions, directly or indirectly, while maintaining an alliance that would defy Russia, China and the First World nations that would accuse us of genocide. The real name for this war might well turn out to be World War III. It would take a Churchill or a Roosevelt to launch something like that, and while the world would be radically different afterward, it might well turn out to be radioactively different too.
What a difference a few words make.