Friday, August 27, 2010

California & The Public Sector Unions

Gov. Schwarzenegger writes today in the Wall St. Journal about the depths of the economic problems facing California and how the devil's pact between the left and public sector unions are destroying the state. The graphs above are mind numbing. All of the economic pain in California is being felt by the private sector while the public sector is propped up and threatens to bankrupt the state with its rapaciousness. If there was ever a poster child for the evils of public sector unions, California is it. This from Gov. Schwarzenegger:

. . . As former Speaker of the State Assembly and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown pointed out earlier this year in the San Francisco Chronicle, roughly 80 cents of every government dollar in California goes to employee compensation and benefits. Those costs have been rising fast. Spending on California's state employees over the past decade rose at nearly three times the rate our revenues grew, crowding out programs of great importance to our citizens. Neglected priorities include higher education, environmental protection, parks and recreation, and more.

Much bigger increases in employee costs are on the horizon. Thanks to huge unfunded pension and retirement health-care promises granted by past governments, and also to deceptive pension-fund accounting that understated liabilities and overstated future investment returns, California is now saddled with $550 billion of retirement debt.

The cost of servicing that debt has grown at a rate of more than 15% annually over the last decade. This year, retirement benefits—more than $6 billion—will exceed what the state is spending on higher education. Next year, retirement costs will rise another 15%. In fact, they are destined to grow so much faster than state revenues that they threaten to suck up the money for every other program in the state budget. (See the nearby chart.)

I've held a stricter line on government employment and salary increases than any governor in the modern era (overall year-to-year spending has increased just 1.4% on my watch). Nevertheless, employee costs will keep marching upwards because of pension promises, and they will never stop doing so until we get reform.

At the same time that government-employee costs have been climbing, the private-sector workers whose taxes pay for them have been hurting. Since 2007, one million private jobs have been lost in California. Median incomes of workers in the state's private sector have stagnated for more than a decade. To make matters worse, the retirement accounts of those workers in California have declined. The average 401(k) is down nationally nearly 20% since 2007. Meanwhile, the defined benefit retirement plans of government employees—for which private-sector workers are on the hook—have risen in value.

Few Californians in the private sector have $1 million in savings, but that's effectively the retirement account they guarantee to public employees who opt to retire at age 55 and are entitled to a monthly, inflation-protected check of $3,000 for the rest of their lives.

In 2003, just before I became governor, the state assembly even passed a law permitting government employees to purchase additional taxpayer-guaranteed, high-yielding retirement annuities at a discount—adding even more retirement debt. It's as if Sacramento legislators don't want a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of the employees, by the employees, and for the employees.

For years I've asked state legislators to stop adding to retirement debt. They have refused. Now the Democratic leadership of the assembly proposes to raise the tax and debt burdens on private employees in order to cover rising public-employee compensation.

But what will they do next year when those compensation costs grow 15% more? And the year after that when they've risen again? And 10 years from now, when retirement costs have reached nearly $30 billion per year? That's where government-employee retirement costs are headed even with the pension reforms I'm demanding. Imagine where they're headed without reform. . . .

I am under no illusion about the difficulty of my task. Government-employee unions are the most powerful political forces in our state and largely control Democratic legislators. But for the future of our state, no task is more important.


The Left's Next Weapon of Economic Destruction


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Watcher's Council Business

Each week, the members of the Watcher's Council nominate one of their own posts and a second from outside the Council for consideration by other council members in a contest for best post. The Watcher publishes the results each Friday morning.

There is an opening on the Council. If you are interested in joining, or if you would simply like to nominate one of your posts for consideration in the Non-Council category, you can find out how at the Watcher's site.

Before announcing this weeks nominations, I need to note last week's winners. The winner in the Council category was The Razor for his post, The Rage Beneath The Surface. In the Non-Council category, the winner was Pascal Bruckner at City Journal for his article, Europe’s Guilty Conscience. You can find the full results of the voting here.

As always, this week's nominations present an eclectic mix of thought-provoking reading.

Do enjoy them all:

Council Nominations

The Colossus of Rhodey – Same situation, less tolerance

Right Truth - The Expendables Works

Wolf Howling - Victory In Iraq

VA Right – Republican Best Case Scenario: 53 Seats in US Senate

The Razor – Tolerating Intolerance

Snapped Shot – Celebrating Ramadan in Kashmir

The Glittering Eye – Putting Humpty Together

Rhymes With Right – The Tension Of Two Visions Of America

Bookworm Room – Cruisin’

Joshuapundit - Islamophobia?

Non – Council Submissions

Buckhorn Road – Hey, Union soldier! What have you done for me lately? – submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey

Counterterrorism Blog, James Gordon Meek – The Real Truth About Al Qaeda in Afghanistan submitted by Right Truth

Pajamas Media – A Patriotic Muslim’s Warning on Ground Zero Mosque submitted by Wolf Howling

Disrupt the Narrative – NRA Preps Members for Unpopular & Unwise Harry Reid Endorsement submitted by VA Right

The Phyllis Chesler Organization - Is Time A Muslim Magazine? submitted by The Razor

Cranach: The Blog of Veith – A classical musician on heavy-metal singers submitted by Snapped Shot

American Thinker – Iraq: the War That Broke Us—Not - submitted by The Glittering Eye

Gateway Pundit – Religious Freedom, Property Rights vs. Government Control – submitted by Rhymes With Right

Right Wing News – Why Right Wing News is sponsoring HomoCon submitted by Bookworm Room

Tammy Bruce – Patriots Demonstrate Against GZ Mosque; Little Daisy Whines – submitted by Joshuapundit

Adam’s Zionist Journey – The Guardian’s Jewish Defamers of Israel, and A Letter To My Teenage Nephew submitted by The Watcher

Legal Insurrection – Gazanitive Dissonance submitted by The Watcher


Ken Mehlman Comes Out Of The Closet

Former RNC Chairman and Bush campaign manager, Ken Mehlman has come out of the closet. Apparently, he was one of the last to realize that he was gay. Daniel Blatt of Gay Patriot observes that Mellman is Republican, Jewish and good looking. His only question, "is he single?" Heh. Go get 'em, tiger.


The Progress Of Islamic Conquest

. . . [T]he Arabs and the Turks . . . spread Islam by the sword during the greatest imperialistic expansion in our world's history. They spent centuries laying waste to mostly Christian lands and installing Islam and Arab/Turkish rule in its stead. The Arabs made conquest of the entire Middle East, all of North Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan, much of Spain and parts of Italy, with forays into France. The Turks did the same in Byzantium, Greece, and the Balkans, until finally beaten back at the gates of Vienna, Austria. And these colonizers never left of their own free will. Together the Arabs and the Turks are leagues beyond Britain in the breadth of their expansion and colonialism. Nor, with hindsight, can we say that their colonization was in any way benign.

Thoughts On Britain, Colonialism & Multiculturalism, 14 April 2010

For Islamic supremacists, the war to spread Islam by the sword has never ended. It began with the birth of Islam and has only been temporarily interrupted by stout defenses of Christians in France (Battle of Tours, 732 A.D.), Spain (The Reconquista, completed in 1492) and later Austria (Battle of Vienna, 1683). Since then, only European military supriority has put a stop to the wars, though the predations of Islamists continued for several centuries after the 1683 Battle of Vienna. Indeed, America's first and longest war was against the Barbary Pirates who, as Thomas Jefferson recorded after meeting with an envoy from the Barbary states, justified their actions on Koranic verses which provided that "that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave." That, by the way, is a doctrine still taught in Saudi funded schools and madrassas around the world, including in the U.S.

Islam is a religion that has yet to go through a period of reformation or enlightenment. In many cases, it retains all the militancy present in its 7th century founding. The only two things that have changed in the modern era are, one, the tactics used by Islamic supremacits to conduct the conquests and two, the death of Christianity in Europe and, along with it, the will to withstand the modern efforts at Islamic conquest. At Bookworm Room, there is an exceptional essay sent to her by e-mail that discusses, quite accurately, the effect of Islam in the countries that it is inhabiting and colonizing today:

As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:

United States — Muslim 0..6%
Australia — Muslim 1.5%
Canada — Muslim 1.9%
China — Muslim 1.8%
Italy — Muslim 1.5%
Norway — Muslim 1.8%

At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in:

Denmark — Muslim 2%
Germany — Muslim 3.7%
United Kingdom — Muslim 2.7%
Spain — Muslim 4%
Thailand — Muslim 4.6%

From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply. This is occurring in:

France — Muslim 8%
Philippines — 5%
Sweden — Muslim 5%
Switzerland — Muslim 4.3%
The Netherlands — Muslim 5.5%
Trinidad & Tobago — Muslim 5.8%

At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world.

When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris , we are already seeing car-burnings. In Russia, grade-schools were attacked. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam, with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections, in:

Guyana — Muslim 10%
India — Muslim 13.4%
Israel — Muslim 16%
Kenya — Muslim 10%
Russia — Muslim 15%

After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in:

Ethiopia — Muslim 32.8%

At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, such as in:

Bosnia — Muslim 40%
Chad — Muslim 53.1%
Lebanon — Muslim 59.7%

From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels, such as in:

Albania — Muslim 70%
Malaysia — Muslim 60.4%
Qatar — Muslim 77.5%
Sudan — Muslim 70%

After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, beheadings, stoning, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and in some ways is on-going in:

Bangladesh — Muslim 83%
Egypt — Muslim 90%
Gaza — Muslim 98.7%
Indonesia — Muslim 86.1%
Iran — Muslim 98%
Iraq — Muslim 97%
Jordan — Muslim 92%
Morocco — Muslim 98.7%
Pakistan — Muslim 97%
Palestine — Muslim 99%
Syria — Muslim 90%
Tajikistan — Muslim 90%
Turkey — Muslim 99.8%
United Arab Emirates — Muslim 96%

Do read the whole post for it contains more than the essay I have quoted.

As I have said countless times, there is a war on today for the heart and soul of Islam. There are those who would reform their religion, and those who wish to keep it mired in the millenia old cement of the past, when Islam was at the height of its wars of conquest. Obama is coming down on the wrong side of this divide.


Obama Prostrates America Before The UN Human Rights Council

Before getting to the meat of this story, you need to understand that the UN Human Rights Council is a travesty of grotesque proportions. Indeed, it is the poster child for why the US needs to stop participating in the UN and create an alternative of free countries.

Under Bush, the U.S. refused to participate in this utter joke. But the Obama administration decided to embrace the council.

The UN Human Rights Council has become nothing more than a propaganda tool of Middle East dictatorships who dominate the 47-member body. The near sole focus of its condemnation has been, for years, Israel. (Indeed, on that note, I would recommend you visit Soccer Dad and read his entries for the infamous Goldstone Report.)

When not condemning Israel, the UN Human Rights Council condemns the U.S.. Its other major work has been to work towards a blasphemy law that would make criticism of Islam a violation of human rights. Could there possibly be a more wrong-headed and dangerous policy? The members of the Council include or have included such stalwart protectors of human rights as Iran, Pakistan, Libya, Cuba, and China.

This speech to the UN Human Rights Council by the Executive Director of UN Watch sums up most of what is wrong with the Human Rights Council:

And now, Obama has chosen not to merely join the UN Human Rights Council, but to prostrate our nation before this scurrilous body and claim that the US is a human rights abuser:

The Obama administration has told the United Nations that America's human rights record is less than perfect while stressing that the U.S. political system has built-in safeguards that promote improvements.

In its first-ever report to the U.N. Human Rights Council on conditions in the United States, the State Department said some minorities are still victims of discrimination. Despite progress in reforming past unfair policies and practices, the report said "work remains to meet our goal of ensuring equality before the law for all."

You can find the 27 page report here. Most of the report reads like an Obama campaign speech. That said, it includes, for example:

We are not satisfied with a situation where the unemployment rate for African Americans is 15.8%, for Hispanics 12.4%, and for whites 8.8%, as it was in February 2010. We are not satisfied that a person with disabilities is only one fourth as likely to be employed as a person without disabilities. We are not satisfied when fewer than half of African-American and Hispanic families own homes while three quarters of white families do. We are not satisfied that whites are twice as likely as Native Americans to have a college degree. The United States continues to address such disparities by working to ensure that equal opportunity is not only guaranteed in law but experienced in fact by all Americans.

Obviously the only reason for the disparity can be rampant discrimination. And thus, the only answer can be punitive race based social engineering. As an aside, if you don't understand why we are in the economic meltdown that we are today, it is staring you in the face.

At any rate, what will happen now with this report is described by ImpeachObama:

The national report is but the first step of the international government’s review process. On November 5, the United States will be examined by a troika of UN bureaucrats from France, Japan, and Cameroon (an oppressive nation which is a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference). This trio will consider three items: Obama’s self-flagellating report, reports written about America by UN tribunals or international governing bodies, and testimony from NGOs with a pronounced anti-American bias. It will also consider “voluntary pledges and commitments made by the State,” such as suspending an Arizona state law.

Then the French, Japanese, and Cameroon diplomats will draw up a plan of action for the United States to implement.

Nations are re-examined every four years. The Human Rights Council looks for voluntary compliance. However, its website asserts, “The Human Rights Council will decide on the measures it would need to take in case of persistent non-cooperation by a State with the” World Body.

We are the freest and "least racist" country on the face of this earth. And now Obama is subjecting our nation to review by one of the most corrupt bodies on the world stage. Would Obama have done anything differently if his explicit goal was to hurt the standing of the U.S. and play into the hands of the world's worst human rights abusers?


Scary Movie

The video below, from Rep. Whip Eric Cantor, documents our left-led decent into fiscal insanity, from day one of the Obama administration to today.

(H/T Dr. Sanity)


Obama's Ridiculous Economic Meme

The biggest lie told over the past century is that the Democratic left are better stewards of the economy than Conservatives. It worked to in 2008. And Obama is trying to sell to America that the right "can't be trusted" to control our economy as "Bush got us into this mess." As proof thereof, he cites to deregulation and "Wall St. greed."

We are now stuck with a President who believes that the profit motive is immoral, that businesses should be soaked of their wealth for redistribution, and that the economy can be successfully micromanaged from Washington. And we are stuck with a far left Congress that is the most profligate of all time.

The truth is that our economy fell apart because of social engineering by Democrats. Over a roughly 15 year period, they ruined our credit rating scheme as part and parcel of a massive push for "affordable housing." Instead of pursuing this laudable goal by market-based programs, they did so by means of punitive, race based social engineering. At every turn, they used the race card to protect the scheme. And in the end, they created a bubble with Fannie and Freddie that got so big that when it burst, it took our economy into the tank.

So either Obama is lying about all of this, or the right is. How can you possibly know which is which? It's easy.

If the Democrats were actually right, then their solutions to our ailing economy would have worked. Instead, the opposite has occurred. They have used our economic crisis to engage in even more social engineering between healthcare, labor regulations, massive favortism to unions, and new financial regulations. And our economy is on life support. It in serious trouble. Real unemployment is well into double digits and shows no sign of easing. Yesterday's housing report on sales of new and existing homes was the worst in well over a decade. Every day, we are accruing debt at record levels. CNBC reported today that, according to at least one respected economist, we are now in a depression. Indeed, the word incompetent doesn't begin to describe this President and Congress.

This today from John Strossel discusses the current economic situation:

Why isn't the economy recovering? After previous recessions, unemployment didn't get stuck at close to 10 percent. If left alone, the economy can and does heal itself, as the mistakes of the previous inflationary boom are corrected.

The problem today is that the economy is not being left alone. Instead, it is haunted by uncertainty on a hundred fronts. When rules are unintelligible and unpredictable, when new workers are potential threats because of Labor Department regulations, businesses have little confidence to hire. President Obama's vaunted legislative record not only left entrepreneurs with the burden of bigger government, it also makes it impossible for them to accurately estimate the new burden.

In at least three big areas -- health insurance, financial regulation and taxes -- no one can know what will happen.

New intrusive rules for health insurance are yet to be written, and those rules will affect hiring, since most health insurance is provided by employers.

Thanks to the new 2,300 page Dodd-Frank finance regulatory act, The Wall Street Journal reports, there will be "no fewer than 243 new formal rule-makings by 11 different federal agencies." These as-yet unknown rules will govern lending to business and other key financial activity.

The George W. Bush tax cuts might be allowed to expire. But maybe not. Social Security and Medicare are dangerously shaky. Will Congress raise the payroll tax? A "distinguished" deficit commission is meeting. What will it do? Recommend a value-added tax?

Who knows? But few employers will commit to a big investment with those clouds hanging over our heads.

"As much as I might want to hire new salespeople, engineers and marketing staff in an effort to grow, I would be increasing my company's vulnerability to government," Michael Fleischer, president of Bogen Communications Inc., wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

Nothing more effectively freezes business in place than what economist and historian Robert Higgs calls "regime uncertainty."

"(A)ll of these unsettling possibilities and others of substantial significance must give pause to anyone considering a long-term investment, because any one of them has the potential to turn what seems to be a profitable investment into a big loser. In short, investors now face regime uncertainty to an extent that few have experienced in this country -- to find anything comparable, one must go back to the 1930s and 1940s, when the menacing clouds of the New Deal and World War II darkened the economic horizon."

Uncertainty created by Obama's legislative "successes" are comparable to the Depression and World War II? This does not bode well for job growth.

Higgs says: "Unless the government acts soon to resolve the looming uncertainties about the half-dozen greatest threats of policy harm to business, investors will remain for the most part on the sideline ... consuming wealth that might otherwise have been invested."


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do You Speak Jive?

Perhaps the funniest comedy ever written, Airplane, celebrated its 30th birthday a few days ago. It was one of the few movies I paid to see twice in the theatres growing up. I laughed so hard the first time I missed half the jokes.

And on an unrelated note, we learn today from Ironic Surrealism that the DOJ is seeking to hire wire tap translators who speak "ebonics" - i.e., pigeon english spoken by a sub culture of blacks.

Well, then again, perhaps Airplane isn't quite so unrelated after all.


Putting The Popularity Of Our Government In Context

(H/T Instapundit)


The Dregs Of Drudge

Today is a tsunami of horrid news, each deserving of attention but which I do not now have time to blog seperately. Except where noted, all are from Drudge:

Marine General: Obama giving 'sustenance' to Taliban...


'Beat Whitey Night': Iowa police probe racial attacks at state fair...

U.S. Second Fleet in jeopardy as DOD continues to trim budget

CLAIM: Obama's stimulus program cost more than Iraq war...

'Hindenburg Omen' creator exits stock market...

Economy in 'Depression, Not Recession'...

Cramer: 'Very Negative' Trend...

US admits human rights shortcomings in UN report...

Obama's Washington: No Experience Necessary (Hot Air)

RASMUSSEN: Forty-eight percent (48%) of U.S. voters now regard President Obama’s political views as extreme. (Instapundit)

JAMES TARANTO: Suddenly, it’s not “racist” to criticize the president. “Obama was no less black when he took office with very high approval ratings. To the extent that voters have soured on him since then, it is because they have exercised judgment, not yielded to prejudice.” (Instapundit)

Inventing Moderate Islam: It can’t be done without confronting mainstream Islam and its sharia agenda (Andrew McCarthy at NRO)

Cops & Robbers: More Blue Flu courtesy of local public sector unions (NRO)


What It Will Take To Win The War Of Ideas

Aaron Elias, at PJM, has done an article on Muslim reformer Zhudi Jasser in light of the Ground Zero Mosque issue. But the article delves far beyond that into the much larger issue of the war of ideas for the future of Islam, the existential stakes of that war, and how we should, as a nation, be engaging in it. As Jasser notes, we are losing it at the moment.

Jasser's first point is that Islam is not a monolithic entity. Understanding that is the first step America need's to take in order to be able to distinguish its friends in the Muslim community from those who wish, whether by peaceful or violent means, to destroy Western civilization. This is equally as critical for America as it is for Muslims and the future of Islam:

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D., president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), is one of these devout yet patriotic Muslims. A former U.S. Navy lieutenant commander with 11 years of service as a medical officer under his belt, . . .

Jasser founded AIFD in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in order to provide a Muslim American voice that would genuinely advocate and defend the founding principles of the U.S. Constitution. He has taken the fight against radical Islam to heart and sees it as a responsibility of all "true" Muslims. Where many U.S.-based Islamic organizations, such as CAIR and the Islamic Society of North America, claim to support the U.S. Constitution but provide dodgy answers and shoddy excuses for terrorism when the rubber meets the road, Dr. Jasser's AIFD is based on the founding principles of the United States. Where CAIR's rhetoric tends to create a tension between Americans and its Muslim members, the rhetoric of Jasser and AIFD refers to Americans as an "us" and not a "them."

"I have always looked upon myself, long before 9-11, as a Jeffersonian Muslim, if you will," Dr. Jasser answers when asked about his identification as a Muslim. "Along with the ideas of liberty as embodied in the works of our founding fathers, naturally emanating from that is a deep antipathy for Islamism (political Islam), salafism, jihadism, governmental sharia, and the global collectivist movement of the Muslim Brotherhood."

Terms such as "moderate," "secular," and "radical" are innately controversial as any group is able to contort them to mean what they want. For example, Jasser posits, the term "moderate" has become synonymous with being non-violent or anti-terrorism. But this is an oversimplification that blinds Americans to the very political ideologies - which he identifies as "Islamism" - that are the cogs and gears of terrorism.

"I know everyone is looking for an easy label to know the 'good Muslim' from the 'bad Muslim,'" Jasser continues, "but … I believe that the 'anti-Islamist' or at least 'non-Islamist' Muslims are on our side and the pro-Islamist Muslims, those who believe in the Islamic state and governmental sharia, are not on our side but on the side of political Islam."

The issue is far more complex than that as far as Muslims are concerned, as you get into issues of itjihad and Koranic interpretation, etc., but from a non-Muslim perspective, understanding the above concepts would go a long way towards putting America on the proper footing, both to defend itself against the Islamists who threaten the Western world from within and without and to support those Muslims who wish to, in the words of Zhudi Jasser, modernize their faith. Unfortunately, it is in this regards that Bush did a very poor job and Obama is doing an existentially horrendous job.

As I have pointed out many times on this blog, Obama has set America on a full scale retreat from the war of ideas. Obama, treating Islam as a monolithic entity while pretending that the Salafi-Wahhabi ideology practiced by militant jihadists and Muslim Brotherhood alike is not "true" Islam is the most dangeorus and harmful of fantasies. It will create an indiscriminate backlash against Muslims in America and only plays into the narrative of the Islamists who wish to destroy Western civilization. Further, it squanders what is now a true opportunity to influence the outcome of the war of ideas.

And indeed, Mr. Jasser goes on to make the same points in his interview:

Islamists naturally target America because its innate principles allow them to fabricate an external enemy to unify all Muslims, Dr. Jasser goes on. At the Oslo Freedom Forum, Jasser laid out why Americanism and the ideas of liberty are the only weapons against political Islam. He discussed how the Muslim world has become trapped in a war of ideas between secular nationalist fascism (i.e., Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak, and Qaddafi) and militant Islamism (Iran, the Taliban, and the Muslim Brotherhood and its army of offshoots).

"America is really the only laboratory in the world that gives us the freedom to create a third alternative," Dr. Jasser states with certainty. "That is, an Islam based in modernity that separates mosque and state and celebrates universal religious freedom and liberty."

In that vein, Jasser puts forward the explanation that Americans' perceptions of Muslims will never change until they feel Muslim Americans are spending our own resources on issues more pressing than gargantuan and ostentatious religious structures that overshadow the ruins of a still-raw wound for Americans. Focusing on counterterrorism and reform centers built with the goal of countering the hostile ideologies of political Islam within the United States are two paths Jasser offers that will improve Islam's PR with America. Most importantly of all, Muslim Americans should show America that many of them have a completely different idea of what it means to give back to the country that has given them so many freedoms, and take a personal responsibility in combating the ideas of radical Islam and its root causes.

For now, the possibility of the Ground Zero mosque coalescing from idea into structure presents not only the insult to the millions of Americans who experienced true horror on September 11, 2001, nor the threat of a new mammoth gateway for radical Islamic ideas to slip into the U.S., but the threat of sending a message of weakness to Islamists the world over.

"It will be used by Islamist leadership around the world to say, 'despite the violence that al-Qaeda perpetrated on the American population, political Islam will always be victorious and from its ashes has risen the largest religious Muslim structure in the United States,'" Jasser warns. "As the administration continues to move backwards, [outlawing] the use of any specific religious Islamic terms like jihad, Islamsim, and salafism, the Islamists continue to make unopposed headway in the contest of ideas. We are losing the war of ideas."

Recent polls have revealed that an increasing number of Americans are developing negative views of Islam. Immediately after 9/11, the numbers sat at 39 percent negative. A 2006 study provided by Dr. Jasser discovered the numbers had risen to 46 percent negative, nearly half the country's population. The same study also found out that the number of Americans who associate Islam with acts of violence had nearly tripled from 13 percent to 33 percent in the same five years. Dr. Jasser blames these numbers in great part on the majority of Muslim organizations in D.C. who are "victim-mongering front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood."

"Until we treat the affliction of Islamism and separate mosque and state and begin a palpable movement against political Islam, those opinion polls will only worsen," Jasser points out. "If the organizers [of the Ground Zero mosque] were truly moderate, they would not be building mammoth structures like this but rather investing in spreading the ideas of liberty into the Muslim community against the ideas of political Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood. They would be teaching American Muslim youth to reach out by joining our military and homeland security efforts en masse rather than allowing Islamist organizations in D.C. like CAIR to brainwash young Muslims that our military and FBI are anti-Muslim and the U.S. is anti-Islam."

Jasser iterates that he believes the most effective method possible for Muslims to reach out to Americans would be to organize a movement to hold the 57 Organization of the Islamic Conference nations accountable for all their violations of human rights as well as demand they shift from Islamism and state sponsored sharia towards more liberty-minded governments that allow more freedoms to their citizens.

"Don't let the Islamists set the agenda," Dr. Jasser says. "Yes, we will not let up against their agenda. But that's defense. We need to generate an offense to preempt the Islamists within Muslim communities domestically and abroad.

"At AIFD our offense in countering the Muslim Brotherhood Project is our Muslim Liberty Project," Jasser goes on. "We will be rolling that out over the next year and it is patterned after Jeffersonian principles of universal religious freedom and principles of liberty targeted to devout Muslims. We target Muslim youth and young adults in giving them an alternative framework for government and society that is based on our U.S. constitutional principles and the Establishment Clause. … [Our goal is to] inoculate them against the potent ideas of political Islam."

Do read the entire article, as there is much more on the Ground Zero mosque. But the mosque is only a microcosm in the much bigger picture. And with a tide of political Islam rolling over Europe uncontested at the moment, this is an issue that we deal with now, or our grandchildren's grandchildren deal with at much greater cost in blood and gold in the future.


She's Baaack . . .

Dr. Sanity, one of the most interesting of bloggers in our little world, has come back to the blogosphere. With a keen sense of humor and an ability to explain the psychology at work of her subjects, she was and is invaluable. Do book mark her site and start visiting daily.

This from her recent essay, BETWEEN BRAINS:

To the degree that the "selfless" do-gooder type has significant to unlimited political power to manipulate the market or economy for their "compassionate" and glorious utopian fantasies (and along the way, of course, to personally enrich themselves) then they become a real danger to the entire society. This type of malignant narcissist is the hallmark of the socialist/communist/collectivist society, and theoretically has less room to indulge their grandiose selves in a democracy. But not always, as the citizens of the U.S. have come to appreciate.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Towards the End the Signs Were Becoming Increasingly Difficult to Ignore

From American Digest.


The Professional Left's Collary To Classical Socialist Thought

From The Professional Left versus The Amateur Right at the superb Bolshevik site, The People's Cube.


A Dose Of Deficit (& Spending) Reality

This from an exceptional post by Randall Hoven at the American Thinker:

Just for grins, use the above chart to dissect Christopher Hayes' statement that our current and future deficits are caused by "three things: the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush tax cuts and the recession."

Two of those three things -- the wars and tax cuts -- were in effect from 2003 through 2007. Do you see alarming deficits or trends from 2003 through 2007 in the above chart? No. In fact, the trend through 2007 is shrinking deficits. What you see is a significant upward tick in 2008, and then an explosion in 2009. Now, what might have happened between 2007 and 2008, and then 2009?

Democrats taking over both houses of Congress, and then the presidency, was what happened. Republicans wrote the budgets for the fiscal years through 2007. Congressional Democrats wrote the budgets for FY 2008 and on. When the Democrats also took over the White House, they immediately passed an $814-billion "stimulus." (The $814 billion figure is from the same CBO report as the Iraq War costs. See sources at end of article.)

The sum of all the deficits from 2003 through 2010 is $4.73 trillion. Subtract the entire Iraq War cost and you still have a sum of $4.02 trillion.

No one will say that $709 billion is not a lot of money. But first, that was spread over eight years. Secondly, let's put that in some perspective. Below are some figures for those eight years, 2003 through 2010.

•Total federal outlays: $22,296 billion.
•Cumulative deficit: $4,731 billion.
•Medicare spending: $2,932 billion.
•Iraq War spending: $709 billion.
•The Obama stimulus: $572 billion.

Read the whole story.


In Search Of Cajones

Over the past few weeks, I have been harping on the fact that the traditional national paradigm has disappeared. Americans recognize that we are on an unsustainable path and that the bill for decades of free lunches is now due. Americans only require some national leadership. The days when Democrats could demagouge entitlements are over. We see it in NJ with Chris Christie. Paul Ryan is trying to do the same thing at the national level. The problem is that our Congressional Republicans don't get it and are still too craven to act. Dick Armey articulated that thought on Meet The Press yesterday:

In an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" over the weekend, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey issued a warning that Republicans risk being targeted by the Tea Party if they don't get with the program when it comes to signing onto fiscally conservative policy. . . .

"The difference between being on -- a co-sponsor with Ryan and not is a thing called courage," explained the prominent conservative voice. "So we're saying to the Republican Party , you know, 'Get some courage to stand up for the things that are right for this country. Don't stand there and, and, and hide from the issue because you're afraid of the politics.'"

Armey went to underscore his bottom line: "The issue of public policy that governs the future of my children is more important than your politics, and if you can't see that, we'll replace you." . . .


The Islamaphobia Card

Well, who could have seen this coming:

A leader of a planned Muslim community center near Manhattan's Ground Zero compared opposition to the project to the persecution of Jews, in comments that could add to the controversy over the center's proposed site.

We are deeply concerned, because this is like a metastasized antisemitism," said Daisy Khan, who is spearheading the project with her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. "It's beyond Islamophobia. It's hate of Muslims."

Ms. Khan, appearing on ABC News's "This Week" on Sunday, vowed to push ahead with plans to build a 15-story complex two blocks from the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in lower Manhattan, saying there was "too much at stake." . . .

The Islamaphobia card. You knew the Cordoba Project people would play it. But it is now the entire left in America throwing it with wild abandon. Obama played it implicitly during his speech at the White House Ramadan dinner. Others have been far less circumspect.

(H/T Seraphic Secret)

For but one other example, over the weekend, the New York Times drama queen, Frank Rich, didn't merely play the Islamaphobia card, but went further to say that those who oppose the Ground Zero "victory" mosque are betraying the war effort. The shameless hypocrisy of Rich, who spent 2004 to 2008 doing all in his power to undermine the war in Iraq, is stomach churning.

Demonizing opposition to the mosque is fraught with problems. It will of course provide the fodder for Islamists to claim that America is at war with Islam. All Islamists have to do is quote from Frank Rich or MSNBC or Obama. Two, because our government cravenly and wrongly treats Islam as a monolithic entity and the radical elements as non-Islamic, this really will cause an indiscriminate backlash against all of Islam in the U.S. And because of both of the above, it will seriously hurt the work of Muslim refromers and all Muslims who do not want to live under Sharia law. In the words fo Zhudi Jasser, refering to the remarks of President Obama, "[a]s a Muslim desperate to reform his faith, your remarks take us backwards from the day that my faith will come into modernity."

The one good thing that could possibly come out of this is a national education of sorts on the reality of Islam in the world today. Unfortunately, while the left is busy demonizing the opposition to the mosque, the talking heads on the right seem themselves clueless about the reality of the splits and faultlines in Islam, as well as the goals and strategies of those pushing Islamic supremacy. Given the existential nature of this conflict, it is depressing beyond words.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

And The Winner Down Under Is . . .

Australia held federal elections Saturday. Like Britain, Australia has spent the last several years under misrule and mismanagement by a Labour government nonetheless strongly supported by their nation's MSM. At the end of the day of voting the winner was . . . no one. The conservative Coalition won 73 seats, the Labour Party won 72, which means that the minor parties will end up being the power brokers. MK has the whole story here.

There are three very good blogs from down under that I highly recommend, Crusader Rabbit, Down Under On The Right Side, and A Western Heart. All three deal not only with local issues, but also issues concern in the U.S., Britain and the world. Indeed, I often as not turn to these blogs to see what is going on here in the U.S. If you are not familiar with their blogs, I would suggest you click on the links and start following them. You will be glad that you did.


As We Roll Into November . . .

. . . some things should not be forgotten. This is one of them.

His assumption of responsiblity didn't last long, did it.

(H/T Flopping Aces)

Update: Afrocity ponders the "blame game" in her Sunday Soliloquy, looking at it in her personal life and on the government stage. As to the latter, she points out that it is as old as Adam and Eve, that it is most oft employed as a means of escaping personal responsibility, and that the left is taking the blame game to new heights. And her we thought that Obama, Pelosi and Reid, et. al, had been hired to fix the problems. Do pay her site a visit.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Social Security & Fixing The Nation

Several days ago, I wrote that Social Security is a corrupt Ponzi scheme that needs to be turned into a national 401k system. Moreover, this is not 2005. America recognizes that our whole entitlement system and debt spending needs to be radically altered. It is why November is going to be a wave election. But while America gets it, neither Democrats, who are again demagouging the issue of Social Security, nor Republicans, who are cowering in fear of the demagogouery, get it. Two very good posts today, one from No Oil For Pacifists and a second from Another Black Conservative, touch on those issues.

This from No Oil For Pacifists:

Finally, page 14 summarizes the Social Security "gap": "Over the infinite horizon, the shortfall (unfunded obligation) amounts to $16.1 trillion in present value."

Conclusion: I'm not saying there's no risk associated with stocks and bonds. But at least you own them--you have no right to Social Security benefits, which can be changed or eliminated by future legislation. And would you invest in a corporation that admits it will lose money within five years and run out of capital just over 20 years later? Even a mediocre stock market may be better.

Simply put, Social Security is unsustainable. So, which is more prudent? Or the Ponzi Scheme? Which is the greater gamble?

(links omitted)

And Another Black Conservative takes note of what can be deduced from Chris Christie's ever increasing popularity in bluest of blue New Jersey:

If Chris Christie can make the hard choices in a blue state like New Jersey and not suffer from it, then national Republicans need not worry about making the hard choices when they take control of Congress. The American people have pretty much figured out that the bill for decades of reckless spending has come due. They are pretty much ready to take the harsh medicine needed to put our financial house in order. All that is required is a dose of honesty from Washington and change in the national narrative.



Worship and Recipes

[W]ith all this confusion abounding, we do wonder if it isn’t a bit judgmental of the mainstream media to condemn the 18 percent of Americans who say they think Barack Obama is a Muslim. For one thing, this is fewer than the number of Americans who say that intelligent beings from other planets have made contact with humans on Earth. And it has gotten hard even for people of good will to keep things straight.

Bill Kristol, The Weekly Standard

Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard weighs in on the question of whether Obama is a closet Muslim? No, of course not. He's a multiculturalist progressive.

Obama’s problem isn’t that people falsely think he’s a Muslim. It’s that the public is correctly concluding he’s a garden-variety multiculturalist progressive. So November’s election won’t just be a repudiation of one non-Muslim president. It will be a repudiation of a multiculturalist progressive worldview—and of the bitter elites who cling desperately to that worldview and are consumed by antipathy to most Americans, who don’t.

Well said.

There has never been any indication that Obama, since adulthood, has been a practicing Muslim. That said, it seems apparent that his time spent in Indonesia where he was living in a heavily Islamic environment has colored his views on Islam. He seems to have extrapolated from from what he observed of the benign form of Islam practiced in the Indonesia of his youth to the Islamic world as a whole. That is an incredibly naive error.

The Shafi'i school of Islam, practiced in Indonesia during Obama's stay there, is not the norm for the Islamic world. More and more the norm is Wahhabi-Salafi Islam, the far more militant, racist, misogynistic ideology at the heart of al Qaeda. As I have pointed out countless times on this blog, there is a war going on today for the heart and soul of Islam. It is a war between those who would reform their religion and those who would keep it mired in the backwaters of 7th century Arabian tribalism. Andrew McCarthy makes the same point today at the NRO. Unfortunately for us, our government is not engaging in this war. But that has nothing to do with Obama actually being a Muslim. It has everything to do with the fact that Obama has close experience with a benign form of Islam.

Obama claims to have been converted to Christianity after hearing one of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's polemics, the one that took note of inequities created by "white man's greed." But that polemic seemed to have little or anything to do with Christianity and far more to do with socialism and the left's "social justice" construct.

I do not think Obama is a Muslim. Nor do I think he a Christian. I think he sees his deity every day when he looks in the mirror. Moreover, I think Afrocity hit the nail on the head in her post today, Obama is . . . . a recipe for disaster:


Friday, August 20, 2010

Miss USA - Move The Ground Zero Mosque

Daring to tread where Obama would not, America's first Miss USA of Arab descent, Rima Faqih, has weighed in on the wisdom of building the Ground Zero Mosque two blocks from Ground Zero. It is not wise. Move it. Bluegrass Pundit has the whole story.


Victory in Iraq

Yesterday, the last of our combat troops left Iraq. They left Iraq having achieved victory. It was a hard won victory that went unremarked by Obama and the far left.

The road to our war in Iraq was long and convoluted. Iraq under the rule of Saddam Hussein was violent, unpredictable, and threatening to the world. Internally, Hussein ruled his country with all the violence and brutality shown by Stalin during his years leading the Soviet Union. Externally, Iraq was the major source of instability in the Middle East. In 1980, Hussein launched a war against Iran that would last for eight years and involve the deaths of millions in the two countries. American was drawn into the war when Iran mined the Straits of Hormuz in 1988. That same year, Hussein ordered an attack using chemical weapons against a rebellious Kurdish in northern Iraq. And it was in the 1980's that Hussein began a very public quest for a nuclear arsenal.

With his country near bankruptcy by 1990, Hussein invaded Kuwait to capture its rich oil fields. That led to First Gulf War and a permanent U.S. military presence in the region.

When Hussein was driven out of Kuwait by an American led coalition, he was forced to sign a treaty providing that he would dismantle his chemical and nuclear programs and that he would allow verification of the dismantling. But soon after, he stopped cooperating with the verification regime. In 1998, Clinton, with virtually unanimous support from Congress, attacked Iraq from the air in operation Desert Fox. It did little good. By 2000, virtually every major intelligence agency across the globe believed that Hussein was actively involved in reconstituting his WMD program. Then in the aftermath of 9-11, concern with what was believed to be the continuing push for a nuclear weapon led a bipartisan majority in Congress to pass the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq. As an aside, it should be noted that, at the time, America had yet to learn about the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

On March 23, 2003, the war to depose Saddam Hussein began. Our air force flooded the skies, attacking command and control positions, air defenses, and lines of communication. Soon after, our ground troops poured in, fixing and bypassing Iraqi defenses while moving at a breakneck pace towards strategic objectives. It was a combined arms campaign reminiscent of the blitzkrieg. The relatively open terrain of Iraq was well suited for our tanks, mechanized infantry and attack helicopters. Few who understood the capabilities of our armed forces were surprised when the million man Iraqi Army, 4th largest in the world, utterly crumbled under the onslaught. By April 9, just a little over two weeks into the war, Baghdad fell to coalition forces. And by April 30, the coalition announced the invasion phase over, organized resistance to the invasion having disappeared. It was a sophisticated war plan executed with skill, violence and speed by troops with superior training, weapons, leadership and morale. It was a thing of terrible beauty.

And with the victory, all of the ills of Iraq were exposed. In a world where religious sects and tribes were natural fault lines, and in a land where a Sunni minority had brutalized the Shia majority and the Kurdish minority, conflicts soon boiled over. Iraqi Shia militias, trained and harbored by Iran, flooded back into Iraq. On the Sunni side, al Qaeda saw an opportunity to do to America what it had done to the Russians in Afghanistan. Ayman al Zawhahiri announced that Iraq would be the main focus of al Qaeda's efforts. In an effort to mobilize the Sunni population in war against the Shia and the Americans, al Qaeda began a campaign of suicide bombings, culminating in the 2006 bombing of Iraq's most holy of Shia Shrines, the al-Askara Mosque in Sammara. American forces, ill prepared for this guerrilla warfare, searched for new strategies as Iraq descended into a violent, low grade civil war.

The far left in America saw an opportunity for taking political power. A search for WMD in Iraq in the aftermath of the invasion had failed to turn up anything. With the war going bad, the far left seized on the WMD issue, claiming that they only voted for the war because Bush had "lied." Further, they refused to acknowledge that al Qaeda was even in Iraq, let alone that it was the main focus of al Qaeda efforts. The far left went on a full scale offensive - against America. They attacked Bush daily and demanded that we leave Iraq, irrespective of the horrendous consequences such a move would have had for our national security and the disastrous, perhaps existential impact that a perception of victory for al Qaeda in Iraq would have had on the radical Islamist movement world wide. It was treachery of the most loathsome sort.

The left's push to legislate what neither al Qaeda nor Iran could win on the battlefield - a defeat for American forces in Iraq - reached a fevered pitch in 2007 when President Bush announced a "surge" of troops and a new strategy of counterinsurgency. The left did all they could to stop the surge and made a show of their disdain for Gen. Petraeus. And indeed, only two months into the surge, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid surrendered on behalf of America after a series of three bombings by al Qaeda.

Thankfully President Bush, Gen. Petraeus, and our forces in Iraq didn't agree. Taking the war to al Qaeda, our troops rooted them out. In November, 2007, a depressed Osama bin Laden admitted to the utter route of al Qaeda taking place in Iraq. By March 2008, that route was complete.

Then turning to the South, our forces prepared to take on the Shia militias supported by Iran. And it was during this effort that President Maliki and the Iraqi forces, still as of yet unprepared, nonetheless took the bold move of attacking Iranian supported militias controlling Basra. The Iraqi government emerged victorious and, for all intents and purposes, that marked the true beginning of the end of the Iraq war. By July 17, 2008, with both al Qaeda and Shia militias dispersed and, in large measure destroyed, it was safer to be a U.S. combat soldier on duty in Iraq than it was to live in Detroit or Chicago. A second victory had been achieved in Iraq.

Thereafter, some of our combat forces stayed in place while the majority drew down. It wasn't until just yesterday that the final combat unit in Iraq, 4th Bde., 2nd Inf. Div., left Iraq and headed into Kuwait. Fifty thousand U.S. troops will remain in Iraq for an indefinite period in support roles.

By any measure, we achieved victory in Iraq. We deposed the evil regime of Saddam Hussein and put in its place a nascent democracy. That democracy was one of a kind - an Arab democracy in an Arab world almost uniformly ruled by autocrats and strong-men. We defeated al Qaeda on its chosen battlefield and dealt them a serious setback. And as importantly, we defeated Iran's push to turn Iraq into another Lebanon.

Unable to legislate defeat in Iraq, the far left has nonetheless remained bound and determined that Iraq should never be portrayed as a victory. The fact that our last combat unit left Iraq yesterday should have been a day of national celebration for all that we have accomplished. It should have been a day when our politicians trumpeted our victory over al Qaeda and used that victory as propaganda to belittle al Qaeda and their murderous Wahhabi ideology throughout the Muslim world. It should have been a day when our politicians trumpeted the Shia philosophy of quietism led by Grand Ayatollah Sistani and piped into Iran the message of how that has led to democracy in neighboring Iraq.

And yet from Obama and the left, silence. Four thousand American dead, tens of thousands injured in battle, all in a victorious effort, and there is silence. The word "victory" never passes Obama's lips. Our soldiers have received no thanks for their efforts from our left beyond bare lip service. Moreover, the far left knowingly declines to use the fruit of our victory in Iraq to further America's efforts against al Qaeda, Wahhabism and Iran. It is a travesty and a tragedy for our nation. But it is still a triumph for our military. They did everything asked of them. They achieved victory.

Update: In the concluding paragraph, I failed to note that Obama, in his rush to erase Iraq from the mind of America, is also jeopardizing Iraq's future. America should be intimately involved in insuring the emplacement of a new government following the last election and America should be exerting the single greatest influence on Iraq's future. Obama has failed at the former and is squandering our years of effort as to the latter. This from Charles Krauthammer several days ago:


Thursday, August 19, 2010


At JammieWearing Fool, the economics of the tourism industry of Martha's Vinyard, frequent site of vacations by Obama and family, are changing. The days of Obama t-shirts as the hot seller are gone. With "Recovery Summer" proving to be anything but, the new big seller - George Bush "Miss Me Yet?" t-shirts.

Let's see. Obama lost hyper-partisan NYT Columnist Bob Herbert last week. Kos's new pollster says, based on his polling, Obama should not appear anywhere near Democratic candidates in the run up to the midterms. And now even the left-wing crowd that hangs around Martha's Vinyard is pining for George Bush. I am sure this has to bottom out somewhere before 2012, but November 2010 is shaping up to be a slaughter for the left.


. . . Free Your Mind

Free Your Breasts, Free Your Mind. Heh. While I am not prepared to become a Ralien, I am quite willing to support some of their causes. H/T Jammie Wearing Fools.


Moral & Intellectual Bankruptcy Of Those Who Support The Ground Zero Mosque

The above cartoon, lifted from Seraphic Secret, pretty much sums up all of the moral and ethical arguments against the Ground Zero mosque. And yet, on MSNBC, Norah O’Donnell makes the argument that those who oppose the Ground Zero Victory Mosque are “like the people who attacked America and killed 3,000 people.” See Seraphic Secret for the whole story.


Mama Warthogs

Put together a fearless warthog protecting her young and a lioness apparently not too hungry and what do you get? Well, great video for one.

(H/T Legal Insurrection and Israeli Cool) . . . and, of course, proof of the truism of Palin's observation, that mama's protect their young at all costs.


Extremism On Whose Part?

From the NRSC. a reality check. The far left has been attempting to redefine the norm in American politics since the day Obama was elected and it became apparent to the most ignorant among us that, while Obama ran as a centrist in the general election, he has governed from the far left. Don't support Obamacare - you're a fringe right winger. Think spending a massive portion of our national wealth to fund the jobs of public sector union employees is not the best use of an almost trillion dollar stimulus - you're on the "extreme right" of American politics, etc., etc. It has been an exercise played out by the left and the MSM that has come close to Orwellianism in its scope. And as the NRSC ad below makes clear, it has yet to be fully successful.

(H/T Instapundit)


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What Sheer Idiocy: WND Drops Ann Coulter As Keynote Speaker Over Speech To Gay Republicans

This really tees me off. World Net Daily (WND) has dropped Ann Coulter as the keynote spearker at their "Taking America Back National Conference" because Ms. Coulter accepted an invitation to speak at Homoncon 2010, a conference being held by a conservative organization of homosexuals, GOProud. I blogged Ms. Coulter's acceptance here. And I for one was happy both that GOProud asked her and that she accepted. I would also note that John Hawkins of Right Wing News has endorsed the GOProud convention.

If you visit GOProud's website you will find the following:

GOProud’s Conservative Agenda

The so-called “gay agenda” is defined by the left through a narrow prism of legislative goals. While hate crimes and employment protections may be worthy goals, there are many other important priorities that receive little attention from the gay community. GOProud’s agenda emphasizes conservative and libertarian principles that will improve the daily lives of all Americans, but especially gay and lesbian Americans.

1 – TAX REFORM - Death tax repeal; domestic partner tax equity, and other changes to the tax code that will provide equity for gays and lesbians; cut in the capital gains and corporate tax rates to jump start our economy and create jobs; a fairer, flatter and substantially simpler tax code.

2 – HEALTHCARE REFORM – Free market healthcare reform. Legislation that will allow for the purchase of insurance across state lines – expanding access to domestic partner benefits; emphasizing individual ownership of healthcare insurance – such a shift would prevent discriminatory practices by an employer or the government.

3 – SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM - Bringing basic fairness to the Social Security system through the creation of inheritable personal savings accounts.

4 – DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL REPEAL – Repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

5 – HOLDING THE LINE ON SPENDING – Standing up for all tax payers against wasteful and unneccessary spending to protect future generations from the mounting federal debt.

6 – FIGHTING GLOBAL EXTREMISTS – Standing strong against radical regimes who seek to criminalize gays and lesbians.

7 – DEFENDING OUR CONSTITUTION – Opposing any anti-gay federal marriage amendment.

8 – ENCOURAGING COMMUNITY ENTREPRENEURSHIP – Package of free market reforms to encourage and support small businesses and entrepreneurship in the gay community.

9 – REVITALIZING OUR COMMUNITIES – A package of urban related reforms; expanding historic tax preservation credits; support for school choice.

10 – DEFENDING OUR COMMUNITY – Protecting 2nd amendment rights

Most of the above is also my agenda, and indeed, the agenda of virtually all conservatives. So what is WND's problem? According to WND's President, they are upset that Coulter would agree to speak before "a group that is fighting for same-sex marriage and open homosexuality in the military . . . [and] the idea that sodomy is just an alternate lifestyle."

I too object to gay marriage on religious grounds, though I think that it is ultimately an issue for states to decide by referendum. Speaking from my experience as a former soldier and the father of soldiers, I also object to changing the don't ask don't tell policy on pragmatic grounds. As to sodomy, I think WND is off the reservation on that issue. That is a question between consenting adults. Neither the government nor, in its arrogance, WND, have any business telling people what they can or cannot do sexually in the privacy of their homes. (This is one of the few issues on which I am agreement with Nancy Pelosi - at least except for the gerbil issue.)

At any rate, as to the disagreements on gay marriage and gays serving openly in the military, a lot of Conservatives share similar concerns. That does not mean that conservatives should reject gays because of their sexual orientation, or that we should do anything other than welcome them with open arms as allies, close friends, and as full equity partners in the Conservative movement. And indeed, it is a mark of the maturity of GOProud members that they have risen above single issue politics.

As an aside, it is also a mark of that maturity that the GOProud members have developed a highly refined sense of humor, as the above poster for Homocon indicates. "Our gays are more macho than their straights" indeed. Heh. Take that, John Edwards.

Single issue grievance politics is the hallmark of the left. They make it work because it is their rasion d'etre. Conservatives can't do that because they will never be able to sustain such a conceit. Intellectual honesty demands that we recognize the host of issues facing our nation and address them all. Within that rubic, the Conservative Tent has ample room indeed to welcome in and give full support GOProud and its members, even if not all conservatives agree with them on the issue of gay marriage and gays serving openly in the military.

The only place you will find such "single issue" intolerance on the right is on the very fringes. And that is where WND finds itself now. For WND to start engaging in retributions based on such single issue politics is both idiotic and outrageous. Conservatives need to let WND now fully and completely the error of their ways.

At any rate, Go GOProud. And go Ms. Coulter. I hope that all of you have a great Homocon 2010. My only regret is that I won't be there to share it with you.


Life Imitating Bad Movie Plots

In Ghostbusters, a petty bureaucrat vastly abuses his power to have the four heroes arrested and charged with felonies carrying long prison sentences. While it is a fun kids movie, that bit of the plot seemed a stretch. But no longer. The Washington Examiner has the case of petty bureaucrats again run amok and charging a couple of everyday citizens - in this case, some bartenders that have been doing a fire-breathing trick for ten years - with crimes that could land them in jail for decades. You decide. Read the whole story here.


Watcher's Council Business

Each week, the members of the Watcher's Council nominate one of their own posts and a second from outside the Council for consideration by other council members in a contest for best post. The Watcher publishes the results each Friday morning.

If you would like to participate in the Council's activites, while there is no opening on the council at the moment, we invite you take part by submitting your own best post of the week through "link whorage." You can find out how at the Watcher's site.

Before announcing this weeks nominations, I need to note last week's winners. The winner in the Council category was JoshuaPundit for his post, A Mosque At Ground Zero. The winner in the Non-Council category was Iowahawk's Undocumented Imam’s Refusal to Perform Interracial Gay Handicapped Wedding Leads to Charges of Racism. You can find the full results of the voting here.

As always, this week's nominations present an eclectic mix of thought-provoking reading.

Do enjoy them all:

Council Nominations

Rhymes With Right - Obama Speaks On The Mosque

Wolf Howling – The Social Security Bogeyman

Right Truth- Countdown to nuclear Iran, day 3, 2, 1


The Colossus of Rhodey – How else could this headline have been written?

The Razor - The Rage Beneath The Surface

Snapped Shot - Today’s Ramadan Theme Is Checkpoints

Joshuapundit – Tom Friedman: Blind Or Just Nearsighted On The Middle East?

The Glittering Eye – Do Differently

Non-Council Submissions

Big Lizards – An Unanswerable, Five-Word Response to Judge Dredd’s Claim that Prop. 8 Proponents Have No Standing to Appeal His Decision (Why Yes – It’s Shorter Than This Title!) submitted by Rhymes With Right

Pascal Bruckner @ City Journal – Europe’s Guilty Conscience submitted by Wolf Howling

Sultan Knish – The Towers of Barbarism submitted by Right Truth

Tertium Quids -The Federal Highway Windfall submitted by VA Right

Discriminations – The Separation Of Race And State II submitted by The Colossus of Rhodey

Jihadwatch - Ground Zero mosque moves forward, Ground Zero church in limbo submitted by The Razor

Ace of Spades HQ – Ho Boy: FDA May Rescind Approval Of Anti-Breast-Cancer Drug As Political Favor To Obama submitted by Snapped Shot

Cubachi – Harry Reid Can’t Believe I’m A Hispanic Republican submitted by Joshuapundit

Sweetness & Light – Auto Workers Chase Out UAW Executives submitted by The Glittering Eye

Day by Day Cartoon – Massage it submitted by The Watcher

The Muqata – PA to Palestinians: Avoid Israeli Hospitals submitted by The Watcher