While enjoying the usual (hopefully) jihadist-pissing-off Friday totty, please peruse Andrew C. McCarthy’s Inside Hamas: How to Understand the Global Jihadist Threat. Excerpt:
In-depth reporting by the Wall Street Journal’s Nicholas Casey and Adam Entous takes us inside Gaza, into the minds, indoctrination and support system of Hamas. The report is here (but behind the paper’s subscriber wall).
It will be a tough one to refute for the willful blindness crowd – i.e., the bipartisan Beltway ruling class and its cooperative mainstream media – who insist that Islam is innately a religion of peace. The report illuminates the reality that Islamic study is the basic pathway to jihadist militancy and that, for members of Hamas, the jihad against Israel is not a parochial political affair but part and parcel of a global ideological movement that is very much driven by a perception of divine directive.
To observe what Hamas members and their supporters believe, and to learn that even non-adherents of Hamas respect the organization’s tenets as an entirely legitimate construction of Islam, is to elucidate the stubborn stupidity of the claim that “true” Islam is unconnected to terrorism committed by Muslims – and that we should regard such Muslims as irrational “violent extremists” rather than jihadists.
Of even more concern than Hamas, of course, are the utterly savage animals of the Islamic State (IS), who are currently rampaging across Mesopotamia and who only day ago beheaded an American reporter, and threatened to kill more if air raids on IS were not halted.
What is the proper response to a group like IS? Stonewall Jackson would have known; likewise George Patton. IS is fond of waving black flags, and either of the aforementioned American living weapons would have known that the proper reply is another black flag. No quarter, no mercy, no relent, no pity; hunt them down like animals and kill every last one of them.
Hamas is not really the opposite side of the coin from IS. They are more like the edge of the coin, leaning over a little bit towards the dark side. Hamas uses human shields; they hide rockets in schools and mosques, they target women and children. They are consummate cowards and should – must – be rooted out.
But the coin itself is Islam. Other religions, including Christianity, has had their own dark times in the past, but now, today, it is not Christians, Jews, Buddhists or Wiccans beheading reporters – it is inhuman monsters, and they are doing so in the name of Islam. It’s past time to call this particular spade a fucking shovel.
Islam faces two choices: Reform, renounce violence, root out the radicals in their midst, embrace Western-style freedom of conscience – or face extinction. The rest of the world will not tolerate this behavior forever.
I found this interesting, as it mirrors some of my own attitudes on a couple of thorny social issues. Libertarians, Gay Marriage, and Freedom of Association: A Primer. Excerpt:
How can a libertarian support gay marriage but also the right of businesses to decline to provide goods and services such as cakes, wedding dresses, and photographers for gay weddings? For many libertarians, it makes perfect logical, philosophical, and legal sense.
But from the outside perspective, it often does not. As a result, critics looking for an opportunity to throw shade on the increased media and public interest in libertarian ideas can focus on just a piece of this mentality. We saw the Village Voice do just that recently, as media critic Roy Edroso incorrectly declared that we here are “more likely” to defend the rights of private individuals and businesses who want to discriminate against gays than the rights of gay couples to demand marriage recognition from the government.
I’ve made my stance on social issues abundantly clear: I really don’t give a damn what people do, as long as they leave me alone. I expect the converse in return.
I’ve likewise made my stance on gay marriage (or any kind of marriage) abundantly clear: I don’t give a damn who people marry, as long as all parties involved are freely consenting, competent adults. Their actions don’t affect my marriage any.
I don’t understand why a man would want to marry another man, or even how a man could find another man sexually appealing – but I don’t have to. I don’t understand why people like watching sports on television, either, but it doesn’t affect me if they do.
But liberty is about more than just marriage. Freedom of association also means freedom of disassociation, even if you (or anyone else) disapproves of a business owner’s reasons. A baker, yes, should be free to refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. If we can use the force of government – men with guns – to force a baker to make a cake for a gay couple, where does such coercing end?
Liberty is not situational. Liberty is a principle. Sadly, it’s one we’re losing.
California’s fiscal slide continues. Excerpt:
Here is the sobering analysis released last week from the Rockefeller Institute of Government, which monitors state spending and revenues:
“After four years of uninterrupted growth, states’ tax collections saw a decline in the first quarter of 2014. Preliminary figures for the second quarter of 2014 indicate further declines in personal income-tax collections and possibly in overall state taxes.”
Then came the show stopper:
“Most of the decline is attributable to a single state — California — where personal income-tax collections declined by $2 billion, or 11.1%. If we exclude California, personal income tax collections show a growth of 2.0% in personal income tax collections and a growth of 0.6% in overall state tax collections.”
What is staggeringly stupid about California’s Prop 30, which raised tax rates and back-dated the increase to 2012, is this: The people who proposed it and voted for it seem incapable of understanding how policy effects behavior.
California’s public policy since about 1980 or so seems deliberately designed to drive business from the state. The re-election of Governor Moonbeam Brown seems to have been the last symptom of the Golden State’s slide into fiscal insanity; the keys to the asylum have long since been handed over to the lunatics.
“Through all the centuries of the worship of the mindless, whatever stagnation humanity chose to endure, whatever brutality to practice–it was only by the grace of the men who perceived that wheat must have water in order to grow, that stones laid in a curve will form an arch, that two and two make four, that love is not served by torture and life is not fed by destruction–only by the grace of those men did the rest of them learn to experience moments when they caught the spark of being human.“
These are precisely the people that are being driven out of California. Who remains in that state is left as an intellectual exercise for the reader.
This just in from the always-worth-reading Dr. Victor Davis Hanson: Our ‘Face in the Crowd.’ Excerpt:
So what is collapsing the presidency of the once mellifluous Obama? It is not the IRS, AP, VA, or NSA scandals. Nor did the nation especially fault him for Benghazi or the complete collapse of U.S. foreign policy, from failed reset to a Middle East afire. In each case, he either blamed Bush or denied there was a smidgeon of wrongdoing on his part.
Certainly, the stampede at the border, as disastrous as it was, did not ipso facto sink Obama’s ratings. Ditto the embarrassing Bergdahl deal, in which we traded a likely deserter for five Islamist kingpins. Was it the ISIS ascendance that is leading to genocide and a nascent caliphate? Not in and of itself.
We could go on, but you get the picture that it was all of the above that finally became too much, as Americans turned Obama off because they were all lied out. In all of these scandals a charismatic Barack wheeled out the teleprompter, smiled, dropped his g’s, soared with “make no mistake about it” and “let me perfectly clear,” and then, like Lonesome Rhodes, told the “folks” things that could not be true or at least were the exact opposite of what he himself had earlier asserted.
To a certain extent, we can’t fault President Obama for lying; he’s a politician. After all, when a dog pisses on a fire hydrant, he’s not vandalizing public property; he’s just being a dog. So it is for pols; most of them lie as reflexively as they breathe.
Some of them, however, do have core principles. Texas Governor Perry has them, whether you agree with them or not. President Reagan had them. The Founders had them in large measure.
But, at least in the estimation of yr. obdt., Barack Obama has no core principles other than self-promotion. (Also in my estimation he is joined by Hillary Clinton in this respect.) He is a creature of pure expedience; whatever serves his purpose at the moment is the Good and Right thing to do. In this he is hampered by a tragic lack of executive experience and a certain intellectual laziness.
Dr. Hanson concludes:
The secret to Lonesome (Rhodes)’s success was to hide his contempt for those he lied to. When he is caught ridiculing his clueless listeners, he finally crashes and burns — sort of like Barack Obama serially vacationing with the 1% whom he so publicly scorns, or golfing in the aristocratic fashion of those who, he assures us, did not build their businesses.
Lonesome did not end up well, and neither will the presidency of Barack Obama.
As usual, Dr. Hanson is correct.
I’m a fan of Gunbroker.com, both for modern arms and the pre-WW2 stuff I like to tinker on and shoot. But Gunbroker, like any online auction house, has its pitfalls; read this summary from The Sacred Cow Slaughterhouse for some examples. Excerpt:
I like to spend money on guns. Since there’s no point in hanging out on ArmsAmerica anymore, that means I spend a lot of time on Gunbroker.com. There’s some great stuff there, and sometimes it even coincides with me having money.
The downside is that some sellers are…stupid.
Not just stupid, but world class morons.
My favorite, and one that I’ve seen plenty myself in my browsing for project guns:
“We don’t play the C & R game.”
That’s unfortunate. My C & R license was issued and is recognized by the ATF, and we don’t regard it as a “game.” Any firearm over 50 years old automatically qualifies. Modern ones can be hit or miss, so if this was modern I could see the caution, but, since you describe this as…here we go: “1928 Colt Special Police,” I’m pretty sure we can figure it’s over 50 years old. Like many “Crufflers,” I have crap tons of disposable income to throw at my hobby. Dissing me just means you’ll never see any of it, because I don’t play the conceited cockbag dealer game.
And neither do I. More’s the pity for the dipshit sellers who won’t deal with the fully legal, BATFE-issued Curios & Relics licenses.
Who Lost the Cities? Excerpt:
Philadelphia, for example, has not had a Republican mayor since the Truman administration. It did enjoy the services of Mayor Frank Rizzo, a Democrat who endorsed Nixon in exchange for federal handouts and who governed in the progressive style: He converted a private utility into a public one and promptly turned it into a patronage machine, he was close with the labor unions and raised the city’s wage tax to fund spending on transportation and infrastructure projects, worked for economic benefits for the elderly, etc. He was a classic welfare-statist Democrat — and a man who, as police commissioner, famously promised to “make Attila the Hun look like a fag.” (Rizzo later ran as a Republican.) It wasn’t a right-wing radical who bombed a Philadelphia rowhouse and burned down the neighborhood — it was an African-American progressive, Wilson Goode. Closet Ayn Rand fans have not been running the affairs of Detroit all these years, and the intellectual patrons of the Chicago Boys have had approximately zero influence on the municipal affairs of Chicago. Ralph Reed will never be the mayor of San Francisco.
There is a correlation here that is strong enough it is hard to discount to probability of causation: Progressive urban politics leads to a loss of economic opportunity, the diminishing of personal responsibility and, eventually, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles.
Anyone living in or near any of our major cities should be living in fear of the day the Imperial Federal government finally realizes we are broke, and that the endless stream of wealth transfer payments have to stop.
Our major cities will destroy themselves in a matter of weeks.
Since today’s post concerns the ongoing situation in Iraq, specifically the rise of the bloodthirsty savages of ISIS, let’s hope that the accompanying display of toothsome and free American totty pisses them off.
To any ISIS sympathizers who are offended by my Rule Five material, I will say only this:
Fuck off and die in a fire.
Now, on to Jonah Goldberg and The West’s Gaza. Excerpt:
In the early days after 9/11 there was a lot of talk about a “clash of civilizations” and a long “existential struggle” facing the West. I once asked the late Christopher Hitchens what he felt on that terrible day, and he said he felt no small amount of joy. Not for the suffering and death, but for the fact that the West finally had been awakened to the terrible but necessary struggle before us.
And for a time, many liberals bought into the idea that America was heading into a generational struggle with jihadism. There were a slew of books on the subject. Peter Beinart, for instance, wrote The Good Fight: Why Liberals — and Only Liberals — Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again. As the subtitle suggests, there was a lot of partisan mischief in his argument, but it rested on the premise that liberals must accept that “Islamic totalitarianism” — his phrase — has replaced communism as our enemy. On this, at least, Beinart and company, briefly agreed with George W. Bush that the war against “Islamic fascists” (Bush’s term) was the “decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century.”
Like most Americans, I am of mixed feelings about our history in Iraq. The initial military operation was a walkover, nothing but – however, we were sadly unprepared for what came next. To some extent Colin Powell was correct in his “Cracker Barrel theory” (You broke it, you bought it) but in retrospect one wonders if we shouldn’t have simply utterly destroyed Iraq’s military capacity and the Ba’ath government and left the survivors to pick over the ruins.
But ISIS may have arisen in any case.
Barack Obama’s repeated (and repeatedly ignored) lines in the sand certainly do give the impression of weakness on the part of the United States, which encourages bad actors of all sorts. A more decisive President and a more robust foreign policy may have discouraged some of the Islamic radicals.
Mr. Goldberg concludes:
No one in the West wants a generational struggle with jihadism any more than Israel wants perpetual war with Hamas in Gaza. The problem is the enemy always gets a vote. It just may be that the Middle East will become the West’s Gaza. And, so far, nobody has a good answer for what to do about it.
But we’re going to have to do something about it sooner or later.