Thursday, May 27, 2010

A little perspective on Greek troubles

Here, once again thanks to Rachel, is a little historical perspective on Greece's financial and social woes, provided tongue-in-cheek by Christopher Buckley. And just think, it actually appeared in the New York Times! So read it and take a little break from awful stories about being buried alive.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Turkish honor killing

Rachel sent me this story about a 16-year-old Turkish girl buried alive by her family because she was talking to boys. She was found in a sitting position, hands tied, and lungs and stomach filled with soil, indicating that she was alive and conscious when buried.

There are an estimated 200 honor killings each year in Turkey.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The convenient scapegoat

Looks like another moment of transatlantic communion. The US government is demonizing Wall Street and the US financial industry to draw attention away from its monetary profligacy and gross mismanagement of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The EU, with the Germans in the lead, is demonizing US and UK private equity firms with hedge funds: the "swarm of locusts" who descend on Europe and take away all its jobs.

As John Rosenthal notes, this isn't the first time such imagery has been used. The Nazis talked about the "swarm of locusts," but the term stretches even further back, to 19th century anti-Semitic attacks on a German-Jewish financier. Rosenthal includes a cartoon that shows today's 'swarm' as American - which I suppose is better than showing them as Jewish, although I suspect that that is the subtext.

The reason for all this is obvious: the EU and the Germans must do anything to avoid acknowledging that the high level of Greek debt induced the recent crisis. Because if they admit that, then they'd have to do something about it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Arizona immigration law

You're in luck: I shall refrain from giving my unvarnished views of Mexican President Calderon's speeches in Washington, or of their favorable reception by President Obama and the Democrats in Congress.

That's because I've got something better: a little video from Arizona Governor Jan Brewer that captures the level of ignorance of those opposing the law. Enjoy! It's almost as much fun to watch as Fox commentator Brit Hume nearly losing his cool over the asininity of the discussion about the Arizona law.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

And State wades in

The State Department has waded into the Motoon controversy, condemning the cartoons of Mohammed mentioned in my previous entry. Here's what the State spokesman said: "America does not condone expressions that lead to violence or hatred."

Just think of it: our federal government - or maybe he means all Americans - would never ever approve of a statement that might provoke someone else to violence. So think before you say or write anything again, because somewhere in the world someone might take exception to it.

Coincidentally, I would note that our new and improved definition of free speech just happens to be the same as that of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Just when you think we can't sink any lower, we do.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Motoon contest

There was a 'Draw Mohammed Day' this week; if you go to Jihad Watch, you can find some samples, along with links to articles explaining why freedom of speech and the press is so important. To give you an idea of the flavor, here is one cartoon and here another. They range from a stick figure entitled 'Mohammed' to unambiguous political cartoons aimed at the 'Islam is a religion of peace' mantra.

Pakistan has already responded by blocking Facebook and YouTube for carrying the cartoons.

Here's my favorite image; although I admit it isn't exactly a picture of Mohammed, it is in the spirit of the event, and is inspired by David.

USCD controversy lives on

Jumannah Albahri, the USCD student who told David Horowitz that she approved of exterminating the Jews, has since taken back her statement. According to this report, she says that he confused her and she was really just voicing her support for Hamas. Since Hamas' charter calls for eradicating the State of Israel, that sounds like a distinction without a difference.

Meanwhile, there's a petition almost 600 people have signed asking the USCD Chancellor Marye Anne Fox to condemn such speech and state that it has no place on campus. Don't hold your breath!

(Thanks to Jihad Watch.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Unfortunately, Attorney General Eric Holder isn't the only American deep in denial. Jeff Epstein of America's Truth Forum, "felt it best to leave" after he asked questions at an interfaith dialogue held in a Connecticut synagogue.

He asked Ingrid Mattson, director of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), about the ties of that organization to the Muslim Brotherhood. Epstein was accused of injecting politics into the dialogue; never mind that the Muslim Brotherhood is devoted to hatred of the Jews.

The rabbi who organized the event said he wasn't familiar with ISNA or its documented links to jihad. He said the purpose of the dialogue to 'build understanding'. What kind of understanding? Of what's going on? In that case, he ought to do his homework beforehand.

This 'bout sums it up

Watch Attorney General Eric Holder tap dance around direct questions from Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. Holder refuses to state that radical Islam could have been a motivation in any of the recent terrorist attacks in the United States, including the one in Times Square.

Amazing. What's more amazing, no one seems to notice or care, except for Rep. Smith and the editors at Human Events.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Banks and banks

I don't know how to link to this, but there's a table on page 5 of the May 15-21 Economist that lists the top 25 banks active in emerging economies. Eight are Chinese; others are from the UK, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Singapore ... and exactly one, Citigroup, is from the United States.

So as you hear President Obama and the Congress attacking Wall Street and the banks and doing their best to put their heel on their throat - no, wait a minute, that was British Petroleum - just think: we can destroy our financial institutions, either by misregulating them or by fining and taxing them. Then the rest of the world can carry on. Do you really think that foreign banks will treat us better?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Vilks attacked

Ah yes, the university as the citadel of intellectual ferment and free speech. You saw one example in yesterday's post. Now, at Uppsala University in Sweden, cartoonist Lars Vilks is attacked by someone (identity unknown) while he was giving a talk. Others in the audience shouted "Allahu Akbar" which may give you some idea of their orientation.

Vilks is famous for his cartoon showing Mohammed's head on a dog's body (see above link), as well as being the target of various assassination schemes, including that of Jihad Jane.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A chilling exchange

Here, thanks to Libby, is a brief video of David Horowitz taking a question from a Muslim student at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He flushes her out as a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah. In fact, she agrees with the leader of Hezbollah that it would be most convenient if all Jews gathered in Israel because it would spare him the trouble of seeking them out to kill separately.

If I were a Muslim, I'd be furious that students like her were presenting themselves, in Muslim garb, as holier-than-thou and purporting to speak for me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The long twilight war

If you're tired of reading that Faisal Shahzad tried to blow up people in Times Square because of health care policy or because his home was foreclosed, here's a rational, sober analysis by Fouad Ajami. Shazhad and others of his ilk are, he says, represent a serious threat:

"This is a long twilight war, the struggle against radical Islamism. We can't wish it away. No strategy of winning 'hearts and minds,' no great outreach, will bring this struggle to an end. America can't conciliate these furies. These men of nowhere - Faisal Shahzad, Nidal Malik Hasan, the American-born renegade cleric Anwar Awlaki now holed up in Yemen and their likes - are a deadly breed of combatants in this new kind of war. Modernity both attracts and unsettles them. America is at once the object of their dreams and the scapegoat onto which they project their deepest malignancies."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Religious freedom

You're probably unaware of this, but by statute the U.S. government has a bipartisan Commission on International Religious Freedom which, among other things, publishes an annual report on religious freedom worldwide. According to its chairman, U.S. policy in this area is "missing the mark."

It should come as no surprise that the CIRF finds U.S. policy wanting. One of the worst cases involves Iraq, where Christians who lived there for over a thousand years are now being killed or forced to emigrate - right under our noses.

The CIRF is not proposing that religious freedom should be the determinant of U.S. policy, simply that we consider those issues seriously as policies are formulated. Unfortunately, there's no evidence that's happening.

Friday, May 7, 2010

What to do with Faisal Shahzad

If proven guilty, what should be done to Faisal Shahzad? Senators Joe Liberman and Scott Brown have introduced legislation to strip him and others of his ilk of their U.S. citizenship. Zuhdi Jasser (and Rachel) have a better idea: try him/them as traitors.

As Jasser puts it: "Shahzad's cowardly attempt to kill innocent Americans in Times Square clearly demonstrates his loyalty lies with the Islamist radicals and not his chosen countrymen in the United States. His actions were a result of his faith in the supremacy of an Islamic State over the United States. His citizenship oath was given falsely in 2009 and was in the direct service of powers at war with the United States. His prosecution should encompass the gravity of those actions."


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Who's out to get us?

Daniel Pipes lists here all the excuses people have dreamed up to keep from acknowledging that the various attacks on New York City (and the rest of the United States) since 9/11 have been the result of jihadist ideology and action.

And Barry Rubin speculates on reactions in that vein to other crises, from the Revolutionary War to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

My analysis of the problem: "Denial is not a river in Africa." We won't get anywhere until we acknowledge publicly that Islamism is the problem here. Period. People are afraid to admit the truth, either because it pulverizes their pet theories, or because they'd have to realize just what kind of threat we face.

So imagine the gratification of hearing the CNN news anchor this morning say that she'd put together all the info on these attacks, looking for the common denominator and discovered that it was - can you believe it - Islamic fundamentalism. CNN no less! Wow!

(Thanks to Dick.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Never again?

The latest: two Danish artists, one of them Jewish, put up posters in Berlin showing a map of the Middle East with no Israel on it. The title of the poster: The Final Solution.

Were the artists trying to shock Europeans by highlighting the existential danger facing Israel? No, they were recommending that Israel be wiped off the map, and suggesting Israelis resettle in the United States, Germany or Denmark.

So what do you think: is there - could there possibly be - any connection between anti-Zionism and antisemitism? Of course not! What a ridiculous idea! (Thanks to Clemens.)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ah, those settlements

Here's the latest on our Mideast policy:

-- We threatened to let an anti-Israel resolution on settlements go forward at the United Nations Security Council if the Israelis didn't agree to a freeze;

-- Support for the resolution, it turns out, was the price for having the Palestinian Authority agree to indirect talks with the Israelis;

-- There's no chance those indirect talks could turn into direct ones (i.e. face-to-face, as has been the practice for years), because the Arab League made that a condition of its approval of Israeli-Palestinian talks.

I'm sure glad the Obama administration is playing hardball to stop Israeli settlements rather than to keep Iran from getting the bomb! Makes me feel a whole lot safer. (Thanks to Daily Alert.)