Free Markets, Free People

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It may be time to become violent and intolerant

Large quote from Andy McCarthy.  This is an important point that so many in the West simply refuse to acknowledge:

This point has been made so many times it should hardly be necessary to point out that Obama and Kerry, like Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton, and like many Bush-administration officials before them (including President Bush), are dead wrong when they deny the nexus between Islamic doctrine –– the literal scriptures –- and terrorism, decapitations, totalitarian government, repression of women, rabid anti-Semitism, the murder of homosexuals, and so on. Still, it would be a serious error merely to observe that they are wrong, snicker at their fecklessness, and move on.

There is a reason they are taking a position diametrically opposed to reality.

Obama and Kerry, like transnational progressives in both of our major political parties, believe there are “moderate Islamists” who are the key to stability in the Middle East. Now, the term “moderate Islamist” is contradictory: an Islamist wants government by sharia, Islam’s totalitarian societal framework and legal code. There is nothing moderate about sharia. Those who want it implemented are not “moderates” even if they don’t commit mass-murder to get their way. Sharia is also anti-liberty, anti-equality, and anti-Western. Therefore, we should oppose Islamism just as we oppose other freedom-killing ideologies. That doesn’t mean we need to go to war with all Islamists, but we should work to diminish their influence and we should never regard them as a solution to anything.

Notwithstanding their abhorrence of the West, “moderate Islamists” are regarded by Obama and Kerry as potential allies: people, groups, and, in the case of Turkey, for example, countries that we can work with to solve the problems plaguing the Middle East and overcome our own security challenges. It is thus critically important to Obama and Kerry for the public to believe that (a) all Islamists are not basically the same and (b) there is a sharp difference — a day-and-night difference — between “moderate Islamists” and terrorist organizations like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. If, instead, the public becomes convinced that all Islamists, violent or non-violent, adhere to essentially the same ideology, the administration’s goal of working with Islamic supremacists becomes politically untenable.

It is impossible to convince people that non-violent (or, at least, purportedly non-violent) Islamists are not representative of Islam. The administration tried that with its “largely secular” Muslim Brotherhood flyer . . . and has been embarrassed ever since by the howls of laughter. Most significant Islamist groups are rooted in or affiliated with the Brotherhood. Not only do these groups claim the mantle of Islam’s representative; our government concedes that status to them.

Because they refuse to acknowledge this they simply hold out a “solution” that doesn’t exist.  So-called “moderate Islam” is only a ratcheted down version of the extremists.  Perhaps “moderate Islam” doesn’t want to take part in killing you, but they’re not particularly upset that the extremist version is doing it for them.   They may differ in the methods, but they’re not indifferent to the result – i.e. the world converting to Islam and the establishment of Sharia law.  That is the ultimate goal of Islam.  Weasel wording it doesn’t change that fact.

So how does one go about convincing “moderate Islam” to back off?  Well one way to to recognize the threat, and the threat isn’t just limited to “extremists”.  However, such recognition is antithetical to the tenets of the left’s multi-culturalism.  Every culture is “worthwhile” and has “value”.  Even those which justify the murder of non-believers and homosexuals, enslave and mutilate women, and essentially redefine misogyny.  The very people who support this sort of “tolerance” would likely be its first victims.

Back to the question – how do we back off “moderate Islam?”  Well this is going to sound exceedingly violent, but it is meant to be.  You have to ruthlessly and completely wipe out the extremists.  But instead, we seem to be contemplating a strategy of  “managing” the threat.  As Michael Totten notes:

The reason we must reject the tempting tendency to close our eyes and hope this problem goes away is that Allah doesn’t always sort things out according to American interests.

Life is filled with things we don’t want to do but have to do anyway. No one wants radiation or chemotherapy, but if you get cancer, you’re going to have to take it despite the fact that it might not work and that it will certainly feel like it’s killing you.

Let’s not kid ourselves. ISIS — or ISIL as the President calls it — is cancerous. And it is not a benign tumor. It is metastasizing and will not stop growing stronger and deadlier until it is dealt with aggressively and, at the absolute minimum, contained.

And only that sort of treatment will impress “moderate Islam” – period.  Of course, that’s only step 1.  Step 2 will be even more painful for the Western left.  It is all about intolerance.  That’s right, it’s about being intolerant of ideas, principles and cultural norms that attack and would eventually destroy Western culture as we know it.  Islam is as intolerant of our Western culture is we should be of it’s culture.  Just because some group of elitists on the left decided one day that all cultures are equal and valuable has now been shown to be simplistic pap.  And unless Western civ is in the mood to commit suicide, it is going to have to make some very hard and intolerant decisions in the near future.

So if the West is to survive, it’s time to take a real “step 1″, not some half-measure that I am pretty sure is being contemplated as we speak.

Many violent jihadists who go on to join al-Qaeda and, now, the Islamic State (an offshoot of al-Qaeda) got their start in the Muslim Brotherhood. They seamlessly graduate from Brotherhood teaching to insatiable jihad because Brotherhood teaching lauds jihad. In fact, the transition happens because many of those who receive Brotherhood instruction become frustrated by the contradiction between the Brotherhood’s aim of a worldwide caliphate and endorsement of jihad to achieve it, on the one hand, and its counsel of patience in pursuing it, on the other.

It is precisely because Islamists share an ideology rooted in Islam, and what they see as a divinely mandated mission of conquest, that a Muslim can so predictably evolve from student to sharia adherent to “moderate Islamist” to not-so-moderate Islamist to terrorist. It happens frequently. And the common ideology rooted in Islam also explains why so many “moderate Islamists” financially and morally support violent jihadist organizations even if they don’t take up arms themselves.

Why?  Because, as I said, the “moderates” are not at all indifferent to the outcome brought about by the extremists.  And until we wrap our heads around that and do what is necessary to actually and finally address the real threat we face, it’s not going to get any better and could easily get much worse.  It isn’t about extremists and moderates, it’s about a toxic culture/religion that was recognized as such by the West centuries ago as a threat.   As for the present, there’s very little difference between “moderate” and “extremists” with regard to the final outcome they seek:

The Islamic State has presumed to declare a caliphate. Al-Qaeda franchises think that is hasty — especially since someone else is running the caliphate — and would proceed more gradually, setting up emirates and hoping for more consensus among Islamists. Both organizations want to confront the West only violently; the Muslim Brotherhood, on the contrary, teaches that, while violent jihad has its place (see Hamas), it is valid to negotiate with the West, to infiltrate the West’s institutions, and to achieve whatever conquest can be achieved without violence.

~McQ

History begins to repeat itself

In a piece that hits some pretty important points, Victor Davis Hanson concludes:

In truth, the world has dropped its vigilance since 9/11; Western populations are exhausted by economic hard times and acrimony over the wars in Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan. The charge of Islamaphobia means that Western societies have trouble confronting radical Islamists in their midst, like Major Hasan, the Tsarnaev Boston Marathon bombers, and throngs of virulently anti-Semitic Muslim immigrants in Europe. The United Nations is about as useful as was the League of Nations during the rise of fascism. As in the case of the rise of the Nazis, we naively write off the savagery of ISIS as having no place in our century, as if brutality is always premodern rather than enhanced by postmodern technology. Neo-isolationism and appeasement have swept the West and have eroded the national will to confront radical Islam in the manner of the last 1930s—with all the familiar scapegoating of the Jews and “war-mongers.”

Make sure to read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, right here at QandO we’ve had to suffer through the brainless rantings of those who claim that such brutality has no place in this century. Of course and as usual, reality bitch slaps that nonsense to death. Quite simply, brutality and inhumanity have never confined themselves to man-made centuries and any thinking person would know that.  Actually any person with the IQ of a persimmon knows that.

However, we’re caught in a postmodern web of our own making – spun by such concepts as “multi-culturalism” and its hand-maidens, “political correctness” and the grievance industry. The left has done a fine job in helping us handcuff ourselves at a crucial time in our history. We’re now afraid to confront that which is a threat to our existence for fear of … what? Offending the gods of multi-culturalism who dictate that all cultures are of value and equal? Of being politically incorrect when we correctly identify the threat as an extremist form of a religious death cult? My goodness, we might be called “Islamaphobes”. Of not being “tolerant”. Well I’m not tolerant of ignorant religious zealots who have declared their intention to kill me and my kind. Live with it.

Nor am I tolerant of those who would cosset them, excuse them or otherwise play down who and what they are. Instead they need to be exterminated, just like any infestation of vermin you might discover that threatens your life.

Minor rant aside, Hanson’s point is important. The threat is new in name only and the West is acting just as it did when its own home-grown version in Germany began its horrific rise. However there’s a huge difference, at least as I see it. The Nazis didn’t infiltrate other cultures before they attempted their conquest. This insidious enemy has. As Hanson points out Europe has allowed “throngs of virulently anti-Semitic Muslim immigrants” and has, in many places, all but lost control.

So what does that portend, and how does the West address it … if it will address it? Meanwhile, in the US, we have no idea of who or what what the throngs of illegal immigrants bring to this country. Our government refuses to enforce our immigration laws or secure our borders. Because? Because borders, apparently, have no place in the 21st century … or something.

The threat is real as is the seeming choice of the West to repeat the mistakes of the 20th century. All in the name of a failed ideology and an unwillingness to deal with reality in a way which ensures both the safety and survival of its citizens.

The West’s actions might “offend” somebody, and we know that is the worst offense known to man in this day and age, isn’t it?

~McQ

Loss of Will, Continued

In the comments to my previous post, “The Shark” writes:

What is civilization? Sanitation, clean water, viable infrastructure, decent standard of living? England has all that yet I don’t think it qualifies as civilization anymore. Watch it burn? No need, it’s decaying not-so-slowly.

The thing is that “sanitation, clean water, viable infrastructure, decent standard of living” and other amenities are not the characteristics of civilization. They are merely the products of it. They are what results from civilization, i.e., a standard of law, culture, science, and domestic peace that allows “sanitation, clean water, viable infrastructure, decent standard of living” and other amenities to be built.

Once a civilization has built these amenities, they have a physical capacity that everyone can use long after the civilization itself collapses. The men of the Middle Ages couldn’t build the Roman roads–in fact, they literally had no idea how the Romans had built them–but they still used them. So the question is not whether you still have the infrastructure amenities built by your predecessors, but whether your civilization is still improving on them and building new ones.

For instance, forty years ago, the United States sent 2 men to the surface of the moon every eight months or so from 1969 to 1972. In the space of a single decade, we went from having no manned space capability at all, to having multiple manned lunar landings. Forty years later, we don’t have a vehicle capable of sending a single American into earth orbit. We have the same manned space capability now that we had in 1960, 54 years ago.

Think about that for a minute, and what implications for our civilization we can draw from that decline.


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Loss of Will

Via Instapundit, I saw this story which irked me. It’s an AP story, so I won’t quote it directly. You can go read it if you want. The upshot is that UN forces were besieged by Syrian Rebels in the Golan heights.The commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, or UNDOF, who supervises the UN peacekeeping forces in Golan, ordered the peacekeepers to surrender to the rebels.

Last week, the detachment from Fiji were surrounded by the Rebels and surrendered, and are still prisoners of the rebels. The rebels then besieged the Philippine detachment of UNDOF. As part of the negotiations to secure the release of the Fijian peacekeepers, the UNDOF commander told the the Philippine detachment to surrender as well. The Philippine detachment, conversely, told the UNDOF commander to go screw, and…extricated themselves from the siege, during which time they were…ahem…forced to fire on the rebels in self defense.

So, first off, kudos to the Philippine troops, and their big boss, Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang, who said that Philippine soldiers do not surrender their firearms.

Second, how useless is the UN and its “Peacekeeping Forces”? Rebel attacks have been on the rise, causing several UNDOF member nations to withdraw their troops. These withdrawals, have, surprisingly, not kept the peace, and rebel attacks have been on the rise.

The UN is supposed to provide peacekeeping troops to, if necessary, enforce the rules of decent civilization on barbarians. Clearly, they are a failure at that. One can’t help but remember that in other, happier days, the defenders of civilization, when attacked by barbarians, would keep the peace by hunting down and killing the barbarians to the last man, killing him, then killing his pet goat, as Ralph Peters has put it. Not any more, apparently. The job of UN peacekeeping has seemingly been reduced to molesting underage girls and surrendering to barbarians.

The thing is, there are men who only want to see the world burn. To surrender to them does not gain peace, but gives them the world.

We spoke about piracy at sea on the podcast this week, and how, after obliterating it in the 19th century, we have allowed it to flourish in the 21st. We are squandering–indeed have mostly squandered–the legacy of of civilization, and with it the notion that civilization must be defended. There is never a shortage of barbarians, but there is an increasing shortage of nations willing to defend against them with the only thing barbarians understand: naked, brutal, death-dealing violence.

I do not see a bright future for civilization if this continues. Future generations may very well regard us as men of the Middle Ages did the Romans, wondering how they built all those roads and aqueducts.

Civilization may not be perfect, but as the example of ISIS/ISIL in Iraq is instructing us, it is generally better than the alternative.


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I’ve been sort of following Ferguson

But not that much.

Why?

Because it is a re-run.  In fact, it’s a re-run of a re-run.  A re-make if you prefer.  The same-old, same-old.

It is so predictable that you could set up a timeline and be pretty sure that you’d be 90% right.

It begins like this:

Incident occurs.  In this case, black teenager, white cop (template says black/white with black the victim).  Tensions build.  Protests erupt and violence ensues.

Then the real problem occurs.

Before everything can be sorted out and calmed down, the media shows up.

Of course, as soon as the media grows enough to include national outlets, the professional race baiters are soon to follow.  Right on their heels the other opportunists arrive – the anarchists, communists, community activists, agitators and looters.  And soon the circus is in full swing.

Rumor is published as fact.  Hate rages from both sides.  Social media is inundated with trash talk, nonsense and stupidity aided and abetted by an agenda driven media. Death threats, threats of violence, racial hate and other garbage flows like a river.  Anchors from the national outlets put on their safari jackets (or now I guess it’s their protective vests and helmets) and get cameo shots near the protests to certify their “bona fides” as brave news men and women.  Irresponsibility and immaturity on all sides rules the day.

And the flames get fanned even higher.

Former CNN anchor and Fox News Channel’s “MediaBuzz” host Howie Kurtz criticized some outlets for creating “almost a lynch mob mentality” in Ferguson, MO in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown.

“Some liberal outlets [are] creating almost a lynch mob mentality around this, the Huffington Post today, screaming banner headline ‘Arrest Him.’ Now, the Huffington Post, nor you or I, knows exactly what happened” he said. And “when you cross that line into becoming an advocate and to demanding that somebody be prosecuted before the facts are in, while the investigation is going on, you’re grandstanding, you’re trying to keep the story alive and I really think it’s troubling.”

Kurtz also criticized CNN for showing the house of accused officer Darren Wilson, stating, “It defies my understanding how you could put his life or the life of his family in danger by even briefly showing the house or naming the street.”

When it all finally sorts itself out, we’ll likely find that the problem wasn’t necessarily about race, didn’t conform to any of the preconceived notions presented by the press (like, you know, “George Zimmerman” wasn’t white) and wasn’t any of the nonsense the “experts” opined endlessly about.

It was an unfortunate incident that needs to be addressed, but hasn’t had the chance to be addressed.  And now the DoJ has decided the Civil Rights division needs to be involved along with 40 or so FBI agents.  And the governor has sent in the National Guard.

Is there an injustice here?  Possibly, but I don’t know yet.  I’d go as far as to say probably, but again, I don’t know. I do know that it points to a growing trend of over-policing that I attribute to a seeming change in philosophy among police departments. Police, in many cases, seem to escalate a situation instead of defusing it. That needs to be reversed, in my opinion.  But I certainly don’t know if this officer would have acted any differently if the teenager had been white.  Nor do I yet know whether his actions were warranted or not (which is why we impanel juries and have evidence presented in cases like this).  And neither does anyone else.

But in the street theater all of this has become, that’s likely to be lost in the shuffle.

In other words, this is the Trayvon Martin template redux with nightly violence added for variety.

Formulaic, predictable and disgusting. But that’s how we do it in America today.

~McQ

The left’s “new” idea

I don’t think anyone would attempt to persuade us that “feminism” is a product of the right.  In fact, most feminists would argue that feminism is necessary because of the right … and men, of course.  Feminism began on the left as a fairly benignly defined movement: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.”

Of course, that didn’t last long and feminism evolved and began characterizing women as victims – victims of men, the “system”, the “patriarchy, etc. because, well, men controlled everything (the fact that technology had advanced to a point that women were more able to participate in a vast number of more areas of life than previously, and that as such, the culture needed to go through a natural evolutionary cycle to adapt to that apparently never occurred to them) and that was bad.  And as it built up the cult of victimhood and focused on men – well, except for Bill Clinton or any other useful man on the left – it became more militant and radical.  Men went from being partners to necessary evils to just plain evil.  Stereotypes of the “typical male” became etched in the concrete of their dogma as “the truth”.  “All sex is rape” and “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” became popular catch phrases that were representative of their developing creed as the movement morphed from one to gain equal rights to one that essentially declared war on men.  It wasn’t about equality anymore, it was about rejection of men and everything they stood for.  Men, to radical feminists, were the problem … and although never said, it was clear most of the radical feminists would be quite happy if men were essentially eliminated.

Well rejoice radfems, one of your ilk has spoken what you have dared not say outloud.  The reason you’ve not said it becomes clear when you realize the natural end state of radical feminism and how it has to be achieved, at least according to this fembot.  She outlines the “utopian” vision of the radical feminist movement – and trust me there’s nothing about equality involved.  Instead it is filled with ignorance – one which imagines the “state” as the ultimate tool necessary for radfems to change the world into what this silly woman imagines would be a utopia.  What is interesting to note is what would have to happen for this “utopia” to evolve.  Yes, I know it is extraordinarily far-fetched and absurd, but then we can point to many current and past ideologies – all pointed at their own brand of “utopia” – that somehow gained credence and backing to establish itself, much to the detriment of those who were identified as “enemies” of the ideology.

Anyway the point is this particular nonsense is a good example of how leftist ideologies usually imagine their ascendence.  It is through the state and their control of it.  The state is their tool, their ideology is the weapon and the individual – well individuals don’t exist for these ideologies.  They become nothing more than pawns to be used as necessary for the “good of society” and the collective as a whole.

What you’ll read will seem radical as hell, which is why it is so perfect for the point – you don’t have to explain subtlety here – there is none.  It is pure elitist power and abuse wrapped up in what this person hopes is a benign description that shows those who can read between the lines what extent and what horrors radicals on the left would set in motion to accomplish their “utopia”:

VICE: I assume The Ratio refers to your belief the male population should be reduced to between by 90 percent.

The Femitheist: I believe that conventional equality, with a 50/50 female-to-male ratio, is an inferior system. Essentially my ideas lead to men being made a special class—a far more valued class—having choice of a myriad of women due to the difference in sex ratio. That is my intention. Men would be made more valuable, and their quality of life would be dramatically improved. They would have a subsidised existence if you will, akin to going on an all-expenses paid vacation that lasts from birth to death.

Assuming people are down for that, how could you reduce the male population by that much? Are you talking culling or selective breeding over years?

Obviously men comprise a substantial portion of the victims of violent crime and participate heavily in war, so there will always be deaths there—but certainly not culling. I don’t advocate selective slaughter or brutal processes.

The first thing to notice in this word salad is she claims not to want to do anything via a selective slaughter or anything. How nice.  Stereotypical men will kill themselves off and aid in their extermination.  Also, note the characterization of those men who are left (if you’re confused, she wants only 1 to 10% men and 90 to 99% women as the “proper ratio) as “more valuable” and that the “quality of life” would improve.

Yup, and they said the Jews were going to work camps where they’d be properly looked after in 1939, didn’t they? “Arbeit macht frei”!   This is all about the “selling” of the idea and easing the victims of the ideology into the cattle cars without a disturbance.

She says the way to ensure the ratio is reached and maintained is through genetic manipulation and abortion.  Any guess as to what would manage and mandate that process?

Another role for the state?

It’ll require the re-teaching of everyone—female and male—in classrooms, homes, through literature, media, art, and networks. It is a process that would take decades, generations, and perhaps even a few centuries. Nevertheless, these are things that should be done to forge a new and vastly superior world.

Vastly superior because, well you know, the self-appointed elite certainly have been successful creating “vastly superior” societies in the past, haven’t they?

Would men be kept in isolation like stud horses?

I believe we must remove men from the community and place them in their own specific sections of society, akin to subsidised or state-funded reservations, so they can be redefined. We can make not only men safer, but women as well. By subsidising said reservations through the state we can provide men with activities, healthcare, entertainment, shelter, protection, and everything that one could ever require in life. This will remove conventional inequality from society. By reducing the number of men to 10 percent of the total population, their socio-biovalue will be raised. They will live out their lives happily and safely, and male disposability will be a thing of the past.

She knows this is true because, well, because it is obvious she knows so much about men … not.  Stereotypically all men want is “sex, beer and a TV”.  Man has never striven for anything else and would obviously be content to be penned up and have their needs serviced.  History is bereft of examples of men striving for or wanting anything more.   No mention, of course, of what the “state” would do to those men who chafe at these restrictions and want more out of life.  Of course since they are reduced to a life of nothing more that of a stud horse, it is obvious that their place in any human society is substantially below that of the women in that society.  I.e. they’re the “harem” for the women who run the world.

Are you ready for the dismissal of the individual and the one-size-fits-all solution so common to these leftist dream-worlds?

What about the ambitions of the individual? Some men may aspire to more than luxury breeding pens.

Some would argue it would be a dystopian world because it wouldn’t be free in the present conventional sense. However that is misguided. It will be utopian because it will be a world almost without conflict where people cooperate and are treated properly within a well-engineered and long-forged system. If everything is great for almost everyone the point is null. Survival and socio-organic wellbeing are the most important elements in life. Diversity of principles and standards is only necessary in a world of multiple nations, cultures, societies, and religions due to fear of oppression. So, how is this world any better? Because some people have potential opportunities to do certain things?

That’s kind of depressing.

The purpose of living is merely to persist and perpetuate our species. If someone is willing to give you all you require to survive and live comfortably, simply because you exist, then you have already achieved all that truly matters.

Kind of depressing?  It is staggeringly stupid not to mention incredibly oppressive.  And how about the redefinition of the “purpose of living”?  That’s all?  That’s all there is?  Well, except for the elite (among which she would likely place herself).  That’s not the sole purpose of their being – they live to control you and achieve “utopia” … their utopia.  You drones just need to fall in line and procreate.

And what about the “family” in this matriarchal wonder world:

Doesn’t all this dismiss the notion of companionship and the family unit?

Heterosexual companionship and the nuclear family model, yes.

What do you propose as alternatives?

Children should be raised communally and by the state. The nuclear family model is a breeding ground of deceptions, mediocrities, treacheries, hypocrisy, and violence. It needs to be abolished. Bigotry, prejudice, and antiquated convictions are passed down through each generation. The conventional family unit indoctrinates our youth and drains them of their potential. My solution would be to assign children caretakers whose task would simply be to provide shelter, food, clothing, and protection for each child—all of which would be yielded by the state. Perfect girls will be conceived, developed, and engineered in state-owned breeding centers. They will be bound together in a communal venue under the instruction and control of female savants.

It takes a village, baby.  A female village.  No males allowed – well except those allowed to be born to repopulate the stud farm and they’ll be completely indoctrinated by the time they reach puberty.  Perfect girls in state-owned breeding centers … what more could you ask for?

Now you’re probably saying that this is so far fetched that it would never stand a chance of ever being established or condoned.  Why even waste time on it?

Well, I’d simply point you toward Nazism of the past century and say, “BS”.  It is the same plan with a twist.  Nazis also wanted a perfect society (they just wanted “Aryans”, not just women), they too believed everyone belonged to the state, they also pushed selective “breeding” (rewarding Aryan couples for having children and euthanizing the retarded and deformed), and through their Hitler Youth program, the state took on the total indoctrination of the youth for it’s own purposes (rat on your folks, get a reward).  They even had a program to weed out the undesirable from society.  In this woman’s case, it is men.  Then it was Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, slavs and political enemies.  So yeah, this is a rehash of the Nazi “utopia” with a twist. Instead of the “final solution” we get the “90% solution”.

 No one said the left was original.  And for the most part, it may be horrifically ignorant of history.  But it is persistent.  And that is the danger of people like this.  You never know when the events of history will converge as they did in Germany so many decades ago, to make an ideology seem “fresh” and “good” again.

~McQ

What ever happened to critical thinking

Dr. Thomas Sowell thinks he knows:

In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.

Critical thinking seems, in many cases, to be a thing of the past.  Ideology seems to be replacing it.

For instance:

Many people in Europe and the Western Hemisphere are staging angry protests against Israel’s military action in Gaza. One of the talking points against Israel is that far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli military attacks than the number of Israeli civilians killed by the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel that started this latest military conflict.

Are these protesters aware that vastly more German civilians were killed by American bombers attacking Nazi Germany during World War II than American civilians killed in the United States by Hitler’s forces?

Not only that, are they aware that the intent of the Hamas terrorists is to kill as many Israeli civilians as they can?  They’re just not very good at it.  And, Israel has taken steps to safeguard its civilians while Hamas repeatedly and purposely puts their civilians at risk by launching rockets from populated areas near schools etc.

This isn’t something that’s hard to figure out … unless you’ve turned thinking off and ideology (which only allows one to accept “facts” that fit the narrative”) on.

Another example involving Jerry Rivers:

Geraldo Rivera has denounced the Drudge Report for carrying news stories that show some of the negative consequences and dangers from allowing vast numbers of youngsters to enter the country illegally and be spread across the country by the Obama administration.

Some of these youngsters are already known to be carrying lice and suffering from disease. Since there have been no thorough medical examinations of most of them, we have no way of knowing whether they, or how many, are carrying deadly diseases that will spread to American children when these unexamined young immigrants enter schools across the country.

The attack against Matt Drudge has been in the classic tradition of demagogues. It turns questions of fact into questions of motive. Geraldo accuses Drudge of trying to start a “civil war.”

However, history reminds us:

Back when masses of immigrants from Europe were entering this country, those with dangerous diseases were turned back from Ellis Island. Nobody thought they had a legal or a moral “right” to be in America or that it was mean or racist not to want our children to catch their diseases.

Perfectly acceptable precautions.  Perfectly sound reasoning.  Something we understood well even back then.  But that doesn’t fit the ideological narrative today. The fact that the illegals are “children”  is what the ideologues want to emphasize in order to shut others up and have them enter freely and be placed within our system.  They appeal to emotion, not reason.  Reason tells you that you take prudent precautions instead of openly exposing your children to the communicable diseases, etc. that are being brought in by illegals, children or not.  Who do we have a greater responsibility toward and why should we risk their lives and health in order to satisfy an ideology?  A thinking person would conclude we have a greater responsibility to our own children.

Finally:

Although liberals are usually gung ho for increasing the minimum wage, there was a sympathetic front-page story in the July 29 San Francisco Chronicle about the plight of a local non-profit organization that will not be able to serve as many low-income minority youths if it has to pay a higher minimum wage. They are seeking some kind of exemption.

Does it not occur to these people that the very same thing happens when a minimum-wage increase applies to profit-based employers? They, too, tend to hire fewer inexperienced young people when there is a minimum-wage law.

No it doesn’t “occur” to them because they don’t think it through.  They simply parrot the emotional buzz-words and phrases their ideology teaches them.  The consequences are far less important than getting their way and feeling good about it.  But critical thought never enters the picture.

If it did, we’d not be hearing the nonsense these examples present, would we?

~McQ

Why is the West so afraid of Islam?

That’s the title of an article written by Michael Brendan Dougherty in The Week.

But Ernesto Galli della Loggia, the lead editorial writer for Corriere Della Sera, offered one provocative suggestion for Europe’s unwillingness to get involved: fear of Islam. In an editorial titled “The Indifference That Kills,” he writes (translated here) that Europe fears what he calls “Arab Islam” and its ability to commit economic blackmail. He writes:

“At the same time, and above all, it fears the ruthless terrorism, the many guerrillas that claim to be inspired by Islam, their cruel barbarity, as well as the movements of revolt that periodically deeply stir the masses of that world, always permeated by a sensibility that is extremely easy to light up and to break loose in violent xenophobia.” [Corriere Della Sera]

There is something to this. Consider: When Pope Benedict XVI, in an academic setting, merely quoted a medieval critique of Islam, the result was riots across the Islamic world, including the murder of Christian nuns. There was similar rioting and threats over satirical cartoons in a Danish newspaper that if made about Christianity would elicit almost no reaction beyond a letter or a few digital comments.

He goes on excruciatingly offering reasons that may have some validity but really don’t hit on the real reason.

The West fears Islam (that’s radical Islam) because it hasn’t the intestinal fortitude to do what is necessary to combat it.  If  you’ve been watching in horror what ISIS has been doing as it moves through Iraq, or Hamas in Gaza, you understand that with radical Islam, there are not boundaries of decency or humanity that constrain them. They will do whatever it takes to win the day, no matter how many lives it costs on both sides. There is no such thing as an atrocity except the existence of infidels.

The West fears Islam because to do what is necessary to combat and defeat it, the West would have to throw over decades of liberal hogwash about the equality of cultures and how we must respect them. Its a bit like claiming you have to respect and endure a rabid skunk because it is a living being and thus our equal.

Instead of admitting that radical Islam is a rabid skunk that needs to be exterminated, we continue to see the liberal game being played as is. And the results are predictable. Knowing that there’s really no downside to their actions (in their terms not ours – martyrdom is martyrdom regardless of how it is achieved) they continue to push the envelope and receive the equivalent of “red lines” that are never enforced in answer.

The West has become a collective of cowards who will be taken piecemeal by this pernicious and unrelenting force who is focused on conquest by any means necessary. As it single-mindedly pursues that goal, the West dithers, argues, laments, has meetings and generally believes that at some point it will be able to reason with a movement which is as savage as any pack of beasts. It won’t meet that savagery with equal savagery – something necessary to get the attention of this malevolent movement.

Instead the West will continue to insist on “rules” in a game with no rules, morality from a group who has demonstrated none and eventually capitulate when all of this becomes clear too late to survive the stupidity. The West is either going to have to wake up and act in a manner that will ensure its survival or prepare to be overwhelmed and become a part of the Caliphate. And, as ISIS and others have more than amply demonstrated, the takeover will be horrific.

The West has a real reason to fear radical Islam. Most of it has to do with its own spinelessness.  I mean, consider this – me saying what I’ve said would be condemned by most of the liberal West in no uncertain terms.  Yet it is precisely what needs to be done to excise this threat from the face of the earth and ensure the survival of the very people that would condemn my words.

~McQ

Wondering why there are few women in tech? Here’s the perspective of someone in tech.

Via Instapundit and Bill Quick, I’ve noticed discussion about this Forbes article on why females are under-represented in technology companies.

As someone who has spent an adult lifetime in the tech industry, let me suggest an angle that I didn’t see in this article, and which I have not seen in other similar articles.

Most jobs of any consequence in tech companies require people to successfully write code at some point in their careers. Writing code is a very unusual human activity. In addition to logic skills and some other cognitive capabilities that the articles usually do touch on, there is one aspect of it most people outside the industry have never thought about: you must be comfortable being wrong and prepared to constantly acknowledge and fix your own mistakes.  

You are wrong a few dozen times a day. The computer tells you (via a compiler error or problem in the running program) that you are unambiguously wrong, and you *must* figure out how to fix the mistake before you proceed. The mistake can’t be overlooked or ignored. It must be fixed, and to the exacting standards of a machine with no emotions.

And here’s where I think the problem results in disparate impact between males and females: the computer is invulnerable to pleading, sweet-talking, eye blinking, hair tossing, lip licking, or any of the other things a substantial fraction of young women have learned to use to get their way in the world, via persuading a male to take care of it or overlook it.

Think, for example, about all those famous stratagems for getting out of traffic tickets, and the jokes about wanting to use one and finding out the cop is female. Whether feminists like it or not, that behavior is common among young women, and it’s common because it works in many social situations.

Whether you think it’s cultural or genetic, woman are less comfortable in the harsh reality, hard edged world of writing code. I think it’s at least partially because it goes against how they have learned to deal with the world around them. Because the computer isn’t a person, and certainly not a male, their best social skills avail them nothing. Plus, they have to be completely comfortable being told flat out “you are wrong about this – deal with it” many times a day, every day.

This is hard. No one likes being told that they are wrong. I know plenty of men who can’t deal with it either. But I think women, on average, have less experience with it than men.

There is evidence to back that up. For example, there is research confirming that teachers pamper girls in school. So, from a young age, and given our current educational system, I think a male is less likely to have someone overlook their mistakes.

There are certainly amazing and talented women developers. I know some and I’ve hired some. In fact, I’ve hired a larger percentage of the women candidates who interviewed with me than men. I just don’t see that many of them.

I strongly challenge the idea that the disparate numbers are due to sexism at the level of the technology companies. In the ruthlessly competitive world of tech, we’ll take talent where we find it. I don’t care about a candidate’s gender, race, religion, sexual preference, or anything else irrelevant to the prime consideration: can they effectively write software? 

In fact, given the current lop-sided proportion of men in the industry, in many cases a qualified woman actually has an advantage! Men are hardwired by eons of evolution to prefer to look at a woman across a conference table than another scruffy, bearded, overweight male nerd. Male decision makers, in my experience, simply never turn down a qualified woman due to sexism. (I supposed there are Neanderthal male decision makers out there who do, but in a long tech career, I’ve never met one.)

So, to the extent that gender matters at all, women typically have the better of it. But decision makers can’t afford to let that factor override the need to perform. Anyone running a software development team knows the dangers of having someone who can’t deal with the harsh realities of being told they are wrong and figuring out how to fix it many times a day. One of the prime characteristics I look for in interviews is defensiveness, which usually indicates an inability to deal with being wrong a lot. Such a person (male or female) not only fails to contribute much, they degrade the overall ability of the team to get things done.

I don’t know how to fix this comparative lack of women in the industry, and I would certainly like to see it fixed. But expecting university computer science departments or tech companies to do it is silly. Any solution is going to have to go a lot further back in a female’s life than young adulthood, and involve a much bigger effort than just encouraging more girls to enter science fairs.

It’s not a law, it’s a rule

More outrage smoke from Ezekiel Emanuel on the Supreme Court women’s contraception ruling over at Politico lamenting unintended consequences.

Someone should lament the unintended consequences of the ACA, assuming they are unintended.

Blah blah, no personal choice, your company’s religious belief trumps yours, what a crime that companies have provided the majority of American’s health insurance since World War II when we could have had a super good program like ObamaCare is offering right now.  Don’t you just wish those evil Supreme Court justices had gone the way of progressive liberal goodness and niceness and made up law like Justice Roberts did when he magiced a penalty, unlawful, into a tax, lawful, instead of reading this new rule to see if it clashed with laws already on the books?

The ACA was crated to, uh, prevent you from being locked into your job you see.  Odd, I personally changed jobs, as a father of a family, which HAD pre-existing conditions, of a serious nature, some 9 times over the course of the last 35 years BEFORE the ACA, and oddly must have missed the handcuffs that kept me locked in my job(s).   The ACA is a cure all, it will prevent job lock, it will raise wages AND it will keep health care inflation under control.   Yeah, course it will.    It would have helped win the War on women, but not now because Sharia law!

Here’s a snip….

‘To minimize disruption and reassure most Americans, the Affordable Care Act kept employer-sponsored health insurance intact. The ACA includes an employer mandate enforced by a $2,000 per worker penalty: Employers with more than 50 full-time workers who do not provide insurance that satisfies a minimum requirement must pay.

The minimum requirement includes preventive services from vaccinations to cancer screening tests to cholesterol screening. It also includes contraception. The Hobby Lobby case basically says employers need not cover contraception in the health insurance it provides” (my emphasis)

The ACA includes contraception.   Zeke left out part of the history, conveniently because it’s easier to manufacture outrage when you leave out the incriminating realities.

So well crafted was this law, that women’s contraceptive health coverage wasn’t even included in it.   That would be the rule that the evil religious folks NOW can use to control women’s uterus’s!  I mean that would be the rule that means the evil religious folks have to pay for birth control.

Wasn’t there.

The ACA passed into law on March 23, 2010 – there was NO provision in the original law for birth control – here’s a FAQ from the National Women’s Law Center web site that explains it was added on August 1, 2011.   Added, not voted on, not sent to the House, Senate, President.   Just added.

“The health care law (the Affordable Care Act) requires certain preventive health services and screenings to be covered in all new health insurance plans without cost sharing. This means that, for the preventive health care services included, you will not be charged a co-payment for the services, and the costs of the services will not be applied to your deductible. The list of covered preventive services is extensive and includes services such as mammograms, pap-smears, and smoking cessation supports….(I snipped a link ‘for more info)

On August 1, 2011, the list was expanded to include birth control alongside other women’s preventive services, such as an annual well-woman visit.”

Maybe Nancy Pelosi should have read it first to see if that was in there.  Or maybe it was, we just couldn’t see it,  yet.

That was, not so soon, taken care of by Kathleen Sebelius and the good folks down at US Department of Health and Human Service, a year later.   Really, you’d have thought they’d have done it sooner, but maybe they finally read the ACA.

Free contraception for women.       They couldn’t possibly have left that out, that would be like a war on women or something, and not a Bush or Republican in sight to take the blame!  It’s important, right?  It couldn’t have been overlooked.    It’s important enough that the government just tried to use it to tell people with objecting religious convictions (dirrrrrrrrty Christians) ….they were going to have to provide contraception coverage.

And now because of the Jihadi Sharia loving 5 maniacs on the Supreme Court, women can’t have contraception, or contraception of their choice, or health care, or something!!!!!!!!

Well, not quite, in this case, specifically, the government mandated Hobby Lobby had to pay for methods they considered to be tantamount to ”abortion’ coverage.  Hobby Lobby actually agreed to cover some other forms of contraception, a pretty fair number, in fact, 16.

Robin Abcarian at the LA Times weighed in on the decision too.   According to Robin the Supremes should have looked at what the drugs and devices did and made their decision on that basis.   So long as when it was done the 5 male Justices that didn’t know for sure what 1 male and 3 female Justices didn’t know for sure, that is, when life begins, listened only to the 3 females because, uh, they have a uterus and ovaries.

Seems to me they probably did consider what those drugs and devices did as it really figures in their determination it was in fact a religious argument, or an argument of ‘faith’ if you will.

Here’s a summary from The Atlantic of what Hobby Lobby is thinking… and that’s where the argument gets religious for them.  Hobby Lobby views life as beginning at the point the egg is fertilized by the sperm.   The counter argument, and the Atlantic linked an authority appeal of ‘Most Doctors’ which turns out to be the Federal Government and a reference to the American Congress of OBGYNs, is that it begins at implantation  (and we all know from Roe v. Wade that what implants is a puppy, or goldfish,  or protoblob, until 9 months later a miracle occurs and a human is born.)    The Atlantic summary is okay, but to me they torpedo themselves right around the straights of IUD diagram because they rely on their experts to make a decision of faith for Hobby Lobby, and decide that Hobby Lobby’s faith is politely, crap.

Once again, note if the egg hasn’t implanted (yet), the now hysterical side of the argument has decided it’s not a pregnancy.   The IUDs prevent implantation and the pills in question prevent fertilization rather than stopping ovulation.   And that’s where faith/belief comes in because we didn’t get the instruction book from the Deity of your choice.  If you don’t have a deity, I’m not sure what you’re going to decide, but at some point LIFE begins and the two sides do NOT agree definitively when that is.

The 5 mad male Mullah’s on the Supreme Court decided to err on the side of Hobby Lobby’s beliefs.    Owing to the Religious Freedom Restoration act.   A law, already, on, the, books.   Which the new ‘rule’ seemed to contradict in the 4 instances specified.

More from Zeke:

“The closely held corporation limit is no limit at all. It turns out that more than half of U.S. employees work for closely held corporations. While many are small, many, like Hobby Lobby, are large. And it gives an incentive for more employers to become closely held corporations.”

It doesn’t stop contraceptives from being covered, it’s probably not going to lead to a massive rush by companies to drop contraceptive coverage, it’s not some fundamentalist plot to control women and (re)gain control over their reproductive systems.

It was a loss for the progressives though, because they made such a freaking big deal out of making sure the crazy faith holders at Hobby Lobby did as they were damn well told.    Hence the lamentations of their…uh, various genders.

As a final note, I can’t help thinking it is interesting to note that while 4 methods of “contraception” are no longer available to female Hobby Lobby employees, no one  of these outraged folks is particularly concerned that the Democrats left such an important item out of the original encyclopedic bill or that an Executive branch agency came along and created an entire entitlement completely out of whole cloth a year after “the law” was passed.

You’d almost think they had some plan to make sure they were going to remain permanently in control of those agencies, otherwise that sort of thing would be dangerous if the crazy faith holders ever got back into power and turned the tables on them.

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