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Roger L. Simon

Midnight in Obama’s Garden of Good and Evil

October 6th, 2014 - 8:23 pm

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Increasingly, I am thinking that Barack Obama does not know the difference between good and evil.  Now I realize implying that someone can’t make that distinction, really the difference between right and wrong, is a harsh condemnation indeed, but I think it is something that should be examined in Obama’s case since it would explain many of  the extraordinary missteps of his presidency.  Those missteps are only escalating at the present moment as evil stalks the globe at an ever rising pace.

In fact, before looking very far backwards, consider this:  Would the United States today be doing anything at all about the Islamic State — now for the first time  waving its black flag above Kobane on the Turkish-Syrian border, on the brink of a massacre of its Kurdish population, while still besieging Baghdad — had ISIS not bothered to behead publicly a few Westerners?

Let’s be honest — not a chance with this president, although 99.9 percent of the horrific activities of the Islamic State had nothing to do with the beheading of a handful of Americans and Brits.  ISIS had already provided us with more than enough examples of mass murder and other Holocaust-like actions to last several lifetimes.  In two videos I saw, dozens of Middle Eastern men were decapitated, their severed heads placed on poles while others were shot through the back of the neck and dumped unceremoniously into pits they had dug for themselves.  It was unclear whether they were alive or dead, probably a little of each.  Those videos, one of them almost an hour long, were like recruiting films for an Islamic version of the Khmer Rouge or the Wehrmacht.  Straight from Hell.

But they were largely ignored by our president, who had proclaimed these people the JV or wanted to believe as much in order not to disrupt his post-modern, morality-free weltanschauung. It was not until the American public was aroused by the beheadings of the Westerners that Obama did  much of anything – and even that was, and still is, as  little as possible.  Evil does not interest him, especially if it has nothing to do with votes.  Evil does not even exist for him. Only fairness.  If only those ISIS people could be “fair” — hence his dopey remarks about what people do or do not do in the 21st century, as opposed, I suppose, to the bloodthirsty 20th.  (Ironically, the worst mistake — from their point of view — the Islamic State made was to behead the Westerners.  It may be have been good for recruiting, but had they avoided it, they might be in Baghdad by now… even more powerful for recruiting.)

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In Praise of Benjamin Netanyahu

September 30th, 2014 - 7:46 pm
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Not exactly a head-scratcher: spot the grownup.

In case you non-Jews haven’t noticed, we Jews bicker a lot.  Some of us even have bad things to say about Albert Einstein.  A fair number of us have bad things to say about Karl Marx.  Or about Milton Friedman — to go the other way. (Yes, I think Friedman was a lot smarter than Marx.)

So it should be no surprise that Benjamin Netanyahu is only intermittently popular in his home country.  At the height of the recent Gaza war, he was a hero on the level of King Solomon, but then, after things quieted down with a relatively indeterminate conclusion, he was, well,  just another pol.

But he’s not.

This man, whatever his failings, is better able to articulate the global situation than any political leader currently in a position of power in any country by yards.  In fact, virtually no one else is even attempting to do it. (Tony Blair did for a while before he turned, but he’s not in Bibi’s league.) Netanyahu may not be Churchill when it comes to courage, but he is Churchill, or close, when it comes to a precise mastery of the English language, ironic since he is the prime minister of a Hebrew-speaking nation.  He is able to tell the truth about the important issues, when all others, including, notably, our president and secretary of State, are prevaricating or spinning, trying desperately not to offend the reprehensible, and he did it again the other day at the United Nations. (Full text here.)  He told the truth about radical Islam to a half-empty house whose Moslem delegates had left and whose remaining attendees sat there terrified of agreeing publicly with the Israeli prime minister lest some imam or dopey liberal NGO accuse of them of Islamophobia.  He made that speech at an institution that has institutionalized anti-Semitism, not world peace or even basic common sense, as its modus operandi,  as its very raison d’être.

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Liberals as Low Information Voters

September 29th, 2014 - 9:26 pm

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For several years now we have heard much of the plague of “low information voters” — those legions of the supposedly ignorant who walk, clueless on the issues, into our polling places, casting their votes for candidates the details of whose programs are as familiar to them as quantum mechanics.

But we may have a more significant problem.  There are a number of people  who are at least somewhat cognizant of quantum mechanics to whom the details of the issues of the day are just as unfamiliar — the modern liberal intelligentsia. I’m not talking about the punditocracy here, the Thomas Friedmans of the world, who are certainly aware of the issues (well, more or less) even if  they evaluate them in peculiar ways.  I’m talking about the workaday liberal, the well-educated professionals who are our friends, relatives and neighbors.  They are, increasingly,  low information voters, living in willful or perhaps willed blindness.

In a recent months I have been startled by many examples of this. In a casual conversation, an Ivy League graduate and author of several best-selling books asked me what I meant by “quantitative easing,” although it has been one of the keys to the economic policies of the last half-dozen years. Since the man is highly intelligent, my conclusion was he didn’t want to know about such details because they would lead to him having to examine long-held assumptions, assumptions it would be uncomfortable to question for a whole set of reasons.  Remember, these are people who voted for Obama, twice, and now are just becoming aware that many of us consider him the worst president ever and have pretty good reasons.  And the public is beginning to agree with us. This is hard to process.

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We don’t know details yet of the murder of a woman at Vaughan Foods — an Oklahoma distribution center —  by a co-worker, but we do know that it was a beheading and we do know the alleged suspect — Alton Nolen, 30 — was a new convert to Islam.

We also know that other workers at Vaughan say the suspect had tried to convert them to that religion.

Some MSM outlets are emphasizing that the suspect was recently fired (it’s workplace violence, doncha know?), but the number of firings that lead to revenge beheadings is minuscule.  In fact, I don’t know of any previous.  But we don’t have to look too far back, not more than a day or two, to find a popular motivation for beheadings in general — jihad.

Was Nolen motivated by jihad or workplace revenge or a cocktail of both?  Probably both. He had a checkered past.  He had been convicted in January 2011 of “multiple drug offenses, assault and battery on a police officer and escape from detention,” according to state records.  He was released from prison in March 2013.

We don’t know the extent to which Nolen’s conversion to Islam occurred in prison, although it is highly likely most of it did.  This is surely worth investigating. Such conversions are a monumental powder keg in the process of going off.  From Wikipedia:

J. Michael Waller claims that Muslim inmates comprise 17-20% of the prison population in New York, or roughly 350,000 inmates in 2003. He also claims that 80% of the prisoners who “find faith” while in prison convert to Islam.[1] These converted inmates are mostly African American, with a small but growing Hispanic minority.[2] Waller also asserts that many converts are radicalized by outside Islamist groups linked to terrorism, but other experts suggest that when radicalization does occur it has little to no connection with these outside interests.[3][4][5]

Oh, really? Or should I say, “What difference does it make?”  Those “other experts” are being naïve or tendentious.  It’s not as if the Islamic extremist playbooks are a secret.  They are the basic texts of the religion itself, studied by all adherents in or outside prison, in large groups or by themselves.  These same texts call for the extermination or, at best, dhimmitude of the infidel who does not convert. So the behavior of the ummah is regulated across borders. You don’t have to be a card-carrying member of ISIL to know how to behead.  Anyone can do it.

This makes our prisons veritable training grounds — petri dishes, if you will — for fanatic killers of the type of the Oklahoma suspect, not to mention recruitment centers for whatever murderous Islamic sect happens to be in vogue that week or month.  The only difference between New York and Oklahoma prisons would be one of scale.

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Of all the malfeasances of William Jefferson Clinton the one that would have most justified a removal from office was not the Monica hijinks, even with the attendant lying under oath and absurd parsings of the word “is,” but the pardoning of Marc Rich — the billionaire international commodities trader and mammoth contributor to, er, Clinton.  Luckily for Bill, this action occurred on the last day of his presidency, making anything like impeachment moot,  even though it was an example of political corruption that would have made Boss Tweed envious. For those who don’t recall the details, here’s Wikipedia:

In 1983 Rich and partner Pincus Green were indicted on 65 criminal counts, including income tax evasion, wire fraudracketeering, and trading with Iran during the oil embargo (at a time when Iranian revolutionaries were still holding American citizens hostage).[3][9] The charges would have led to a sentence of more than 300 years in prison had Rich been convicted on all counts.[3] The indictment was filed by then-U.S. Federal Prosecutor (and future mayor of New York City) Rudolph Giuliani. At the time it was the biggest tax evasion case in U.S. history.[19]

Hearing of the plans for the indictment, Rich fled[11] to Switzerland and, always insisting that he was not guilty, never returned to the U.S. to answer the charges. Rich’s companies eventually pled guilty to 35 counts of tax evasion and paid $90 million in fines,[9] although Rich himself remained on the Federal Bureau of Investigation‘s Ten Most-Wanted Fugitives List for many years,[21]narrowly evading capture in Britain, Germany, Finland, and Jamaica.[22] Fearing arrest, he did not even return to the United States to attend his daughter’s funeral in 1996.

Until, on January 20, 2001, literally in the final minutes of his presidency, Rich was granted a pardon by Clinton, a pardon pushed through a reluctant judge on the determined “recommendation” of then-Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder.

Yes, that’s  the same Eric Holder who lectures us about race and calls Americans “cowards.”  In reality, he was a political bagman, a low rent consigliere whose  unquestioning obedience to power was evidently appreciated by Barack Obama and rewarded with the full position of attorney general. Obama knew what he was getting for our number one law enforcement official.  With that background, no wonder Holder investigates nothing, leaving “Fast & Furious,” the IRS, Benghazi, all the scandals, untouched, stonewalled or deliberately obfuscated.  He was chosen to be a “Good German” and he was one.  He spent most of his time inveighing against what he perceived to be racial injustice.

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Trotsky’s Curse: BHO Goes to War

September 22nd, 2014 - 7:12 pm

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“You may not be interested in war,”  Comrade Trotsky supposedly said (but probably didn’t), “but war is interested in you.”  And right he was, as Barack Hussein Obama, the American president least interested in war in most of our lifetimes, possibly ever, has found himself plunged half-heartedly in the middle of it,  going to war, bombing Islamic State territories within Syria, a country he at first warned would itself be bombed for its use of chemical weapons.

Now he’s bombing on that Syrian regime’s side and also acting in behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a nation we are supposedly trying to prevent from obtaining nuclear weapons, but there you have it.  The brutalities of ISIS, ISIL, the Islamic State, call it what you will, trumped all.

Quelle ironie, mon vieux.

No doubt Obama would have rather been marching with “climate” demonstrators in New York, but that’s the way things turned out.  Trotsky’s curse prevailed.

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We evil climate deniers often enjoy comparing the current uproar over the weather with Stalin’s misuse of science by Trofim Lysenko.  But I think the devotion to extreme climate, or whatever today’s catch phrase may be, is far more in the realm of magic and metaphysics than real physics — Lysenko was, after all, a genuine agronomist — and is much more akin to the story of Sabbatai Zevi, the 17th century Sephardic rabbi many Jews believed was  the long-awaited Messiah but who ended up ridiculing his supporters and converting to Islam.

Climate armageddon is a messianic cult based almost entirely on religion and faith and very little on science.  And, like the Sabbatean movement where many adherents remained devoted to Zevi no matter what he did or how he behaved,  it’s still thriving, somewhat, despite the many blows that it has taken lately — no warming in the last fifteen years, Antarctic ice cap bigger than ever, more polar bears than ever, all kinds of leaks of fraudulent figures and fudged graphs, etc., etc.   The list, available at www.wattsupwiththat.com by scrolling backwards, is almost comical in its extent.   It’s amusing to read the myriad theories for why the ice cap is bigger, motivated, for the most part, by panic on the part of the scientists involved that they might have their stipends cut.

Nevertheless,  your United Nations, at the the behest of your president, is on the case.  On September 23, they are convening a UN Climate Summit.  From their website:

Climate change is not a far-off problem. It is happening now and is having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow.  But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.

There is a sense that change is in the air. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders, from government, finance, business, and civil society to Climate Summit 2014 this 23 September to galvanize and catalyze climate action.

Problem is most of those leaders aren’t coming.  Maybe they realize the whole thing’s a shuck.  From Newsweek (apparently back in print — go figure):

But the U.N. Climate Summit, set for September 23, is likely to be hampered by the failure of leaders from the U.N.’s three largest member nations—China, Russia and India—to attend. China’s Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli will represent the country at the summit, as well as the September 24-30 General Debate, instead of President Xi Jinping, and the Russian Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will lead the Russian delegation. The top leaders of China and Russia won’t be coming because their schedules are too demanding, Think Progress reports.

So what, pray tell, is going on here?  In a word:  distraction. Although the UN secretary general has pronounced climate “the defining issue of our times” (Obama and Kerry have made similar remarks), everyone with an IQ in triple digits knows that it isn’t — and has for some time. What we do know is that the UN Oil-for-Food scandal was a monumental example of corruption, as was and is the UNRWA housing missiles and other weapons for Hamas, not to mention the possibility that they cooperated in the building of the terror tunnels.

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Barack Obama’s Biggest Lie

September 14th, 2014 - 10:40 pm

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There’s a lot of competition for Barack Obama’s biggest lie. The man who could assure the American public with a straight face over thirty times that they could keep their doctor under his health plan, when he knew that to be completely false, is one hellluva fibber.

But execrable as that serial prevarication may have been, it doesn’t hold a proverbial candle to his most recent whopper — that the Islamic State is not Islamic — not to mention its corollary, or perhaps subsidiary lie, that real religions do not indulge in murder.  Islam has been doing that pretty much straight through for fourteen centuries, both outwardly toward Christians and Jews, and inwardly in its unresolved pathological conflict between its Sunni and Shiite strains that continues, as the world well knows, to this day and undoubtedly into the foreseeable future, spewing an uncountable number of corpses as it goes.

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The Nowhere Man Goes to War

September 10th, 2014 - 9:41 pm

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Pity Barack Obama.  Our hapless chief executive must be suffering from a cognitive disorder the size of Alpha Centauri.   The poor guy grew up on the anti-imperialist mouthings of lefty poet Frank Marshall Davis, schoolboy revolutionary Bill Ayers and later anti-Israel professor Rashid Khalidi, not to mention the well-known anti-American excrescences of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and now he has to go to war — as an imperialist — against the very Third World people he was told again and again we colonized and destroyed.  His head must be about to explode.

No wonder he insisted in his Wednesday night speech that the Islamic State is not Islamic — what is it? Hindu?  Zoroastrian? A lost tribe of Hasidic Jews? — and that we are fighting an amorphous “terrorist group” (the Irish Republican Army?  Basque separatists perhaps?), not the jihadism whose violent ideology has so obviously metastasized across several continents under many guises during his administration with no end remotely in sight.  He dares not name our enemy, although it’s almost impossible to imagine how we could win without doing so.  He cannot say anything that’s true because he doesn’t know what is true or, perhaps more likely, is terrified to know and then have to admit it.  If he did, everything would unravel, not just the jejune Marxism of Frank Marshall Davis.  Everything.

But he does know what his poll numbers are and they aren’t good.  So we are where we are. Half way in and half way out. Forget Winston Churchill.  Forget Douglas MacArthur. The USA is going to war with a nowhere man who no longer knows what he stands for — and who originally stood for very little more than widely discredited and tired left-wing drivel masquerading as hope and change.  Now even that’s gone, a distant memory.

We all remember the Beatles’ lyrics:

He’s a real Nowhere Man
Sitting in his Nowhere Land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Two days ago, according to reports,  Obama was still reluctant to do anything about the beheaders of ISIS, but was finally driven to act because of those disastrous polls and broad hints from some of his party members that he was leading them to electoral disaster.  Others in that same party were mortified he might actually go to war, so, being Barack Obama, in other words a nowhere man, he split the difference — no boots on the ground (except for a piddling 475 advisers — let’s hope there won’t be any “mission creep”).

Welcome to nowhere war waged by a nowhere man.

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It’s the Border Security, Stupid

September 8th, 2014 - 9:30 pm

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Almost  everyone knows James Carville’s famous dictum that propelled  Bill Clinton into the White House — “It’s the economy, stupid!”  And there’s no denying that his pronouncement continues to make great sense, given the condition of our society.

But I have another suggestion that may be even more important for the Republicans to rally around in the next two elections — “It’s the border security, stupid.”  After all, even a booming economy doesn’t mean much if we all go boom.

And we very well could.  From the rise of ISIS to the idiotic and useless nuclear non-negotiation with Iran, we’re closer to it than we ever were.  As James O’Keefe has shown us with his videos, our borders are so permeable they make a pair of thirty year old sweat socks half-filled with holes seem like the Iron Dome.  Just about anybody can get in any time he or she wants from Mexico or Canada — and O’Keefe hasn’t even gotten to those more than six million shipping containers entering our ports annually, nor has he dealt with the hundreds or thousands of passport-holding American and British nationals now volunteering for the Islamic State and chomping at the bit to come home and wreak havoc.

So I suggest the Republican Party coalesce around the issue of border security, which is obviously tied intimately into foreign policy, in a big way.  Make it a cause célèbre because, in truth, we don’t have a choice, unless it’s self-immolation.

This has the further advantage of being something that is simple and clear and that a large percentage of the public will support. Americans are on edge — and for good reason.  If I were a Democrat, I would absolutely dread a terror attack at this time because it would literally sink my party, Obama et al having been so feckless, even deliberately so in some quarters, in dealing with the threat.

Also — and this is important — ALL Republicans should be able to agree on this issue, except perhaps the most orthodox “open border” libertarians whose extreme ideological rigidity trumps common sense.  (It usually does.)  All the usual disagreements between the various wings of the party would pale by comparison — during an EMP attack the definition of marriage will seem rather trivial to say the least — and they should be able to get together on border security with little rancor.

Republicans have a strong hand here and they should play it. Stand tall to protect our country and our civilization.  Don’t back down.  Obama’s recent tabling of amnesty is just one indication that the other side is running scared on this issue.

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