The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, November 30, 2015


The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) recently published polling data that is—to say the very least—illuminating. Recall that Barack Obama told the American people that "99.9 percent" of the Syrian refugees were anti-ISIS and therefore, only those who feared "widows and orphans" would question his great wisdom in suggesting that some be allowed to immigrate to the US.

The ACRPS describes the study in the following manner:
This survey is the largest public opinion poll conducted in the Arab region with a sample made up of 600 respondents in each of seven countries: Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Iraq. In addition, a further sample of 900 Syrian refugees was drawn in equal proportion between groups in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. In the aggregated result, each of the population groups is given equal weight so that the total for “Arab Public Opinion” given in the report below has equal weightings for each country/population group. This method prevents the domination of overall “Arab Public Opinion” by the citizens of more populous countries.
Their work is both fascinating and illuminating (remember that this poling is conducted by Muslims) and destroys the Left's contention that only tiny percentages of Muslims are pro-Islamist.

The author of the Neo-Neocon blog (be sure to read her bio) comments on the poll of Syrian refugees:
"When Syrian refugees were asked to list the greatest threat, 29 percent picked Iran, 22 percent picked Israel and 19 percent picked America. Only 10 percent viewed Islamic terrorism as a great threat.

By way of comparison, twice as many Iraqis see Islamic terrorism as a threat than Syrians do and slightly more Palestinian Arabs view Islamic terrorism as a threat than Syrians do. These are terrible numbers.

Thirty-seven percent of Syrian refugees oppose US airstrikes on ISIS. 33% oppose the objective of destroying ISIS.

And these are the people whom our politicians would have us believe are “fleeing an ISIS Holocaust.”
But that can't be true, can it? After all, without a shred of quantitative data to back up his contention, Barack Obama told us that "99.9 percent" of Syrian refugees are our friends. It's the Left's narrative, so it has to be true. Or not.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

OnCenter—10 Years

On November 29, 2015, we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of this blog. Time flies.

My very first post went something like this:
On Center

The center is always a difficult position to occupy. If you think about it for a moment, you're surrounded in every direction by people with opinions, positions, and ideas that cascade toward you. You listen and evaluate, trying to make sense out of the noise.

Because you're at the center, those farther out -- on the left or the right -- accuse you of having no true convictions. Ironically, those on the left think you're a neocon, and those on the right think you're a liberal.

And yet, it's been my feeling that the further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

It's also been my experience that it's hard to hold a position at the center. You often hear a compelling argument (from the right or the left) and feel affinity with the position taken.

"I guess I'm right (or left) of center," you say to yourself.

But then you hear an idiotic or irrational position coming from the same source ... you shake your head in dismay ... and move back to the center again.

The intent of my occasional musings here will not be to support any position on either the right or the left unless it makes sense in the real world, not the fantasy world that ideologues imagine. I suspect there will be times when I side with the right, and other times when I side with the left. That's okay, I respect rational arguments, regardless of the source. Hope you enjoy my humble contribution to the blogosphere.
As the years have passed and 1,388 posts have been written, my commentary and positions have moved decidedly to the right of center. The reason is relatively simple. In observing the Left and the Right in action over these 10 years, I have come to two important conclusions:
  1. The Right is often strident and wrong on social issues. Their positions alienate far too many centrist voters and a significant percentage of younger voters. These positions make the Right look reactionary, rather than forward-looking. But the Right is more often correct than wrong when it comes to taxes, debt, the economy, jobs, the dangerous growth of big government, radical Islamic terrorism, foreign policy in general, and many other issues that have a significant impact on the health of our nation. In the long run, being right on all of those issues can lead to the "social justice" that so many Leftists talk about, but do almost nothing to achieve.
  2. The Left is more right than wrong on most social issues (but not necessarily the solutions that would "fix" them) but often approaches those issues with an obnoxious level of moral preening (think: the typical "social justice" warriors) that can and sometimes does alienate centrist voters. In recent years, the Left thrives on a victimization culture which purposely divides rather than unites. And on other issues that truly do matter, the Left's message is deeply flawed, it's rhetoric is deeply divisive, its attempts to stifle free speech downright dangerous, and the domestic and international policies it proposes (and sometimes enacts) generate results that are at best, ineffective, or at worse, destructive and chaotic.
In my view, the center has shifted to the Right, if for no other reason than the Left has ascended with the help of a largely complicit media (print, broadcast, and entertainment) to hold sway over the public consciousness. Memes like "income inequality," the  "war on woman," endemic "institutional racism," and "climate change" (elevated to a religion rather than scientific inquiry)—to mention only four examples—have become accepted by many as conventional wisdom.

It's necessary to provide a reasoned counterpoint when extreme positions on the Left or the Right attempt to distort our lens on life.  OnCenter will continue to do that in the years ahead.

Friday, November 27, 2015


You have to give Barack Obama credit. When it suits him, he projects omniscience ("99.9 percent of Muslims" are against the terrorists) and complete ignorance when his administration becomes mired in scandal. When he is omniscient, we just have to believe him. Never mind that opposing facts make his pronouncements into lies—in effect, it's 'who do you believe, me, or your lying eyes.' And when he professes ignorance of a scandal or two or three, we shouldn't conclude that his administration is either dishonest or incompetent, but rather a victim of nefarious government agencies that just happen to always do scandalous things that always benefit this president and the narrative he continually espouses.

The latest intelligence scandal was foreshadowed by the administration's effort to spin on-the-ground intelligence that an al Qaeda affiliated group attacked and murdered four Americans in Benghazi. Since Obama was telling the public that al Qaeda was "on the run", the intelligence didn't fit his 2012 campaign narrative, so the attack was spun as a bad movie review. Now we learn that Benghazi was the tip of the iceberg.

Steve Hayes reports (read the whole thing) on still another growing scandal that has enveloped the White House:
On November 21, the New York Times reported allegations that military intelligence officials provided the president with skewed assessments that minimized the threat from ISIS and overstated the success of U.S. efforts against the group. The Times story was an update of reporting from the Daily Beast earlier this fall. “More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials,” the Beast reported in September. These analysts say their superiors regularly massaged pessimistic assessments to make them more upbeat before sending them up the chain of command. The analysts registered their grievances with the inspector general at the Pentagon, who is investigating their claims.

Obama was asked about this investigation at a press conference on November 22. The president said he doesn’t know the details of the allegations. But he added: “What I do know is my expectation, which is the highest fidelity to facts, data​—​the truth.”
It's odd that these intelligence reports were always skewed to bolster Obama's narrative (Islamic terrorism was diminished on his watch) and never the other way around. Now we learn that the reports uniformly underestimated the strength and reach of the Islamists and, very important, that the intelligence analysts preparing the reports claim to have been pressured to spin the reports toward Obama's narrative.

Who pressured these analysis and why? Oddly, it's the very same question that was asked about the bogus anti-Islamic video narrative the was used for Benghazi.

It appears that this scandal is so egregious that very senior ex-administration officials are beginning to speak out. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Obama's former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, suggested this week that the pressure to soften the intelligence reports came from the White House.

Steve Hayes comments on the whistleblowers:
These are not anonymous officials making frivolous claims against the commander in chief. They’re professionals with nearly a century of experience between them who are speaking out because of what they saw and what they’re seeing now. And they’re speaking for many in the ranks. Pregent is an Arabic speaker who has worked for more than 25 years on intelligence matters in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. Harvey has worked on Iraq and the global jihadist threat for more than three decades, earning accolades from many who worked closest to him. He spoke out repeatedly against overly optimistic assessments in Iraq from the Bush administration, prompting one retired general to call him the “best strategic intelligence officer in the U.S. military” and another to describe him as “the best intelligence analyst the U.S. government has on Iraq.” Flynn draws from a deep reservoir of experience. He served under Obama at DIA, as the president’s top military intelligence official from 2012-2014. Before that, he was director of intelligence at the Joint Special Operations Command with duty in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom and director of intelligence for the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.
Democrats will, as they have in the past, spin this as a "partisan witch hunt." After all, they seem more interested in protecting Obama and their presumptive candidate Hillary Clinton (who just happened to be Secretary of State at the time), than they are in rooting out corrupt political wrongdoing that could potentially hurt this country.

And here's a question for the progressives who think that Barack Obama is being persecuted by the meany GOP opposition. Why would intelligence agencies soften the intelligence, rather than report it as-is or even exaggerate the threat? In fact, if the DIA, CIA and NSA wanted to mislead of their own volition, one would think they'd harden the intelligence so that they would receive additional funding to track the threat.

At the end of the day, Obama will likely skate on this scandal as he has on the others. The facts surrounding the intelligence scandal are both arcane and complex. Obama's trained hamsters in the media will not probe as they should and will work hard to keep the story buried.

Whether it's the IRS scandal, the Benghazi scandal, or this Intelligence scandal, it's funny how the end result of unethical or criminal wrongdoing always served to the political benefit one person. You know who that is, and so do I.

And that's why it's a reasonable assumption that White House interference sits at the center of the intelligence scandal as it does at the center of the IRS and Benghazi scandals.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


It looks like a fifth meme regarding ISIS' violent rampage in the Middle East and Europe (see here for the first four) is being propagated by Barack Obama's supporters on the Left. In an article entitled "Why Climate Change is the Best Hope for Peace," that is so ridiculous (I'll note the reasons why in a moment) that I'll allow two of it's adherents to describe the meme in their own words. This, from Jason Box and Naomi Klein in the left-leaning New Yorker:
The connection between warming temperatures and the cycle of Syrian violence is, by now, uncontroversial. As Secretary of State John Kerry said in Virginia, this month, “It’s not a coincidence that, immediately prior to the civil war in Syria, the country experienced its worst drought on record. As many as 1.5 million people migrated from Syria’s farms to its cities, intensifying the political unrest that was just beginning to roil and boil in the region.”
The authors go on to state that there might be other factors that also contributed to Syrian violence. Ya think?

Like most authors who have turned climate change into a religion, Box and Klein are true believers who connect any weather phenomenon that is negative (e.g., droughts, hurricanes, floods, massive snowfall) with climate change (weather and climate are connected, but very different from one another. They then suggest, without a shred of scientific backing, that the fight against climate change will somehow reduce the occurrence of negative weather phenomenon.

Let's take a detailed look at Box and Klein's paragraph. First, the authors state that the connection between warming temperatures (itself a controversial position), the Syrian drought, violence, and climate change is "uncontroversial." How exactly? There is currently a drought in southern California. Can we assume, therefore, that extreme violence, the use poison gas against of civilian populations, the ascension of an ISIS-like group, and even civil war will break out in CA. Or let's for just a moment go back to the dust bowl of the 1930s .. same questions apply. If you think those comparisons lead to absurd conclusions about the effects of drought, you're right. But they demonstrate the vacuity of the fifth meme espoused by Box and Klein.

In science, there is no need to oversell a valid scientific concept by trying to connect it to other unrelated or weakly related phenomena. The idea sells itself through solid, reproducable, experimental verification and by using accurate data that has not been cherry-picked or modified in any way. Under the Obama administration, there appears to be an attempt to keep the data and the analysis secret.

There is a certain desperation among those on the Left to argue that ISIS and related radical Islamic group are driven not by an evil Islamist ideology but by things the Islamists can't control—poverty, oppression, geography, and now climate change. That in an odd way, these Islamic extremist groups are actually victims. If they are victims of anything, it's an interpretation of the Koran that leads to a malevolent outcome. Climate change has NOTHING to do with it!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Like many writers who comment of radical Islam, I do believe that most Muslims are good, decent people who want nothing more than to live in peace. My criticism of Islam is that it has been extremely passive in the face of Islamic terror and has done little to cleanse its religion/ideology of the cancer that has attacked it.

But what does "most Muslims" mean? The reason for the question is to better understand the magnitude of the threat that the West (and moderate Muslims) face. After all, if "most" is 99.9 percent, then we have nothing to worry about. And if "most" a bare majority, the threat is probably insurmountable, even if Islam itself tries to reform and destroy the Islamists in its midst.

After the Paris Islamic terror attacks, Barack Obama made the claim that "99.9% of Muslims" reject "radical terrorism." Obama refuses to connect terror and Islam in any way, so his statement was as predictable as it was dishonest.

Josh Galernter comments on some recent polling within the Muslim world:
Pew Research has polled the issue [of Muslim support for radical Islamist groups] extensively. In surveys of the Muslim populations of nine majority-Muslim countries, plus Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank, an average of 57 percent have an unfavorable view of al-Qaeda, not 99.9 percent. Thirteen percent have a favorable view of al-Qaeda, not 0.1 percent. [emphasis mine]

One in four of the Muslims polled supports Hezbollah ... One in three supports Hamas ... In Turkey — which is a member of NATO — one in four Muslims believes suicide bombings are sometimes justified ... More than one in two Muslims believe this in Egypt and Jordan; more than two of three believe it in Nigeria.

The situation is not much different among Muslims in Western countries. In Britain and Spain, one in four Muslims believes suicide bombings are sometimes justified. One in three believes it in France. Slightly more than one in ten believes it in the United States (per a Pew poll from 2011). According to a poll conducted by a Georgetown Islamic Studies professor and a Gallup pollster, more than one in three Muslims worldwide believe that the 9/11 attacks were “somewhat,” “largely,” or “completely” justified (23.1 percent say “somewhat”; 13.5 percent say “largely” or “completely”).

According to CBS, polling shows that “almost one in four British Muslims believe that the [2005] 7/7 attacks on London were justified.” According to the Financial Times, polling shows that more than one in three British Muslims see Britain’s Jewish community as a “legitimate target as part of the struggle for justice in the Middle East.” Not Israelis but British Jews. Their Jewish neighbors. One in three.

According to the BBC, more than one in four British Muslims agree with the statement: “I have some sympathy for the motives behind the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.” According to a major Turkish newspaper — the Hürriyet Daily News — one in five Turks believes Charlie Hebdo’s murdered cartoonists “got what they deserved ... ”

I wholeheartedly believe that Muslim pro-terrorists are in the minority — but it’s a large and powerful minority; not a tenth of 1 percent. Pretending otherwise, for the sake of being sanctimonious, accomplishes nothing. Imagine if Muslims did shun terrorists the way Christians shun the KKK. At the risk of sounding sanctimonious myself, a little healthy shunning would make the world a much safer and much better place. It’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility — but wishing won’t make it so.
It appears, based on many respected polling organizations, that a non-trivial minority of Muslims support Islamist goals and Islamist organization. On average, it appears that an accurate percentage is between 20 and 25 percent. Extrapolating to the larger worldwide population leads to some frightening numbers: 1.6 billion x 20% = 320 million people (who might be expected to support Islamists). That's what moderate Muslims (who still number 1.2 billion) face when and if they act to excise the Islamist cancer.

Just imagine, if you will, if 20% of the worldwide population of Christians polled positive in their support of say, the Christian extremists groups like the Ku Klux Klan and its goals of white supremacy, violence against people of color, and other atrocities. How do you think Christian leaders and the other 80 percent of Christians would react? And if the KKK turned as violent as say, ISIS, do you have any doubt whatsoever that Christians would DEMAND their immediate eradication so that they would no longer stain Christianity? Why do we not see the same reaction coming out of the 1.2 billion moderate Muslims? It is concerning.

I've said it many times, and I'll say it again. Western leaders MUST call on the Islamic majority to rid itself of this Islamist cancer. Instead of lying about the percentage of Muslims who are sympathetic to Islamist thought and action, people like Barack Obama should state the actual percentages clearly, and then use them as a lever to persuade moderate Islam to act ... and act now!

UPDATE (11/25/15):

Roger Simon comments further on the Muslim majority's passive stance against Islamists:
France's François Hollande and President Obama met Tuesday to come up with a strategy to defeat ISIS (0r ISIL, as Obama, for some coded reason, prefers to call it).

Defeat whom? Well, ISIL, stupid -- those bad people who have hijacked a great religion.

But have they? Is that what really happened? Why haven't hundreds of thousands of over a billion Muslims whose religion has been hijacked taken to the streets in protest? Or even tens of thousands? Or thousands... or hundreds?

Well, okay, at least 30 Muslims from Bangladesh were protesting in Paris in a city with 224,000 of their faith. They were chanting "Unite against brutality." But unite with whom?

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser? Zuhdi, a friend of mine, is a fantastic human being but he seems to be the only "moderate Muslim" we ever see on television. Where are the others?

I'm not being facetious. Where are they? Surely they exist, but they are curiously camera shy and in every other way. Are they frightened of ostracism... or perhaps they know something we don't about their own religion? They take seriously its dictums about apostates. Muslim organizations aren't helpful either. CAIR spends all its time accusing anyone who criticizes Islam even slightly of "Islamophobia" [sic], when they're not busy defending Hamas or Hezbollah.

The truth is nobody knows how many moderate Muslims there really are. We do know such things as, according to a recent poll, that about a third of the Syrian refugees do not want ISIS defeated. Twenty-five percent are even open to recruitment by the terror organization. That's a lot of people on a global level.

Yet our president and his putative successor Mrs. Clinton refuse to call the Islamic State Islamic or to link the I-word with terrorism, not even with the qualifier "radical."
We hear about the "Arab street" only when there is some "offense" that has occurred against Islam. Interesting that the Arab street has remained eerily silent on ISIS and Islamists in general. That would be an interesting phenomenon for Hillary Clinton to address right after she tells us that 99.9 percent of Muslims don't support Islamist thought.

Monday, November 23, 2015


The Left would argue that it is adamantly against Islamist thought, that organizations like al Qaeda or ISIS are antithetical to the modern world. But at the same time, the Left purports to have an odd "understanding" of the Islamist worldview—suggesting that it knows "what ISIS wants" and/or that the actions of radical islam are driven by "oppression" from the West. I discussed these memes and others in the previous post.

It's interesting that the Left rejects calls for a "war" on Islamists and seems much more comfortable in a world of memes that try to "understand" the motivation of groups like ISIS or al Qaeda. This is particularly fascinating because Islamist beliefs and doctrine are counter to virtually everything in leftist ideology—except one—a utopian world view.

Austin Bay provides an insightful comment:
Like communists [and more broadly, Leftists in general], violent Islamists are peculiar utopians, convinced they create a perfect society that, once created, will remain perfect. Shared utopianism is one reason al-Qaida -- and now ISIL -- find it useful to rework anti-U.S. and anti-democracy communist propaganda tropes. The Guantanamo Bay gnashing and wailing is revised communist Cold War-era agitprop.
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Islamists want:
  • a world dominated by Islam with Sharia law as it's controlling force
  • a population that has been forceably converted to Islam
  • a population terrorized to force strict and unquestioning adherence to Sharia
  • no religious freedom whatsoever
  • no freedom of expression or speech (it's possible that some on the left might like this)
  • women as second class citizens
  • gay and transgender people either murdered or forced into hiding
  • sexual repression overall
Islamists further suggest that if these "wants" are achieved worldwide, a utopian society will emerge, ruled by a global caliphate with absolutely no room for dissenting thought, opinion, or action.

The Left proposes a different utopian view to be sure, but some elements are analogous. Political correctness, climate change, multiculturalism (although each fine in moderation) have taken on strong religious overtones that are dangerous. The Left demands that anyone who does not accept this new religion is a "denier" or a "bigot." Attempts by leftist students at American universities to crush free speech, protect its adherents from the slightest "offense," and intimidate (sometime with threats) others (e.g., university administrators) to tow the ideological line, smacks of totalitarian control whose goal is to create a utopian world.

History indicates that any attempt to create utopia is doomed to precipitate a dystopian society. That's why cults ultimately implode, why communism fails every time it is attempted at a national level, why extreme religious groups might be able to work well in-the-small, but can never work in-the-large. Islamists are outright fanatics who can never learn this lesson. One can only hope that the more rational voices on the Left will come to understand that utopia is a trap, not a goal.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Giving Them What They Want

Working as hard as it possibly can to downplay the threat from radical Islam (even though adherents absolutely refuse to use that term or any reference that might indirectly tie ISIS, al Qaeda, Boko Haram, al Nusra, Hezballah, Hamas, or dozens of other terror groups to Islam), the Left has adopted three key memes in the wake of the Paris terror attacks:
  1. Any effort to use adjectives (e.g., Islamic or even Islamist) when describing terrorists is akin to advocating a "clash of civilizations," i.e., a war against all of Islam. (It's comical to note that there's a trend among left-leaning media to call ISIS by it arabic name—"daesh"—thereby avoiding any confusion exemplified by Barack Obama's astounding statement, "The Islamic State isn't Islamic.")
  2. Any effort to attack or otherwise take an aggressive posture against Islamist groups is "giving those groups what they want"—whatever that means.
  3. The acts of terrorist groups must be viewed within the context of the oppression felt by members of those groups; the "imperialistic actions" of the West, and the "insults" suffered by Islam because of the freedoms (of speech, of gender, of sexuality) imposed by the West.
[See Update-II for a fourth meme]
Like most memes eminating from the Left, there is a certain nonsensical, fantasy quality to each. Let's consider each in sequence:

Meme #1:  It's is a given that a majority of Muslims want simply to lead peaceful lives, but the media avoids polling that would provide us with insight into how big that "majority" is (one has to wonder why). Setting that aside, no rational person is suggesting a war on Islam. Rather, those of us who prefer reality to fantasy recognize that a warped interpretation of Islam's Koran and its commentaries drives Islamist terror groups. Therefore, it is incumbent upon Western leaders to call upon the Islamic "majority" to act aggressively to rid their 1.6 billion adherents of Islamists. In an earlier post I suggested a few ways that might be done, but suffice it to say that we need Islam's help.  We'll only get it if we ask for it directly, and bluntly express our concern about Islam as a catalyst for terrorism. Dancing around the issue (as the Left tries so hard to do) works if you adopt a fantasy worldview, but it will do absolutely nothing to rid the word of Islamic terrorism.

Meme #2:  Leftists tell us that if we declare war on Islamic terror, we will give ISIS (or any of the other terror groups) "what they want." Here's what Islamists REALLY want:
  • a world dominated by Islam with Sharia law as it's controlling force
  • a population that has been forceably converted to Islam
  • a population terrorized to force strict and unquestioning adherence to Sharia
  • no religious freedom whatsoever
  • no freedom of expression or speech (it's possible that some on the left might like this)
  • women as second class citizens
  • gay and transgender people either murdered or forced into hiding
  • sexual repression overall
and that's the short list. So if waging war to stop what Islamists REALLY want is in some alternate universe "giving them what they want," well, let's just step through the looking glass and be happy. The Left's arguments relative to meme #2 are abject nonsense.

Meme #3: In the worldview of many on the Left, everybody (except white, western, male capitalists) is a victim.  And of course, many on the Left believe that victimhood provides cover for violent, outrageous acts because those who perpetrate the acts are "oppressed. Forget for a moment that many Islamic terrorists in the West are themselves the children of wealthy families, are college educated, and have requested visas to live here (as opposed to their home country). No matter—why let facts get in the way of a social justice narrative?

These memes will persist and become more strident as so-called "war talk" escalates. After all, the last thing we want to do is "give ISIS what it wants" by acting violently to destroy it.


In a bit of encouraging news, it looks like at least one French Muslim has gone viral in his opposition to the Islamists. He's saying and doing what we in the West should ask all moderate Muslims to do. From YahooNews:
A French Muslim’s emotional plea for his community to lead the battle against Islamic terrorism is getting a lot of traction.

In a video that has gone viral throughout his country, Bassem Braiki, who is from the city of Vénissieux in eastern France, strongly condemned the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 130 and wounded hundreds.

“I am addressing all the French Muslims: Let’s protect our beautiful religion. Let’s go and track these impostors who pretend to be Muslims and kill people. It’s not the authorities who are going to get rid of them. … It’s us,” Braiki said, as translated by the Independent.
Mr. Braiki recognizes that it is Islam's responsibility—not "the authorities" (the West)—to rid Islam of this barbarous stain.

Over the past few days a fourth Leftist meme is gaining traction in the media. It refers to the Syrian immigrant controversy and goes like this:
  • From 1938 to 1942, the U.S. rejected Jewish immigrants from the German Holocaust, condemning them to return to extermination caps in Europe. Do we want to do the same thing with Syrian refugees today?
Meme #4:  This meme implies that there is similarity between the events of 1938ff and today. There is NONE! There were no Jewish terrorists in Europe, no bombings that killed innocent civilians, no attacks on public hotels, restaurants and stadiums, no beheadings, no "caliphate" or its equivalent, no Jewish condemnation of the West, no call by religious leaders to fight anyone but the Nazi's who perpetrated acts like Kristallnacht. There was NO chance that even one Jew in the refugee group would bomb a building, gun down innocent civilians, or otherwise perpetrate terror in the United States, NO chance at all. Zero.

The Jewish refugees were turned away by Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt under the advice of an anti-Semitic cabal at the State Department and within his inner circle. Ironically, Roosevelt initially refused to acknowldged the Nazi threat (sound familiar?) and worked very hard to resist entry into a fight with them (sound familiar?). Almost 40 million people died as a consequence of a war with the Nazis. Had aggressive action been taken in the mid-1930s, many of those deaths could have been avoided. Today, radical Islam is the equivalent of the Nazis of the mid 1930s.

For some Democrats to suggest that there is an analogy between the Jewish immigrants of 1938ff and the Syrian refugees today is anti-historical and deeply offensive. Few are suggesting that we turn away "widows and orphans" (to use Barack Obama's anti-factual construction), but rather, that we pause while we establish better mechanisms for vetting the male refugees who, very recent history in France indicates, may be seeded with a small but deadly number of Islamists who are more than willing to terrorize U.S citizens.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Listening to Hillary Clinton address Islamic terror yesterday, I was struck by the banality of her words. She tried to sound tough to appease the growing sentiment that Democrats in general and Barack Obama in particular are ambivalent about the Islamist threats we face. It apears that in word and deed, the Dems become more exercised about the "threat of climate change"—a threat that is 100 years off if it exists at all. In what can only be called comic idiocy, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders tried to establish a causation between radical Islam and climate change.

Both Hillary and Bernie would prefer not to discuss the subject of radical Islam, and flatly refuse to use the adjective "Islamic" when they are forced into the discussion. They continue to argue that we should avoid a "clash of civilizations" with Islam, even though no one is suggesting that approach. They are, to put it bluntly, uncomfortable. That may be because the rise of ISIS came about on Obama's and Hillary's watch, where both ignored the problem early.

None other than Nicolo Machiavelli said:
“And what physicians say about disease is applicable here: that at the beginning a disease is easy to cure but difficult to diagnose; but as time passes, not having been treated or recognized at the outset, it becomes easy to diagnose but difficult to cure. The same thing occurs in affairs of state; for by recognizing from afar the diseases that are spreading in the state (which is a gift given only to a prudent ruler), they can be cured quickly; but when they are not recognized and are left to grow to the extent that everyone recognizes them, there is no longer any cure.”
Nicolo said that in the year 1513, but its wisdom has escaped Obama and Clinton. They refuse to address this disease early (think: "the JV team") and let it fester and grow. Now, they still struggle to diagnose the problem, so any cure they propose is ineffective.

The public senses this. Hence, the reticence to believe that a Democratic administration (under either Obama or Clinton) can prosecute an effective war on radical Islam, or for that matter, properly vet the trickle of Syrian refugees entering our country. When Obama's Team of 2s tells us they can accurately vet all of the refugees, they're lying. But that's nothing new for this administration. The public realizes it and discounts their words.

Peggy Noonan comments on the leadership dilemma:
Madrid and London took place during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and could be taken as responses to Western actions. The Charlie Hebdo massacre was in its way a story about radical Islamic antipathy to the rough Western culture of free speech. But last week’s Paris attack was different. It was about radical, violent Islam’s hatred of the West and desire to kill and terrorize its people. They will not be appeased; we won’t talk them out of it at a negotiating table or by pulling out of Iraq or staying out of Syria. They will have their caliphate, and they will hit Europe again, as they will surely hit us again, to get it.

So again, the only question: What to do?

On this issue the American president is, amazingly, barely relevant. The leaders and people of Europe and America will not be looking to him for wisdom, will, insight or resolve. No commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces can be wholly irrelevant, but to the extent one can be, Mr. Obama is. He has misjudged ISIS from the beginning—they were not, actually, the junior varsity—to the end. He claimed last week, to George Stephanopoulos, that ISIS has been “contained.” “I don’t think they’re gaining strength,” he said just before Paris blew.

After the attacks Mr. Obama went on TV, apparently to comfort us and remind us it’s OK, he’s in charge. He prattled on about violence being at odds with “universal values.” He proceeded as if unaware that there are no actually universal values, that right now the values of the West and radical Islam are clashing, violently, and we have to face it. The mainstream press saw right through him. At the news conference, CNN’s Jim Acosta referred to the “frustration” of “a lot of Americans,” who wonder: “Why can’t we take out these bastards?” The president sighed and talked down to him—to us. He has a strategy and it’s the right one and it’s sad you can’t see it.

Let him prattle on about climate change as the great threat of our time.

All he can do at this point is troll the GOP with the mischief of his refugee program. If he can’t work up a passion about radical Islamic violence, at least he can tie the Republicans in knots over whether they’re heartless bigots who want to prevent widows and children from taking refuge from the Syrian civil war.
It's long past the time when Americans—including Democrats who recognize the threat and are willing to heed Machiavelli's words) should push back against this feckless president. That may have begun yesterday when the House voted overwhelmingly to hit "pause" on the Syrian refugees. Senate Democrats have promised to be "obstructionists" (hmmm, where have I head that word before) and block the bill from passage.

But back to Machiavlli:
“And that prince who bases his power entirely on ... words, finding himself completely without other preparations, comes to ruin ... ”
The Democrats and their leadership rely on words when actions are all that matters. Sadly, the ruin that is a direct result is visited not on them, but on our country.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


As I mentioned in Monday's post, the Left has recovered from its initial shock (and silence) immediately after the Paris terror attacks and has now circled the wagons. Leftists, many Democrats, and their trained media hamsters refute any notion that Islam may bear at least some of the culpability for the rise of violent Islamist acts perpetrated in Muslim countries and in the West.

None other than Secretary of State John Kerry tripped over himself and actually implied (before a quick walk back) that the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris earlier this year were different than last week's terrorist attacks because the editors of that satirical magazine insulted Mohamed. Others suggest that its all about poverty, or hopelessness, or discrimination, or general victimization targeted at Muslim youths. Bernie Sanders, in what has to be the most idiotic comment offered to date (and that is saying something), suggested that "violent extremism" (heaven forbid the use of the adjective "Islamic") has something to do with climate change.

Barack Obama led the charge against those who correctly contend that the mass migration of millions of Muslim immigrants into Europe is something to be concerned about. Even a relatively small 10,000 immigrants scheduled to enter the US is something that should be carefully considered before further action begins. In typical Obama snark, he insultingly suggested that his opponents are afraid of Syrian "widows and orphans." Yeah, that the ticket's—this is all about widows and orphans, not the 2,000 Muslim men (coming to the USA) between 18 and 40 who cannot be vetted in any reliable way. Let's do some simple math—if the Obama administration's "vetting process" for investigating the immigrants is 99% effective (and that is a very generous estimate of effectiveness)—that would still allow 20 hard-core Islamists to get through, and that's not considering the fact that some Islamists are women. It took only 8 Islamists to conduct the Paris attacks.

Heather Wilhelm expands upon this by quoting Obama and then commenting on his words:
"We are not well served when, in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic,” he said. “We don't make good decisions if they're based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks."

There you have it, folks: If you doubt any portion of our current refugee policy, you’re “hysterical.” Never mind that a recent poll showed 13 percent of Syrian refugees declaring a “positive” or “somewhat positive” view of ISIS, or that at least one of the Paris attackers apparently arrived in France posing as a refugee. Never mind the 26 charges of terrorism brought up against foreign-born individuals in the U.S. in the past year, as Sen. Jeff Sessions documented this week, or the fact that in October, FBI Director James Comey testified that our current system likely can’t effectively vet Syrian refugees.

More importantly, never mind the fact that opposition to current refugee protocols doesn’t necessarily translate into opposition to helping refugees altogether; had Obama led with an acknowledgment of the system’s weaknesses and showed genuine concern towards fixing them, we might be in a different situation today. As it is, a new Bloomberg poll shows 53 percent of Americans opposing the current settlement plan.

But at the end of the day, all of this is small potatoes when compared to a much bigger issue. David Harsanyi gets to the core of it:
Even as the terrorist attacks in Paris were happening, a predictable debate broke out over the millions of Islamic refugees now pouring into the West from the Arab world. We were once again asked to pretend that Islamic terrorism materializes in a vacuum that has absolutely nothing to do with theological beliefs of the majority of people in the Middle East and thus nothing to do with brutality and oppression that prevail in the region ...

Whatever the case, it’s true that most refugees are fleeing genuine and horrifying violence. But it is also true that many refugees bring with them — through their culture, ideology, and faith — the same conditions that bred the violence in the first place. It has nothing to do with what immigrants “look” like or how many superb and moral Muslims there are in the world (because there are many) and everything to do with what these refugees believe.
Many refugees bring with them — through their culture, ideology, and faith — the same conditions that bred the violence in the first place.

The vast majority of Muslims aren’t terrorists, but in the contemporary world nearly all movements and ideas that produce political terrorism are birthed in Islamic communities that house mostly peaceful people. Mass immigration bolsters those communities with hundreds of thousands of new, unassimilated adherents in the middle of secular nations with belief systems that grate against Islamic worldview. How can Europe not expect some of them will embrace the radicalism and fundamentalism adopted to some extent in nearly every other major Islamic community?

It doesn’t only manifest in terrorism, but in the medievalism of whippings, mass hangings, stoning, and violent misogyny and bigotry — not just mean words.
None of us who address these issues have given in to "fear" as Obama contends. That's a convenient way for this president to look tough (a laughable attempt indeed) and at the same time indulge in moral preening—something he's very, very good at.

There is a real need to "have a conversation" with Islam. The conversation isn't driven by fear as the left would have you believe, but rather by concern that their co-religionists are doing barbaric, heinous things and their religion (really it's an ideology) has done little to combat those things.

If those things continue and Islam remains silent, we'll all experience dark days ... but a darkness that is the stuff of nightmares will envelop Islam.

More than a decade ago it was the World Trade Center, last week it was Paris, in between it was London and Madrid, and Mumbai, and Beirut, and Nairobi, and Jerusalem, and Nigeria to name only a few. But soon something truly horrific will happen in a place that is yet unknown. When that happens, when hundreds or thousands are dead or maimed, when fear does grip the populace, the darkness will bubble up to the surface. Barack Obama is either too uninformed or too delusional to appreciate that simple idea. After all, better to fall back on moral preening than to begin a serious and frank "conversation" with Islam, isn't it?


Richard Fernandez discusses the "duality" of the sudden awareness in Europe that (1) Islamists are armed with military weapons while exceedingly strict gun laws keep the citizenry unarmed, and (2) the decades old promises by the Western political class of a better future tied to diversity and multiculturalism may have been instead a catalyst for the presence and growth of Islamic terror on the streets of Western cities. Fernandez writes:
This duality explains why resistance to Syrian refugee resettlement in America has taken the form of a 'revolt' against Barack Obama. "Governors across the country are publicly rejecting President Obama’s plan to relocate Syrian refugees." There's a growing realization that the Jihadi threat in part rests upon a destructive political agenda in the West which enables it, nurtures it and spreads it because in some perverse way it helps those same Western political forces keep power ...

[While refugees are statistically a net historical positive] ... the refugee flows will also contain a fair number of enemy agents and penetrators. However in the past America knew how to handle expatriates and gained from them far more than they lost. Or at least the public trusted that the Federal government could do so. The reason there is now such a visceral resistance to Syrian refugees is not due to some sudden slamming of the door or belated racism, but because the public has no confidence in the Obama administration to manage it properly.
It may be that of all his failures, the destruction of public trust in the honesty and effectiveness federal government may be this president's most memorable legacy.


Daniel Henninger discusses the very short memory of the public and the manner in which tough actions against Islamic terror erode over time:
Some will say that Socialist French President François Hollande’s forceful, eloquent opposition to Islamic terror suggests the European left can still see clearly on the moral imperative of protecting a nation. I doubt it. Their support for him will wane over time, as after 2001.

Through the pitched battles over the Patriot Act, Edward Snowden’s releases of the U.S.’s antiterror surveillance software, and the controversies over interrogations of captured terrorists, the progressive-liberal opposition pressed the idea that these initiatives were not only illegal or unconstitutional but that they were self-evidently immoral.

The war on terror itself became morally distasteful to the global left. On Oct. 29, weeks before the undetected Paris rampage, the European Parliament passed a resolution that all member states should “drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden.” On Wednesday, FBI head James Comey said Islamic State’s encryptions were thwarting investigations of terror recruits.

The French may indeed be austere in these matters. Their neighbors are not, and Barack Obama and John Kerry are not. Secretary Kerry expressed Tuesday his ambiguities over the Charlie Hebdo murders. A European version of Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which played to cheering progressive audiences in New York, will arrive in time.

President Obama, like a campus protester, has repeatedly expressed in public his moral disdain for the antiterror policies of the previous eight years (even as he quietly continued many of them, notably for surveillance). In fact, Mr. Obama was merely aligning himself with a quarter century of Western progressivism’s moral ambivalence, at best, about national security. The terrorists kill-riding their way across Paris interrupted that long reverie, for now.
For now.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Pop Off"

After the shock of the heinous Islamic terror attacks has waned, progressives led by Barack Obama have begun their predictable condemnation of calls for aggressive military action and arguments against allowing 10,000 Syria refugees (inevitably peppered with ISIS operatives as they are in Europe) entry into the United States. From their position at the peak of moral certitude, progressives use every cliche in the book—"Americans don't want war," "America is the Land of Immigrants," "Our values do not allow us to single out one religious group for profiling," and on and on.

Progressive arguments on this subject always seem to assume the worst in America—for them a racist society on the verge of a pogrom against "the other." Using the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II as their cheap argument, almost every progressive pundit worries that any attempt to profile, say radical Mosques (and there are any), will lead to a slippery slope in which all Muslims will be sent to internment camps or worse. The fact is that there is absolutely no evidence that this would happen and even less evidence that our constitution would allow it.

When asked whether the United States is at war with radical Islam during Saturday's debate, Hillary Clinton tripped over herself to tell the left-wing base of the Democratic party that she doesn't advocate "a war with Islam." Of course, that wasn't the question—exactly who does advocate "a war with Islam?"

The editors of The Wall Street Journal get it exactly right when they comment on Obama's criticism of those suggesting that we put the immigration of Syrian refugees on hold:
Mr. Obama was reacting to the political stampede, following Friday’s jihadist massacre in Paris, against the President’s decision to accept at least 10,000 of the millions of refugees fleeing Islamic State and Syria’s civil war. Every GOP presidential candidate we’ve heard is now calling for restricting the refugee flow into the U.S. At least 12 Governors are taking steps to bar them from their states, and Congress will vote sooner or later on blocking funds for Syrian refugee resettlement.

What did Mr. Obama expect? It would be nice, and we would prefer, if Americans accepted Syrians the way they have so many war refugees over the decades—from the Jews of Europe, to the Hmong and Vietnamese, to Cubans and Afghans. The West needs loyal Muslims of moderate beliefs to help defeat the radicals; we shouldn’t want to alienate them.

But refugees from those earlier foreign conflicts didn’t include agents who would continue the war on U.S. shores. As France is learning, Islamic State is only too happy to use the Syrian diaspora to plant its agents to kill the French. At least one of the killers on Friday is believed to have migrated from Syria through Greece and into Paris. Nearly all of the other migrants, Muslim and Christian, have no such bloody intent. But can you blame the average American for refusing to volunteer as a next door neighbor?

Mr. Obama was especially harsh on those, like Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz, who say Christian refugees should be a priority. “When some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful,” Mr. Obama said. “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion.”

But Messrs. Bush and Cruz are right that Christians are under particular threat from Islamic State. If they aren’t killed for jihadist sport, they must convert to Islam or die. Their daughters are raped and forced into Muslim marriages. Their churches are blown up. The U.S. would have been right to accept and save more Jews from Nazi genocide in the 1930s and 1940s. Syrian Christians are no different today.
It's interesting. Barack Obama and his Team of 2s used a potential genocide (it was a ruse) to sponsor the overthrow of Libya's Mohamar Kaddafi and turn Libya into a failed state. But ideological blindness doesn't allow Obama and his Team of 2s to recognize an actual Christian genocide is being perpetrated by ISIS and that Christians, if anyone, should be recognized as legitimate refugees and allowed entry.

When Obama publicly suggests (in a foreign capital, no less) that serious men with serious opposing ideas "pop off" and have no alternative ideas that are workable (a blatant lie), he tells us much more about himself than he does about the conflict we face or the leaders, such as Francois Hollande, who do have the courage and the will to face it head on.

A few brave Democrats are beginning to question Obama's judgment and leadership. Many more need to do so. If they do not, their party will be tarnished with Obama's legacy of weakness, indecision, and failure for a generation.

Monday, November 16, 2015


In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, we've seen a series of predictable events—Facebook lit up the red, white and blue of the French Flag; a variety of hashtags expressing sympathy appeared on Twitter; politicians expressed solidarity and made vague references to the scourge of "violent extremism;" media personalities with somber faces recounted the personal stories of those mostly young people murdered in the name of a warped interpretation of the Koran (although Islam or the Koran was never mentioned); the Obama administration told us it will "redouble its efforts" against "violent extremism;" pundits called Islamism a "cancer" that metasticizes and changes rapidly and is extremely difficult to excise; the MSM developed timelines for the attacks, profiles of the perpetrators, memorials for the victims, and a detailed discussion of ISIS (as if it were the only source of Islamic extremism).  All of this is appropriate and necessary, but somehow, one gets a feeling of deja vu as this information stream rolls over us.

To his credit, French President François Hollande stated that the Islamic terrorist attacks were "an act of war" and responded almost immediately with air attacks on ISIS. In my view these attacks did not exhibit the fury that was warranted, but at least Holland showed resolve and will—something that has been sorely missing in the American response to ISIS.

But no politician has taken the next step—the only step that may actually change the dynamic on the ground. It's long past the time for Western politicians to demand help from Islam. By this I mean that ISIS and the dozens of Islamist organization like it must be identified for what they are—groups of radicalized Muslims who use a violent and extreme interpretation of the Koran and its supporting books to justify mayhem and murder and a global scale. Islamists are part of Islam, and no amount of Western obfuscation or political correctness can negate that simple reality. Therefore, it is up to Islam to rid itself of the "cancer" in its midst, and it is incumbent on the West to demand publicly that Islam act now.

But what does "act now" mean?

First, the West must demand that Islamic clerics (Imams) condemn radical Islamists without equivocation and do this from the pulpit at Mosques world wide. They must do this regularly and with commitment. If necessary, fatwas must be issued.

Second, the West must demand that Islam invite investigators into its mosques in western cities whenever there is any hint of extremist sentiment. After all, if there is nothing to hide, this gracious act by Muslims will demonstrate solidarity with Western populations who are increasingly looking at Islam with suspicion.

Third, each Muslim in the West must be convinced by community leaders that if they see something, they must say something. In almost every case of Islamic terrorism in the West, the perpetrators hide within a Muslim population and sometimes attend Mosques.

Fourth, Muslim nations in the Middle East must themselves declare war on ISIS and commit men and material to defeat them. I understand that the dynamic between Sunnis and Shiites is complex, but there is some truth to the idea that Muslims themselves must aggressively combat groups like ISIS on the ground.

Fifth, Muslim nations—not the West—must provide sanctuary for those Muslims displaced by civil war and strife in other Muslim nations. They must shoulder the economic and geographic burden for their fellow Muslims.

But what if, after providing sufficient time to assess Islam's attempts to help us, nothing happens? What if Islam remains silent and passive in the face of this Islamist "cancer." That will also tell us something about Islam and guide our relationship with it.

Western leaders must enunciate the consequences of Islamic inaction at the same time they demand Islam's help.

If Islam does not act to rid itself of violent Islamists, then leaders of the West will indicate that Islam's relationship with the West will change. Visas for citizens of Muslim countries that have significant Islamist activity will be suspended. In essence, immigration to the West from those countries, regardless of the reason, will cease. Given that we are in a state of war, laws will be modified to target Muslim non-citizens in Western countries who espouse violence, even if they do not commit violence. They will be deported. Economic ties between those countries with significant Islamist populations and the West will be modified and curtailed. Other more aggressive steps might also be implemented,partuclarly if mass terror attacks escalate and grow more severe.

And for those civil libertarians who will protest that this level of profiling is inappropriate and wrong, I would remind them of France's Francois Holland, a politician of the left, who accurately noted that we are in a war.

It's long past time for Western leaders to demand that the "religion of peace" actively and assertively help us in our effort to combat Islamic terrorism.

Will they? We won't really know if we don't explicitly ask.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Paris imposed a curfew following last night's barbaric Islamic terrorist attacks for the first time since the Nazi occupation in 1940s. But here's the thing: Whether the French and much of the rest of Europe wants to hear it or not, there is a different, but equally dangerous "occupation" going on right now, and it has eerie Nazi overtones.

The people who slaughtered innocent French civilians are continually described by Western politicians and media hacks as "extremists" or "terrorists."  But because there is no adjective before these words, there is no power in them.

There also seems to be an obsessive attempt to connect ISIS or al Qaeda or al Nusra or any other radical Islamic group to the attacks. It doesn't much matter!

The attacks (whether New York on 9/11/01, or Mumbai, or London, or Paris, or Jerusalem come from radical Islam. Understanding which group perpetrated the attacks is important for the police investigation, but it's otherwise largely irrelevant.

Politicians and the public know what and who perpetrated these attacks—a bloody, intolerant, even genocidal interpretation of the Koran that leads Islamists along a path toward their warped vision of world domination.

Mark Steyn expresses rage and cynicism when he writes:
When the Allahu Akbar boys opened fire, Paris was talking about the climate-change conference due to start later this month, when the world's leaders will fly in to "solve" a "problem" that doesn't exist rather than to address the one that does. But don't worry: we already have a hashtag (#PrayForParis) and doubtless there'll be another candlelight vigil of weepy tilty-headed wankers. Because as long as we all advertise how sad and sorrowful we are, who needs to do anything?

With his usual killer comedy timing, the "leader of the free world" [Barack Obama] told George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning, America" this very morning [of the Paris attack] that he'd "contained" ISIS and that they're not "gaining strength". A few hours later, a cell whose members claim to have been recruited by ISIS slaughtered over 150 people in the heart of Paris and succeeded in getting two suicide bombers and a third bomb to within a few yards of the French president.

Visiting the Bataclan, M Hollande declared that "nous allons mener le combat, il sera impitoyable": We are going to wage a war that will be pitiless.

Does he mean it? Or is he just killing time until Obama and Cameron and Merkel and Justin Trudeau and Malcolm Turnbull fly in and they can all get back to talking about sea levels in the Maldives in the 22nd century? By which time France and Germany and Belgium and Austria and the Netherlands will have been long washed away.

Among his other coy evasions, President Obama described tonight's events as "an attack not just on Paris, it's an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share".

But that's not true, is it? He's right that it's an attack not just on Paris or France. What it is is an attack on the west, on the civilization that built the modern world - an attack on one portion of "humanity" by those who claim to speak for another portion of "humanity". And these are not "universal values" but values that spring from a relatively narrow segment of humanity ... and those "universal values" are utterly alien to large parts of the map today.
Until we begin to use the adjective "Islamic" to describe the "extremists" and "terrorists" and their barbaric deeds, we are lost. Until we demand that Islam cleanse itself of these barbarians, we are lost. Until the Islamic barbarians are eradicated, not by the West, but by the supposed one billion "peaceful" Muslims, we are lost.

In the early 1970s, the anti-war movement taped posters to their walls that read "Suppose they gave a war and nobody came?"

In the year 2015, those of us who are concerned about the 21st century's new Nazis can't help but think: "Suppose they gave a war and only one side showed up."

The Islamists showed up in Paris last night, and the evolved Western intelligencia wrings its hands and creates hashtags in "solidarity" with those who have been murdered. That. Is. Not. Enough.

We are at war. We have to show up. If we don't, we'll set the stage for a world that will exhibit an ugliness that has not been seen for 500 years.


And this from Andrew McCarthy:
There is always the chance that the next attack will knock the scales from our eyes. Always the chance that we will realize the enemy is at war with us, even as we foolishly believe we can end the war by not fighting it, by surrendering.

As this is written, the death count in Paris is 158. That number will grow higher, and very many more will be counted among the wounded and terrorized.

“Allahu Akbar!” cried the jihadists as they killed innocent after French innocent. The commentators told us it means “God is great.” But it doesn’t. It means “Allah is greater!” It is a comparative, a cry of combative aggression: “Our God is mightier than yours.” It is central to a construction of Islam, mainstream in the Middle East, that sees itself at war with the West.

It is what animates our enemies.

Barack Obama tells us — harangues us — that he is the president who came to end wars. Is that noble? Reflective of an America that honors “our values”? No, it is juvenile.

In the real world, the world of aggression — not “micro-aggression” — you don’t get to end wars by pronouncing them over, or mistaken, or contrary to “our values.”

You end them by winning them . . . or losing them.

Friday, November 13, 2015


I have recently commented (here and here) on the "idiot children" who are now regularly forcing spineless college administrators to resign for no good reason; regularly intimidating other students who might disagree with their left-wing grievance politics, and otherwise acting as a childishly embarrassing "movement" that discredits the institutions that they attend.

It is, however, important to note that idiot children represent only a small, radical and thuggish minority of all college students. To wit, a recent editorial (h/t: Instapundit) by The Clairmont Independent, "an independent journal of campus affairs and political thought serving the colleges of the Claremont Consortium."[from the website]

In an editorial (read the whole thing), the editors of The Clairmont Independent note the recent resignation of a Dean Mary Spellman, who wrote, horror or horrors, an email that the idiot children found offensive, the fact that the University's president didn't defend her adequately, and the generally thuggish behavior of the victimization crowd that is roiling campuses across the country. Interrstingly, they focus first on Spellman herself:
We are disappointed that you [Dean Spellman] taught Claremont students that reacting with emotion and anger will force the administration to act. We are disappointed that when two students chose to go on a hunger strike until you resigned, you didn’t simply say, “so what?” If they want to starve themselves, that’s fine—you don’t owe them your job. 
But the editors don't stop there. They further address the University's president:
We are disappointed that you ... weren’t brave enough to come to the defense of a student who was told she was “derailing” because her opinions regarding racism didn’t align with those of the mob around her. Nor were you brave enough to point out that these protesters were perfectly happy to use this student to further their own agenda, but turned on her as soon as they realized she wasn’t supporting their narrative. These protesters were asking you to protect your students, but you didn’t even defend the one who needed to be protected right in front of you.

Second, President Chodosh. We were disappointed to see you idly stand by and watch students berate, curse at, and attack Dean Spellman for being a “racist.” For someone who preaches about “leadership” and “personal and social responsibility,” your actions are particularly disappointing. You let your colleague, someone who has been helping your administration for the past three years and the college for six years, be publicly mocked and humiliated. Why? Because you were afraid.
And finally, the editors address the idiot children:
We are disappointed in the fact that your movement has successfully managed to convince its members that anyone who dissents does so not for intelligent reasons, but due to moral failure or maliciousness. We are disappointed that you’ve used phrases like “silence is violence” to not only demonize those who oppose you, but all who are not actively supporting you. We are most disappointed, however, in the rhetoric surrounding “safe spaces.” College is the last place that should be a safe space. We come here to learn about views that differ from our own, and if we aren’t made to feel uncomfortable by these ideas, then perhaps we aren’t venturing far enough outside of our comfort zone. We would be doing ourselves a disservice to ignore viewpoints solely on the grounds that they may make us uncomfortable, and we would not be preparing ourselves to cope well with adversity in the future. Dealing with ideas that make us uncomfortable is an important part of growing as students and as people, and your ideas will inhibit opportunities for that growth.
Good on ya, editors of The Clairmont Independent. Following your lead, maybe more college students will stand up to the idiot children and protect the right to free speech.


Conservative columnist, Jonah Goldberg, lightens things up with this commentary:
One of my favorite scenes from Scarface is when Tony Montana shoots the Colombian assassin in the head before he can blow up some guy’s car. There are just way too many expletives for this family-oriented “news”letter to transcribe more of the dialogue than absolutely necessary ... Besides, the line I have in mind is pretty short: “You stupid f**k, look at you now.”

I’ve been saying words to that effect all week, watching higher ed go into full meltdown. Because this “crisis” is 100 percent liberalism’s fault. Sure, sure, you can divvy up the slices of blame in different ways, but those guys tailgating in the parking lot drinking beers and eating bratwurst? Those are the conservatives and libertarians enjoying a day off, because they don’t have to wait in line for even a morsel of blame.

I almost feel sorry for those decent, sincere career liberals standing there in the quad as the little Maoists [a.k.a. "idiot children"] scream in their faces and strip off the suede elbow patches on their tweedy jackets like a lieutenant being busted down to a private. As the kids fit lifelong members of the ACLU with their duncecaps, the poor souls can hear the conservatives hooting and laughing off beyond the fence, throwing nerf footballs and telling jokes at the liberals’ expense.

The Scarface reference wasn’t particularly literal since no one actually had their brains blown out. No, this mess is more attributable to the fact that these administrators have such open minds their brains actually just fell out all on their own, making a wet slapping sound like an unwrapped burrito hurled at a windshield.

Outside of the actual headquarters of the Democratic party itself, no major institution in America today is more thoroughly run and controlled by the Left than academia.
Can anyone say schadenfreude?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Having lived close to New Haven, CT for many years, I visited Yale University on a regular basis. It's an impressive institution—long, storied history, world class faculty, classic Ivy covered buildings, and, if you are to believe those who graduate from Yale, students who are the best and the brightest, the future leaders of our nation.

In a recent controversy about‚ get ready for this‚ Halloween costumes, some of Yale's social justice warriors became literally unhinged. To demonstrate the level of insanity, take a look:

Kevin Williamson comments on "Yale's Idiot Children":
Turns out it’s a fairly typical college story — which is to say, a fairly stupid story — the short version of which is that Yale’s sensitivity babysitter sent out a pre-Halloween e-mail reminding all the smart Ivy League kids not to dress up like Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer; Professor Erika Christakis offered a reply bemoaning that college campuses have become “places of censure and prohibition”; a few students consequently went bonkers because their safe spaces were being invaded; and — here’s where we come in — Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, one of our panelists, remarked that these hysterical ninnies were acting like Professor Christakis had burned down an Indian village.

Which is to say: The idiot children were screaming about Lukianoff because he said they were overreacting to Christakis’s criticism that they tend to scream and overreact.
Well played, idiot children ...

I understand why the idiot children at Yale are so sensitive. Really, I do. I sometimes list in my mind all of the poor, suffering people who get a raw deal in this life, and Yale students are always right at the top, with the Bangladeshi orphans and women traded by sex traffickers in Vietnam. Yale isn’t a safe space, Congo isn’t a safe space — it all makes sense, as long as you don’t expect it to make sense.

No, genocide isn’t a joke. I’m sure that the women and children being raped to death by Boko Haram appreciate that the idiot children at Yale are making stern faces and pumping their fists.

As for me, I think that they’re clowns, and worse than that, really: They’re bad citizens, and defective people from defective families. They aren’t motivated by good will, but by fear: of the dawning realization that they, as people, aren’t really all that important, despite having been told all their lives how important they are.
Listening to the young woman's hysterical rant in the video, I'm struck with how rapidly she leaves the scene, unwilling to listen to another point of view, unable, even, to debate her position. She, and many other social justice warriors like her, are indeed "idiot children."

For them, it's all about moral preening coupled when necessary with a thuggish attack on anyone or any institution who might take a more moderate, reasoned tone. And if you disagree (as the Yale employee had the temerity to do), the "idiot children" run to a "safe place" where they only hear the echos of their own idiocy.

UPDATE-I (11/12/15):

It's interesting that leftist leaders (Barack Obama comes to mind) always suggest that we need a "conversation" or "open debate" on one of their many "victimization" subjects (e.g., racism, war on women, income inequality). Of course, the "conversation" is never a discussion where both sides engage and honestly state their views. Rather it's the Left accusing anyone who disagrees with its position as a bigot, a racist, a misogynist, or a genocidal monster ... you get the picture.

In a comment to an article in the WSJ, the commenter, "Charles Slack" provides a useful conversation starter:
"Open debate" means you respect someone's right to speak, not that you have an obligation to respect, engage, or even pay attention to what they say. Free speech is a right; being taken seriously is a privilege you earn or forfeit through the strength or weakness of your arguments.

The issue here absolutely is free speech. The events at Yale and Missouri that have alarmed free speech proponents and that inspired this editorial do not revolve around the question of whether it makes sense to engage racists or sexists in debate. It's about using coercive force and threats to silence people whose views you disagree with or who you deem not sufficiently sensitive to your point of view.
Because of their thuggish behavior, it is impossible to take Yale's or Missou's idiot children seriously. But that's not the point. Their "coercive" actions are designed to silence dissenting views, and that's very dangerous. The true irony is that the idiot children don't even realize that they have become the very thing they claim to abhor.

UPDATE-II (11/12/15):

After relating the incidents at both Yale and Missou, Ed Morrissey comments:
To paraphrase an old Monty Python routine, come and see the violence inherent in campus progressivism. Academia no longer values an open and robust exchange of ideas, a pursuit of truth, and adherence to actual tolerance. Actual commitment to learning would have prompted scrutiny of extraordinary claims and discussion of differing points of view.

Instead, campuses have become overrun by proto-fascists who want submission to groupthink and are not afraid to call out for “some muscle” to enforce it. In most of these cases, the proto-fascists can find muscle in one form or another to shut down dissent and impose their narrow-minded demands for power. University administrators either shrink from their responsibilities out of fear for their own positions, or have long before joined the cadre of petty martinets patrolling their ivy-covered walls to enforce the groupthink rather than enlighten young minds.
The idiot children can be excused (sort of) because, well, because they are idiot children. But the supposed adults—university administrators and faculty—combine cowardice and capitulation as they bend to the will of the young "proto-fascists."

Poorly played by all concerned.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Insane Grievance Politics

Nowhere in the world is diversity more protected, more honored, and more encouraged than on the campus of an American university. Students of every color are coddled with "safe spaces," protected from ideas that they find abhorrent, allowed to scream hysterically about "white privilege", provided with the ability to take meaningless "courses" (often incorporating revisionist views of the world and of history) that lead to meaningless college degrees, allowed to silence free speech and debate, and otherwise act as an intolerant mob. Whether a real or imagined slight is tied to racism, gender identity, feminism, or any of the many, many victimization categories that the Left has created, student activists preen in their near totalitarian control of the campus.

The titular adults at an American university, administrators and faculty, fawn in the face of this idiocy. Rather than defending free speech and honest intellectual inquiry, they cave, remaining mute as activists scream insults, make (literally) insane accusations, and otherwise disrupt campus life. In a way, the current campus atmosphere is reminiscent of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when when chaos reigned on college campuses.

Heather McDonald comments on all of this:
The pathological narcissism of American college students has found a potentially devastating new source of power in the sports-industrial complex. University of Missouri president Timothy Wolfe resigned Monday morning in the face of a threatened boycott by black football players of an upcoming game. Wolfe’s alleged sin was an insufficient appreciation for the “systematic oppression” experienced by students of color at the university. Campus agitators also alleged that racial slurs had been directed at black students and feces had been smeared in the shape of a swastika in a dormitory.

The university’s board of overseers had convened in emergency session to discuss the football boycott; Wolfe resigned before meeting with them, issuing the standard mea culpa: “I take full responsibility for this frustration, and I take full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred.” According to the New York Times, the university could have lost more than $1 million had it forfeited its football game with Brigham Young University on Saturday. A group called “Concerned Faculty” had walked off the job in solidarity with the student activists and was calling on other faculty to join them.

There is no evidence that the University of Missouri denies equal opportunity to its black students; those black students, like every other student on campus, are surrounded by lavish educational resources, available to them for the asking on a color-blind basis. The university’s faculty and administrators are surely among the most prejudice-free, well-meaning group of adults in human history. Thousands of Chinese students would undoubtedly do anything for the chance to be “systemically oppressed” by the University of Missouri’s stupendous laboratories and research funding.

But Missouri’s political class has embraced the patent delusion that the university is rife with racism. Governor Jay Nixon called on college officials to “ensure the University of Missouri is a place where all students can pursue their dreams in an environment of respect, tolerance and inclusion.” In truth, the only barrier to such pursuit is a student’s own lack of academic preparedness.
One can only wonder what will happen when the student activists at Missou or Yale or any of hundreds of other colleges and universities leave the cocoon of their college campus and go out into the real world, where 'safe places' are few and far between, where (at least so far) people are more than willing to measure accomplishment at face value, where results, not intent still matter.

Then again, if the Democratic party continues to grow Big Intrusive Government (BIG), there may be a place for all of the campus activists. After all, BIG is a place where phony safe places are created, where a fabricated reality is promoted regularly,  where accomplishment matters little, and where intent is far more important than results.

Come to think of it, maybe a B.S. in Activism with an minor in Insane Grievance Politics might be the best path for "success" in the mid-21st century

Sunday, November 08, 2015


Not surprisingly, Hillary Clinton took a firm stand against climate change and in favor of class warfare as she stumped in Iowa. On climate change, The Daily Mail reported that she said:
"... the reality of climate change is unforgiving – no matter what the deniers say. Sea levels are rising. Ice caps are melting. Storms, wildfires, and extreme weather are wreaking havoc ... This is one of the most urgent threats of our time, and we have no choice but to rise and meet it.
The operative word in her increasingly tired climate change harangue is: "we."

Here's the thing—immediately after her speech, Hillary hopped on a private jet to fly to another campaign stop. The jet burns 347 gallons of jet fuel per hour—not exactly what I'd call environmentally friendly. So I guess Ms. Clinton does not include herself in the "we" she mentions.

As far as class warfare goes, Ms. Clinton continues to rail against income inequality. In recent speeches, she attacked "hedge fund managers" and parroting socialist Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders, "millionaires and billionaires" as the villains in her class warfare saga.

It's interesting,  that the private jet (347 gallons of jet fuel per hour) that Hillary Clinton used yesterday was the same plane (according to the Daily Mail) that transported her to a speech hosted by "Vancouver Board of Trade and co-sponsored by TD Bank in March 2015, and later reported in her personal financial disclosure that she was paid $275,000 for the appearance." $275,000!

Hmmm. I guess Hillary doesn't count herself in the "millionaires" category when it comes class warfare topics. If Hillary spoke for an 45 minutes it's likely she used about 5,500 words. That means her sponsors paid about $50 for each word she spoke.

You know, I'd happily pledge $50 to use just one word to describe Hillary Clinton. That word would be "hypocrite."

Friday, November 06, 2015

Media Super-PAC

GOP presidential candidate, Marco Rubio, called the main stream media a "Democratic Super-PAC." He is correct in that characterization, and nothing proves it more than the recent media attacks on his lack of wealth and his decade-old (and relatively trivial) credit card problems and other financial struggles. One of Hillary Clinton's best media allies, The New York Times, featured a front page story entitled: "Marco Rubio Confronts New Scrutiny Over Use of Party Credit Card"  in which he used an RNC credit card for personal use. He claims it was a mistake, reimbursed the expenditures, and moved on. The NYT implied that Rubio's "lack of bookkeeping skills" and other financial challenges (he is NOT a wealthy man, something unusual for a modern politician) somehow disqualify him as a candidate.

Stephen Kruiser comments on the media's new focus on Rubio's lack of wealth and the minor problems it has caused for him:
In 2011 and 2012, the media rarely went more than a day without talking about Mitt Romney’s houses, and whether a man who owned more than one could relate to the average American. This, by the way, was a familiar complaint of theirs about McCain in 2008 as well.

Now, Marco Rubio is being scrutinized for financially struggling at times.

The press bias towards Democrats is never more obvious than in the way it treats the wealth of candidates from the two major parties during an election cycle. John McCain’s marriage to a wealthy woman was fair game in 2008 but John Kerry’s habit of finding wealthy women to marry wasn’t really discussed in 2004.

Hillary Clinton practically bathes in cash and hasn’t had a conversation with a member of the American middle class in thirty years, but she gets to pretend to be an “aw shucks” champion of the working folk.

We hear a lot about Donald Trump’s inherited wealth, but whenever one of the endless Kennedy trust fund spawn runs for office all we hear about is whatever charity work he or she did to distract the public from the raging cocaine habit.

The Democrats are wealthy. Really wealthy. If the media can’t be honest about this, every Republican they single out regarding money should make a loud point about their neglect of the other party’s candidates.
In a recent post entitled Mute and Sightless, I outlined a series of serious issues concerning Hillary Clinton's association with the Clinton Foundation, State Department influence peddling, and other unethical and possibly criminal wrong-doing. The NYT is generally "mute and sightless" on those issues, but has decided that a front page story on Rubio's credit card is somehow more important than an investigative report on pay-for-play corporate donations, exorbitant speaking fees tied to State Department favors, and the like. After all, Rubio's credit card expenditures in the low thousands of dollars range are infinitely more compelling that illicit donation to the Clinton Foundation of tens of millions of dollars and speaking fees connected to favors from Hillary Clinton of well over $40 million. Aren't they?

Here's the thing. The Dems correctly believe that they can operative with relative impunity because their media Super-PAC will look the other way. They're right.

That may be very good for the Dems, but it's very bad for the country when corruption and influence peddling are ignored by a mute and sightless media.


Kim Strassel expands on the Rubio "scandal" that the media is so, so curious about:
The press for its part is more interested in presenting Mr. Rubio’s financial history as some evidence of scandal. The New York Times has devoted near novel-length inches to the non-news (this was all covered in Mr. Rubio’s Senate race in 2010) that as a Florida legislator he used a Republican Party charge card for personal purchases.

And? The card was used primarily for political expenses—which were covered by the party. Mr. Rubio occasionally used it for a personal expense, which he then paid for each month by writing a check to the card company. No one is suggesting that the party paid a dime toward Mr. Rubio’s expenses, or that the candidate was a dime short in promptly paying back his personal charges. If this is a scandal, we’ve found a cure for insomnia.

At the same time, CNN is has gone back 50 years to Ben Carson's teenage years to uncover "dishonesty" is his characterization of his young life. Odd that the same CNN refused to go back to Barack Obama's teenage years in 2008 to determine whether his books accurately depicted his youth. The LA Times, during that same time period, refused outright to release a video of Obama's speech at a pro-Palestinian event, covering for Obama, the presidential candidate. Both the LAT and NYT, among dozens of other outlets, refused to investigate Obama's relationship to Bill Ayers in any depth and tried as hard a possible to minimize the infamous Reverend Wright relationship.

Meanwhile, not a single media outlet, other than FoxNews, seems curious enough to interview the relatives of those killed at Benghazi—people who independently say that Hillary Clinton lied to their faces about the cause of the attack.

Meanwhile, not a single media outlet, other than FoxNews, seems curious enough to investigate Bernie Sander's early years. Sanders, an unreconstructed socialist, has some pretty extreme ideas about taxation, capitalism, and other fundamental economic issues. Yet, the media Super-Pac seems completely incurious.

Curiosity when GOP candidates are involved, and complete lack thereof when Dem candidates are to be considered. In the media, it's a sure sign of blatant bias.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Just Plain Wrong

It's interesting that many conservatives' reaction to electric vehicle manufacturer, Tesla Motors, is negative. Part of it, I think, is that environmentalists generally support electric vehicles, and because of their attempts to coerce our entire economy to see the world as they see it, any product that is green is suspect in the eyes of some conservatives. Another element is that Tesla Motors received government backing and continues to receive tax credits—something that conservatives object to. And part of it is the reactionary view that old ways (the internal combustion engine, car dealerships) are under attack and Tesla Motors is an prima facie example of that.

In a post at Glen Reynold's Instapundit (a right of center blog), commenters railed against Tesla Motors. As an EV owner myself, I felt compelled to respond. Here's what I wrote:
So let me see if I've got this straight. A significant percentage of the "conservatives" commenting here are against an innovative American company, employing 3,500 people at its factory in the USA and another 5,000 at its other U.S. facilities, getting rave reviews from every major auto mag, and getting an unprecedented five star safety rating across the board, because ... oh heavens, it got a government loan (which it paid back in full) ... and the horror, Tesla gets tax credits just like dozens and dozens of other companies including all of the major car companies.

And then there are the "populists" who are aghast that the car costs about $100K. Hmmm, it's a friggin' premium car, it's supposed to cost a lot of money, just like BMWs, Mercedes, and Audis. Oh wait, most of those premium vehicles are built overseas by workers outside the USA. The interesting thing is that good ole Tesla is eating their lunch in some market segments ... that's why the foreign companies are moving fast to build their own lines of EVs.

Finally, there are the "techies" who argue that it's all about range. For crying out loud, the average American drives considerably less than 50 miles a day (The Model S has a range of 265 miles). Tesla took the initiative and built a supercharger network that allows a Model S owner to drive from Miami to New York or New York to LA. That's investment and innovation and a lot more customer care that I've ever seen from a 20th century car company.

When I watch a Tesla P90D blow the doors off a 700 HP Dodge Hellcat at the drag strip, I have to smile at the "conservatives," "populists" and "techies" who argue that there's no place in the market for EVs. Sure, EVs may not be for everyone, but that doesn't mean the company can't capture significant market share over time.

And when Tesla introduces their $35,000 Model 3 in March, 2016 (for delivery in 2017), I suspect that Bob Lutz's GM [the focus of the post] just might be the company that is doomed.

I'm not sure that Glen Reynolds is "against" Tesla Motors and the Model S/X, but if he is, on this subject, he's short-sighted and just plain wrong.
'Nuff said.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Mute and Sightless

The recent CNBC debate has precipitated much commentary about the obvious and blatant Left-leaning bias of the main stream media. In fact, even some members of the Left-leaning media expressed concern. The questions that were asked of GOP candidates were snarky in tone and in substance, but in a way, that's not the most egregious form of bias.  GOP candidate, Marco Rubio, characterized it this way: “The Democrats have the ultimate Super PAC: It’s called the mainstream media.”

The Democrats trained hamsters in the media have shown and continue to show a complete lack of curiosity when it comes to dishonesty, ethical lapses, extreme political proposals, or otherwise unsavory behavior of Democrat candidates for president and for the sitting president as well (think: lack of curiosity about Barack Obama's background and history, his associations with unsavory characters, his grades at Harvard, his speech for palestinian activist Rashid Kaleedy, etc., etc.). This lack of curiosity is evidenced by few, if any, investigative reports that would pop up instantly if a GOP candidate was the focus.

Let's consider a hypothetical GOP candidate—intelligent and well versed in the issues, but prone to a continuing stream of ethical lapses and conflicts the interest. Our GOP candidate has set up a family foundation and seems to have inter-mixed his work in government with fundraising for the foundation. Worse, the hypothetical candidate's wife got speaking engagements that grossed over $40 million while the GOP candidate held government office.

As part of his work in government, our GOP candidate helped negotiate a deal in which a Russian company purchased 20 percent of U.S. uranium production. Coincident with the deal, the candidate's wife was given a speaking fee of $500,000 by supporters of the Russian company, and the GOP candidate's foundation was given a donation of $2.5 million.

The GOP candidate expressed continuing concern about the plight of Haitian people and set up a charitable trust to help them. At the same time, his wife's brother was appointed to a paying advisory position of a U.S. based gold-mining company that just happened to get a contract in Haiti. The brother had no experience in mining.

Finally, a stream of continuing allegations of favors tied to donations to the candidate's foundation emerged while the GOP candidate destroyed any trace of communication that might shed additional light on these activities.

Given that the target of the media's investigation is a GOP candidate, you can bet your life that the media would take a hard look at these curious events, follow the money intently, hound the candidate and his associates for answers, and produce a continuing stream of prime-time investigative reports. The drumbeat would continue until: (1) the candidate pulled out of the race, or (2) produced compelling evidence that there was no wrongdoing.
Here's the thing. Each of the situations described above actually happened, but they involve not a GOP candidate but the Democrat candidate—Hillary Rodham Clinton. They are described in more detail by controversial writer Edward Klein. But instead of investigating these allegations, the media's trained hamsters work hard to discredit those that make them. Like any good Democrat super-PAC, the media works hard to protect its Dem candidate. Instead of putting Hillary Clinton, her foundation, and her dealings as Secretary of State under a microscope, they conveniently look the other way—mute and sightless.