Friday, September 5, 2014

Jobs Numbers Tank as Obama’s Policies Fail


September 5, 2014


 The economy created only 142,000 jobs in August, down from 212,000 in July, indicating the economy significantly slowed this summer. Jobs creation is well below the pace needed to reemploy all the workers displaced during the financial crisis—the economy is in crisis!

Although official GDP estimates indicate the economy expanded in the second quarter at a torrid pace—4.2. percent—much of that was inventory build, as consumer spending continued to drag along at a nonplus pace and capital investment, especially in manufacturing, remains subpar.

Third quarter growth is likely in the range of 2 percent, and the Obama Administration spin doctors will have a tough time selling these jobs data as anything but bad news.

Simply, the administration’s big spending stimulus policies and the Fed’s obsession with pumping money into a moribund New York financial industry have failed.

Also, now Americans are seeing the real cost of ObamaCare health care subsidies. Employer mandates are not much good to working families if no one in the family is working.

The official jobless rate is down to 6.1 percent but real unemployment is closer to 18 percent, because so many prime aged adults are sitting out the party. For example, one in six adult males between the ages of 25 and 54 has no job, and may have simply quit looking thanks to “compassionate” government policies that reward able bodied men and women to sit at home and watch ESPN NFL reruns or The View.

Since 2000, Congress has beefed up the earned income tax credit, and expanded programs providing direct benefits to low and middle income workers, including ObamaCare and Medicaid, food stamps, and rent and mortgage assistance.

Those buy votes but do little to encourage work.

Benefits phase down as family incomes rise, and often tax additional income as much as 50 percent.

Consequently, government benefits penalize work and encourage one partner in two adult households to be idle.

Also, those programs offer incentives for single people to work only part-time and contribute to skills shortage.

With millions of young college graduates unable to land a professional job and start a career, the president has implemented irresponsible federal student loan policies. And unscrupulous university presidents exploit young people by peddling graduate programs that promise rewarding careers but only deliver a lifetime of debt.

Student loans take disgruntled college graduates off the streets, lower the official unemployment rate and deliver electoral majorities for Democrats but undermine future growth. Simply, too many folks in their late 20s are stuck in dead end jobs, burdened with crippling debt, and are unable to buy a home or comfortably start families.

The root cause of the jobs crisis is chronically anemic growth, whose sources candidate Obama promised to address in 2008 but has forgotten.

These include the purposefully undervalued Chinese and Japanese currencies, which cheapen imports, siphon off demand for American-made products and destroy factory jobs; federal restrictions on offshore oil and gas development, which unnecessarily perpetuate U.S. oil imports and finance terrorism; business regulations more burdensome than necessary to accomplish worthy objectives, which create prestigious jobs for political supporters and create monopolies for campaign contributors; and a tax structure ranked one of the worst in the world for encouraging sound business decisions and supporting international competitiveness.

A second term president should be a statesman looking to the long-term security and prosperity of the American people.

Instead, Obama continues to campaign, blames his predecessor and congress for his disappointments, and will leave Americans poorer and less safe in the bargain.

Peter Morici is an economist and business professor at the University of Maryland, national columnist and five-time winner of the MarketWatch best forecaster award. He tweets @pmorici1

Big Government

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fight the Islamic Religious War We are Already In

By Justin O. Smith 
August 31, 2014

 
 War has not just come to America with the beheading of the U.S. journalist James Foley and the Islamic State's declaration of war on the United States. Our nation has been under attack by the agents of Islam and Sharia law long before Sheik Mohammed al-Hanooti conspired to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993; and, with the rise of the Islamic State and its messianic vision of Christians, Jews and infidels deserving of death, a new wave of terror is soon to be launched on America's home-front, unless the United States and the free world exterminates the Islamofascists of the Islamic State.

Obama's ISIS "JV" now controls one-third of Syria and one-third of Iraq, according to the Long War Journal, and the flag of Al Qaeda flies over Fallujah, contradicting Obama's ideologically based conclusions that Al Qaeda is "decimated" and "the war on terror is over." Far from over, it now seems apparent to the Obama administration that the real war is just beginning.

During the past decades, the U.S. has witnessed Islamic-inspired terror plots, designed to kill hundreds and thousands, foiled by the Grace of God, luck and good investigative work and intelligence information. Najibullah Zazi hoped to detonate a triacetone triperoxide-based explosive in the New York subway close to September 11, 2009; in April 2013, Ahmed Abassi, a chemical engineering graduate student at Laval University in Quebec, planned to murder upwards of 100,000 people, by contaminating the water supply of a major U.S. city.

Due to tight regulations regarding the sale and transfer of any explosive material in the U.S., Obama's current open border policy is an extremely serious and critical U.S. national security breach. Border agents are finding items like In Memory of Our Martyrs, a book documenting suicide-bombings, which was found near Casa Grande, AZ in January 2012. And, two months later, Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen released a report quoting Abdullah al-Nafsi, a Muslim cleric, saying "... one man with the courage to carry a suitcase of anthrax through the tunnels from Mexico to the United States could kill 330,000 Americans in one hour."

The 9/11 Commission Report has 59 references to terrorist activity in Arizona and references a classified CIA/FBI report titled “Arizona's Long-Range Nexus for Islamic Extremists.” Cooperation between the Mexican drug cartels and terror groups such as Hezb’allah and Al Qaeda has been fairly common knowledge for most of this decade. This is even more significant in light of 15 adult Bangladeshi men being apprehended by Border Agents on July 26, 2014, as they attempted to sneak across the border, in the Rio Grande Valley Sector near McAllen, Texas.

On August 22nd, ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), told Fox 25 TV in Oklahoma City: "We're in one of the most dangerous positions we've ever been in as a nation. They're crazy out there, and they're rapidly developing a method to blow up a major U.S. city and people just can't believe that's happening."

Currently IS, the Islamic State, commands 50,000 jihadists/ "holy" warriors in Syria and 30,000 in Iraq. Of these numbers, according to the International Center for Radicalization at King's College in London, among the Europeans, they found 700 French, 500 British, 100 Dutch, 300 Germans and 300 from various other countries.

Earlier in August, an ex-convict from North Carolina became the eighth American to be arrested before making a trip to Syria to wage their sacrilegious "holy" war. Seven of the eight are Islamic State supporters. So far, over 100 Americans reportedly have joined the fight in Syria.

Retired Navy Captain Chuck Nash told 'WND' (Aug 20): "I think we're in trouble ... These people are traveling on American, British and other European passports, where they can very easily slip under the radar. We're going to see the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Muslim terrorist ... Hopefully we see that person before they complete their mission.”

Former CIA Officer Bob Baer said, "I have been told with no uncertainty that there are ISIS sleeper cells in this country."

Michael Gregory, a Reuters reporter, has had numerous conversations with Islamic State jihadists, who have repeatedly told him that their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is planning something. They suggested attacks would soon be waged by sleeper cells in both Europe and the United States.

Baghdadi's goals of unifying the Levant under the Islamic State, the New Caliphate, and activating new terror strikes beyond the scope and magnitude of September 11, 2001 are certainly appearing somewhat possible, mainly due to the Islamic State's control of captured oil fields. Now, as ISIS has expanded that control and created new smuggling routes, the market is raising $2 million a day, or $730 million annually. And this is enough to sustain Baghdadi's operations beyond Iraq.

On August 21st, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stated, "They (ISIL/ISIS) are beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well funded. (note: A large percentage of ISIS was trained in Jordan by U.S. military _see 'Blowback! ...' by Aaron Klein 6/17/14).

Radical Islamists or Islamofascists, call them by any nomenclature, and one still cannot separate them from Islam, and neither can one separate Islam from the atrocities currently being committed. There are not any Christians, Buddhists or Jews anywhere in the ISIS organization.

After James Foley's murder, Obama stated, "People like this (ISIS) ultimately fail. They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy."

Mollie Hemingway, editor at The Federalist, noted that what President Obama said "is literally 
Mickey Mouse philosophy. And I don't mean that in a good way."

Where is our President? Praising fictitious Islamic contributions to Our American Heritage? America cannot tolerate Obama's foreign policy based on inaction, delays and half-measures, while the fires of global jihad burn.

In his most expansive remarks on the crisis, since the U.S. airstrikes began in Iraq, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E Dempsey said (NY Times Aug 21): "This is an organization that has an apocalyptic end-of-days vision that will eventually have to be defeated. Can they be defeated without addressing that part of the organization that resides in Syria? The answer is no."

America is in a generational struggle against the sick, pathological and extreme ideology of Islam, and America must show no mercy for the merciless Islamic State, which seeks the "breaking of the American [Christian] cross" and the fulfillment of Islamic prophecy. We must unleash the full fury and might of the U.S. military on the Islamic State and annihilate these animals who would end our U.S. Republic, democratic elections and religious freedom, leaving only Sharia law. And, we must fight to victory or condemn future generations to a perpetual state of war, or worse.

American Thinker

The Incompetence of Leftist Ideology

By Kevin Wade and Fay Voshell 
August 31, 2014

 
 Competence is the ability to get things done. The word itself has no particular value judgment attached to it.

Many perfectly intelligent people have been labeled “incompetent,” particularly by conservatives, when actually they are or have been quite competent -- at achieving disasters.  We have such a person sitting in the White House -- quite intelligent, but committed to disastrous ideology. Our present administration is not incompetent in the way its officials go about achieving their goals, using as they do the incredible powers of bureaucracy and executive orders to bypass Congress and override the Constitution. They are perfectly competent in promoting and putting their toxically incompetent leftist ideology into effect.

To put it another way, people who are competent at creating disasters are not necessarily dimwitted, though some are. The problem is not their stupidity. The problem is that their core ideas about how the world works are wrong. If their basic ideas are wrong, everything else goes wrong.

History abounds with cases of bright people who have been zealously committed to wrong ideas they were expert in putting into action.

Trofim Lysenko was an intelligent Russian peasant who rejected Mendelian genetics in favor of agricultural Lamarckianism. He manipulated the scientific method in order it fit into Soviet communist ideology. Political ideology dictated his agricultural methods, with disastrous results that lingered for decades. German race theorists were bright people, but they were committed to a “science” of race glorifying Aryans and denigrating the rest of humanity. We all know how those race theorists’ ideas turned out. Today’s global warmists are not stupid people, but they go beyond the limits of scientific method, endorsing instead what is basically deluded apocalyptic prophecy. 

Chairman Mao Zedong’s idea to have citizens smelt iron in their backyards was ineffably stupid, but he himself was a cunning and savvy manipulator who got appalling things done with remarkable efficiency.

It is not hard to find examples of how things have gone wrong because of bad ideas now in ascendency in Washington. A complete list would fill a book, but a random list could include the incompetence of the ObamaCare website and the ACA in general; the incredible expense of trafficking alien children around the U.S. versus the cost of returning them to their own villages; the nonstop printing of trillions and trillions of dollars; the appalling waste and improper payments in Medicare and Medicaid; the corruption of the Food Stamp program and the misuse of the Social Security disabilities program.

The competence to wreak havoc extends to whole nations, which can be completely run into the ground because defective ideology is effectively employed by a bunch of zealous, bright people who are wholeheartedly committed to bad ideas.

As Panos Mourdoukoutas noted in Forbes magazine, recent economic troubles in Greece have been due almost solely to bad ideas put into practice by competent ideologues whose business model very effectively produced economic and societal catastrophe:
“For years, Greece had the wrong business model -- A Semi-Soviet, semi-Latin model that was backwards -- it applied markets and governments in areas of the economy where each institution fails rather than excels. This resulted in a large and corrupt government that lacked the resources to finance its multiple roles in the economy.
With the former Soviet Union as a model, the Greek economy was subject to the excessively intrusive presence of government in the business and professional lives of citizens, directly controlling more than 50% of the economy. Government was active in the pension fund industry, as manager of employer-employee contributions, deciding who would retire, when their retirement would happen, and what pension they would receive.
Government was present in commodity markets, as regulator and gatekeeper, deciding who could be in what kind of business and for how long; and in labor markets, setting labor compensation and employment standards.”
The core incompetency that afflicted Greece and that is now afflicting our own country is leftist ideology, including leftist economic policy.

When disaster producing ideas are the foundation stones of governance, no amount of finagling with business models; no new techniques or innovative means to improve efficiency; no new five-year planning commissions; no new agencies created to examine the problems of government will ever succeed in improving those governments, state and federal, as life-killing ideas have no ability whatever to enable society to flourish.  As long as our leadership is committed to outdated, disproven and ruinous ideologies, the results will be the same as they have been wherever leftist ideals have been promoted and implemented: cataclysmic failure, both economic and societal.

But with the right ideas put into effect, a country’s turnaround can be rapid.  As Mourdoukoutas writes:
“But now, in the aftermath of the most recent crisis, the Greek economic model has begun to change. The country seems to have gotten its economic model right: the size of government has been reduced, state-owned enterprises have been privatized, transparency is improving, and calm is returning to the streets of major cities.
Result? Government deficits are turning into surpluses, exports and tourism are soaring, shipping leads the world, and real GDP is turning the corner. Slowly, Greece is rebuilding its brand image.
Simply put: Greece is headed in the right direction, applying the right institutions in the right sectors, releasing the ingenuity and creativity of its people.”
What is happening in Greece can happen here. It has happened here.  In many respects, it started here.

But the American miracle that is our constitutional republic, along with the gifts it has imparted to the whole world, will not be revived and nursed back to health unless the incompetent ideology of the Left is firmly renounced across the board, both in faith and practice. Leftist ideology is an American political heresy that has no real roots in our history, no consonance with the independence-loving American character, no resonance with American’s highest ideals and therefore no real place in our society.

In the final analysis, one must place a moral judgment on leftist ideology and its deleterious results. 

At every turn, leftist ideology has been proved incompetent in producing a flourishing society. It has always produced disaster. Always. There is not one exception in all the Left’s brutal, inglorious and destructive history.

In the end, the goal of government is to contribute to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of every citizen. Unless government is committed to and driven by ideals that support those goals, it is not just useless. It is not merely incompetent.  It is corrupt and tyrannical.

There is still enough life and enough good in our republic of the United States to return to and to affirm the principles that make us the greatest nation on earth.

The only question is whether or not we will do so.

Kevin Wade is the Delaware’s Republican candidate for the US senate.  He may be reached at klw@wadefordelaware.com Fay Voshell is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and other online publications. She may be reached at fvoshell@yahoo.com

American Thinker 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Islam, Postmodernism, and Poltiical Correctness

August 30, 2014
By Danusha V. Goska

 
One of the most important tools humanity needs right now is frank speech about Islam. 

Unfortunately, in journalism, on campuses, and in politics, politically-correct speech codes demonize any analysis of Islam as "Islamophobia." Speech taboos are obeyed across a wide spectrum. In September, 2001, after the 9-11 attacks, President George Bush stated, "Islam is peace." In 2007, his fellow officers declined to take effective action against U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan, even after he exhibited to them a PowerPoint presentation that cited the Koran to predict and support his subsequent, 2009 shooting of soldiers at Fort Hood. As the Christian Science Monitor put it, the Army may have chosen to "ignore red flags out of political correctness." Hollywood is also wary. The 2014 Liam Neeson film Non-Stop depicts an attempt to hijack an airplane. A Muslim is suspected.  In fact he is kindly. The real villain is a 9-11 family member and a member of the U.S. military. 

The avoidance of analysis of Islam contrasts sharply with the excoriation accorded Christianity, Israel, and Western Civilization. The Catholic Church sex abuse crisis has received saturation coverage. Distinguished history professor Philip Jenkins, in a book published by Oxford University Press, claims that media coverage distorts the crisis and contributes to anti-Catholic bigotry. Israel's very right to exist is questioned and, in high profile media, at times denied. Western Civilization is depicted as imperialist, racist, and Orientalist. This politically-correct selective outrage that lambastes the Judeo-Christian tradition and Western Civilization while emphasizing positive images of Muslims only serves further to inoculate Islam from critique. 

Selective outrage does not stand alone. Politically-correct speech codes consistently deploy three more tactics: cultural relativism, postmodern denial of objective definitions of terms, and the threat of mass hysteria. 

The first tactic used to suppress speech about Islam, cultural relativism, has an honorable history. One hundred years ago, scientific racism dominated American elite thought. Inspired by Charles Darwin, American scientific racists like Madison Grant applied a hierarchy to human beings. Some cultures, those of hunter gatherers and peasants, were low and worthless; others were high and to be valued. Educated, atheist Anglo-Saxon males occupied the top of the human pyramid of value. 
Franz Boas, the Father of American Anthropology, became a professor at Columbia University in 1896. Spurred by his own experience of anti-Semitism, Boas was determined to overturn scientific racism. Boas argued for the worth of all cultures. 

The head-to-head confrontation between scientific racist Madison Grant and cultural relativist Franz Boas had high impact. Adolf Hitler declared that Grant's 1916 book, The Passing of the Great Race, was his "bible." Franz Boas died of a heart attack while speaking against Nazism. Today all American schoolchildren, whether they have heard of Franz Boas or not, are indoctrinated to repeat that to so much as question whether any aspect of American culture might be superior to any aspect of a 

Non-Western culture is racist and taboo. Even brilliant ideas from great men rot when they pass from the vivifying circulation of vigorous debate into the cloying closet of unquestioned dogma. 

Objective realities do mark Islam as different from other religions. Among the five major world faiths, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, Islam is unique in its doctrine of jihad, stated clearly in this hadith, attributed to Mohammed: "I have been ordered to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me." This hadith is echoed by over a hundred jihad verses in the Koran, a book that is a fraction of the size of the Bible. 

Jihad is established not only in Islamic texts. It is exemplified by action. Mohammed ordered at least forty-three assassinations and participated in at least one hundred militarized expeditions.  Mohammed is the "perfect example worthy of emulation."

Islam spread by war, warfare that began in Mohammed's lifetime, and that has continued in the Muslim world, without significant relief, for 1,400 years. Mohammed died in 632. Muslims reached the Indian Subcontinent by 664 and Spain by 711. Islam's expansion was stopped only at the Battle of Vienna, September 12, 1683. 

Abraham, the first Jew, was a nomadic herder. Abraham made no converts through war. Conquests of Old Testament warriors like Joshua at Jericho were time- and place-specific. Jews' command to conquer was limited to the land of Israel. The God of the Bible never ordered Jews to war on all humanity and conquer the entire earth, and Jews never tried. Judaism has a significant tradition of not seeking converts. Though Judaism rivals Hinduism as the world's oldest faith, it is the smallest of the top five. Approximately .02 percent of the world's population is Jewish. 
Buddha, founder of Buddhism, was a celibate, nonviolent monk, meditator, and teacher. Buddha made no converts through war. 

Jesus, founder of Christianity, was a teacher and healer. Jesus made no converts through war. Christianity was outlawed for its first three hundred years; early Christians were subject to public torture at the hands of the all-powerful Roman Empire. Christianity's greatest spread was and continues to be thanks not to the sword, but to the word. 

Hinduism has no historical founder. Its most popular deity is Shiva, a god of meditation, cannabis use, and tantric sex. Hinduism's indifference to proselytizing is reflected on world maps. Hinduism is largely limited to the Indian Subcontinent where it was born. 

Politically-correct speech code enforcers, using cultural relativism, insist that violent acts of jihad committed by Muslims are comparable to a predictable series of crimes that demonstrate that Christians are just like Muslims, and that Christianity is just like Islam. Christianity's crimes include the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and witch trials. One might hear, "Oh, sure, some Muslims are violent, but look at Catholics. They murdered millions in the Inquisition. As times goes on, Muslims will evolve to become peaceful, just as Catholics have evolved."

The charge that the Inquisition is just like jihad is fallacious for the following reasons. 

First, while jihadis kill in obedience to Islamic scripture, the Spanish Inquisition occurred in defiance of Christian scripture, which does not counsel violence or forced conversion. A time-and-geography-specific historical series of traumas conspired to bring about the Inquisition. Spain had been invaded in 711 by Tariq ibn Ziyad, who, in a famous speech, promised his Muslim warriors Christian riches to loot and Christian women to rape. The indigenous people of the Iberian Peninsula fought back. This is called the Reconquista. Fighting lasted for seven hundred years, until 1492. Jewish converts to Catholicism were doing relatively well in the newly unified, post-Reconquista Spain. Ethnically Spanish Catholics were envious. The Spanish Inquisition was instituted in 1478. It was a xenophobic manifestation of a land that had been at war for seven hundred years over identity issues. Given human nature, the Inquisition's psychological, economic and political roots are all too understandable. 

Compare the Inquisition's limitation in space and time to jihad, which is temporally and geographically coterminous with Islam. Wherever and whenever Islam has existed, it has been accompanied by the violence of jihad. Jihad is not a response to historical traumas. Economically and socially comfortable people have left placid lives in order to wage jihad. A prominent example is the multimillionaire, Osama bin Laden, who left the swank life of a construction magnate's heir in order to live in caves, eat swill, and pursue death. 

Second, those making their case through cultural relativism often say things like, "A long time ago, Christians were violent, but they evolved; with time, Islam will evolve, too." In fact, the Inquisition was condemned by Christians not because time had passed and they had evolved; it was condemned at the time it was happening, and it was condemned because it defied Christian scripture. 

On April 18, 1482, a critic of the Spanish Inquisition wrote, "In Aragon, Valencia, Mallorca, and Catalonia the Inquisition has for some time been moved not by zeal for the faith and the salvation of souls but by lust for wealth." This critic was Pope Sixtus IV. 
Pope Innocent VIII also criticized the Inquisition. 

Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536), a Catholic priest, criticized the Inquisition. Estimates are that in some years between one fifth and one tenth of all books sold in Oxford, London, and Paris were by Erasmus; he was no lone voice crying in the wilderness. Regular clergy also criticized the Inquisition. 

Christians didn't just verbally condemn the Inquisition. They offered refuge. Catholic Poland actively invited Jews to settle in Poland, and protected their rights in the 1264 Statute of Kalisz. These sentiments were restated in the 1573 Warsaw Confederation. Medieval Poland was internationally dubbed "paradisus Iudaeorum" or the paradise of the Jews.

And, of course, Catholics continue to apologize for the Inquisition, including Pope John Paul II's 2000 apology. 

The voice of the Christian conscience in opposition to the Inquisition is reflective of a wider trend. Throughout the centuries, Christianity produced its own best critics, including famous examples like St. Francis, Teresa of Avila, Bartolom√© de las Casas, and Dorothy Day. 

One searches in vain for equally unambiguous condemnations of jihad from Muslims. Rather, one finds an opposite trend. Muslim Turkey, for example, belligerently denies that its 1915 genocide of Armenian Christians ever took place. Turkey arrested and convicted one of its most celebrated sons, Nobel-Prize-winning writer Orhan Pamuk, for briefly alluding to the Armenian Genocide during an interview with a Swiss newspaper. Turks have burned Pamuk's books and attempted to assassinate him. 

When Muslims have critiqued other Muslims, it has often been to chastise them for not killing enough infidels. When the 8th-century Arab general Muhammad bin-Qasim defeated his opponents on the Indian subcontinent with craftiness, his superior, Al-Hajjaj bin Yousef, demanded that Qasim commit more massacres. In his next action, Qasim was sure to massacre thousands. 

There are many examples in Islamic history of relatively tolerant Muslims being replaced by more draconian ones. In Medieval Spain, the more orthodox Almoravid Dynasty replaced previous more tolerant rulers, and, in turn, it was replaced by the Almohads, an even more fundamentalist Islamic dynasty. In Medieval Baghdad, the more liberal Mu'tazilis, who emphasized reason and argued that the Koran was created, were denounced and defeated by more strict Muslims. In modern Iran the more conservative Ayatollahs replaced the Shah. Today the more extreme ISIS is eclipsing Al-Qaeda, whom they assessed as too moderate. The hope that time will temper Islam lacks supportive evidence. 

Even as Christians are driven out of their homes in Muslim countries, no Muslim country steps forward to invite refugee Christians to live, and no Muslim country offers Christians complete freedom of religion. 

The third problem with the culturally-relativist argument that "Jihad is just like the Inquisition" is this. Modern scholars agree that the Inquisition's evils have been exaggerated for propaganda reasons, beginning with Catholic Spain's rival, Protestant England. This continues; one website cites ninety-five million victims killed in the Inquisition. In fact, between three thousand and five thousand victims were executed, and they were executed by the state, not the church. 

This brief analysis shows why the cultural relativists' insistence on comparing the problem of jihad to the Inquisition is not valid. A brief essay cannot adequately address the fallacious, politically-correct, cultural relativist insistence that the Crusades and the witch trials are comparable to jihad, but the reader is advised to examine these claims with care. Rodney Stark's excellent, brief, and readable God's Battalions: The Case for the Crusades shows that the Crusades were undertaken, not as PC would have it, to convert Muslims to Christianity by force, but rather to protect Christians in the Holy Land. Lyndal Roper's Witch Craze is one of several recent, revolutionary books that demonstrates that just about everything PC says about witch burning is wrong. 

In any case, the above-listed paradigm applies. Christian scripture does not encourage killing people for the faith. Outbreaks of violence by and among Christians are most easily attributed to the kind of trauma that might cause any population to go to war, like the seven hundred years of identity-fueled war that preceded the Inquisition in Spain, or the social chaos caused by the Reformation, and the crop failures caused by the Little Ice Age that contributed to the witch craze. Christians in the past who lived contemporaneously with these violent outbreaks, including pontiffs, decried violence as a means to advance religious ends, and Christian individuals and nations not directly involved in conflicts attempted to rectify conditions to the extent that they were able to do so. None of these points apply to jihad. Jihad is coterminous with Islam, it is approved of, not condemned by, devout Muslims, and Muslim nations have no significant tradition of aiding the victims of jihad. Muslim reformers have agitated for a more draconian and violent interpretation of Islam. 

A second tactic politically-correct speech code enforcers use to prevent analysis of Islam is the postmodern rejection of definitions of terms based on objective reality. The postmodern approach to definition might best be summed up as "words mean whatever I say they mean." Thus, PC spokespeople focus on model Muslims who insist that "jihad" means "inner struggle." They argue that one can interpret the Koran's numerous calls to violent jihad as referring only to Mohammed's lifetime, and having no application today. Imam Jihad Turk took this approach on March 15, 2012 at the Los Angeles Museum of Tolerance. "I am instructed in the truth of my religion from people who are not Muslim," Turk protested.  I am a Muslim, his argument ran. If I say Islam is peaceful and tolerant, then that is what it is. 

The problem with this approach is that there is such a thing as objective reality. How can one know the essence, the objective reality, of a religion?
The following criteria might be used to assess the essence of any religion:

1) What does the critical mass -- not exceptional passages, but numerically representational ones -- of canonical scripture and interpretation say? What does the critical mass of practice based on that scripture look like?

Here is an example of numerical representationally in texts as reflected in behavior. Superstar Christian pastors Rick Warren, Tony Campolo, and Jim Wallis have repeatedly stated that over two thousand Biblical verses counsel care for the poor; they cite this statistic when spearheading charities that care for the poor all over the world. Christians and Jews are exceptional in the energy and resources they devote to care for the poor. Catholics invented modern hospitals, and the Catholic Church is the single largest nongovernmental provider of health care services in the world. Statistics show that American Protestants, Catholics, and Jews donate significantly more to charity than non-believers, or other populations. 

The Koran's plethora of jihad verses has already been mentioned. The Koran also frequently mentions Hell. There is a threat of hell in every 7.9 verses; contrast this with the New Testament, where Hell is mentioned once for every 774 verses. It is not surprising that a violent text inspires violent behavior. 

2) Difficult passages occur in every document. Is there a mechanism for interpretation?
Cultural Relativists insist that the Koran is just like the Bible. Muslims can interpret the Koran to be a peaceful book. 

In fact, though, the Koran is not comparable to the Bible. The Koran is perfect. It is in Arabic, only in Arabic, never to be translated. The Koran is uncreated. It has existed for eternity. In his article, "The Uncreatedness of the Quran and the Unity of Allah," Sam Shamoun writes that merely suggesting that the Koran was created could earn the death penalty. Scholar Christoph Luxenberg has adopted his pseudonym and lives in hiding because he wrote a book suggesting that the Koran may have been first written, not in Arabic, but in the Syro-Aramaic dialect. That scholarly, linguistic observation was enough to earn him credible death threats. The belief in the near divine nature of the Koran, and the threats against anyone who studies it, leave little room for interpretation. 

3) What are the facts on the ground?

Politically correct cultural relativists insist that Islamic gender apartheid is not significantly different from misogyny in the West. They attempt to make this point by referring to Christians in the West as "Taliban." For example, Hobby Lobby, an American chain store that sells arts and crafts material, has chosen not to cover abortifacients in the health coverage it provides employees. Opponents call Hobby Lobby the "Christian Taliban." Books like Michelle Goldberg's 2007 Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism and Chris Hedges' 2008 American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America describe American Christians as genocidal monsters hiding behind the innocuous, welcoming smiles of megachurch potlucks. In her book, Goldberg reports keeping her passport handy and her bags packed in case she needs to flee the United States at any moment. 

The facts on the ground speak for themselves. Muslim countries are "high sex ratio" countries. They have more males than females. Females face of a gauntlet of survival-threatening customs, including sex selective abortion of female fetuses, the denial of health care to females, child marriage, subsequent early pregnancy, and honor killing. In Judeo-Christian countries, females tend to survive longer than males. 

Facts on the ground, including sex ratios, female literacy rates, wealth distribution, publication of scholarly articles, degrees granted, holding of office and other indicators, give the lie to the cultural relativist insistence that there is no difference between misogyny in the West and in Islam. 
In short, the postmodern refusal to define Islam according to objective criteria does not withstand analysis. If you stand in front of a moving train, you will be smashed, no matter how you interpret that train, or how invincible you tell yourself you are. There are multiple objective criteria that demonstrate Islam's differences from the world's other five top faiths. Statistics on gender are just one such objective criterion. 

The final politically-correct roadblock to analysis of Islam is the paranoid, fear-mongering threat that analysis of Islam will immediately spark mass hysteria, lynchings and pogroms. For this threat to gain traction, it must be accompanied by a conviction that Americans are a mob of frothing-at-the-mouth, knuckle-dragging troglodytes. Only anti-American bigots believe this. Americans are to be commended for significantly not scapegoating Muslims after 9-11. 

Nobel Prize winner Marie Sklodowska Curie said, "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." She is correct. 
Scholars, journalists, and media personalities are wordsmiths. While others work with their hands, their eyes, and their endurance, wordsmiths' job is to use words to clarify issues, to comfort the afflicted, to expand minds, and to find solutions. The world needs wordsmiths right now. Their articulate analysis of Islam will comfort and enlighten, not inflame, the masses. 

Now, when talking heads state simple truths, "Most Muslims are not jihadis. Most Muslims are peaceful. Most Muslims are just like you and I and most Muslims should not be the targets of our rage," many otherwise good people, rendered cynical, dismiss these words. 

Free speech is the best friend Muslims have. In the current environment, unspoken suspicions rankle and conspiracy theories proliferate. We must protect innocent Muslims from rancor, every bit as much as we must protect innocent people of all faiths. The best way to protect the vast majority of Muslims who are innocent and who just want to live their lives in peace is to tell the truth about Islam, and to publicly, verbally, fearlessly, and communally hash out solutions to the challenges Islam presents.

Danusha V. Goska is the author of Save Send Delete.

American Thinker

Friday, August 29, 2014

Governor Palin: ‘No Drama Obama’s Summer Casual Agenda for America’

08-29-2014
By Sarah Palin


 No Drama Obama’s Summer Casual Agenda for America (or What He Didn’t Do On My Summer Vacation)

There is absolutely nothing important going on in the world right now.

There are no security threats, no worldwide turmoil affecting America’s interests, no civil war in Syria, South Sudan, or Libya. No war on our ally, Israel. No Ebola epidemic devastating West Africa and spreading. No race riots tearing apart a whole community in Missouri. No Russian aggression in Ukraine. No deranged North Korean dictator testing more missiles. No Chinese jets getting up close and personal with our American military. No brave American journalist sickeningly beheaded by Muslim terrorist savages rampaging through the Middle East seizing oil fields and committing genocide on Christians and Kurds. No illegal immigration crisis as thousands of unaccompanied minors illegally walk right across our unsecured borders. No scandals in Obama’s White House. No worried servicemen and women coping with ill-advised U.S. Military chainsaw cuts. And no increase in our nation’s debt. Nope. It’s been one lazy summer with nothing to do, not a thing to worry about in No Drama Obama land.

This explains why the President spent the summer on vacay in Martha’s Vineyard and is now gearing up for Vacation 2.0 this weekend with the One Percent in the Hamptons, again, and in Newport, again.

And this utter state of calm also explains why Harry Reid’s first order of business when the Senate returns from vacation is to gut our First Amendment rights.

Reid and his minions in the democrat party think that what America really needs right now is a constitutional amendment to limit the amount of funds we can spend on elections. Don’t know when the conversion happened, but suddenly LIBERALS are worried about the undo influence of money in getting candidates elected! Hmm, but they must not be too worried about it since President Obama leaves work behind and undone to jet from one fundraiser after another after another with billionaire democrat donors. (You know, the donors he unhesitatingly rewards with YOUR money in the form of bailouts and sweetheart loans for their “green energy” scam companies, etc., etc. You know the drill.)

Sheep in the democrat party bah, “It’s a Constitutional Amendment to Restore Democracy to the American People,” which is in keeping with their Orwellian practice of naming legislation the exact opposite of what it will actually do (“Affordable Care Act” anyone?).

“There’s nothing going on in the world in these lazy days of summer, so let’s light a campfire and tear up our First Amendment for kindling!” said no American ever. But that doesn’t matter to Harry and his party pals. They just need another political gimmick to distract from the utter failure of everything they’ve touched in the last six years.

Why bother with addressing the failure of Obamacare? Why deal with the crisis at our border as lawbreakers threaten the livelihoods of working class Americans? Why deal with the Islamic organizations steamrolling through the Middle East, hell-bent on meeting us on our shores? Why deal with declining middle class incomes and stagnant job growth and unsustainable big brother government largesse? Why bother trying to fix anything Americans are actually concerned about?

Nah, Harry says, “Let’s attack the Constitution instead, again!”

That’s the democrat agenda for America, folks. On November 4th, we get to tell them our agenda. We get to tell them where they can place their “Fundamental Transformation of America,” while we get back to the “Fundamental RESTORATION” that will save our country. Please make sure Harry gets the message loud and clear. If we don’t change his Senate, it’s going to be a long hot season leading to one heck of a barren winter in America.