Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

17 September 2011

2012 Poses An Existential Threat To Progressivism

By Ezra Klein, 12 September 2011

You hear it every four years: This is the most important election in a generation. So if I say it to you about 2012, you’ll probably tune me out as just another hyperbolic pundit. Which is why I’ll make it more specific: For the future of America’s two political parties, this is the most important election in a generation.

The 2008 election was consequential, of course. It decided which president would respond to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, which led to a lot of comparisons between the 2008 election and 1932. Most famously, Time magazine photoshopped President Obama’s face onto an iconic shot of a grinning Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with the headline: “The New New Deal.” Today, a similar cover might put Obama in a tent city and ask, “The next Hoover?”

In reality, Obama didn’t enter office at the right time to be FDR or Hoover. FDR was inaugurated in 1933 — more than three years into the Great Depression. The year before he took office, the country’s economy contracted by more than 13 percent and unemployment reached 23.6 percent. The suffering was pinned on his predecessor, and it had gone on long enough that a boom was in the offing — a boom that came, right on schedule, in 1934, when the economy grew by more than 10 percent. No wonder FDR was grinning.

"Whichever party was in power when the Great Depression hit was booted out of office, and whichever party was in power when the global recovery took hold reaped huge political benefits."
 -  Larry Bartels, Political Scientist, Vanderbilt University

Obama, by contrast, entered office as the crisis was peaking. The worst period of the crisis would prove to be the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, which mostly passed before Obama assumed the presidency, but which only showed up in the unemployment numbers months later. By the end of 2009, the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve had the economy growing again. But the damage done in 2008 and early 2009, which shot unemployment to 10 percent, nevertheless manifested on his watch.

So the administration is betwixt and between: According to an August Associated Press poll, a majority of Americans still blame George W. Bush for the economic crisis. So Obama isn’t Hoover. But according to every poll conducted in recent months, a majority of Americans don’t think Obama has turned this thing around, so he’s not FDR, either. The next president, however, might be.

The pat story behind FDR’s victory and the ensuing decades of mostly Democratic dominance is that the president got the policy right and the politics followed. Whatever you believe about FDR’s policies, a more international perspective will disabuse you of the notion that the golden age for the Democratic Party was an ideological triumph rather than an accident of history. As Larry Bartels, a political scientist at Vanderbilt University, has written, globally, the pattern is clear: Whichever party was in power when the Great Depression hit was booted out of office, and whichever party was in power when the global recovery took hold reaped huge political benefits.

“In the U.S.,” wrote Bartels, “voters replaced Republicans with Democrats and the economy improved. In Britain and Australia, voters replaced Labor governments with conservatives and the economy improved. In Sweden, voters replaced Conservatives with Liberals, then with Social Democrats, and the economy improved.

“In the Canadian agricultural province of Saskatchewan, voters replaced Conservatives with Socialists and the economy improved. In the adjacent agricultural province of Alberta, voters replaced a socialist party with a right-leaning funny-money party created from scratch by a charismatic radio preacher . . . and the economy improved.

“In Weimar Germany, where economic distress was deeper and longer-lasting, voters rejected all of the mainstream parties, the Nazis seized power, and the economy improved. In every case, the party that happened to be in power when the Depression eased dominated politics for a decade or more thereafter.”

The 2008 economic crisis was not nearly so deep as the Great Depression — in part because of an aggressive policy response — and so the recovery is not likely to be so remarkable, nor the political benefits so dramatic. But they’re still likely to be present. And because a recovery is likely within five years — if it doesn’t happen, we’re sunk — whichever party wins the White House in 2012 is likely to get the credit, and so too will its policy agenda.

"Imagine someone like Rick Perry gets in and makes very dramatic changes in policy, like repealing health-care reform,” says Seth Masket, a political scientist at the University of Denver, “and then the next year the economy improves for reasons not related to the policies. Those policy shifts will nevertheless get the credit. And Obama’s approach will be discredited for a very long time.”
The 2008 election was crucial for enacting economic and social policy. The 2000 election reshaped U.S. foreign policy for a decade. But the 2012 election is likely to be the one that matters for ratifying policy and for gaining the majorities needed to make it for a long time to come — comparable, perhaps, to the 1980 election, when Ronald Reagan and the GOP benefited dramatically from Fed chief Paul Volcker’s success in crushing inflation.
Does that make 2012 the most important election in a generation? For the country, it’s hard to say. For the two political parties, yes. Yes, it does.

Make no mistake, while Klein is attempting to focus on how 2012 will impact the parties, what he is really concerned about is the existential threat it poses to Progressivism.  If a Conservative wins and conservative policies trigger or, in his view, coincidentally accompany a robust recovery and economic expansion, Progressivism will be discredited for decades.  It will be sent to, once again, wander the the Progressivism of Wilson was by Harding and Coolidge and the radicalism of the 1960s and stagflation of 1970s Liberalism were by Reagan.
"America has the lowest employment since the early Eighties, the lowest property ownership since the mid-Sixties, the highest deficit-to-GDP ratio since the Second World War, the worst long-term unemployment since the Great Depression, the highest government-dependency rate of all time, and the biggest debt mountain in the history of the planet. And the president has just announced to the world that he’s checked the more-of-the-above box. The Pass My Jobs Bill jobs bill proclaims that this is all he knows and all he wants to know." - Mark Steyn

16 September 2011

The Hero and The Narcissist

Yesterday, I could not help but be struck by the overwhelming irony and striking dichotomy of one of the most narcissistic people to ever walk on this planet fastening the Medal of Honour around the neck of a "non-hero" hero.  

"Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
- Ronald Reagan

Marine Corporal Dakota Meyer (Ret.):  "I am not a hero.  5 didn't come out alive."

He went into an ambush in Afghanistan five times where there were 50 Taliban fighters, killed 8, and rescued 36 men out of 41, including 13 Marines and Army soldiers and an additional 23 Afghan troops, who were pinned down by withering enemy fire.

President Barack Obama:  "If you love me, you've got to help me pass this bill."

He is a millionaire while those in poverty is at the highest in 50 years.  Real unemployment is at depression levels.  Inflation and deflating wages are eroding the standard of living for too many Americans.  The Middle East is reforming the Ottoman Caliphate.  Europe is on the brink.  China is becoming very dangerous.  Class warfare and identity politics have Balkanised the country.  In the meantime, he and his wife engage in a high-falutin' lifestyle that at the expense of the taxpayer that would be one thing in good times, but is an affront in bad.

"America's greatest 'Peace Corps' is the Marine Corps."
- Anonymous

Both are/were employed by the government, but only one truly knows what it means to be a "public servant."  One of the "public servants" actually served the public and is humble about his heroism, which he considers to be just part of "doing his job," the other public employee makes everything about "Me, Me, Me!"

According to ABC News, in the last week, President Obama has used a variation of the phrase "Pass this bill!" over 100 times.

The American Jobs Act is a cynical ploy that is focused on only ONE job: Obama's.  Harry Reid has even said that the Senate will not be acting on it anytime soon.  Twenty Democrats in the oppose it because it has the same old shit that couldn't pass when he had a filibuster-proof Senate - and let's just remember that only Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Carter, and Obama have had filibuster-proof Senates for any period of time.

Obama knows that the Republicans won't pass the bill in the House because it would require them to go against the will of Americans and massively raise taxes on small business owners, thereby insuring increased unemployment.  He wants to use Truman's 1948 playbook and run against a "Do-Nothing Congress," but Republicans do not control Congress.  They merely control one chamber of Congress and Senate Democrats have 23 seats up in 2012.  There is no way that Senators like Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, etc., will vote to raise taxes.  None.  Harry Reid knows this.  Barack Obama evidently doesn't or just doesn't care about the jobs of those Democrats in the Senate.  Again, he is concerned with HIS job.

It's not about the 15 million unemployed Americans or the 1 in 5 children that are living in poverty. It's all about him and it is disgusting.  When you have lost 2.5 million jobs since you signed the nearly $1 trillion  Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Stimulus Act of 2009 when you promised that it would create 2.5 million, what's 23 more lost jobs when you can "save or create" your own?

If anyone has a right to be braggadocios, it is Dakota Meyer.

If anyone has a right to stick his nose into the air, it is Dakota Meyer.

If anyone has a right to think of himself, it is Dakota Meyer.

He is a real hero.  Barack Obama is not.

In this day and age, when we have people that will fake balloon "kidnappings," crash state dinners at the WH, and make fools of themselves to become internet sensations, not to mention one of the most narcissistic people to ever hold the Office of the Presidency, the fact that Cpl. Meyer is so humble is also quite remarkable.

When the White House called Dakota Meyer to tell him that the President would be calling him at work, he first said that would not be a good idea because he would be working, but they said he would call on his lunch hour.  The White House then asked if there was anything that Cpl. Meyer would like while he was in Washington.  He said, "Yes, I would like to have a beer with the Commander in Chief."  To his credit, Barack Obama did just that.  Let us hope that, the wiser of the two gave the other some lessons on humility and self-sacrifice.

Thank you for your service, Dakota Meyer.  You are a shining example of courage, honour and integrity.  Your country is indebted to you.

Semper Fi, indeed!

15 September 2011

A "Right" Doesn't Cost Someone Else Anything

Alden wrote: "I don't disagree with the premise that government cant adequately provide healthcare for everyone, but strongly disagree with it not being a right."

Alden, I am afraid that you do not know the meaning of a "right." A "right" is something that doesn't cost someone else anything. Your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness doesn't cost me anything. Your right to freedom of religion, speech, press, association, bear arms, to due process, to be safe in your person and property from unreasonable search and seizure, protection from taking without just compensation, freedom from the potentialities of double jeopardy, self-incrimination, cruel and unusual punishment, denial of habeas corpus, bills of attainder or ex post facto laws, direct capitation taxation other than income taxes, protection from slavery and indentured servitude, equality under the law, etc. These do not cost me anything. They do not cost anyone else anything.

You do not have a right, per Supreme Court decisions, to:

1. Social Security, Flemming v. Nestor, 363 U.S. 603 (1960)

2. Medicare, and, by extension, healthcare, Heckler v. Ringer, 466 U.S. 602 (1984)

3. Patients whose medical care is provided by public funds have no constitutional right to whatever care [their physicians] using "the highest standards of medical practice"...may "judge necessary"... or to obtain that care "from a physician ... of their choice," AAPS v. Weinberger, 395 F. Supp. 125 (1975).  This case is an appellate court decision on which the Supreme Court denied cert; thus, the ruling stands.

4. A Medicare beneficiary may not even spend his own money to buy a service that Medicare regulations say is "unnecessary", New York State Ophthalmological Society v. Bowen, 861 F.2d 1283 (1988).  This case is an appellate court decision on which the Supreme Court denied cert; thus, the ruling stands.

5. No constitutionally-protected right to vote, per se, Dunn v. Blumstein, 405 U.S. 330, 336 (1972)

6. There is no right to public education, San Antonio Independent School Dist. v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 35 (1973)

7. There is no right to food. If the Federal government can prevent a farmer from growing food for his own family, then you have no right to food, Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)

8. There is no right to housing, Lindsay v. Normet, 405 U.S. 56 (1972)

9. There is no right to a job. You have certain rights in employment, but no right to be employed. Innumerable cases.

An employer has the right to terminate employment, but the employee doesn’t have a right to a job, Pickering v. Board of Education, 391 U.S. 563 (1968); Mt. Healthy City Sch. Dist. v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274 (1977); Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138, 146 (1983); Rankin v. McPherson, 483 U.S. 378 (1987); Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006); Branti v. Finkel, 445 U. S. 507 (1980), among others.

10. There is no right to welfare, Goldberg v. Kelly, 397 U.S. 254 (1970)

"The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

- Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

Your "right" may not cost another man anything, including his nose.

14 September 2011

The Golden One

By Lance85

Resist We Much, resist she does
The Statist and Dolist, controlling above
For Mo truly senses what they can't see
There are a lot of other John Galt's like she

With facts and figures in her menagerie
She confounds progs with great frequency
They stammer and curse and bloviate
But her hold on the truth they can't extricate

This child of Queen and transplanted Brit
Learned her truths while honing her wit
Against minds greater than Cornell "grad" Ally
Or Sybil and Will or Fleet Admiral Harvey

With each passing day she educates
The smart and the lefties who pontificate
Predicting history, unpredictable past
From her we see the dye was long cast

I wish that we could post audio here
Just to hear a Brit "oy" or a Bronx cheer
Lest you think this is infatuation
My wife looked on for the dictation.

"The Golden One". Ref: "Anthem" - Ayn Rand......

13 September 2011

The Hypocrisy of Ron Paul

"Doctor No" is no man of principle.

Just before last week's Republican debate at the Reagan Library, Ron Paul released an attack ad targeting his fellow Texan and presidential aspirant Rick Perry. It shows a young Congressman Paul posing with the Gipper in a series of photos and features a portentous voiceover claiming that, while Paul "stood with Reagan," Perry was a perfidious, Gore-pimping liberal. This ad is brazenly deceptive, but it does provide an edifying glimpse into the true character of a slippery Beltway operator posing as a man of principle fighting the good fight against the corrupt "prags" of the GOP establishment. It reveals that Ron Paul is a fraud of the first order. The sordid reality is that his loyalty to Ronald Reagan lasted only so long as it was politically expedient and his vaunted libertarian principles have proven to be remarkably elastic.

As to Reagan, the young Congressman who had once been so anxious to be photographed with him scampered like a Texas jackrabbit when the going got tough. In 1987, when Reagan truly needed his supporters to stand by him, Ron Paul suddenly disappeared from the man's side. In fact, he resigned from the Republican Party and blamed Reagan for his disillusionment with the GOP. In a letter that echoed the prevailing Democrat talking points of the day he wrote, "The chickens have yet to come home to roost, but they will, and America will suffer from a Reaganomics that is nothing but warmed-over Keynesianism." That letter was not merely an act of breathtaking betrayal -- it actually compares Reagan to Josef Stalin -- its characterization of Reagan's economic policies is utterly absurd.

"The Reagans, emulating Stalin, have even praised the chilling example of a child informing on his parents and urged others to follow his example." 
- Ron Paul

Moving on to the Perry smear, Paul left an important fact out of his ad: Rick Perry was a Democrat when he supported Gore 23 years ago. And, if that puts you off, remember that Ronald Reagan himself was once a Democrat. Perry and Reagan eventually realized that the Democrat party was drifting ever leftward, abandoning the principles that had once claimed their loyalty. The party of Scoop Jackson had morphed into the party of George McGovern, so both joined the GOP because it more closely matched their ideals and those of the nation's founders. As to "Dr. No," having received fewer than half a million votes as the 1988 Libertarian presidential candidate, he came crawling back to the party he had so vehemently denounced and was eventually reelected to Congress under the GOP banner.

This pattern of hypocrisy is by no means limited to party loyalty. Paul has consistently represented himself as a principled libertarian, and never tires of reminding us that he is a physician whose medical experience has taught him to be wary of government intrusion in health care. However, the good doctor's voting record shows that he has frequently supported such government intervention. Shortly after the Democrats returned to power in the House in 2007, they introduced a bill calling for the government to "negotiate" the price of prescription drugs bought for Medicare Part D. In this context, "negotiate," is nothing but a euphemism for price-fixing, something that a genuine free-market libertarian would reject out of hand. Nonetheless, Rep. Paul voted in favor of the measure.

This is not the only vote Dr. Paul has cast in favor of government meddling in health care. He has also voted for another price-fixing scheme that every libertarian worthy of the name has denounced -- reimportation of pharmaceuticals from foreign countries with rigid price-control regimens. This, as Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute has pointed out, "would import foreign price controls on drugs." Even worse, the Congressional Budget Office has said that drug reimportation would not significantly reduce prescription drug spending. Nor can Dr. Paul's vote be justified in terms of free trade. As Nina Owcharenko at the Heritage Foundation explains, "Such policies would not create a 'freer' market for pharmaceuticals, but would regulate the market even further."

Sadly, the hypocrisy of "Dr. No" doesn't end with deceptive campaign ads about his record and the betrayal of his purported libertarian principles. He is also a downright fraud when it comes to big-government spending. While representing himself for decades as the sworn enemy of overspending, the good doctor has had his snout deep in the earmark trough. In 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported, "The Congressman disclosed his requests this year for about $400 million worth of federal funding for no fewer than 65 earmarks. They include such urgent national wartime priorities as an $8 million request for the marketing of wild American shrimp and $2.3 million to fund shrimp-fishing research." And this is the man who had the effrontery to berate Ronald Reagan for deficit spending.

Considering this affinity for earmarks, combined with numerous congressional votes that cannot be reconciled with his professed principles, one would think that most libertarians would by now have said "no" to "Dr. No." And some have. Libertarian economist Arnold Kling became disenchanted several years ago: "Many well-meaning libertarians signed on to the 'Ron Paul revolution.' At first, this only required accepting his pro-life and anti-immigrant stances as libertarian, contrary to the leanings of many libertarians.… But to dismiss all doubts about his judgment and his character would be to succumb to a cult." And character is, at bottom, the real problem with Ron Paul. That's what his disingenuous attack ad against Rick Perry tells us. It is the work of a typical Beltway trimmer, devoid of principle or shame.


Ron Paul: See No Newsletters. Write No Newsletters. Read No Newsletters.


Ron Paul: All Aboard! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Haaaa! Mental Wounds Still Screaming! Driving Me Insane I'm Going Off The Rails On My Crazy Train! (And I Want To Take You Along For The Ride)


Palling Around With Racists, Anti-Semites, And Homophobes?


The Tragedy of Ron Paul & The Cause Of Libertarianism


50 Scans To Leave Your Pauliac Lover a/k/a A 30 Step Programme To Break Yourself Free From The Cult of Paul


The Paul Pot and the Paulestinians


"Paulsamic Vinegar" Mom: Ron Paul Supporters Spray Vinegar at the Sky to Fight “Chemtrails”…I’m Not Kidding


Ex-Ron Paul Aide Disputes Paul on Newsletters


Paul in 1995: Say, Have You Read My Newsletters?


Have These Two Ever Been Seen Together In The Same Room???


They Say You Can Judge A Man By His Endorsements 


Ron Paul and the Neoliberal Reeducation Campaign 



Ron Paul's Earmarks


Ron Paul's "Ruh-Roh, Rhaggy!" Moment 


Why Ron Paul Can't Win 


No, I Am Not A "Neo-Con, Israel-Firster, Bilderberger, Socialist, NWOer, Tri-Lateralist, CFRer, FEMA Camp Guard, Chemtrail Pilot, Vaccine Scientist, Secret Water Fluorinator, Black Helicopter Pilot, False-Flag Planner, MK-ULTRA Practitioner, Paid Propagandist, &/or CIA/MI6/DGSE/Mossad Operative"


Ron Paul: Unfit For Command


My, Pauliac From Planet Ronulian, What A Big, Red Herring You Have!


Newt: Bubba, I'll Stop The World And Melt With You 


Mitt Romney: Flip-Flopping Away, Flip-Flopping Away. You Know The Weaker Your Foundation, The More You'll Be Flip-Flopping Away. 


The Mitt Romney "Electability" Myth



11 September 2011


By reacting to 9/11 with self-recrimination, the Western elites have strengthened the hand of brutal Islamism

After 9/11, the West turned its hatred on itself

In the years before 2000, as the director of the ephemeral Centre for Millennial Studies, I scanned the global horizon for signs of apocalyptic activity, that is, for movements of people who believed that now was the time of a total global transformation. As I did so, I became aware of such currents of belief among Muslims, some specifically linked to the year 2000, all predominantly expressing the most dangerous of all apocalyptic beliefs – active cataclysmic: that is, the belief that this transition from evil to good demands massive destruction, and that we true believers are the agents of that destruction, warriors of God, Mujahidin. Death cults, cults of martyrdom and mass murder… destroying the world to save it.

Nor were these beliefs magical, like the far better known Christian, but largely passive-cataclysmic, Rapture scenarios where one must await God’s intervention. They had practical means and goals. In the same year 1989, that Bin Laden drove the Russians from Afghanistan, Khomeini issued a global fatwah against Rushdie, and the West trembled. Iran and Afghanistan, however, like so many utopias born of such death cults, proved terrifyingly dystopic – acid in the faces of unveiled women. But these bitter new heavens on earth also showed remarkable staying power… and spreading power. So when Bin Laden struck with such spectacular force on 9-11, he took his Jihad, already declared in 1998 against America (the “Second AD” ), to the next level. He put deeds to words.

We, in the West, were taken totally by surprise. Who are these people? Why haven’t we heard about them before? (NB: the blogosphere, which first “took off” in the early “aughts” (‘00s) is largely the product of a vast number of people turning to cyberspace for information that their mainstream news media had conspicuously failed to deliver.)

What was the logic of such a monstrously cruel attack that targeted civilians? A warning shot to pay attention and address grievances? Or the opening shot in a battle for world domination? Was this primarily an act of retribution for wrongs suffered, i.e., somewhat rational? Or global revenge at global humiliation, i.e., a bottomless pit of grievance?

Some of us said, “What can they possibly believe to make them hate so?” Others, “What did we do to make them hate us so?” And while both are legitimate questions, over the last decade, the “aughts”, we have split into two camps, each of which will not allow the other question’s consideration.

A Frenchwoman said to me in 2003, “after 9/11, there are two kinds of people: those who understand that we are at war, and those in denial.” Some pointed to a culture of genocidal incitement in the ideology of this religious enemy. They identified the totalistic reasoning, and warned that what these Mujahidin said in their own language was radically different from how “moderate” Muslims portrayed them to the West.

Others dismissed and downplayed these issues, pointing to rational and moderate trends among Muslims, and insisted that the vast majority are peaceful and moderate who can be reached by dialogue, and that rounding up the tiny percentage who are terrorists can be, and should be, a matter of criminal proceedings. They showed more concern for the tendency of fascist war-mongering movements to appear in Western culture than deal with far more advanced such trends in Muslim political culture; they favored a moral relativism that permits one to spread the blame. Some showed a near-messianic will to self-criticize: “Aren’t we guilty of terrorism when we let people starve to death?” opined Derrida. Others delighted in moral inversion: Chomsky “reminded” us that the USA is the world’s worst terrorist. After all, those alleged civilians were really little Eichmanns, cogs in the wheel of a genocide of “people of colour”.

At one extreme, then, we find racists and xenophobes who want to get rid of all Muslims; at the other, oikophobes, who don’t even believe there’s a Muslim-inspired terror, but that 9/11 – the whole threat – was invented by fascist Western politicians looking to establish their dictatorships. “My side right or wrong,” vs. “Their side right or wrong.” Both end up supporting fascism – ours, or theirs.

By and large, we tend to label these two directions of political thinking “Right and Left.” Using this distinction, however, reflects primarily the “policy” postures involved rather than serious political thought. Since the “Left” adopts a discourse and posture of accommodation, it seems like the party of peace and understanding; anyone pointing out the evidence for implacable enmity, and the counter-indicated effects of pursuing peace with such a foe, seems like the party of war.

Now if it were merely a matter of different emphases, this could be a productive tension. Indeed, I’m convinced that there are a host of rightfully troubled thinkers who, despite strong liberal and progressive impulses, nonetheless acknowledge the evidence and want to talk about it. There is a hugely creative and productive conversation still waiting to take place, one that would include people from all faiths and ethnicities, of people genuinely committed to societies committed to the freedom and dignity of all their people. One that was not afraid of its own shadow.

But during the aughts that conversation has not place: on the contrary, the “Left” has asserted a strong grip on the public sphere, exiling those who begin to pay attention to the problems with Islam rather than focus on the sins of the West, muffling both their voice, and the Muslim voices to which they point. I remember Fox News interviewing me on 9/11. When I identified this as part of an apocalyptic global Jihad, the interviewer informed me that that was impossible because – here quoting President Bush, “Islam is a religion of Peace.” They never played the interview and didn’t come to interview me again.

Those who doubt the wisdom of pursuing messianic demands for self-criticism and openness on the West at this time, who suggest we exercise our free speech and lay some of the moral onus here at the feet of Muslim spokesmen, who themselves so loudly denounce our racism and prejudice, but tolerate so much among their own – such people have rapidly found themselves labeled “Right-wing” and exiled from the “mainstream.” “If I speak of Muslim anti-Semitism,” confessed one French colleague to me in 2005, “it’s the last invitation to speak at a conference that I’ll get.”

As a result of this animosity, the adversarial “Right-Left” axis has reached dysfunctional proportions. The “Left” views the right as at best mean-spirited, increasingly as malevolent; the “Right” views the Left as traitors and fools, as useful infidels. And these two camps now so bitterly speak about each other, that the presidential campaign of 2012 looks like a nightmare of inappropriate candidates. And in the meantime, our disarray fills the sails of our apocalyptic enemy. As one of my friends said to me recently, “I thought that Mayan 2012 stuff was ridiculous. Now I see how global disaster really could happen by then.”

And among the elements that played into making this situation far worse, one of the cruelest winds blew from Europe and from the “progressive Left.” It’s worth remembering that the week before 9/11, the UN had assembled at Durban all the major “human rights” NGOs, representing the “best of the Left,” to fight racism world-wide, an assembly that turned into an orgy of hatred aimed at two Western democracies, by a voting bloc with members who still engage in slavery. When the “Magnificent 19” struck, they had every reason to believe that they would be cheered on by a Western elite, a global tribe, called “Left-wing”, inebriated with anti-Americanism.

And they were, to some extent, right. Although the initial European response to 9/11 was sympathy for the US – the next day, Le Monde wrote “Nous sommes tous des américains” – it did not take long for anti-Americanism to emerge. Ten days later, Jean Baudrillard wrote a masterpiece of what Nietzsche would call ressentiment in a Le Monde: “It’s natural to want to strike at such a suffocating hegemon as the USA… They did it, we wanted it.” According to Nidra Poller, within weeks of the event, le tout Paris resounded with this kind of Schadenfreude. “America had it coming.” When Michael Moore’s sophomoric Fahrenheit 9-11 came to Europe, crowds stood and cheered.

No good deed goes unpunished by the envious. The French find it easier to forgive the Germans for conquering them, than the Americans for saving them, twice. When David Marash resigned as editor in chief of Al-Jazeera English because it was so anti-American, he commented that it was the British, not the Arabs, who were the worst – and by that he meant the products of a media elite that clusters around a BBC-Guardian nexus.

The anti-American Left, like courtiers in a 21st-century production of the emperor’s new clothes, embraced Jihadis who struggled so mightily against American hegemony. The “peace” rallies of 2003 against Bush’s war in Iraq brought the pacifist Left and the Mujahidin together in common cause. One Pakistani participant in Islamabad wore a headband with "Kill Jews"; Berkeley radicals would not be outclassed in their demonizing. And yet, too few were disturbed by the oxymoron of an anti-Semitic peace rally. They failed to note that in apocalyptic politics, my enemy’s enemy is my enemy.

When Bin Laden’s men took out the Twin Towers, they, in a typical act of cognitive egocentrism, thought they would bring down the arrogant and empty tyrant of the US. What they did accomplish, however unintentionally, was to fend their foe – us – into two self-recriminating and dysfunctional halves. These halves, who so inaccurately identify themselves as “Right” and “Left,” seem to despise each other more than they do an enemy who passionately hates both of them – us! – a foe that hates all we collectively believe in about those messy and productive societies that treasure tolerance and dignity and freedom.

Demotic polities that protect everyone’s rights and request everyone’s disciplined participation, are rare historical accomplishments. They’re based on the difficult civil meme: “whoever is right, my side or not.” They need high levels of ability among their citizens for self-criticism, compromise, positive-sum behavior, and mutual trust and respect. Eli Sagan, one of the more astute observers of these issues notes: “Democracy is a miracle, considering human psychological disabilities.” However imperfect our democracies, they are as valuable as they are vulnerable.

Among the many memes widely circulating in Western circles, one of the most absurdly noxious is “Who are we to judge?” All the great progressive victories of demotic polities – equality before the law, freedom of religion and dissent, respect for those disadvantaged by “might makes right,” women, workers, weak – arises from harsh value judgments on the authoritarianism that exploits them: patriarchy, exploitation, cruelty. Not judging too quickly – admirable; not judging at all – folly. We end up ferociously judging ourselves, and giving others, whose values and motives are far more base, a free pass. In doing so we illustrate Pascal’s warning, “the more we want to be angels, the more we become beasts.”

So when, in order to seem peaceful, we abandon non-westerners to brutal political cultures in the name of some quasi-religious commitment to cultural relativism, we betray everything we claim we support. Such attitudes seem particularly inadvisable when facing an apocalyptic foe dedicated to the destruction of all our progressive values.

If the only people who fight Islamic triumphalism are really on the Right, their solutions will obviously favour harsh responses. Liberals and progressives would, presumably, struggle harder to come up with more creative and less violent forms of effective resistance. So it constitutes a catastrophic loss of creative energy to have a “Left” that believes that somehow, if only we were nicer to Muslims, they’d be nicer to us, one that views as an alarming embarrassment anyone who points out the Islamic contribution to the problem, as a saboteur of this effort at placation, an “enemy of peace.” It also represents a colossal betrayal of genuine Muslims moderates who really do want to live in a vibrant civil society that respects everyone; where Muslims respect infidels, and infidels respect Islam.

If the aughts were a debacle of culture wars in the West and a period of growing radicalisation in Islamic circles, let the teens be a period when finally, we turn around this self-destructive behavior. The wellbeing of billions of people on this planet depends on our commitment to Western progressive values.

Another October. Another Anniversary. Another Year Without Vadim and Yossef. Another Stream of Tears. IV

The shameless pride and out-of-this-world exhalation didn't just end there.  No, sir!  Doing a snake dance with a dead Jew's intestine is one thing, but letting your virgin daughter, but who is already been thighed, miss out on the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dip her hands into the blood of a dirty Jooooooo?  Oh, what good mum and dad would allow such to pass.

"Aya, you were such a good girl when that old witch took that rusty knife and cut off your labia that we thought that we would celebrate.  Come child, feel the blood of a dead Jew!"

 "Mummy, that was so much fun!  Can I do it again?  Please?  I'll keep my room clean for a whole month!"

 "Me, too!"



Another October. Another Anniversary. Another Year Without Vadim and Yossef. Another Stream of Tears. III

They were beaten, stabbed to death, their faces disfigured....

During the murders, one of the Arab murderers paused in his savage beating to answer a cell phone belonging to one of the dying soldiers.

He told the worried voice on the other end of the line, "We are killing your husband." 

Their bodies were mutilated as the "mainstream Arab-Muslim Palestinians" screamed in ecstasy, moaning in beastly choruses, while waving the body parts and entrails in "joy" ... all that savagery in broad daylight in the public square.

Orgasmic dancing with organs, entails, and other assorted body parts must be a Palestinian thang.