Thursday, May 26, 2016

I Am Not My Muslim Brother's Keeper

Now, repeat after me:

I am not at fault.

I am not to blame.

I am not responsible for the behavior of other people. Other people have a right to fail. They have a right to accept responsibility for their failures. They have a right to evade responsibilities for their failures. None of it is my fault.

To put it another way:

I am not my Muslim brother’s keeper.

As the Western world becomes mired in guilt over the condition of the Muslim world, Daniel Greenfield offers a useful corrective. I trust that Greenfield would accept that the West and America have often, with good and not-so-good intentions, meddled in Muslim affairs. For the most part, the results have not been very constructive.

This being the case, Muslims are still responsible for their own behavior, for their own dysfunctional political and economic systems. If you want to guilt trip the West for failing to save Muslims from themselves, you are welcome to do so.

Yet, by setting down the facts of the matter, Greenfield exposes the failed reasoning that has infected Western elites. These elites fail to address the realities of the problems in the Muslim world because they are mired in their own guilt: for colonialism, for imperialism, for misguided adventures, for capitalism, for Israel, for ideal-driven wars. This is to say: anyone whose success makes Muslims look bad by comparison is at fault.

Note the narcissism running beneath the surface of these supposedly noble ideas: if we are at fault, we do not only owe the Muslim world recompense—perhaps by sacrificing a few more Swedish women to their predations—but we grant ourselves—and only ourselves-- the power and the authority to change things. This necessarily implies that Muslims lack that power and authority. 

Writing in crisp prose—the better to draw attention to the facts—Greenfield lays out the issues, or, should I say, the trouble with Islam. One can easily see the correlation between his view and David Goldman’s notion that Islam is a failing and dying civilization, one that has lost out in the marketplace where civilizations and cultures compete:

In Greenfield’s words:

The vast majority of civil wars over the last ten years have taken place in Muslim countries. Muslim countries are also some of the poorest in the world. And Muslim countries also have high birth rates.

Combine violence and poverty with a population boom and you get a permanent migration crisis.

No matter what happens in Syria or Libya next year, that permanent migration crisis isn’t going away.

Later, he will say that the only way that the West can reasonably deal with the crisis will be to close its doors and to build walls.

Muslim countries have failed miserably in economic competition:

The Muslim world is expanding unsustainably. In the Middle East and Asia, Muslims tend to underperform their non-Muslim neighbors both educationally and economically. Oil is the only asset that gave Muslims any advantage and in the age of fracking, its value is a lot shakier than it used to be.

And also,

Muslim countries with lower literacy rates, especially for women, are never going to be economic winners at any trade that doesn’t come gushing out of the ground. Nor will unstable dictatorships ever be able to provide social mobility or access to the good life. At best they’ll hand out subsidies for bread.

The Muslim world has no prospects for getting any better. The Arab Spring was a Western delusion.

Growing populations divided along tribal and religious lines are competing for a limited amount of land, power and wealth. Countries without a future are set to double in size.

Evidently, the people in these cultures do not have what we call a work ethic. In the absence of such an ethic they see only one path out of their economic decline: take what others have earned:

There are only two solutions; war or migration.

Either you fight and take what you want at home. Or you go abroad and take what you want there.

Some blame it all on the Iraq War. After all, it is politically expedient for anyone on the left to do so. Greenfield responds:

Let’s assume that the Iraq War had never happened. How would a religiously and ethnically divided Iraq have managed its growth from 13 million in the eighties to 30 million around the Iraq War to 76 million in 2050?

The answer is a bloody civil war followed by genocide, ethnic cleansing and migration.

The two possible solutions: extortion or invasion:

Plan A for getting money out of the West is creating a crisis that will force it to intervene. That can mean anything from starting a war to aiding terrorists that threaten the West. Muslim countries keep shooting themselves in the foot so that Westerners will rush over to kiss the booboo and make it better.

Plan B is to move to Europe.

And Plan B is a great plan. It’s the only real economic plan that works. At least until the West runs out of native and naïve Westerners who foot the bill for all the migrants, refugees and outright settlers.

For thousands of dollars, a Middle Eastern Muslim can pay to be smuggled into Europe. It’s a small investment with a big payoff. Even the lowest tier welfare benefits in Sweden are higher than the average salary in a typical Muslim migrant nation. And Muslim migrants are extremely attuned to the payoffs. It’s why they clamor to go to Germany or Sweden, not Greece or Slovakia. And it’s why they insist on big cities with an existing Muslim social welfare infrastructure, not some rural village.

Large loans will be repaid as the new migrants begin sending their new welfare benefits back home. Many will be officially unemployed even while unofficially making money through everything from slave labor to organized crime. European authorities will blame their failure to participate in the job market on racism rather than acknowledging that they exist within the confines of an alternate economy.

It’s not only individuals or families who can pursue Plan B. Turkey wants to join the European Union. It’s one solution for an Islamist populist economy built on piles of debt. The EU has a choice between dealing with the stream of migrants from Turkey moving to Europe. Or all of Turkey moving into Europe.

Greenfield concludes that we are not guilty. And we are not responsible for the dysfunction that is destroying the Muslim world:

The West did not create Muslim dysfunction. And it is not responsible for it. Instead the dysfunction of the Muslim world keeps dragging the West in. Every Western attempt to ameliorate it, from humanitarian aid to peacekeeping operations, only opens up the West to take the blame for Islamic dysfunction.

Muslim civil wars will continue even if the West never intervenes in them because their part of the world is fundamentally unstable. These conflicts will lead to the displacement of millions of people. But even without violence, economic opportunism alone will drive millions to the West. And those millions carry with them the dysfunction of their culture that will make them a burden and a threat.

As for the airy-fairy notion—most recently proposed by the government of Angela Merkel—that the West needs to do more to help refugees assimilate, Greenfield rejects it:

If Muslims can’t reconcile their conflicts at home, what makes us think that they will reconcile them in Europe? Instead of resolving their problems through migration, they only export them to new shores. The same outbursts of Islamic violence, xenophobia, economic malaise and unsustainable growth follow them across seas and oceans, across continents and countries. Distance is no answer. Travel is no cure.

Forget about It

I offered the same opinion myself in my book The Last Psychoanalyst, so I find David Rieff’s argument very persuasive. So much so that I have posted about it before.

In his new book, In Praise of Forgetting, Rieff essays to free us from the notion, made famous by George Santayana, that if we forget the past we are condemned to repeat it. By implication, if we remember the past we are freed from the curse that would make us repeat it.

Beyond the fact, as Rieff argues, that our memory of the past is mostly mythmaking, it is also true, as I have argued, that the past never really repeats itself in exactly the same way. Thus, being preoccupied with the past must in fact blind you to the present.

Generations of psychotherapists, from various schools of psychotherapy, have happily sold the notion that recovering or reinterpreting or reconstructing the past will free you from its burdens. The truth, however, is that getting mired in the past is more likely to make you dysfunctional in the present. It will blind you to the specific details of today’s reality and make the situation more difficult to deal with.

Besides, just because have figured out how not to make the same mistake again in no way prevents you from making a different, even worse mistake. Knowing what not to do does not tell you what to do.

In the meantime, a few words from Rieff:

I truly don’t understand—I’m not being disingenuous or rhetorical—I don’t understand how people got it into their heads that [knowing about] the crimes of the past provides some kind of prophylactic against crimes committed in the present. I see literally no basis for that. I think this is an exercise in mass wishful thinking. If we’re talking about intervention, if the idea is if there’s a genocide and if you remember the genocides of the past you’ll know to intervene in the present—that’s very nice, but in fact we don’t really know how to intervene. We don’t know what to do! The one time we’ve actually intervened in modern times on that basis, after in 2005 the UN passed this Responsibility to Protect doctrine, which in very limited and specific cases authorized international intervention to stop mass atrocities and genocide and such things, was Libya [in 2011]. It seems to me that intervention there made things exponentially worse, as I think even a lot of the people who supported it at the time would now admit. And nobody knows what to do with Syria.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Autism and the Transgendered

Clearly, this is the horror story of the day. It shows what can happen when transgendered individuals become the latest, greatest oppressed class… deserving of every consideration and attention. And of course, receiving of the full protection of the Obama administration.... which tends to see everything through the lens of civil rights.

Beyond the question of whether or not these individuals are suffering from a psychiatric disorder or whether God made a mistake in giving them the wrong body, the current mania is not only allowing boys to shower in girls locker rooms. More importantly, it is producing more transgender individuals.

One knows, because one has read Ethan Watters’ book Crazy Like Us, that it is possible to produce epidemics of different mental illnesses. During the Victorian period there was an epidemic of hysteria, in England and on the European continent. The epidemic stopped, on its own, in the 1920s.

In Hong Kong, before 1997 there was no anorexia. Then a girl died of self-starvation and the media became saturated by stories about the dangers of anorexia. The result of this enhanced consciousness of anorexia was an epidemic of anorexia. Girls who were troubled but who did not know what was wrong lit on the idea that they were anorexic. They stopped eating.

Physicians often have difficulty dealing with people whose problems are ill defined. Anyone who is troubled and who needs medical attention might very well select an illness or symptoms that have been publicly recognized as worthy of care.

The same applies to those who want to become culture heroes. If they select a symptom that the nation is focused on, they are more likely to receive the kind of public adulation that has befallen one Caitlyn Jenner.

It is nearly certain that the current national conversation about transgenderism has produced more cases of transgenderism. It is most easy to see in cases of the disabled, people who are relatively easy to manipulate.

Consider the case of the daughter of social work professor Kathleen“Kelly” Levinstein. Both mother and daughter are autistic. They are on the spectrum. The daughter believed that she was a lesbian until she saw a television show that suggested another interpretation: she was really a male trapped in a female body.

Allow Levinstein to explain:

My daughter, who is on the autism spectrum, as am I, is now 19 years old. She had felt (and told others) that she was a lesbian most of her life. When she was 16, she began watching a TV show called “Degrassi,” which featured an FtoM character. After a few weeks, she announced that she was not actually a butch lesbian, as she had previously said, but was in fact trans. 

The daughter started going to meetings of a group called PFLAG—short for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. The meeting functioned like a cult that recruited people by convincing them that they were trans.

Levinstein continues:

She started attending a local PFLAG meeting, where she met many trans people, including a number of FtoM trans teenagers who were raving about a certain “gender therapist.” Although the APA recommends a minimum of one year of “gender counseling” before surgery, this gender therapist (whom I consented to, before really understanding what I was doing) gave my daughter the go-ahead to have a bilateral mastectomy after only two sessions. This gender specialist never reviewed any of the Special Ed records or spoke to my daughter’s previous therapist, who had known her for a decade. And, crucially, she never asked my daughter, “Might you be a lesbian?”

The gender therapist (whom I believe has an unholy financial alliance with the surgeon) gave my daughter (then 18 and one day) the go-ahead for the $30,000 surgery (covered for all university employees and their families where I work). My daughter is now on testosterone (which she clearly is unable to evaluate the risks and consequences of).

How well did the girl understand what was happening to her? Not very well at all.

Levinstein explains:

To give you some sense of my daughter’s level of understanding of what it means to transition, she told me recently that she believes that the testosterone “will grow her a penis.” I had to break the news to her that, although this is the mythology in the PFLAG meetings (where a number of the other young trans people are also autistic), this is not the case.

In any rational and moral community this would easily be recognized as criminal activity. Levinstein implies that the people involved in this scam ought to be prosecuted:

She has been taken advantage of. Healthy organs were amputated. This is insurance fraud, poor clinical practice, a violation of APA standards, unethical and unjust. It is a crime not just against women, but particularly against disabled women. So many of these young women who are “transitioning” are also autistic.

My daughter has a representative payee on her SSDI [disability] check, as it was felt that she was unable to handle her own money. This was of little concern to the gender therapist. I believe that once the therapist realized the “treatment” would be covered by the University of Michigan insurance, it was full speed ahead.

The girl was unable to handle her own money but was allowed to consent to radical surgery that mutilated her healthy female body. And then, to consent to hormone therapy.

How is Levinstein’s daughter doing? Sorry you asked:

She had a legal name change in Dec of 2014, a bilateral mastectomy in April 2015, and started testosterone in Sept 2015.  My daughter has severe Crohn’s Disease, and currently, she is having grave reactions to the testosterone. She has been hospitalized three times now for complications.

And naturally, given the current state of American culture, you will understand that Levinstein has been attacked for questioning these dogmas.

How many times have we heard that anyone who is anti-trans is indulging in hate speech. In New York City you can get fined for using the wrong pronouns. In Canada they are proposing laws that will incarcerate people who say the wrong thing about the transgendered.

Levinstein explains:

Instead, there is a vilification of anyone daring to ask questions about these issues, including the evidence of MtoF physical, sexual and psychological violence against women. Women who publicly question receive death threats, threats to rape us and our children, burn us to death with gasoline, decapitate us, and so on. This all coming from people who claim they are our “sisters.”

Even health care professionals have been silenced.

She continues:

I have found no health professionals willing to go on the record against this. Everyone is afraid of professional suicide and threats of violence. I am standing alone.

My daughter’s latest hospitalization has been described by doctors as due to “absorption issues.” She now has a full beard but still has her period. The testosterone is wreaking true havoc on her system.

Autistic women (again, I am one) frequently have a difficult time, sensory-wise with their periods. But rather than attempting to help us with this difficulty, our problems get labeled  “gender dysphoria” and the answer has become to remove our periods from us.

We will find out in 20 years the effects of testosterone on our young women. I am confident that it will not be a pretty picture.

Making this a civil rights issue ought to be a crime, in and of itself.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Why Do They Hate Hillary?

Cartoonist Jack Ohman asks a relevant and pertinent question: Who do so many people hate Hillary Clinton?

Barack Obama once said that Hillary is likable enough, but Democratic primary voters, especially young women, largely to prefer Bernie Sanders. For many of them voting for the first woman president seems less enticing than feeling the Bern.

Given that Ohman is a cartoonist, he is none too helpful on this score. He says that people hate Hillary because she is a woman. It’s all about the misogyny. If that’s the best you can do, you should stick to cartoons.

Considering how many young women are turned off by Hillary, it’s difficult to tax them all with misogyny.  Surely, these young women would flock to Elizabeth Warren if she were a candidate.

What is it about Hillary?

Could it be all of her lies, coupled with her arrogant presumption that no one will really care?

Could it be the vulgarity of cashing in on her husband’s presidency? People believe that the Republican candidate is vulgar, but Bill Clinton is the only president in memory who used his post-presidency to enrich himself and his wife. If the public believes that you will use the office of the presidency for anything other than to advance the public good, they are not going to like you.

Could it be that Hillary enabled Bill Clinton’s sexual predations? But, this is not news. When these accusations were in the news every day in 1998 people tended to support and defend Hillary. They gave her a senate seat in 2000.

Now, of course, Donald Trump has very explicitly made them an issue. He has openly attacked Bill Clinton for being a rapist and a sexual predator. Perhaps that has caused people to think more clearly than they did in 1998. Perhaps the cultural climate has changed to the point where no one can ever condone rape, even to protect the right to choose. And perhaps the current politically correct way of thinking about these things, namely that women who accuse men of rape are to be believed, has redounded to her deficit.

There is also the fact that today’s younger generation has been largely brainwashed with leftist propaganda, so they are more likely to flock to a socialist like Bernie Sanders than to a liberal Democrat like Hillary Clinton.

And then there is the achievement gap. Had she not been married to Bill Clinton, Hillary would have no chance of becoming president. She would never have been senator from New York or Secretary of State. Hillary has next to no accomplishments to her name. Her candidacy is running on fumes, and perhaps young women have noticed it. Most of them do not want to get ahead by riding their husbands' coattails

Obviously, no one would say the same about Elizabeth Warren.

Allow me another hypothesis. It might not have even entered the consciousness of the young women who find Hillary unappealing. I suggest that young women are rejecting Hillary Clinton as a role model. They know or they sense or they intuit that Hillary does not like men… except as they can be used to advance her political agenda and her will to power. And they know that any woman who gushes over Hillary Clinton might as well be wearing essence of man repellent. The same would not be true of Elizabeth Warren, however tough she is.

Hillary might recently have become a grandmother, but most people, and that includes most young women, do not see her as a motherly type. Not only has she handed in her woman card, but she has never been seen as very much of a mother, either.

For years the American public has been willing to close its eyes and its mind to the bizarre nature of the Clinton marriage. Undoubtedly, people have not wanted to think about their arrangement. As long as Hillary was a wife, they did not want to throw the strange nature of her marriage in her face.

But, if you start asking questions about the Clinton marriage, as young women, in particular, are wont to do, you arrive at some disturbing conclusions.

What kind of a woman allows her husband to conduct a myriad of affairs and even sexual assaults? The answer must be that she would rather he expend his sexual energy with other women.  One has long suspected that Hillary was more concerned about exposure and disclosure than she was about who Bill Clinton was having sex with. She fought to maintain her political viability, not her honor as a woman.

Very few women would make the same moral choice.

More than a few women believe that if a man strays as often as Bill Clinton apparently did he is running away from his wife. No one wants to believe that a wife is at fault or is responsible for her husband’s errant ways, but the truth is, most women believe that the wife is somewhat responsible. In many ways, Hillary Clinton’s true distinction has been that she is the only woman Bill Clinton doesn't want to fuck.

And this does not even account for the possibility, taken by many to be a fact, that Hillary herself led the effort to defame and discredit any woman who had the temerity to come forth to denounce her husband.

Were I to speculate, I would say that for young women, the Clinton marriage looks like a political arrangement. It was not about love and romance, but was a career move, perhaps for both parties. Both were allowed to live their sexuality as they wished, but would collude and conspire to advance their political interests and enhance their political power. Whatever they did for the country, they would become obscenely wealthy.

For my part I do not believe that young women can get around the notion of seeing a woman marrying for political reasons, for pretending to love a man when she only likes what he can do for her politically.

David Brooks makes a similarly cogent point, based on different evidence:

Can you tell me what Hillary Clinton does for fun? We know what Obama does for fun — golf, basketball, etc. We know, unfortunately, what Trump does for fun.

But when people talk about Clinton, they tend to talk of her exclusively in professional terms. For example, on Nov. 16, 2015, Peter D. Hart conducted a focus group on Clinton. Nearly every assessment had to do with on-the-job performance. She was “multitask-oriented” or “organized” or “deceptive.”

Clinton’s career appears, from the outside, to be all consuming. Her husband is her co-politician. Her daughter works at the Clinton Foundation. Her friendships appear to have been formed at networking gatherings reserved for the extremely successful.

People who work closely with her adore her and say she is warm and caring. But it’s hard from the outside to think of any non-career or pre-career aspect to her life. Except for a few grandma references, she presents herself as a résumé and policy brief….

She looks less like a human being and more like an avatar from some corporate brand.

For Hillary it’s all politics all the time. This signals fanaticism, not public service. Whatever Hillary does for fun, we can safely assume that she wants to hide it from public view.

One suspects that many young women will eventually choose Hillary over Donald Trump, but for now Hillary’s prospects do not seem very good, even with the deck stacked in her favor. Bernie Sanders is not going away any time soon. The FBI is still investigating her.

One can even imagine a scenario wherein the FBI issues a report calling for her indictment. Then perhaps she will be forced to drop out of the race, not so much in favor of Bernie Sanders, whose viability in the general election has been largely overestimated, but in favor of the man who is waiting in the wings… Joe Biden.

Will the Democratic Party go with a loser like Hillary or will it try to re-engineer the process in order to bring out a more viable candidate?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Standing Tall for Western Civ

I do not have an opinion on whether Great Britain should exit the European Union. Nevertheless, while we are pondering this question, we should recognize that Europe's most prominent leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany has been doing the bidding of the incipient Turkish tyrant, Recep Tayyib Erdogan.

You  recall the story. A German comedian pronounced some rude words about Erdogan and the Turkish president demanded that Germany prosecute the man. Merkel could have stopped the process in its tracks. She acquiesced. Apparently, she was showing her sensitive, feminine side.

Yet, Erdogan has also been leading the fight against assimilation. Since Germany contains a large number of Turkish Muslims—and did so before Merkel decided to open her nation’s door to a million or so of their co-religionists—his words counted.

Andrew McCarthy has the story:

As previously noted here, Erdogan is one of the pioneers of the Muslim Brotherhood–crafted “integrate but don’t assimilate” strategy for overrunning Europe and, in time, the United States. The plan urges Muslims to relocate to the West but maintain Islamic mores while pressuring the home governments to accommodate sharia (Islamic law).

A few years back, Erdogan gave a speech to a throng of Muslim migrants in Cologne, decrying Western pressure on Muslims to assimilate in their new European homelands as “a crime against humanity.” His goal is to transport repressive Islamic standards to the West, where they will snuff out free speech and other liberties inconvenient to tyrants. The game-plan is working to a fare-thee-well, feeding the explosion of Islamic enclaves that gradually assert their autonomy from Western governance while serving as incubators of jihadist radicalization.

It’s not just that Muslim refugees do not or cannot assimilate into nations with Western values. Their leaders are telling them that it is a crime to do so. Now, explain why Merkel feels a need to submit to Erdogan?

In Great Britain, they have no such laws against blaspheming foreign potentates. So Douglas Murray took the occasion to assert the value of British freedoms. He called for a limerick contest to insult the Turkish president:

Well I’m a free-born British man, and we don’t live under the blasphemy laws of such despots. So in honour of this fact I have spent the weekend writing rude limericks about Mr Erdogan. And I would hereby like to invite all readers to join me in a grand Erdogan limerick competition. That isn’t to say that entries which come in the form of Iambic pentameters, or heroic couplets will be completely discounted. I think a work in the Homeric mode, for example, about the smallness of Erdogan’s manhood could (if suitably disgusting) stand some chance of winning. But I recommend limericks because almost everything insulting that is worth saying can usually be included within the five lines of that beautiful and delicate form.

Of course, this recalls the case of one Molly Norris in our own land of the somewhat free and home of the not-too-brave. Norris was a cartoonist who called for all her fellow cartoonists to draw pictures of the prophet of Islam. Under Islamic law such activities are blasphemous and punishable by death.

For her pains Norris received death threats. Eric Holder’s FBI did not feel that it was strong enough to protect her from the righteous rage of America’s Muslims, so it caused her to disappear… basically to go into witness protection.

It was yet another Obama administration blow for freedom of expression.

And of course, the Obama administration is so unconcerned about Muslim terrorism or aggression that it refuses even to use the word. Its primary concern is Islamophobia… though, to be fair and balanced, it now seems to care as much about transphobia.

Not so Boris Johnson; a leading conservative politician who was, until recently, Mayor of London. When Johnson entered the contest to see who could write the most offensive poetry about Erdogan, he won. Here is his limerick:

There was a young fellow from Ankara
Who was a terrific wankerer
Till he sowed his wild oats
With the help of a goat
But he didn’t even stop to thankera.

You take your political courage where you find it.

Maybe, there’s still hope for Western civilization!

The Military as a Laboratory for Social Experiments

Consider this follow-up for Saturday’s post, entitled “America Humiliated.” The Daily Caller has quoted retired General Tom McInerney’s comments about how the Obama administration has weakened our military and has allowed us to be humiliated around the world.

Point worth making, again, because some people are tormenting themselves trying to figure out why Americans are angry.

The Daily Caller summarizes McInerney’s view:

Russian and Chinese militaries are increasingly trying to bully American forces because they are “taking advantage of our weakness” and “publicly humiliating us,” according to a respected retired Air Force general and Fox News military analyst.

“It’s a slap in the face” to the United States, Retired General Tom McInerney says, and President Barack Obama “should not accept that kind of behavior.”

The president “unilaterally disarmed America,” adding “we have all these social experiments,” according to McInerney’s 18-minute exclusive video interview for The Daily Caller News Foundation. By transforming America’s foreign policy, McInerney says Obama’s America is known as a nation that will “protect your enemies and deny your allies support.”

Running through the world’s hot spots accentuated by Obama’s failed foreign policy, McInerney says he is “very worried” that Israel has not gotten the weapons and protection it needs from the United States for its survival.

Continuing, McInerney offers this comment on the administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack on an American compound. He adds his view that attacking Libya to replace Gaddafi was also a mistake:

McInerney decries the administration’s lack of response when asked “what difference does Benghazi make.” To him, it was a “dereliction of duty” for not providing adequate force protection before and during the attack.

Obama wrongly attacked Libya because a small force of radical Islamists were threatening Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, who, albeit flawed, had become an ally to America in the war on terror, the respected retired general says.

America’s military had plenty of warning and should have been at a higher state of readiness. Watching the last scene from the Benghazi movie, “13 Hours,”  McInerney was offended of the reminder a Libyan charter plane came to take away the survivors and the fallen. He ashamedly asks, “Where was our great Air Force? Where was America to help these people?”

Where was the great American Air Force? Well, under Obama the military has other goals in mind. As McInerney said, we are involving ourselves in social experiments. We are winning hearts and minds by having more females on the battlefield. And we now have more openly gay and openly transgendered officers. Surely, that is striking fear in the hearts of our enemies.

Vice President Joe Biden explained to the graduating cadets at West Point that it was a great day for the academy because its leading student had publicized his homosexuality. In many parts of the world, Biden implied, having more gays in the military and having more sensitive and empathic women will be an advantage. Huh?

When you don't have any victories to celebrate, you show why you don't have any victories... because you believe that the military is a laboratory for social experimentation.

Here, the Daily Caller reports Biden’s remarks:

In a speech to West Point’s class of 2016, Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday that more women and openly gay soldiers will only serve to make the U.S. military stronger.

“Having men and women together in the battlefield is an incredible asset, particularly when they’re asked to lead teams in parts of the world with fundamentally different expectations and norms,” Biden said in his graduation speech at West Point, according to The Associated Press.

Biden heaped praise on Eugene Coleman, the class president, for coming out as gay.

“E.J. would have been discharged from the Army, and we would have lost an incredible talent,” Biden said, referring to standard practice before the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” in 2010. “Thanks for your courage, E.J., and I expect we’re going to hear big things from you, pal.”

And what happens if peoples in other parts of the world look at America’s coed military and conclude that the nation has become so decadent and weak that it makes a point of putting women in harm’s way? And what happens if other cultures look at America’s new diverse military and decide that America no longer understands what strength is? Apparently, the Obamafied military can only take pride in an openly gay serviceman.

Could it be that the Biden attitude invites aggression?

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Good Walls Make Good Neighbors

Multiculturalists consider themselves to be cosmopolitan. By that fancy locution they are saying that all peoples are basically the same and that all cultures are equally valid and worthwhile. If cultures compete or if civilizations clash that can only be based on a misunderstanding, or better, on endemic bigotry.

The sentiment flies so obviously in the face of reality and human experience that only a true believing ideologue could accept it. And yet, the ideologues embrace it because they do not believe in reality or experience. They believe in their grandiose idea… that all boundaries between peoples should be abolished and that everyone should be free to travel everywhere whenever he or she wants.

Surely, the man who went to Berlin and declared himself to be a “citizen of the world” deserves much of the blame for the current state of affairs. Why would anyone have believed that Barack Obama would defend America’s national interest, to say nothing of its sovereignty, when he identified as a citizen of the world.

You recognize the rationalization. If people in the underdeveloped world are poor, they should have the right to partake of the riches of the developed world, unfettered by border controls or citizenship requirements. After all, the logic of multiculturalism says that the rich got rich by exploiting the poor. Allowing the poor, from wherever, to inhabit a richer country is a righteous move toward social justice.

Following the logic of that argument, national identity becomes meaningless, patriotism becomes trivial and your successes are not really yours. Whatever you have was not earned. You are profiting from your oppression of other people and must share whatever you have with whomever arrives on your doorstep.

The theory echoes the famous words: from each according to his ability; to each according to his needs. By this formula, you will never be motivated to work hard or to develop your abilities. If the profits of your labor are going to be distributed to people who have neither the talent nor the industry to earn very much themselves, you will certainly not be motivated to work at all. It’s the anti-work ethic.

In a cosmopolitan world people are only connected because they share the same DNA. Since they only belong to the human species, nothing they do will remove them from said species. If the need to belong to a group is one of the primary bases for morality, the new cosmopolitanism points us toward amorality.

If you can no longer identify yourself by your membership in a group and by your loyalty to that group, you will be reduced to identifying yourself by your beliefs and convictions, by the state of your mind or the state of your soul. You will not be judged as a good American or even as a loyal subject of the queen; you will be judged by how much your soul has been purified of bigotry against people of different races, religions, ethnic groups or genders.

Beyond all of the highfalutin theorizing, the Obama administration has promoted its own brand of trendy cosmopolitanism by opening the nation’s borders. We have seen the pictures of illegal immigrants rushing through our nation’s porous southern border. We have seen classrooms disrupted as they are filled with resettled refugees who do not speak the language and who have never had a real education.

And we have seen a vision of the future in the madness of Frau Merkel… for allowing her country to be invaded by refugees who detest Western civilization and who want to undermine it from within.

Now that Donald Trump has seized the issue by promising to build a wall and forcing Mexico to pay for it, Democrats have been trying to fight back. Uri Friedman explains in The Atlantic:

In recent days, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have criticized Donald Trump as hopelessly old-fashioned. During a rally in New Jersey on Friday, the former U.S. president argued that his wife has a better understanding of today’s interconnected world than her Republican opponent in the 2016 election. The proof was Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent illegal immigration and terrorism.

“The last terrorist incident we had in America was in San Bernardino,” California, Clinton told the crowd. “Those people were converted [to radical Islam] over social media. … You can build a wall across our border with Canada as well. Create giant sea walls along the Atlantic and the Pacific. … We can send the whole U.S. Navy to the Gulf Coast and keep anybody from getting in there. We could use every airplane the U.S. Air Force has got in the air to stop planes from landing. You still couldn’t keep out the social media.”

On Sunday, also in New Jersey, the current U.S. president got in on the action. “The world is more interconnected than ever before, and it’s becoming more connected every day,” Obama said. “Building walls won’t change that. … [I]f the past two decades have taught us anything, it’s that the biggest challenges we face cannot be solved in isolation.”

When they start trotting out social media you know they have a problem. And yet, the damage done by the Obama open borders policy is not going to be undone very quickly. And the damage done to Europe by Frau Merkel and company will not be undone for decades, if that.

Obviously enough, the proponents of open borders do not really need to make an argument. They need merely to flood the zone with refugees and then offer them work permits and even citizenship.

On this score Trump will get the better of the argument because he owns the concrete symbol. It’s far easier to understand a wall than it is to understand comprehensive immigration reform.

One suspects that a Trump presidency will not persuade Mexico to pay for the wall. Most people do not care because they understand Trump to be saying that it is not their fault that conditions have deteriorated to the point where only a wall will stop the invasion.

When it comes to responsibility, those who put a citizen of the world in the White House certainly do bear a considerable responsibility.

The issue, obviously enough, has nothing to do with compassion or with empathy. It has to do with identity, not merely belonging to a nation, but feeling a sense of pride in one’s nation. Moreover, in the grand culture war against Western Civilization, the rising tide of refugees will, if it reaches a tipping point, corrupt and undermine the civilization itself.

For this reason, Joshua Cooper Ramo has written a book explaining that more and more nations are building walls. More and more nations are protecting their territories from unwanted intruders. Apparently, they understood the old adage by Ben Franklin:

Love your neighbor; yet don’t pull down your hedge.

Or the better known version quoted by Robert Frost:

Good fences make good neighbors.

Some people are not going to like it, but defending your sovereign territory is akin to defending the female population. One reason that the world was so horrified by events in Cologne on New Year’s Eve was that the Merkel policy had made German women vulnerable to harassment and abuse and molestation. Thanks to Merkel German women are now far less free to go out on their own or to live as they wish. Just don't call it liberation.

In roughly the same way the women who live in the Feminist Paradise of Sweden have been subjected to the Western world’s highest incidence of rape. None of which, incidentally, is being committed by Swedish men.

These nations are so drunk with their ideology that they cannot even see the problem. They are now attempting to solve it by offering re-education lessons for refugee men. As a signal of feebleminded acquiescence, you cannot do very much better.

According to Ramo, as the world becomes more cosmopolitan, its peoples are building more and more walls:

Of the 51 fortified boundaries built between countries since the end of World War II, around half were constructed between 2000 and 2014. Hassner and Wittenberg found that such boundaries—structures like the existing U.S.-Mexico border fence, theIsrael-West Bank barrier, and the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border fence—tend to be constructed by wealthy countries seeking to keep out the citizens of poorer countries, and that many of these fortifications have been built between states in the Muslim world.

“The walls, fences, and trenches of the modern world seem to be getting longer, more ambitious, and better defended with each passing year,” Ramo writes. “The creation of gates is … the corollary of connection.”

Recently, many of those fences have been appearing in Europe, as countries there struggle to process an influx of migrants and refugees. (The chart above doesn’t account for all of these new barriers, a number of which have been constructed since 2014.) The Economist observed in January that, as a result of the refugee crisis and the conflict in Ukraine, “Europe will soon have more physical barriers on its national borders than it did during the Cold War.” New border controls and barriers, including Austria’s proposed fence along the border with Italy, are threatening the viability of the European Union’s passport-free Schengen zone

Do these walls work? Sometimes they do and sometimes they do not. Ramo suggests that other policy initiatives should accompany the wall-building. About that one must agree. Yet, one notes, as an example, that when Israel walled off the Palestinian West Bank, terrorist attacks from that area stopped.

Walls are real. They symbolize pride in country, loyalty to country and a refusal to allow others to live off what we have built. One suspects that the Republican argument in favor of walls is going to play better than the Democratic love of cosmopolitanism. Unfortunately, more and more of those who have entered the nation illegally will find ways to vote and to exercise political power… the question is whether it is too late to reverse the tide.