Tuesday, 25 September 2018
Radicalised Irish woman claims she travelled Ireland with London Bridge attacker and says there are up to 150 Islamic extremists living here
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From the Irish Independent, a television programme on Irish TV shortly.

AN IRISH woman who admits to having been radicalised after she converted to Islam claims that there are up to 150 Islamic extremists living in Ireland. The woman has also alleged that on several occasions she was visited in Ireland by Khuram Butt - the leader of the terror attack on London Bridge which claimed the lives of eight innocent people.

The connections between Ireland and Islamist terrorism are investigated in a new documentary, Ireland’s Jihadis, which will air on Virgin Media One on Wednesday night.

The programme focuses on the dramatic claims made by the Irish woman, who converted to Islam when she moved to live in the UK - claiming to have been influenced by the 9/11 attacks.

Aaliyah (not her real name) claims that she met Butt through her then Muslim boyfriend, a Pakistani-born UK citizen called Raza who is suspected of operating a number of internet fraud rackets targeting Irish companies to raise funds for ISIS.

Last year an Irish Independent investigation revealed that Raza is wanted in connection with an attempt in September 2016 to defraud a Dublin company of €2.8m.

Raza and Aaliyah moved back and forth from the UK and lived at an address in Santry between 2015 and 2016, where he registered a number of bogus front companies for the purpose of the scam and listed her as a director using her Irish name.

It was during this period that she claims Khuram Butt stayed with them on numerous occasions - although the officer in charge of the State’s counter-terrorism agency tells the programme that gardaí are satisfied he never visited the country.

“I would have altogether met Khuram Butt, about thirty or forty times I’d say. We went to Limerick. We went to Cavan together as well. We would have went down to Clonmel. He would have wanted to go to visit people. They would have spoken about their views and stuff like that in places in Limerick, especially in Limerick. They had a close circle of friends there. In Clonmel as well they would have had a close group of friends.”

The three attackers (of London Bridge, Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Yousef Zaghba) were shot dead by armed police eight minutes after the terrifying incident began.

The follow-up investigation uncovered evidence which for the first time established a direct link between Isis-inspired terrorism in the UK and Ireland when it was discovered that one of the attackers Rachid Redouane, had been living in Ireland where he had been granted residency status.

Redouane, a Moroccan-born pastry chef, had been denied asylum in the UK multiple times and had been arrested in 2009 boarding a ferry to Belfast using a false passport and name.

Despite his record Redouane moved to Ireland in 2012 where he married his English partner, and was granted residency status, which meant he could live in the UK.

 ‘Ireland’s Jihadis’ will air on Virgin Media One at 10pm on Wednesday night.

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Posted on 09/25/2018 2:39 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 24 September 2018
Pretenders: Remembrances and Imaginations of Things Past
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by Michael Curtis


Ingrid Bergman as Anna Anderson in Anastasia

This above all: to thine own self be true is sound advice in the search for personal identity and authenticity of belief about one self. The problem arises whether the assertion by individuals of their own qualities, beliefs, and personality is based on honesty and truthful assessment. We live, as John Keats wrote, in uncertainties, mysteries, and doubts. We may base views of ourselves on falsehoods and deception for personal benefit and profit or mistaken suppositions. Individuals appear as role players in the theater of life holding the mirror up to nature and strutting and bellowing in imitation of humanity.

Analyzing the true face in the mirror is challenging. First is the problem not only of falsehoods but also of two other factors, improper analogies, and inaccurate memory since there is rarely a recorder with an objective record of events or statements. In recent politics there is the case of British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, with highly malleable and mutable memory, who could not remember whether he had or had not laid a wreath at a terrorist gathering, though photos show him with one.

The U.S. recently had Cory Booker, junior Senator from New Jersey who wanted his “I am Spartacus moment” in illegally releasing confidential documents related to the nomination of Brett Kavanagh to the Supreme Court. As shown in the 1960 film Spartacus, the heroic gladiator led the slave uprising against the Roman Republic and died in battle in 71 B.C. Perhaps Booker’s comparable, contrived heroism is battling to cross the crowded streets of Newark, NJ.

Partly amusing, partly pernicious, has been behavior to gain some personal advantage based on false identity or to avoid gender discrimination. We are familiar with the latter in the case of women using male pseudonyms such as George Eliot, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, George Sand, and Isak Dinesen. Virginia Woolf in her 1928 novel Orlando, commented on the gulf between men and women by creating a protagonist who over 300 years changes gender.

False identity is at the core of other narratives. Mark Twain in The Prince and the Pauper illustrates the issue of not judging people by their appearance in his tale of two boys, one of whom is the Prince, the heir to the throne, and the other a poor but intelligent good-natured young man. The two, identical in appearance, had traded clothes and, for a time, lives. Scott Fitzgerald in his 1925 novel The Great Gatsby portrays the mysterious millionaire who had been a bootlegger and who tried to transform his dreams into reality. Interestingly, the narrator of the story reserves judgment about other people. False identity may be amusing. People on New York’s 34th Street would be delighted if Kris Kringle really was Santa Claus, and so would everyone who viewed the antics of Danny Kaye in the changing secret lives of Walter Mitty.  

A real life false identity but equally amusing can be found in Hollywood where stars enjoyed the charade of the New York pants presser and con man who claimed to be a Russian prince, invented royal credentials, and established the high profile, expensive Romanoff restaurant in Hollywood. Many in the U.S. await the appearance of Elvis Presley who is hiding somewhere. Less desirable characters like Rasputin, the Russian self-proclaimed mystic and holy man and the British Aleister Crowley, supposed member of magical societies who was contacted by a supernatural entity named Aiwass, are more sinister.

It’s still the same old story, a fight for power and glory, a case of do or die. Send in the clowns. Most compelling are the histories of a number of individuals with highly imaginative memories of their past or imposters who created a new identity claiming to be some historic figure, and tried to carry out the message of the vision they experienced. Their whole perspective may get hazy, but their stories are not only historically interesting but also instructive for assessing seemingly contemporary parallels of assertions resulting from both personal interest and unreliable memories.

A few examples from France, England, and Russia will suffice. In France, Joan of Arc, the 15th century peasant girl, the Maid of Orleans, received visions of Archangels and saints telling her to support King Charles VII and lead French forces to recover land in the hands of England. She did lead the army to victory in Orleans, but was soon captured, tried for witchcraft and heresy, and burnt at the stake on May 30, 1431. She was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint in 1920. Her mythic stature remains even today in Chicago, Illinois where a rock band named itself after her.

Similarly, Bernadette Soubirous, a miller’s daughter, in Lourdes, France in 1858 saw 18 apparitions of a young lady, a dazzling light and a white figure, who asked for a chapel to be built in a nearby cave. Bernadette never identified the lady as the Virgin Mary, but the lady called herself the Immaculate Conception. On December 1933 Pope Pius XII declared Bernadette a saint. The cave at Lourdes became a pilgrimage site for worshippers.

The Princes Edward and Richard of Shrewsbury, sons of Edward IV, had been imprisoned in Tower of London in 1483, where they disappeared, probably murdered by their supposed protector Richard, Duke of Gloucester who became Richard III. According to Shakespeare, Richard saw the two children as enemies, “foes to my rest and my sweet sleep’s disturbers” and killed them. However, Perkin Warbeck, a Fleming born in Tournai, claimed to be Richard, one of the princes in the Tower. He said his brother Edward had been murdered but he had escaped. He sought to overthrow Gloucester, now King Henry VII, and was supported by Henry’s political opponents, including James IV of Scotland, and Maximilian 1 of Austria. After confrontation with the King’s forces, Warbeck fled, was later captured, admitted he was an imposter, and hanged in 1499.

Another royal imposter appeared in France during the revolutionary years. The revolutionaries executed King Louis VI, his wife Marie Antionette and family but rumors persisted that their son, the Dauphin who would have been Louis XVII, did not die on June 8, 1793, aged ten, but escaped death. Questions were raised. Did he really die in the Temple Prison, or escape to the U.S. or to Germany. In different versions he became the naturalist John James Audubon, or an Episcopal minister. Contenders to the throne appeared. The most well-known of the thirty or so claimants was a man named Karl Naundorff, a Prussian clock masker, who did not speak French very well, but did know details of life in the French court. He gained the confidence of the Dauphin’s governess, but few others. He persisted in his claim until his death, and the sign on his grave reads “Here lies Louis XVII King of France.”

A third impersonation, one immortalized in fiction and film is the story of the Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia, youngest daughter of the last Tsar Nicholas II executed with the rest of his family in Yekaterinburg, Siberia on July 17, 1918, by a ten-man squad of the Cheka secret police. The bodies were secretly buried and were not found for ninety years. Rumors circulated that the Duchess had not been killed, and various women came forward, each claiming that she was the real Duchess.

One individual, whose true name seemed to be Anna Anderson, a confused woman, had tried to commit suicide in a canal in Berlin in 1920, and was sent to an asylum where she developed a story or delusions about her supposed royal background. Few believed her, but as played by Ingrid Bergman in the 1956 film in a role for which she won the Oscar academy award in 1957, the false Anastasia seemed plausible. But the body of the Duchess was finally discovered in 2007. In spite of Ingrid, Anna did not win recognition or any award.

The play is over, go home. Fictional narratives are entertaining, but it is troubling when imagination becomes more than amusement. One of the Ten Commandments is “not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” The advice in Deuteronomy should be heeded. Regarding imposters and false accusations, the “judges shall make diligent inquisition.”

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Posted on 09/24/2018 8:55 AM by Michael Curtis
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Sunday, 23 September 2018
Two Versions of the Dalai Lama (Part II)
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

Continued fro Part I.

At the same gathering, the Dalai Lama insisted that “India is the only country where different religions have been able to co-exist.” This was a bizarre remark, but the Dalai Lama is given to strange remarks. First, could he have forgotten that all over the Western  world, people of different confessions have coexisted peacefully? Or is it that he just doesn’t want to say anything in praise of the West, because that would invite comparison with how Muslim states treat non-Muslims (very badly) compared to how the non-Muslim West treats Muslims (very generously)? Second, when he speaks about “coexistence” in India, hasn’t he overlooked the centuries of Muslim conquest and Muslim rule? In all his decades in India — he has lived there since 1959 — didn’t he learn the history of India, the country that gave him refuge, about the mass murder of tens of millions of Hindus, about the virtual disappearance of Buddhism, about the forced conversion of many millions — Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, more? Has he forgotten Mahmoud of Ghazni, and Aurangzeb, and all the other murderous Muslims in India’s history? Does any of that support his claim that India is “the only country where different religions…have been able to co-exist”? Coexistence, of a kind, only became possible in India once the British had deposed the Mughal rulers, and then, since 1947,  Hindus dominated — and that domination is what allowed for coexistence.

The Dalai Lama has claimed that Indian Muslims can offer lessons on Shia-Sunni harmony, as Shias feel safer in India than in Pakistan. He’s right – they do feel safer in India. But he’s wrong about the reason. It’s not that Indian Muslims can “offer lessons” on Sunni-Shia harmony to Muslims in Pakistan, which might hold out hope of lessening intra-Islamic hostilities. The sects remain just as ideologically at odds in India as in Pakistan. But the secret of tamping down the intra-Islamic violence is  that the Indian government, in which Hindus predominate, can use force to suppress such intra-Islamic violence. It’s not that the Muslims in India are a different, less violent breed than their coreligionists in Pakistan, but that in India, the violence can be better held in check. In Pakistan, the Sunni government does little to reign in anti-Shi’a violence.

The next time the Dalai Lama mentioned Islam was at a gathering of his followers from 27 countries on January 31, 2015. He said that “though terrorism has emerged as a global problem,” it should not be associated with Islam, as “Muslims were neither terrorist nor its sponsorer [sic].” No one had the bad taste to remind him of the nearly 25,000 terrorist attacks (now there have been 33,500) carried out by Muslims since 9/11; no one at the meeting had the nerve to jog his memory with mention of Charlie Hebdo, Hyper Cacher, Bataclan, Magnanville, Nice, London buses and metro stations, Lee Rigby, the Atocha station in Madrid, Theo van Gogh’s murder in Amsterdam, or the attacks at Fort Hood, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Bernardino, Chattanooga, Orlando. No reporter asked him about Muhammad’s claim that “I have been made victorious through terror.”

Like Pope Francis, who now says “equating Islam with violence is wrong” and just this past summer insisted again, astoundingly, that “all religions want peace,” the Dalai Lama is a “spiritual leader” who doesn’t want to call into conceivable question other faiths. All religions are good; no religion, rightly understood, can possibly countenance violence. Repeat ad libitum.

The Dalai Lama  offers treacly pieties, insisting that no religion could possibly be responsible for any violence or aggression by its adherents. His worldview cannot accommodate the real Islam, and its violent adherents who make the news every day, so he has chosen to believe in a sanitized, even imaginary, version of the faith.

Yet the Dalai Lama has also shown, very occasionally, signs of justified worry. He has noticed that the migrants flowing into Europe have been a source of great anxiety and disruption, and this past May, in an interview with the Frankfurter Algemeiner Zeitung, he surprised many when he forthrightly said: “Europe, for example Germany, cannot [that is, must not] become an Arab country. Germany is Germany.” And “from a moral point of view too, I think the refugees should only be admitted temporarily. The goal should be that they return and help rebuild their countries.”

This seemed to be a welcome volte-face from the pollyannish pronouncements of the past. Of course, one should notice that he said Germany “cannot become an Arab country,” rather than saying that Germany “cannot become a Muslim country.” It’s as if he still couldn’t bring himself to recognize that it is the faith of Islam, and not the ethnicity of some of its Believers, that makes Muslims permanently hostile to non-Muslims, and unable to integrate into their societies, that is, into Europe. But he certainly appeared to be suggesting that the migrants, almost all of them Muslims, should not be allowed to remain and transform the countries which had so generously admitted them. Rather, those migrants should eventually be sent back to “help rebuild their countries.” It was a welcome display of common sense. He appeared to recognize the danger of letting “Arab” (Muslim) migrants stay, and that a policy of sending them home after they had acquired skills useful in rebuilding their own countries, was morally justified. Some might say — you and I, for example — that it would have been morally justified to send them right back, without that training: the Western world is not some gigantic training center, and it owes the world’s Muslims exactly nothing.

But then, in a visit to Paris in September 2016, the Dalai Lama called for entering into talks – a “dialogue”? – with the Islamic State so as to “end bloodshed in Syria and Iraq,” which showed a complete misunderstanding of the Islamic State. Its fighters are determined to carry on without letup against those it considers — not just Christians and Jews, Hindus and Buddhists, but also Shi’ites and even insufficiently-fanatical Muslims — to be Infidels. Not dialogue, but total destruction, is the only way to deal with the Islamic State. But even that will not end the threat, because the ideology on which ISIS rests cannot be destroyed, which means that new recruits to the cause, and new Islamic States, will keep appearing. The Dalai Lama’s notion of a “dialogue” with ISIS is a fantasy solution, by someone who doesn’t know what else to suggest.

In the same speech, the Dalai Lama also repeated that “religion is never a justification for killing,” when Islam – see the Qur’an, see the Hadith – overflows with justifications for the killing of insubmissive Infidels. And the Muslim killers always justify their killings, being careful to cite chapter and verse, from the Qur’an, or to adduce evidence from the life of Muhammad as recorded in the Hadith, that lend textual support to their every act.

Did the Dalai Lama see the killers of Drummer Rigby holding up their Qur’ans and quoting from it? Did he see the many leaders of the Islamic State, such as Al-Baghdadi, or propagandists for Al Qaeda, like Al-Awlaki, similarly quoting from the Qur’an to justify their attacks? Perhaps he managed to miss it all.

In August 2018, the Dalai Lama appealed to Muslims in India to make efforts to reduce Shia-Sunni conflicts that are prevalent in some other countries and asserted that Islam is a religion of peace. He lamented the bloodshed over denominational differences, which he said should be avoided as Islam teaches compassion and harmony.

The Dalai Lama has recently been speaking out about Sunni-Shi’a clashes, deploring them even as he offers no explanation as to why “peaceful” Muslims seem so often to engage in violence.

Addressing an event in August 2018 at the Goa Institute of Management, the 14th Dalai Lama stressed the need for international brotherhood and harmony.

“Muslims across the globe follow the same Quran and also pray five times a day. However, they are killing each other owing to differences between the sects like Shia and Sunni,” he said.

The Dalai Lama said, “I was in Ladakh. I suggested to Ladakhi Muslims that Indian Muslims should make some efforts to reduce the conflict between Shias and Sunnis.”

He told the audience that a national conference of Muslims would be organised in the coming months, which will be followed by a similar convention at the international level.

He said that modern India has remained by and large peaceful due to over 1000-year-old history of religious harmony.

The Dalai Lama’s claim is bizarre. Modern India did not “remain by and large peaceful” during the last 1000 years. It was the scene of bloody conquests by invading Muslims, who killed many millions, and once they had conquered and subjugated the Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist populations, they killed tens of millions more. The Indian historian K. S. Lal has written that 70-80 million non-Muslims in India were killed by Muslim armies. Tens of thousands of Hindu and Buddhist temples were destroyed. How can the Dalai Lama be unaware of this long history? After the Communist Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1959, he fled to India, where he, and tens of thousands of his followers, were given permanent refuge. Has he not, in all the decades he has lived in India, had the slightest interest in studying the history of the country that gave him refuge, and the effect of the Muslim conquests on Hindus and Buddhists? Is he unaware that Buddhism, his own religion, was virtually wiped out in India by the Muslim conquerors? Can he, the spiritual head of one branch of Buddhism, really be unaware of what happened to Buddhism in the land of its birthplace? Wasn’t he interested enough to find out?

First published in Jihad Watch.

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Posted on 09/23/2018 7:03 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 22 September 2018
Rechtenwald on Bold TV
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Inez Stepman, Independent Women’s Forum Senior Policy Analyst, and Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D., NYU Professor of Global Liberal Studies, discuss alarmism on college campuses in having different viewpoints and Michael's new book, "“Springtime for Snowflakes: 'Social Justice' and Its Postmodern Parentage.”

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Posted on 09/22/2018 7:04 AM by NER
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Saturday, 22 September 2018
Maldives police remove 'anti-Islamic idols' in luxury resort raid
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From Al Jazeera

Male, Maldives - Guests on a five-star honeymoon resort in the Maldives caught a rare glimpse of the decades-long political and religious tensions rocking this island nation when policemen - armed with axes, concrete saws and ropes - stormed the Fairmont Maldives to destroy model human figures that had been deemed un-Islamic.

The unprecedented raid on Friday came as President Abdulla Yameen railed against what he said was a plot by the "Western-backed opposition" to undermine Islam in the Maldives ahead of a highly charged election on Sunday.

Yameen, who is seeking re-election after five years of rule marred by allegations of human rights abuses and corruption, had ordered the removal of the nearly 30 statues from the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi in July, citing "significant public sentiment against" them. That was after several clerics warned against "the sin of worshipping idols" when the Fairmont hotel opened the art gallery, called a coralarium, to the public.

The Candian hotelier called it the world's first semi-submerged gallery, and Jason deCaires Taylor, the British-Guyanese artist behind the installations, said his aim was "to raise awareness for the protection" of Maldives' coral reefs, which are under threat from warming oceans associated with climate change.

On Thursday, police said the civil court had issued a ruling ordering the resort to take down the sculptures, saying the installation "undermines Islamic faith, peace and order" in the country. The judgment ordered the police and the army to remove the human models if the resort failed to do so within five hours ...

A video posted on Twitter by the state-owned Public Service Media showed policemen cheering as one statue was pulled off its plinth into the lagoon. The police, also in a post on Twitter, said all "human model sculptures" in the coralarium were cleared out by 5:45pm on Friday evening.

Photographs of the rather attractive sculptures, and the somewhat less appealing Islamic rozzers from here. 

Shortly after the raid, Jamiyyath Salaf, a religious organisation that lobbies for the death penalty and strict Islamic law, declared its support for the president. 

 

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Posted on 09/22/2018 6:58 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 22 September 2018
Muslim sex gangs responsible for ‘holocaust of our children’, claims Ukip
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This is Alan Craig of the London Borough of Newham, former councillor and leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance. A man I have met and admire. From ITV News

Muslim sex gangs are responsible for a “holocaust of our children” that authorities have refused to tackle, Ukip’s children’s spokesman has claimed. Alan Craig said the practice of preying on mainly “white English girls” could be traced right back “to Mohammed himself”, in a speech at the party’s annual conference in Birmingham.

In a speech greeted by a standing ovation from delegates, Mr Craig said the problem was “an issue literally made in hell”.

“I’m talking about the decades of abuse, grooming, assaulting, raping, drugging of underage girls up and down the country.

“I’m talking about something that has happened outside schools, outside children’s homes, in shopping malls, quite openly in public up and down the country in towns and cities.

“What has happened over the last decade is nothing less – and I use this word advisedly – a holocaust.

“It has been a holocaust of our children, of our daughters.”

Speaking in Birmingham on Friday, he added that the majority of – but not all – the victims of grooming gangs had been white girls. . . he went on to accuse politicians of “refusing to name the issue” and hiding behind phrases for attackers like “men” and “Asian men, as if the Chinese and Japanese were involved in doing this sort of thing”.

He continued by highlighting a report by the Quilliam think tank on the issue of grooming, saying: “They said quite clearly that overwhelming the perpetrators are from Pakistani and Muslim backgrounds. And they traced a major part of the influence back to the Islamic faith and to Mohammed himself.”

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Posted on 09/22/2018 6:35 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 22 September 2018
Trudeau's high-tax, high-deficit, low-growth plan is doomed
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Seven of our provinces have top tax rates above 50 per cent; this is state larceny. Other than in an extreme national emergency, the state has no right to more than half of anyone’s income.

by Conrad Black

Canada’s tax policy is in shambles and its fiscal condition is deteriorating. In the 2015 election campaign, the NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, tried to debunk the tradition that New Democratic governments are extravagant and fiscally irresponsible and promised a balanced budget, albeit with some tax changes favouring lower-income earners. The Conservatives, under Stephen Harper, were steady on course, and the Liberals said they would run a short-term deficit to cover job-creating infrastructure investments. They also said they would lose $3 billion by cutting the second tax bracket, on incomes between $45,283 and $90,563, from 22 per cent to 20.5 per cent, and gain it all back entirely by increasing the top rate.

The government had only been installed for a few weeks when the finance department ominously stated that this exchange would not be net revenue neutral. In fact, in 2016, the first entire year of the Liberal tax changes, the second bracket tax reduction appears to have lost $817 million and overall personal income tax revenues declined by $5 billion. We were promised that the deficits would end in three years and we would be in surplus by now. Pre-electoral fiscal promises almost never come to pass, but these were unusually wide of the mark, as Conservative spokespeople warned.

The tax on high income earners did not produce the $3 billion promised. Instead that tax category, the much-abused one per cent (most of whom got there by hard work and constructive astuteness, and not as most politicians endlessly imply, by being sociophobic exploiters, greedy speculator, and tax cheats), generated $4.6 billion less in federal taxes in 2016 than in 2015 and about 90 per cent of the decline is claimed by finance ministry sources to come from Alberta. In 2016, more than 30,000 fewer Canadians were in the earlier highest tax bracket, which began at $140,000. It always seems to come as a merciless surprise to politicians on the left, even the soft left, that most people consider that they have earned their incomes, that it is theirs as much as their private property is, and that governments do not have an unlimited, unchallengeable or unaccountable right to gouge an individual’s earned income.

It is a stupefying mystery that anyone in Ottawa, elected or otherwise, who has anything to do with the tax system, does not realize the dangers of taxing at higher rates than prevail in the United States

Authorized spokesmen for the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, have claimed that this is a once-only occurrence because people who had the option crowded as much as they could of their incomes into the pre-tax hike year of 2015, reducing 2016 revenues, and that they will bounce back in 2017. All agree that a substantial part of the problem is the heavy hit to Alberta incomes from the absurd oil price, partly influenced by the various pipeline fiascoes and partly by the sand-bag job conducted by British Columbia against Alberta’ efforts to export oil via B.C. ports. It is painful to see Alberta in this straitjacket, tormented by its provincial neighbour, now governed by an antediluvian Green-NDP coalition, and tormented by the ineptitude, if not the malice, of the federal government. The judicial rejection of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, which the federal government paid $4.5 billion for, has put Alberta under intolerable pressure and requires Ottawa to find some way to get the pipeline built or be convicted by the voters of being completely ineffectual, incompetent and of squandering $4.5 billion while assisting the silly hobgoblins who now run the B.C. government in turning innocent and long-suffering Alberta on the spit.

It is a stupefying mystery that anyone in Ottawa, elected or otherwise, who has anything to do with the tax system, does not realize the dangers of taxing at higher rates than prevail in the United States. We went through this with the Kennedy-Johnson tax cuts in the United States in 1965 and again with the Reagan tax cuts in the 1980s. The highest personal Canadian income tax rates are now almost 20 per cent above U.S. rates, where more exonerations and deductions are allowed than in Canada, and many of the more prosperous states such as Florida and Texas have no personal income taxes. Comparatively high tax rates invariably cause what are delicately called “behavioural changes,” which means some departures of wealthy people from the country, more ingenious and strenuous tax avoidance measures, and possibly some outright evasion as well.

The Trump tax cuts of 2017 have not really been reflected in published Canadian tax income reports yet, and the impact of the reduction of corporate tax rates from 35 per cent to 21 per cent in the U.S. last year could, as William Watson published in this newspaper on Tuesday, cost Canada $50 billion. The Trump tax cuts, which rival or possibly surpass the earlier Johnson and Reagan reductions, have, contrary to the gloomy predictions of the now rather mindless globalist media such as the Economist magazine, almost paid for themselves. This is the result of the counter-behavioural changes, as people spend and invest more when rates are reduced. It is not a zero-sum game, but the world only discovered that when the after-effects of the First World War and the Great Depression obliged all major countries to engage in deficit spending: devaluing the currency while increasing the money supply and spreading it to the recently dispossessed. John Maynard Keynes and the-then U.S Federal Reserve chairman, Marriner Eccles, argued for deficit-financing of recoveries and accumulation of surpluses in times of prosperity. In practice, the first, but little of the second, has been applied and the demonetization of gold has produced a relentless slide in the purchasing power of every currency.

Canada has now chosen the worst of all possible options: higher taxes, substantial deficits and low growth, with a lot of belligerent talk about retreating from NAFTA to World Trade Organization tariffs. The HST remains unchanged. I have been incanting, almost until I am blue in the face, that we should cut all income taxes to below U.S rates and raise the HST on all voluntary spending. This effectively makes paying tax almost voluntary, and induces behavioural changes toward increased purchases of goods and services within the economy, increased savings, and less attention to the most ingenious methods of avoiding tax and moving assets and cash flows out of country.

Seven of our ten provinces now have top tax rates above 50 per cent; this is state larceny and incompetence. Other than in an extreme national emergency, the state has no right to more than half of anyone’s income. If the population elected to operate defined essential government services from a service co-operative administered by private-sector standards of efficiency, what are now public-sector costs would be reduced by probably half, the savings could be rebated to the public with the low-income earners favoured, and the whole world would send observers to see the Canadian economic miracle. It isn’t going to happen because it is too radical and impossible to sell in advance or execute incrementally. But no government that has high taxes, low economic growth (they go together and are inseparable) and large deficits is going to succeed.

First published in the National Post.

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Posted on 09/22/2018 6:29 AM by Conrad Black
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Saturday, 22 September 2018
Muslim rapper cancels Paris Bataclan concert after far-right protests
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I'll assume that the description 'far right' really means 'not far wrong'. Even the left-leaning Guardian called him  A French rapper known for his provocative pro-Muslim lyrics.

PARIS (Reuters) - A French Muslim rapper said on Friday he was cancelling two gigs at a Paris concert hall attacked by Islamist militants three years ago, saying he couldn’t go ahead for security reasons after the far-right accused him of stoking divisions.

Medine, a 35-year-old artist who has used phrases such as “crucify the secularists” and “I put fatwas on the heads of idiots” in his songs, told Clique online media last year that he was intentionally provocative to try to shatter stereotypes.

Tickets for the October shows quickly sold out when they went on sale a few weeks after Medine released an album featuring the song Bataclan, where he recounts years of dreaming he would one day play there.

Although he has denounced Islamic fundamentalism since the attacks in the city three years ago, in which 130 people were killed and more than 350 wounded, critics have latched on to songs such as Don’t Laik, where he assails France’s secular policies as discriminatory towards Muslims.

Both staff at the Bataclan and the singer had resisted calls for a cancellation. But they issued statements on Friday saying the concerts would not go ahead.

In his own statement, Medine blamed unnamed far-right groups for provoking the outcry, saying they had planned protests that could have posed a security risk at the concerts and had revived the suffering of victims’ relatives.

“Out of respect for these families and to guarantee the security of my public, these concerts cannot go ahead,” he said. He would instead hold an event at the Paris Zenith, a bigger concert hall, on Feb 9, 2019.

 

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Posted on 09/22/2018 6:18 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 22 September 2018
Brett Kavanaugh-Washington’s Latest Muppet Show
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by Gary Fouse

Having watched the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings back in the 1990s, I thought the Senate couldn't sink any lower. When Anita Hill was dragged forth at the last moment, the hearings became a total circus. There were discussions of pubic hairs on coke cans, a porn movie featuring a male actor named "Long Dong Silver," and other delicacies. Believe it or not, Ted "Chappaquiddick" Kennedy sat on that committee, slouched down in his chair and daring not to say a word until his final tub-thumping statement in which he stated that he believed Anita Hill while slamming Judge Thomas. It was high theater. Even old Strom Thurmond sat there befuddled finally stating in exasperation, "I still don't know what Long John Silver's got to do with all this."

The Kavanaugh hearings are now passing the Thomas hearings in silliness. If Anita Hill was lacking in corroboration for her allegations against Clarence Thomas, Christine Blasey Ford is similarly lacking in corroboration. With this kind of evidence, you couldn't put a dog in the pound let alone deny Kavanaugh his confirmation. As things stand now, by any measure of American justice and fairness, Kavanaugh must be given the benefit of the doubt.

It's not that I take sexual assault lightly. I don't. Nor do I care to go into detail about the allegations of Ford's sex life as a young girl. I could point out that both she and Anita Hill happen to be liberal college professors, but that is not evidence either. The fact is that I, like just about everybody else on the planet, don't know what happened or didn't happen. Either do the clowns in the US Senate who are conducting this Muppet show.

But that doesn't keep people like Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) from hysterically proclaiming that she believes Ford "because she is telling the truth." It didn't keep Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) from saying that all the men in the country should "shut up and step up."

Then there are the plastic bananas of Hollywood. Silly Joy Behar extended her rhetoric to "white men protecting a probably guilty Kavanaugh."  What does whiteness have to do in this discussion? Similarly, a group of Hollywood b- actresses produced a video telling Ford that they believe her. Even Hillary Clinton, oblivious to the irony of it all, had to weigh in on Ford's behalf. Remember Hillary was the woman who proclaimed not so long ago that victims of sexual abuse deserved to be believed (except Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaderick and others who crossed Bill Clinton's path). When these women were coming forth during the Clinton administration, it was Hillary herself who formed her own goon squad to discredit and shut down the accusers. Remember "nuts and sluts"?

I am not dismissing Ford's claims out of hand. I also understand the part about how sexual assault victims go years without saying anything about it. Of course she should be afforded the chance to come before the Senate committee and state her case under oath. Let Kavanaugh respond under oath. The committee members and the rest of the Senate can decide whether to vote yea or nay on Kavanaugh. Ms. Ford has been afforded the time on Monday. There should be no negotiating the conditions or delay the hearings any further. The FBI is not going to go back and investigate a 36-year-old sexual assault claim. That is hardly their expertise. It is now up to Senator Charles Grassley, the committee chair, to not let this spin out of control. This should all be decided on one simple point: Is there concrete supporting evidence to back up the charge? If not, it is Judge Kavanaugh - not Ms Ford as the left is proclaiming - who must get the benefit of the doubt. If Ford doesn't show up Monday, it is time to vote.

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Posted on 09/22/2018 4:57 AM by Gary Fouse
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Saturday, 22 September 2018
Extremists Hizb ut-Tahrir targeting inner-city youth in Birmingham
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Two important and worrying articles from the Times about the subversive activities of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Birmingham. 

Hizb ut-Tahrir, whose purpose is to re-establish the caliphate in the Middle East with Sharia law, has relocated to the Sparkhill area of Birmingham, an inner-city neighbourhood that is linked to more homegrown terrorists than anywhere else in the UK, (even more than Dewsbury, which is run by Tablighi Jamaat) which has been home to several convicted terrorists, including the UK’s first al-Qaeda inspired terrorist.

The organisation used to be based in London, but is now focusing in Birmingham; anti-extremism officials and local charities are alarmed. They hold a  weekly meeting advertised on Facebook via the innocuously named "Friday Circle".

In July they launched a youth roadshow which give the impression of an innocuous community organisation; smiling activists in bright orange T-shirts. The name Hizb ut-Tahrir isn't mentioned, and they don't use the Islamic state flag. 

The name of the youth movement, “If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything”, reads like the chorus in a pop song.

A group photo at a park in Sparkhill, inner Birmingham, showed at least 50 activists in campaign T-shirts holding bright banners with phrases such as “Fighting for the turf” or “Standing up for the ummah”, an Arabic word meaning community. All of which is obvously aimed at the young, the impressionable and the idealistic. 

Netflix, Love Island and even Joey Essex’s comb-over are the subjects of fliers. One tries to attract young men with the phrase “Wouldn’t mind a bit of that!” before complaining about “women with more make-up than clothes”. It says those that engage in casual sex live a “life no different to that of an animal”.

Although much of the material handed out is moderate, The Times has found that members of the youth campaign are pushing more extreme views online. Some back calls for a caliphate. At one meeting, an activist in a park told locals that freedom was a “dangerous” western idea.

One Hizb ut-Tahrir leaflet seen by this newspaper called on “armies to mobilise” against Israel. Yahya Nisbet, a Muslim convert, has recently urged Muslims to “call for the complete liberation of the Blessed Land (Palestine) and the removal of the Jewish entity”. He also told a Sparkhill audience that Muslims “have superior power” which was being given up “to an inferior power who is noticeably weaker”. The group has called on UK Muslims to “exert pressure on the schools that seek to undermine the Islamic values”.

Meetings are now held weekly in a Unity Centre underneath a carpet warehouse in Sparkhill. Anti-extremism officials believe secret meetings are also taking place. Of course they are. 

Many countries ban Hizb ut-Tahrir. Britain has muttered and mumbled about following suit, but Tony Blair took no action. David Cameron criticised him for this while in opposition but did nothing once in power. And the worst Home Secretary in recent years, on the matter of protecting British interests (by keeping out or deporting genuinely dangerous people) Theresa May, is now becoming the most ineffective Prime Minister in the same area.

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Posted on 09/22/2018 3:16 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 21 September 2018
We should revive our treason law and put the likes of Anjem Choudary behind bars for life
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Two very good articles in the Telegraph tonight. Unfortunately both behind the paywall so I cannot bring you much from either. However the important thing is not what the writers say, as that is very similar to what some of us have been saying for some time; it is that they are saying it now, in a national newspaper. The article about Anjem Choudary has comments that I believe can be seen by all readers. 

Will Heaven  Director of Policy at Policy Exchange, who worked for Michael Gove at the Ministry of Justice in 2016 writes on the subject of Choudary and his imminent release, 

Choudary was sentenced to five and a half years for encouraging British Muslims to join Islamic State. Jurors heard that he had sworn an oath of allegiance to the terrorist group, a moment described by the Metropolitan Police as a “turning point”, since at last they had evidence that he had stepped over the line into outright criminality.

As Policy Exchange’s recent report, Aiding the Enemy, noted however, this sentence was “manifestly inadequate in view of his betrayal of his country by serving as a recruiting agent for a group that intends to and has carried out attacks on the UK and which UK forces are fighting abroad”. Choudary also induced others to betray their country, corrupting young British Muslims and sending them to their deaths in Syria. It was not the fault of the judges that they could not give him a harsher sentence, though he clearly deserved one. They had their hands tied by existing law. 

What the report authors – including a Tory and Labour MP – argued for was that the law should provide for more severe punishment in view of the true nature of the wrong: a new offence, which would revive the ancient law of treason. This change is urgently required. Between 2006 and 2017, some 193 people were given prison sentences for terrorism offences – 80 of whose sentences are due to expire by the end of this year. (The figure actually understates the number of convicted terrorists due to be released in the near future, given that prisoners can be released half way through their sentences.)

A new treason law would specify that it is an offence to aid a state or organisation that is attacking Britain or preparing to attack the UK, or against which our Armed Forces are engaged in conflict. Crucially, those convicted of treason should be sentenced to life imprisonment, which would reflect the gravity of the wrong of betrayal, deter others, and incapacitate the offender.

The existing treason law would actually work. However a law dating from the 14th century would probably benefit from modern language; few these days have the patience with the language of Shakespeare so something two centuries earlier would be derided. 

Telegraph reporters have written the other item

Mizanur Rahman, 35, was jailed with Choudary after the pair were found guilty of drumming up support for Islamic State. They have both served half their five and a half year sentences and will be released next month. But while Choudary, 51, had groomed Rahman and recruited him to al-Muhajiroun, a now proscribed terrorist organisation, it is feared the younger man will be more dangerous when freed. Rahman, from north London, was groomed at 17 by Choudary and the exiled hate cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed. He studied under both men. 

One source said: “We will have to wait and see what happens when they are released. It’s fair to say that Rahman is more computer literate than Choudary and younger and more energetic. That is a big worry.”

It is understood a major concern is Rahman’s close links to Siddhartha Dhar, a childhood friend, who fled to Syria where he replaced Mohammed Emwazi - better known as ‘Jihadi John’ - as Islamic State’s public executioner when his fellow Briton was killed in a drone strike.

Dhar - dubbed ‘Jihadi Sid’ - is the most high profile British member of IS still thought to be alive and there will be inevitable fears that Rahman will try to make contact with his friend. Rahman is responsible for radicalising Dhar, who has been designated a global terrorist by the US State Department.

Chris Phillips, former head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, said: “I think it is very scary. What we know is that people around Rahman have gone off and done terrible things. They are very dangerous. Unless we change the laws we cannot do anything with these guys. We need to make control orders much stronger. The police have so much to do and are in a near impossible situation.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "Public protection is our priority, and extremists released on licence are closely managed by the National Probation Service working with police and other agencies. They are subject to very restrictive licence conditions, which could include living in an approved premises, restrictions on movement and non-contact orders. Failure to adhere to these conditions will result in offenders being returned to prison.”

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Posted on 09/21/2018 3:56 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 21 September 2018
Where or When
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by Marc Epstein

Music and Lyrics By Rogers & Hart from 'Babes in Arms'

(Second Verse)
[BILLIE]
When you're awake, the things you think
Come from the dreams you dream
Thought has wings
And lots of things
Are seldom what they seem
Sometimes you think you've lived before
All that you live today
Things you do
Come back to you
As though they knew the way
Oh, the tricks your mind can play!

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is a staple of the English high school curriculum from Maine to Hawaii. The Salem witch trials of 1692, was Miller’s vehicle for his critique of the 1954 McCarthy hearings. As Carol Iannone put it, “Miller suggested that America was a country prone to inquisitorial rampages, ever on the lookout for imaginary malefactors to punish in order to satisfy a simplistic worldview of good versus evil.”

Iannone, in her Commentary review of No Crueler Tyrannies; Accusation, False Witness, and Other Terrors of Our Times, by Dorothy Rabinowitz, observed that given the liberal interpretation of the McCarthy hearings as represented by Miller, the eruption of mass sexual abuse charges against children in 1980s and 90s should have elicited a vociferous response from progressives. “These were cases, after all, in which outlandish, ever-escalating charges were leveled at totally innocent people, in which gross violations of due process and constitutional rights were committed, and in which terribly wrongful convictions were obtained.” But instead there was a deafening silence from the progressive left.

For my money the progressive’s seeming indifference was a necessary abstention. That’s because these developments are a logical outcome of the progressive education philosophy that has become part of our pedagogic DNA from nursery school through higher education.

Their silence in the face of surreal sexual abuse allegations examined by Dorothy Rabinowitz, was really an intuitive defense of a child centered education system that holds teachers, the adults in the room, responsible for all aspects of a child’s behavior and achievement. It is a system that has rendered meritocratic measurement meaningless, and that goes for both student performance and the criteria for hiring teachers.

While our attention is drawn to the theatrics surrounding the Kavanaugh Supreme Court Confirmation hearings as it was in times past to the Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas spectacles, we tend to lose sight of the underlying impetus driving the Democrat political opposition. It isn’t simply ugly hardball politics that we are witnessing.

Brett Kavanaugh’s unforgiveable sin is that he rose to his position on the Circuit Court of Appeals, and was nominated to a seat on the Supreme Court, based on the merits of his performance in school and his performance as a judge as evidenced in his written decisions.

The Democrats have managed to graft Franz Kafka to Lewis Carroll and come up with an Orwellian dystopia using the Judiciary Committee hearing room as their stage. But variations of this play that includes unsubstantiated allegations and the presumption of guilt without due process have been played out across our educational landscape for decades. It extends from the Amirault ‘s Fells Acres Day School case to the Duke Lacrosse team trial. 

To date, none of the judicial reversals or disproven charges of sexual abuse has served to dampen the misandry that informs Diane Feinstein and Kristen Gillibrand. It was Senator Gillibrand after all, who invited Emma Sulkowicz, aka Mattress Girl, to the State of the Union Address in 2015, even though her claim of having been raped by a male student in her dorm room was found to be without substance by Columbia University, the New York City police. 

My own firsthand experience in these matters stems from a charge of corporal punishment that was leveled against me by a female student in one of my high school history classes. The discipline code had been revised so that an undesirable verbal statement could be considered “corporal” punishment.

Nothing about this incident is unusual. In fact it is commonplace and colors the world we now all inhabit. The story does have a Neverland component to it, and luckily for me a happy ending.

“C” showed up in class after a week’s absence. 

She was wearing a t-shirt that had been cut down so that her midriff was exposed up to her bust line. When I informed her she was inappropriately dressed, she began to curse. I asked her to move to her seat and cover herself up. She continued to complain. Her complaints were laced with expletives. I told her that if she didn’t stop I’d have her removed by a dean. 

It was then that I informed her that if she didn’t pass the course and the state Regents exam, she couldn’t get a diploma. I had passed her in the first part of the two-year course when she was a freshman. “C”, who was failing the course again would soon be two years behind in her academic progress. To date, “C” had also been suspended 9 times. 

“C” went to the principal a lodged a complaint. She said I called her Tinker Bell and told her to drop out of school and enter a GED program.

According to procedure the principal called in the charge to OSI (Office of Internal Investigations) for instructions on how to proceed, even though “C” had 9 suspensions, and was still a freshman after almost three years in the school. He was told to conduct an internal investigation and I was not removed from teaching duties.

The assistant principal for security conducted the investigation. When “C’s” father came up to school he informed the authorities that he had no control over his daughter.

The principal informed me that the charges were judged unfounded and since they were unfounded she wasn’t removed from my class!

What I actually said was that “she wasn’t Tinker Bell, and that this wasn’t Neverland.”  When she asked me what Neverland was, I informed her that it was a place where nobody grew old. “In our world we are all growing older and that she either had to do her work or think about an alternative program.” 

She had never heard of Peter Pan. 

I don’t know how this all ends, but I do know that what we are witnessing in our schools, the workplace, and the halls of Congress, is not a sustainable model.

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Posted on 09/21/2018 3:03 PM by Marc Epstein
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Friday, 21 September 2018
Twitter backlash as tweet promoting FGM is seen 30,000 times
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From Metro H/T D and M

Twitter has been slammed after a tweet promoting female genital mutilation (FGM) on children was viewed more than 30,000 times. A Muslim group calling itself Dawoodi Bohra Women for Religious Freedom posted a tweet last week justifying ‘khafz’ – or female circumcision – on young girls. The tweet featured a video of group member Arwa Sohangpurwala saying: ‘My daughters have also undergone khafz, and they’re growing up as perfectly as other children of their age. . . "

Twitter users immediately slammed the controversial ad. 

Twitter has since removed the promoted post but taken no action on the original tweet.

The Dawoodi Bohra Women for Religious Freedom group – a branch of the Shi’ite Muslim community – promotes female circumcision and claims it has been ‘wrongly classified as female genital mutilation’. It also claims the procedure involves ‘removal of a speck of superficial skin, a simple gentle process in which there is negligible, if any, pain’. However, the World Health Organization classifies the smallest form of skin removal as type 1 FGM. Unicef estimates more than 200 million women have undergone FGM procedures worldwide.

I think this outfit got into trouble in the US last year. I don't know if they are linked with this group in Sri Lanka also trying to promote FGM by pretending it is 'circumcision'. The hate preacher Haitham al Haddad also tries to justify the wickedness in the same way. He told me that to my face in Stratford Broadway east London one night. 

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Posted on 09/21/2018 7:22 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 21 September 2018
Trump Can Still Prevail in the Midterms
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The key is for the president to be comparatively cautious.

by Conrad Black

The current standing of the Democrats in the midterm election polls is a levitation. Their record when they had the administration was poor. Their official leader, former president Obama, bombed with his long-winded, self-serving monotone of historical revision at the University of Illinois two weeks ago and its dreary sequels in Orange County, Calif. He reminded America of why it put Donald Trump in the White House. The Democrats and their helpers have emptied their magazines at the opening of the mid-term campaign. Bob Woodward’s novel is a wet kipper. Let him reveal his transcripts as he has threatened in response to those (including me) who have accused him of making up much of it, as has been his custom starting with Watergate, if not before. The takeaway on Woodward is his assertion that there is no evidence of Trump-Russian collusion. Despite his long and baneful history of myth-making and defamation, Woodward has earned a commendation across the barricades for helping to dig the grave for the putrid corpse of that obscene fabrication. We are surely at the end of the “Let Mueller finish his work, we don’t know what we don’t know” school of maintaining a permanent cloud over whether Trump is legitimately the president.

The New York Times has amplified the chorus of chaos and madness in the White House to try to maintain the anti-Trump rage even though the imputations of criminality and illegitimacy have vanished. It is like a circus acrobat trying to leap from one trapeze to another at an impossible distance and with no safety net. No one cares how the White House functions as long as it does function, and the vagaries of the president’s personality leave many uneasy and some censorious or even outraged, but there is no possible question of his sanity, mental competence, and physical stamina. This is a desperate last-ditch defense of the illegitimacy argument before the president’s enemies have to fight it out with him in the old-fashioned way, as politicians and parties do in democracies, with competing personalities and programs. For ten years all the Democrats have had is the endless repetition of the mantra that they weren’t George W. Bush and then that they weren’t Donald Trump. Not being Trump was never a winning ticket, and now it is a passport to oblivion.

If his enemies and their media echo chamber can’t go on blowing up a hot-air balloon of a controversy every week between now and Election Day, they will pay the price of trying to beat something with nothing. When the noise subsides, the country will reflect on how much better a condition it is in than it was at the last Election Day: Not just every conceivable economic indicator, and some progress on illegal immigration, but the absence of any plausible nuclear menace from North Korea and Iran, the relative disengagement of the United States from endless, hopeless wars in places that have no relevance to American national security, the withdrawal from the Paris climate nonsense, in which Obama was going to impose the spending of trillions of dollars and dispense with millions of American jobs. He would have made the U.S. the only economically serious country in the world to meet such rigorous targets of carbon dioxide standards for no defined purpose except the feel-good self-righteousness of the scientifically gullible.

The key is for the president to be comparatively cautious — no Charlottesville statements that his enemies can falsely construe as soft on Nazism and the Klan; or border policies that can get Chuck Schumer simpering about the Statue of Liberty’s bursting into tears; or border policies that get Nancy Pelosi fuming about comfortable accommodation for children brought illegally into the country being reminiscent of Third Reich death camps; nor even reflections on the lies politicized former security agency heads (former CIA director John Brennan in particular) have uttered in the partisan interest. A little serenity and the economic news will sink in. With the abatement of the public high-volume slanging-match the country will notice that it has gone past the tipping point and that the entire Trump-Russia collusion narrative was a disgraceful and monstrous smear-job. The president has handled the Kavanaugh affair very calmly and judiciously. Obviously Dr. Ford is not going to be taken as being as credible as the judge. Kavanaugh is reinforced by the recollections of the only supposed witness, who Dr. Ford said broke up the alleged assault, but who does not recall anything of the kind. The whole business is very fishy and there has not been the customary phalanx of fellow victims of the same long-concealed offender swarming out of the mists of antiquity, as have shaken or destroyed the careers of many rampant lions in the entertainment industry.

This president is paradoxical and will not be governed by the usual election patterns; he has moved quickly to improve the morale and conditions of the country, as FDR was rewarded for doing in 1934. Without any new controversies to whip up into media orgies and festivals of the president’s turpitude and uncongeniality, the argument to vote Democratic will be ground to powder by the Reagan test: Are you better off and is the country better off? There is no doubt that this is the question that will be in the minds of the voters if they cannot be distracted by another red herring conjured out of the president’s reckless verbosity or some ill-considered initiative of the Justice or Homeland Security departments. To ask the question is to answer it. The same conclusion springs from reflection on the Democratic alternative: the even more decrepit fugitive from the fake-news catacombs than Woodward, Carl Bernstein, warning darkly of the “constitutional crisis” requiring application of the 25th Amendment to Trump for mental incompetence. The Resistance has sunk to this. To judge from his public utterances, Bernstein would not pass the 25th Amendment test himself, but he and his fellow tragedian choristers hold no position that justifies an act of removal. Their game is up, and the people will not be fooled; they will give the president his honeymoon, and the Democrats will have two years to produce some alternatives, people and policies, thinking again after a lapse of ten years in that once and long-great party.

First published in National Review Online.

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Posted on 09/21/2018 6:28 AM by Conrad Black
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Friday, 21 September 2018
Two Versions of the Dalai Lama (Part I)
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

There seem to be two Dalai Lamas when it comes to Islam.

The first Dalai Lama, like that other expert on Islam Pope Francis, knows that authentic Islam is opposed to terrorism, that Islam is all about peace, and that any Muslim who engages in violence for that very reason can not be a “genuine Muslim.”

Here he is, for example, in a speech in Strasbourg in September 2016:

“‘Any person who wants to indulge in violence is no longer a genuine Buddhist or genuine Muslim,’ says Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader.

He argued that differentiating fundamentalism from Islam itself was a key way to stop violence and strengthen integration.

The Dalai Lama has said there is no such thing as a “Muslim terrorist” as anyone who partakes in violent activities is not a “genuine” Muslim.

Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in France at the end of last week, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader suggested the phrase was a contradiction in terms and condemned those who commit violent acts in the name of religion.

The Dalai Lama asserted that all religions were united by the values of love, compassion, tolerance and more. He argued that with this common ground the world would be able to build peace.

Where and when have Muslims demonstrated “the values of love, compassion, tolerance…” to non-Muslims?

“Buddhist terrorist. Muslim terrorist. That wording is wrong,” he said. “Any person who wants to indulge in violence is no longer a genuine Buddhist or genuine Muslim, because it is a Muslim teaching that once you are involved in bloodshed, actually you are no longer a genuine practitioner of Islam.”

Where  does it say anywhere in the Qur’an or the hadith that “once you are involved in bloodshed, actually you are no longer a genuine practitioner of Islam”? Nowhere. Quite the reverse: throughout the Qur’an, in 109 Jihad verses, Muslims are commanded to engage in bloodshed. In the Hadith, Muhammad, the Perfect Man and Model of Conduct — and therefore to be emulated — takes part in 27 military campaigns, orders the torture and killing of Kinana of Khaybar, directly engages in the decapitation of 600-900 bound prisoners of the Banu Qurayza, and is delighted to receive news of the murders of people who had mocked or opposed him, including Asma bint Marwan, Abu ‘Afak, and Ka’b bin al-Ashraf. Wasn’t this warrior and killer “involved in bloodshed”? And who, if not Muhammad, was a “genuine practitioner of Islam”?

“All major religious traditions carry the same message: a message of love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment, self-discipline – all religious traditions.”

This isn’t true. There is no “message of love” for non-Muslims in Islam. Rather, Muslims are told to make war until all non-Muslims are subdued, and offered only the options of death, conversion to Islam, or enduring the permanent status of dhimmi, with its many onerous conditions. Where is the “love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, contentment,” etc. in any of this? Indeed, Muslims are taught to not even take “Christians  and Jews as friends, for they are friends only with each other.” They are taught, too, according to a famous hadith, that they may smile at Infidels, as long as they curse them in their hearts. None of this suggests the “love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance” that the Dalai Lama insists are the essence of Islam’s message.

“He argued that differentiating between fundamentalism and Islam was a key way to stop violence and strengthen integration: ‘On that level, we can build a genuine harmony, on the basis of mutual respect, mutual learning, mutual admiration”.

“Mutual respect, mutual learning, meaning admiration”? Is he unfamiliar with the Qur’anic verse that describes Muslims as the “best of peoples” (3:110) while the non-Muslims are described as “the most vile of creatures” (98:6)? How can Muslims admire those whom they have been told not to take even as friends, how can they admire those they are told are “the most vile of creatures”? It’s not possible.

On what basis does the Dalai Lama make such remarks? It’s amazing to think that at the age of 83, with all the time in the world to have engaged in the study of other religions, he still has managed to avoid learning what Islam is all about. Or is it that he hopes that somehow, by dint of ignoring the essence of Islam, he can somehow affect the attitudes and behavior of Muslims? He is foolish to keep making pronouncements on Islam without having read, and studied, the Qur’an and Hadith. And he is both foolish and wicked if he has indeed read and studied the canonical Islamic texts, and decided that nonetheless he will ignore their content and attempt, using his great and quite undeserved prestige, to convince us that the authentic Islam — the same authentic Islam that Pope Francis refers to — has nothing to do with violence or terrorism.

In September 2014, at a meeting in India, the Dalai Lama made the usual claim of the apologists that Jihad is a Spiritual Struggle:

“Jihad combats inner destructive emotions. Everybody carries jihad in their hearts, including me,” the Dalai Lama said.

This claim that Jihad is an interior struggle comes from a supposed hadith about Muhammad returning from the “Lesser Jihad” of warfare to the “Greater Jihad” of his own spiritual struggle. No one, by the way, has been able to find the source of this supposed hadith.

The Dalai Lama said Indian Muslims can offer lessons on Shia-Sunni harmony as Shias feel safer in India than in Pakistan.

Why would that be? It’s because the Hindu majority, which controls the police and security services, keep violence down between the sects, without favoring either side. In Pakistan, on the other hand, the Sunni majority does nothing to protect the Shi’a from Sunni attacks, such as those carried out by the anti-Shi’a terrorist group Sipah-e-Sahaba. The only “lesson” to be learned has nothing to do with Indian Muslims being somehow different, but rather, with the fact that non-Muslims in India are better able to hold the intra-Muslim violence in check.

As far back as  2008, the Dalai Lama said what lots of Western leaders have been saying about Islam since 2001. He said “it was wrong, it was entirely unfair, to call Islam a violent religion.” But six years later, in September 2014, at a conference of religious leaders he had organized, the Dalai Lama seemed to modify his earlier brisk dismissal of any connection between Islam and violence, when he said that “killing in the name of faith is terrible.” The implication was clear: some people [Muslims] were killing in the name of faith, and while that was “terrible,” it was no longer “entirely unfair” to link some Muslims to such violence. Everyone understood what adherents he must have intended to set straight about their own faith. At least he recognized that some people “claimed” to be acting violently in accordance with the texts and teachings of their religion, even if those people were “wrong.”

Then he showed he was still determined to give Islam a pass, adding in the same speech that “jihad was being misused and the term connotes fighting one’s own impurities.” No, that’s what the apologists maintain. He clearly had been reading too much Karen Armstrong. And still worse was to follow: “Jihad combats inner destructive emotions. Everybody carries jihad in their hearts, including me.” Apparently Muslims over the past 1400 years have everywhere misunderstood the true nature of jihad, which only very tangentially might have to do with fighting the Infidels, failing to understand that it describes an individual’s struggle to be a better person.

Is it possible that the Dalai Lama really does not know by this point, in 2018, how Muslims understand the word “jihad” and how they historically have acted when commanded to wage “jihad,” does not know with what murderous meaning the Qur’an endows that word? Perhaps he really doesn’t know. Or perhaps he thinks that if he (and others) repeat this jihad-as-inner-struggle mantra, that many Muslims will in time convince themselves that that is really what “jihad” is about. But why would they listen to the Dalai Lama and not their own clerics?  Other world leaders have described Islam in similarly misleading terms — Barack Obama (“the true peaceful nature of Islam”), Tony Blair (the Islamic State’s ideology is “based in a complete perversion of the proper faith of Islam”), Pope Francis (“Islam is a religion of peace”) – whenever they pontificated about Islam, a faith which they so maddeningly presume to know so much about. Muslim behavior did not change as a result. In the case of Obama, Blair and the Pope, one has the feeling that they really believe the nonsense they are spouting. With the Dalai Lama, who has been exposed to Islam in Asia for more than a half-century, his real beliefs are still not clear.

The prominent Syrian cleric Ramadan al-Buti complained that when Westerners describe Islam as a “religion of peace,” they are not trying to defend Islam, but to trick Muslims into believing it is peaceful, and then – horribile dictu — into giving up the real doctrine of jihad for that ludicrous “inner struggle” business. Of course, Islam is about violence and war, said the truth-telling Ramadan Al-Buti. But why believe a prominent Muslim cleric about Islam, when there are so many non-Muslims, like the loquacious Dalai Lama, ready to tell both us, and Muslims, that the faith is all about peace and tolerance?
 
First published in Jihad Watch.
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Posted on 09/21/2018 5:13 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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