Monday, April 25, 2011

A ride on the Regressive Tilt-a-Whirl

County fairs and traveling carnivals were once the prime entertainment for rural Americans. A staple attraction at those amusements was the Tilt-a-Whirl. For the uninitiated, the Tilt-a-Whirl platform simultaneously tilts and rotates while each passenger car spins independently. The Tilt-a-Whirl can be a dizzying, stomach-churning experience that leaves passengers incapable of determining a proper direction.

Don't fret if you’ve never had the pleasure of riding the Tilt-a-Whirl. You can live the experience, multiplied exponentially, simply by listening to a leftist (Regressive) politician. But be forewarned; the dizziness, nausea, and lack of a coherent direction you’ll experience on the Regressive Tilt-a-Whirl is hazardous to your liberty, fiscal solvency, and your very sanity.

Buckle up tight. Your ride on the Regressive Tilt-a-Whirl begins with mindless meanderings and banal rhetoric from Nevada’s Sen. Harry Reid. Reid recently accused Republicans of legislating to bar women from cancer screenings. But that’s not all. Reid claimed preventing such screenings was the GOP’s top priority.

Did Reid hit the nail on the head? Did Republicans win the 2010 mid-term elections with a platform built on fiscal responsibility, rejecting Obamacare, and preventing women from getting cancer screenings? Sure they did, I remember it now. Denying cancer screenings to women has always been a winning campaign strategy. Certainly it played a prominent role in the GOP’s November victories and its current House majority.

Sen. Reid has reminded everyone just how determined Republicans are to impose a lingering demise on women. Scare tactics? Nah! Just a little spin, as is common aboard the Regressive Tilt-a-Whirl. Are you feeling a little nauseous? Hold on tight; this ride has just begun. And, as the saying goes, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Rep. Louise Slaughter’s unintelligible drivel makes Sen. Reid seem a Greek orator. According to Slaughter, the current Republican House is the worst ever, a veritable gang of Nazi storm troopers bent on killing women. She didn’t merely insinuate that Republican policies would intentionally deprive women of cancer screenings and lead to premature death, as did Reid. No, not Slaughter. Republican legislators want to kill women outright. Slaughter thinks the Republican attempt to revoke Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer-funded subsidies is akin to how the Nazi regime ruled Germany.

With no due respect to Rep. Slaughter there hasn’t been a single Planned Parenthood facility where "Jew owned" has been painted on the doors and windows. The Gestapo hasn’t stormed Planned Parenthood offices, seized workers, tattooed them with serial numbers, issued them lab coats with the Star of David on the back and carted them off to concentration camps. Also worth noting, just for Slaughter’s information, is the fact that more death results at Planned Parenthood facilities, via abortion, in one hour than at every Republican convention since the dawn of time. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood was born from a mindset (the Birth Control Review, April 1932, p.108) similar to the one that drove Nazi Germany.

However, neither fact nor logic will deter Louise Slaughter from her swirling, spinning, talking points. Thus the Regressive Tilt-a-Whirl rages on. Are you dizzy, perhaps queasy and disoriented? Take some Dramamine before the next example of leftwing nonsense.

Sen. Charles Schumer thinks you’re a flea. At least he thinks the conservative legislators you elected are fleas, which makes you a flea by proxy. Schumer sees the conservative legislators this way: "What we have here is a flea . . . wagging a dog." Schumer means a few conservative Republicans (the fleas) are determining the government’s (the dog’s) direction. Nancy Pelosi agrees, encouraging Republicans to take the party back from the radicals, with "radical" identifying anyone opposed to leftist dogma, or who helped depose her as House Speaker. Pelosi extended this advice to the Republican Party "so it doesn’t matter so much who wins elections." Then, Pelosi reasons, America can pursue its shared goals and do what’s right for children and seniors.

Pelosi is correct in one regard. If Republicans adopt her advice it won’t matter a whit who wins future elections. Still, I can’t recall Pelosi expressing indifference to the 2006 election results, which made her Speaker of the House. And I fail to recollect a single instance where Sen. Schumer opposed obstructionism when that tactic benefited his party or his ideological bent.

In these few instances the mindset driving the leftist agenda is laid bare. Conservatives are Nazi sympathizers who hate women and would kill them if possible. Republicans should eschew the conservative doctrines that once distinguished them from Democrats. Conservatives must relinquish their principles and allow Democrats to have their way. Otherwise they are obstructionist, power-mad, Nazi zealots.

The Democrat Party’s survival depends on spin and swirl, wielded expertly by people for whom shame is a non-issue. They are perpetual operators of the Regressive Tilt-a-Whirl. Leftists ignore the problems their policies have created and have thus rendered Congress impotent for correcting them.

Don’t think for a minute that Reid, Slaughter, Schumer, and Pelosi are fools. Granted, their rhetoric is sophomoric. But they are masters at manipulating an inattentive electorate, utilizing even the most outlandish of arguments to peddle a totalitarian agenda. The sad realization lies not in leftist politician’s apparent foolishness but in the multitude of useful idiots who swallow liberal vacuity hook, line, and sinker, year after infuriating year.

The ride is finished, for now, and you may disembark the Regressive Tilt-a-Whirl. But accept a word of caution on your way out the gate. Dizziness and disorientation are common to your experience, and you’ll likely suffer sufficient nausea to light up the city of Las Vegas. The more you ride the Tilt-a-Whirl the less bothersome these symptoms become. They’re just as severe each time. But liberal politicians are banking on your becoming so accustomed to them you’ll no longer notice the spin.

This column first appeared on

Friday, April 22, 2011

In defense of Western Culture

Imagine what the world would be like had the United States fought the Second World War as we have the “war on terror.” Thankfully, Americans then weren't tepid in war, nor did they care if their attitudes agitated the Germans and Japanese. The World War II generation sought nothing less than total victory. If the enemy was offended, well, so be it. Times have certainly changed.

The United States has sunk to new depths of political correctness. We're so conscious of offending Islam that our culture is becoming its sacrificial lamb, methodically slain on the altar of a mythical peace with radical Muslims. Political correctness wields undue influence on our attitudes, exacerbating our insatiable desire to placate our enemies even at the expense of values we ostensibly hold dear.

Enter the politically incorrect Rev. Terry Jones. Government, media, and religious leaders sang Jones' condemnations, and rightly so, when he ignited his copy of the Koran. But what duplicity! What has happened to our zealous defense of free speech? Burning offending items is a protected First Amendment right, is it not? Perhaps free speech exists only when desecrating items of significance to the United States and Western Civilization.

Wise and insightful protesters are engaging in dissent when they burn the flag of the United States. In fact, torch the American flag and you’ll become a folk hero to the same people who censure Terry Jones. Offending religion is equally acceptable, so long as the religion is associated with Western culture. For instance, an eccentric "artist" submerges a crucifix in urine and receives rave reviews for cutting edge artistic expression. But let that same "artist" sink a statue of Muhammad in a jug of whiz and see what happens.

One peek at the riots in Afghanistan should serve to indicate how Islamists respond to the degradation of their beliefs, be the offense real or perceived. Remember the outrage when Dutch cartoonists depicted Muhammad as a bomber? Remember Salman Rushdie, or Molly Norris? Rushdie lived under a death order for ten years and death threats forced Norris to surrender not only her profession (she was a cartoonist) but her very identity.

The only surprise in the Afghan response to Terry Jones is that anyone was shocked at all. This isn't the first time Muslims have deemed destruction the proper avenue for venting their anger at the enemies of Allah. In fact, reactionary violence in Islamic lands is the norm, not the exception. Amazement at the Islamists' overreaction to Terry Jones is akin to tossing a rock in the creek and being stunned when it sinks.

In fairness, we must recognize that the Afghans didn't entirely escape blame for their violence. But shouldn't we be troubled when a single insignificant minister pulls a boneheaded stunt and more outrage is directed at him than toward widespread violence perpetrated at the Taliban's behest? Explaining how Jones' bonfire doesn't justify mob scenes becomes something of an afterthought, an obligatory complaint offered without sincerity. There's no reason for Westerners to apologize to a people so ignorant they will toss Molotov cocktails on their neighbors and attack unrelated entities in response to one person's alleged blasphemy.

I’m no fan of book burnings regardless the literature serving as the fuel. Burning books indicates a vapid intellect, a mind void of purpose and reason. But Jones’ campfire did nothing to threaten Islam as a religious doctrine. It did, however, reiterate the Islamist's propensity for committing horrendous violence to the glory of Allah. The appalling aspect is seeing so many ostensibly intelligent Americans tripping over each other for the opportunity to apologize to an enemy. We’re too interested in avoiding the appearance of "Islamophobia" to recognize the pattern of our enemy's behavior and the threat they pose to Western culture.

When Fourth Division troops advanced from Utah Beach’s D-Day landing zones, the 101st Airborne paratroopers greeted them with this advice: don’t trust the Nazis. America wasn’t afraid to identify and aggressively target our enemies during World War II. We're afraid to do so now. Could those divergent attitudes explain why complete victory in World War II took less than four years while the "war on terror" drags on ad infinitum?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The United Caliphates of America?

If the United States had fought the Second World War as we have the “war on terror” we would now speak German east of the Mississippi River and Japanese west of it. Thank God Americans weren’t concerned about offending the sensibilities of Hitler and Hirohito in 1942. The World War II generation put this country first and settled for nothing less than defeating our enemies. Times have changed.

Either the United States has succumbed to unbridled political correctness, or we’ve lost heart to the point we’ll sacrifice our culture and our very survival to the mythical concept of peace with Islamic radicals. Perhaps it’s a little of both. Political correctness influences our attitudes to an unreasonable degree. But a greater problem is our insatiable desire to placate our enemies, even at the expense of values we allegedly hold dear.

When Rev. Terry Jones ignited his copy of the Koran our government and media rose to condemn his intolerance. Ah the duplicity! What happened to free speech? I thought burning an offending item was a protected First Amendment right. Perhaps free speech extends only to desecrating items of significance to the United States and Western Civilization.

Insightful and wise protesters can burn the flag of the United States with impunity. In fact, torch our flag and you’ll become a folk hero to the same people who condemn Terry Jones. Offending religion is just as acceptable, so long as the religion is prevalent in Western culture. For instance, submerging a crucifix in urine is hailed as cutting edge artistic expression and the “artist” is an eccentric genius. Try sinking a statue of Muhammad in urine and see what happens.

Why do we abandon our heritage, sacrifice our culture, and belittle our values? What is honorable in elevating depraved ideologies above our own?

I’m no fan of book burnings regardless the literature serving as the fuel. But where is the condemnation for the Muslims who are using Jones’ campfire as their latest excuse to commit horrendous violence for the glory of Allah? And why are so many ostensibly intelligent Americans tripping over each other for the chance to apologize to an enemy? We’re too interested in avoiding the appearance of intolerance toward Islam to recognize the threat radicalization poses to America’s future, or even our own assaults on our liberties.

When Fourth Division troops advanced from Utah Beach’s D-Day landing zones the 101st Airborne paratroopers greeted them with this advice: don’t trust the Nazis. America wasn’t afraid to identify and aggressively target our enemies during World War II. Isn’t it time we revived our ancestors’ attitudes before we awake in the United Caliphates of America?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Two lessons from Rev. Terry Jones

To say the United States faces problems is an understatement. The economy is stagnant. Congressional authors of $1.5 trillion budget deficits haggle over a few billion bucks as if that sum is significant. Lethargy is rewarded and productivity is demeaned. Number among those problems our inability to properly assign responsibility and to recognize enemies.

The case of the eccentric Reverend Terry Jones supports this theory. Jones and his diminutive flock put the Koran on trial, found it wanting and burned it at the stake. Call the mock trial a witch hunt if you like, but the actual burning was nothing more than symbolism. No one was injured and no property, except Jones' copy of the Koran, was damaged. Yet Jones' protest sent Afghanistan into a frenzy and America's intelligentsia scrambling for the nearest microphone, eager to blame Terry Jones for Afghanistan's violent reaction.

This may come as a shock, but the flame-throwing Terry Jones is absolutely correct in denying responsibility for Afghanistan's bloodshed. Yes, Jones burned the Koran with full knowledge his act was controversial and outrageous. However, does such desecration justify rioting, arson, and killing on the part of offended Muslims?

Bill O’Reilly and General David Petraeus think so, and they've joined voices with like minds to publicly denounce the otherwise obscure Terry Jones. Jones' one-book bonfire was hateful and intolerant, the critics charge, and endangered U.S. troops serving in Islamic lands. Their arguments ring hollow. Jihad has a long history of outrage against anything Western. Had Jones' mock trail exonerated the Koran, Islamic radicals would've invented another outrage to justify their hostility. Torching a Koran excuses Islamic riots no more than closing a Japanese restaurant validates the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Where Terry Jones is correct and his opponents are wrong is in assigning blame for the Afghan violence and in recognizing the deficient morals Islamic fundamentalism espouses. Jones rightly blames the Afghans themselves. They alone rioted, pillaged, and killed their countrymen. Yet America’s brightest minds refuse to blame Afghans for the carnage wrought in Islam’s name. Gen. Petraeus, in fact, believes the Afghan brutality may be justified. Why? Because an insignificant someone half a world away burned a book? Pardon me if the roiling “Muslim street” seems a mite oversensitive.

Are Muslims then bound to silence when their favored texts and shrines are marginalized or desecrated? Of course not. But when their outrage induces indiscriminate killings it says plenty about their ideology and the danger it poses to civilization worldwide. Were Islam the sole religion to suffer an insult Muslim anger might be understandable. But that scenario is as far removed from reality as the east is from the west.

Christians are offended when alleged artists submerge crucifixes in jars of urine and smear elephant dung on paintings of the Virgin Mary. Christians don’t, however, retaliate with arson and murder. Both Christians and Jews would be offended if an obscure imam burned the Bible or the Pentateuch. But would either Christians or Jews embark on a homicidal rampage? Hardly, for such a response contradicts the tenets of both doctrines. Yet within Islam violence follows offense as surely as dogs trail the butcher’s wagon. What’s more, violent overreaction is expected from Muslims. Otherwise, Western “leaders” wouldn’t be falling all over each other to placate Muslims with apologies for our intolerance.

Ample evidence exists to convince even the harshest skeptic that vicious responses to perceived injustices are harmonious to Islamic tradition. American cartoonist Molly Norris surrendered her career, and her very identity, after her work offended Islam. A fatwa forced Norris to become what George Orwell termed a “non-person.” Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses prompted the “religion of peace” to place a bounty on his head. Now there’s a bounty on Terry Jones’ head to the tune of $2.4 million.

Name a time when Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, or Sikhs resorted to violence as readily as do Muslims. Under Islamic Law both non-Muslims and Muslim apostates can face stoning or decapitation for their heresy. And Terry Jones is labeled a militant? Tell me, has Rev. Jones commandeered an airliner in the name of Christ? Has he lopped the head from an unrepentant sinner? Has he convinced young men to don dynamite-laden vests and detonate at bus stops for the glory of God? Friends, violence was an Islamic hallmark long before Jones struck his first match.

Burning books is a vacant gesture that, of itself, accomplishes nothing. Even so, the pyromaniacal Terry Jones has granted America a genuine favor. His irreverent act reminds us of both the virulent intolerance common to Islamic fundamentalism and of our own tendency to lay blame on everyone except those responsible. Rather than condemnation, America should extend gratitude to Terry Jones for highlighting two more flaws we desperately need to correct.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What a difference a war can make

How times have changed! The United States isn’t the imperialistic, blood-for-oil war machine that it was just a few years ago. We’ve shed the “I ride alone” image and become acceptable in the world community. Every charge levied against the United States following the Iraq invasion is yesterday’s news and America can again wage a just war. All we needed was a change of party at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Remember the arguments against President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein? Those arguments aren’t heard today, now that a Democrat administration has led us to war in Libya. Oh, I know President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton don’t consider the Libyan no-fly zone a war, but it is a war. When bombs are dropping, missiles are launching, guns are firing, and people are dying, that’s a war. No question about it. Ask any Korea or Vietnam veteran to describe a “police action.”

While hardline pacifists are stridently against the administration’s “rush to war” in Libya they have gained little traction compared to their efforts to demonize the Iraq War. Dennis Kucinich, Code Pink, Michael Moore and the usual culprits are screaming. But few among the Democrat leadership and their media allies seem to care. The reason is that their opposition to the Iraq War was political, not principled. Now, to borrow from Jeremiah Wright, the Democrat’s chickens have come home to roost. Factually, George Bush was on much firmer ground with Iraq than Obama is with Libya.

Bush’s detractors accused him of rushing America to war with no clear objective. Actually, Bush’s agenda was quite clear. The United States would depose Saddam Hussein and then help Iraq hold elections and establish a constitution. Those goals were accomplished. Admittedly, not all subsequent events unfolded as planned. Iraq’s elections produced Shiite majorities, which is the same ideology that holds sway in Iran, and their constitution amounts to Sharia Law. But each goal was reached.

President Obama has no clear objective in Libya. First he said Col. Gaddafi must relinquish power. Then he said Gaddafi could remain in control if he promised to play according to Hoyle. Obama has since reversed course again, and Gaddafi must go. We’re unsure of our objective, if indeed we have one. Even identifying our enemy is harder than in Iraq. Gaddafi is a loon no doubt, an unpredictable despot with a terrorist history. But the rebel forces we aid in Libya are linked to al-Qaeda and could prove worse than Gaddafi.

For a proper perspective on our current alliance, look at World War II. What if America had fought Nazi Germany in Europe while joining forces with them on the Russian Front? The scenario sounds ridiculous. But that’s what we’re doing with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Libya.

Bush was accused of acting unilaterally in Iraq. But his coalition for the Iraq War included more countries than Obama’s coalition in Libya. What’s more, Bush built his allies. Obama joined a work in progress and is quite comfortable passing the leadership role to NATO.

Did Iraq attack America? According to Democrats and their media lapdogs Iraq did not. However, reality intercedes with their convenient fantasizing. Iraq did attack the United States and our interests. Hussein’s forces invaded Kuwait, a move outside their borders that threatened international trade shipping routes. Hussein agreed to cease-fire terms upon Iraq’s expulsion from Kuwait. He violated those terms flagrantly and, yes, attacked American forces directly. No-fly zones were established over Iraq as part of the cease-fire. Iraq, however, fired on American aircraft patrolling those zones, directly violating the agreement.

Gaddafi’s government hasn’t directly attacked U.S. interests in years. In fact, in the last ten years the Libyan government acknowledged responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing and agreed to restitution for the victims, renounced terrorism (supposedly) and abandoned its nuclear and chemical weapons program. Furthermore, Bush’s critics charged him with involving America in Iraq’s civil war. So what’s happening in Libya? Vacation Bible School? Obama bears more guilt for interceding in a sovereign civil war than did Bush.

The Iraq War began without Congressional authorization. Or did it? Congress adopted a resolution granting President Bush the authority to use force, at his discretion, to combat terrorism wherever he determined it existed. And Congress authorized President Bush to use force directly against Iraq to ensure compliance with resolutions outlined in the Gulf War cease-fire pact.

The Obama administration simply began dropping bombs and firing missiles into Libya. No consent was sought from Congress. No strategy is evident and there’s no meaningful definition of victory. All we really know is that American forces are preventing a humanitarian disaster in Libya, where a mad dictator is killing his subjects. Wasn’t the same true in Iraq?

Does anyone honestly believe Saddam Hussein didn’t kill his own people? Tell that to the Kurds, upon whom he used chemical weapons. Tell that to the victims of the torture chambers U.S. troops uncovered after Hussein’s fall. What’s more, if humanitarianism serves as criterion for American air strikes, the bombs should soon fall on Sudan, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, North Korea, and a host of other unruly nations and authoritarian regimes.

The arguments used to implicate Bush as an international war criminal should also apply to Obama’s decision to bomb Libya. I’ll concede that America entered Iraq with some unrealistic expectations, but we weren’t meddling in their affairs. Hussein’s actions demanded our response. But even Robert Gates has found no compelling U.S. interest in warring with Libya.

Nothing mentioned thus far should promote sympathy for Muammar Gaddafi. He is a despot and an enemy of the United States. I’ll loose no sleep if he disappears beneath a Tomahawk missile. I also support our troops’ safety and their mission's success. Alas, there’s no appearance of a mission to support, no clear objective. The rebels receiving our support may be a worse enemy than Gaddafi; Obama has abandoned our military leadership role to NATO, bypassed Congress, and surrendered our sovereign authority to wage war to the United Nations.

The outrage that greeted the hawkish Bush has dissipated. The peace marchers who were the darlings of dissent when Bush was the target are today as irrelevant as Keith Olberman. Few people, if any, are denouncing American imperialism or Obama’s military-industrial complex. Obama hasn’t been labeled a Nazi and I’ve yet to see the first effigy go up in flames.

What a difference a war can make!

This article originally appeared on American Thinker.