Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Media is a Threat to America - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

And it’s destroying the country.

It’s always bad news for the media.

Verizon is looking to dump the Huffington Post. It’s the latest bad news for the industry in a year that has already seen over 7,200 job cuts across the media spectrum from digital to old-fashioned print.

Why should the rest of the country care about what’s happening to the media industry?

Same reason you should care about what happens when a crackhead can’t pay for his crack.

Like the proverbial crackhead, the media has two survival strategies: stealing and going crazy. These strategies are happening all around us and they’re wrecking the country worse than a million crackheads could.

Unable to make its business model work, the media turned to cannibalism. The print media began merging into bigger conglomerates, and, lately, the failing digital media has gotten merger fever. But the media can’t actually outgrow its problems, and the bigger organizations, after cutting jobs and outlets, still can’t make it work. But the mergers also spurred unionization in print and digital media. While the media bowed to political pressure and signed off on the unions, the costs are killing the media.

Unions aren’t just making it too expensive for the papers and sites they work for to operate, they’re also wiping out freelance journalism. The furor over AB5, a California law that makes it all but impossible for freelance journalists in the state to find work, pitted freelancers against unionized media members.

Personalities from unionized media outlets, the Los Angeles Times and Vox, defended AB5’s attack on freelance journalism. The debate soon boiled down to accusations of “scab” being hurled at freelancers.

While media unions are cannibalizing the outlets they work for and wiping out freelance journalism to protect their own jobs, they’re also cannibalizing the entire internet and social media by demanding that Facebook, Google, and other big tech companies, censor and suppress content from non-media sources. The media’s demand that companies embed their ‘fact checkers’ as gatekeepers is an assault on free speech, and is triggering anti-trust investigations of the tech companies that surrendered to the media.

That’s the stealing. Then there’s the craziness.

The impeachment push has the fingerprints of the corporate media all over it. Clinton cronies secretly laundered the Steele Report through their media contacts to provide the supporting “evidence” that was used in the FISA application. The origins of the Mueller investigation meanwhile, according to a former New York Times editor, go back to an illicit affair between Ali Watkins, a 26-year-old, and James Wolfe, the 57-year-old who headed security for the Senate Intelligence Committee. The affair was conducted with the full knowledge of Watkins’ bosses at the New York Times, BuzzFeed, and Politico. Another media affair case occurred earlier this month involving CNBC and a DIA analyst.

The media hates Trump, but it also loves clicks. And Trump has been very good for business.
The 'Trump Bump' has seen massive growth at the New York Times, and the Washington Post, which are also the outlets pushing impeachment the hardest.

"We’ve seen that anytime you break away from the Trump story and cover other events in this era, the audience goes away," CNN boss Jeff Zucker admitted. "Right now, Donald Trump dominates.”

The media’s 92% negative coverage of Trump serves a small slice of the country. But it’s a wealthy and engaged slice that will pay for subscriptions and engage with media content on a daily basis. The Dems, as a political party, spend all their time catering to this wealthy lefty fringe, and so does the media.

Follow the money to understand why every other word in the media is “impeachment”.

The media doesn’t actually want President Trump to go away. That would be economically devastating. And House Democrats know that they don’t have the votes for impeachment. That’s why they haven’t held a vote to begin impeachment proceedings. And why Pelosi has said that she isn’t planning to hold one. Instead, she’s giving the media what it wants, a circus of hearings that the industry can repackage as impeachment to its gullible audience that’s barely able to get through the day without crying jags.

This scam isn’t a victimless crime.

The media’s lies are radicalizing and dividing the country. They’re pitting Americans against each other. And if the media were to bring down the President of the United States, it would not only kill the goose that laid the industry’s golden eggs, its greed could bring the entire country to the brink of civil war.

The media is cannibalizing its own industry, it’s cannibalizing the internet, and the country.

The desperation of people trapped in a dying industry is understandable. But, instead of trying to understand and adapt to a changing world, the media went down an ideological dead end. And, in the face of extinction, it launched a high-stakes war against half the country and the internet.

This is a war that it’s destined to lose.

The entertainment industry lost its war against the internet. And its demands were far less grand. The media’s plot to transform into a fact-checking cartel that will control all content on the internet is doomed. And its doom will spread to Google, Facebook, and any monopolies that embrace its vision.

But, in the pursuit of this cause, the media increasingly advocates against free speech and spreads lies.

The media embraced Hillary Clinton’s nonsensical claim that she lost the election because of Russian bots, and made these paranoid claims go mainstream because they served its financial interests. The media used claims of Russian bots to demand that tech companies put its ‘fact checkers’ in charge.

 That’s Plan C. And C stands for Crazy.

The media’s desperate effort to stay relevant through a non-stop campaign to bring down President Trump has produced a blizzard of lies that is tearing apart Americans, not just for ideological motives, but for the financial motives of the industry. The media doesn’t care how much damage it does, as long as its metrics go up, and its jobs and its business model survive. That’s why it’s a threat to America.

It’s not just compromising national security. Instead, it’s compromising the existence of America.

The media doesn’t have a long-term plan anymore. All its plans are short-term. It doesn’t care what happens a decade from now or even a year from now, as long as it hits its numbers this month.

And if hitting its numbers means convincing a chunk of the country that our elections are illegitimate, that everyone who disagrees with them is a Nazi, or that we have to eliminate free speech, that’s fine.

The media has gone from taking part in a political debate to turning into a James Bond villain.

The problem is not, as the media insists, the First Amendment, or Russian bots, or Facebook. The problem is an industry that built monopolies around investments in outdated technology. These technologies, from the printing press to radio to cable news, were revolutionary at the time.

The internet killed their monopolistic power and they’ve been trying to rebuild it ever since.

The media would rather have a monopoly in a broken country, than live in a thriving country where internet content is too diversified to support traditional media organizations. Like Milton’s Satan, it would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven. And it’s turning the country into its own private hell.

The First Amendment was meant to protect speech, not industries. The media industry is trying to kill speech and is willing to kill the country to make it happen. But it’s the industry that needs to die.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.


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Impeachers Searching for New Crimes - Alan M. Dershowitz

by Alan M. Dershowitz

All civil libertarians should be concerned about an Alice in Wonderland process in which the search for an impeachable crime precedes the evidence that such a crime has actually been committed.

  • The search for the perfect impeachable offense against President Trump is reminiscent of overzealous prosecutors who target the defendant first and then search for the crime with which to charge him. Or to paraphrase the former head of the Soviet secret police to Stalin: show me the man and I will find you the crime.
  • All civil libertarians should be concerned about an Alice in Wonderland process in which the search for an impeachable crime precedes the evidence that such a crime has actually been committed.
  • Under our constitutional system of separation of powers, Congress may not compel the Executive Branch to cooperate with an impeachment investigation absent court orders.
  • Conflicts between the Legislative and Executive Branches are resolved by the Judicial Branch, not by the unilateral dictate of a handful of partisan legislators. It is neither a crime nor an impeachable offense for the president to demand that Congress seek court orders to enforce their demands. Claims of executive and other privileges should be resolved by the Judicial Branch, not by calls for impeachment.

The search for the perfect impeachable offense against President Trump is reminiscent of overzealous prosecutors who target the defendant first and then search for the crime with which to charge him. Or to paraphrase the former head of the Soviet secret police to Stalin: show me the man and I will find you the crime. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The effort to find (or create) impeachable offense against President Donald Trump has now moved from the subjects of the Mueller investigation -- collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice -- to alleged recent political "sins": "quid pro quo" with Ukraine and obstruction of Congress.

The goal of the impeach-at-any-cost cadre has always been the same: impeach and remove Trump, regardless of whether or not he did anything warranting removal. The means -- the alleged impeachable offenses -- have changed, as earlier ones have proved meritless. The search for the perfect impeachable offense against Trump is reminiscent of overzealous prosecutors who target the defendant first and then search for the crime with which to charge him. Or to paraphrase the former head of the Soviet secret police to Stalin: show me the man and I will find you the crime.

Although this is not Stalin's Soviet Union, all civil libertarians should be concerned about an Alice in Wonderland process in which the search for an impeachable crime precedes the evidence that such a crime has actually been committed.

Before we get to the current search, a word about what constitutes an impeachable crime under the constitution, whose criteria are limited to treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. There is a debate among students of the constitution over the intended meaning of "high crimes and misdemeanors." Some believe that these words encompass non-criminal behavior. Others, I among them, interpret these words more literally, requiring at the least criminal-like behavior, if not the actual violation of a criminal statute.

What is not debatable is that "maladministration" is an impermissible ground for impeachment. Why is that not debatable? Because it was already debated and explicitly rejected by the framers at the constitutional convention. James Madison, the father of our Constitution, opposed such open-ended criteria, lest they make the tenure of the president subject to the political will of Congress. Such criteria would turn our republic into a parliamentary democracy in which the leader -- the prime minister -- is subject to removal by a simple vote of no confidence by a majority of legislators. Instead, the framers demanded the more specific criminal-like criteria ultimately adopted by the convention and the states.

Congress does not have the constitutional authority to change these criteria without amending the Constitution. To paraphrase what many Democratic legislators are now saying: members of Congress are not above the law; they take an oath to apply the Constitution, not to ignore its specific criteria. Congresswoman Maxine Waters placed herself above the law when she said:
"Impeachment is about whatever the Congress says it is. There is no law that dictates impeachment. What the Constitution says is 'high crimes and misdemeanors,' and we define that."
So, the question remains: did President Trump commit impeachable offenses when he spoke on the phone to the president of Ukraine and/or when he directed members of the Executive Branch to refuse to cooperate, absent a court order, with congressional Democrats who are seeking his impeachment?

The answers are plainly no and no. There is a constitutionally significant difference between a political "sin," on the one hand, and a crime or impeachable offenses, on the other.

Even taking the worst-case scenario regarding Ukraine -- a quid pro quo exchange of foreign aid for a political favor -- that might be a political sin, but not a crime or impeachable offense.

Many presidents have used their foreign policy power for political or personal advantage. Most recently, President Barack Obama misused his power in order to take personal revenge against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the last days of his second term, Obama engineered a one-sided UN Security Council resolution declaring that Israel's control over the Western Wall -- Judaism's holiest site -- constitutes a "flagrant violation of international law." Nearly every member of Congress and many in his own administration opposed this unilateral change in our policy, but Obama was determined to take revenge against Netanyahu, whom he despised. Obama committed a political sin by placing his personal pique over our national interest, but he did not commit an impeachable offense.

Nor did President George H. W. Bush commit an impeachable offense when he pardoned Caspar Weinberger and others on the eve of their trials in order to prevent them from pointing the finger at him.

This brings us to President Trump's directive with regard to the impeachment investigation. Under our constitutional system of separation of powers, Congress may not compel the Executive Branch to cooperate with an impeachment investigation absent court orders. Conflicts between the Legislative and Executive Branches are resolved by the Judicial Branch, not by the unilateral dictate of a handful of partisan legislators. It is neither a crime nor an impeachable offense for the president to demand that Congress seek court orders to enforce their demands. Claims of executive and other privileges should be resolved by the Judicial Branch, not by calls for impeachment.

So, the search for the holy grail of a removable offense will continue, but it is unlikely to succeed. Our constitution provides a better way to decide who shall serve as president: it's called an election.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of The Case Against the Democratic House Impeaching Trump, Skyhorse Publishing, 2019.


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The Russia hoax: The Left's willful ignorance and denial - Patricia McCarthy

by Patricia McCarthy

It is about time that the media tools of the Left get up to speed on what is coming down the pike.

As we see and hear leftists spew their anti-Trump vitriol all day long on CNN and MSNBC and the others, anchors and guests -- Jake Tapper, Chuck Todd, Chris Wallace, and their favored guests, for example -- one has to wonder, has not one of them ventured to read any of the books or the vast number of columns written by real journalists that have laid out in detail how the Russia hoax was orchestrated? Who instigated it? Who paid for it? 

Even Friday, after hearing that the Barr and Durham probes into the origins of the hoax are now criminal investigations, they all dismiss this bit of news as, get this, a political witch hunt! 

Whereas they were actually conducting a secret search for a crime in deep, dark crevices where none existed, they now have the gall to call Barr's and Durham's investigations "political." How desperate are the Dems? So desperate are they, they are making very serious mistakes. Because they have ignored the voluminous facts of the Clinton/Obama conspiracy to destroy Trump, both before and after the 2016 election, they apparently assume the rest of us have ignored the true story as well.

So, while the rest of us have been devouring the hundreds of well-researched columns by John Solomon, Eric Felten, Lee Smith, Sara Carter, Jeff Carlson, Margot Cleveland, Mollie Hemingway, et. al. and books by Gregg Jarrett, Andrew McCarthy, Dan Bongino, Kim Strassel, the denizens of the leftist media have simply ignored the vast amount of information in the public realm that has laid out the many crimes of highest-ups in our most once-prestigious agencies -- CIA, FBI, DOJ and NSA. Can this be true? Have they really ignored the facts all this time?

Hugh Hewitt asks his new interviewees a couple of basic questions: "Have you read The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright?" It is the definitive book on the rise of Al Qaeda. Few have read it. His second question is "Do you think Alger Hiss was guilty of spying." It is shocking how many people have no idea who Alger Hiss was. Joy Reid of MSNBC had no clue. It's his way of learning how informed his guests are. 

If only someone would ask Jake Tapper, Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, Chris Wallace or Chuck Todd "Have you read Andrew McCarthy's book, Ball of Collusion? If not, why not. If yes, do you dismiss the facts laid out in that book?" But no one asks them. 

The Left simply dismisses any narrative contrary to their own conviction that Trump is guilty of numerous crimes born of their imagination. So chock full of facts and documentation are those books and articles, one must conclude they simply have not read them. If they do not recognize their existence, they don't exist. 

The Left, like small children, have their fingers in their ears. With the announcement that the Barr and Durham investigations are now of criminal wrongdoing, they are having a tantrum. Like the college students who shout down anyone of whom they disapprove, they are going to do their level best to shout down and discredit Barr, Durham and IG Horowitz. It will be a waste of their time and effort. Facts will eventually be the rule of the day. When the history books are written, Adam Schiff's legacy will be one of shame along with the rest of the Left that perpetrated a monstrous hoax to take down a president they hated for winning because he was not a member of their exclusive club of our self-appointed betters. 

It is about time that the media tools of the Left get up to speed on what is coming down the pike. They have been fools for the Left for decades, but their subservience might be about to bite them badly. If any of them, even one of them, is smart, they will start reading all the material they've dismissed as partisan nonsense and thus ignored. 

In a just world, only those who rise to the occasion and admit to the corruption that birthed the Russia hoax would survive. But as we all know, the media is anything but just. Despite spewing lies for three years, Schiff, Nadler, Swalwell and the other gullibles in Congress as well as media shills Maddow, Cooper, Matthews, Lemon, etc. will feel no shame. Not one of those in the media is an actual journalist. They are partisan activists who have all contributed to the most ruinous political scandal in US history and so are reprehensible. It may take a while but that is how history will view them.
Photo ceedit: oddharmonic (croppped)

Patricia McCarthy


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Australian legislator uncovers that country’s Bureau of Meteorology fiddling with temperature records to hype warming - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

Another frightening phenomenon foretold by George Owell

If global warming is real and a threat to the world, why do people keeping temperature records keep “adjusting” or “rectifying” the data to make it look like warming is increasing? 

From Down Under, a member of the federal House of Representatives named Craig Kelly – a member of the Liberal Party, which is conservative -- has caught that nation’s Bureau of Meteorology altering graphs showing the number of very hot days, so as to obscure the fact that 1952 had more of them than recent years and adding a newly “discovered” hot day to a more recent year to make it appear that they are increasing.

I quote and use graphics from his Facebook account:

Not only did the Bureau’s graph showing the year 1952 as having the highest ‘number of very hot days’ (and the year 2011 with the lowest number) disappear down a memory hole - but a new ‘rectified’ graph has appeared in another section of their website.

And surprise, surprise - the year 1952 no longer has the highest ‘number of very hot days’. The old graph recorded 21 very hot days in 1952, while the new ‘rectified’ graph shows only 16 very hot days.

Further, for the year 2011 - which embarrassingly for Alarmists previously had the lowest ‘number of very hot days’ going back to 1910 - the Bureau has skilfully been able to find another very hot day for 2011, (I wonder where it was hiding ?) so that year no longer holds the lowest record !

As Orwell foretold in the novel 1984 ..........
‘’There were the vast repositories where the corrected documents were stored, and the hidden furnaces where the original copies were destroyed. And somewhere or other, quite anonymous, there were the directing brains who co-ordinated the whole effort and laid down the lines of policy which made it necessary that this fragment of the past should be preserved, that one falsified, and the other rubbed out of existence.
Hat tip: John McMahon

Thomas Lifson


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Warning on Warren - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Her mechanism for imposing socialism is already in place.

As announced this month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The case involves constitutional issues such as the separation of powers, but there’s a lot more going with this agency. As Judicial Fortitude author Peter J. Wallison notes, the CFPB is “the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren,” and that makes a case for closer examination.

Her claims to Cherokee ancestry have been exposed as a fraud, yet Warren remains a leading contender for the Democrat nomination for president. In her 2014 A Fighting Chance, Warren maintained the fake Cherokee claims and also billed herself as an economic expert.

Nobody in this country “got rich on his own,” she explains. Rather, “you moved goods on the roads the rest of us paid for” and used workers “the rest of us paid to educate.” You were safe in your factory “because of police and fire forces the rest of us paid for.” And so on, the same Big Brother view as POTUS 44. If people are in financial distress, Warren blames their problems on the banking industry, portrayed as the flywheel of capitalist greed and trickery. That view comes across in the structure of the CFPB.

As Wallison notes, the CFPB was given plenary authority to enforce all federal laws that apply to financial transactions with consumers, and more. CFPB power was “broadened beyond existing laws” to take enforcement action on any action it finds “unfair, deceptive, or abusive.” Since “abusive” is not defined, this served up “a vast field for the agency to define and pursue.” Wallison finds this a “dangerous step in support of an even more powerful and uncontrolled administrative state.”

For example, the CFPB director gets a five-year term fully protected from removal by the president other than for “inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance.” This places the director outside the control of the president, “whose ability to pursue the policies he was elected to implement depends crucially on the ability to remove and replace the senior officials of executive agencies.” Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh is already on record that the CFPB director is the most powerful person in the federal government, aside from the president. And it gets worse.

The CFPB gets funding not from Congress but the Federal Reserve, and the money comes at the request of the CFPB director. And under the enabling Dodd-Frank legislation, the Fed has “no ability to affect the agency’s actions.” So Warren’s CFPB is beyond the control of Congress, and if the Supreme Court upholds the status quo, “it would be possible for Congress to create other agencies that are beyond the control of any elected body.”

Wallison finds that “even more dangerous to democracy than some might initially think.” Those dubious or puzzled might find a parallel in the so-called Affordable Care Act.

Americans had been accustomed to choosing their health plan but under Obamacare, Americans got only the health care the government wanted them to have. It was a complete disaster but cleared the way for Hillary Clinton to impose the “public option,” or “single payer,” more accurately government monopoly health care. First she had to win the election, and she didn’t.

In similar style, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, is groundwork for more government control of the economy. Based on the experience in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Eastern Bloc, Cuba and now Venezuela, that would be disastrous for the economy. Friedrich Hayek was on to that from the start in The Road To Serfdom but leading Democrats and their media allies don’t know Friedrich Hayek from Selma Hayek.

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and her groupies tout “democratic socialism” and all its “free” benefits, with no downside. They are regarded as the “far left” extremists, but Elizabeth Warren, allegedly more sensible, is by far the more radical socialist. Socialism involves state command of the economy, and Elizabeth Warren already has a federal agency to spearhead the takeover.

If the Supreme Court leaves the CFPB in place, and simply nixes the measure that forbids the president to remove the director without case, Wallison explains, “will mean that it is still possible for Congress to create agencies that are beyond Congress’s appropriation power.” That is a clear and present danger to democracy and the nation’s economic health.

As Milton Friedman noted, federal agencies are easy to start but practically impossible to eliminate. The CFPB, a beachhead for socialism, serves no worthwhile purpose. President Trump, should target the CFPB for elimination, and that would add to his roster of accomplishments.

The Supreme Court, with Trump nominees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, is expected to rule on Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by late June. On November 3, 2020, voters go to the polls. As the president says, we’ll see what happens.

Lloyd Billingsley


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Ribat: The Truth Behind “Muslim Enclaves” - Raymond Ibrahim

by Raymond Ibrahim

An ancient secret reveals what Islamic “No-Go” zones in the West really are.

Last March, 2019, Reuters reported that the “Islamic State’s last enclave in eastern Syria” had fallen.  “Its enclave at Baghouz was the last part of the massive territory it suddenly seized in 2014, straddling swathes of Iraq and Syria, where its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a new caliphate.”
While this was welcome news, it also prompted one to wonder: what of all those other Islamic enclaves, those unassimilated ticking time bombs that proliferate throughout the West, which are packed with ISIS-sympathizers, not to mention ISIS members, and which the West largely fails to recognize as such?  I am referring to those many so-called “No-Go Zones”:   Western cities and regions that have effectively become Islamic ghettoes.  There, Sharia is de facto law; Muslims are openly radicalized to hate infidels; non-Muslims, even police, are afraid to enter lest they get mugged, raped, or killed.

In short, the ISIS worldview continues to proliferate—and not in some distant theater of war, but right smack in the West itself (an internet search for terms such as “no-go zones” and “Muslim enclaves” demonstrates the prevalence of this phenomenon).

Although these enclaves are unique to the modern era, they have precedents in history and even a nomenclature within the Islamic consciousness.

Wherever the jihad was stopped, there, on the border with their infidel neighbors, jihadis formed strongholds, hotbeds of jihadi activities.  These became known as the ribat (رباط), an Arabic word etymologically rooted to the idea of a tight fastening or joining and found in Koran 3:200: “O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed [رابطوا] and fear Allah that you may be successful.”

In Islamic history, the ribat referred to the chains of jihadi fortresses erected along and dedicated to raiding the borders of non-Muslims.

The word ribat lives on, though few recognize it.  For example, Rabat, the capital of Morocco, is so named because in origin it was a ribat, whence centuries of Barbary/pirate raids on the Christian Mediterranean were launched.  Similarly, Almoravids—the name of an important eleventh century North African based jihadi group—is simply a transliteration of the Arabic al-murabitun, which means they who fight along the ribat (not unlike al-mujahidun, they who wage jihad).  In 1086 these “Almoravids” invaded Spain and crushed the Castilians at the battle of Sagrajas (or Zallaqa); 
afterward they erected a mountain consisting of 2,400 Christian heads to triumphant cries of “Allahu Akbar.”

From the start of the Islamic conquests in the seventh century till the mid-eleventh century, the quintessential ribat existed along the Muslim/Byzantine border in Anatolia (modern day Turkey).  There the oldest extant Arabic manual on jihad, Kitab al-Jihad (“Book of Jihad”), was compiled by Abdallah bin Mubarak. Born less than a century after Islamic prophet Muhammad’s death in 632, Mubarak committed his life to studying and waging jihad along the Anatolian ribat until his death in 797.  According to a modern historian, Mubarak was a paradigmatic murabit: he “served as a model of zeal in volunteering. His piety and asceticism gave him enormous strength”—he was known to “bellow like a bull or cow being slaughtered” when warring on infidels—and “his fellows continued to be drawn to his power after his death.” His Book of Jihad remains a classic among militant Muslims around the world.

With the coming and military successes of the Ottoman Turks, the Anatolian ribat continued edging westward, until it finally consumed Constantinople, the last bastion of the Byzantine empire, and most of the Balkans, reaching Vienna twice (in 1529 and 1683).

Another important frontier formed along the Duero River in Spain, separating the Christian north from the Islamic south.  For centuries, it too became “a territory where one fights for the faith and a permanent place of the ribat,” to quote another historian. As in other borders where Muslims abutted against non-Muslims, a scorched no-man’s land policy prevailed in the ribat of Spain.   Ibn Hudayl of Granada (d.812) once explained the logic:
It is permissible to set fire to the lands of the enemy, his stores of grain, his beasts of burden—if it is not possible for the Muslims to take possession of them—as well as to cut down his trees, to raze his cities, in a word, to do everything that might ruin and discourage him, provided that the imam deems these measures appropriate, suited to hastening the Islamization of that enemy or to weakening him. Indeed, all this contributes to a military triumph over him or to forcing him to capitulate.

After explaining how the Muslims intentionally devastated the Duero region—they later named it “the Great Desert”—French historian Louis Bertrand (b. 1866) elaborates:
To keep the [northern] Christians in their place it did not suffice to surround them with a zone of famine and destruction. It was necessary also to go and sow terror and massacre among them. . . . If one bears in mind that this brigandage was almost continual, and that this fury of destruction and extermination was regarded as a work of piety—it was a holy war [jihad] against infidels—it is not surprising that whole regions of Spain should have been made irremediably sterile. This was one of the capital causes of the deforestation from which the Peninsula still suffers. With what savage satisfaction and in what pious accents do the Arab annalists tell us of those at least bi-annual raids [across the ribat]. A typical phrase for praising the devotion of a Caliph is this: “he penetrated into Christian territory, where he wrought devastation, devoted himself to pillage, and took prisoners”. . . . At the same time as they were devastated, whole regions were depopulated. . . . The prolonged presence of the Musulmans, therefore, was a calamity for this unhappy country of Spain. By their system of continual raids they kept her for centuries in a condition of brigandage and devastation.

Why does this history lesson matter?  Because in many respects, the Muslim enclaves and “no-go” zones that proliferate throughout the West function as embryonic ribats: hotbeds of radicalization and jihadi activities targeting their immediate infidel neighbors—that is, their European host societies. 

From here, one understands why two Muslim men from “a hardline Islamic enclave in Dewsbury, one of the UK’s most religiously segregated areas,” were “arrested by armed police on suspicion of a terror plot.”  Or why “the largest Muslim sect in the UK, controlling half of Britain’s Mosques [most of which are in enclaves], hosted an Al-Qaeda associate of Osama bin Laden who spoke to numerous future terrorists as he toured their mosques across the country.” Or why even in the United States, “Muslim children attending mosques and Islamic schools are being taught to hate America, our government, our military personnel and its non Muslim population.”

There is of course one crucial difference between history’s ribats and their modern day counterparts.  Ribats traditionally formed wherever Muslims could not, by force, go any further, thereby becoming frontier zones whence the jihad resumed.  Conversely, today’s quasi-ribats—AKA “enclaves,” “no-go zones,” etc.—are not located on the borders of non-Muslim regions but rather in the middle of European nations; moreover, those entering in and turning these Western regions into Islamic enclaves did not do so by force of arms but rather because they were welcomed in with open arms.

If Islam continues to grow in the West, and if Western peoples continue to retreat (in a myriad of ways), it is only a matter of time before the West’s many Muslim enclaves evolve into their most natural forms: ribats dedicated to waging full-blown jihad on their infidel neighbors—a scenario that makes the fall of the Islamic State’s last ribat in Syria pale in significance.

Note: For more on the ribat, see Ibrahim’s book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West—which CAIR did everything it could to prevent the U.S. Army War College from learning about.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.


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Mathematics a tool of racial oppression, Seattle public schools committee says - Eric Utter

by Eric Utter

Condemning "power and oppression" in mathematics.

Something called the "K–12 Math Ethnic Studies Framework," created by a Seattle Public Schools "Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee," is intended to instruct students that math is intimately connected to racial oppression. Students will be taught "how technology and/or science have been and continues [sic] to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color." The framework, the final draft of which is scheduled to be completed by September 2020, will also attempt to "explain how math dictates economic oppression." That's correct: math.

Tracy Castro-Gill, the ethnic studies program manager at Seattle Public Schools, noted that the framework is intended to redress the fact that the district has not been properly serving minority students. Castro-Gill said, "The goal is to disrupt the status quo and do something different." Disrupting the status quo is the goal — and sacred quest — of all progressives. She added, "It's important to break down barriers while valuing our differences." Those of her ilk love breaking down barriers. And fences. And standards.

The framework curriculum will consist of four themes: Origins, Identity, and Agency; Power and Oppression; History of Resistance and Liberation; and Reflection and Action. Riddle me this: how is telling minorities that mathematical concepts have historically enslaved them providing them with a great service? Resist those integers! Free yourselves from the bonds of multiplication!

Here is how the framework characterizes the Power and Oppression theme:
Power and oppression, as defined by ethnic studies, are the ways in which individuals and groups define mathematical knowledge so as to see 'Western' mathematics as the only legitimate expression of mathematical identity and intelligence. This definition of legitimacy is then used to disenfranchise people and communities of color. This erases the historical contributions of people and communities of color.
Doubtless, disenfranchising minorities was surely the reason most famous mathematicians pursued their work.

Or not. Take, for instance, the number "pi," or π. It is a mathematical constant originally defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter and is approximately equal to 3.14159. It is also known as "Archimedes's constant" and is used in many formulas in virtually all areas of mathematics and physics. Would minorities truly be better off — less oppressed, as it were — without the staggering advances people like Archimedes, Ptolemy, Pythagoras, Euclid, Descartes, Einstein, and Alan Turing made possible? Would any of us? They took us from a time when people thought the world was flat and made it possible for us to fly to the stars. In between, their work ushered in countless advances that have led us all to live longer, less painful, more rewarding, enjoyable, and prosperous lives. They were the ones who disrupted the status quo to the betterment of the human condition. 

I don't want to get off on a tangent here, but Seattle's "Ethnic Studies Framework" is a sad sign of the times.

I can already hear the woke students protesting: "Hey, hey, ho, ho…'Archimedes's constant' has got to go!"

Eric Utter


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A Desensitized America Ignoring Ulrich Klopfer - Ryan Neuhaus

by Ryan Neuhaus

There is little evidence to suggest that the American public, or mainstream media, is concerned with a blatant assault on the right to life of 2,246 children.

It is a human tendency not to value something until it is under assault or lost, but in the case of abortion, there is little evidence to suggest that the American public, or mainstream media, is concerned with a blatant assault on the right to life of 2,246 children

When reports surfaced that the remains of 2,246 aborted children were found in the garage and later the vehicle of former abortionist Ulrich Klopfer, Americans were horrified. But not for the reason one might think. As the news cycle passed by it was seen that Americans were not horrified by the fact that innocent children had been killed, but by the fact that the remains had been unknowingly kept by an abortionist. 

Ulrich Klopfer (YouTube screen grab)

The gruesome discovery in Klopfer’s garage, and the national response, is a glaring reflection that society has chosen to hide its eyes from such crimes. Rather than directly confronting the fact that thousands of lives had been lost through the practice of abortion, Americans chose to look the other way and ask why Indiana’s most prolific abortionist would not dispose of the remains.

That realization should cause people to shudder. But the lack of media attention the story has received makes it feel as though no one noticed any injustice in the legalized active killing of 2,246 children.

A quick google search will show that the story surrounding Klopfer has thus far received little attention on national television news broadcasts, with the large majority of coverage coming from local news outlets. One would think that an acceptable approach to finding the remains of 2,246 aborted children would be holding the nationwide abortion industry accountable for their business practices and nationally illustrating the reality of what abortion is, the active practice of ending indefensible human life, but that has yet to be seen.

This is not the first time that fetal remains have been discovered to be kept after being aborted. Last year in Detroit multiple funeral homes were found to have over 60 fetal remains and the clinic of former abortionist Kermit Gosnell was described by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams as filled with “rotting bodies, fetal remains, the smell of urine throughout, blood-stained.”

Without implementing policies and guidelines which will restrict the inhumane treatment of fetal remains after an abortion nothing will stop abortionists inhumanely treating preborn infants in the future. A simple truth must be accepted, abortionists should not be allowed to hide infant bodies in their garages, throw them into landfills, or burn them for fuel.

A Gallup poll in 2013 found that American’s consider individual freedoms the nation’s top virtue. Such knowledge could lead one to assume that a people who consider individual freedoms as the nation’s top virtue would seek to respect and enhance the freedom of others. Yet, while such sentiments might be held by many, the lack of interest in the murderous actions of Klopfer have shown that Americans are desensitized to violence against the preborn, exposing a incomprehension of the most basic individual freedom, the right to life.

Too much media exposure to violence through television, movies, and video games, has been linked to desensitization to real-life violence. Such findings could be correlated to a lack of an emotional and rational response to the issue of abortion and stories like that of Klopfer as a study conducted by the University of Michigan, the University of Amsterdam, and Iowa State University, has found that "people exposed to media violence become ‘comfortably numb’ to the pain and suffering of others and are consequently less helpful" in dangerous situations. 

As society continually becomes more desensitized to violence, the threshold for potential shock value will continually escalate, leading some to question at what point will society stop and recognize the amount of widespread desensitization occurring.

Until then pro-life Americans will continually ask themselves:
How many more women are going to bleed out and die in an abortion facility?

How many more women will have to need a hysterectomy because of a botched abortion?

How many more infants who survived an abortion will be left screaming on a table before they die?

Only after confronting the devastating truth’s hidden behind false narratives surrounding abortion can society begin to reverse the real-life damages that have been seemingly tolerated.

Viktor Fankl, a renowned Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who survived Auschwitz, suggested in his book Man’s Search for Meaning that “the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.” While it is unlikely a Statue of Responsibility will ever be constructed on the West Coast, an important lesson can be learned. 

Liberty cannot be sustained without responsibility. If the American public desires to enjoy the blessings of liberty, and pass liberty on to following generations, it must first recognize and embrace the responsibility of protecting all human life from its earliest stages, to the final stages, of development.

Unfortunately, observing the current news cycle one can see that Americans are more concerned with their illiterate historical representation of Christopher Columbus, or the idea that climate change is the “battle of our time,” rather than accepting responsibility for the fact that Americans have allowed over 60 million children to be killed since 1973. 

Ryan Neuhaus is a Regional Coordinator with Students for Life of America


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France: The Headscarf Debate is Not about Headscarves - Alain Destexhe

by Alain Destexhe

-- the commotion created by the growing presence of the Islamic headscarf hides the more fundamental issues of how to deal with the rapidly increasing presence of a foreign culture that seems to keep demanding an ever-larger space in its host society.

  • The headscarf is, of course, just a symptom of a deeper problem: many perceive it as the symbol of an invasion by an outside culture into the public sphere.
  • This behavior seems to worry many French people, who see it as a direct attack on their culture and identity, and a desire to live separately from the rest of society and according to other values.
  • Behind those claims, they see the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood or religious ideologies, whose ultimate goal seems to be to propagate these values and impose them on the rest of society.
  • In the end, however, the commotion created by the growing presence of the Islamic headscarf hides the more fundamental issues of how to deal with the rapidly increasing presence of a foreign culture that seems to keep demanding an ever-larger space in its host society.

The headscarf is a symptom of a deeper problem: many people in France perceive it as the symbol of an invasion by an outside culture into the public sphere. Pictured: Women wearing niqab face-veils outside the French Embassy on April 11, 2011 in London, England, protesting against a law that came into effect that day in France, which bans full-face veils in public areas. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

France's Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, has reopened the heated debate on the headscarf.

Since 2004, it is unlawful in France to wear "conspicuously" religious signs or clothing in public schools. The interpretation of the law, as applied by the Ministry of National Education, specifies "the Islamic veil, whatever the name given to it, the [Jewish] kippah or a [Christian] cross of manifestly excessive size" as items that students are prohibited to wear in French state schools.

However, women who are escorting children during school trips are still allowed to wear a hijab. As an increasing number of Muslim women have been doing so, this has disturbed some teachers and parents. They believe that the spirit of the law -- that headscarves should be banned from schools -- is not being respected.

Recently, Blanquer sparked an outcry by saying that "the veil is not desirable" in French society. He added that this was his conception of "women's empowerment" and "the practice of women wearing a hijab during school trips should not be encouraged."

Reacting to another incident, in which an elected official from the Rassemblement National party complained about a woman wearing a headscarf while accompanying children on a visit to the Burgundy Regional Assembly, some well-known actors and academics published an op-ed in Le Monde accusing Blanquer of "stigmatization at the highest level of the state."

Blanquer's statement has created a deep division not only within French society, but also in President Macron's ruling party, La République En Marche ! (LREM). Christian Jacob, the newly elected president of the right-wing Les Républicains party, called for a new law banning anyone from wearing hijabs on school trips.

Members of Parliament from LREM condemned Blanquer's statement; even President Emmanuel Macron's spokesperson, Sibeth Ndiaye, said "she doesn't have any problem with a woman wearing a hijab during school trips".

Many are now calling for Macron to clarify his position on the issue. This is indeed long overdue. On many issues, particularly on sensitive ones such as Islam or immigration, Macron has repeatedly avoided taking a clear stand and prefers to remain ambiguous. He has become famous for repeating "at the same time" ("en même temps") when tackling a serious issue. According to a survey, 70% of the French people are in favor of banning headscarves during school trips, but many members of parliament from Macron's LREM party come from the left (mainly from the Socialist Party) and would not support such a law.

The 2004 law was adopted based on the principle of "secularism" (laïcité), which is enshrined in the Article I of the French Constitution.

The English word "secular" does not quite reflect the meaning of the French word "laïque" which is a kind of enforced neutrality. To many French people, it is a word defining the very nature of what it means to be French today. It is also a word central to the attitude of the French state towards religion. It implies a clear separation not only of religion and State but also between a citizen's private life and his religious beliefs on one hand, and his life in the public sphere on the other. The visible presence of Islam in the streets, schools, shops (halal goods and restaurants) and public life in general is seen by many as an aggression against the French way of life.

Based on this concept of secularism, a law prohibiting the "wearing of signs of outfits with which students conspicuously ["ostensiblement"] manifest religious affiliation" in primary and secondary public schools was adopted in 2004. This included religions other than Islam, particularly Catholicism and Judaism, although the issue that the law was intended to address was exclusively linked to the practice of Islam. But the principle of equality before the law and the non-discrimination laws made the application of the law compulsory for everyone, whether their religious conduct created problems or not.

The hijab is, of course, just a symptom of a deeper problem: many perceive it as the symbol of an invasion by an outside culture into the public sphere. In Europe today, there are more and more requests to build new mosques, and a growing number of women, particularly young ones, who now wear the hijab on the streets, refuse to shake hands with males.

The progressive Islamization of society has also had consequences in schools. Some girls do not attend physical education classes; theories of evolution are criticized during biology classes; and it has even become difficult to teach the history of the Holocaust in schools with a majority of Muslims pupils.

The Islamic distinction between halal (authorized) and haram (prohibited) has become a central question in the daily life of many Muslims in Europe. More and more young people observe Ramadan, fasting during daylight hours for an entire month, which makes difficult for them to concentrate during classes and participating in school gym classes, which are compulsory in schools' curriculum.

This behavior seems to worry many French people, who see it as a direct attack on their culture and identity, and a desire to live separately from the rest of society and according to other values. Behind those claims, they see the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood or religious ideologies whose ultimate goal seems to be to propagate these values and impose them on the rest of society. According to the Pew Research Center, the Muslim population of France, now about 9%, could increase up to 18% in 2050.

Many believe that if those problems are not addressed now, it soon might be too late. It will create a fait accompli and France will no longer be a single nation, but would become a de facto multicultural state where everyone lives according to his own values, history and culture -- a point of view described in the 2015 novel, Submission by Michel Houellebecq.

In the end, however, the commotion created by the growing presence of the Islamic headscarf hides the more fundamental issues of how to deal with the rapidly increasing presence of a foreign culture that seems to keep demanding an ever-larger space in its host society. That is why many would like to hear President Macron take a stand on these issues. They might have to wait for a long time or, to their despair, keep on hearing "en même temps" as long as he is president.

Alain Destexhe, honorary Senator in Belgium, former President of the International Crisis Group.


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