Guess who said the following: “The earliest defenders of Islam would defeat their more numerous and better-equipped oppressors because the early Muslims loved death — dying for the sake of almighty Allah — more than the oppressors of Muslims loved life. This must be the case when we are fighting life’s other battles.”
I know I haven’t asked a fair question. As Andrew McCarthy put it recently, “that leitmotif – We love death more than you love life – has been a staple of every jihadist from bin Laden through Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood killer.”
He isn’t kidding.
In 2008, the “Supreme Guide” of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad Mahdi Akef, while praising Osama bin Laden, urged teaching young people “the principles of jihad so as to create mujahidin who love to die as much as others love to live.”
In 2004, the 3/7 bombers in Madrid left behind a tape saying, “We choose death, while you choose life.”
Just to be sporting, here’s more of the same mystery quotation: “What are our oppressors going to do with people like us? We’re prepared to give our lives for the cause of Islam.”
Chilling, but not helpful, right? Similar death-cult code could come from any jihadist, from Mohammed Atta, in his night-before-9/11 instructions, to Anwar al-Awlaki, in his e-mails “ministering” to the underpants bomber.
But could it also come from a former Bush administration appointee? A board director of the American Conservative Union, sponsor of the CPAC convention in Washington where the newest batch of 2012 presidential hopefuls have been speech-o-flexing before 10,000 grass-roots activists?
The surprise answer is yes. The former Bush official and ACU board member who I am quoting above is Suhail Khan, a protege, you might say, of the weirdly influential, not-very-conservative activist Grover Norquist.
Read more here.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who is considering a run for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, veered from his party’s orthodoxy on end-of-life care Friday, suggesting the nation cannot afford to provide every treatment and technology available for every single dying patient.
“We all want to live forever. We want everything done to help us,” he told health care reporters during a discussion of Medicare and its financial pressures. “And we cannot, no one can, do absolutely everything that modern technology makes possible for absolutely everyone ’til absolutely the very last day, the very last resort.”
He added that he understands the urge by families to push for what may be futile care. “It’s the most human thing in the world,” he said. “Your loved one is in desperate shape.” He said “we can try this thing that has almost no chance of working” but questioned whether it is worth it, especially given that “it’s going to cost an incredible amount of money.”
Many health care experts have voiced similar views, saying doctors and families need to do a better job at making choices at the end of life, but the subject has been politically taboo.
Gov. Daniels would not say what policies he would endorse, other than to say he would prefer that families make the decisions, rather than the government. He also said he favored means testing Medicare so that wealthier retirees get smaller government subsidies.
And he balked when asked whether Medicare should reimburse doctors for taking time to talk with patients about end-of-life care. It was this type of suggestion during the health care debate that led to the false charge that Democrats wanted government “death panels” for Medicare patients. The Obama administration recently backed off a preliminary decision to reimburse doctors for this work; many suspected politics were at work.
“I don’t have anything more to say,” he said. “I’ve said that it’s an issue we are going to have to wrestle with.”
Read more here.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday, repeating the mantra of limited government that has rocketed him to stardom among a certain segment of conservative activists.
Easily garnering the most enthusiastic applause of the day, Paul advocated for a complete governmental retreat in every realm of society.
“We’ve had way too much bipartisanship for about 60 years,” said Paul, in comments that drew one of many standing ovations during the 25-minute speech. “It’s the bipartisanship of the welfare system, the warfare system…it all goes through with support from both parties. ”
“There is truly a revolution going on in this country. We live in a time where we don’t just need a change in attitude and a change in ideas,” Paul also said. “We need to change our philosophy about what this country is all about. ”
Paul, who ran a quixotic presidential bid in 2008 that caught fire with many fiscal conservatives and libertarians, added the crisis in Egypt is further proof American needs to disentangle from its foreign engagements.
“We need to do a lot less, a lot sooner, not only in Egypt, but around the world,” he said. “The people don’t like us propping up our dictators no more than we would like it if a foreign country propped up a dictator here.”
Paul was the winner of the straw poll here last year, and, judging by the reception of the over-capacity crowd, is a favorite to win again. This year’s straw poll will be closely watched given the annual event has become an early testing ground for potential GOP presidential candidates.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared Saturday that President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda is “over,” but said GOP lawmakers are willing to work with the White House to do what they “think is right for America.”
In a speech Saturday night to a GOP crowd in his hometown, the Kentucky Republican derided Obama for performing “Clintonian back flips” to portray himself as a moderate, but said it’s yet to be seen whether the new tone is “rhetoric or reality.”
McConnell, who in the past has touted his ability to bring federal spending to Kentucky, took a hard line on cutting federal spending. He said the Democratic president’s credentials on spending and debt “are horrible, and he earned it.”
But McConnell said that congressional Republicans — who took control of the House and increased their numbers in the Senate following last year’s election — are “prepared to do business” with Obama.
“And to the extent that the president wants to do what we think is right for America, we won’t say ‘no’ simply because there’s an election coming along,” said McConnell.
After the fall elections, McConnell was criticized for saying his No. 1 goal was to make Obama a one-term president. But he later worked with the president to push through an extension of Bush administration tax cuts, including for top-earners.
Still, McConnell drew cheers from the partisan crowd when he declared: “The legislative agenda of Barack Obama is over.”
McConnell also laid out the strategy of Senate Republicans, saying, “Whatever the House can get out of the House with a majority vote is the goal of the Senate.”
Read more here.
Last week a severe storm froze Dallas under a sheet of ice, just in time to disrupt the plans of the tens of thousands of (American) football fans descending on the city for the Super Bowl. On the other side of the globe, Cyclone Yasi slammed northeastern Australia, destroying homes and crops and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
Some climate alarmists would have us believe that these storms are yet another baleful consequence of man-made CO2 emissions. In addition to the latest weather events, they also point to recent cyclones in Burma, last winter’s fatal chills in Nepal and Bangladesh, December’s blizzards in Britain, and every other drought, typhoon and unseasonable heat wave around the world.
But is it true? To answer that question, you need to understand whether recent weather trends are extreme by historical standards. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project is the latest attempt to find out, using super-computers to generate a dataset of global atmospheric circulation from 1871 to the present.
As it happens, the project’s initial findings, published last month, show no evidence of an intensifying weather trend. “In the climate models, the extremes get more extreme as we move into a doubled CO2 world in 100 years,” atmospheric scientist Gilbert Compo, one of the researchers on the project, tells me from his office at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “So we were surprised that none of the three major indices of climate variability that we used show a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871.”
In other words, researchers have yet to find evidence of more-extreme weather patterns over the period, contrary to what the models predict. “There’s no data-driven answer yet to the question of how human activity has affected extreme weather,” adds Roger Pielke Jr., another University of Colorado climate researcher.
We do know that carbon dioxide and other gases trap and re-radiate heat. We also know that humans have emitted ever-more of these gases since the Industrial Revolution. What we don’t know is exactly how sensitive the climate is to increases in these gases versus other possible factors—solar variability, oceanic currents, Pacific heating and cooling cycles, planets’ gravitational and magnetic oscillations, and so on.
Read more here.
Coercion and evil are two things most of us believe are negative, things that should not be part of our lives as free individuals. Yet the insidious nature of the corruption of the American experiment has allowed us to turn a blind eye to our oppression, compelling us to focus on insignificant choices in entertainment and distraction while the chains that bind us grow thicker and heavier. Our nation was founded on the premise that the individual; his life, liberty and property, was supreme, that a man was the master of his fate unencumbered by the advantages or disadvantages of birth, that the fruits of his labor belonged to himself alone, that his freedom of action was limited only by the prohibition of violating the natural rights of another. The Constitution was a compact of individuals, “We the people.” In our constitutional republic the individual is sovereign and is the source of all government authority, he is supreme even over the constitution itself, subject only to the natural law of the Creator. The Constitution defines the authority voluntarily relinquished to public servants who are constrained by the law. The legal authority of the government to use physical force to compel obedience or punish wrongdoing is strictly limited to specifically defined areas and can only be utilized after due process.
Today that ideal is upside down. We have allowed the system to be turned on its head so the individual is now at the bottom; a serf, a subject, a slave to a system in which an elite cartel of interests utilize the power of government to consolidate and expand their power and wealth. We, our children and our grandchildren exist to serve the needs of the state as opposed to the state existing only to serve our specifically defined wishes. Through “public” education and media the ruling class has convinced us that democracy exists. However, if our choices consist only of two parties which, despite their rhetoric, pursuing the same basic goals and policies, serve only to enslave us to an ever expanding government and whose real power has diminished as that of the ever expanding bureaucracy has grown, can we really say we live in a system substantially different than that of the one party autocratic rule we have been taught to deride around the world?
Coercion is defined as the use of force to compel or restrain. It is the use of force, or the threat to use force, to make us do something we would not freely choose to do. When a mugger accosts you on the street with a gun, he is threatening to use deadly force to compel you to give him something valuable, the products of your labor, that you otherwise would not relinquish. That is an example of coercion we can all understand. A thief stealing your property or even your life is wrong, no one questions that. Yet when the government uses the threat of force, fine or imprisonment, to coerce us to relinquish our property for purposes not in our contract or to give it to someone else, we meekly submit to the injustice. When the government uses the threat of force through an army of bureaucrats in its multitude of agencies to target businesses who create products or provide services they don’t approve of or are politically incorrect at the moment, we accept it as the government working in our best interest even as it eliminates our freedom to choose what we believe is best for us. When the government approves dangerous drugs or withholds experimental treatments from desperate people, no one protests. When the government threatens parents with fines or imprisonment if they don’t send their children to the government indoctrination centers we call public schools and hold the power over our very homes if we refuse to pay for such a horrendous failure of a system, we timidly surrender. When, through the draft or “selective service,” the government asserts a claim on our very lives, we hardly whimper. Certainly the government does not yet have the resources to prosecute every minor infraction but by selectively targeting those who dare to raise their heads above the herd, they can keep the rest of us living in fear. In other countries where a small group uses force to target highly visible people or organizations in order to bring about a political result or shape public opinion we call it terrorism. Yet individuals and business in this country live in fear of the IRS, the EPA, the FDA, OSHA and a host of other government agencies and their supporters and we accept it as normal!
Evil is “having bad natural qualities”, something that causes harm, sorrow, distress or calamity. At what point did we stop looking at government as did Thomas Paine? “Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.” Or George Washington who said, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire a troublesome servant and a fearfulsome master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” Yet it is before the altar of government we kneel in supplication. Through our inattention and inaction we have allowed it to become irresponsible and intolerable. We have forgotten who we are as free men and women. We have ceased to be the informed and educated people we once were. We have allowed ourselves to be bought off with other people’s money. We have deluded ourselves into believing we can use government for our own benefit. We have become isolated and distracted. We have been conditioned to tolerate the gravest injustices and the theft of our property, our lives and our souls. The greater the evil has grown, the more blind we have become and the more difficult it is to confront.
Confront it we must, if we and our posterity are to live free of oppression and tyranny. Our national government, though its unbridled quest for power, has spent too much to buy us off and whose oppression of those who cannot be bought off is becoming all to obvious. It has caused harm, sorrow and distress to our culture, our families and to the very fabric of our lives. Calamity is soon to follow. It is time to wake up and recognize the power of the individual. It is time we rose up and declared our sovereignty in the face of oppression. It is time we stopped playing the game of the tyrants and enforced the original rules. Our time is now. No less than the time of the revolution, “the times that tried men’s souls” when the enemies of freedom seemed overwhelming, today is the day when true patriots must be willing to pledge their lives, fortunes and sacred honor, to make the sacrifices necessary so the next generation can enjoy the fruits of liberty, free from the terrorism of our current oppressors.
A Salvadoran man who was ordered deported nearly a decade ago but never left has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in a series of shootings and a knife attack in a Virginia suburb of Washington, authorities said Friday.
Jose Oswaldo Reyes Alfaro, an illegal immigrant, was charged in the pair of attacks blocks apart Thursday night that left three people dead and three others injured, Manassas Police Chief Doug Keen said.
Reyes Alfaro knew all of the victims, he said, but police were still sorting out the exact relationships. The county’s chief prosecutor said he’ll likely seek to upgrade the charges to capital murder, which could carry the death penalty.
The killings touched off further discussion of illegal immigration in Manassas and surrounding Prince William County, which was one of the early flashpoints in the national debate over whether local authorities should play a role in enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.
“It’s another abject failure of the federal government,” said state Delegate Jackson Miller, R-Manassas, a former city council member and police officer. “Now we have three innocent victims in my city — about a mile from my house there’s a murderous rampage. I am furious. … Yet it happens over and over and over again, and then we have to hear all of these apologetic excuses as to why we shouldn’t be addressing criminal illegal aliens on the state or local level. It’s just disgusting.”
Read more here.
When someone says they don’t think President Barack Obama is actually a Christian, the expectation would be that they think he’s secretly a Muslim. Not Bill Maher. On HBO’s Real Time, in the process of arguing that Obama’s not really a centrist politically, Maher also revealed that he doesn’t think Obama’s actually Christian, either, but rather a secular humanist.
The belief Maher apparently holds – that Obama isn’t actually a Christian, but merely pretends to be one to keep up appearances for the sake of his political career – strikes me as one of the most cynical things anyone could possibly believe about Obama.