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The Brutal Truth About Poverty (and Other Thoughts)

The Brutal Truth About Poverty

At a recent RNC meeting, former (and soon to be?) presidential candidate, Mitt Romney said:

THE ONLY POLICIES THAT WILL REACH INTO THE HEARTS OF AMERICAN PEOPLE AND PULL PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY AND BREAK THE CYCLE OF POVERTY ARE REPUBLICAN PRINCIPLES, CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES … AND WE’RE GONNA BRING THEM TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND FINALLY END THE SCOURGE OF POVERTY IN THIS GREAT LAND.

Pardon my French but, in a word, bullshit. It’s not that conservative principles can’t “end the scourge of poverty”. It’s that nothing can. You see, it’s all about the human condition.

On paper, socialism is the only economic model that wipes out poverty (and extreme wealth as well). The problem is that socialism is antithetical to human nature. Socialism makes no room for selfishness.

Capitalism, on the other hand, is perfectly suited to human nature. Unfortunately, like the balance sheets that document its progress, capitalism is a zero sum game. There are winners and losers, assets and liabilities, whole swaths (of people) that must be written off.

Anyone who tells you his ideology will wipe out poverty is lying to you. If you don’t want to be poor, the only way out is to work your ass off. No system is going to save you. And since there will always be those unwilling or unable to work their ass off, there will always be poor people. Poverty is here to stay.

Was She REALLY Raped – Part 1

Between yesterday and today the GOP-run House watered down an anti-abortion bill which originally allowed for rape exceptions if the rape had been reported to the police. Republican women objected and demanded the police report requirement be excised.

Folks, this is one area where the PC talk needs to end. In what fantasy land are women incapable of lying about being raped? If I don’t pay my bills with the reason that my bank account was hacked and emptied, my billers are going to want proof. Did I file a claim? Did I report the loss to any authority? Why is the charge of rape (a deadly serious crime) the only one that can be levied carte blanche with no proof whatsoever? Forget proof – with NO ATTEMPT to seek justice?

In the world of insults to humanity, abortion ranks right up there with rape. If we are going to use a crime (rape) as a reason for the drastic step of terminating a pregnancy, then there ought to be some evidence that the woman treated the crime like a crime and reported it.

Was She REALLY Raped – Part 2, the Cosby Edition

I have little doubt that in the course of a long marriage, Bill Cosby was unfaithful, probably more than once. Many men think with the wrong head and this applies double to famous men.

But the MORE women who come forth with drug-cum-rape charges against Cosby the LESS I believe it. It starts to go into Ripley’s Believe it or Not territory. A half dozen women? Yeah I could have bought that. But more than two dozen?

Why would there be a rush for the rape bandwagon? I have a theory. Bill Cosby was one of the few brave black men to pull the covers off the “black community” and tell young black men and women to get their act together. Blacks hate nothing more than one of our own airing our dirty laundry and calling us to task in public.

And in a community dominated by single mothers, who will take the most offense at failures in child rearing? On Larry Wilmore’s new Comedy Central show, “The Nightly Show”, an editor of Ebony magazine, Jamilah Lemieux, could not help but mention Cosby’s lecturing. Besides his former co-star Phylicia Rashad, you don’t see many black women (or women in general) coming to his defense.

Cosby broke the “rule” that you NEVER suggest black folk have any accountability for their own situation. Now he’s paying for it big time.

What do you think? The bar is open.

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The Left’s Longing for a Moderate Islam

Today’s post is by The 800lb Gorilla, a conservative blogger and acquaintance of mine for some years. The piece is a response to my assertion that many on the left are trying to distance the French terrorists, who executed the staff of “Charlie Hebdo”, from Islam altogether. In fact just today I heard a report that a Frenchman declared “they were not Muslims, they were terrorists”. Well of course, they were Muslims and the degree to which they differ from “the average Muslim” has as much to do with our perceptions as it does any truth, which Gorilla discusses below.

Some quick definitions to help with understanding the piece.

“dar al-Islam vs dar al-Harb”: The notion that the world divides into two parts, the “clean part” which embraces Islam and the “dirty” part which does not, and is destined for chaos and strife.

The Clash of Civilizations“: A work by political scientist Samuel P. Huntington who suggests that in the post cold war era, people will identify and oppose each other more along cultural lines than ideological or nationalistic lines.

“ummah”: Arabic for “community”.

And now, I’ll let Gorilla have the floor.

Liberal assertion: Some of us are trying to separate this tragedy from mainstream Islam.

Statement by Josh Earnest on fighting Islamist extremism.

Why?

There is a difference between radical Islam and “mainstream” Islam, but that difference is not Islam, it is the implementation of Islam. So when a “mainstream” Muslim talks about dar al-Islam vs. dar al-Harb, there is at least the perception and belief (on the part of the non-Muslim) that they are speaking metaphorically. However, when a radical Muslim speaks of dar al-Islam vs. dar al-Harb, there is the absolute assertion that they are speaking literally. The only difference between the “mainstream” and radical view on dar al-Islam vs. dar al-Harb is YOUR perception of the interpretation taken by either the “mainstream” or radical Muslim. The point is, it means the same for both.

I think the comments and actions made by Egyptian President al-Sisi opposing radicals are interesting, and certainly a positive, but I’m cautious in clinging to an iota of hope in a sea of doubt. I personally see a fundamentalist transition to Islam occurring right now. Muslim states are becoming more fundamentalist—not less—and that does not bode well for collaboration, cooperation, and integration with Western Civilization. That should concern us all.

I always found Sam Huntington’s premise on the war of civilizations to be interesting. It concerns me though that buying into his premise could make conflicts between civilizations a self-fulfilling prophecy. All the same, it is hard to watch what is happening in the greater ummah and not be concerned. Whether you believe it or not, Islam puts stock in the literal notion of dar al-Islam vs. dar al-Harb.

Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” host Chuck Todd noted French Prime Minister François Hollande had declared France is at war with radical Islam and asked Attorney General Eric Holder, “Would you say the United States is at war with radical Islam?”

Holder answered, “I would say that we are at war with terrorists who commit these heinous acts and who use Islam. They use a corrupted version of Islam to justify their actions. We are bound and determined to hold them accountable, to find them wherever they are, and then to try, as you indicated, to come up with ways in which we prevent young people who become attracted to this radical ideology from becoming members of these groups and perpetrating these heinous acts.”

Hamas French Heroes

The left has put a lot of effort—an effort not made by Muslims themselves—into separating Islam from Islamic extremists. The only reason, as far as I can tell, is political correctness and a short-sighted effort to demonstrate that they are more nuanced and understanding than anyone else, apparently to include Muslims. I think this is a mistake. The intent of radical Islam is to push the ummah towards fundamentalist premises within the faith. These aren’t foreign ideas, but rather are strict interpretations of notions ALL Muslims already believe. Absolving Muslims of radical or violent actions made in Islam’s name by other Muslims removes pressure from the Muslim community to self-regulate the actions and rhetoric of their own—and this is a critically important premise that you must understand. What you or I, or any other non-Muslim says, matters not. Islam is a way of life:

Until Islam pressures Islam to cease these types of actions, non-Muslims and Muslims will continue to talk past one another, and at some point, this is going to boil over, proving Huntington correct. Germany, renowned for their cultural and secular tolerance, is seeing more and more agitation towards Islam and Muslims in general. Following the Paris attacks, I’ll not be surprised to see France move in the same direction. The English Defense League (EDL) in Great Britain is another example. Many will call these movements racist, and admittedly I’ve not followed them close enough to really say if they are or aren’t, but I do know that the lack of cultural and national assimilation made by the Muslim community strengthens the argument made by these movements. Dearborn, Michigan is another example.

The notion that free speech applies differently to Muslims and non-Muslims should send shivers up your spine. Muslims are free to criticize and ridicule any other religion they want, but heaven forbid that action is reciprocated because elements within that faith might go bat-shit crazy and kill someone. How long before major areas of the world conclude it is easier to simply remove Muslims than to live with them?

What do you think? The bar is open.

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Charlie Hebdo Mourn Your Dead and Keep Cartooning

I was hoping to start the year with a light hearted post but today’s event in Paris makes that impossible.

Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine has been poking at radical Islam for over a decade. They were once fire bombed for their efforts but they kept on going. After a tweet “offensive” to Islam (oddly not depicting Muhammad, but ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi), about a dozen of their staff were massacred today.

In the 1980’s a photo of questionable taste, Piss Christ, was exhibited in public. The picture portrayed the crucified Christ submerged in urine. While the photographer received death threats, not a drop of blood was spilled. The same cannot be said when the image of Muhammad is “disrespected”.

The difference is, unlike fundamentalist Christians, radical Muslims are psychopaths. Anyone moved to violence by a picture or cartoon is clinically insane. Besides hunting these nutjobs down and killing them before they kill us, there is one other thing we must do …

KEEP ON PUBLISHING! Being offended has become a cottage industry in today’s society. That’s fine and dandy. Be offended and protest. But when protest turns to violence, violence should be met with more cartoons. The more violent the action, the more offensive the cartoons should be. Lunatics don’t get to make the rules.

What do you think? The bar is open for the new year.