Friday, August 28, 2015

This has got to stop

The story below surely shows once and for all how disastrous is the race rhetoric of Democrats and black race hustlers like Sharpton and Obama.  The rhetoric has created a great upsurge of hate among blacks towards whites -- by telling blacks that every bad thing any black suffers is the result of white racism.

So whites  as a class are in danger, regardless of anything they may have done as individuals.  We are constantly told that all Muslims are not to  blame for the actions of a Muslim minority but blacks have absorbed the opposite lesson about whites.

But I don't suppose that the Left will readily let go of all that delicious hate.  It may need blacks to kill a few  of the Leftist elite to get some caution out of them

Mr Obama could help by announcing emphatically that black disadvantage is NOT due to white racism.  He could also point out that black deaths at the hands of whites are a rarity compared with the other way around.  But he won't.  To renounce the white racism story would go against one of his own basic tenets.

So what is he doing instead?  Blaming guns:  As brainless and as irresponsible as ever.

A man who was fired from his job as a television reporter two years ago took revenge against the small-town Virginia news station by executing two of his former coworkers on live television, and then posting disturbing first-person video of the attack on social media.

Viewers of WDBJ, a CBS affiliate in Moneta, Virginia, watched in horror this morning as Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, shot dead 24-year-old reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, on live TV as the two were filming a light-hearted segment at 6:45am.

After carrying out the shocking on-air execution, Ward fled and posted video of the attack on social media while also writing about his grudges against the two young journalists in a Twitter rant.

He also faxed a 23-page manifesto-cum-suicide note to a national news station outlining his motives for the attack, saying he bought the handgun he used following the Charleston Church killings, adding: 'my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them'.

Five hours later, police cornered Flanagan a three hours drive northeast in Fauquier County, Virginia where he shot himself in an attempt to commit suicide. Flanagan initially survived the gunshot wound, but died not long after at approximately 1:30pm



How Nazism Explains ‘Moderate’ and ‘Radical’ Islam


If Islamic doctrines are inherently violent, why isn't every single Muslim in the world-that is, approximately 1.5 billion people-violent?

This question represents one of Islam's most popular apologias: because not all Muslims are violent, intolerant, or sponsor terrorism-a true statement-Islam itself must be innocent.

Let's briefly consider this logic.

First, there are, in fact, many people who identify themselves as Muslims but who do not necessarily adhere to or support Islam's more supremacist and intolerant doctrines.  If you have lived in a Muslim majority nation, you would know this to be true.

The all-important question is, what do such Muslims represent?  Are they following a legitimate, "moderate," version of Islam-one more authentic than the terrorist variety?  That's what the media, politicians, and academics would have us believe.

The best way to answer this question is by analogy:

German Nazism is a widely condemned ideology, due to its ("Aryan/white") supremacist element .  But the fact is, many Germans who were members or supporters of the Nazi party were "good" people.  They did not believe in persecuting Jews and other "non-Aryans," and some even helped such "undesirables" escape, at no small risk to themselves.

Consider Oskar Schindler.  An ethnic German and formal member of the Nazi party, he went to great lengths to save Jews from slaughter.

How do we reconcile his good deed with his bad creed?

Was Schindler practicing a legitimate,  "moderate," form of Nazism?  Or is it more reasonable to say that he subscribed to some tenets of National Socialism, but when it came to killing fellow humans in the name of racial supremacy, his humanity rose above his allegiance to Nazism?

Indeed, many Germans joined or supported the National Socialist Party more because it was the "winning" party, one that offered hope, and less because of its racial theories.

That said, other Germans joined the Nazi party precisely because of its racial supremacist theories and were only too happy to see "sub-humans" incinerated.

Now consider how this analogy applies to Islam and Muslims: first, unlike most Germans who chose to join or support the Nazi party, the overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world were simply born into Islam; they had no choice.  Many of these Muslims know the bare minimum about Islam-the Five Pillars-and are ignorant of Islam's supremacist theories.

Add Islam's apostasy law to the mix-leaving Islam can earn the death penalty-and it becomes clear that there are many nominal "Muslims" who seek not to rock the boat.

That said, there are also a great many Muslims who know exactly what Islam teaches-including violence, plunder, and enslavement of the kafir, or infidel-and who happily follow it precisely because of its supremacism.

In both Nazism and Islam, we have a supremacist ideology on the one hand, and people who find themselves associated with this ideology for a number of reasons on the other hand: from those born into it, to those who join it for its temporal boons, to those who are sincere and ardent believers.

The all-important difference is this: when it comes to Nazism, the world is agreed that it is a supremacist ideology.  Those who followed it to the core were "bad guys"-such as Adolf Hitler.  As for the "good Nazis," who helped shelter persecuted Jews and performed other altruistic deeds, the world acknowledges that they were not following a "moderate" form of Nazism, but that their commitment to Nazism was nonchalant at best.

This is the correct paradigm to view Islam and Muslims with: Islam does contain violent and supremacist doctrines.  This is a simple fact.  Those who follow it to the core were and are "bad guys"-for example, Osama bin Laden.  Still, there are "good Muslims."  Yet they are good not because they follow a good, or "moderate," Islam, but because they are not thoroughly committed to Islam in the first place.

Put differently, was Schindler's altruism a product of "moderate Nazism" or was it done in spite of Nazism altogether?  Clearly the latter.  In the same manner, if a Muslim treats a non-Muslim with dignity and equality, is he doing so because he follows a legitimate brand of "moderate Islam," or is he doing so in spite of Islam, because his own sense of decency compels him?

Considering that Islamic law is unequivocally clear that non-Muslims are to be subjugated and live as third-class "citizens"-the Islamic State's many human rights abuses vis-à-vis non-Muslims are a direct byproduct of these teachings-clearly any Muslim who treats "infidels" with equality is behaving against Islam.

So why is the West unable to apply the Nazi paradigm to the question of Islam and Muslims?  Why is it unable to acknowledge that Islamic teachings are inherently supremacist, though obviously not all Muslims are literally following these teachings-just like not all members of any religion are literally following the teachings of their faith?

This question becomes more pressing when one realizes that, for over a millennium, the West deemed Islam an inherently violent and intolerant cult.  Peruse the writings of non-Muslims from the dawn of Islam up until recently-from Theophanes the Confessor (d. 818) to  Winston Churchill (d. 1965)-and witness how they all depicted Islam as a violent creed that thrives on conquering, plundering, and subjugating the "other."  (Here are Marco Polo's thoughts).

The problem today is that the politically correct establishment-academia, mainstream media, politicians, and all other talking heads-not ones to be bothered with reality or history, have made it an established "fact" that Islam is "one of the world's great religions."  Therefore, the religion itself-not just some of its practitioners -is inviolable to criticism.

The point here is that identifying the negative elements of an ideology and condemning it accordingly is not so difficult.  We have already done so, with Nazism and other ideologies and cults.  And we know the difference between those who follow such supremacist ideologies ("bad" people), and those who find themselves as casual, uncommitted members (good or neutral people).

In saner times when common sense could vent and breathe, this analogy would have been deemed superfluous.  In our times, however, where lots of nonsensical noise is disseminated far and wide by the media-and tragically treated as serious "analysis"-common sense must be methodically spelled out: Yes, an ideology/religion can be accepted as violent or even evil, and no, many of its adherents need not be violent or evil-they can even be good-for the reasons discussed above.

This is the most objective way to understand the relationship between Islam as a body of teachings and Muslims as individual people.  It's also the best way to respond to the apologia that, if Islam is inherently supremacist and violent, why isn't every single Muslim so.



The Struggle for Economic Liberty

By Walter E. Williams

Here's my taxi question. If a person is law-abiding, has a driver's license, has a car or van that has passed safety inspection, and has adequate liability insurance, is there any consumer-oriented reason he should not be able to become a taxicab owner/operator? Put another way: If you wish to hire the services of such a person, what right does a third party have to prevent that exchange?

Many cities have granted monopoly power to taxi companies — the right to prevent entry by others. Sometimes this monopoly takes the form of exclusive government-granted rights to particular individuals to provide taxi services. In other cases, the number of licenses is fixed, and a prospective taxi owner must purchase a license from an existing owner. In New York City, such a license is called a taxi medallion. Individual medallions have sold for as high as $700,000 and corporate medallions as high as $1 million. In other cities — such as Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston — taxi licenses have sold for anywhere between $300,000 and $700,000. These are prices for a license to own and operate a single vehicle as a taxi.

Where public utility commissions decide who will have the right to go into the taxi business, a prospective entrant must apply for a "certificate of public convenience and necessity." Lawyers for the incumbent taxi owners, most often corporate owners or owner associations, appear at the hearing to argue that there is no necessity or public convenience that would be served by permitting a new entrant. Where medallions are sold, the person must have cash or the credit standing to be able to get a loan from a lender, such as the Medallion Financial Corp., that specializes in taxi medallion purchases. Medallion Financial Corp. has held as much as $520 million in loans for taxi medallions.

So what are the effects of taxi regulation? When a person must make the case for his entry before a public utility commission, who is likelier to win, a single individual with limited resources or incumbent taxi companies with corporate lawyers representing them? I'd put my money on the incumbent taxi companies being able to use the public utility commission to keep the wannabes out.

Who is handicapped in the cases in which one has to purchase a $700,000 medallion in order to own and operate a taxi? If you answered "a person who doesn't have $700,000 lying around or doesn't have the credit to get a loan for $700,000," go to the head of the class.

A natural question is: Who are the people least likely to be able to compete with corporate lawyers or have $700,000 lying around or have good enough credit to get such a loan? They are low- and moderate-income people and minorities. Many own cars and have the means to get into the taxi business and earn between $40,000 and $50,000 annually, but they can't overcome the regulatory hurdle.

Enter Uber and Lyft, two ride-hailing services. Both companies use freelance contractors who provide rides with their own cars. The companies operate mobile applications that allow customers with smartphones to submit trip requests, which are then routed to Uber or Lyft drivers, who provide taxi-like services with their own cars. The legality of these companies has been challenged by taxi companies and politicians who do the bidding of established taxi companies. They allege that the use of drivers who are not licensed to drive taxicabs is unsafe and illegal.

Uber and Lyft drivers like the idea of working when they want to. Some have full-time jobs. Picking up passengers is an easy way to earn extra money. Everyone is happy about the arrangement except existing taxi companies and government officials who do their bidding.

Taxi companies retain much of their monopoly because Uber and Lyft are prohibited from cruising. They are also prohibited from picking up passengers at most train stations and airports. But that monopoly may not last much longer. Let's hope not.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.

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