Friday, January 01, 2016

Good Riddance To 2015, The Year Of The Big Lie>/b>

Thomas Sowell

How shall we remember 2015? Or shall we try to forget it? It is always hard to know when a turning point has been reached, and usually it is long afterwards before we recognize it. However, if 2015 has been a turning point, it may well have marked a turn in a downward direction for America and for Western civilization.

This was the year when we essentially let the world know that we were giving up any effort to try to stop Iran — the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism — from getting a nuclear bomb. Surely it does not take much imagination to foresee what lies at the end of that road.

It will not matter if we have more nuclear bombs than they have, if they are willing to die and we are not. That can determine who surrenders. And ISIS and other terrorists have given us grisly demonstrations of what surrender would mean.

Putting aside, for the moment, the fateful question of whether 2015 is a turning point, what do we see when we look back instead of looking forward? What characterizes the year that is now ending?

More than anything else, 2015 has been the year of the big lie. There have been lies in other years, and some of them pretty big. But even so, 2015 has set new highs — or new lows.

This is the year when we learned, from her own e-mails, after three long years of stalling, stonewalling and evasions, that Secretary of State Clinton lied, and so did President Barack Obama and others under him, when they all told us in 2012 that the terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans was not a terrorist attack, but a protest demonstration that got out of hand.

"What difference, at this point, does it make?" as Mrs. Clinton later melodramatically cried out at a congressional committee hearing investigating that episode.

First of all, it made enough of a difference for some of the highest officials of American government to concoct a false story that they knew at the time was false.

It mattered enough that, if the truth had come out, on the eve of a presidential election, it could have destroyed Barack Obama's happy tale of how he had dealt a crippling blow to terrorists by killing Osama bin Laden (with an assist from the Navy's SEALS).



No, leftists don't think like conservatives. Blame Plato

Liberals do not think like conservatives. You have probably noticed this.

Liberals [claim to] believe that human nature is essentially good, while conservatives believe that man is a flawed creature, and that we must exert great effort to be good.

The first Western philosopher who left a significant paper trail was a liberal. His name was Plato, and what modern liberals believe to this day can be traced back to his ideas.

Plato's Republic is the earliest written defense of the idea that men are basically good, and that they are prevented from doing good by, “Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil."

This is why people on the Left call us on the Right stupid or evil. Obviously, if you were smart, you would not disagree with them, and if you were good, you would be one of them.

Since liberals believe that human nature makes us good and ignorance make us bad, they seek to purify the world of ignorance. This is their rationale behind everything from “sensitivity training” for those who dare to dissent from political correctness to state-sponsored "re-education" camps and gulags.

The Left's fear of ignorance explains why they tend to oppose the free exchange of ideas: Some of those ideas might be "bad" and therefore dangerous. (Whereas conservatives are usually more worried about bad actions, not thoughts.)

The Left's obsession with criminalizing "hate speech" is an example of their fear of bad ideas. Professor Richard Moon -- whose name might be familiar -- told me that "hate speech" deserves less Charter protection because it does not "positively contribute to social discourse." He was referring to R. v. Keegstra.

Then he raised Bill Whatcott’s case, in which the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that since truth can be used to spread lies, truth is no defence, either. The Left says truth does not add value to the marketplace of ideas if that truth is inconvenient.

The Left’s fear of "ignorance" is also why they wish to control your child’s education. Plato suggested taking children from their parents to be raised away from their parents' contaminating influences.

In the recent past, a child’s education focused upon learning from the experience of the preceding generations -- not just abstract traditional moral truths but also hands-on skills, passed on through apprenticeships.

Today, however, children are separated not just from their parents, but from children of different ages and even from society itself, and all formal education takes place in a classroom rather than an artisan's workshop. (Nowhere are ideas more important and actions less significant than in a place where there is little action and lots of thought.)

Which is why the State is so concerned about homeschoolers “poisoning” their children with incorrect thinking. In State schools, kindergarteners can be taught to accept “gay marriage," and shielded from the "historical racism" of Huckleberry Finn; you can now graduate with a degree in English from UCLA without having ever taken a course on (potentially offensive) Shakespeare.

(And notice what the "corrupting influences" are currently considered to be? “Homophobia”, Euro-centrism and the past.)

It's not surprising that my transition from liberal to conservative began a few years ago, after I read about how the modern education system, a la Plato, was designed to turn children against their parents' values. Learning about how I and so many others had been brainwashed was the first step in rejecting this aspect of my "education."

Today's fashionable, Plato-inspired “Values Clarification” education doesn't teach children about the difference between right and wrong. In fact, teachers must even refrain from making comments such as "That’s good" or "That’s bad" when responding to a child’s idea. The rationale for “values clarification”? Again, the Left's presumption that people basically good, and when they use reason, they will choose good values because good values are more rational.

And of course, if you fail to "choose good values," the Left will pressure you to do so whether you want to or not.
Conservatives do not believe in this approach and neither did Aristotle, Plato’s student



Has America’s social fabric been torn asunder?

The government depends upon mass, voluntary compliance with the law for it to be able to enforce the rules on society as a whole.

Simple things like a general agreement that if the speed limit says 55 miles per hour, that we will travel somewhere in the general proximity of that posting, with the outliers risking a ticket.

The understanding that we drive on the right hand side of the road and that slower vehicles stay to the far right on multi-lane highways make the free flow of traffic possible.

But events over the weekend make a reasonable person wonder whether the constant fraying of the social contract has finally created a tear that is rapidly becoming irreparable.

In malls across the country, thousands of people congregated, not for the purposes of shopping, going to a movie or simply enjoying each other’s company, but instead with the goal of disrupting people from using the already hard pressed brick and mortar stores for their intended purpose.

At Minneapolis’ Mall of America, the radical Black Lives Matter group even went so far as to feint a protest so there would be a heavy police presence, allowing them to shut down part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport during the height of the Christmas travel season.  Beyond the obvious problem that their actions caused hundreds of people to miss their flights home, they deliberately placed thousands at an additional risk of a terrorist attack due to distracted security.

Mall disruptions also were reported in New Jersey, Kentucky and elsewhere around the country.  When combined with flash mob convenience store robberies and random assaults by mobs playing the “knockout game”, it would be hard to not notice that something is badly amiss.

Even our assumed driving rules are under attack.  On the Washington, D.C. Beltway, a group of approximately fifty motorcyclists caused a delay as they uniformly slowed down across all the lanes bringing traffic to a standstill. As they got moving again, they aggressively cut cars off from passing, and even went so far as to drive north bound up the south bound lanes.  There did not appear to be any political or other message in the motorcycle foolishness, but instead the mass act of civil disobedience seems to have been done just because they could. However, it reveals the fragility of our common understanding about the need to follow the rules.

While it is usually dangerous to draw broad societal assumptions based upon flash mobs at malls, roadways or even political protests blocking bridges, it is safe to note that these occurrences are becoming significantly more frequent.

And it is fair to tie this civil disobedience to President Obama’s continued attack on the law as a whole.  When the President doesn’t enforce the nation’s immigration laws, people naturally believe that if the law isn’t going to be enforced then it is null and void, and the fabric of our nation’s social contract is torn.

When Obama nullifies sentencing decisions for thousands of drug dealers and others, releasing them back into their former neighborhoods it sends a message that the system was wrong and the fabric tears a little more.

When Democrats in Congress urge Obama to use his pen and phone to circumvent Congress, they send a powerful message to their constituents that the rule of law doesn’t matter, and the tear grows.

And when the left and some on the right make those who seek to enforce the laws, targets for attack and murder, creating a schism of fear between the protector and the protected, the fabric itself becomes unrecognizable.

The social fabric that binds America together as one has always been fragile, and to complete the fundamental transformation that Obama strives to achieve, it must be torn asunder from top to bottom in a wholesale surrender of the current rule of law to another set of laws composed not through consent, compromise and agreement, but instead through forced acquiescence.

America should not worry about getting on a slippery slope away from rule by the consent of the governed, because we are already half-way down the slide and few have noticed.

As more and more people read the news and wonder what is happening to their country thinking that the craziness that seems to ooze from our government is an anomaly rather than the forced new normal under Obama, a ballot box response erupts if there is a trusted alternative.

Something to think about as we head into the presidential primary season.



The Greatest Murder Machine in History

When one thinks of mass murder, Hitler comes to mind. If not Hitler, then Tojo, Stalin, or Mao. Credit is given to the 20th-century totalitarians as the worst species of tyranny to have ever arisen. However, the alarming truth is that Islam has killed more than any of these, and may surpass all of them combined in numbers and cruelty.

The enormity of the slaughters of the "religion of peace" are so far beyond comprehension that even honest historians overlook the scale. When one looks beyond our myopic focus, Islam is the greatest killing machine in the history of mankind, bar none.

"According to some calculations, the Indian (subcontinent) population decreased by 80 million between 1000 (conquest of Afghanistan) and 1525 (end of Delhi Sultanate)". -- Koenrad Elst as quoted on Daniel Pipes site

80 Million?! The conquistadors' crimes pale into insignificance at that number. No wonder Hitler admired Islam as a fighting religion. He stood in awe of Islam, whose butchery even he did not surpass.

Over 110 Million Blacks were killed by Islam.  "... a minumum of 28 Million African were enslaved in the Muslim Middle East.  Since, at least, 80 percent of those captured by Muslim slave traders were calculated to have died before reaching the slave market, it is believed that the death toll from 1400 years of Arab and Muslim slave raids into Africa could have been as high as 112 Millions.  When added to the number of those sold in the slave markets, the total number of African victims of the trans-Saharan and East African slave trade could be significantly higher than 140 Million people". -- John Allembillah Azumah, author of The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Africa: A Quest for Inter-religious Dialogue

Add just those two numbers alone together, and Islam has surpassed the victims of 20th-century totalitarianism. However, it does not end there. Add the millions who died at the hand of Muslims in the Sudan in our lifetime.

Much of Islamic slavery was sexual in nature, with a preference for women. Those men who were captured were castrated. The mulatto children of the women were often killed, which explains why Islam was not demographically shifted towards the black race, unlike slaves in the West, who bore children to breed a mestizo class. Add in those dead children; and we arrive at well over 200 million.

Remember that in the 7th century, North Africa was almost totally Christian. What happened to them?

We know that over 1 million Europeans were enslaved by Barbary Pirates. How many died is anybody's guess.



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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