Thursday, May 28, 2015
Progressives and Conservatives seldom agree on anything. And there are root causes for this great divide that few of us bother to consider.
Progressives (also known as “liberals”, “socialists”, “communists”) and conservatives (especially “social” conservatives, and to a lesser degree “fiscal” conservatives) each maintain a “world view” that is worlds apart from one another.
One of the foundational differences is highlighted in the first installment of a Front Page Magazine article by Dennis Prager titled “The Differences Between Left and Right”. In this first installment one of the root differences is whether humans are inherently good or inherently evil. Or, putting it more mildly, whether we are prone to do good, selfless things, or prone to do less good, more selfish things. Liberals tend to believe we are inherently prone to do good. Conservatives believe we are inherently prone to do evil.
Many of our political beliefs and differences stem from these basic differences in world view.
The liberal/progressive predisposition leads to public policies that are called “progressive” in the sense of humanity always progressing toward a utopian future facilitated by a large “benevolent, all-knowing” government and elite academia that relies on “pure motives” to lead us “forward.”
The conservative predisposition leads to public policies that distrust government, favor the “rule of law” and a set of agreed upon standards and constraints the provide an environment that facilitates personal responsibility, initiative, and creativity.
I am a conservative because I am aware of human history, the folly and failure of just about every form of government, and the reality of current events. I consider liberals to be unrealistic Pollyannas. And I have observed that the Christian Bible has pretty much nailed the human condition – in more ways than one.
Conservatives who might believe that “progressivism” is the root cause of all error and turmoil around us don’t dig far enough down to discover the taproots. Those who fail to do this digging tend to be “fiscal conservatives” only, and believe that “social conservatism” is an irrelevant and bothersome distraction.
Social conservatives, of which I am one, believe that widespread, personal rebellion against morality and cultural norms, and the culture’s unquestioning acceptance of that rebellion, as we hear Michelle Obama encouraging graduates to “shape the revolution”, is the root cause of our nation’s failures and decline. Progressives deny there is a decline at all, and instead apply their faulty predispositions to continuing our failures. They can’t even admit that Islam is an evil ideology. They have a disdain for the distinction between “good” and “evil.” This is why liberals seldom admit to any wrongdoing. They believe they are superior to anything in the past. They focus on the bad things from the past while conservatives emphasize the good from the past.
A new book titled “The Great Divide: Why Liberals and Conservatives Will Never, Ever Agree” by William Gairdner discusses this topic in great detail. This book is worth a read even just for its many tables that ask “where do you stand” on topics like “human nature”, “freedom”, “equality and inequality” “God and religion”, “homosexuality”, “abortion”, and “euthanasia.”
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Both Bush and Obama have failed in our wars against terror in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Our “surges” have failed. Our “nation-building” has failed. Our “democratization” efforts have failed. As a result of these failures those parts of the world are now more unstable, dangerous, and hostile than ever.
Why do you think that is? What do these presidents have in common? Answer: They believe “Islam is a religion of peace.”
What do all of these areas of the world where our foreign policy has failed have in common? Answer: They are Islamic.
What have these leaders, policy-makers, State Department, and Pentagon done their best to ignore and sweep under the carpet? Answer: The truth and reality of Islam.
As Diana West has observed, US Mid-East policy has been based on “see no Islam.” (Read her column on this topic HERE.)
Over 90% of the population of the Middle East is Muslim – in several nations over 98%. Over 90% of those populations believe in or practice Sharia – a barbaric legal, moral, and ethics system at polar opposites from Western sensibilities.
Islam is not just “another religion.” Most of our population have a shallow understanding of religion, both their own, and especially different religions of others. Those who hold to a religion such as Christianity or Judaism tend to believe that “all religions have generally equal value. All are good in their own way.” They practice a form of religious “moral equivalency.”
That ignorance is the basis of our foreign policy and military failures in Islamic nations. Of all the religions in the world, Islam is unique. But we fail to admit to that uniqueness. Differences include:
- Its own legal system, “sharia”
- Its terrorist doctrine of “jihad”
- Its unique moral code that promotes lying and deception when deemed necessary to prevail, “taqiyya”
- Its comprehensive approach to life which includes not merely “religion”, but political, social, legal, educational, military, and terrorist actions in equal or greater measure as required.
- And most unique, the idea of suicide attacks in the cause of Islam which gains “paradise”, (very possibly with 500 lb virgins who never shower.)
Most politically correct but naïve, fearful, or complicit government officials, media and academia refuse to associate these unique attributes to Islam. Instead they either assume or hope they are associated only with a non-Islamic “radical” Islam. This is the practice of “see-no-Islam”, aka “ naïve self-deception.”
The belief implicit in our foreign policy that we can make over a population of a billion Muslims who have developed their unique and opposite moral system over a period of 1,400 years into our own image is downright dumb. We have failed to admit to the moral, and cultural system we are dealing with. We need to admit that it is driven for the most part by Islam, including all of its morally opposite supremacist, intolerant, and terrorist values that most refuse to associate with Islam. Only then can we fathom a foreign policy that deals effectively with those nations, tribes, and armies .
And this is why it is essential to effective future foreign policy that we vet our candidates, especially our presidential candidates, on the basis of their understanding of Islam, its doctrines, and how it motivates its people and leaders. It is time for “see-no-Islam” to end. Admittedly, there are also a lot of wrong-headed senior and middle level bureaucrats to clean out, especially in the State Department and intelligence agencies.
Up to this point we know that denial of the truth of Islam has resulted in foreign policy failure. But it doesn’t always have to be that way.
Friday, May 22, 2015
Some among us “conservatives” choose to shoot the messenger, in this case Pemela Geller. Their rationale? She is a money-grubber and seeks publicity stunts because she is in it to enrich herself.
This reaction, especially unexpected from Jews, is why I am a cynic. If those who are most vulnerable from the threat of the rapid spread of the vile Islamic ideology are hostile toward one of the more informed and outspoken defenders of free speech in this country against Islamic fascism, then we are indeed in deep trouble.
There are a handful of people in this nation effectively shedding light on the intolerance and terror the Islamic ideology promotes. Pam Geller is near the top of the list:
- Led the effective delay of the 9-11 mosque location (I have little doubt a mosque will eventually be built there)
- Running bus ad campaigns in major US cities countering the lies of similar Islamic ads, that, by the way, are anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.
- Speaks around the country to educate people about the fascism Islam promotes
- Publishes a continually updated website keeping us informed of Muslim atrocities, lies, and terror attempts.
- Places her life on the line being a front-person telling truths about Islam for which millions of Muslims believe justifies killing.
I was mistakenly hopeful that Pemela Geller and Robert Spencer (Robert is Pamela’s partner in the educational efforts to reveal and demonstrate the real Islam) would eventually be considered American Heros, not American villains.
But, you see, there is this suspicion that if anyone does any good, it is all about money – they only do good because they are greedy money-suckers.
I have been following Geller and Spencer for nearly ten years. I regret that I have not donated a cent to either one. And I further regret and suspect that the majority of their followers, people who look on these two as beacons of truth and sanity regarding Islam, have not contributed anything to them, either.
So, is this “money-grubbing” and “greed” accusation an excuse for something beneath the surface? I have no idea. I only know that such slander makes no sense to me.
Geller is doing the job our Federal Government and elected officials should be doing but don’t. We would be paying our tax dollars to the government to do this job. But this job is not being done by our government. To the contrary, our government is doing everything they can to convince us that Islam has nothing to do with violence, intolerance, terror, jihad or sharia.
I am thankful that there are people like Geller and Spencer who, despite the slander of being “bigots”, and “haters”, and “inciters”, and now “money-grubbers” that they are doing what they are doing and being a voice of truth and reason – essential tasks that our own government fails to do.
Below is the text of an interview with the winner of the Draw Muhammad contest, Bosch Fawstin:
Bosch Fawstin on Islam and Jihad
by Craig Biddle
Bosch Fawstin is a cartoonist, blogger, and creator of the anti-jihad superhero Pigman. Having won the recent Muhammad cartoon contest, a pro-free speech initiative sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, Bosch was in attendance at the award ceremony in Garland, Texas, when two rifle-wielding jihadists arrived to murder everyone there. Fortunately, moments after the jihadists opened fire (hitting only a security guard in the ankle), they were shot dead by a SWAT team.
As readers of The Objective Standard know, this latest assault by jihadists on freedom of speech is one in a long series, from the Iranian government’s fatwa on Salman Rushdie for depicting Muhammad in his novel The Satanic Verses; to the murder of Theo van Gogh for directing the film Submission, which depicted Islamic violence against women; to the attempted assassination of Kurt Westergaard for drawing a cartoon of Muhammad; to death threats against Matt Stone and Trey Parker for depicting Muhammad dressed as a bear; to calls for beheading Geert Wilders for producing the film Fitna, which showed that the Koran calls for violence against infidels; to the massacre of twelve people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo for satirizing Muhammad. Bosch Fawstin and the organizers and attendees of the Garland event are recent additions to this list of infidels who speak their minds in spite of Muslim threats because they know that freedom of speech is the last leg of a free (or semi-free) society.
I recently spoke with Bosch, whose drawing of Muhammad and Jesus covers the Spring 2015 issue of The Objective Standard. Three of his cartoons, including his winning entry, are included with this interview. —Craig Biddle
Craig Biddle: Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with me, Bosch. It’s an honor to interview you. And congratulations on winning the Muhammad cartoon contest. Your drawing is brilliant and profound, in that it captures so much about the nature of the problem at hand.
Bosch Fawstin: Thank you very much; that means a lot. And I want to say kudos to you as well for publishing an issue of The Objective Standard with Muhammad on it, something very few publishers have done in the West.
Biddle: Let me begin by asking what went through your head when you heard that shots had been fired at the Garland event?
Fawstin: I was on somewhat of a high, having just won the $12,500 award and standing on a stage with Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Geert Wilders. I was in the middle of an interview with CNN when my friend told me shots were fired. Now, I understand the threat we face—I’ve studied Islam as if my life depended on it after 9/11—but being in the middle of an actual jihadist attack was . . . I can’t find the words . . . surreal seems too easy, but it was just the latest reminder that this enemy—one our government could have long defeated by now—is getting to us in ways it never has before, because our government has not done its job in defeating it.
Biddle: Some people, such as Bill O’Reilly, say that publishing cartoons of Muhammad is pointlessly provocative, and that you and the organizers of the Garland event were asking for trouble. What’s your response to that?
Fawstin: Bill O’Reilly is a buffoon. He’s so far removed from the reality that we’re at war, that Islam is the motivation behind that war, and that Muslims are on the warpath, that his only concern seems to be about the feelings of Muslim “folks.” And he reserves all of his criticism for a woman (where are the “sexist” charges against her critics?), Pamela Geller, who showed more courage on that one night in Garland than O’Reilly ever has. The event was necessarily provocative to Muslims and Islamophiles who would censor us in the name of sharia—in other words, in the name of protecting them from experiencing their baseless emotions.
Biddle: Having been raised in a Muslim family, and having actually read the Koran, you are quite familiar with the religion of Islam. Why, in your view, are some Muslims bent on killing non-Muslims—especially those who criticize the religion or draw pictures of Muhammad?
Fawstin: Because unlike most nominal Muslims who are human beings first, jihadists are usually Muslims whose lives have gone sour and who are ready to throw it all away in a big bang where their lives, which have been devoid of meaning, can now be redeemed with a meaningful death. They’ve sold their soul to Allah and have been morally inverted by Islam to believe that the most heroic act they can commit is to “kill the infidels wherever [they] find them.” So in place of their mind, there’s only Islam, which dictates their lives. And that’s what led those two would-be mass murderers in Garland, Texas, to attempt to commit what, in Islamic standards, would have been a morally ambitious act.
Biddle: You’ve said that most Muslims are morally superior to Muhammad and morally superior to the religion of Islam. What do you mean by that?
Fawstin: What I mean is that Islam is a religion begun by the scum of the earth—I refer to “the Muslim world” as a world where the bad guy won. No matter how Muhammad and his gang tried, they couldn’t turn most of the human beings around them into monsters. Today, most Muslims—especially in the West—don’t allow and need not allow Islam to dehumanize them; they still retain their humanity. Unfortunately, they’re offered up as proof that Islam is just fine, when in fact it’s in spite of Islam that they’re not a threat to anyone.
Biddle: As you and others—including Muslims who take Islam seriously—have repeatedly shown, Islam is not a religion of peace. But some people claim that Islam is not a religion at all—because it calls for murder and other evils. The idea here is that religion is inherently a good thing, Islam calls for moral atrocities, so Islam doesn’t fit the bill. What are your thoughts on this?
Fawstin: I reject this fanciful myth that religionists are hell-bent to push. Islam is religion; it is also a political ideology—it’s a fusion of the two, and it uses its religious identity as both its shield and sword. 9/11 was an act of faith, or else Mohammad Atta and his fellow savages would never have flown those planes into the Twin Towers. They believed with everything they had that they were flying into paradise. When Bush uttered the America-crippling lie, “Islam means peace,” what he was really saying was “religion means peace.” He was a born-again Christian who was so beholden to religion that he gave a pass to Islam for religious reasons. And we’ve all paid a deadly price for it. And still to this day, there are those who bite their tongue about Islam, lest they suffer scrutiny for their own religion.
Biddle: You vehemently oppose calling the jihadists’ religion anything other than Islam—not radical Islam, not totalitarian Islam, not extremist Islam, not Islamic fundamentalism, not Islamism—just Islam. Why are you so strongly opposed to these kinds of terms?
Fawstin: Because any term other than Islam to refer to the enemy’s ideology implies that Islam as such is not the problem, that only some deviant form of it is the problem. Every time we use a term other than Islam, we’re helping Islam. I’ve gotten in endless arguments over it with friends and allies, but I believe that in the end, they’re going to see that Islam as such is the enemy’s ideology.
Biddle: You oppose Islam, but that’s a negative; that’s something you’re against. What, other than freedom of expression, are you for? What are your deeper positive values? Islam drives jihadists—what drives you?
Fawstin: Truth. Even when I was a nominal Muslim, I loved the truth, and it was that love of truth that led me away from Islam and eventually to Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism. I knew, even as a young kid, that I had to always do my best to seek the truth, to see things as they are, to be connected to reality. So by the time I found Ayn Rand’s work, I was ready to embrace her philosophy. Ayn Rand, in resistance to being called a genius, answered that she was simply more honest than most. And without Rand’s ruthless honesty, she could not have created the integrated philosophy that she did.
Biddle: In regard to the risks involved in speaking her mind about controversial matters, Ayn Rand said: “I’m not brave enough to be a coward; I see the consequences too clearly.” You clearly have the same attitude. What consequences do you see coming if people don’t speak up about the evil of Islam?
Fawstin: I see more attacks like the one in Garland, physical attacks against those of us who speak and write and draw in ways to which they object. I see an enemy further emboldened by what I call the scumedia, who are dying to tell offended Muslims the opposite of “I’m Spartacus”: “I’m Not Pamela Geller!” The Garland attack is a litmus test, and we have a clearer picture of who is ready to fight and who has already submitted to the enemy’s sharia restrictions.
Biddle: Our mutual friend, the late Joshua Lipana, reviewed chapter one of your graphic novel The Infidel in the Summer 2011 issue of The Objective Standard. But you’ve written other books both in that series and separate from it. And, of course, you have projects in the works. What are your main products to date? And what can you tell us about projects in the works?
Fawstin: Joshua wrote a particularly good review, and I have a blurb from him on my blog: “an engaging story driven by fundamental ideas and full of politically incorrect humor,” which I really appreciated. I began my career as a professional cartoonist in 2004 with the release of my first graphic novel, Table for One, which garnered two nominations at the Eisner Awards, considered “The Oscars” of comics. In 2009 I released my blog collection/print companion to The Infidel, called ProPiganda: Drawing the Line Against Jihad, which is the first print appearance of Pigman, my anti-jihad superhero. The Infidel is about twin brothers whose Muslim background comes to the forefront of their lives after 9/11/01. The twins represent me, as if I split myself in two, with one part of me becoming a born-again Muslim and the other a recovered Muslim, and that’s the main conflict of the story, which is echoed in the Pigman story with his battle against SuperJihad.
Biddle: Where can people view your cartoons and purchase your books? And how can they keep track of your work going forward?
Fawstin: I have my comic books, graphic novel, and my prints on my blog at fawstin.blogspot.com. I’m currently finishing up chapter three of The Infidel, featuring Pigman. The issue is as long as the first two issues combined, fifty-five pages, and I can’t wait to get it out. I also just signed a contract with a publisher for a project that I can’t yet divulge, but that I’m very happy to be working on.
Biddle: Thank you again for your time, Bosch. Yours is a voice of reason, justice, and benevolence, and the world needs to hear it loudly and clearly. Freedom depends on people like you.
I guess Fawstin has just reveled that he, too, is a “money-grubber.” And “conservatives” are in favor of capitalism? Really.
Tuesday, May 05, 2015
Reviewing media commentary about the event that drew the rats from their nest to attack the Texas “Draw a Cartoon of Muhammad” event, I am astonished at their casual and low view of freedom of speech and their lack of knowledge of the pervasively intolerant doctrines of orthodox Islam. I am especially disappointed by the reaction of many conservatives who I thought knew better.
There are two messengers: One, the messengers of Muhammad who mete out death for insulting Islam, and the other, the messengers who draw attention to the intolerance of the first messenger.
Rich Lowry, the Editor of the conservative magazine National Review criticizes the wrong messenger. He wrote that Geller was a “provocateur” and referred to others of “her ilk”, a connotation that does not put “provocateur” in the same positive usage as applied to George Washington, unless you’re British.
Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham and Donald Trump had similar criticism of the cartoon contest. I’m learning that some “conservatives” are as clueless of Islam as low information voters and have little regard for freedom of speech.
Here is another example of a “conservative” news organization, a Newsmax commentator, attacking the messengers:
At one point the Newsmax interview drew the analogy between the cartoon event and shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre. However, that “shout” was deemed an illegal act because there was no fire. In the case of holding an event that demonstrates that Muslims show their offense by shooting or beheading there IS a fire. Give Newsmax an “F” for Analogy 101.
Here is the winning entry in Pamela Geller’s Draw a Cartoon of Muhammad contest:
How offensive is that to western sensibilities? Only to Muslims. And Islamic doctrine contains dozens of other perceived slights that justify beheading or carnage. Which ones will we bow to next?
We heard much worse slanders of religions: Christ in a jar of urine; the play “The Book of Mormon.” About the intended ridicule contained in that play, one writer gave this reply:
Late last year NPR interviewed Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of television's "South Park" as well as "The Book of Mormon", and they talked about the LDS Church's response to the show. "The official church response was something along the lines of, 'The Book of Mormon' the musical might entertain you for a night, but the Book of Mormon — the book as scripture — will change your life through Jesus," Stone said. "Which we actually completely agree with. That's a cool, American response to a ribbing."
Not so with Islam. Orthodox Islam teaches that Muslims should be not merely offended by homosexuals, by women who have freedoms, by Christian who don’t convert, and by Jews who merely exist. They must ACT when they are offended. The acts they are urged to take when offended are considered immoral barbarism by the standards of civilized man. In their Sharia there are three options for the offender: Submission, death, or some other punishment deemed barbaric in our culture.
National Review’s Lowry, and others “of his ilk”, to borrow his phrase, are part of the problem. They condemn the defender of free speech more than those who would quash it for the sake of their fascist ideology. They apparently believe free speech is no big deal. Or perhaps they don't recognize the path Islam is taking to impose its doctrine of intolerance on what is for now a fairly free society.
HERE (click link) is an editorial defending the freedom of speech you apparently won’t see in US papers, this from the Israel National News.
Those who criticize the few brave souls on the front line confronting and highlighting the threat of Islam to our culture fail to realize this: Islamic ideology decreed many freedoms we take for granted insult Islam. And those who violate any of these Islamic taboos must be punished. What's going to be the next thing we should not "insult" under penalty of death? Check out Islamic Sharia - there are dozens.
The likes of Rich Lowry is one reason I don't subscribe to the National Review. He is ignorant of the doctrines and dangers of orthodox Islam, and is more apt to be critical of one who reveals the truth and evils of Islam than he is to call out the evils of Islam itself. Who or what is the "provocateur" here, the truth-teller (Geller) or the representatives of an ideology best known for its deception, intolerance, and terror?
I've been amazed at the ignorance and obliviousness about Islam among the self-absorbed US media, elected officials, academia and electorate for 10 years. I am especially disappointed at the comments about this event from "conservatives." They haven’t learned a thing in all these years.
It looks like we have a new brand of “conservative”:
CONINO - Conservative In Name Only®
Those who are critical of Geller and critical of the very few others who attempt to inform us of the slippery slope to tyranny that Islam promises, if they were consistent, would be critical of everyone attempting to reveal any unpleasant truth on any topic. But they are not. Their agenda befuddles.