What popped out at me, today:
Steyn: Nicking Our Public Discourse:
The U.N. elections are a big victory for the Organization of the Islamic Conference. By the way, to my liberal friends who say, “Hey, what’s the big deal about the Organization of the Islamic Conference? Lighten up, man”: Try rolling around your tongue the words “Organization of the Christian Conference.” Would you be quite so cool with that? Fifty-seven prime ministers and presidents who get together and vote as a bloc in international affairs? Or would that be a theocratic affront to secular sensibilities? The casual acceptance of the phrase “the Muslim world” (“Mr. Obama’s now-famous speech to the Muslim world” — the New York Times) implicitly defers to the political ambitions of Islam. And, if there is a “Muslim world,” what are its boundaries? Forty years ago, the OIC began with mainly Middle Eastern members plus Indonesia and a couple more. By the Nineties, former Soviet Central Asia had signed on, plus Albania, Mozambique, Guyana, and various others. In 2005, Russia was admitted to “observer” membership.
But along with the big headline victories go smaller ones. These days, Islam doesn’t even have to show up. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has quietly pulled representations of Mohammed from its Islamic collection. With the Danish cartoons, violent mobs actually had to kill large numbers of people before Kurt Westegaard was sent into involuntary “retirement.” Even with South Park, the thugs still had to threaten murder. But the Metropolitan Museum caved preemptively — no murders, no threats, but best to crawl into a fetal position anyway.
Last week, the American Association of Pediatricians noted that certain, ahem, “immigrant communities” were shipping their daughters overseas to undergo “female genital mutilation.” So, in a spirit of multicultural compromise, they decided to amend their previous opposition to the practice: They’re not (for the moment) advocating full-scale clitoridectomies, but they are suggesting federal and state laws be changed to permit them to give a “ritual nick” to young girls.
A few years back, I thought even fainthearted Western liberals might draw the line at “FGM.” After all, it’s a key pillar of institutional misogyny in Islam: Its entire purpose is to deny women sexual pleasure. True, many of us hapless Western men find we deny women sexual pleasure without even trying, but we don’t demand genital mutilation to guarantee it. On such slender distinctions does civilization rest.
You need to read the whole thing to feel the full weight of existential despair it brings.
Washington Post: EDITORIAL: Obama’s invisible Islam
The Obama administration seems to have issued an internal gag order that forbids any official statements that might cast even the most extreme interpretations of the Islamic religion in a negative light. The “force protection review” of the Fort Hood massacre omitted any mention of shooter Nidal Malik Hasan’s openly radical Islamic worldview or the fact that he made the jihadist war cry “Allahu Akbar!” before opening fire. Initially, the Obama administration refused to even call the massacre an act of terrorism, much less radical Islamic terrorism.
Last year, the Department of Homeland Security Domestic Extremist Lexicon, which was pulled out of circulation in the wake of controversy with other department publications, listed Jewish extremism and various forms of Christian extremism as threats but made no mention of any form of Muslim extremism. The Feb. 1, 2010 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review discusses terrorism and violent extremism but does not mention radical Islam as a motivator, or in any context. The 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review likewise avoids any terminology related to Islam.
As Steyn says, “one is tempted to modify Trotsky: You may not be interested in Islam, but Islam is interested in you. Islam smells weakness at the heart of the West”.
I want to be fair and balanced, today, so here’s something sure to put a smile on your face:
Buzzfeed: The Smiling Chihuahua:
Doug Ross: The IED President:
John Hinderaker of Powerline asks, “Is the United States Greece?,” and then cites this factoid: The national debt in the US (on a gross basis) will climb to above 100pc of GDP by 2015 – a far steeper increase than almost any other country.
The Democrats in Washington are both too stupid and too ideologically committed to read the writing on the wall. They are leading the United States over a financial cliff, and they have no intention of turning back. On the contrary: if they can, they will hobble our economy further by enacting a carbon tax. There is only one way to stop them, and to save our children–from whom greedy, selfish Washington liberals are borrowing trillions of dollars–from a lifetime of debt. The Democrats must be voted out in 2010, and Barack Obama must be denied a second opportunity to deconstruct the country that he doesn’t much like.
Here are some dancing robots to help get that graph out of your mind:
McClatchy (?!) White House message machine spinning faster than ever:
Obama’s White House message machine employs more than 60 people directly, at a cost to taxpayers of at least at least $4.3 million a year.
Those totals, however, don’t include many more messengers who aren’t in the annual report on the White House office staff that’s submitted to Congress, including photographers and the communications staffs of Vice President Joe Biden and the National Security Council, all of whom are paid from different accounts.
They also don’t include hundreds of political appointees scattered across cabinet departments and agencies who were hired with approval from the Obama White House and who work with the White House to present a coordinated message.
In all, about 350 people work on the president’s message, according to Martha Joynt Kumar, an expert on the White House communications machinery and a professor at Towson State University in Maryland.
“It’s an enormous operation,” said Bradley Patterson, a veteran of the Eisenhower White House who’s chronicled the growth of White House operations.
The president himself relies heavily on the traditional paths to America’s hearts and minds, from a televised Rose Garden statement Friday voicing anger over the oil spill to his frequent gifts of exclusive interviews to favored TV and newspaper journalists from elite news organizations.
At the same time, he’s limited his exposure to questions in other formats — especially traditional press conferences — as his White House relentlessly uses the new media to supplement its selective manipulation of the old.
Ain’t that grand? We’ve got a full-blown Ministry of Truth operating out of the Obama WH, and we get to pay for it! YAY!
No wonder he’s getting snippy…all that effort, and he’s still not getting 100% positive media:
The president seemed genuinely angry today, on a beautiful spring afternoon in the Rose Garden. Having watched him on a daily basis for about a year and a half, I’m confident he wasn’t faking it.
He seems deeply upset about the growing calamity in the Gulf, about the environmental damage, about the irresponsibility of the companies involved, and about their efforts to shift the blame.
“I did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle during the congressional hearings into this matter,” he intoned. “You had executives of BP and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else.”
President Obama may have decried finger-pointing today, but he also did a fair amount of it himself. Not only at the three companies, but at previous administrations.
Not sure how this is going to make you feel:
An 87-year-old woman was arrested on felony drug charges today after she sold crack cocaine to an undercover Escambia County deputy.Ola Mae Agee of the 900 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Pensacola was arrested after the undercover deputy bought a $20 piece of crack from her, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ted Roy said.
And oh, in case you missed it, (and you probably did – as brilliant as it is – only 111 views thus far on YouTube – WTF people the stupid smiling chihuahua has almost 59,000).
Pass this along:
I’m going to go enjoy my rainy weekend, now.