Thursday, February 19, 2015

ISIS too Evil for Civilized Minds to Process

I didn’t watch that video of Islamic State butchers beheading twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians on Libya’s Mediterranean coast. The still photos of the terrorists leading the Christians to their doom told me all I wanted to know.

I just finished a book on the Nazi’s death camp Auschwitz authored by Miklos Nyiszli, a Hungarian Jew who served as Dr. Josef Mengele’s pathologist for nine months in 1944. The book presents a jarring narrative of Mengele’s cruelty, Nazi psychopathy and the appalling industrialization of murder from the viewpoint of a man who spent most of a year staring into the Auschwitz maw.

Nyiszli served with Auschwitz’s 12th Sonderkommando. The Sonderkommando was a group of about 800 inmates who helped shepherd the Jews into the gas chambers and then stacked the dead bodies into the crematoriums. In exchange for this grizzly work, the Sonderkommando were well fed, well clothed and provided with comfortable quarters. Each Sonderkommando served four months and was then executed. Their successors’ first task was to load the previous Sonderkommando’s remains into the crematoriums for disposal.

Every Sonderkommando knew its fate and could predict the approximate date of its annihilation. And yet all but one marched meekly to their deaths.

A remarkable part of Nyiszli’s book is the scathing forward, written by Bruno Bettelheim. Bettelheim savaged the book’s author and the Jewish submission to the Nazis. Stories of Jews marching obediently to their deaths remain one of the enduring mysteries of the holocaust.

But as those Coptic Christians demonstrated, such submission is not unique to Jews. And I’m beginning to think that those Coptics’ acceptance of their fate serves as a metaphor for the entire civilized world’s submission to ISIS savagery. We’re not putting up serious opposition and it’s our government’s official position that we’re not actually at war with these barbarians.

This last Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder denied that we were at a war. One of Obama’s first priorities as president was to treat terrorism as a law enforcement problem. And the nation’s top law enforcement officer says, “What war?”

On that same day, at a conference on “violent extremism,” Vice President Joe Biden, who was selected to give Obama “gravitas” in foreign policy, declared himself an expert on Somalia because he had taken so many rides from Somali taxi cab drivers.

And to top it all off, the previous evening, during an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf insisted that, to fight terrorism, we need to create jobs in Islamic countries. No doubt raising the minimum wage would help too.

What all these people need to do is read an exhaustively researched essay by Graeme Wood in the March issue of Atlantic Monthly titled: “What ISIS Really Wants.”

Wood interviewed Islamic State recruiters and spokesmen in western countries, as well as the world’s leading Islamic scholars. Because he prefers his head on his shoulders, he declined to visit the Islamic State. What he found was that, for the true believer, the Islamic State is the purest manifestation of Islam since the 7th century. The allure of the Islamic State for fundamentalist Muslims is attributable to its strict adherence to the Koran. Muslims who have been taught all their lives to pray for the restoration of a caliphate have their first legitimate caliph in a millennium.

ISIS slave markets, ISIS crucifixion of children, ISIS rape of women, and ISIS burning and beheading of non-Muslims and Muslims who exhibit insufficient purity are not just permitted by the Koran, but required by Mohammed’s teaching.

They don’t want jobs. They want Paradise. Theirs is an apocalyptic doctrine that has as its ultimate goal, hastening the end of the world.

And it is the official policy of the Obama administration that if we could create jobs for them, busting tires, flipping burgers, or manning phones in call centers, Muslims and Christians could live together in perfect harmony.

So here we are, marching ourselves into oblivion like the Jews of Auschwitz with our own government operating the crematoriums. There was nothing unique about the European Jews submission to Hitler’s domination. Their civilized minds simply could not intellectually process the Nazis’ depravity. Similarly, too much of western civilization refuses to admit the reality of the Islamic State.

And there are even those who seem to think we have it coming. Our own president ignorantly repeats the Muslim propaganda that the Crusades justify terrorism.

The ovens are waiting.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Liberals, Whole Foods and Anti-Vaccine Idiocy

I'm old enough to remember the visceral fear that once attended news reports of polio outbreaks. I remember seeing photographs of entire hospital wards dedicated to maintaining paralyzed people in iron lungs. 

Very often, the most indelible memories of our youth are of our greatest fears. If my memory serves, it was on the first Monday of each month, at 11:00 AM, when the air raid sirens were tested. These horns were meant to give us enough time to duck and cover under our school desks in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack. In our schools were posters that decoded the various signal patterns that would give us specific warnings. But we all knew that the sirens simply signaled our imminent incineration. 

Almost every month though we kids were caught unawares when the siren tests sounded, and for a few moments, until we recalled what day it was and what time it was, we expected the warhead’s arrival. 

The other great fear was polio. Whenever news of an outbreak reached us, we shuddered in dread. We had seen what polio did to people. And when polio struck a town within our county, the sensation was of a monster plodding over the landscape, as irresistible as Godzilla, toward us. 

With the advent of the Salk vaccine the relief was palpable. We stood in lines that stretched down the street and around the corner to get our shots or sugar cubes. 

Before the availability of chicken pox and mumps vaccines, parents of young children formed networks that would alert all families that someone’s child had contracted one of those diseases. That kid suddenly had playmates all day long, as parents intentionally exposed their children because those diseases were considered inevitable and take a much greater toll with age. 

People have gotten too complacent and fail to understand how recently in our history we have emerged from epidemics and plagues. And they don't appreciate how easy it would be for us to backslide.

Two recent events have brought this almost forgotten legacy of humankind back to the front pages. First of all was the outbreak of measles at Disneyland in California. There have been numerous smaller outbreaks, but this one made headlines.

Secondly, there were the awkward answers to questions about mandatory vaccinations given by Republican presidential candidates Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky. Both expressed unease over mandatory vaccinations. And of course the mainstream news media both exaggerated and distorted what they said.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo accused all Republicans of being anti-science. And others somehow placed responsibility for the myth that vaccines cause autism on Republicans. This second falsehood descends from 2008 presidential candidate John McCain’s brief flirtation with the anti-vaccine activists. 

According to journalist Seth Mnookin, author of the new book, “The Panic Virus: The True Story of Medicine, Science and Fear,” the antivirus movement is deeply rooted in America’s most anti-conservative communities.  “I talked to a public health official and asked him what's the best way to anticipate where there might be higher than normal rates of vaccine noncompliance, and he said take a map and put a pin wherever there's a Whole Foods. I sort of laughed, and he said, ‘No, really, I'm not joking.’ It's those communities with the Prius driving, composting, organic food-eating people.”

The fashionable, rich, liberal neighborhoods around Los Angeles have vaccination rates lower than South Sudan. Overall, the US vaccination rate ranks 114th in the world. 

The man most responsible for anti-vaccine hysteria is far-left Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart and HBO’s Bill Maher helped him promote his agenda. Bubble-headed Hollywood leftists anointed themselves as Kennedy’s proselytizers.

Maher and Stewart now ridicule anyone who doubts vaccine mandates. But all liberals think they can get away with historical revisions because they control the media. 

How’s that working out for Brian Williams?

But the fact remains that conservatives and libertarians distrust government mandates. And they need to get over this one. Adult parents who fail to vaccinate their children are not exercising autonomy over their own bodies, they’re endangering their children’s lives. Parents should have no more authority to deny their child a vaccination than they should have the authority to lower their own child’s age of sexual consent. 

Conservatives who seek to protect children’s lives in the wombs should show equal concern for those same children after birth.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Get Ready to Endure Seattle's Scarlet Letter of Shame

Seattle's leftists have unleashed their Garbagestappo. Henceforth, Seattleistas who fail to sort their trash up to the high standards of the garbage man who serves their street will have a red flag attached to their rubbish bin. This scarlet letter of shame is meant to alert all of the neighbors that here lives a scallywag, a desperado and a ne'er-do-well. The owner of that garbage will be known in all the land as an environmental despoiler of the worst order. It's a bit like circulating those notices that warn that a sex offender has moved into the area. Although in some Seattle neighborhoods, the sex offender would probably be more welcome.

"I'm sure neighbors are going to see these on their other neighbors' cans," says Rodney Watkins, one of the moral enforcers who drives a garbage truck for one of Seattle's waste contractors, Recology Clean

Scapes. They don't slut shame in Seattle. They scrap shame. If you throw into your trash bin leftover food that the garbage man deems better suited to the compost heap, he can hang the red tag on you.
All your neighbors will start whispering: "Did you hear? John and Jane were caught tossing out an old Jello salad in their trash. And with a perfectly good compost bin nearby too!"

Suddenly, those invitations to backyard barbecues that you used to take for granted will dry up. Your social standing will suffer. Your kids will get laughed at on the playground. You'll lose your country club membership. You'll probably have to move somewhere else, change your name and start over.
But that's just the warning phase of the new law. In a few months, the garbage man can write you a ticket that comes with a fine. The fine's not much, only $1 per offense. But you know about camels that manage to sneak their nose under the tent flap.

I have often wondered how the left reconciles its hatred of the police with its love of the police state. In a police state, there are government enforcers for just about everything. In Washington, not even cake decorators or florists are left alone. And in Seattle, the police state has gained a new division - the refuse technician. If you offend his environmentalist sensibilities, then he has the authority to mete out punishment.
"Right now, I'm tagging probably every fifth can," Watkins told Seattle public radio station KUOW. "I don't know if that's just the holidays, or the fact that I'm actually paying a lot more attention."
After raising the lid on one garbage can, he lamented to the reporter, "You can see all the oranges and coffee grounds. All that makes great compost. You can put that in your compost bin and buy it back next year in a bag and put it in your garden."

For some reason, I'm reminded of a classic scene from the movie, "Fight Club." Brad Pitt rummages through dumpsters behind liposuction clinics to retrieve plastic bags filled with discarded human blubber that he processes into boutique soaps. He then markets those soaps to high-priced bath stores for $20 per bar and marvels at what the customer must be paying.

"We were selling rich women their own fat [rear ends] back to them."

Watkins was especially offended when he found an entire red velvet cake in one waste container. KUOW described him as "disheartened" at the discovery.

Oh the heartbreak of the professional environmental moral exhibitionist!

Frankly, I'd be a little disheartened myself if it were my job to inspect everyone's garbage can for half-eaten hamburgers, banana peels and that forgotten pizza slice that shuffled its way to the back of the refrigerator where it remained for weeks until it molded over.

Pressuring citizens to sort their garbage is nothing new in the Meccas of liberalism. San Francisco has been mulling over similar laws for years. Last year, Massachusetts banned unsorted garbage from large institutions from its landfills. Henceforth, cafeterias, hospitals and grocery stores must divert their food waste to composting facilities, animal feed or, if it is still wholesome, to human consumption.

Americans do throw away an awful lot of food. In fact, of all the food harvested in this country, only about 60 percent is actually consumed. The rest is discarded or spoils. And we should look for a solution.

But leftists never let an opportunity to expand the police state go to waste.