Patterico's Pontifications

1/26/2015

India Appalled at Obama’s Latest Gum-Chewing Episode

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 pm

No class whatsoever.

More here.

Rand Paul on Romney Candidacy: “No, no, no!”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

Rand Paul says “no, no, no!” to a Mitt Romney candidacy:

As recently as October, Ann Romney was poo-pooing the notion of a third Mitt Romney candidacy. After two failed presidential bids, in 2008 and 2012, she and her husband had “moved on,” she told ABC News.

Though sources close to Mitt Romney recently announced he’s once again “thinking about” another bid for the White House, at least one of Romney’s GOP colleagues thinks Ann Romney had the right idea.

“I’m with Ann Romney on this one: No, no, no, no, never,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told ABC News’ Jonathan Karl at a forum of three likely 2016 presidential candidates in Palm Springs, California, Sunday night.

Romney “would have made a great president,” added Paul, rumored to be considering his own White House bid. “But to win the presidency you have the reach out and appeal to new constituencies. And I just don’t think it’s possible.”

I’m with Ann Romney and Rand Paul on this one.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post went to a conference on secession in Houston for the purpose of writing a “Ron Paul is still crazy and he’s Rand Paul’s dad!” piece.

I’ll start with the fact that the writing in the piece is atrocious. A sentence just trails off with no punctuation at the end:

At the same time, Ron, 79, has embraced a role as libertarianism’s prophet of doom, telling his supporters that the United States is headed for catastrophes — and might actually need catastrophes to get on the right track

A word is missing from another:

Ron Paul’s solution, it appears, is to invite more calamity so that Americans are forced realize that the system is broken.

Brion McClanahan’s name is misspelled:

“If Texas wanted to secede and they wanted to join Mexico, I think they can do that. There’s nothing stopping them,” said Brion McLanahan, another speaker.

But if you look deeper, the hatchet job premise of the article is also clear. I may disagree with Ron Paul on foreign policy, but he is dead-on when it comes to secession. The states have the right to engage in it, and I made some of the arguments in this post about splitting New York in two, and this one about Scotland’s vote for independence.

One of the benefits of the vote on Scottish independence is that it helps re-establish a common-sense principle: a smaller political unit is allowed to choose whether to break away from a larger one. Nobody really thinks twice about the concept that Scotland was allowed to decide for itself whether to remain part of the United Kingdom. If they wanted to stay (and they did), fine. If they wanted to break away — well, that would have been fine too.

But if anyone suggests that a state should have the right to vote to break away from the United States, that person is necessarily Certifiably Insane.

That’s the premise of the WaPo article, and it’s typical hackery. The press will continue to try to embarrass Paul by misportraying his dad’s positions — just as they did to Ted Cruz. (Debunking the Cruz nonsense is beyond the scope of this post, but I have listened to the actual remarks and they were misreported. Don’t worry; this will come up again, and I’ll blog it then.)

I know, I know. Big Media being hacks. What else is new?

But we have to keep pointing it out. Every time.

State Deptartment: Religion Had Nothing To Do With Execution Of Japanese Citizen By ISIS

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:47 am

[Guest post by Dana]

As we have already observed, the White House has steadfastly refused to use the “I” word. This in spite of other world leaders citing “radical Islam” as being linked to the current wave of terrorist attacks throughout the world as well as the continuing executions by the Islamic State.

This weekend, in yet another act by a member of the Washington Theater of the Absurd, a top State Dept. official claimed there was “nothing religious” about the execution of a Japanese citizen held hostage by ISIS. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Rick Stengel made the comment as he condemned the execution of Haruna Yukawa:

Of course Stengel is following the lead of the White House. After the attacks in France, the White House claimed it would be “inaccurate” to use the phrase “radical Islam” with regard to terrorists.

This weekend at Davos, Kerry again pushed the company line, explaining that by using “radical Islam” instead of “violent extremism” the barbarians might get mad at us:

“We have to keep our heads,” Kerry said. “The biggest error we could make would be to blame Muslims for crimes…that their faith utterly rejects,” he added.

“We will certainly not defeat our foes by vilifying potential partners,” the top U.S. diplomat said. “We may very well fuel the very fires that we want to put out.”

Further:

Kerry referred to the terrorists as “nothing more than a form of criminal anarchy–nihilism, which illegitimately claims an ideological and religious foundation.”

Kerry said it is not appropriate to use terminology referring to Islam because the terrorists are ignorant individuals with ulterior motives that distort the religion.

As a counterpoint to the administration’s careful avoidance of certain terminology, former Wall St. Journal reporter and Muslim Asra Q. Nomani, who has faced death threats for criticizing Islam and fighting for reforms, explains why it’s vital to frame the debate correctly. Nomani writes about the “ghairat brigade,” an organized group that powerfully bullies and publicly labels as “Islamophobes” any pundits, journalists, public figures and individuals who dare to criticize or challenge Islam. No one is too big or too small to be a target of this campaign. With a strong online presence and being “coordinated, frightening and persistent,” their goal is to protect the image of Islam before the world as well as force critics to back down and refrain from suggesting or discussing any links between Islam and jihad or terrorism. And it is chillingly effective:


Bullying this intense really works. Observant members of the flock are culturally conditioned to avoid shaming Islam, so publicly citing them for that sin often has the desired effect. Non-Muslims, meanwhile, are wary of being labeled “Islamophobic” bigots. So attacks against both groups succeed in quashing civil discourse. They cause governments, writers and experts to walk on eggshells, avoiding important discussion.

Silencing the critics.

Nomani points to Obama:

Next month, the Obama administration will hold a conference on challenging violent extremism, and President Obama last year called on Muslim communities to “explicitly, forcefully and consistently reject the ideology of al-Qaeda and ISIL.” But his administration isn’t framing extremism as a problem directly tied to Islam. Last month, by contrast, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi acknowledged that there was an ideology problem in Islam and said, “We need to revolutionize our religion.”

When I heard Sissi’s words, I thought: Finally.

–Dana


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