Thursday, September 10, 2015

The metastasizing migrant catastrophe is not the result of famine or drought or disease; It is man-made and should have been ­prevented

The photo of the dead Syrian child who washed ashore in Turkey is heartbreaking
admits the New York Post's Michael Goodwin,
as are the scenes of migrants throwing themselves on train tracks in Hungary and thousands of others shunning shelter for a long march to Austria and Germany.

The photos are also misleading. Their emotional power suggests the tragedy would end if only Europe opened its hearts and doors.

Not so. Millions, perhaps tens of millions, of destitute and desperate people want out of Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and other hellholes of the Middle East and North Africa. There is no visible end to the humanitarian crisis historians are calling the world’s worst since World War II, and the comparisons don’t end there.

Then and now, the waves of misery have a common root. This is what happens when genocidal maniacs are appeased and the West fails to confront them.

The global order that held since Hitler was defeated is disintegrating before our eyes. Borders are erased and entire populations are put to the sword or forced to flee the new tyrannical monsters.

This metastasizing catastrophe is not the result of famine or drought or disease. It is man-made and should have been ­prevented.

But that would have required leaders with the moral conviction of Roosevelt and Churchill. ­Instead, America and Great Britain are led by frat boys.

Barack Obama and David Cameron indulged themselves in the delusion that human nature had magically changed and the world would take care of itself while they gutted the arsenals of ­democracy.

History will record their fecklessness, and that of France, Germany and the other once-great powers. That is, unless history ­itself is erased by the madmen of Islamic State.

Not content to slaughter those they deem infidels and apostates, the would-be Hitlers are cleansing Syria and Iraq of its ancient temples and artifacts. They aim to control the past as well as the future.

They are deadly serious about their purpose, and so they are winning. We hem and haw, meet, talk and propose, while they act.

They are not the only malevolent forces on the march. Vladimir Putin, after gobbling up chunks of Ukraine without paying a serious price, is establishing a military presence in Syria.

That makes Russia a working partner with Iran, Syria’s biggest benefactor, and creates a new axis of evil in a region already the most dangerous on the planet.

China, too, is aggressively flexing its might. An unusual military parade in Beijing came as five Chinese warships were spotted off Alaska, within 12 nautical miles of the coast, the Pentagon told The Wall Street Journal. It reported that a Chinese official said the ships entered the Bering Sea after a joint military exercise with Russia.

It was surely not a coincidence that the provocation happened with Obama in Alaska to preach the gospel of climate change. It was almost as though China decided to mock his absurd assertion that melting ice and rising seas are the greatest threat. Perhaps Beijing reads his e-mails?

The Chinese, the Russians, the Iranians — they, too, are serious people. Each has taken the measure of Obama, and now they are taking liberties.

They would be foolish not to. As the calendar moves toward the end of Obama’s tenure, those who wish us ill move faster to claim their trophies, knowing they will face no resistance.

As a result, the president who declared, “I was elected to end wars, not start them,” has opened the floodgates to our adversaries. Weakness is his legacy.

Obama has been a gift to the worst of the world, topped by his surrender to Iran. He and the quislings masquerading as the leaders of Europe see no evil as Iran spreads its tentacles. Sooner, on their own, or later, with America’s blessing, the mullahs will have their doomsday weapon.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Kim Davis and Martin Luther King both defied the law for the same reason—Both agree that they have an obligation to disobey any law that is unjust

Dr. Susan K. Smith is offended by comparisons between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Kim Davis
reports Benny Huang, referring to the Kentucky clerk who has refused to sign any marriage licenses since the Supreme Court imposed same-sex marriage on her state.
Smith, a pastor and “social justice advocate” (whatever that is) protested the invocation of St. Martin of Atlanta’s name to justify the deeds of a bigot like Kim Davis. “But I am angered by the claim that Ms. Dixon (sic) is acting as did Dr. King when he was thrown into jail for working to end racial injustice,” wrote Smith in a recent column at the Huffington Post. Dr. Smith is apparently so sloppy that she didn’t even get the clerk’s name right. Her name is Davis, not Dixon. “Ms. Dixon (sic) has been jailed because her God-sense tells her it is right and fitting to discriminate against people; Dr. King was in jail because his God-sense told him it was wrong to mete out injustice against anyone – especially blacks.”

 … I don’t generally like lawlessness. Liberals, on the other hand, celebrate lawlessness, which explains why they gave the lawless Martin Luther King a holiday and generally revere him as something of a demigod. I don’t believe he deserves a tenth of the deference we afford him which is why I must stress that Kim Davis’s obvious similarity to King is not necessarily flattering.

It is, however, accurate. Dr. Smith would know this if she’d ever read anything that King wrote. Has she? I don’t see how she could have read, for example, King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” or his “Paul’s Letter to the American Christians” and concluded that King would oppose Kim Davis.

I think Dr. Smith falls into a common trap when evaluating King; that is, she creates in her own mind an image of the man as she wished him to be—a fighter for “justice,” as defined by Smith herself. It probably never occurs to her that King’s idea of justice might diverge from her own. In Smith’s mind it’s axiomatic that the mainstreaming of homosexuality and the crushing of dissenting voices are civil rights issues. As a champion for civil rights, MLK would certainly be on her side. Any attempt to counter her vision of King with the actual historical MLK is enough to raise her blood pressure.

Martin Luther King did not support same-sex marriage. Period. No one in pre-1968 America did, not even “gay” “rights” activists. (Their aim was to destroy the institution, not join it.) Nor did King find homosexuality morally acceptable. He was a mid-20th century Baptist minister with the accompanying moral code regarding sex. He claimed the Bible as his authority and the Bible is absolutely unequivocal on the subject of homosexuality. The fact that King had a plethora of mistresses and enjoyed an orgy every once in a while proves only that he was a hypocrite, not a “gay” “rights” activist.

King’s clearest public proclamations on homosexuality are found in an advice column he wrote for Ebony Magazine in 1958. When a boy asked his advice on how to handle feelings of attraction toward other males, King actually advised psychiatric treatment! He also referred to the feelings as a “problem.” Most importantly, King said that the boy’s attractions were “probably not an innate tendency.” In other words, he did not subscribe to the shoddy, unfalsifiable “born that way” theory. It doesn’t take much of a leap to infer that King would have rejected any comparison between race and homosexual conduct and would probably have been offended by it, as many blacks are even today. As they should be.
King did not march for homosexuals’ supposed “rights” because he did not see them as equivalent to his struggle against Jim Crow. He understood homosexuality as a behavior—and a deviant one at that. So if Kim Davis is a “bigot,” then Martin Luther King is a “bigot” too. What then is so outrageous about comparing the two?

 … Kim Davis and Martin Luther King both defied the law for the exact same reason—because they considered themselves responsible to a higher power. (I’m not sure King really meant it, of course, on account of his incredible hypocrisy.) They both claimed that God’s law was superior to man’s law.

 … On all of the key issues, King and Davis are of the same mind. Both oppose segregation. Both oppose homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and its accompanying imposition on people of faith. Both agree that they have an obligation to disobey any law that is unjust. Both measure the justice of a particular law by the standards of God. 
Related: Today, MLK Jr Would Be Unemployable in America, Given That He Would Be Anathema to Most Americans… of the Left (!)

The other Davis: None Other Than MLK Welcomed Judgment, So Why the #$#%$@# Should We NOT Judge a Texas Democrat like Wendy Davis?!
 … it isn’t judging that perturbs liberals so much; it’s other people judging according to criteria that liberals don’t like.

Monday, September 07, 2015

"If you look at the first 100 years after slavery, black communities were a lot safer"

Has the level of economic thinking in political debate gone up at all? 
the Wall Street Journal's Kyle Peterson asks the man who ought to be rewarded with a Nobel Prize in economics.
“No—in fact, I’m tempted to think it’s gone down,” [Thomas Sowell] says, without much hesitation. “At one time you had a lot of people who hadn’t had any economics saying foolish things. Now you have well-known economists saying foolish things.”

 … take “disparate impact,” the idea that different outcomes among different groups—say, that there are more male CEOs than female—is ipso facto evidence of discrimination. The Obama administration has used disparate impact to charge racism in housing, employment and other matters. In the absence of discrimination, the theory goes, people naturally would be dispersed more or less at random. Nonsense, Mr. Sowell says. “In various books I’ve given lists of all the great disparities all over the world, and I recently saw a column by Walter Williams in which he added that men are bitten by sharks several times as often as women.”

Differences in outcome is a matter that Mr. Sowell takes up in his new book, “Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective,” out Sept. 8. Its theme, he says, is that “in a sense, there was never any rational reason to believe that there would be this evenness that they presuppose.” Some continents have more navigable rivers and deep water harbors than others. Some cultures value education highly, and some don’t. Underwhelming as the conclusion might sound to those with the urge to reorder society, many disparities arise simply because people are different, and because they make different choices.

Another problem is that the “disparate impact” assumption misidentifies where group differences originate. He sets up an example: “If you have people in various groups in the country, and their kids are all raised differently, they all behave differently in school, they do differently in school. And now they’re grown up and they go to an employer, and you’re surprised to find that they’re not distributed randomly by income.” It’s “just madness,” he says, to assume “that because you collected the statistics there, that’s where the unfairness originated.”
Mr. Sowell, looking back, can count the lucky breaks that contributed to his own success. As a baby he was adopted into a household with four adults who talked to him constantly. When he was 9 years old, the family left the South, moving from North Carolina to Harlem in New York. A mentor there took him to a public library for the first time and told him how to transfer out of a bad school into a good one. Not everyone has that kind of luck.

“It is unjust—my God it’s unjust,” Mr. Sowell says. “And yet that doesn’t mean that you can locate somebody who has victimized somebody else.” In human affairs, happenstance reigns.

Why do we never seem to learn these economic lessons? “I think there’s a market for foolish things,” Mr. Sowell says—and vested interests, too. Once an organization such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is created to find discrimination, no one should be startled when it finds discrimination. “There’s never going to be a time when the EEOC will file a report saying, ‘All right folks, there’s really not enough discrimination around to be spending all this money,’ ” he says. “You’re going to have ever-more-elaborate definitions of discrimination. So now, if you don’t want to hire an ax murderer who has somehow gotten paroled, then that’s discrimination.”
It’s a funny line—and an instance of what sets Mr. Sowell apart: candor and independence of mind. No one can suggest that he doesn’t say what he thinks. In 1987, while testifying in favor of Judge Robert Bork’s ill-fated nomination to the Supreme Court, he told Joe Biden, a senator at the time, that he wouldn’t have a problem with literacy tests for voting or with $1.50 poll taxes, so long as they were evenly and fairly applied. When I ask whether he remembers this exchange, Mr. Sowell quips, “No, Joe Biden is forgettable.”

 … Mr. Sowell is unsparing toward those who purport to speak for American blacks. I ask him about the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. “People want to believe what they want to believe, and the facts are not going to stop them,” he says, adding that black leaders—from President Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder down to Al Sharpton—“do all they can to feed that sense of grievance, victimhood and resentment, because that’s where the votes are.”

What about Ta-Nehisi Coates, the black writer whose new book, a raw letter to his son about race relations in the U.S., is stirring public intellectuals? I read Mr. Sowell a line from Mr. Coates’s 15,000-word cover story for the Atlantic calling for reparations for slavery: “In America there is a strange and powerful belief that if you stab a black person 10 times, the bleeding stops and the healing begins the moment the assailant drops the knife.”

“Ah . . . yes,” Mr. Sowell sighs, as if recognizing a familiar tune. “What amazes me is not that there are assertions like this, but that there is no interest in checking those assertions against any evidence,” he says. “One of the things I try to do in the book is to distinguish between what might be the legacy of slavery, and what’s the legacy of the welfare state. If you look at the first 100 years after slavery, black communities were a lot safer. People were a lot more decent. But then you look 30 years after the 1960s revolution, and you see this palpable retrogression—of which I think the key one is the growth of the single-parent family.”

 … Does anyone believe that racism and the legacy of slavery are stronger today than in the 1970s—or for that matter in 1945, when Mr. Sowell enrolled at Stuyvesant? “It’s not a question of the disproportion between blacks and whites, or Asians, but the disproportion between blacks of today and blacks of the previous generation,” he says. “And that’s what’s scary.”