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Month: September 2010

Number 165

On The Occasion Of A Monumentally Significant Anniversary The president of the USA made a number of remarks regarding the proposal to build what this newsletter refers to as the Ground Zero mosque. Those remarks deserve, indeed require, responses. The complete transcript of the president’s words is available on this website. The excerpts reproduced here are unedited, which accounts for their length. After taking questions from reporters on economic issues, the president was asked about the Ground Zero mosque. You know, I think that at a time when the country is anxious generally and going through a tough time, then, you know, fears can surface, suspicions, divisions can surface in a society. And so I think that plays a role in it. One of the things that I most admired about President Bush was, after 9/11, him being crystal clear about the fact that we were not at war with Islam. We were at war with terrorists and murderers who had perverted Islam, had stolen its banner to carry out their outrageous acts. And I was so proud of the country rallying around that idea, that notion: that we are not going to be divided by religion; we’re not going to be divided by ethnicity; we are all Americans; we stand together against those who would try to do us harm. Al Qaeda has not “perverted” Islam. Bin Laden...

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Number 167

Jaundiced Skepticism And Unapologetic Cynicism For September, 2010 Domestic USA Politics The White House is casting about for a strategy to defend its majorities in Congress. That policy would, ideally, de-fang and de-claw the Tea Party Movement and make Sarah Palin look ridiculous. The former may be possible, but the latter is almost certainly beyond reach. If Sandra Bernhardt, Katie Couric, Charles Gibson, David Letterman and other assorted cultural icons can’t manage to humiliate Palin and put her back in her place (Kinder, Kueche, Kirche), the White House would be wise to accept reality and ignore her as unworthy of comment. The Tea Partiers may be vulnerable, however: if they can be portrayed as “the right” that was always there, lurking but fearful, they may lose some of their punch. What has made the Tea Party Movement remarkable — and attractive — is that it seems to have been born out of a class of voters who seldom said anything much, and did not always vote. If that is what actually happened, then the TPM is a fearsome power indeed. If, on the other hand, this is just tired old “wingnuts” getting together for yet another stab at power, then it can be dismissed as part of a predictable cycle. Smearing the TPM as racist has not worked; in fact it has backfired. Claiming that it’s Nazi is even...

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Number 166

Told You So It was on the ninth of March, 2008, that, under the headline, “How To Win That Election Bet This Year,” this newsletter published the following item: Here’s the not-so-secret Republican strategy: you vote in the primaries for the Democratic candidate who is losing. That prolongs the Hillary-vs.-Obama brawl. The polarized Democrats tear their party apart very publicly, and in the presidential election, the undecided vote goes to the dignified, stronger GOP. Could it work, and is there a way out for the Democrats? Some say it is already working, and that Hillary is still in the fight because the Republicans want her in it. But…can John McCain become president? He needs the hard core of his party to anchor his move to capture a significant number of moderate Democrats and Republicans. Can he depend on that anchor to be there? To tell us that now, we need a prophet, and by the looks of the following quote, we have found one: …the reason McCain is so well liked by the media is because they’re liberals and they love it when he trashes other Republicans. But, what would happen if John McCain actually became the Republican nominee? The same members of the mainstream media who gush over him today would turn on him in a Minnesota minute and once his great press ended, his poll numbers with...

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Number 164

Thuggery And Cowardice There can be no doubt about what the holy scriptures of Islam tell the faithful to believe and how to conduct themselves. The abiding enmity of the Koran and hadith toward other religions could not possibly be more candidly expressed. As a result of the bloody-minded texts, the West is struggling once again to cope with pressure from an Islamic assault that knows no humane hindrances. Islam is a death cult suffused with hatred. The express, unambiguous Muslim goal is the eradication of a civilization, along with its heritage. The construction of the Ground Zero mosque in New York is of monumental significance in this struggle, for it signals the Muslim belief that the weak and deluded infidels will tolerate any insult rather than close ranks and face their enemy. The mosque’s completion will be a sign to the world that submission to Islam is inevitable. If you are not misled by deceitful phraseology, you can discern the rationale of the Muslims behind the Ground Zero mosque. They are saying, in effect, “If you prevent the mosque, that means you do not like us. Muslims everywhere will be angry with you. Build the mosque, bend to our will, or face the violent consequences. Tell us you like us.” It’s a puzzle why any rational person who knows that he is despised, reviled and held in total...

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Number 163

Searching For The Meaning And Significance Of Moderation Should Islam be thought of as the predominant threat to Western Civilization, or as just another faith that, like most others, has some troublesome believers? That may well be the most dreadfully important single question of the twenty-first century. The religion that was founded in the seventh century remains, nearly one thousand four hundred years later, a puzzling phenomenon. Its various sects and the many levels of commitment obvious in its adherents make it impossible to assign a single meaning to the word “Muslim.” As the West struggles to contain and discourage Islamist violence, the question of whether there is or even can be moderate Muslims continues to mock those who ask it. A difficulty arises at once when this word “moderate” is applied to Muslims: does one assume that a moderate Christian or Jew or Buddhist will not be a lunatic who aspires to commit mass murder, while those who are immoderate members of those religious groupswill be? Yes, Islam is unique these days, isn’t it? The rest of the world evolved, grew in spiritual insights and set aside religious strife. You may not have thought of it that way. Face facts: it is clear from the first that so-called radical Muslims are extraordinarily, horribly savage and dangerous. They lust to slaughter the innocent. But…are they genuinely radical, or might...

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