The Penguin Post’s Modest Proposal: A Pledge For Patriotic Citizens Of The United States Of America
The call has gone out, promoted by celebrities — each citizen is enjoined to “pledge to be a servant to our president.”
The hyperkinetic plea for lemming-like solidarity has led the PenPo to draft a counter-proposal. Let the citizenry make this pledge:
I pledge allegiance only to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands. This, my sacred pledge, will not be mocked. On my honor as a free individual, I avow that I shall never pledge to be the servant to any human being.
An Incendiary View Which, If Correct, Is Cause For Protest
Here’s a broadside that needs supporting facts:
In the short time Obama and the radical left have been in power, they have worked hard to bleed our spirit and our energy with massive tax increases, corruption, cronyism, special interest entitlements, new regulations and the politicization of our institutions. They appease tyrants, siding against democracies, giving unredeemable despots status and legitimacy and prolonging the suffering of millions. They mouth the words of our founders to hide their true nature. They work to dismantle freedom after freedom, destroying what we have proudly fought for and so lovingly built. They do not revere what has made us great; they embrace all that will bring us down. They take success and call it failure, and demand we bow our heads and accept ridicule from those who cannot equal us.
Here’s the commentary from which the quote comes. Is it credible, or just empty bombast? This newsletter believes the author would say he has already provided abundant evidence for his blunt accusations.
This Is A Big Problem, And Most Folks Don’t Know About It Because It’s An Effective Big Problem
The PenPo has not made much of this “czar” of Obama’s. Number 103 directed you to a rant about him, and had nothing to add. Well, the guy’s loony, and was therefore endangered. Yet until he threw in the towel, the major news media couldn’t so much as detect his presence in the universe. Keeping their readers in the dark was a blatant act of censorship on behalf of the administration.
Now consider US policy toward Honduras. While the Honduran constitution is clear on the legality of the removal of the president, the facts remain generally unknown in the USA. A virtual news blackout has prevented people from understanding that the Obama administration has deliberately committed a series of misdeeds.
Once again, we see that effective censorship need not be total.
The ideological imperatives driving editorial policy have eroded the ethics of US journalism. The public’s right to know has been systematically denied.
If this does not anger you, what will?
If you think reports like this one on a “town hall” in Tucson, Arizona are unimportant, you simply don’t understand the situation. In time, this movement could collide head-on with the White House. At present, it is focused on Congress, but…if Team Obama can not adapt to the challenge, the nation could have a one-term president. Yes, things can change and change again in the next three and a half years; that does not mean the White House can safely ignore today’s portents.
What’s the story behind all those fires in California? The answer is in this post. You could have guessed it: “…the prohibition against clearing up accumulated brush from the areas surrounding housing developments that (was) instituted at the insistence of the Sierra Club and other environmental groups has left more fuel for the fires fanned by the Santa Ana winds.” (The PenPo understands Santa Ana winds were not involved in the latest fires, but let it go as an inconsequential error.) Then there is a cooler Pacific ocean to consider; yes, cooler, in spite of all our carbon dioxide-belching SUVs. The why and how of it are explained at the link above, and the lesson is that fads in science and environmental activism can do tremendous harm.
A Democrat warns the GOP not to rough Obama up, or the Democrats’ assault on the next Republican president will be ferocious. Howquickly and conveniently they forget….
Here’s a collectivist’s candid description of how Obama fumbled the ball. It translates as, “We’ll be back, and we’ll get it right.”
It’s a good bet that if anyone in the administration says anything about this commentary, it will be to characterize it as a call for mob violence. Yes, the insiders still insist the widespread dissent is not legitimate (it’s “right-wing mobbing at town halls“).
This is delicious: the farcical attempt to gestate Obama’s cult of personality (“pledge to be a servant to our president”) is blended with an instance of the peerless incompetence of the NY Times…and the resulting extravasation is decanted wickedly by “a Canadian author” named Mark Steyn. You can’t pass it by!
Cincinnati. Eighteen thousand strong, a dangerous mob of swastika-lugging radical right-wing terrorists gathered, pitchforks and torches in evidence, to denounce the Leader. Oh, the horror!
“Progressives” accuse supporters of the war in Iraq of tunnel vision, if not blindness, and scorn them as neocolonialist warmongers. Over the years, Michael Yon has been one of those whose opinions did not pass muster with the hard left. Was Yon a mindless ideologue, advocating violence in support of an empty cause? Read Yon’s latest post on the war in Afghanistan, and then evaluate his objectivity and independence.
This article in the WaPo is good fundamental information for folks pondering health care delivery in the USA. While it deals with Japan, it illustrates the point that as demographics and economies change, how to pay for medical care becomes a new problem, demanding that the system adapt — or collapse. If you think you know what the USA should do, this article deserves your time. A tip of the hat goes to GB for this.
Geeks teach the CIA a lesson, and for once, Langley learns. The NSA is next. Good news for a change.
They won’t like this in Gaza. May they choke on it.
Some might call this critique an attack on a pushover, because the AP has long been a clumsy propaganda outlet. Well, this newsletter reminds all that the AP’s latest sin was egregious. That fact will not be mentioned by “progressives” when they line up to scold the author of the critical commentary. So how nasty will the “progressive” rejoinder be? As vile as Markos Moulitsas’s “Screw them” when some US workers were murdered in Iraq? You never know.
An attempt to regain the faith and trust of lost readers of newspapers fails, and is explained. The ombudsman concept never worked because it did not prevent abuses — it publicized them.
So how good is US government health care now? And does its quality say anything about what Obamacare would be like? Here are some facts.
From The Archive
The Terrapin Gazette of 12 March, 2006 carried this item on Islam, governance, and democracy:
The Philosophy Of Governance Has Sunk To A Shocking Nadir — At Least In One Law School
We reprint here, in its entirety, a recent post by a law school teacher. (Source)
Last week, I mentioned that my colleague Asifa Quraishi was giving a talk on Monday called “A Reconsideration of Presumptions: Is Islam Compatible with Democracy?”
So, what’s the answer? Here it is in Professor Quraishi’s words:
I think yes, Islam is compatible with democracy. It is also compatible with a lot of other methods of government. There’s nothing mandating or prohibiting any particular form of rule in the source texts of Islam (Quran and Hadith).
Quraishi, who teaches constitutional law and Islamic law here at the UW Law School, explained how, historically, Islamic law developed, with a “public lawmaking realm [that] was separated from the realm of those who derived law from from interpretation of divine texts.” This traditional public lawmaking “could very easily translate to a democratic public legislative (even representative democracy, even federalism if you like that too) system.”
The question then becomes what do you do with the law that is derived from divine texts (and this is law, by the way, that a lot of Muslims in the world like, and in fact demand their rights under – much the same way we demand our constitutional rights – and this includes women, often in a very empowering way, but that’s another topic) – i.e., the doctrinal corpus of law created by private Muslim jurists (fiqh).
What I was tackling in my presentation was the roadblock in this issue that I think is presented by the western tendency to think that the sovereign state should be the location of all law for all of society. Once we are able to re-think the location of legal authority in a society, that some can exist as valid and authoritative, yet outside the realm of public lawmaking mechanisms, then I think that we will have gotten much further to coming up with a system of government and lawmaking and adjudication for Muslim societies that can be (but doesn’t have to be, frankly I don’t care what it looks like, that’s up to them) “democratic” but in a very different model than western nation-state democracies.
I don’t have any specific proposal on how this would look, and how it would work (that’s something for me to work on for the next several years). I’m just saying that the western model is not the only one, and then I try to push that point by showing how the merging of nation-state model with Islamic law pressures from the people and political movements has actually resulted in the worst of both worlds – i.e. theocratic-type authorities despite the fact that neither Islamic heritage, nor the western model would have chosen that on their own.
I wish everyone could hear Asifa give this presentation. She’s a terrific speaker, and she uses Powerpoint slides, which I normally hate, quite brilliantly. There’s a point in the presentation where one circle moves to a different position and everyone feels a great sense of enlightenment.
Commentary: of course it is not possible to respond to a briefing (or lecture or presentation, whatever you call it) that one has not seen, so we must restrict ourselves to the post above. If this post is unrepresentative of the presentation it summarizes, then that is an issue to be taken up with Althouse, not with us.
We begin by noting that democracy is by definition simply the system that allows a voting majority of the people to make the decisions that government makes. It allows that majority to be the government’s master.
Note that one could have a democratic cannibal society, or that a villain such as Hitler could be placed in charge of a government by democratic election. What is known about real cannibal tribes makes clear that their practices are immensely popular within the group and could easily survive the test of democracy. And Hitler was democratically elected. (See footnote.)
So a democratic regime cannot be thought of as necessarily good, desirable, or tolerable by its neighbors. It cannot even be thought of as necessarily tolerable by all members of the society it governs.
Furthermore, democracy has no connection with what is usually thought of as “human rights.” The constitution of the USA acknowledges this, and therefore specifically forbids the federal government from engaging in several acts and policies that the framers considered abominable. It is tacitly recognized in the constitution that democracy can be used to impose evil laws on a minority of voters (the “dictatorship of the majority”); this unhappy possibility is hindered, not prevented, by the constitution’s checks and balances.
Democracy is no guarantor of decent government.
Is Islam compatible with democracy? Sure. But that’s the wrong question. The only question that matters is whether Islam is compatible with decent governance.
Answer: the closer the government hews to the teachings of the Koran, the worse the government.
The truth of this simple formula should not be veiled by the introduction of a vacuous, confounding concept of multiple sources of jurisprudential authority. That’s disingenuous and deceitful.
Rather one should ask, “What, according to the revelations of God conveyed to Mohammed by the angel, is good governance? How does God want us to think, conduct ourselves, and rule our society? What should the social penalties be for those who disobey or reject God’s requirements?”
The answers are spelled out in the Koran. The beliefs and policies found there are incompatible not with democracy, but with the evolved status of modern Western Civilization.
Koranic law = bad government. It’s not a complicated formula, and it should not take the law school instructor several years to figure it out.
Footnote added 8 September, 2009: Hitler was never elected to executive office in Germany, so it is not true that he was “democratically elected” as his nation’s leader. Democracy was, however, the key to Hitler’s success. The Nazi party was, at the time of Hitler’s appointment as chancellor, the largest party in the parliament (Reichstag), so Hitler had become, by virtue of popular vote, the most powerful party leader in Germany. It was this position that qualified him for appointment by President Hindenburg to the chancellorship. This was a wholly constitutional action, not at all unusual, and not contrary to democracy. Shortly thereafter, Hitler seized total power and ended democracy in his nation.