Donald Trump is at it again. This time, the Republican presidential front-runner suggested that the United States close the border to all Muslims — including Muslim Americans traveling abroad. Anyone who cares an iota about religious liberty should denounce this reckless, demagogic rhetoric.
“The U.S. government should fight, and fight hard, against radical Islamic jihadism. The government should close the borders to anyone suspected of even a passing involvement with any radical cell or terrorist network. But the government should not penalize law-abiding people, especially those who are U.S. citizens, for holding their religious convictions.”
Trump, of course, is a master of knowing and seizing a moment. The country is reeling from a terrorist attack by two Islamic radicals. Moreover, the president seems to many to have little plan to eradicate the threat of the Islamic State from building a massive caliphate in the Middle East and exporting terror all over the world.
“Muslims are an unpopular group these days. And I would argue that nonviolent Muslim leaders have a responsibility to call out terror and violence and jihad.”
Enter the Man in the Trump Tower with a plan to “get tough” by closing the borders to Muslims, all Muslims, simply because they are Muslim.
“At the same time, those of us who are Christians ought to stand up for religious liberty not just when our rights are violated but on behalf of others, too.”
As an evangelical Christian, I could not disagree more strongly with Islam. I believe that salvation comes only through union with Jesus Christ, received through faith. As part of the church’s mission, we believe we should seek to persuade our Muslim neighbors of the goodness and truth of the gospel.
“It is not in spite of our gospel conviction, but precisely because of it, that we should stand for religious liberty for everyone.”
The Revolutionary-era Baptist preacher John Leland repeatedly included “the Turks” in his list of religious freedoms he was demanding from the politicians of his time (including Thomas Jefferson and James Madison). Leland wanted to make it clear that his concept of religious freedom was not dependent on a group’s political power. He chose the most despised religious minority of the time, with no political collateral in his context, to make the point that religious freedom is a natural right bestowed by God, not a grant given by the government.
The governing authorities have a responsibility, given by God, to protect the population from violence and to punish the evildoers who perpetrate such violence (Romans 13:1-7). The governing powers, as with every earthly power, have a limited authority. The government cannot exalt itself as a lord over the conscience, a god over the soul. Read the rest of this entry »
Read more at National Review Online
“Most of the American electorate has probably been ready for a woman president for some time. But that woman must have the right array of qualities and ideally have risen to prominence through her own talents and not (like Hillary Clinton or Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner) through her marriage to a powerful man.”
Camille Paglia writes: Why has the U.S., the cradle of modern democracy, never had a woman president?
Incredulous young feminists, watching female heads of state multiply from Brazil and Norway to Namibia and Bangladesh, denounce this glaring omission as blatant sexism. But there are systemic factors, arising from the Constitution, popular tradition, and our electoral process, that have inhibited American women from attaining the highest office in the land.
The U.S. president is not just chief executive but commander-in-chief of the armed forces, an anomaly that requires manifest personal authority, particularly during periods of global instability. Women politicians, routinely focused on social welfare needs, must demonstrate greater involvement with international and military affairs.
“The protracted and ruthlessly gladiatorial U.S. electoral process drives talented women politicians away from the fray. What has kept women from winning the White House is not simple sexism but their own reluctance to subject themselves to the harsh scrutiny and ritual abuse of the presidential sweepstakes.”
Second, the president has a ceremonial function, like that of the British royal family, in symbolically representing the history and prestige of the nation. Hence voters subliminally look for gravitas, an ancient term describing the laconic dignity of Roman senators. The president must project steadiness, sober reserve, and deliberative judgment. Many women, who tend to talk faster and smile more than men, have trouble with gravitas as performance art.
[Order Paglia’s book “Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art from Egypt to Star Wars” from Amazon]
Third, the complex, coast-to-coast primary system in the U.S. forces presidential candidates into well over a year of brutal competition for funding and grass-roots support. Their lives are usurped by family-disrupting travel, stroking of rich donors, and tutelage by professional consultants and p.r. flacks. This exhausting, venal marathon requires enormous physical stamina and perhaps ethical desensitization to survive it.
In contrast, many heads of state elsewhere ascend through their internal party structure. They are automatically elevated to prime minister when their party wins a national election. This parliamentary system of government has been far more favorable for the steady rise of women to the top. Read the rest of this entry »
Carol J. Williams reports: Only six years ago, President Vladimir Putin visited the Polish port of Gdansk, birthplace of the Solidarity movement that threw off Soviet domination, and reassured his Eastern European neighbors that Russia had only friendly intentions.
Putin spoke harshly that day of the notorious World War II-era pact that former Soviet leader Josef Stalin had signed with Adolf Hitler — an agreement that cleared the way for the Nazi occupation of Poland and Soviet domination of the Baltics — calling it a “collusion to solve one’s problems at others’ expense.”
But Putin’s view of history appears to have undergone a startling transformation. Last month, the Russian leader praised the 1939 nonaggression accord with Hitler as a clever maneuver that forestalled war with Germany. Stalin’s 29-year reign, generally seen by Russians in recent years as a dark and bloody chapter in the nation’s history, has lately been applauded by Putin and his supporters as the foundation on which the great Soviet superpower was built.
Across a resurgent Russia, Stalin lives again, at least in the minds and hearts of Russian nationalists who see Putin as heir to the former dictator’s model of iron-fisted rule. Recent tributes celebrate Stalin’s military command acumen and geopolitical prowess. His ruthless repression of enemies, real and imagined, has been brushed aside by today’s Kremlin leader as the cost to be paid for defeating the Nazis.
As Putin has sought to recover territory lost in the 1991 Soviet breakup, his Stalinesque claim to a right to a “sphere of influence” has allowed him to legitimize the seizure of Crimea from Ukraine and declare an obligation to defend Russians and Russian speakers beyond his nation’s borders.
On May 9, the 70th anniversary of the Allied war victory was marked and Stalin’s image was put on display with glorifying war films, T-shirts, billboards and posters. Framed portraits of the mustachioed generalissimo were carried by marchers in Red Square‘s Victory Day parade and in the million-strong civic procession that followed to honor all who fell in what Russians call the Great Patriotic War. Read the rest of this entry »
Note what’s hanging on Sean’s wall.
…The fog of time and the strength of anti-anti-Communism have obscured the real Che. Who was he? He was an Argentinian revolutionary who served as Castro’s primary thug. He was especially infamous for presiding over summary executions at La Cabana, the fortress that was his abattoir. He liked to administer the coup de grace, the bullet to the back of the neck. And he loved to parade people past El Paredon, the reddened wall against which so many innocents were killed.
Furthermore, he established the labor-camp system in which countless citizens–dissidents, democrats, artists, homosexuals–would suffer and die. This is the Cuban gulag. A Cuban-American writer, Humberto Fontova, described Guevara as “a combination of Beria and Himmler.” Anthony Daniels once quipped, “The difference between [Guevara] and Pol Pot was that [the former] never studied in Paris.”
And yet, he is celebrated by “liberals,” this most illiberal of men. As Paul Berman summed up recently in Slate, “Che was an enemy of freedom, and yet he has been erected into a symbol of freedom. He helped establish an unjust social system in Cuba and has been erected into a symbol of social justice. He stood for the ancient rigidities of Latin-American thought, in a Marxist-Leninist version, and he has been celebrated as a freethinker and a rebel.”
Those who know, or care about, the truth concerning are often tempted to despair. Read the rest of this entry »
In celebration of World Book Day (today!) 7UP commissioned Argentinian artist Raul Lemesoff to construct one of his famous book tanks.
Argentinian artist Raul Lemesoff Converts 1979 Ford Falcon into an Armored Tank Weaponized with 900 Free Books
In this case he began with a stripped down 1979 Ford Falcon which he used to build a new roving library on wheels with an exterior framework capable of carrying 900 free books.
Lemesoff refers to his militaristic bibliothecas as Weapons of Mass Instruction, and he drives them around the streets of Argentina giving free books to anyone who wants one, as long as they promise to read it.
Watch the video above to see it all come together. (via Designboom)
— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) July 13, 2014
Michelle Malkin writes; The Obama administration doesn’t have watchdogs. It has whitewash puppies.
The president’s Chicago bullies have defanged true advocates for integrity in government in D.C. from day one. So the latest report by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Operations Committee on corruptocrat Charles K. Edwards, the former Department of Homeland Security inspector general, isn’t a revelation. It’s confirmation.
Investigators found that Edwards compromised the independence of his office by socializing and sucking up to senior DHS officials. “There are many blessings to be thankful for this year,” the sycophantic Edwards wrote to the DHS acting counsel on Thanksgiving 2011, “but one of the best is having a friend like you.” Geez, get them a room.
Whistleblowers outlined how Edwards cozied up to multiple DHS execs and legal staffers, who directed him to alter reports on immigration enforcement, TSA screening and the Secret Service’s dalliances with prostitutes in Argentina. Edwards failed to obtain independent legal analysis of ethics issues. The IG counsel was cut out of the loop. Edwards ordered reports to be doctored or delayed. He failed to recuse himself from audits and inspections that had conflicts of interest related to his wife’s employment. Read the rest of this entry »
Looking for the perfect finger puppet of a communist mass murderer for your favorite comrade this holiday season? The Nation magazine has got you covered.
The liberal magazine’s online store — “The Nationmart” — features a magnetic finger puppet of Che Guevara. The late Argentine revolutionary helped Fidel Castro install a police state in Cuba, where Guevara personally oversaw hundreds if not thousands of executions and the creation of labor camps where dissidents, homosexuals and others who “committed crimes against revolutionary morals” were ultimately sent. But Nationmart didn’t let those pesky details get in the way of its sunny description of the Che finger puppet.
“We may not know where Castro is these days, but we know where Che Guevara is: on your finger as a magnetic finger puppet!” the item’s playful description reads. “On your finger, he’s a puppet; on your fridge, he’s a magnet; in your puppet collection he incites the others to rise against their capitalistic oppressors!”
“Approx. 4 [inches] tall. But not too short to stand up for the poor and oppressed,” the description continues.
The puppet is a steal at just $5.99.
But if you prefer something a little more special, you might want to consider the Che Guevara doll for your budding Occupy Wall Street activist, or even the Che Guevara watch for the significant revolutionary in your life.
“Che Guevara was many things,” the description of the doll reads. “He was a rebel, an adventurer, a statesman, a civil rights leader and a revolutionary. And now he’s a cute doll thanks to our Che Guevara Little Thinker Doll. The Che Doll stands about 12-inches tall and comes dressed in green khakis, black boots and belt, plus his trademark beret. It’s as adorable, appealing and cuddly as the real Che was intense, violent, and cuddly. Che was known for fighting for just causes, and you should buy one just, well, cause.”
The heralded “civil rights leader” once famously meditated on hatred, noting:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Whoops, that was Martin Luther King, Jr. Here’s Che’s thoughts on hatred: “Hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine. This is what our soldiers must become.”
Argentina’s top TV journalist Jorge Lanata has alleged that he was held in the basement of Caracas airport for nearly two hours while Venezuela’s secret service erased his team’s camera, computer and cellphone memories. Only then, he says, were they allowed to leave the country…
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wins re-election (edition.cnn.com)
- Chavez Re-Elected as Venezuelan President, Defeating Capriles (fox2now.com)
- Update: Tanks in the streets as Venezuelan electoral council declares Hugo Chavez victory (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- Venezuelan election day – peaceful and transparent please! (dcmontreal.wordpress.com)