President James Buchanan died 150 years ago: the legacy of Pa.’s only president, then and now

James Buchanan, the only American president to hail from Pennsylvania, died on June 1, 1868. This Friday will mark the 150th anniversary of his death. “Buchanan essentially died of old age at the age of 77,” said Stephanie Townrow, museum educator with …

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Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Muslim politicians in the Western world come in two general varieties: those rare ones who are candid about their desire to transform the West in accordance with the dictates of their faith, and those, far greater in number, who prefer to disguise that ambition. The first category includes people like Abdirizak Waberi, a Swedish MP turned Islamic school principal who has actually admitted he believes in “banning music and dancing, prohibiting boys and girls from socializing, and allowing men to beat their four wives with sticks when they became disobedient,” and Brussels city councilman Redouane Ahrouch, who openly advocates for sharia government and recently called for a separation of the sexes on that city’s public transport.

In the second category are Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, who while striving to pose as a progressive allows his mask to slip now and then (recently, he told an interviewer that “every Muslim is a bit of a salafist”), and London mayor Sadiq Khan, another faux liberal who has, in fact, ordered police to put less emphasis on monitoring potential terrorists and more emphasis on harassing Islam critics. And let’s not forget Minnesota’s (and the DNC’s) own Keith Ellison, who poses as a standard-issue Democrat but belonged for a decade to the Nation of Islam, speaks at CAIR events, and has ties to several pro-terrorist, anti-Semitic groups.

Also belonging to the latter category is Somali-born Bashe Musse, a Norwegian Labor Party politician who has been a member of the Oslo City Council since 2011. During the last couple of weeks he’s been making headlines because of a Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) report on “dumping.” What’s dumping? Like honor killing and female genital mutilation, it’s a common practice in Europe’s Muslims communities. Instead of sending their kids to regular neighborhood schools, many Muslim parents in Europe send their children off to madrasses – Koran schools – in the countries from which they, the parents, emigrated. The children stay in these schools for years at a time, memorizing the Islamic holy book while their agemates back in Europe learn math, science, and literature.

“Dumping” is eyebrow-raising for more than one reason. Many of these kids’ parents were allowed into Europe in the first place because they professed to be refugees from oppression in their homelands. The fact that they’re shipping their kids off to schools in those same countries gives the lie to those claims. The parents also often maintain that they’re proud to be French, Swedish, or whatever, and that they’re striving to assimilate into their adopted nations. But the whole point of sending these kids to madrasses in the Muslim world is to shield them from what the parents consider the baleful influence of Western civilization.

Last year, NRK produced, as noted, a report on Somali madrasses in which children from Norway have been enrolled. Many viewers considered the revelations eye-popping. In fact it was old news. In a 2004 study, Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Norway’s Human Rights Service (HRS) documented, in extraordinary and devastating detail, the grim reality of daily life in these institutions, where the conditions are almost always primitive and where the atmosphere is less that of a First World school than of a Third World prison. NRK’s report, which contained interviews with children living in Norway who had attended the Somali madrasses, confirmed HRS’s findings: at those “schools,” the children had been tied up, whipped, beaten, and subjected to other sorts of brutal treatment that would ordinarily be considered torture.

Which brings us to Bashe Musse, who in addition to being an Oslo city councilman is also the official chief spokesperson for Norway’s Somali community, the largest non-Western immigrant group in the country. After NRK’s report aired last year, he claimed to be shocked by its contents. But on May 29 of this year, NRK reported that in an interview aired on Somali TV, Musse had dismissed the children’s testimony about the madrasses and regretted that such lies, as he called them, had been “sold to the Norwegian people” by the Norwegian media, which he characterized as “one-sided.”

When confronted by NRK with a transcript of his comments to Somali TV, Musse insisted that the person who had translated his words from Somali into Norwegian had fouled up, entirely misrepresenting his views. NRK thereupon engaged the services of another translator, whose product was essentially identical to that of the first translator. It then presented the transcript to various government officials. Frode Jacobsen, head of the Oslo Labor Party, said he was “surprised and shocked” by Musse’s “double communication,” which he described as “very unfortunate.” Norway’s Minister of Integration, Jan Tore Sanner, also expressed concern, but did not call for any action against Musse. The Progress Party’s immigration spokesman, Jon Helgheim, went quite a bit further, scorning Musse as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing” and urging that the Labour Party discipline him in some way. But as far as I have been able to determine, no one in a position of power has demanded Musse’s resignation or removal from the City Council.

Lying to infidels, of course, has a name in Arabic – taqiyya – and it is one of the chief weapons of Islam in its eternal conflict with non-believers. Among its more celebrated practitioners is “Euro-Islam” proponent, Oxford professor, accused serial rapist, and current jailbird Tariq Ramadan, who is known to routinely say one thing to Western audiences in French or English and another to Muslim audiences n Arabic. Indeed, Caroline Fourest’s book about him is entitled Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan. To employ taqiyya, as Musse appears to have done, is to demonstrate definitively that one is not on the side of the West but that one is a double agent – a partisan, a person whose true loyalty lies, shall we say, elsewhere.

Within a few hours of being caught dead to rights on NRK as a practitioner of doublespeak, Musse made an announcement. Did he resign? Of course not. He declared that NRK had represented him to the Norwegian public as a liar and, what’s more, had painted an unflattering picture of Somalia.  Accordingly, he had contacted a lawyer, Arild Humlen, to ascertain what legal rights he had in the matter. 

What makes this story important, needless to say, is that Musse is not an outlier. Far from it. Increasingly, all over the West, Muslims hold elected positions, some of them at a very high level. It is considered to be racist, or at the very least to be in terribly bad taste, to question whether they can be loyal at once to their totalizing, all-encompassing religion and to their officially secular country and its (still) mostly non-Muslim inhabitants. Once those poiticians are caught engaging in taqiyya, of course, there is no further reason for doubt on this score.

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Parkland shooter: ‘When you see me on the news, you’ll know who I am’

Cell phone videos taken by Nikolas Cruz before the Parkland shooting show that he was planning the attack in detail and looking forward to people seeing him on the news. The Sun-Sentinel reports:

In three chilling cellphone video clips, at least one of which appears to have been recorded on the day of the Feb. 14 shooting, Cruz, 19, calmly outlines his plans.

“When you see me on the news you’ll know who I am,” he says, chuckling. “You’re all going to die. Pew pew pew pew pew. Ah yeah. Can’t wait.”…

“My name is Nik, and I’m going to be the next school shooter of 2018,” he said. “My goal is at least 20 people.”…

“Today is the day. The day that it all begins. The day of my massacre shall begin,” Cruz says. “All the kids in school will run in fear and hide. From the wrath of my power they will know who I am.”…

Cruz offered only vague hints about his motive.

“I’ve had enough being told what to do and when to do. … Telling me I’m an idiot and a dumbass,” he says. “In real life, you’re all the dumbass. You’re all stupid and brainwashed.”

It seems to me the author of this piece is skipping over one obvious motive which Cruz mentioned repeatedly in these brief videos. First, everyone in school would know who he was. Second, everyone would see him on the news and know who he was. Third, in the last video below he says, “With the power of my AR, you will all know who I am.” He goes on to say, “You will all see. You will all know who my name is.”

Cruz seems pretty confident he’s about to become famous, so maybe we shouldn’t overlook that as part of his motive. As I suggested here, there’s a good argument to be made that school shooters, especially since Columbine, are inspired by the idea of becoming notorious killers. The media repeating their names and showing their faces on television, essentially making them instantly famous, inspires more troubled kids with few real prospects to aim for similar fame.

Watch this clip and notice that when he says “When you see me on the news you’ll know who I am,” is the only time he smiles. I’m contributing in a small way to that process but I think the larger issue is the network news and cable shows. I’m not looking for a any kind of law but maybe ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and Fox should consider not playing clips like this or referring to these shooters by name. If notoriety, even in death is their goal, maybe denying them that will result in fewer school shooters.

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2018 MLB Mock Draft: College Players Fly Off The Board Early

The 2018 MLB Draft is less than a week away, as the event begins on June 4. The Detroit Tigers have essentially been on the clock for months, so here’s hoping they’ve dialed in on a top pick. 1. Detroit Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn The Tigers will get a potential ace here, as Casey Mize has the stuff to dominate at the next level.

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After pointlessly groping countless Americans, the TSA is keeping a secret watchlist of those who fight back

 

This is nice.

I remember insisting on avoiding the government radiation boxes and being felt up in an Omaha airport at 4 o’clock in the morning years ago. Since, well, if I can avoid the radiation boxes without being groped I absolutely do. But but both the radiation and the groping are hard to avoid.

I wrote this in 2011.

In Omaha, in the wee ours of the morning however, the TSA wanted me to walk through the radiation boxes. I informed them that I was inclined not to do so and would prefer not to subject my internal organs to the blast of radiation the boxes produce. This is without mentioning of course that the device performs essentially a virtual strip search.

The TSA agent I was talking to then bruskly informed me that I would be subject to a pat down at his hands if I was not inclined to follow his suggestion. If I had to be patted down to avoid irradiating my liver and being virtually strip searched so be it I thought.

Let’s just say that if you have never seen a TSA pat down, or been subject to one, it is just as bad as many say. As I stood there with legs spread and arms extended in the air the message was clear to everyone else. Don’t buck at the radiation boxes or you will have a pat down just like this guy. Just keep moving along.

As I stood there with my shoes off, my belt off, with my wallet and luggage in the all too familiar grey plastic boxes, as a man with rubber gloves ran his hands around my waistline I thought about how far down the path Bryer was referring to we had already gone.

As the agent frisked my legs I couldn’t help myself.

I looked down and said, “I am sad that this is what has happened to my country.”

The guy looked up at me and said, “Well sir not everyone wants to be safe.”

You are darn right, Mr. TSA agent. Some of us know that life involves risk. This knowledge used to be what defined a free people.

“Move along or you’ll miss your connecting flight.” He said.

And still, 7 years on, the TSA hasn’t been reined in.

Why can’t there be a special terminal where people can avoid the TSA and fly in dignity with the understanding that there might be the extremely off chance of a terrorist attack.

Oh that’s right, there is. Just fly on a private jet. No TSA there. I wonder why that is? Just multiply your ticket price by 20 and you too can avoid the dope grope. The USA Today explains.

(From The USA Today)

You might be flying private, but you still have to go through security and deal with the TSA. 

No, you can forget about security lines, taking off your shoes and emptying your pockets. You won’t find metal detectors or body scanners. O’Leary says that often “there is no TSA or pre-flight checks required. The pilots may check the ID of the lead passenger; otherwise, you will be loaded and on your way within minutes of arrival at the airport.  At some private airports, you can actually pull your car up to the aircraft, unload and have valet (service for) your car, so you could be in the air within minutes.”

Ah, very nice. You simply should try it it you have the means. It is just a lovely way to travel. Plus no mixing with the hoi polloi either.

(From The LA Times)

I thought of this exchange last week when the New York Times revealed that the Transportation Security Administration has created a secret watchlist for troublesome passengers. The TSA justified the list by saying that its screeners were assaulted 34 times last year, but did not release any details about the alleged assaults.

Think about this. The TSA WAS ASSAULTED. Um, OK.

Naturally, the TSA’s official definition of troublemaking goes well beyond punching its officers. According to a confidential memo, any behavior that is “offensive and without legal justification” can land a traveler on the list, as can any “challenges to the safe and effective completion of screening.” Anyone who has ever “loitered” near a checkpoint could also make the list. So could any woman who pushes a screener’s hands away from her breasts.

What country is this again?

The watchlist would seem less perilous if the TSA were not one of most incompetent agencies on Earth. After a series of undercover tests at multiple airports across the country, the Department of Homeland Security concluded last year that TSA officers and equipment had failed to detect mock threats roughly 80% of the time. (In Minneapolis, an undercover team succeeded in smuggling weapons and mock bombs past airport screeners 95% of the time.) An earlier DHS investigation found the TSA utterly unable to detect weapons, fake explosives and other contraband, regardless of how extensive its pat-downs were.

The TSA is a works program that assaults Americans legally.

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Catholic appropriation

The event is a celebrity fundraiser in aid of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and essentially involves famous people walking up and down a red carpet in garish outfits, while journalists praise whatever political statement they are supposed to be making. The Gala’s costume theme takes its lead from the Costume Institute’s annual exhibition.

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Trouble brewing for House Democrats, in, get this, CALIFORNIA?

We’ve asked if anything can save California from it’s general decline. We have not been terrible hopeful, sadly. The state for the past decade has essentially been run as a 1 party state. And it shows. But now it looks like some opposition is percolating up in Southern California. Some very interesting developments are just now hitting the political radar screen.

Republicans could take the top 2 spots in some of California’s congressional “jungle primaries” which would guarantee that Republican members of Congress would go to Washington from those districts.

Now that would be interesting.

Ooooh, Jerry Brown would be maaaaad.

(From The New York Times)

“With so many Democrats running, the party’s fear is that the vote will be splintered, allowing Republicans — who have fewer candidates — to dominate some primaries. The party and allied groups are spending more than $4 million on just three campaigns, intervening in one contest to prop up a favored candidate; attacking a Republican from the right in another; and even reminding people not to waste their votes on “ghost candidates” who have dropped out yet remain on the ballot.”

Click here for the article.

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Memorial Day: “The widow and the orphan”

As another Memorial Day dawns, I’m reminded that around this time last year Ed Morrissey asked the question, Have we forgotten the meaning of Memorial Day? I was doing some reading on the subject over the weekend and found that worries over a failure to properly honor this occasion don’t just stretch back for my entire life. The battle to keep to the intent of Memorial Day is essentially as old as the holiday itself.

Last year, Time Magazine put together a great historical piece on just that subject. The complaints about the fading purpose of the holiday actually began less than a score of years after the close of the Civil War. This was observed early on when the editors of the New York Tribune wrote in 1878, “It would be idle to deny that as individual sorrow for the fallen fades away the day gradually loses its best significance. The holiday aspect remains; how much longer the political character of the observance will linger we dare not guess.”

I suppose that their worries were, at least in some ways, valid. But the complete loss of the Memorial Day message never took place, proven by the fact that we’re still arguing over it 140 years later. Many people still do their best and we delight in telling the stories of folks who hew to the real meaning of the holiday, such as “The Good Cemeterian.” But the fact remains – as observed annually by so many others – that Memorial Day has largely become the opposite anchor to Labor Day. One marks the unofficial beginning of summer, the other the end of it.

This evolution of the holiday should probably give us pause if we’re out there having a barbeque today and partying down without any thought for the two categories of people who it was all supposed to be for. There are the Honored Dead, who fill places like Arlington, and then there are those who are left behind. Keep in mind that Memorial Day – or Decoration Day as it was long also called – was originally put in place as a permanent reminder of the more than 600,000 lives lost in the Civil War, later expanding to cover all the wars that followed.

Those who actually participated in the Civil War understood it best. Shortly after the holiday was made official, Union General John A. Logan wrote, “Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.”

The phrase widow and orphan is the key takeaway here. This ties in with some of the observations Ed Morrissey made last year. Following World War 2, most of the country was either directly affected by the losses we sustained in the war or knew someone who was. But the shifting nature of our military leaves us today with only a tiny fraction of families who are connected by blood and tears to those who fight and, to this day, still sometimes die. Memorial Day, as General Logan said, is in place to not only remember the Honored Dead but to comfort those they left behind.

Most Americans can, if so inclined, go out to a cemetery today and stand in awe, seeing the flags marking the “passionless mounds” which cover the fallen. The reverence most feel is of an abstract nature, speaking to a general sense of gratitude and patriotism. But the spouses and children of the Honored Dead experience the day in a far more raw and wrenching fashion. There’s nothing theoretical about their pain and sense of loss. Yet when they see the rest of the nation joining them in placing flowers and flags, observing a moment of silence, we can at least hope that they take some comfort in the communal sense of mourning, assured yet again that their very real and rending sacrifice when they forever gave up their husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, was not in vain.

The list of those who join the ranks of the Honored Dead in America has, thankfully, grown shorter year by year. But still, it grows. New names are added and every one of them leaves their own “soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan” behind. If you need a reason to keep hold of the original meaning of Memorial Day today, that should be more than enough.

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UK Judge Bans Reporting on Journalist Jailed for Covering Alleged Islamic Child Sex Ring

A gang with Islamic ties is suspected of raping countless young girls. A journalist decided to cover the court case, but armed men quickly put him in handcuffs. Now, the government has banned the press from reporting on the arrest of the first journalist, essentially conducting a secret trial. No, this didn’t happen in a…

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