Chief Rabbi of Barcelona: "This Place is Lost"

Following the Islamist terror attack in Barcelona, the Chief Rabbi of Barcelona stated that the Jewish community in Barcelona is doomed.
To Bar-Hen, whose community on Friday resumed activities that it had suspended briefly following the Barcelona attack, “Jews are not here permanently,” he said of the city and region. “I tell my congregants: Don’t think we’re here for good. And I encourage them to buy property in Israel. This place is lost. Don’t repeat the mistake of Algerian Jews, of Venezuelan Jews. Better [get out] early than late.”

Part of the problem exposed by the attacks, Bar-Hen said, is the presence of a large Muslim community with “radical fringes.” Once these people are “living among you,” he said of terrorists and their supporters, “it’s very difficult to get rid of them. They only get stronger.” He also said this applied to Europe as a whole. “Europe is lost,” he said........ Bar-Hen also charged that authorities and some politicians are reluctant to confront Islamist terrorism. He cited the government’s decision in April to allow Leila Khaled, a Palestinian terrorist who was convicted in a plot to hijack an airplane in 1969, to enter the country for a book festival. This showed authorities “do not understand the nature of terrorism, if they treat it as an action by the disenfranchised,” Bar-Hen said.

History is Philosophy Teaching by Example

As Knowledge is unconcerned with appearances, please do pardon the pre-morning-coffee on 4 hours of sleep disheveled look.

Excerpt from "The Love of Books" - The Philobiblon of Richard De Bury 1345

"In books I find the dead as if they were alive; in books I foresee things to come; in books warlike affairs are set forth; from books come forth the laws of peace. All things are corrupted and decay in time; Saturn ceases not to devour the children that he generates; all the glory of the world would be buried in oblivion, unless God had provided mortals with the remedy of books."

Alexander, the conqueror of the earth, Julius, the invader of Rome and of the world, who, the first in war and arts, assumed universal empire under his single rule, faithful Fabricius and stern Cato, would now have been unknown to fame, if the aid of books had been wanting. Towers have been razed to the ground; cities have been overthrown; triumphal arches have perished from decay; nor can either pope or king find any means of more easily conferring the privilege of perpetuity than by books. The book that he has made renders its author this service in return, that so long as the book survives its author remains immortal and cannot die, as Ptolemy declares in the Prologue to his Almagest: He is not dead, he says, who has given life to science. Who therefore will limit by anything of another kind the price of the infinite treasure of books, from which the scribe who is instructed bringeth forth things new and old? Truth that triumphs over all things, which overcomes the king, wine, and women..."

European Historians Say Islam is Conquering Europe

"The Battle of Tours in 732 was the high-water point of the Muslim tide in Western Europe. If Christians had not won, "perhaps," wrote Edward Gibbon, "the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet". Does that sound familiar these days?"

Continue reading the article here: Islam, Not Christianity, is Saturating Europe

My Thoughts on America's National Greatness

The United States of America is the Greatest Country in Recorded History, with a capital G. Supreme greatness demands qualitative and quantitative excellency. Neither Russia's vast landmass nor China's massive population confers true greatness upon either nation. Nor is Qatar considered to be a Great country simply because it has the world's greatest GDP per capita. America is surely the greatest military power, the greatest economic powerhouse, the greatest Civilization on the planet, for now. Will it always be so? Is our Greatness even now on the decline?
Whatever you think of the slogan, the Message to "make America Great again" resonates with tens of millions of Americans. From my vantage point, this is primarily a reaction to the decline of certain intangible aspects of American power, things like American eminence, American culture, American willpower, as well as America's shared sense of national purpose, pride, and patriotism. For history shows that national Greatness consists not so much in territory or in wealth, but rather in what may be called the Spirit of a nation - that animating force within a country which gives it life, energy, and power. Above all, it is the American Spirit which has been degraded and diminished. Making America Great again is therefore an act of spiritual restoration.
The American Spirit has good reason to feel worn and wounded. Our most precious national treasure, the American citizen, is being shot to death by gangs in Chicago; is being poisoned to death by the opioid drug catastrophe in Long Island; is being assaulted by Narco-Smugglers in the Sierra Vista; is being sacrificed in the wastelands of Iraq and Afghanistan. Less than one-half of one percent of Americans bear the brunt of our wars and our "foreign entanglements." The hard, grim, indisputable facts: 30,000 American casualties and $2 Trillion later, and we've gained nothing in the "war on terror," and lost everything. Our Institutions are corroding and our Infrastructure is decaying. Americans are divided: between Main Street and Wall Street, Democrat and Republican, City and Town, Elite and Deplorable, Liberal and Conservative, Nationalist and Globalist, Black and White, Religious and Atheist, and so on and so forth. We are a debtor nation, $20 Trillion in the hole - and what have we got to show for our astounding level of indebtedness? Civil society, as embodied in religious association and communal fraternization, is in free fall. For millions upon millions of Americans, the American Dream is not so much a goal, as it is a Candyland fantasy.
Donald Trump says: "America doesn't win anymore." Worse still, it seems to me these days that America doesn't even try anymore. Once upon a time, we were The Indispensable Nation, The Arsenal of Democracy, the Leader of the Free World. Have we lost our national ambition, that American Exceptionalism which made us truly Great? A lesson from history: "Rome's decline and fall was not an event, but a process spread over 300 years. A Great Civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within. The essential causes of Rome's decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism, her stifling taxes, her consuming wars." - Will Durant, 1944.
Sound familiar? Reversing these negative trends will take time; will require effort; will demand national sacrifice. But it will require more than anything American unity and a genuine willingness to understand and support one another as fellow Americans. We cannot simply write off the other half of the country as deplorable or socialist. Reminiscing on a much darker moment in the history of the American Republic, General George Washington noted that, "Perseverance and Spirit have done wonders in all Ages." Whoever we elect to be our President, the great task remaining before us is clear: to revitalize and renew America's Spiritual force, as expressed in our customs, our manners, our institutions, our ceremonies, our laws, our oaths, our contracts, our associations, our freedoms, our foreign policy, our shared history, and our national culture. In that sense, I fondly hope that we can, and will make America Great again, with a capital G.

The Spirit of Man has Awakened

"The Spirit of man has awakened.....Grant us the wisdom and the vision to comprehend the greatness of man's Spirit that suffers and endures so hugely for a goal beyond his own brief span.............We are all of us children of Earth. Grant us that simple KNOWLEDGE.....And in that faith, let us march!  March toward the clean world, that our hands can make - Amen!"  -Franklin D. Roosevelt, June 14,1942

Making the Torah and Bible Interesting Again

Without a doubt, the greatest rendition of the Bible in the history of mankind. Purists will have some problems with the translation, but the performance of the actors, the music, the incredible narration in all forms towers above all flaws. This is a lifetime companion.  Click the link above to hear the sample from Audible books. Happy Easter to all!

Geert Wilders Parliamentary Discussion

Some will say, that Geert Wilders is the most important European political leader alive today. He is a defender of the Netherlands and his fellow Citizens. A defender of Freedom & Judeo-Christian / Western Civilization. Currently he is the chief of the largest political party in the Dutch Parliament. Have Americans heard of him? Do they know of his struggle, and what it represents for Europe?

Some thoughts from the video on Democracy and Transparency ----- The verbal machetes hurled at Mr. Wilders do not faze him. He has long ago willed such reactionary tendencies from his body. With wit and conviction he counters the challenges. On point and on message. This direct back and forth parliamentary exchange is one of democracy's finest manifestations. See also the regular Prime Minister's Questions in the UK, where we can witness another masterpiece of the democratic art form. This healthy practice is sadly missing in our own American form of republicanism. Our Chief Executive and Department leaders are rarely exposed to such fierce verbal exchanges. Yet such disagreements are essential to any government which truly seeks to expresses the people, and is of the people, by the people, and for the people. American leaders are comparatively insular. Imagine if you will Mr. Obama or Mr. Bush being subjected to cross-examination before Congress on a regular basis. Could such accountability perhaps helped our country avoid major blunders?  Imagine that Mr. Bush had been required on a weekly basis to face the Congress. Were each Member of Congress allowed to challenge Mr. Bush, could some of the flaws in his anti-terror strategy been exposed? Would this have made war more or less likely? We must vigorously hold our leaders to account. Many major challenges in our society could have been brought to light and tackled much earlier, before they metastasized. Imagine if the head of the Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, or the Justice Department, had to sharpen themselves against the challenge of an opposing committee of his teammates and fellow citizens of the Republic. What harm can there be in this? Aristotle himself believed a key ingredient of the ideal Leader was utter transparency in thought and action. Related to this is my cautious admiration for Mr. Trump. Consistently open and in the spotlight, he takes on all challenges directly and very rarely hides or obfuscates. Mr. Trump's life is freedom in action - free expression, free enterprise, free thought, free speech. He lives freedom, Others preach it. Merely to be in the arena, is to have lived a life worthy living.

On Geert Wilders: Mr. Wilders is heir to the ideas and the fate of the assassinated Dutch civil servant, sociologist, author, professor, and finally politician, Pim Fortyn. Gay, and flamboyantly so, Mr. Fortyn was a critic of all forms of political correctness, but most especially of militant Islam and it's horrible treatment of gays and lesbians. His murder was Holland's first political assassination in 400 years. For much of the last decade, and continuing into the present, Mr. Wilders must keep armed guards at all times, must sleep in a undisclosed locations, and must be forever on high alert. The forces of evil Islamism are so strong that they are able to influence Dutch security in the very heart of Europe. Despite all this, it is Mr. Wilders who is branded the racist, because he defends the traditional mores, culture, and bloodline of his Nation. Such is the twisted degeneracy of modern European political culture.

On Voice of America: Lastly, I thought you ought be aware of the current journalistic standards over at the good 'ol Voice of America, the official external broadcast institution for your United States Your tax dollars are here at work smearing and shaming Mr. Wilders, a man who is effectively the most popular elected leader in the Netherlands. The depth and scope of misleading information are today so astounding and are unlike anything we have ever seen in the long, dark, and lamentable catalog of human propaganda. In our era of corrupt and crooked governance, would you expect anything less from a decadent Establishment?

Psalm 120

Psalm 120, written thousands of years ago (supposedly) by King David.  Of note, Meshech and Kedar are the Arab descendants of Ishmael, the forerunners to Islam. Interestingly, the great Jewish scholar Maimonides referenced this passage in his assessment of the Islamic power structures to which he was subject.  A parallel today would be the negotiations between the United States of America and Iran - Kerry talks peace, Khomeini talks war:

"I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me. 
        Save me, O LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.
What will he do to you, and what more besides, O deceitful tongue? 
        He will punish you with a warrior's sharp arrows, with burning coals of the broom tree.
Woe to me that I dwell in Meshech, that I live among the tents of Kedar! 
        Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.
I am a man of peace; but when I speak, they are for war."

The stewards of our diplomatic and military relations could learn a great deal from the immortal pen of a philosopher-king who dwelt in the misty dawn of recorded history.

The Context of Islamism

This post is adapted from an essay I wrote in early 2011:

Islamism must be considered as one of the most successful political ideologies of the modern era, on par with Communism and representative Democracy. From a handful of secret societies and tribal confederations, the ideologues of totalitarian Islam have swept their competitors off the battlefield of Middle Eastern politics. How did this movement rise from such humble roots to inspire millions with an active spiritual strength as powerful as any military arsenal?

Islamism is a modern political movement that advocates the submission of the entire world to the ancient doctrines of Orthodox Sunni or Shiite Islam. According to this system, all aspects of an individual’s personal and civil lives must be regulated by the Islamic legal code of Shariah, a canon inspired by the word of God and animated by the example of Muhammad, who Muslims believe to be the last and greatest of the prophets of God. Seeking, as all great political ideologies do, to provide order in a turbulent world, Islamism championed the power of totalitarian spiritual servitude, where before it democracy had exalted the indispensible virtues of liberty and equality.

If we suppose that, “the Muslim community [is], in a sense Allah’s army, with the conquest of the world as its object,” then we can consider the Islamists as the self-appointed Generals in command of this holy army. If we further the analogy, then by the outset of the 19th century the army of the faithful had been uniformly defeated, thought not conquered, by the very Christian powers of Europe that they had more than once nearly conquered themselves. There naturally arose in the midst of this epic communal failure a desire to identify the causes of decay in order that they might be reversed. What went wrong, and, crucially, how could these shameful circumstances be corrected? How would the community of the faithful react to its encounter with the modern world? 100 years ago, the world’s leading European expert on Islam wrote that in the answer to this question, “the whole civilized world and the whole world of Islam are concerned.”

To this day, Muslim intellectuals have offered and been offered every conceivable antidote to address the decline of their once powerful civilization: theocracy in Iran and Saudi Arabia, monarchy in Jordan and the Gulf, Socialism in Egypt and Syria, mandated secularism in Turkey, nominal democracy in Indonesia and Iraq, dictatorship, tribalism, and autocratic depredations everywhere. The cultural and spiritual traditions of Islam non-withstanding, Islamism is a successful ideology precisely because of the abject failure of all the other political constructs throughout the lands peopled by Muslims. Indeed, by picking and choosing the most opportunistic aspects of the ideologies that preceded it, Islamists have constructed a hybrid system that has attracted a global network of loyalists. For instance, the Muslim Brotherhood has many successful businesses that operate in the free-market, yet the essence of their ideology is Islam, and their organization is structured in a manner similar to the Communists.

Of course, the Islamists have had a little help, and while their militant spiritual force has gradually worn away at the material supremacy of the West, it has been the largesse of Saudi and Iranian oil dollars that has allowed Islamists to rise so quickly to the heights of Middle Eastern politics. The dark, oily wealth of the Wahabbis and Ayatollahs has been used to fund tens of thousands of radical mosques and schools (madrassas) throughout the globe, where daily the multitudes of Islamic youth are raised in the supremacist glories of the Ancient Golden Age of Islamic yore. Crucially, it is within this loosely-connected global network of Islamic schools, Muslim NGOs, mosques, and Islamic community centers, where generations of children have been taught, enlightened national leaders have been deceived, millions of Muslim faithful have been proselytized, and entire Muslim communities have been segregated from, and antagonized against, the modern liberal ways of Western culture and society.

The failure of all modern political constructs, the general instability sweeping the globe, and the massive transfer of oil wealth to the enemies of liberal civilization have all abetted the rise of Islamist power. Yet the heart of the movement lies in its militant spiritual strength, which is so essential a component of orthodox Islam. Islamists legitimize their totalitarian doctrines as a continuation of the glorious legacy of an ancient, respected, and powerful religion. The hard facts are that the Sunni and Shiite orthodox traditions, which are followed by the vast majority of practicing Muslims, agree on the following: that infidels ought to be aggressively converted, apostates must be murdered as traitors, that the Koran and its Prophet must not be critiqued, that Christians and Jews are to be reviled, and that women are subjected to men. The Muhammadan faith since its inception has been at odds with Judeo-Christian civilization. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a movement of the radical right-wing of Sunni and Shiite Orthodox traditions should necessarily stand opposed to those bedrocks of Western civilization: reason, science, capitalism and freedom.

The hypocrisy of the Islamists is on a scale with their political cunning. The bearded fanatics who are loudest with their invective against modern society are the first to utilize modern technology to drag the world into the supposed glorious barbarism of 7th century Arabia. A megaphone carries the call to prayer to more ears; the printing press brings the dictates of the Koran to more eyes; cell phones allow commanders to give orders directly to the jihadists on the front lines; the internet expands the reach, and magnifies the power of insurgent groups like Al-Qaeda; and the education of Muslims in the western sciences has led to their ability to develop deadlier weapons. The irony of the Salafist successes is that though they may despise the climate of freedom in which these inventions were created, they are quick to abuse the scientific genius of infidels towards the advancement of their own backwards, totalitarian dogma. Much as Adolf Hitler used the pretense of democracy to come to power, so he disregarded the will of the people as soon as he had achieved his position of authority.

The Islamists are thus able to draw from the greatest strengths of two diametrically opposed civilizations. It is precisely this hypocritical genius that has allowed the modern Islamist movement to conquer the peasant minds of the Arab street, both in the Middle East and in the important Muslim Diasporas in India, Europe, and the Americas. Radical Islamism is certainly one of the primary factors driving the revolutionary sentiment presently sweeping the Muslim World. In the few places where they have achieved tangible political power, their ascension has led to the abuses one might expect from a totalitarian ideology. The world has not heard the last of Islamism. Civilized nations of all stripes would do well to prepare for the day when the governments of many States are in their hands, and where the Mubaraks and Ghaddafis are replaced by the Qaradawis and Gannouchis.

An Ode to Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill, Britain’s Prime Minister during her most perilous hour, was the leading statesman of the 20th century, a Ciceronian orator, a Nobel Prize-winning historian, and a champion of Western Civilization in the magnitude of Charles Martel and John Sobieski. In a mad age of appeasement and cowardice, his was the lone voice of resistance and courage. Blessed with an imaginative mind, he foretold of the existential danger to humanity posed not only by Nazism, but of communism, socialism, and Islamism as well. Like the Athenian general Themistocles before him, he correctly identified Naval supremacy as the lifeblood of national empire. Witness as First Lord of the Admiralty, Churchill already winning Parliamentary funding in 1911 for the four modern dreadnaught ships which proved decisive in Britain’s naval victory over Germany in World War I.

Thirty years later, as Europe “lay prostrate and writhing under the Nazi yoke,” it was Churchill the lion, almost alone, defiant in the face of the bloodthirsty Nazi tyranny. By his actions he instilled courage in the breasts of his countrymen, and by his words he  inspired them with hope for a brighter future. Churchill was not by nature a war monger. Rather, he was a Righteous Gentile, a painter, writer, and a lover of animals. His martial instinct was firmly rooted in his just appreciation for perilous beauty of Civilization, And it is a measure of his Greatness that he resolved it worthier to die fighting for such a worthy cause then to live to witness it destroyed and subjected.

An example for all generations, the world at present requires Churchillian leadership to navigate it through another dark and stormy hour in the history of mankind.

Flashback - 2006 College Essay - President Bush and Christianity in the Middle East

The following Essay was written in 2006 when I was an International Relations student at Boston University. One could write the exact same thing about President Obama today:

As a general rule, the Bush Administration has gone to great lengths to assuage the fears of Muslims worldwide, that his wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not part of a religious crusade against Islam. On numerous occasions, he has made public declarations in favor of the peaceable nature of Islam. He has directed American aid to Muslim countries including Pakistan, Egypt, and Jordan, besides the trillions in reconstruction dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. The President has even championed the cause of new Muslim countries in Palestine and Kosovo. It is thus a disgrace that a born-again Christian President does not use the power at his disposal to champion the cause of the millions of Christians living under siege throughout the world.

Don’t get me wrong. I sympathize with the Muslim masses. Trapped between Islamic theology and autocratic despotism, these liberty-starved people need and deserve help from the powerful United States of America, the land of the free, and the arsenal of democracy. But the Christians in the Muslim world have the added misfortune of being minorities. The President’s refusal to use his bully pulpit to speak against the vast persecution of Christians in Muslim lands is cowardly and betrays the hypocrisy at the heart of so many of the President’s foreign policy undertakings.

In his seminal essay, A Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington wrote of the “bloody borders” of Islam. Yet what of the internal nature of Muslim societies? In every country where Islam is a national force, Christians (and other non-Muslims) suffer.

In Egypt, Coptic Christian plans to expand a Church are met by riotous, hatchet-wielding, house-burning Muslim mobs. In the Pakistani Punjab, Christians have been warned to immediately stop their prayers to the “supposed son of God”, even while they are in their own sanctuaries. In Gaza, a Hamas leader has decreed that the meager community of 2,500 Christians can only live safely if they obey the rigid strictures of Islamic Shariah law, which mandates an inferior status for all non-Muslims infidels. In Nigeria, the northern population of Muslims is battling the Southern, Christian half for control of the country. And while the ethnic cleansing of Christian (and Muslim) blacks in the south of Sudan began in the’80s, the jihadist slaughter has attained genocidal intensity under President Bush’s Administration.

Lastly, and most disgracefully, is the annihilation of ancient Mesopotamian Christianity currently under way in Iraq, under the nose of the allegedly crusading, imperial, Christian West. Iraqi Christians are being murdered, ransomed, robbed and tortured by Muslim clans. Hundreds of thousands have already fled for greener pastures in Jordan, Turkey, and Syria. Swarms of refugees in Jordan know that if they remain in their “liberated” homeland, their religious culture will be swamped by the tidal wave of Islam in Iraq.

If Islam is a religion of peace, then why has its resurgence in Iraq led to the devastation of Iraqi Christianity? Is it merely a coincidence? Facts are inconvenient things and they lead one to think otherwise. It can be argued that Islam is a militant and totalitarian religious belief system, recently rejuvenated by injections of massive oil wealth after centuries of stagnation. The idea of Islamic power having once been once reawakened, it has now begun to assert itself, and has shaken the very foundations of the international order. So long as the Koran is taught as the literal word of God to hundreds of millions of Muslim children throughout the world, Christians and Jews and Allawites and other minorities living under the sway of Islam will necessarily suffer. Such a devout follower of the teachings of Christ as President Bush, having attained the pinnacle of power, should use his bully pulpit to shine light on the gross injustices being committed against Christianity in the name of a supremacist religious belief system. His leadership can give hope to millions at a dark and precarious moment in the ancient history of Middle Eastern Christianity.

Learning Lessons from 9/11 and Iraq - Senator Marco Rubio

On Wednesday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) addressed what he said he sensed was his constituents concerns about the escalating violence in Iraq. He said that many do not understand why it was America’s responsibility to address the situation in Iraq. In his speech on the Senate floor, he set out to address his constituents’ concerns, to explain why the problem in Iraq was and will be America’s problem, and why President Barack Obama must “lead” on this issue.

“Imagine for a moment if we could go back in time to the year 1997, or 1996, or 1998, 1999, and had known about al-Qaeda then what we knew by September of 2001,” Rubio began. “We would have realized that this was a dangerous group that had the capacity and the deep willingness to attack Americans in order to terrorize us so that we would leave the Middle East and turn it over to people like them.”

“If we had done something about it, it is fair to say that eventually there would have been some terrorist attack, but maybe there wouldn’t have been one on September 11, 2001,” he continued.

“While this is not the time to point fingers or throw blame around, I certainly think it’s the time to learn the lessons of that history and apply them to the challenges of our time,” Rubio asserted.

“So, while I understand that he doesn’t want us engaged in another conflict, and neither do most Americans, he knows – he must know – that we are going to have to do something about this,” Rubio insisted. “The issue before us is whether we do something about it now, or we do something about this later when the problem will be much harder and much costlier to address.”