Sunday, August 28, 2016

Son of Chicago cop, hope for a city, now lost

August 25, 2016
Image result for arshell dennis
Arshell Dennis III.
Rahm Emanuel hides his emotion most days, hides it behind that bark he's had to develop to survive a brutal life of politics.
But he couldn't hide it Thursday, and neither could hundreds of others mourning at the funeral of 19-year-old Arshell "Trey" Dennis III.
Trey, the son of a Chicago police officer, was recently gunned down on a porch while visiting a friend.
He was a journalism student at St. John's University in New York, active with the college NAACP, a helpful, kind and brilliant kid. His friends and teachers loved him. He was known in his community, with no criminal ties, no gang affiliations, no record.
This is what Trey was: He was the hope of Chicago.
He'd come back to the city to surprise his mother, Ramona, who is ill. And he was murdered by some vicious creature.
News reports suggest it may have been a case of mistaken identity in some gang initiation. Or it could have been something else.
The only fact I know is that he's dead. And he was so young in that casket; just a couple of years older than my own boys, his hands folded, so still.
The funeral directors closed the casket, and the mayor spoke words over him and wept, a mayor grieving as the father of a young man Trey's age.
I couldn't see tears on the mayor's face, but I could feel them as he brushed his eyes, as if irritated, and his voice broke once, and again and then again. And he did so, grieving for the family and the city numbed by the carnage of Chicago's gang wars.
"Arshell was a passionate journalism major, no doubt answering the call to use his voice to inform others," Emanuel said. "At home, his father is a Chicago police officer, answering the call to serve others in the city.
"And what bound them together was more than just the bonds of a father and a son," Emanuel said. "It was the call to do something greater than for themselves. To use their lives to serve others."
When his voice began to break, I could feel something breaking in my own chest. You could see the same pain all over the church, on the faces of those street cops, the real police, the hunters, looking uncomfortable in their dark suits. And on mothers who were also worrying about their own sons.
Many chests were heaving, heaving like Rahm's, like my own.
"I did not know Trey, but I know as a father of a 19-year-old the power to know a child," the mayor said. "And now … the loss of a young man … and when I hear the stories of Trey, I see the values and hear the values of the Dennis family."
The mayor recovered his composure quickly. There were no TV cameras allowed inside the Monument of Faith Church. He wasn't there to play to the media.
"And when the news of this tragedy struck, it struck all of Chicago ... the loss of the Dennis family," the mayor said. "That a father who runs towards danger when the rest of us run away, to protect our communities, that he and Ramona would lose a son to gun violence struck a chord of wrong."
A chord of wrong.
Or more like a long bad note screeching out of a woodwind, or moans from the broken in the gang wars of Chicago.
I've covered the funerals of imperfect victims, too, of the gangbangers and of their victims, and at some you see people angry, necks bowed, stiff legged, whispering revenge or yelling it, awaiting confrontation, begging for it, eager.
Not at Trey's funeral.
Because the people at his funeral are the people a city can't live without: the black middle class, cops and city workers, teachers, the churchgoers, people involved in community work, like Trey's parents, who raised their son right, got him into a great university and buried him.
They're the people you never see. The people who stay married, the people who aren't loud, people who are generally ignored by the media, even in their good works, until they're in a church, mourning a good son.
"I'll tell you what he was like," a friend, Corey Love, 20, told me outside in the parking lot before the funeral began. "He was funny. He'd let you know how he felt, but he let you know in a funny way, so you wouldn't take offense at what he was saying."
A young woman came up and said her name was Courtney Pamon, 18.
"He was my brother's best friend," Pamon said. "Trey was like a big brother to me. Every time he came back from New York, he was at our house."
Trey was with your brother when he was killed, I said. Your brother was also shot, wasn't he?
"Yes," she said. "But he's OK. He was shot, in his arm, and in his side."
What happened?
"I don't want to talk about it," Pamon said, backing away. "I just don't."
Mathias Muschal, Trey's English teacher at Urban Prep, gave a beautiful talk in the church about his bright and clear-thinking student.
"Everything they're saying about him is real," he told me afterward. "He really was that good, smart, but he never made anyone else feel dumb."
One story Muschal didn't share in church happened on the day Trey showed up for freshman orientation. In the lunchroom, another classmate sat alone. Trey got up and sat next to the boy.
"He was the kind of person who couldn't abide other people suffering. He just sat next to him," Muschal said. "He didn't care about fitting in. He didn't care about being popular. He was just himself, and everybody loved him for it."
After the mayor finished, I caught up to him outside in the parking lot. Emanuel grimaced, figuring I'd mock him for revealing his heart. I told him I wouldn't, I told him he was right.
"What happened to him, to his family, that is not OK," the mayor said. "It is not OK. There is evil in the world."
There are still reasons to hope for Chicago, but one of those reasons was buried Thursday.
He was 19.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Something New under the Sun: A Hemingway Biography That’s Original


James M. Hutchisson provides a rare, balanced view of a much-studied author.

By Ron Capshaw — August 27, 2016
Image result for hutchisson hemingway
Norman Mailer once located courage in Ernest Hemingway’s manic depression. Proof of this, according to Mailer, was that Papa was able to produce classic works despite daily struggles with that crippling condition.

James Hutchisson takes off from that point and advertises that his is the first “balanced” view of Hemingway in years. Others, he argued, have either portrayed the writer as the persona he created for himself — that of a rugged adventurer with a genius for words — or as an alcoholic womanizer. Hutchisson justifies this latest attempt at explaining Hemingway by announcing that he would view the author’s work through several prisms: his medical condition that grew worse over the years (like others, Hutchisson sees an air of inevitability about Hemingway’s putting the fatal shotgun in his mouth and pulling the trigger); his obsession with life and death, which was grist to his creative mill; and his relationships with women.

He does this convincingly, especially with the latter. Unlike other biographers, he doesn’t accept as true Hemingway’s depiction of an adversarial relationship with his mother. Hemingway portrayed her as a shrew who drove her husband to suicide, but Hutchinson argues that there was love between mother and son, pointing out that Hemingway took care of her financially the rest of her life). He was “drawn to motherly types.” While married to his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, the least motherly of all his wives, he loved her mother more. Hadley, his first wife and the one he later claimed he loved the most, was maternal in appearance and attitude and took care of him while he struggled to become a writer. His second wife, Pauline, took care of his every need, once saying that “a good writer has to be nurtured.”

Hemingway had a reputation for independence and for being a starving writer who wrote his way out of poverty, whereas in fact his first two wives provided a cushy, financial berth. Hadley’s $3,000 trust fund allowed the leisure of studying under Getrude Stein, James Joyce, and Ezra Pound. Once safely established, he married Pauline, the richest of his wives. Her Uncle Gus bankrolled for Hemingway a fishing boat and an African safari, which gave him material for his stories. (Two of them, “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” and the “Snows of Kilimanjaro” are arguably his greatest.) Pauline also provided him a congenial location, a “room of one’s own” — oddly away from other writers — to produce when her Uncle Gus bought them a house in Key West. From this perch came A Farewell to Arms and the beginnings of For Whom the Bell Tolls (the latter finished in Cuba and Wyoming).

But Hemingway worked best amid turmoil. He wrote Arms while racked with guilt over leaving Hadley for Pauline. He wrote Tolls when he left Pauline for Martha Gellhorn. Although acknowledging the influence of women on his work, Hutchinson argues, quite convincingly, that it was ultimately Hemingway’s manic depression that was the source of his creativity. The act of writing about death kept his demons at bay, however temporarily.

Hutchinson’s work is balanced. He accepts Gellhorn’s opinion that Hemingway failed to satisfy her sexually. He doesn’t neglect the writer’s betrayal of friends, many of whom — Ford Madox Ford, Sherwood Anderson, Getrude Stein (another mother figure) — helped him get his start. But he also shows a heroic side. Hutchisson asserts that during his famous wounding during World War I, Hemingway carried an injured Italian soldier on his back to safety. This incident spooked Hemingway to the core, and he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, which, untreated, lasted the rest of his life.

It is a pity that Hutchisson doesn’t devote the same attention to Hemingway’s politics, particularly during that most political of wars, the Spanish Civil War. In this conflict, where Hitler supplied arms to the Franco rebellion, and Stalin to those who defended the left-of-center Republic, Hutchinson characterizes his politics as complex, anti-Fascist without being pro-Communist. But the reality is that during his coverage of the war and his premarital relationship with Martha Gellhorn, he was politicized to the point of being Communist.

Like his protagonist Robert Jordan of For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemingway believed that the Communists had the best means of fighting the war and accepted their discipline. But whereas Jordan suspended his thinking —  the necessary attitude for a good Stalinist — for the duration of the war, Hemingway devoted his energies to defending Soviet behavior. Under its sway, Hemingway produced some of his most embarrassing works —To Have and Have NotThe Fifth Column — the latter reducing Fascism and Communism to cops and robbers. (In The Fifth Column, Hemingway introduced his worst character, Philip Rawlins, a Comintern counter-espionage agent who, in the words of a disappointed Edmund Wilson, a critic who had championed Hemingway early on, was little more than a sadistic Stalinist thug.)

But because Hutchisson is so good on everything else, it is a minor quibble to note his neglect of Hemingway’s political views. Hutchisson has done the impossible: He has made an original contribution to the literature about the most written-about author in American letters.

— Ron Capshaw writes from Midlothian, Va.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The U.S. Department of Clinton


KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL
August 25, 2016
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, vice-chair of the Clinton Global Initiative Chelsea Clinton and founder of the Clinton Global Initiative Bill Clinton onstage during the fourth day of the Clinton Global Initiative's 10th Annual Meeting at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on September 24, 2014 in New York City.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, vice-chair of the Clinton Global Initiative Chelsea Clinton and founder of the Clinton Global Initiative Bill Clinton onstage during the fourth day of the Clinton Global Initiative's 10th Annual Meeting at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers on September 24, 2014 in New York City.

This is the week that the steady drip, drip, drip of details about Hillary Clinton’s server turned into a waterfall. This is the week that we finally learned why Mrs. Clinton used a private communications setup, and what it hid. This is the week, in short, that we found out that the infamous server was designed to hide that Mrs. Clinton for three years served as the U.S. Secretary of the Clinton Foundation.
In March this column argued that while Mrs. Clinton’s mishandling of classified information was important, it missed the bigger point. The Democratic nominee obviously didn’t set up her server with the express purpose of exposing national secrets—that was incidental. She set up the server to keep secret the details of the Clintons’ private life—a life built around an elaborate and sweeping money-raising and self-promoting entity known as the Clinton Foundation.
Had Secretary Clinton kept the foundation at arm’s length while in office—as obvious ethical standards would have dictated—there would never have been any need for a private server, or even private email. The vast majority of her electronic communications would have related to her job at the State Department, with maybe that occasional yoga schedule. And those Freedom of Information Act officers would have had little difficulty—when later going through a state.gov email—screening out the clearly “personal” before making her records public. This is how it works for everybody else.
–– ADVERTISEMENT ––

Mrs. Clinton’s problem—as we now know from this week’s release of emails from Huma Abedin’s private Clinton-server account—was that there was no divide between public and private. Mrs. Clinton’s State Department and her family foundation were one seamless entity—employing the same people, comparing schedules, mixing foundation donors with State supplicants. This is why she maintained a secret server, and why she deleted 15,000 emails that should have been turned over to the government.
Most of the focus on this week’s Abedin emails has centered on the disturbing examples of Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band negotiating State favors for foundation donors. But equally instructive in the 725 pages released by Judicial Watch is the frequency and banality of most of the email interaction. Mr. Band asks if Hillary’s doing this conference, or having that meeting, and when she’s going to Brazil. Ms. Abedin responds that she’s working on it, or will get this or that answer. These aren’t the emails of mere casual acquaintances; they don’t even bother with salutations or signoffs. These are the emails of two people engaged in the same purpose—serving the State-Clinton Foundation nexus.
The other undernoted but important revelation is that the media has been looking in the wrong place. The focus is on Mrs. Clinton’s missing emails, and no doubt those 15,000 FBI-recovered texts contain nuggets. Then again, Mrs. Clinton was a busy woman, and most of the details of her daily State/foundation life would have been handled by trusted aides. This is why they, too, had private email. Top marks to Judicial Watch for pursuing Ms. Abedin’s file from the start. A new urgency needs to go into seeing similar emails of former Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills.
Mostly, we learned this week that Mrs. Clinton’s foundation issue goes far beyond the “appearance” of a conflict of interest. This is straight-up pay to play. When Mr. Band sends an email demanding a Hillary meeting with the crown prince of Bahrain and notes that he’s a “good friend of ours,” what Mr. Band means is that the crown prince had contributed millions to a Clinton Global Initiative scholarship program, and therefore has bought face time. It doesn’t get more clear-cut, folks.
That’s highlighted by the Associated Press’s extraordinary finding this week that of the 154 outside people Mrs. Clinton met with in the first years of her tenure, more than half were Clinton Foundation donors. Clinton apologists, like Vox’s Matthew Yglesias, are claiming that statistic is overblown, because the 154 doesn’t include thousands of meetings held with foreign diplomats and U.S. officials.
Nice try. As the nation’s top diplomat, Mrs. Clinton was obliged to meet with diplomats and officials—not with others. Only a blessed few outsiders scored meetings with the harried secretary of state and, surprise, most of the blessed were Clinton Foundation donors.
Mrs. Clinton’s only whisper of grace is that it remains (as it always does in potential cases of corruption) hard to connect the dots. There are “quids” (foundation donations) and “quos” (Bahrain arms deals) all over the place, but no precise evidence of “pros.” Count on the Clinton menagerie to dwell in that sliver of a refuge.
But does it even matter? What we discovered this week is that one of the nation’s top officials created a private server that housed proof that she continued a secret, ongoing entwinement with her family foundation—despite ethics agreements—and that she destroyed public records. If that alone doesn’t disqualify her for the presidency, it’s hard to know what would.
Write to kim@wsj.com.

Trump and the American Dream


By CAROLINE B. GLICK
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/
August 25, 2016

Image result for donald trump 2016 august
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally on August 18, 2016 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Trump continues to campaign for his run for President of the United States.

According to most polls taken since last month’s party conventions, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton enjoys an insurmountable lead over Republican nominee Donald Trump. Consequently, a number of commentators on both sides of the partisan divide have declared the race over. Clinton, they say, has won.

There are several problems with this conclusion.

First of all, the “official campaign,” won’t begin until September 26, when Clinton and Trump face off in their first presidential debate. Clinton is not a stellar debater and Trump, a seasoned entertainer, excels in these formats.

Second, recent polls indicate that Trump is closing the gap. Whereas until this past week Clinton enjoyed a 6-8 point lead in the polls, in two polls taken this week, her lead had contracted to a mere 1-3 points.

Third, it is quite possible that Clinton’s problems have only begun. Her peak popularity may be behind her. Since her nomination, barely a day has passed without another stunning exposé of apparently corrupt behavior on the part of Clinton and her closest advisers. This week’s AP report that half of Clinton’s non-official visitors during her tenure as secretary of state were donors to the Clinton Foundation was merely the latest blow.

The continuous drip of corruption stories will have a corrosive effect on Clinton’s support levels. If the revelations to come are as damaging as many have claimed, their impact on Clinton’s candidacy may be fatal.

In light of Clinton’s weaknesses, Trump’s main hurdle to winning the election may very well lie with the NeverTrump movement. That movement encompasses much of the Republican establishment – that is, the political class of centrist elected officials, opinion-shapers, former officials and ideologues. Its members have vowed not to vote for Trump even if it means that Clinton wins the White House. The fact that so many prominent Republican voices continue to oppose Trump even after he has been nominated hurts his ability to build support among swing voters.

As far as the NeverTrumpsters are concerned, Trump carried out a hostile takeover of their party.

The man who discussed his private parts on national television and brutally and personally attacked his opponents may have won more primary votes than any Republican candidate in the past. But he also won the enmity of more members of the party establishment than any other Republican presidential hopeful.

In an interview with CNN in late May, Wall Street Journal columnist (and former Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief) Bret Stephens spoke for many in the NeverTrump camp when he said that he wants Trump to be “the biggest loser in presidential history.”

Stephens explained, “It’s important that Donald Trump and what he represents, this kind of ethnic quote ‘conservatism’ or populism, be so decisively rebuked that the Republican Party and Republican voters will forever learn their lesson that they cannot nominate a man so manifestly unqualified to be president in any way, shape or form.”

In June Stephens told radio host Hugh Hewitt that a Trump presidency would be more devastating for the US than a Clinton presidency. Stephens argued that whereas a Clinton presidency would be “a survivable event” he was unsure that the US could survive a Trump presidency.

He explained, “The United States survives so long as at least one of its major parties is politically and intellectually healthy. I don’t think the Republican Party... as the vehicle for modern American conservative ideas, survives with Donald Trump.”

This week, The Washington Times published a list of 50 senior Republicans who not only will not support Trump, but have switched sides and are publicly supporting Clinton.

The problem with Stephens’s view, which again, is widely shared by the intellectual and political establishment of the party, is that it ignores the cause of Trump’s primaries victory.

On the eve of his 2008 electoral victory, Barack Obama pledged to “fundamentally transform,” America.

He kept his word.

And it is this fundamental transformation and the Republican leadership’s failure to stop it that transformed a loud-mouthed, brash billionaire into the Republican nominee. It was this transformation, and the Republican establishment’s failure to block it, that made it impossible for moderates like Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush to win the Republican primaries in 2016.

Not only has the country been transformed, the Republican electorate has been transformed.

Today America is steeped in crisis. Foreign audiences concentrate on the crisis of American power overseas. Today, due to Obama’s decision to prefer his failed attempt at rapprochement with Iran over longtime US allies in the region, the Americans have lost their strategic superiority in the Middle East and are on the way to losing whatever residual influence they still maintain over regional affairs.

Turkey’s ground invasion of Syria on Wednesday is a clear sign of the disintegration of America’s regional position. While the invasion was ostensibly launched against ISIS, the plain fact is that its main target is the Kurds. That is, NATO member Turkey invaded Syria to take out the US’s primary ally in its campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

And the US is providing air cover to the Turkish invaders while abandoning the Kurds.

Every advance the US has made in its campaign against ISIS has been achieved on the backs of the Kurds. And yet, Vice President Joe Biden, who was visiting in Ankara the day of the Turkish invasion, openly threatened the Kurds. Biden said the US will abandon them if they refuse to conform with Turkey’s demand that they withdraw to the eastern side of the Euphrates River.

Biden’s move merely reinforced the growing impression that the US is only dangerous to its allies. The Iranians, for instance responded to the Turkish move by harassing the US Navy destroyer USS Nitze as it traversed the Strait of Hormuz. Rather than sink the Iranian vessels that threatened it, the Nitze responded by shooting off a couple of flares. The State Department then whined about the assault, calling Iran’s act of war “unprofessional.”

And the worst part about the US’s strategic crackup is that it is but one of the crises endangering America today.

Economically, the US has been steeped in stagnation for eight years. Largely as a result of overregulation, entrepreneurship is producing almost no new jobs. The housing crisis has not ended. People who purchased homes before 2008 remain stuck with underwater mortgages, doomed to remain in towns with no jobs because they can’t afford to sell their homes.

Obamacare has made healthcare unaffordable for people who have insurance. Co-payments have risen so steeply that for many insured Americans, medical care is now viewed as a luxury item.

In Rust Belt states, tens of millions of blue collar workers find themselves living in ruined towns. In the past two decades company after company closed its factories, shipped its operations out of the US or went bankrupt in the face of foreign competitors. And their former workers, people who believed in the American Dream, and actually achieved it, now have no dreams and no hope of ever getting back what they lost, much less of seeing their children do better than they did.

The economic crisis has caused deeper crises.First and foremost the US is now in the midst of a crisis of faith. A Pew poll released this week showed that between 2007 and 2014, church attendance declined from 39 to 36 percent over the seven-year period. A significant number of nonobservant Americans no longer believe in God.

Those numbers themselves are highly inflated. A multiyear study of church attendance data gathered from the majority of churches in the US by sociologists C. Kirk Hadaway and Penny Long Marler and published in 2005 showed that fewer than half of those who claim to go to church regularly actually do so. Hadaway and Marler assessed that a mere 17.7 percent of Americans go to church on a regular basis. The rest just tell pollsters that they attend because they are embarrassed that they don’t attend.

In other words, what the Pew survey shows is not a reduction in religious worship but a shift in values. Today fewer Americans view church attendance as normatively superior to nonattendance.

Loss of faith may well be directly correlated with a diminished view of the value of life. In Appalachia and the Midwest, the economic crisis and the spiritual crisis have also engendered a drug epidemic unprecedented in rural America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 125 Americans die every day from drug overdoses. That is more than the number of Americans who die in car accidents. The most significant rise in drug addiction rates has occurred in rural America. New Hampshire is the heroin capital of the US.

Just last weekend, 10 people died of heroin overdoses in one rural county in Ohio. The heroin in question was laced with a tranquilizer generally used on elephants.

This is the American transformation that Obama has brought about. And the suffering and misery it has engendered are the reason that Trump is now the Republican presidential nominee.

Trump is no Billy Sunday. He is not a champion of free trade or social conservativism. He isn’t a neoconservative interventionist. Trump is the bar brawler who says things no one else will say. And the people who lack faith in the country’s ability to help them, who have lost hope that things that used to work can work again, adore him for it.

This brings us to the issue of the lessons that will be learned by Republican voters if Trump loses as the NeverTrumpsters hope and expect.

If Trump loses, his voters will not realize that they were mistaken to believe in him and support him in defiance of their party’s intellectual class. They will blame the NeverTrumpsters for the election results and boot them out of the party altogether. If the Republican Party even exists in 2020 and 2024, its candidates will make Trump look like a moderate.

If Trump wins, on the other hand, while it is true that the NeverTrumpsters will not maintain their unquestioned control over Republican policies, they will likely get a seat at the table and retain some influence.

More important, if Trump wins, the US will have a chance of changing back to the country it was before Obama fundamentally transformed it.

Clinton, who like Obama and the NeverTrumpsters scoffs at Trump’s dark descriptions of American life today, has pledged to double down on Obama’s foreign and domestic policies. Indeed, she even pledged to destroy what’s left of the coal industry.

So if Clinton is elected, what Republicans think about illegal immigration and free trade and foreign policy will be irrelevant. America’s fundamental transformation will become irreversible.

In that event, America as a whole – not Trump, and not even the NeverTrumpsters – will be the greatest loser of November’s election.

www.CarolineGlick.com

Thursday, August 25, 2016

TRUMP: THE GREAT UNIFIER!



By Ann Coulter
August 24, 2016


Image result for Donald trump august 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Fredericksburg, Va., Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) 


The modern Democratic Party is obsessed with voting blocs they call "Latinos," "Hispanics" and the "blacks and browns.”


But apart from ethnic pimps trying to get money from the government, no authentic person calls himself a "Hispanic." They're "Portuguese," "Cuban" or "Colombian" -- and they don't think of themselves as "brown.”


Everybody else is from a country.


It's an insult to imagine that recent immigrants are all in a simmering rage at Trump's affront to the brown masses. Salvadorans and Guatemalans resent having to pretend they're Mexican -- much less Mexican illegal immigrant rapists.


Mexico is heaving Hondurans out of their country. El Salvador and Honduras went to war over a soccer game. But we're supposed to imagine that the moment they cross the Rio Grande, they all become blood brothers.


The only people who believe in something called "Hispanics" are white liberals and the RNC. The condescending class is not happy unless they are infantilizing minorities.


Republicans B.T. (Before Trump) worked overtime to reinforce these artificial group identities as one big happy (and aggrieved) family, constantly babbling about reaching out to -- as Rand Paul says -- "blacks and browns.”


Has he heard of Compton? The city memorialized in the song "Straight Outta Compton," by the hip-hop group N.W.A. (modern translation: African-Americans With Attitude), is now majority Mexican.


This dramatic transformation didn't happen because "blacks and browns" came together in peace and harmony in our vibrant melting pot, but because Mexicans moved in and decided they wanted blacks out, which they accomplished with violent racist attacks and drive-by shootings.


Unlike white Americans, Mexicans are unguiltable.


Nearly 20 years ago, both black and Hispanic Americans begged Congress to do something about illegal immigration. Rich white people see illegal immigrants only as their maids. Blacks and Hispanics live in their neighborhoods.


Terry Anderson, a black radio talk show host from South Central Los Angeles, told a U.S. House subcommittee on immigration in 1999 how illegal immigration had changed his predominantly black community. (That was then; today South Central is 99 percent Mexican.) He said all anyone ever hears about is the "poor, poor immigrant," and the immigrant worker, "who works harder than the black person works and he will take the job that nobody else takes.”


But, Anderson said: "You never hear that every time that illegal alien comes here, he displaces somebody else ….


"You never hear about all the race-based organizations that step forth and advocate for the illegal alien. You have MALDEF, MEChA, LULAC, La Raza and others who are exclusive only to one race of people and advocate for those people only …


"(You) will never hear from these people about the 17-year-old black kid in my neighborhood who went to McDonald's and was told you can't work here because you don't speak Spanish.”


In response to Anderson's claim that only Spanish-speakers could get jobs at McDonald's, Democratic congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee tried to put the onus entirely on McDonald's. Anderson wasn't having any of it.


Every time Rep. Lee tried to say the responsibility belonged to corporate America, Anderson responded with, "And to the illegal alien who takes the job. Yes, ma'am.”


Would any politician ever blame the foreign law-breakers themselves? That's a rhetorical question -- the answer is "no." Until Trump.


A Latina witness, Angie Morfin from Salinas, California, told the committee that illegals were bringing "crime, gangs and an overloaded social safety net" and that "the Latino-American citizens of our community want illegals removed." She blamed Reagan's amnesty for the rise of Mexican gangs in the U.S., saying, "You gave them a right.”


Republicans obsessed with winning the "Hispanic vote" act as if these Hispanics don't exist. The only Hispanics in their circle of concern are those who broke into our country illegally.


By constantly groveling to ethnic activists, the GOP simply confirmed the idea that people should see themselves as ethnic identity groups -- and ought to be bloc-voting for whichever party offers their team the most goodies.


Their argument to Hispanics was: We'll give you everything the Democrats are offering, but not as much. Paul Ryan's "opportunity society!" was not cutting it.


Democrats must go home and laugh themselves silly at the GOP's incompetence at sucking up to minorities. We buffaloed them out of talking about immigration once again!


Instead of cooing at immigrants and trying to lick their necks, Trump treats them like Americans.


They like America! They came here. And they'd like good-paying jobs without the endless competition of cheap foreign labor.


Trump's plan to stop job-killing trade deals, H1-B workers replacing American workers, and the dump of millions of low-skilled workers on the country has made him the great unifier!


The media's only move is to quadruple down on the phony "racism" charges. But to accuse Trump of "racism" because he wants to protect jobs for our own poor, working-class and native-born is like squeezing a balloon. His popularity with the employers of nannies and diversity coordinators may be in the dumps, but oh my gosh -- look at what's happening at the other end! It looks like Americans want jobs!


Let Hillary produce studies showing that it's much better for African-Americans to have to compete with Mexicans. Yes, that'll work!


No one really enjoys thinking of himself as a victim. Trump sees Americans as winners and he doesn't care if you're black, white, gay or a disabled Eskimo. He'll bring back jobs for everyone -- except the plutocrats outsourcing manufacturing and importing cheap labor while making the rest of us subsidize their foreign workforces.


Because of his positions on immigration, Trump has a sneaky appeal to everybody. For more on how great America is going to be under our next president, get In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!", out this week.


COPYRIGHT 2016 ANN COULTER 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

DR. AHMED AL-TAYEB: MEET THE WORLD’S 'MOST INFLUENTIAL MUSLIM'


And learn why the “moderate/radical” Muslim dichotomy is a farce.



August 24, 2016

Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb (left), grand imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar Mosque, at the Vatican on May 23, 2016
Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb (left), grand imam of Cairo's Al-Azhar Mosque, at the Vatican on May 23, 2016 ©Max Rossi (Pool/AFP)

There’s nothing like knowing Arabic—that is, being privy to the Muslim world’s internal conversations on a daily basis—to disabuse oneself of the supposed differences between so-called “moderate” and “radical” Muslims. 
Consider the case of Egypt’s Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb.  Hardly one to be dismissed as a fanatic who is ignorant of the true tenets of Islam, Tayeb’s credentials and career are impressive: he holds a Ph. D in Islamic philosophy from the Paris-Sorbonne University; formerly served as Grand Imam of Egypt, meaning he was the supreme interpreter of Islamic law; and since 2003 has been president of Al-Azhar University, considered the world’s leading institution of Islamic learning.   A 2013 survey named Tayeb the “most influential Muslim in the world.”
He is also regularly described by Western media and academia as a “moderate.”  Georgetown University presentshim as “a strong proponent of interfaith dialogue.”  According to The National, “He is considered to be one of the most moderate and enlightened Sunni clerics in Egypt.”  In February 2015, the Wall Street Journal praised him for making “one of the most sweeping calls yet for educational reform in the Muslim world to combat the escalation of extremist violence.”
Most recently he was invited to the Vatican and warmly embraced by Pope Francis.  Al Azhar had angrily cut off all ties with the Vatican five years earlier when, in the words of U.S. News, former Pope Benedict “had demanded greater protection for Christians in Egypt after a New Year's bombing on a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria killed 21 people.  Since then, Islamic attacks on Christians in the region have only increased.” 
Pope Francis referenced his meeting with Tayeb as proof that Muslims are peaceful: “I had a long conversation with the imam, the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar University, and I know how they think.  They [Muslims] seek peace, encounter.”
How does one reconcile Tayeb’s benevolent image in the West with his reality in Egypt?
For instance, all throughout the month of Ramadan last June, Tayeb appeared on Egyptian TV explaining all things Islamic—often in ways that do not suggest that Islam seeks “peace, encounter.”  
During one episode, he reaffirmed a phrase that is almost exclusively associated with radicals: in Arabic, al-din wa’l-dawla, meaning “the religion and the polity”—a phrase that holds Islam to be both a religion and a body of rules governing society and state.
He did so in the context of discussing the efforts of Dr. Ali Abdel Raziq, a true reformer and former professor at Al Azhar who wrote a popular but controversial book in 1925, one year after the abolition of the Ottoman caliphate.  Titled, in translation, Islam and the Roots of Governance, Raziq argued against the idea of resurrecting the caliphate, saying that Islam is a personal religion that should no longer be mixed with politics or governance.
Raziq was vehemently criticized by many clerics and even fired from Al Azhar.  Concluded Tayeb, with assent:
Al Azhar’s position was to reject his position, saying he forfeited his credentials and his creed.  A great many ulema—in and out of Egypt and in Al Azhar—rejected his work and its claim, that Islam is a religion but not a polity.  Instead, they reaffirmed that Islam is both a religion and a polity [literally, al-din wa’l-dawla].
The problem with the idea that Islam must govern the whole of society should be obvious: Sharia, or Islamic law, which is what every Muslim including Tayeb refer to when they say that Islam is a polity, is fundamentally at odds with modern notions of human rights and, due to its supremacist and “anti-infidel” aspects, the source of conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims the world over.
That this is the case was made clear during another of Tayeb’s recent episodes.  On the question of apostasy in Islam—whether a Muslim has the right to abandon Islam for another or no religion—the “radical” position is well known: unrepentant apostates are to be punished with death.
Yet Tayeb made the same pronouncement.  During another Ramadan episode he said that “Contemporary apostasy presents itself in the guise of crimes, assaults, and grand treason, so we deal with it now as a crime that must be opposed and punished.” 
While his main point was that those who do not follow Islam are prone to being criminals, he especially emphasized those who exhibit their apostasy as being a “great danger to Islamic society. And that’s because his apostasy is a result of his hatred for Islam and a reflection of his opposition to it. In my opinion, this is grand treason.”
Tayeb added what all Muslims know: “Those learned in Islamic law [al-fuqaha] and the imams of the four schools of jurisprudence consider apostasy a crime and agree that the apostate must either renounce his apostasy or else be killed.”  He even cited a hadith, or tradition, of Islam’s prophet Muhammad calling for the execution of Muslims who quit Islam.
Meanwhile, when speaking to Western and non-Muslim audiences, as he did during his recent European tour, Tayeb tells them what they want to hear.  Recently speaking before an international forum he asserted that “The Quran states that there is no compulsion in religion,” and that “attempts to force people into a religion are against the will of God.”  Similarly, when meeting with the Italian Senate's Foreign Policy Commission Pier Ferdinando Casini and his accompanying delegation, Tayeb “asserted that Islam is the religion of peace, cooperation and mercy….  Islam believes in freedom of expression and human rights, and recognizes the rights of all human beings.”
While such open hypocrisy—also known as taqiyya—may go unnoticed in the West, in Egypt, human rights groups often call him out.  The Cairo Institute for Human Rights recently issued a statement accusing Al Azhar of having two faces: one directed at the West and which preaches freedom and tolerance, and one directed to Muslims and which sounds not unlike ISIS:
In March 2016 before the German parliament, Sheikh al-Tayeb made unequivocally clear that religious freedom is guaranteed by the Koran, while in Cairo he makes the exact opposite claims….  Combating terrorism and radical religious ideologies will not be accomplished by directing at the West and its international institutions religious dialogues that are open, support international peace and respect freedoms and rights, while internally promoting ideas that contribute to the dissemination of violent extremism through the media and educational curricula of Al Azhar and the mosques.
At any rate, if Tayeb holds such draconian views on apostasy from Islam—that is, when he’s speaking in Arabic to fellow Muslims—what is his position concerning the Islamic State?  Last December, Tayeb was asked why Al Azhar refuses to issue a formal statement denouncing the genocidal terrorist organization as lapsing into a state of kufr, that is, of becoming un-Islamic, or “infidel.” Tayeb responded:
Al Azhar cannot accuse any [Muslim] of being a kafir [infidel], as long as he believes in Allah and the Last Day—even if he commits every atrocity….  I cannot denounce ISIS as un-Islamic, but I can say that they cause corruption on earth.  
As critics, such as Egyptian talk show host Ibrahim Eissa pointed out, however, “It’s amazing.  Al Azhar insists ISIS are Muslims and refuses to denounce them.  Yet Al Azhar never ceases to shoot out statements accusing novelists, writers, thinkers—anyone who says anything that contradicts their views—of lapsing into a state of infidelity.  But not when it comes to ISIS!”
This should not be surprising considering that many insiders accuse Al Azhar of teaching and legitimizing the atrocities that ISIS commits.  Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah Nasr, a scholar of Islamic law and Al Azhar graduate once exposed his alma mater in a televised interview:
It [Al Azhar] can’t [condemn the Islamic State as un-Islamic].  The Islamic State is a byproduct of Al Azhar’s programs.  So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?  Al Azhar says there must be a caliphate and that it is an obligation for the Muslim world [to establish it].  Al Azhar teaches the law of apostasy and killing the apostate.  Al Azhar is hostile towards religious minorities, and teaches things like not building churches, etc.  Al Azhar upholds the institution of jizya.  Al Azhar teaches stoning people.  So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?
Similarly, while discussing how the Islamic State burns some of its victims alive—most notoriously, a Jordanian pilot—Egyptian journalist Yusuf al-Husayni remarked on his satellite program that “The Islamic State is only doing what Al Azhar teaches.  He went on to quote from textbooks used in Al Azhar that permit burning people—more specifically, “infidels”—alive.
Meanwhile, Tayeb—the face of and brain behind Al Azhar—holds that Europe “must support all moderate Islamic institutions that adopt the Al-Azhar curriculum,” which “is the most eligible one for educating the youth.”  He said thisduring “a tour [in Germany and France] to facilitate dialogue between the East and the West.”
As for the ongoing persecution of Egypt’s most visible non-Muslim minorities, the Coptic Christians, Tayeb is renowned for turning a blind eye.  Despite the well-documented “severe persecution” Christians experience in Egypt; despite the fact that Muslim mobs attack Christians almost “every two to three days” now—recent examples include the burning of churches and Christian homes, the coldblooded murder of a Coptic man defending his grandchild from Muslim bullies, and the stripping, beating, and parading in the nude of a 70-year-old Christian woman—Tayeb recently told Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros that “Egypt represents the ultimate and highest example of national unity” between Muslims and Christians.
Although he vociferously denounces the displacement of non-Egyptian Muslims in Buddhist Myanmar, he doesn’t have a single word for the persecution and displacement of the Copts, that is, his own Egyptian countrymen.  Instead he proclaims that “the Copts have been living in Egypt for over 14 centuries in safety, and there is no need for all this artificial concern over them,” adding that “true terrorism was created by the West.”
Indeed, far from speaking up on behalf of Egypt’s Christian minorities, he has confirmed that they are “infidels”—that same label he refused to describe ISIS with.   While he did so in a technical manner—correctly saying that, as rejecters of Muhammad’s prophecy, Christians are infidels [kafir]—he also knows that labeling them as such validates all the animosity they feel and experience in Egypt, since the mortal enemy of the Muslim is the infidel. 
This is consistent with the fact that Al Azhar encourages enmity for non-Muslims, specifically Coptic Christians, and even incites for their murder.  As Egyptian political commentator Dr. Khalid al-Montaser once marveled:
Is it possible at this sensitive time — when murderous terrorists rest on [Islamic] texts and understandings of takfir [accusing Muslims of apostasy], murder, slaughter, and beheading — that Al Azhar magazine is offering free of charge a book whose latter half and every page — indeed every few lines — ends with “whoever disbelieves [non-Muslims] strike off his head”?
The prestigious Islamic university—which co-hosted U.S. President Obama’s 2009 “A New Beginning” speech—has even issued a free booklet dedicated to proving that Christianity is a “failed religion.”
One can go on and on.   Tayeb once explained with assent why Islamic law permits a Muslim man to marry a Christian woman, but forbids a Muslim woman from marrying a Christian man: since women by nature are subordinate to men, it’s fine if the woman is an infidel, as her superior Muslim husband will keep her in check; but if the woman is a Muslim, it is not right that she be under the authority of an infidel.  Similarly, Western liberals may be especially distraught to learn that Tayeb once boasted, “You will never one day find a Muslim society that permits sexual freedom, homosexuality, etc., etc., as rights.  Muslim societies see these as sicknesses that need to be resisted and opposed.” 
To recap, while secular Western talking heads that don’t know the first thing about Islam continue squealing about how it is being “misunderstood,” here is arguably the Muslim world’s leading authority confirming many of the cardinal points held by ISIS: he believes that Islam is not just a religion to be practiced privately but rather is a totalitarian system designed to govern the whole of society through the implementation of its human rights abusing Sharia; he supports one of the most inhumane laws, punishment of the Muslim who wishes to leave Islam; he downplays the plight of Egypt’s persecuted Christians, that is, when he’s not inciting against them by classifying them as “infidels”—the worst category in Islam’s lexicon—even as he refuses to denounce the genocidal Islamic State likewise.
Yet this well credentialed and respected scholar of Islam is considered a “moderate” by Western universities and media, from Georgetown University to the Wall Street Journal.  He is someone whom Pope Francis trusts, embraces, and quotes to reassure the West of Islam’s peacefulness.  
In all fairness of course, Tayeb is neither a “moderate” nor a “radical.”  He’s merely a Muslim trying to be true to Islam.   Put differently, he’s merely a messenger.  
Critics would be advised to take it up with the Message itself.
 Tags: egyptIslammoderate islam