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August 2015

Paul Monk The Challenge of an Islamic Reformation

Ayaan Hirsi Ali argues that reason, not blind adherence to Islam’s sacred verses, must guide Muslims to a better way. While her optimism is admirable, those who share her convictions would do well to recall that, if Europe is her model, the process was neither quick nor yet complete
In the June Quadrant, Daryl McCann provided a thoughtful reflection on Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s newly published manifesto, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now (Fourth Estate, 2015). He drew attention to the divergent reviews it has been getting, from ironical praise to angry condemnation. While generally supportive of her stance, he noted in passing that “in her heart of hearts Ayaan Hirsi Ali remains an apostate and her true sympathies are for those who, like herself, are daring and fortunate enough to escape”. No one reading her book, I believe, could avoid reaching the same conclusion.

Hirsi Ali seeks to appeal to as many Muslims as possible to embrace modernity and tolerance, but what she seeks is not the Reformation. It is the Enlightenment. She evokes Locke and Voltaire, not Luther and Calvin, when she speaks most forthrightly about the principles and values that should prevail.

Castro Brutalizes Cuban Dissidents for Wearing Obama Masks : Humberto Fontova

How Obama’s outreach to Cuba is encouraging oppression of its people.

In a stinging rebuke to their (self-proclaimed) U.S. benefactors, Cuban dissidents wore Obama masks this weekend while peacefully demonstrating against the ever-increasing repression in Cuba.

“It’s his (Obama’s) fault, what is happening,” stressed Cuban dissident and former political prisoner Angel Moya. “The Cuban government has grown even bolder. That’s why we have this (Obama) mask on. Because it’s his fault.”

As these Cuban dissidents (and their “hardliner-right-wing” U.S. allies) had repeatedly warned, Castroite repression has cranked up in precise proportion to Obama’s new Cuba policy.

Here in the U.S. the phrase “I told you so” usually comes with a smirk. For Cuban dissidents it’s a different story. All the clubs, truncheons and machete blades landing on their bodies makes for extremely difficult smirking.

The EPA Spills a Million Gallons of Mine Waste into a Colorado River By Jillian Kay Melchior

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accidentally spilled a million gallons of mine waste into Colorado’s Animas River yesterday. The river’s befouled waters turned a bright yellow, their acidity increasing by 100-fold, as officials warned of risks to fish and cautioned that the contaminated sludge could irritate human skin.

“The water is a nasty color yellow, sort of putrid-looking,” a volunteer with the La Plata County search and rescue team tells National Review by phone. Because the county draws some of its water from the Animas, the city has imposed water rationing, he said. And, he explained, the spill will also have an effect on the county’s tourism industry, which relies heavily on rafting, kayaking, and fishing in the river. “The sheriff decided that because we don’t know what’s in the water, he ordered no one can go in the water,” he said.

‘Endangered Species Condoms’ Distributed at Colleges to Push Population Control (?????!!!)By Katherine Timpf

‘Endangered Species Condoms’ Distributed at Colleges to Push Population Control The Center for Biological Diversity swears it’s “not anti-human.”
Hundreds of thousands of “endangered species condoms” provided by the Center for Biological Diversity have been distributed on college campuses to push population control, or, as the center puts it, the need for people to “stop hogging the planet.”

Under a “Why Condoms?” heading on the project’s website, the center explains:

Our runaway population growth is too often ignored by the public, the media and even the environmental movement. Endangered Species Condoms offer a fun, unique way to break through the taboo and get people talking about the link between human population growth and the wildlife extinction crisis.

Is Hillary above the Law? By Buck Sexton

Hillary Clinton is in trouble. Or more accurately put, she should be in trouble — very big trouble, in fact. The latest from the Department of Justice is that, yes, they have seized Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server and an accompanying thumb drive. The FBI has reportedly confiscated copies of the same e-mails from Hillary’s lawyer because it deemed the information contained in them too sensitive for him to keep.

While attempting to defend the indefensible, a Clinton spokesman said that this merely shows that the former secretary of state is cooperating with a “security inquiry.” That pathetic spin was meant to prevent the American people from recognizing there is not just smoke but fire to the Hillary e-mail scandal.

While Still a Senator, Kerry Communicated Obama’s Capitulation Policy to the Iranian Regime By Andrew C. McCarthy

In a column on Tuesday and follow-up post on the Corner, I relate that beginning in 2011, President Obama secretly enticed the Iranian regime to the bargaining table by communicating that he was open to abandoning longstanding American opposition to Iran’s claimed “right” to enrich uranium. This news comes to us from a new MEMRI report, which elaborates that Obama relied on then-senator John Kerry to grease the wheels for his entreaty to Iran’s leader.

Why Kerry?

Though he was surely a key Obama ally on Capitol Hill, Kerry was not in the administration. The president already had a compliant secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, who was dutifully implementing his appeasement policies. He also had any number of subordinate administration officials capable of passing messages. So why would Obama choose Kerry as his emissary to alert Iran to a dramatic shift in American policy?

Clearly, there are two reasons: Obama needed someone outside the administration, and Kerry’s status and track record made him a natural.

Clinton Trails Four GOPers in Latest Iowa Poll By Eliana Johnson —

The latest PPP poll out of Iowa shows Hillary Clinton trailing four Republican candidates in head-to-head matchups.

Ben Carson performs best against the former secretary of state, besting her by by four percentage points, 44–40, while former Florida governor Jeb Bush performs the worst. He trails her by four points, 44–40. The other three GOPers who came out ahead of Clinton are Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, leading her 44–43, and Florida senator Marco Rubio, who leads her 43–42.

Kentucky senator Rand Paul and real-estate mogul Donald Trump both trail Clinton by three points, 43–40; Texas senator Ted Cruz, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and Ohio governor John Kasich all trail her by two points.

The poll’s margin of error is four points, so all of the results remain, of course, with the margin.


Carly Fiorina Shows How to Address the Left on Climate Change
By David French

In the political battles over climate change, there are three distinct and relevant questions. First, does mankind have a material affect on the Earth’s climate? Second, if mankind does impact the climate, is that impact harmful? And third, if we assume that mankind is harming the environment, will any given American policy or collection of policies have a meaningful beneficial impact? So far, the conservative movement has mainly pushed back on the “scientific consensus” related to the first question — the extent of human influence over the Earth’s climate. To see a textbook example, watch Ted Cruz’s recent interview with Katie Couric earlier this year, when he confronted her with the miserable recent history of environmentalist predictions:

The GOP’s Trump Problem Will Fade, but Democrats’ Bernie Sanders Troubles Are Just Beginning : Jonah Goldberg

Neither Hillary Nor Bernie Is Up to the Task of Holding the Obama Coalition Together
‘We are trying to be reasonable,” an organizer for Bernie Sanders’s Seattle rally said.

The black female protesters who stormed the stage became enraged. “We aren’t reasonable!” they shouted back. “If you do not listen to [us], your event will be shut down,” one of them declared to the crowd.

Sanders caved to the protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement and gave activist Marissa Johnson the microphone. “I was going to tell Bernie how racist this city is, even with all of these progressives, but you’ve already done that for me. Thank you,” she said, apparently in response to members of the crowd who booed her. I suppose if you’ve already conceded that you aren’t reasonable, it’s not hard to argue that booing an uninvited rabble-rouser is “racist.”

It’s understandable that all eyes have been on the insane food fight Donald Trump has instigated on the right. Even Trump’s biggest detractors — and I count myself among their number — have to concede that Trump is awfully entertaining. But while the spectacle on the right seems like a canceled TV-reality-show pilot — call it Desperate Billionaires of Manhattan Gone Wild — the spectacle on the left is no less fascinating or significant.

Vaclav Havel’s ‘The Power of the Powerless’ Endures By J. Christian Adams

As his speech ended, and before he could be whisked from the room, I ignored his bodyguards and rushed the podium. I approached the small and unlikely man and silently held out the book and pen. He beamed with a smile. Authors quietly rejoice whenever they are asked to sign their own works — even this giant whose words steered the events of world history.

The well-worn paperback was Open Secrets, a collection of essays by the Czech poet President Vaclav Havel. It was 1998 and President Havel was visiting the United States. I had been tipped off that he’d be speaking to an audience in the bowels of Congress, so I grabbed my copy of his book and set off.

I’ve collected signed books of moonwalkers and rock stars, politicians and new-media pioneers, but I treasure my signed copy of Open Secrets above all. Under his signature, he drew a simple and charming heart.