MARK STEYN: THE FAIR SHARE

http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/percent-379256-government-spending.html

You cannot simultaneously enjoy American-sized taxes and European-sized government. One or the other has got to go.Previously on “The Perils of Pauline”:

Last year, our plucky heroine, the wholesome apple-cheeked American republic, was trapped in an express elevator hurtling out of control toward the debt ceiling. Would she crash into it? Or would she make some miraculous escape? Yes! At the very last minute of her white-knuckle thrill ride to her rendezvous with destiny, she was rescued by Congress’ decision to set up… a Super Committee! Those who can, do. Those who can’t, form a committee. Those who really can’t, form a Super Committee – and then put John Kerry on it for good measure. The bipartisan Super Committee of Super Friends was supposed to find $1.2 trillion of deficit reduction by last Thanksgiving, or plucky little America would wind up trussed like a turkey and carved up by “automatic sequestration.”

Sequestration sounds like castration, only more so: it would chop off everything in sight. It would be so savage in its dismemberment of poor helpless America that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that, over the course of a decade, the sequestration cuts would reduce the federal debt by $153 billion. Sorry, I meant to put on my Dr. Evil voice for that: ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THREE BILLION DOLLARS!!! Which is about what the United States government currently borrows every month. No sane person could willingly countenance brutally saving a month’s worth of debt over the course of a decade.

So now we have the latest cliffhanger: the Fiscal Cliff, below which lies a bottomless abyss of sequestration, tax-cut extension expiries, Alternative Minimum Tax adjustments, new Obamacare taxes, the expiry of the deferment of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate, as well as the expiry of the deferment of the implementation of the adjustment of the correction of the extension of the reduction to the proposed increase of the Alternative Minimum Growth Sustainability Reduction Rate. They don’t call it a yawning chasm for nothing.

HARVEY MANSFIELD: A HARVARD “DISSENTER”:SOHRAB AHMARI ****

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323751104578149292503121124.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
The Crisis of American Self-Government
‘We have now an American political party and a European one. Not all Americans who vote for the European party want to become Europeans. But it doesn’t matter because that’s what they’re voting for. They’re voting for dependency, for lack of ambition, and for insolvency.”

Few have thought as hard, or as much, about how democracies can preserve individual liberty and national virtue as the eminent political scientist Harvey Mansfield. When it comes to assessing the state of the American experiment in self-government today, his diagnosis is grim, and he has never been one to mince words.

Mr. Mansfield sat for an interview on Thursday at the Harvard Faculty Club. This year marks his 50th as a teacher at the university. It isn’t easy being the most visible conservative intellectual at an institution that has drifted ever further to the left for a half-century. “I live in a one-party state and very much more so a one-party university,” says the 80-year-old professor with a sigh. “It’s disgusting. I get along very well because everybody thinks the fact that I’m here means the things I say about Harvard can’t be true. I am a kind of pet—a pet dissenter.”

Partly his isolation on campus has to do with the nature of Mr. Mansfield’s scholarship. At a time when his colleagues are obsessed with trendy quantitative methods and even trendier “identity studies,” Mr. Mansfield holds steadfast to an older tradition that looks to the Western canon as the best guide to human affairs. For him, Greek philosophy and the works of thinkers such as Machiavelli and Tocqueville aren’t historical curiosities; Mr. Mansfield sees writers grappling heroically with political and moral problems that are timeless and universally relevant.

“All modern social science deals with perceptions,” he says, “but that is a misnomer because it neglects to distinguish between perceptions and misperceptions.”

JASON RILEY: IDENTITY POLITICS AT ITS WORST….

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323751104578151464145246312.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLESecond

The field of Democratic candidates to replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D., Ill.), who resigned last week amid a criminal probe of his financial activities, was already more than a dozen strong. And it got bigger yesterday when former Rep. Mel Reynolds, who held the seat from 1993 to 1995, announced he would try to win it back.

Mr. Reynolds’s bid is a long shot. He too resigned from Congress in disgrace and went to jail for bank fraud and sex with a minor. But what worries the black Democratic establishment is that Mr. Reynolds is another black candidate who could further split the black vote and enable the seat to go to a white candidate, namely former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who served in Congress from 2009 to 2011.

Politico reports that “some black officials have met Halvorson’s entry into the race with outright hostility.” Delmarie Cobb, a Democratic consultant who worked for Mr. Jackson, said: “The battle we have is that we can’t afford to lose a black voice in Congress.” Really?

Blacks comprise a slight majority of Mr. Jackson’s district, which is safely Democratic. The winner of the primary election will almost certainly win the seat and become one of Nancy Pelosi’s reliable soldiers. The color of the winner’s skin will have no impact on any of this.

The reality is that America is a majority-white country with a twice-elected black president. Racism surely still exists, but apparently not enough of it to keep one black man from occupying the White House and another one from running the Justice Department. Yet liberals want us to pretend that 2012 is 1954 and black people need a racially separate political base?

WSJ: THE PALESTINE MIRAGE….SEE NOTE PLEASE

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324705104578149462995228692.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
A futile U.N. gesture that violates the 1993 Oslo Accords.????

NOW REALLY, THE 1993 OSLO ACCORDS WERE THE PREQUEL TO PALARAB STATEHOOD….AS WAS THE CAMP DAVID TREATY….AND SO CALLED “INDEPENDENT STATE” IS THE NATURAL OUTCOME OF ALL THOSE MERETRICIOUS POLICIES WHICH DEMANDED ISRAELI SURRENDER OF TERRITORY AND PATRIMONY…..RSK

It was no accident that Mahmoud Abbas chose November 29 to seek a United Nations General Assembly vote recognizing Palestine as a state, albeit as a non-member “observer” state at the U.N. November 29 is the 65th anniversary of the General Assembly’s Resolution 181, which partitioned British-Mandated Palestine into Jewish and Palestinian states.

Assistant features editor David Feith on the U.N. General Assembly’s vote to grant Palestine non-member observer status. Photo: Associated Press

The Jews accepted the Resolution; Arabs unanimously rejected it. It passed by a vote of 33-13 with 10 abstentions. Had the Arab world voted for the plan, a Palestinian state would be as old as Israel is today, and within larger borders than the 1949 Armistice lines that the Palestinian President now claims for his new, notional, “state.”

Yet if Mr. Abbas intended to acknowledge the Arab error in rejecting the creation of a Jewish homeland, it wasn’t apparent Thursday. While he referred to Resolution 181 as “the birth certificate for Israel,” he also spoke of the “unprecedented historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people since Al-Nakba [the catastrophe] of 1948.” That would not have happened had the Arabs not sought to murder Israel in its crib by invading it.

Nor did Mr. Abbas help his cause by accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “an apartheid system of colonial occupation,” “the plague of racism,” and more. That kind of talk may work with the usual suspects at Turtle Bay who gave Mr. Abbas a standing ovation. But Israelis who spent recent days in bomb shelters while Iranian-built missiles were fired at them from Gaza probably weren’t cheering. Theirs is the say that matters if a Palestinian state is ever to come into being.

PART 2: DANIEL GREENFIELD’S WEEKLY ROUNDUP

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/ IT’S OBAMA’S WORLD, WE JUST LIVE IN IT II Obama Considering Directly Arming Syrian Al Qaeda School District with %58 Graduation Rate, 50 Million Budget Deficit Spent 2.7 Million on Plastic Surgery for Teachers At one point the school board offered to cancel 100 teacher layoffs if the union would drop the cosmetic surgery […]

DANIEL GREENFIELD: THE WEEK THAT WAS PART 1

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/ OF FISCAL CLIFFS Here’s how the game is played. No matter what happens with the fiscal cliff negotiations the Republicans will get blamed. There is no scenario, perhaps short of agreeing to Obama’s proposal to give him the power to borrow unlimited amounts of money, raise taxes and do the same crap that got […]

ANDREW McCARTHY: MORSIS’S MANEUVER

http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/334560

Phase II of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi’s declaration of sweeping dictatorial powers was completed on Thursday night. That is when the “constituent assembly” hastily completed a draft constitution that would enshrine sharia principles as fundamental law.

Morsi grabbed the reins with a shrewd caveat: His dictatorship would end once the draft constitution was approved by Egyptians in a national referendum — which is to say, once the dictatorship had served its purpose. Nearly three months ago, in my e-book Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy (which is about to be published in paperback), I explained that Morsi’s agglomeration of power — which was already underway only weeks after his election — was just a placeholder. He is an Islamic-supremacist hardliner whose ultimate goal has always been to impose sharia, the real dictatorship.

Remember the Brotherhood’s notorious motto, which includes the proclamation “the Koran is our law.” It is about to be. In effect, Morsi has used the West’s democracy fetish to put a gun to his population’s head: Either democratically approve anti-democratic sharia or accept the sharia-compliant rule of your democratically elected Islamist despot. Some choice.

Naturally, secularists and religious minorities are grousing. This has the Western media, once again, in full spring-fever flush. For our intelligentsia, the Middle East is a wonderland where Islamists are imagined to be “moderate” (even “largely secular”!) and — to hedge their bets, on the off chance that the Islamists turn out to be, well, Islamists — the population is imagined to be teeming with freedom-loving Jamal al-Madisons who crave American-style civil rights. In reality, supremacist Islam is the predominant ideology of the region. The Muslim Brotherhood is strong because it is the avant-garde of the Islamic masses. Non-Islamist democrats are a decided minority.

Of course, in a place like Egypt, with its population of 80 million people, a decided minority can easily be masqueraded as the majority. The West’s progressive media is good at that — ignoring tea-party throngs while lavishing coverage on five-person Occupy protests as if they were a groundswell. But, you see, the hocus-pocus works here only because we’ve ceded all the leading institutions of opinion to progressives for a half-century. Conditioned to see what they’ve been told to believe, half of our population no longer sees through the smoke and mirrors.

In contrast, the Islamists control and otherwise intimidate Egyptian society’s influential institutions by vigorously enforcing sharia’s repression of discussion and dissent. The public knows the tune is called by the likes of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Brotherhood’s powerhouse jurist, not by Wael Ghonim and the young, tech-savvy progressives beloved of the New York Times. In Egypt, the conspiracy theories run against the progressives. The public won’t be snookered into seeing an Islamist uprising as a “democratic” upheaval. They’ll leave that to us.

The Times and the Brotherhood-smitten Obama administration won’t tell you, but Spring Fever will: The constitution was always the prize. That is why the Brothers pursued it with their signature mendacity. The story goes back to the weeks immediately after Mubarak’s fall in early 2011 — back to the most tellingly underreported and willfully misreported event in the “Arab Spring” saga: Egypt’s first-ever free election.

With the trillion-plus dollars U.S. taxpayers have expended to promote “Islamic democracy” and its companion fantasy that elections equal democracy, you’d think you might have heard a bit more about the maiden voyage in Arabia’s most important country. But no, the story barely registered. That is because the Islamists crushed the secular democrats. To grasp what happened on Thursday night, you need to understand why. That first election, zealously contested in sectarian terms, was precisely about Egypt’s future constitution.

Technically, the referendum concerned amendments to the constitution in effect during Mubarak’s reign. Despite the “Arab Spring” paeans you were hearing from Washington, Egyptian democrats knew they were weak. To have any hope of competing with the Brotherhood’s vast, long-established, highly disciplined organization, they would need time. So they argued that before parliamentary and presidential elections could take place, a new constitution should be written. That would take a while and would put voting off into the distant future. The idea was that as long as no one had been elected yet — as long as the Islamists could not claim a popular mandate — the democrats would be in a better position both to influence the content of the constitution and to buy the time necessary to build party organizations that might contest elections effectively.

The Brothers are no fools. They realized that rapidly held elections would favor them, and if they won big, they’d have a hammerlock on the constituent assembly that would write the constitution. They also grasped the disdain in which the West, under progressive regimes, holds military governments. They’d watched how their Islamist ally, Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had leveraged American and European pressure to beat down his military — the pro-Western opposition to his anti-Western Islamic supremacism. The Brotherhood knew the U.S. and the EU would be similarly — and self-destructively — supportive of a call for quick elections that would pressure Egypt’s reigning military junta to cede authority to a “democratic” civilian government.

Consequently, the Brothers insisted that parliamentary and presidential elections could proceed promptly if the public just approved a handful of amendments to the current constitution, with a new constitution to be drafted afterwards.

As is its wont, the Brotherhood was deceitful about its intentions. To arm their Western apologists and assuage those Egyptians who might think a new government’s constitution should be in place before the new government is elected, the Brothers swore up and down that they understood constitutions are different from ordinary legislation. To be legitimate, they soothingly agreed, a nation’s fundamental law must reflect a consensus of the whole society — guaranteeing the rights of women and religious minorities. Beyond that, though, the Islamist campaign over the referendum portrayed secular democratic opponents of the amendments as “enemies of Islam” and “enemies of the revolution” who secretly supported the old regime and its Zionist allies.

When the votes were counted, it was a rout. The Brotherhood’s amendments were adopted by a margin of 78 to 22 percent. With the handwriting on the wall that the referendum would blow the cheery “Arab Spring” narrative to smithereens, the Western media ignored it. Once the numbers were in, they dismissed it. The historic vote, we were told, was just a hyper-technical matter to determine when elections would be scheduled — move along, nothing else to see here. But in fact, the amendments referendum foreshadowed today’s Islamist Winter. It exactly tracked the nearly four-to-one margin by which the Brotherhood and its Salafist allies would swamp the secular democrats in the parliamentary elections that followed.

The Brothers being the Brothers, they lied at each stage of the game. In the amendments referendum, they lied about their commitment to societal “consensus”; upon winning, they elbowed the democrats aside and infused the draft constitution with sharia principles. When they got their quick elections, they lied about how many seats they would seek in parliament, again to assuage those worried about Islamist control of the government. In going back on that commitment, they promised that they would not field a candidate for president. But once overwhelming control of parliament was secured, they reneged on that promise, too — announcing the candidacy of their charismatic leader, Khairat al-Shater.

Mind you, all of that happened before you ever heard of Mohamed Morsi. He is an afterthought: the Plan B the Brothers came up with when Shater — Morsi’s mentor and patron — was elbowed out of the race in the panicked military junta’s last gasp. While Morsi basks in the spotlight, you should know that Shater is the power behind the throne because he is the avatar of sharia. He is the author of the Brotherhood’s announced “Islamic Renaissance” plan, which the Western media continue to ignore. As Spring Fever recounts, however, here is how Shater proclaimed the Brotherhood’s objective in April 2011, right after the Islamist victory in the amendments referendum:

You all know that our main and overall mission as Muslim Brothers is to empower God’s religion on earth, to organize our life and the lives of the people on the basis of Islam, to establish the Nahda [i.e., the Renaissance] of the ummah [i.e., the notional global Muslim nation] and its civilization on the basis of Islam, and to subjugate people to God on earth.

RUTHIE BLUM: ABBAS’ JIHADIST UN BID

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=2980

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is one happy jihadist this week. Not only did he arrive in New York with the blessing of Hamas, but he was given a warm bath by most member states of the United Nations.

The guy who has been a has-been practically from the moment he came to power following the death of Yasser Arafat is suddenly being taken seriously.

As he approached the podium at the General Assembly on Thursday afternoon, he was applauded like an A-Lister at the Academy Awards. This welcome, coupled with his prior knowledge that a huge majority of the body was going to support his bid to upgrade the PA to non-member status, gave him a bit of bounce to his step and boom to his oratory.

SARAH HONIG: Another Tack: Murdoch’s Cogent Question

http://sarahhonig.com/2012/11/30/another-tack-murdochs-cogent-question/ Who says many of the more upwardly mobile and thoroughly assimilated American Jews are at best dormant Jews? Who says they are estranged Jews, disdainfully detached from the Jewish collective? Who says they couldn’t care less about Jewish solidarity, to say nothing of Jewish national interests? Of course they care. Passionately. They are, if […]

ANNE BAYEFSKY: WHAT UN RECOGNITION OF “PALESTINE” REALLY MEANS****

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/334495/what-un-recognition-palestine-really-means-anne-bayefsky

info@eyeontheun.org

To comprehend what went down at the U.N. on Thursday when the Palestinians were given “non-member observer state status” by a vote of 138 for, 9 against, and 41 abstentions, consider these statements made in New York over the course of the day:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, U.N. “Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” event; (statement delivered by Foreign Minister Riad Malki, New York, Thursday morning: “Israel’s admission to the United Nations in 1949 was accompanied by two conditions: Israel’s commitment to . . . the return of Palestine refugees to their homes…”

President Abbas, General Assembly, New York, Thursday afternoon: “The Palestinian people . . . miraculously recovered from the ashes of Al-Nakba of 1948 which was intended to extinguish their being. . . . Israeli occupation is . . . an apartheid system . . . which institutionalizes the plague of racism.”

Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour, opening of a Palestinian U.N. exhibit, New York, Thursday evening: “Today we have legislated a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital.”

So the real deal is this. Israel’s legitimacy is not recognized by the Palestinian leadership. It is conditional and it is conditioned upon alleged prerequisites (of a right of return and the end of a Jewish state) that have not, and will not, be met.

The Palestinian narrative is a fiction. It is deliberately crafted to mirror that of the Jewish people, beginning with the biggest lie of all — that the catastrophe of the creation of the state of Israel is equivalent to the Holocaust.

Israel is alleged to be akin to apartheid South Africa, so that its legitimacy is continually in jeopardy. After all, the South African regime had to be destroyed by lethal politics.