The fact pattern and references to anti-Islamic “hate speech” sound depressingly similar to so many other cases abroad. Yet this incident occurred courtesy of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) Chicago chapter, showing how precious and precarious American free speech rights are.

A Chicago suburb chapter of ACT! For America, an anti-sharia group, screened on May 17 the film Geert Wilders Warning to America at the Des Plaines Public Library (DPPL) after having met there since fall 2013. In the film, the Dutch politician Wilders addresses an American audience with his well-known thesis that “Islam is not a religion, Islam is a totalitarian ideology.” Amidst interspersed images of Islamic atrocities worldwide, Wilders, among other things, demands an end to construction in Western societies of mosques and Muslim schools, the latter termed by him a “fascist institution.”

Library parking lot flyers advertising the film drew opposition from CAIR-Chicago and the Islamic Community Center (ICC) of Des Plaines against the film screening. The library, a “safe haven for knowledge, education, and enlightenment… is now being tarnished,” CAIR-Chicago executive director Ahmed Rehab stated. Rehab worried about perceptions of the library endorsing the event. ICC board president Fazal Mahmood also questioned the appropriateness of a publicly-funded library as the film’s venue.

“I’m just practicing common sense not to let hate spark in our community,” Rehab said. Rehab “believed there should be limits on freedom of speech when it harms or incites someone else,” yet nonetheless conceded ACT!’s speech rights. “I understand and respect freedom of speech, but where do you stop?” Mahmood also said.

Media reports also persistently noted ACT! for America’s “hate group” listing by the Southern Poverty Law Center without, however, mentioning SPLC’s leftist partisanship. Also unmentioned were CAIR’s deeply disturbing, numerous associations with precisely the kind of people against whom Wilders warned, including CAIR’s status as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case over financing of terrorism. Rehab himself has had such connections while asserting “Jewish control over the media” and that the “history of the Jewish film producers in particular have shown that they predate on weak minorities by default.”


To fathom even further the potentially fatal absurdity of the Bergdahl-Taliban prisoner exchange, just imagine that it’s June 1943. Rather than Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Obama is in the Oval Office. The American armed forces have captured and then detained scores of high-level Nazis at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, which America opened in southeastern Cuba in December 1903. Currently, 149 Nazi heavyweights remain at Gitmo. Nonetheless, Obama wants to close the Guantanamo Detention Camp because, well . . . just because.

Among Gitmo’s top Nazis, Berlin has insisted for years that it wants five specific prisoners released: Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Eichmann, Joseph Goebbels, Rudolf Hess, and Wilhelm Keitel. The German government unwaveringly has demanded these five detainees as they have negotiated this matter with Obama. For his part, Obama clearly has demolished America’s previously stalwart policy of not negotiating with Nazis.

Thus, Obama has agreed to exchange the Nazi Five for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who left his post in the desert of North Africa as General George S. Patton battled Nazi general Erwin Rommel. Did Bergdahl simply wander off, AWOL, and then get swiped by the Afrika Korps? Did he, more affirmatively, desert the Army? Was he, even worse, a full-out Nazi collaborator? Now that he is back in American hands, debriefing Bergdahl should answer these and other questions, which rage at home.

The controversy began as soon as this story broke. Bergdahl’s parents came to the White House to stand beside Obama in the Rose Garden as he announced the prisoner swap. Perhaps in solidarity with his son’s captors, Bob Bergdahl sported a square moustache.

“I’m your father, Bowe,” the elder Bergdahl said. “The people of Germany, the same.” He thanked Obama in English and then added, “Sieg Heil! Deutschland über alles!”

These comments seemed to parallel another statement that the elder Bergdahl tried to erase from the record. As he once wrote: “I am still working to free all Nazi prisoners. God will repay for the death of every German child. Amen.”


Iraq is broken, and we can’t fix it. At this point, there’s no good reason to try.

There’s a lot of political finger-pointing on who’s responsible for losing Iraq. That’s the wrong question because we never “had” Iraq to lose. Nevertheless, both presidents George W. Bush and Obama must be blamed for the failure to meet our war goals there.

We can, with 20/20 hindsight, see that the Iraq invasion was a mistake. Though Bush and many of us believed sincerely that Saddam Hussein’s regime was an immediate threat to the United States, we know now that Saddam was boasting of capabilities he didn’t have.

Obama shares the blame in an almost equal proportion. Every American president inherits the world his predecessor left behind. When Bush left office, the Iraq war was five years old. We still had tens of thousands of troops there trying to impose democracy among warring Shiites, Sunnis, al Qaeda and the rest. The troop surge under Gen. David Petraeus had established a security that he often labeled “fragile and reversible” and even then, only in parts of the country.

Obama campaigned against the Iraq war mainly because it was Bush’s war. When he took office, his Iraq policy established a timetable for withdrawal and pretended that none of the other facts on the ground even mattered. As a result, those facts – and their political and military effects – have asserted themselves and caused Iraq to break apart.

Diplomacy isn’t going to repair Iraq. History proves no reconciliation between Shia and Sunni can be made that will last longer than it takes one to reload. As Obama might say, there is no viable military option. The neocons are prattling on about the need to deploy American troops to protect some fragile sprigs of Arab democracy which exist only in their collective imagination.

They were wrong in 2003 and are wrong today for the same reasons. You cannot build democracy on an Islamic culture because it will never allow separation of church and state or the other freedoms enshrined in our Bill of Rights.

David Singer: “Palestine – Negotiating Semantic Minefield Becomes Pressing Necessity”

Two former [Labor] Australian Foreign Ministers – Bob Carr (2012-2013) and Gareth Evans (1988-1996) – have published an article this past week engaging in a semantic tug of war with Australia’s current [Liberal] Foreign Minister – Julie Bishop – over Australia’s recently declared policy of refusing to describe East Jerusalem as “occupied territory”.

East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria were conquered in 1948 by Transjordan and illegally annexed in 1950 – when Transjordan then changed its name to “Jordan” and the 3000 years old geographic designation of “Judea and Samaria” to the “West Bank”.

East Jerusalem and the West Bank were lost by Jordan to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

In 1980, the Israeli Knesset passed a Basic Law declaring reunified Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel, while providing for freedom of access to each religion’s holy sites – a decision not sanctioned by the United Nations.

“Occupied territory” carries the clear connotation that such territory indisputably belongs to someone else. Yet East Jerusalem and the West Bank have not been under any internationally recognised sovereignty or control since Great Britain handed back its administration of the Mandate for Palestine to the United Nations in 1948. Israel refers to the West Bank as “disputed territory”:

“The West Bank and Gaza Strip are disputed territories whose status can only be determined through negotiations. Occupied territories are territories captured in war from an established and recognized sovereign. As the West Bank and Gaza Strip were not under the legitimate and recognized sovereignty of any state prior to the Six Day War, they should not be considered occupied territories.

The people of Israel have ancient ties to the territories, as well as a continuous centuries-old presence there. These areas were the cradle of Jewish civilization. Israel has rights in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, rights that the Palestinians deliberately disregard.”

“Israel Needs To Exist Because There Needs To Be A Jewish State … The Arabs Only Have To Win Once For the World To See Another Holocaust” (video)

Here’s Pat Condell again, at his most superb! Telling why he supports Israel, and why everyone else should do so too, regardless of political persuasion, he pulls no punches as usual, as he castigates the antisemitic hypocrisy of the BDS movement and identifies the ultimate goal of Israel’s Arab (and pro-Arab) enemies.

Amid Increasing Tolerance for Non-Traditional Relationship, Non-Monogamy Loses Stigma. By Celina Durgin

Polyamorists Come Out of the Closet

Polyamorists are coming out of the closet.

Non-monogamists have remained largely underground to avoid social disapproval, but increasing national acceptance of Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender-Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) relationships have encouraged some polyamory supporters to go public about their growing communities.

Leon Feingold, co-president of Open Love NY and a licensed real estate broker with Masonic Realty, confirmed Tuesday that 13 of 15 apartments have been rented in Brooklyn, NY at Hacienda Villa, an apartment complex dedicated to the polyamorous and to those who accept polyamory.

Feingold told National Review Online that there is “absolutely” a growing trend of openness in the polyamorous community and of accepting attitudes toward it. He added, “A lot of people have misconceptions about what polyamory is.”

“Polyamory” does not refer either to polygamy or to a “swinging” lifestyle but to “responsible non-monogamy,” Feingold explained. Open Love NY is a New York-based organization for the polyamorous community. It plans various educational and social events for its members and encourages “a public climate in which all forms of consensual adult relationship choices are respected and honored.”

A frequently cited estimate of the number of U.S. polyamorous households is 500,000, which first appeared in a 2009 Newsweek article but has since been removed (the article was last updated in July 2011).

Diana Adams, the other co-president of Open Love NY and a founding partner of a New York City law firm serving LGBTQ and non-traditional clients, has worked with polyamorous households. Sometimes she helps draw up agreements between married poly clients to prevent marital problems from arising because of their sexuality.

Numbers Don’t Lie -Coal is King: Robert Bryce

The global energy story of today is coal, which dwarfs the output of solar and wind.

Rasheed Wallace gained notoriety during his 16-season NBA career for being a hot-headed power forward. If called for a foul (or, as was often the case with him, a technical foul) that he thought was undeserved, and the opposing team missed the ensuing free-throw attempts, Wallace would often holler, “ball don’t lie,” as if the basketball itself was pronouncing judgment on the ref’s call.

The “ball don’t lie” expression has gained fame and is even the title of a popular basketball blog.

I’d be inclined to adopt a variation on Wallace’s catchphrase for whenever energy use or energy policy is being discussed: Numbers don’t lie.

Indeed, on Monday, BP released the latest edition of its BP Statistical Review of World Energy, and that document shows that once again, the global energy story of today isn’t wind, solar, or “clean energy,” it is coal. The numbers put the lie to the ongoing story being pushed by the Obama administration, the Sierra Club, and their many allies on the green Left.

Earlier this month, the EPA released its new Clean Power Plan, a 645-page set of regulations that aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions from the domestic electricity-generation sector by 30 percent by 2030 when compared with 2005 levels. The EPA claims that the new rules are needed because greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide threaten “the American public by leading to potentially rapid, damaging and long-lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of severe negative effects on human health and the environment.”

Let’s look at the numbers. As I wrote in these pages on June 3, the EPA’s proposal aims to cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by about 720 million tons over the next 16 years. But that reduction will amount to a drop in the global carbon dioxide bucket. According to the new BP numbers, in 2013 alone, global CO2 emission rose by 630 million tons. In other words, in one year, global CO2 emissions rose by nearly 90 percent of the reductions being proposed by the EPA.

The Tale of the Immigrant and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Amity Shlaes

Even when you win, you lose. And someone nobody knows gets hurt.

That’s the rule when it comes to a regulator’s investigation. A good example is the apparent triumph over the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission by a pair of twins in the energy business, Kevin and Richard Gates.

Way back in 2010, FERC began looking into whether funds led by the Pennsylvania-based brothers had defrauded the market by executing sham wash trades to collect millions in rebates to which they were not entitled. Last August, three years in, the FERC released an ominous preliminary-findings report that the brothers’ funds, Huntrise Energy and Powhatan Energy, had in all likelihood engaged in fraud. Nor of course were the Gates brothers alone: Other companies, such as JP Morgan, were agreeing to pay hundreds of millions in penalties to FERC, all redounding to the glory of the director of the FERC’s enforcement wing, an attorney named Norman Bay.

The feisty Gates twins, a sort of Winkelvoss brothers of energy, were different. They fought back by launching a counter-investigation of their own. The pair hired the lead experts in the field, including former SEC and energy regulators, to submit position papers on whether their case constituted fraud. The experts found little evidence of fraud. The former chief of enforcement at FERC, Susan Court, put it simply: “Everyone knew what was going on; there was no deceit.” William Hogan of the Kennedy School at Harvard, one of the architects of deregulation of electricity, pointed to an irony: The Gates companies made money off a feature in the market that had been vetted and created by the FERC itself. Though the Gates brothers had heard plenty from the FERC before their counter-investigation, suddenly there was radio silence from the agency. A laudatory profile of the Gateses in the Wall Street Journal seemed to assure the brothers’ conquest.

But such visions of victory obscure the injury sustained by figures in the shadows of such investigations. The philosopher Frédéric Bastiat wrote once of two groups of people: “the seen,” who benefit from a government project, and “the unseen,” those who are hurt by the same project. This story is about a specific group of “unseen” that is rarely recognized: immigrants.

Starting with a trader named Alan Chen — born in China’s Zhejiang Province, Chen earned a Ph.D. in power engineering before coming to the United States. Eventually, he began to trade energy. Chen lives with his wife outside Houston in the small city of Conroe. They have a daughter named Jessica, who is now eleven. Chen’s work with the Gates brothers began in 2008, around the time that this happy photo of his family was snapped.


The IRS’s claim that it lost the e-mails of multiple key employees, at precisely the moment that Congress began looking into the agency’s unethical and illegal political persecutions, challenges even the most credulous mind.

It is very difficult to permanently destroy an e-mail even if you are trying to do so. The proposition that a few hard-drive crashes, which conveniently afflicted the computers of those involved in the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, would permanently wipe out those e-mails beyond recovery beggars belief. Half the strip malls in this country have electronics stores that will, for a fee, recover information from a damaged hard drive. Assuming that the drive in question was not, say, smashed to bits with a sledgehammer and then nuked in a microwave, the information on it should be recoverable.

Beyond that, e-mail is a network function; copies of communications are generally available from multiple locations. It is not an IRS e-mail server that is alleged to have crashed, but the individual computer used by Lois Lerner, who ran the IRS unit responsible for tax-exempt organizations and is at the center of the agency’s campaign of harassment and intimidation of conservative groups. The IRS claims that it wipes its servers clean every six months and that its backup method is — and we are not making this up — having employees print out their e-mails for filing. The missing e-mails from Lerner run to about 50,000, and the IRS has nearly 90,000 employees — is the agency really filing away 4.5 billion printouts every other year? Perhaps in a federal warehouse like the one at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark?

And beyond that, the IRS has a legal obligation to retain e-mails and other documents, and it is difficult to take seriously the proposition that fulfilling that legal obligation would be left to chance. In earlier congressional testimony, former IRS commissioner John Koskinen confirmed that agency e-mails are stored on backup servers.

And beyond even that, this administration is infamous for its attempts to evade examination of its e-mail records: EPA administrator Lisa Jackson went so far as to cook up a phony e-mail account – under the comical name “Richard Windsor” — to cover her tracks.

The IRS’s version of events heaps implausibility upon implausibility upon implausibility. And given the agency’s well-established history of dishonesty regarding its political persecutions — Lerner’s staged press-conference questions, misleading of congressional investigators — the possibility that the agency’s executives are flat-out lying to Congress and to the public cannot be discounted.

AMERICA: Imagine the world without her By Marion DS Dreyfus

I highly recommend the new Dinesh D’Souza salvo at truth, optimism and the melioration of the endless lies proffered by the leftatariat who preach in the nation’s wholly-owned radicalized college campii (my version of the plural form — don’t bother with Webster’s or Wiktionary).

He goes into the 5 basic lies of America’s birth promoted and promulgated by Saul Alinsky, author of Reveille for Radicals (as well as its more famous successor, Rules for Radicals), the socialist sleaze who was a mentor to Hillary, as well as the guiding muck/light for the current occupant of the Oval Office. Alinsky does not emerge as a nice person, nor a person a patriot could ever follow.

D’Souza frames the film in the Revolutionary War, and instead of Gen. Washington leading his men into victory against the Redcoats, Washington is shot by a sniper, falls to the ground, and his men surrender. America is not to be.

The Mumbai-born D’Souza, who came here when he was 17, carefully interviews the likes of acidulous America-hater, anti-Zionist cynic Noam Chomsky, captures some of the ugly in another Obama mentor, rapist and muni-bomber William Ayers, one of the ghost-writers of Obama’s better “autobiography” (the less-well-written autobio was penned by someone lesser than Ayers, perhaps Obama himself; perhaps not).

It is hard to sit through the first 20 minutes of this merciful film, since it is all chunked up with these reprehensible haters of the US for the nonce. But D’Souza is fair, giving these sordid types leeway to put forth their insidious and untrue misappropriations of non-history.

Relief comes after these professorial historical histrionics are presented. The film carefully goes point for point, shredding the lies and distortions massaged by the adipose-friendly, hirsute Michael Moore and “historians” on major leftard campuses. 

The country’s strangulating over-regulation is limned, as is the difficulty even the entrepreneurial spirit has triumphing over the endless asphyxiation of Obama’s notion of redistributing the wealth from those who have worked for it to those he thinks should take it, one way or the other. D’Souza goes lightly into the administration’s three scandals a week, and tells us about the spying that renders all our emails, telephone calls and everything else we send Open Sesame to the illegal actions of the government. He replays the beloved clips of Obama promising we can keep our doctors and keep our policies — massive Pinocchios that won the President top liar award for last year.