NTK FeatureHow to account for President Obama’s decision regarding the great rally in Paris last Sunday? Not just to absent himself, but not even to send a high ranking American? Jay and Mona note that Obama has long been keen to declare an end to the war on terror. The Islamists have not played their part though, as the corpses testify. Jay offers a biting rebuke to those (including, alas, Pope Francis) who chose this moment to make a point about freedom and responsibility.

Conversation turns naturally to immigration and assimilation. Are Americans really better at assimilating new arrivals or does it matter that Europe is flooded by Muslim immigrants, a significant minority of whom are unwilling to adapt to the norms of pluralistic democracies?

The Muslim mayor of Rotterdam said it well – if unquotably on a family podcast. And kudos to President Sisi of Egypt, who said at considerable risk what the Obama administration trembles even to think – that there is a problem with Islamic extremism.

Jay and Mona touch upon 2016 – Mona thinks one name that’s circulating is unrealistic – and conversation turns to Venezuela, life without World War II veterans, the plot to assassinate members of Congress, and much more. Jay has read a new biography on Francisco Franco. What should conservatives make of him?

They close on a lighter note – musical and otherwise.

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There are 16 comments.

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  1. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor

    With all due respect, Mr. Nordlinger, which is it?

    You say that it’s not a question of trading off liberty for security, but you go on to say that there’s got to be balance. In what way does that balance exist except as a question of how much liberty we want versus how much security we need?

    I agree that America isn’t the problem, and the CIA, NSA and armed forces aren’t either. We get news stories about individual agents abusing these programs for one thing or another. Whatever; there are always jerks, cheaters and kooks out there, and so long as they’re caught and punished I don’t mind in aggregate (you know, insofar as it’s possible to punish a bureaucrat.)

    The thing is though, the NSA wiretapping program is literally the government recording who talks to who. (Or is it to whom?) There are steps that governments can take in the name of security, even with the best of intentions, that are not compatible with liberty. We can have adequate law enforcement while still requiring warrants. I fail to see how we couldn’t have national security if we didn’t track every last citizen.

    It’d go a long way towards assuaging my reservations about these programs if I could be convinced that we aren’t just defaulting to tracking everyone because we don’t want to admit that one religion in particular is causing the problems.

    • #1
    • January 17, 2015, at 5:37 AM PST
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  2. Rick O'Shea in Texas Inactive

    On Obama’s decision to not send anyone to France. How about some common courtesy, decency, support a friend when they’re down. An entire country, continent, world, grieving and you can’t even send a note or some flowers, let alone attend, a wake in honour of the departed. Tells you all you need to know about the man, Obama.

    • #2
    • January 17, 2015, at 5:53 AM PST
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  3. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor

    So, I stopped the tape to bang out that comment, and then when I posted it reset the audio stream. Oops. Having to find my place again, I listened through that section again and waited through the rest of the podcast to comment again.

    Mr. Nordlinger, I apologize if I was a bit abrupt with my previous comment. You guys aren’t the ones who won’t admit a certain religion comes up an awful lot in connection with these things. Still, I’m not sold on the program. If I could restate my objections as questions for the next Need to Know:

    “The NSA wiretapping program in essence consists of the government recording who everyone in America talks to. Are there really no alternative programs which would give us comporable intelligence without compromising the freedom of association of hundreds of millions of law abiding citizens? Are there methods of waging war that are incompatible with a free society, and if so, why should I assume this one isn’t one of them?”

    (Oh, and yeah, a Yeti is the same as an Abominable Snowman. Assuming I’m remembering what an Abominable Snowman is; large white hairy beast-man which lives high in the Himalayas.)

    • #3
    • January 17, 2015, at 7:49 AM PST
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  4. John Mason Member
    John MasonJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    When the word got out about the extent of the NSA’s eavesdropping, my mind went immediately to the convenient timing of David Patreus’ resignation and the oddity that his private communications became public knowledge just as the congressional investigations of Benghazi heated up.

    Now I see they are considering criminal prosecution.

    I’m not too sure we know the extent of the NSA’s abuses.

    • #4
    • January 17, 2015, at 1:03 PM PST
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  5. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti

    Hank —

    Try listening to the player in a different browser tab from the one you’re using to browse and comment the site with. It should play fine in the background.

    Hank Rhody:So, I stopped the tape to bang out that comment, and then when I posted it reset the audio stream. Oops. Having to find my place again, I listened through that section again and waited through the rest of the podcast to comment again.

    • #5
    • January 17, 2015, at 1:12 PM PST
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  6. Lensman Thatcher
    LensmanJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Obama’s non-reaction to the paradigm shattering speech by Egyptian President Sisi, his no show in Paris and his pathetic performance at the joint presser with Prime Minister Cameron combined to tempt me to make a post asking, “Who is Barack Obama?” Instead (for now) I’ll make a comment here.

    This is a man who was schooled as a Muslim when living in Indonesia. He publicly praised a leading member of the PLO at a farewell banquet the video of which Brietbart is offering a $100,000 bounty for a copy. He invented the term “Core al Qaeda” to (1) avoid having to name our enemy and (2) declare a victory in a war he did not want to fight. When terrorists proclaim their Islamic motivations he ignores them. He promoted the Muslim Brotherhood at his famous Cairo speech in which he fabricated a history that was adulatory of Islam. He directed the purging of teaching materials and instructors who mentioned Islam in training of our anti-terrorism warriors. His administration has had members of the Muslim Brotherhood in high positions. (The same MB that the governments of Egypt and the UAE have declared to be a terrorist organization).

    Bill Clinton was said to be the first Black President. If that’s the case, why isn’t Barack Obama the first Islamic President?

    If he is not that, what is he? Are we just seeing some form of Anti-Americanism?

    How would the policies of a professed Muslim be any different from Obama’s ?

    Changing subjects slightly, Andrew McCarthy’s weekly column at National Review Online points out that Obama’s release of enemy prisoners from Gitmo before the war is over raises serious questions as to his fitness for office. He even mentions impeachment.

    Is Obama helping the war effort by releasing the most hard core terrorists from Gitmo? If he is, which side is being helped?

    • #6
    • January 17, 2015, at 1:16 PM PST
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  7. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor

    Blue Yeti:Hank –

    Try listening to the player in a different browser tab from the one you’re using to browse and comment the site with. It should play fine in the background.

    Hank Rhody:So, I stopped the tape to bang out that comment, and then when I posted it reset the audio stream. Oops. Having to find my place again, I listened through that section again and waited through the rest of the podcast to comment again.

    Got myself down to four ricochet tabs open at the moment. Let me just say that the problem was entirely predictable and solvable beforehand.

    • #7
    • January 17, 2015, at 3:18 PM PST
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  8. Jack Dunphy Contributor

    Anyone else having trouble getting this one to download from iTunes?

    • #8
    • January 18, 2015, at 8:43 AM PST
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  9. Blue State Blues Member
    Blue State BluesJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jack Dunphy:Anyone else having trouble getting this one to download from iTunes?

    Yes. The Super Feed has not downloaded anything since Wednesday for me. I was able to go to iTunes, search for it, and download it manually.

    • #9
    • January 18, 2015, at 10:03 AM PST
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  10. Jack Dunphy Contributor

    Blue State Blues:

    Jack Dunphy:Anyone else having trouble getting this one to download from iTunes?

    Yes. The Super Feed has not downloaded anything since Wednesday for me. I was able to go to iTunes, search for it, and download it manually.

    Roger that. Hey, Blue Yeti, our problem or Apple’s?

    • #10
    • January 18, 2015, at 4:55 PM PST
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  11. Blue Yeti Admin
    Blue Yeti

    Delete the feed you’re currently subscribed to and subscribe to this one:

    http://ricochet.com/superfeed

    • #11
    • January 19, 2015, at 8:18 AM PST
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  12. Jack Dunphy Contributor

    Blue Yeti:Delete the feed you currently subscribed to and subscribe to this one:

    http://ricochet.com/superfeed

    Did and done. Thank you.

    • #12
    • January 19, 2015, at 8:48 PM PST
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  13. Wolfsheim Member

    Being a literate speaker of East Asian languages, I wish to make a minor comment on Mona Charen’s passing reference to the claim that the Chinese character for ‘quarrelsome’ is two women under a roof…It’s two women, without the roof. In far more common use is the character consisting of one woman under a roof: It means ‘tranquil, restful’, pronounced [an], first tone, in Chinese. It has been borrowed into Korean and Japanese. The Japanese equivalent of da nobis pacem, for example, is warera ni heian wo atae-tamae. Heian (peace and tranquility) is the old name for the old capital, now called Kyoto. Andong (‘tranquil east’) is a city in South Korea. Three women (姦) is used in various compounds referring to adultery and in Japanese it has a native reading suggesting ‘noisy, clamorous’. And then there is the character consisting of a woman surrounded by two men (嬲), which means ‘tease’. Although some Chinese characters can be semantically analyzed, most consist of a meaning component (“radical”) plus an element intended as a phonetic clue, and they’re typically memorized without anyone thinking about any sort of “literalistic” meaning. Small English-speaking children may wonder what straw has to do with strawberries, but we adults don’t. Still, it may be no coincidence that some of the more seemingly “misogynistic” Chinese characters have been more or less put out to pasture.

    • #13
    • January 19, 2015, at 10:22 PM PST
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  14. Wolfsheim Member

    As a young man I lived in the south of France, whence I would sometimes journey into Spain, where Franco still ruled. For many in France, the Civil War was still being waged, and I was acquainted, though not well, with a man who had fought for the Republicans and then fled over the Pyrenees, never to return. For all of us leftists at the time, it was a matter of dogma that Franco was one with Hitler and Mussolini as a loathsome fascist tyrant, who, to our sorrow, had savagely defeated the forces of righteousness. If anyone had suggested, as Mona Charen has, that on the whole it is fortunate that Franco won and not the Stalinists, that person would have been instantly excommunicated from the Church of the Higher Leftist Humbug. But, of course, she does not make the easy mistake of reacting to the dishonesty by suggesting a rosier picture of Franco than he deserves. It has been said, for example, that he was of Sephardic origin and saved many Jews. But the fact is that he uttered a lot of anti-Semitic nonsense. He was, after all, a man of his times…

    • #14
    • January 19, 2015, at 11:18 PM PST
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  15. Gromrus Member

    Can Jay cite a reference or origin for his observation that in 1000 years of Islamic civilization, fewer books were translated than in Spain in a year? I have heard similar contentions for lack of Arabic towns founded in Palestine between Roman and modern times as speaking volumes that Palestine is not as crucial to Islam historically as Islamists would have us believe.

    • #15
    • January 20, 2015, at 9:16 AM PST
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  16. Grendel Member
    GrendelJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Gromrus
    Can Jay cite a reference or origin for his observation that in 1000 years of Islamic civilization, fewer books were translated than in Spain in a year?
    ======
    Jay said Bernard Lewis.

    • #16
    • January 22, 2015, at 2:04 PM PST
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