Obama Says Armed Response to Muslim Terrorism Wrong Approach
While attempting not appear to condone the murder of the Hebdo staff and the Jewish hostages at a kosher supermarket in Paris last week, President Obama blamed France's failure to integrate Muslims into their society.
"The fact is, Europe has done a poor job of making Muslim immigrants feel welcome," Obama said. "In country after country Muslims are isolated in ghetto-like conditions rather than dispersed among the general population like they are in the United States."
The President dismissed contentions that the concentration of Muslims into enclaves was by choice. "The Muslim way of life has very specific requirements," Obama asserted. "Practitioners need to be free to drop down wherever they are to answer the five daily calls to prayer. Men need to be free to walk the streets without being lured into raping uncovered women or being assaulted by the aroma of roasting pork. They need to be secure from insults to their faith. General European societies do not meet these requirements. So Muslims are forced to try to insulate themselves from a depraved environment."
"Tracking down and arresting or killing the perpetrators of attacks like those we saw in Paris is too little, too late," the President contended. "A proactive policy of accommodating the needs of the Muslim faith would interdict the sources of animosity before they explode into violence. If communities could provide convenient sites for prayer so that Muslims wouldn't have to block streets, if women were more fully clothed in public, if only halal foods were offered, Muslims would feel more at home and have less cause for anger."
An important component of the President's vision of a "proactive policy" is "the prevention of offensive journalism." "A responsible media would not engage in the dissemination of words or pictures that disturb Islamic jihadis," Press Secretary Josh Earnest alleged. "Americans can be assured that the President will take the steps he deems necessary to see that this doesn't happen here."
In related news, Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Administration's decision to send James Taylor to France to sing one of his hit songs--"You've Got a Friend"--in lieu of joining other heads-of-state who marched for press freedom and against Islamic extremism. "The march conveyed an 'us vs. them' image that President Obama feels undermines his efforts to find common ground with Muslims driven to violence," Kerry explained. "We both believe that 'music has charms to soothe a savage breast.' A song about friendship will do more to abate anger on both sides than an 'in-your-face' defense of the free speech rights of purveyors of blasphemy. Even the Pope is in agreement with us on this."
Kerry has also offered to "give a big hug" to anyone in Paris who wants one. Thus far there have been no takers.
Hebdo Attackers "Smeared" by Child Porn Revelations
Radical imam Anjem Choudary characterized investigators' disclosure that Cherif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly—murderers of the Hebdo cartoonists—were frequent visitors to websites featuring child pornography as "a smear of their reputations."
French detectives found five child porn photos on Coulibaly's laptop and 37 on Kouachi's PC. Kouachi's "favorites" folder included lurid pictures of young boys and girls involved in sexual acts with adults.
"Just because Western culture declares relationships between adult men and pre-teens to be illicit doesn't make it so," Choudary complained. "The Prophet's (may peace be upon him) favorite wife married him when she was only six years old and consummated the marriage when she was nine. To hold that young Muslim men seeking to emulate the perfect man are deviant is an insult."
In related news, celebrations hailing the Hebdo gunmen as "heroes" have taken place in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey and the Islamic State. Pir Muhammad Chishti, a Muslim cleric in Pakistan, insisted that "they weren't terrorists—they did this for all Muslims, killing the criminals responsible for insulting the Messenger of Allah."
President Calls for Government to Takeover Broad Band Service
Lambasting what he termed "a confusing cacophony of competing private providers," President Obama called for government "to step in and simplify everything by consolidating all broad band service under one umbrella."
"Right now, consumers face the continuous burden of choosing which plan to purchase," the President pointed out. "There's always a fear of choosing unwisely. If we eliminate this necessity to choose, consumers will be freed from this task. Instead of being faced with a difficult dilemma of what to do if their current provider is unsatisfactory, all consumers will be enrolled in a standard, uniform service. No one would have to worry that they might've gotten better service with another provider. All would be assured that they are getting the best that is available."
Obama compared his proposal to British Prime Minister David Cameron's inferior plan to ban all encrypted communications. "If the government becomes the only provider of broad band communications it can easily block any encrypted content," he argued. "This is simpler and more effective than trying to outlaw private parties using encryption. I think all sensible people can agree that there are no good reasons why anyone's conversation needs to be hidden from the government. Government is the protector of people's rights. The more power it has, the more able it will be to do the best job possible."
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) disagreed, "One might have thought that after the Obamacare debacle that the notion that trying to bring everyone into a government plan would be seen as an improbable cure for whatever shortcomings might be perceived in any sector of our economy. The President's faith that more government is what this country needs is stunningly out of step with the American people."
President Urges Sounder Business Practices for Small Businesses
On Thursday, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum, directing all federal agencies to give federal workers six weeks of paid leave for parents with a new child. The President is expected to call for Congress to pass similar legislation compelling all American companies to offer the same six weeks of paid paternal leave.
Small business owners are worried about the cost of this new entitlement. The President's Council of Economic Advisers has estimated that the cost of this new perk for federal employees will run to $250 million per year.
Press Secretary Josh Earnest downplayed these small business fears as "short-sighted and selfish. A narrow focus on the bottom line overlooks the broader impacts on society as a whole. Granted, some specific firms may go under as a result of this new policy, but a much larger number of employees will gain valuable new benefits. As the President sees it, sacrificing the few for the sake of the many is sound policy."
Houston Mayor Says Jury Trial Unnecessary
Critics of Houston Mayor Annise Parker's new protections for transgenders (allowing them to use whichever restroom they desire regardless of their anatomy) saw their petitions aimed at getting Mayor's policy on the ballot arbitrarily declared invalid.
The Mayor now wants these critics to be judged by a "Special Master" for "attempting to overturn simple justice through improper utilization of the petition process." Those accused of this made-up crime have demanded a jury trial, a demand for something that Parker calls "ludicrous and unnecessary."
"The role of a jury is to determine the facts of a case," Parker lectured. "In this case there are no facts in dispute. Fact number one: there is a new policy extending restroom rights to transgenders. Fact number two: those accused have admitted that they are opposed to this policy. There is nothing for a jury to rule on. All that is needed is for the Special Master to decide what penalty should be meted out to these offenders."
However, another fact is that Judge Robert Schaffer in the Harris County District Court, rejected Parker's Special Master protocol—a move that Parker says she will simply veto. "The voters of this city chose me as their ruler, not Judge Schaffer," she argued. "The will of the people cannot be set aside by an unelected judge."
Canned Goods to Provide Security at Alabama School
Huntsville, Alabama's W.F. Burns Middle School Principal Priscilla Holley sent a letter home with students asking the parents of each of them to equip their child with 8 ounces of canned goods that the student would use as a weapon against armed intruders. The idea is that the possibility of being hit by a can of beans would deter gunmen from harming the children.
A key feature of this plan, according to Holley, is "the element of surprise. We believe that a barrage of cans thrown by our 12 and 13 year-old students would be a formidable response."
The Principal maintained that tossing cans at armed intruders was "the best compromise option. Some argued for a civil disobedience approach where all the children would simply go limp. Some suggested adopting a Biblical 'smile turneth away wrath' approach, but our district has a zero tolerance for anything relating to religion. Others suggested hiring a retired police officer as an armed on campus counter measure, but our Board felt this would be an endorsement of the kind of violence we need to eradicate in our society."
Holley said she hopes the can defense is never put to the test, but remains confident of its over all efficacy.